Friday, June 14, 2013

Somebody, Somewhere Tell Her It's Unfair

TV Comedy line of the week this week came from the unlikely source of yer actual Hugh Dennis on Mock The Week in the Scenes We'd Like To See round 'Unlikely things to hear on Doctor Who': 'There isn't going to be a next Doctor. I'm being replaced by a helpline.'
This rumour is certainly doing the rounds at the moment. Personally, this blogger will believe it when he sees it.
The overnight ratings for the fourteenth series of Big Brother were down on last year's launch. Channel Five's latest desperate edition of the long-running reality fiasco was seen by 1.99 million viewers at 9pm on Thursday. This is down approximately six hundred thousand punters from both the 2011 and 2012 series premieres. On BBC1, the new documentary series Life Savers brought in an audience of 2.71m at 9pm. Question Time interested 2.36m at 10.35pm. BBC2's Springwatch concluded with 2.74m at 8pm. This was followed by a Horizon special featuring the now not-so-secret life of cats which was the most-watched show outside of soaps of the night with 4.9m viewers at 9pm - an extraordinary figure for any programme on BBC2 that isn't Top Gear. Even yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self watched the last half of it. And very good it was too. Mock The Week returned for a new series with 2.49m at 10pm in which Andy Parsons was far funnier than usual, Milton Jones was as funny as always and Chris Addison really wasn't very funny at all. So no change there then. On ITV, Paul O'Grady's For the Love of Dogs was up three hundred thousand viewers from last week to 4.44m at 8.30pm. So, apparently cats are more popular than dogs with the British public it would appear, albeit only slightly. New reality documentary Happy Families opened to 1.91m at 9pm. Channel Four's new series Compare Your Life was seen by seven hundred thousand viewers at 8pm. Confessions of an Alien Abductee anally probed nine hundred and twenty three thousand adventure seekers at 9pm, followed by Ann Summers documentary Sex Toy Stories with 1.18m at 10pm.
In a, frankly long-overdue announcement, BARB, the official UK TV ratings body, will for the first time from August begin measuring usage of online catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer, 4oD and ITV Player alongside traditional small screen viewing and timeshifting. The move will provide the first official measurement of the number of viewers downloading or streaming TV shows on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones - and will, in see significant increases in the final, consolidated ratings for several shows - not least Doctor Who and Top Gear which regularly pull in over two million iPlayer hits. Justin Sampson, chief executive of BARB, described the move as 'pivotal.' Yer actual Keith Telly Topping describes it as about-bloody-time. 'Our initial focus is on reporting the extent to which IP content is being downloaded or streamed. This is a significant step forward in our ambition to deliver cross-platform measurement of content,' Sampson added. BARB said it plans to release a 'TV player' report by the end of 2013 and has appointed the analytics firm Kantar Media to collect the data from computer devices. 'For the first time we will have a gold standard report into viewing to TV player services such as 4oD, BBC iPlayer, Demand Five, ITV Player and Sky Go,' BARB said.
DCI Banks has been commissioned for a third series on ITV. Stephen Tompkinson, Andrea Lowe and Caroline Catz will return for the six hour-long episodes, which will be produced by Left Bank Pictures. 'DCI Banks has become a firm favourite amongst the ITV Drama audience and I'm very pleased we have commissioned a third series,' said Tompkinson. Who used to be very good. But now, nah, not so much. 'The new stories will pose searching questions for Banks as ultimately he's forced to take extreme action to keep his team together.' Executive producer Andy Harries added: 'I'm delighted by the continued success of DCI Banks. Stephen Tompkinson and the whole team have turned a hit series of novels into an international success story that began, like so many of the great TV detectives, on ITV.' Based on the novels by Peter Robinson, the stories Wednesday's Child, Piece of My Heart and Bad Boy will each be told over two episodes. Filming will start in August in Yorkshire and the series has been commissioned for ITV by director of drama commissioning Steve November.
Sky Sports has announced plans for its own dedicated Ashes cricket channel. Sky Sports Ashes HD will offer sixty three days of action between 30 June and 31 August for dedicated cricket lovers, which includes ball-by-ball coverage of the summer Investec Ashes series between England and Australia. It'll be pure-dead exciting so it will. except when Jonathan Trott's batting then, as usual, it'll be like watching paint dry whilst being whipped with barbed-wire. The channel will also broadcast county fixtures, highlights and various support shows, transforming Sky Sports 2 HD into the home of cricket for the summer. The first summer test starts on 10 July at Trent Bridge. The channel's extra cricket coverage will include the Women's Ashes, YB40, Friend's Life t20, England versus Pakistan under-nineteens internationals, plus a series of archive shows. Sky Sports commentator yer actual Sir Ian Botham said: 'This is wall to wall cricket, on one channel, for the key months of the summer. The Ashes is the pinnacle of test cricket and when it comes to television, cricket fans have never had it so good. Bring it on.' Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said that Sky would be offering 'an unrivalled schedule.' Sky's punditry team will include former England captain Andrew Strauss, Shane Warne, David Gower, Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, David Lloyd and Michael Holding. And Sad Bob Willis, but they've shunted him off to the county circuit these days because no oner could stand his monotone voice.

From one sports network opening a new channel to another, closing one. ESPN is to shut its 3D channel in the US because of 'a lack of uptake.' It had been called a turning point for 3D when the Disney-owned company launched the cable channel three years ago. Despite declining costs for 3D televisions, however, consumers have not taken to the channel. Recent figures from the US show no more than one hundred and twenty thousand people are watching 3D channels at any one time. The world's first twenty four hour all-sports 3D channel kicked off with the 2010 World Cup match South Africa versus Mexico. ESPN president George Bodenheimer said at the time that the network's commitment to 3D was 'a win for fans' which would put it 'at the forefront of the next big advance for TV viewing.' Spokeswoman Katina Arnold said that ESPN would be committing their 3D resources to 'other products and services that will better serve fans.' The network will continue to experiment with other technologies, including Ultra High Definition. The channel will close by the end of the year, though Arnold said the network could return to 3D programming 'if or when 3D does take off.' In the UK, Sky continue to expand their 3D sports coverage. In February they broadcast Formula 1 in 3D for the first time - the fourteenth sport to be shown in 3D by the channel. Earlier this month, however, retailer John Lewis suggested there was 'not much interest left in 3D TV.' John Kempner, the vision buyer at John Lewis, said there was still 'an interest, but it's not the primary purchase decision any more.' Many of the new TVs being released still support 3D, but it is no longer being promoted as a big feature. Smart TVs, Ultra High Definition and 4K are now seen as more appealing, with 4K broadcasts offering four times the amount of detail as HD content. Also in development is 8K TV technology, which will supposedly offer a 3D-like experience due to the high resolution of its image. Japanese company NHK showed off their technology during last summer's London Olympics.

The White Queen's Max Irons has revealed that the BBC have censored a number of the series's steamier scenes. The actor explained that the UK and US edits of the new ten-part period drama are different. He told Metro: 'You get a lot more arse in the Starz version. There's the BBC cut and the Starz cut,' the twenty seven-year-old continued. 'The cameras kept rolling after the BBC stopped the scene.' Irons - who plays Edward IV in the adaptation of Philippa Gregory's novel - also revealed that the cast had to film some scenes twice for the US and UK versions. 'The other funny thing with Starz was that you had to do extra lines. For the BBC, I'd say to my brother, "Come here, George." But for Starz it would be, "Come here George, Duke of Clarence", so they'd know what I was on about,' he said. Irons admitted that he is 'comfortable' with filming sex scenes as it is 'part of the job. I just have to go to the gym to make sure I keep the weight on, otherwise I go skinny,' he added.
The BBC's director general, Tony Hall, has called on the Greek government to reopen the state broadcaster immediately condemning its sudden closure as 'undemocratic and unprofessional.' In a petition to the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, the directors general of fifty European TV and radio broadcasters including the BBC have urged him to see sense pointing out that 'public service media and their independence from government lie at the heart of democratic societies.' The other signatories included the heads of German, French, Swiss, Danish, Spanish and Italian state TV. The intervention piles on the pressure on Samaras who was urged by the staff at the station not to send in the police to clear out the journalists who have been occupying the ERT headquarters for the third day running. The petition was organised by the European Broadcasting Union which has been at the vanguard of attempts to persuade the Greeks to reverse their decision to close down ERT's TV and radio stations on Tuesday night. Defiant staff have kept one channel, the news service NET, alive on the Internet. The EBU stepped in to make sure it was broadcast to viewers in Greece and across the globe by retransmitting it by three satellites. The EBU also called on the president of the EU, José Manuel Barroso to intervene in the crisis that is threatening to topple the new Greek government.
The British government has warned airlines not to allow the ex-CIA employee who leaked secret US surveillance details to fly to the UK, according to a report. Presumably, on the off-chance that he has further revelations to make about what GCHQ were actually doing with the info they got from the NSA. Or, maybe it's nothing whatsoever to do with that and they just don't like the cut of the chap's jib. You can be Judge Fudge on that score, dear blog reader. The Associated Press news agency reported seeing a document at a Thai airport telling carriers to deny twenty nine-year-old Edward Snowden boarding. The travel alert with a Home Office letterhead said Snowden 'is highly likely to be refused entry to the UK.' The Home Office would not comment on the report. Oh, I'll bet they wouldn't! According to AP, the alert was issued on Monday by the Home Office's Risk and Liaison Overseas Network. The document had a photograph of Snowden and gave his date of birth and passport number, the news agency reported. It said: 'If this individual attempts to travel to the UK: Carriers should deny boarding.' It went on to warn airlines they may 'be liable to costs relating to the individual's detention and removal' should they allow him to travel. According to the Home Office's website that charge would be two grands. Bangkok Airways, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines confirmed they had received the notice, which was 'not supposed to be seen by the public', AP reported. secrets, eh? They're really hard to keep. Allegedly. The BBC;s Home Affairs correspondent June Kelly said the alert issued against Snowden was 'unusual, because there was no warrant for his arrest.' She forgot to add 'yet.' It's usually only those who are suspected of 'spreading hatred and encouraging illegal activity' who are subject to such orders. Snowden was last seen in Hong Kong, where he travelled ahead of the Guardian newspaper's story which revealed the extent of the National Security Agency programmes to seize data from US Internet and telephone firms. There is no suggestion that he has any intention to try to travel to the UK. Snowden's actions have divided opinion in the US, with some calling him a hero and others calling for him to be tried for treason.

Three people have been arrested for trespass during a protest against Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to Parliament. Campaigners say they got onto the roof to interrupt his speech to the Lords. Shortly before he started speaking, the doors slammed shut on the robing room and considerable shouting was heard. Two women were also arrested on suspicion of criminal damage outside Black Rod's Entrance. Steady.
A radio presenter has been sacked in Australia for asking Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a live interview if her partner is gay. Howard Sattler suggested to Gillard that her partner of seven years, Tim Mathieson, had to be homosexual because 'he was a hairdresser.' Who said the Aussies weren't beer-swilling numskulls? Gillard characterised his comments as 'an absurd generalisation.' Sadly, she didn't tell this crass ignorant knobcheese to 'mind your own fekkin' business, you disgusting Ocker meat head.' The DJ was suspended and then sacked by Fairfax Radio, which grovellingly apologised for the 'disrespectful' questioning. Not to mention, you know, homophobic, ignorant and stereotypical towards hairdressers. The incident on Thursday comes as Australia prepares for a general election on 14 September - one which Gillard looks set to lose to the Tony Abbott-led opposition. It also comes in a week dominated by a row over the emergence of a menu prepared for an opposition party fund-raiser that made offensive comments about Gillard's body. Abbott has condemned the menu, for which the owner of the restaurant where the function was held has 'taken responsibility.' But wrangling is continuing over the opposition's version of events and the role of election candidate Mal Brough, who hosted the event. Fairfax Radio said initially that Sattler had been suspended from his position at Perth-based 6PR pending 'an internal inquiry' and issued an apology statement. 'Fairfax Radio management has reviewed this interview and considers that the questions posed by Mr Sattler were disrespectful and irrelevant to the political debate,' it said. 'The PM answered Mr Sattler's questions with dignity and some patience.' The station's general manager then announced on air on Friday afternoon that Sattler had been sacked. Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that many women in public office faced a 'significant demeaning attitude, sexist questions, invasive questioning. It's got to stop because we want women in public office, we want women to step up and be part of a decision-making of this country [but] women and young women are put off by what they see.' Gillard on Friday echoed those comments. 'I want young girls and women to be able to feel like they can be included in public life and not have to face questioning like the questioning I faced yesterday,' she said. Her partner, who probably had more right to feel offended that her has, perhaps wisely, remains schtum on the subject.

A twenty four-year-old woman who posted racist comments on Facebook after the death of Lee Rigby has avoided a jail sentence. Michaela Turner, of Southsea, was sentenced at Portsmouth magistrates court to an eight-week jail term, suspended for six months. She was ordered to pay eighty five quid in costs and a victim surcharge of sixty smackers. The court heard that Turner 'had been drinking' when she made comments about the Woolwich attack on the social networking site. They included: 'Feeling like burning down some mosques in Portsmouth, anyone want to join me?' She also shared other comments containing racist comments following the murder, the court was told. Hugh Morgan, prosecuting, said the comments made and shared by Turner were 'of a racist nature' and were 'of the higher category of its type, given the circumstances in which this incident took place. Police at that time were monitoring community tension, not just in this part of the country but across the country. This also included monitoring of Internet sites,' he said. 'To post such comments at any time would be unacceptable and have the potential to cause offence. It's fortunate that there were no events in the days following these comments. The very nature of these comments created the risk that something could happen.' Rebecca Strong, defending, said: 'She is extremely remorseful and ashamed of what happened. She was with a friend, they were drinking, they had watched some clips regarding what happened in Woolwich and she was extremely upset, as is most of the country at what happened. She fully accepts what she did and is very ashamed of what she said.'

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day here's a bit of choice early Marvin. And, further proof - if any further proof were needed - that, however hard we try, white kids simply can't dance!

No comments: