Sunday, June 09, 2013

There Are Days When People Feel The Same As You

And, still the ruddy circus continues, dear blog reader. It's, actually, quite funny to watch. Yer actual Rory Kinnear has, allegedly, been offered the lead role in Doctor Who when Matt Smith leaves at the end of the year. At least, according to a newspaper - so, that's about as reliable as a thin streak of stinking rancid piss snaking its way across the road into oncoming traffic. An alleged Daily Torygraph 'source' allegedly claims to have allegedly 'learned' that the actor (he's not alleged, he definitely exists) has, allegedly, 'been approached' for the part. This, despite Doctor Who's executive producer The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat insisting the other day that the BBC is 'yet to choose a twelfth Doctor.' (Technically, of course, if Rory - or anyone else for that matter - has been offered the role but hasn't actually accepted yet then Moffat's statement could still be considered as an accurate one.) The alleged 'source' allegedly said: '[Kinnear] has been offered the part and we are waiting to hear if he will accept. He is the perfect choice.' As previously noted, this blogger is an admirer of Rory Kinnear's previous work and would love the idea of such a well-respected quality actor taking on the role of The Doctor. But, somehow, I doubt it. And indeed, seemingly, so does Rory himself - or, at least he did when asked about such a potential scenario a couple of months ago. When the actor - who has starred as Bill Tanner in the two latest James Bond films - was asked about his possible involvement with the BBC's long-running family SF drama series in April, he claimed that he hasn't watched the programme for years. 'I think I'm being used as a decoy on that front. It's the first I've heard of it,' he said. The BBC downplayed rumours of any imminent Doctor Who news over the weekend stirred up to a frenzy by what appears to have been an erroneous report on the website of Starburst magazine, tweeting from the show's official page: 'We can confirm there is no Doctor Who announcement planned for today.' They didn't say anything about the day after, of course. Disinformation, dear blog reader. It's the name of the game, apparently. Mind you, I'd trust a - nameless - alleged 'source' allegedly quoted in the Daily Torygraph about as much as I'd willingly trust an 'exclusive' about Holly Vanace taking over the lead in Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the Daily Lies.
On a broadly similar subject (well, Doctor Who, anyway), there a really very good piece by Claire Budd in the Independent this week entitled So some feminists are calling for a female Dr Who - but isn't that missing the point entirely? In which, Claire writes: 'I've heard some funny comments this week, Doctor Who being racist, sexist and not dealing with real issues being three of them. Having watched hours of the programme and its spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, I've heard all of those issues being dealt with beautifully. And episodes like Richard Curtis' Vincent & The Doctor, which tackled the taboo of mental illness, have given me some great material to work with as a mother. Not to mention the introduction of many other historical figures – bringing them to life and making them interesting – as well as the parts of our story written into The Doctor's adventures, including slavery and the stealing of natural resources. But, by far the most valuable contribution to the younger generation has to be the fact that The Doctor is the only non-violent 'superhero' male role model. He solves problems through talking and he's proud to be a science-loving, socially awkward geek. He's the hero of boys and girls. But most of all he shows boys that violence and aggression won't get them what they want. Being clever, not conforming, being kind, talking – these are the ways to be a hero. My daughter will love The Doctor whether he's a boy or a girl – River Song and Amy Pond are her heroes too - and I hope she still feels the same long after One Direction fade into another dimension, but being a feminist and calling for him to become a woman is missing a massive point.' The lady had a point. In fact, she has several. Not that this blogger is at all averse to the conceit of a woman Doctor - so long as it's the right woman, as opposed to a bit of tokenism - as mentioned earlier in the week.

Hungary's got talent, it would appear, although whether yer actual Britain has is something of a debateable point it would appear. Attraction won Britain's Got Toilets on Saturday night. More than thirteen million people watched the climax of the live final, which also saw Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads pelted with eggs by 'a suspected former reject.' The show, won by the Hungarian shadow dance troupe, was watched by a peak audience of 13.1 million, with an average of 11.1 million viewers across the two-and-a-half programme, the broadcaster claimed. Even though that figure actually includes ITV+1 viewers - it was 10.56m discounting +1 viewers - that's still around three quarters of a million punters down on the audience for the final episode last series (and, with a smaller peak as well). Attraction, whose presence on a show supposedly designed to highlight native performers had led to criticism (mostly from serial whingers, admittedly), won the public vote after a resolutely British-themed display, including 'Land Of Hope And Glory' and the voice of that notorious lover of all foreigners, Winston Churchill. The eight-strong group, who previously appeared on both the German and Hungarian equivalents of Britain's Got Toilets, pipped teenage Yorkshire comedian Jack Carroll, who was the runner-up, and won the show's two hundred and fifty thousand smackers prize and a performance on this year's Royal Variety Performance. The Welsh singing brothers Richard and Adam Johnson, came third. Everybody else was, like, nowhere baby. The Hungarian act had been favourites to win from their first audition, which moved judges Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon to tears. Unless they were faking it, of course. Hell, anything's possible. The vile and odious Holden, in particular, is alleged to have had so much stuff injected into her face, when any liquid appears it's difficult to be sure if she's crying or leaking. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads was also visibly moved by their semi-final performance last week to such an extent that he stopped looking at himself in a mirror for a few seconds. Attraction also beat finalists Gabz, Pre-Skool, Luminites, Francine Lewis, Jordan O'Keefe, Arisxandra, Asanda and Steve Hewlett. On Attraction's victory, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads said that it demonstrated the British public 'welcomes talent from all over the world,' while David Walliams said the group are 'guaranteed to be superstars.' Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads added that he was 'surprised' by the result. Earlier in the evening, he had said that his heart wanted Carroll to be crowned champion. Attraction said: 'It's amazing and unbelievable. This is [our] proudest moment. Thank you the British public.' They will now be included on the bill for the Royal Variety Performance, which takes place at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle on 16 November. If anybody wants to hoy eggs at that gig, be advised,  you really shouldn't be doing that. But, if you're determined to and there's no talking you out of such rank - albeit funny - glakery, be advised there is a Tesco's just around the corner from the theatre and they usually knock-out a pack of six for about eighty five pee. Remember to keep your receipt in case of breakages.

Meanwhile, in probably the highlight of the evening, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads was pelted with eggs during the final, live on telly. Now, that's entertainment. Rumours that the eggs immediately went rotten after coming into contact with Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's gravitational field cannot, at this time be confirmed or denied. A woman - later identified as thirty-year-old Natalie Holt, a member of the backing orchestra - invaded the stage during Richard and Adam's performance of 'The Impossible Dream' and began throwing eggs in the general direction of Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads and the other judges. She ran forward when the backing singers were revealed by the opening screens at the rear of the stage, making her way past the singers with a box of eggs in her hand. Security quickly escorted Holt off the stage (and, presumably, gave her a reet good kicking for her unscheduled piece of performance art) but only after she had successfully hit Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads on his jacket. Hosts yer actual Ant and/or Dec apologised to viewers, saying: 'That was not part of the act, and we'll get to the bottom of what happened.' Ah, there you go, Ant and/or Dec are on the case, ladies and gentlemen. That should get things sorted. Maybe the cheeky chappie Geordie duo should also put in charge of the investigations into MPs cash-for-questions dealings, the phone-hacking scandal, Operation Yewtree or what, exactly, the Americans gave GCHQ since they're so capable of 'getting to the bottom' of things. A spokesperson for Britain's Got Toilets said: 'During tonight's show an incident took place during the finale of Richard and Adam's performance. Natalie Holt was part of the backing group for their performance and as a result of her misguided actions the police were called. However, we have decided to take no further action at this stage.' Holt herself said in a statement: 'I want to apologise to Richard and Adam for overshadowing their performance. I've never done anything like this before and in hindsight I have realised it was a silly thing to do.' After the performance, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads said: 'I sent a tweet out saying I don't like eggs and I really don't like eggs now.' Amanda Holden added: 'The only person with egg on their face was that stupid cow.' Which is a bit judgemental coming from a twenty-four carat talentless, know-nothing bovine ornament such as the risible Holden herself. Ms Holt has might well be a very silly little girl but, to the best of this blogger's knowledge, she has never inflicted anything so crass, so banal, so utterly downright worthless as Big Top on the public of this country. Odious greed-bucket, horrorshow (and drag) Alesha Dixon, meanwhile, said nothing of any consequence. As per usual. Richard and Adam themselves laughed off the incident, saying that their 'infamous' nan would be 'going after her' - which ITV would probably like to film and show every Christmas - and later added in a statement that they are 'proud' to have made it to the end of the song.

And, speaking of rubbish arsehole non-entity Amanda Holden, she apparently suffered 'a wardrobe malfunction' during the broadcast. By which, we mean that, at one point, her left titty was seen hanging out of her dress. Which, to be fair, wasn't specially unpleasant for most adult viewers, but probably scared the living bejesus out of children. And, indeed, anyone with an allergy to plastics. The 'mishap' occurred while the judges were giving their responses to contestant Arisxandra's performance. Expect the Daily Scum Mail to have a right good tut and whinge about this sick and disgusting occurrence at their earlier convenience.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping was somewhat taken aback when watching the latest episode of Dave's Dara O Briain: School Of Hard Sums, mainly by one of this week's guests, the comedienne Josie Long (very popular with students). For God's sake, chuck, smarten yourself up a bit, you look like a total bloody scruff. Otherwise, Josie - who is usually quite funny in small doses - was much more impressive than on her last TV appearance, a memorably scowly-faced turn on Have I Got News For You when she got verbally spanked and outclassed by a Tory.
'Normal citizens' have nothing to fear from UK intelligence gathering, the Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show. Could you possibly define 'normal' please, Billy - cos, I think it's fair to say, many people in this country would suggest such a description doesn't involve MPs, for one. Particularly slaphead Billy Fizz his very self. Hague claimed reports that the UK's eavesdropping centre GCHQ had 'circumvented the law' to gather data on British citizens were 'nonsense.' However, he refused to confirm or deny claims that GCHQ has had access to a US spy programme called Prism since June 2010. Hague confirmed he would give a statement to Parliament on the allegations on Monday. Speaking on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show, the foreign secretary declined to say whether or not he had personally authorised GCHQ to engage with the US Internet monitoring programme Prism. But, he said GCHQ's operations were 'subject to stringent legal checks' and regular scrutiny. One or two people even believed him.

Chris Addison - whom yer actual Danny Baker tipped to be the next Doctor on his 5Live Saturday morning show ... no chance! - is to appear in the new self-written Sky Living sitcom. The series, Trying Again, will also see the acting début of one of his occasional Mock The Week colleagues Alun Cochrane, the most Yorkshire man in the world. Addison co-created the show with The Thick Of It writer Simon Blackwell. It concerns a couple who are trying to keep their marriage together after an affair. Addison will play the lead, Matt, while Jo Joyner, who is quitting her role as Tanya Branning in EastEnders, will play his wife Meg, who had a fling with her boss. Cochrane – whose acting credits to date comprise playing the barman in one episode of Lee Mack’s Not Going Out - plays Matt’s best friend, while Charles Edwards plays the lothario boss, Iain. The show, set in a small Lake District town was announced earlier this year – but this is the first time that casting details have been revealed. Addison said: 'We've been dying to make this show for years so it's really exciting to be getting it off the ground with such a great cast.' Joyner said it was 'very exciting' to be part of the team. Collaborating with Addison and Blackwell is co-writer Tony Roche – another of the The Thick Of It team – and Peep Show and Fresh Meat co-creator Jesse Armstrong, who will script-edit. Moone Boy director Ian Fitzgibbon will be behind the camera for the eight half-hour episodes, while Horrible Histories' Caroline Norris is the producer. Trying Again, which is made by the production arm of Addison's agents Avalon, will shoot on location from this summer.

BBC1 has commissioned a second series of Blandings, the period comedy based on the novels of PG Wodehouse. Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders are both signed on reprise their roles as the absent-minded Lord Emsworth and his indomitable sister Connie, and Jack Farthing will also return as Clarence's feckless son, Freddie. The seven-part series will be broadcast early next year. BBC commissioner Kristian Smith praised the 'charming family comedy' and 'truly stellar' stories and said that series two would be 'a real treat.' Writer Guy Andrews said that characters due to appear in the new season include 'avoracious Hollywood producer, a dancing saxophonist secretary, a leather-gusseted religious maniac, Clarence's frankly terrifying sister Charlotte and - worst of all - the poker-wielding Duke of Dunstable.' No. Not the poker-wielding Duke of Dunstable, surely?

Les Dawson's daughter Charlotte is to make her own on-screen comedy début - in an online sitcom. In Staff Room, the twenty-year-old model plays 'a sexy home economics teacher.' A pilot episode of the sitcom is currently being shot in Salford after its creators raised eleven hundred smackers on crowdfunding website Kickstarter. Dawson is not the only relative of a famous comic to take part, as Steve Coogan's niece, Mary Joanna Coogan, plays the school secretary. Producers have also lined-up a number of TV faces, including Zoe Lister and Johnny Escobar from Hollyoaks and Ciaran Griffiths who played Micky in Shameless. Brian Capron, who played Coronation Street serial killer Richard Hillman a decade ago, is the headteacher, whilst DJ Pat Sharp makes an appearance as himself. The pilot, which is being shot at the Oasis Academy in MediaCity, has been written by a team led by Ryan McDermott, who won BBC3's Funny Hunt competition for short films in 2008. On the Kickstarter page, McDermott wrote: 'We want to show the commissioners and the production companies what is possible when talented, like-minded people get together with an audience who are hungry for original programming. Once we have produced the pilot episode we can then drum up interest online.' And he told the Chortle website: 'We're aiming for Comedy Central online and Netflix with the pilot, we really want to be at the front of online entertainment.' Dawson was seen on ITV last weekend, alongside a holographic version of her father, created for a posthumous gig.
The Metropolitan police is looking into allegations that a former News Corporation subsidiary was involved in helping computer hackers to undermine BSkyB's ill-fated pay-TV rival ITV Digital. It emerged that in March the Met received an allegation of 'a copyright offence' relating to the alleged activity of encryption technology business NDS around the year 2000, when it was owned by News Corp, and is assessing whether to launch a full investigation. '[I] can confirm that following a screening of Panorama in March 2012, a copyright offence has been alleged to the Metropolitan Police Service,' said a spokeswoman for Scotland Yard. 'The allegation was reported to police in March this year and relates to an alleged offence circa 2000.' The Met decided to look into the NDS allegations following a request by the Labour MP Tom Watson, the investigative website Exaro reported earlier in the week, a story qucikly picked up by the Gruniad. The Met spokeswoman said that the allegation has 'not at this stage' been escalated to the level of a full investigation, but that an information-gathering process has been started. 'The matter is currently subject to assessment,' said the spokeswoman. The assessment is being handled by officers from the Met's specialist crime and operations command. The allegation stems from a BBC Panorama report broadcast in March last year that linked NDS to the pirating of conditional access cards for ONdigital, giving viewers free access to channels operated by the Carlton and Granada-owned pay-TV rival to BSkyB, in which News Corp has a thirty nine per cent stake. ONdigital, rebranded ITV Digital, collapsed - hilariously - in 2002. Panorama's claims were based on allegedly incriminating e-mails and interviews with two people apparently involved: a German hacker, who claimed that he cracked the ONdigital codes, and the operator of a piracy website, who claimed he distributed the codes to other pirates to manufacture counterfeit conditional access cards. Both alleged that they were recruited on NDS's behalf by Ray Adams, its then head of UK security. Chase Carey, News Corp's chief operating officer and billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's right-hand man, criticised the Panorama report last year, saying the BBC had 'presented manipulated and mischaracterised e-mails to produce unfair and baseless accusations.' Abe Peled, the chairman of NDS, accused Panorama of having 'seriously misconstrued legitimate activities' the company undertakes in running its encryption business. He said the programme was in 'flagrant disregard [of] the BBC's broadcasting code, misleading viewers and inciting widespread misreporting.' NDS, based in Staines, plays a key role in Murdoch's global media empire. It provides the encryption technology which enables BSkyB and News Corp's other pay-TV businesses around the world to issue subscribers with set-top boxes and conditional access cards that allow them to watch channels they have paid for. In March 2012, before the Panorama report about NDS was broadcast, it was announced that the business would be sold to Cisco for five billion dollars by its joint owners, News Corp and private equity firm Permira. NDS also works with other companies and now supplies encryption software to a third of the world's pay-TV operators.

And so, to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. This could be From The North's mission statement, dear blog reader.

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