Monday, June 10, 2013

Week Twenty Five: Now I'm Just Another Man Who Walks The Undestined Way

For the second month running Doctor Who was the most requested programme on the BBC iPlayer, with the series finale, The Name Of The Doctor being accessed 1.9 million times during the month. Doctor Who also took third place in the list with Nightmare In Silver having 1.73 million requests and fifth place with The Crimson Horror's 1.71 million requests. The other places in the top ten we taken by five episodes of The Apprentice and two editions of The Voice. Earlier Doctor Who episodes were still available during the month with Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS adding 0.59 million requests to its April total, while other episodes each added around two hundred thousand requests each. The most requested Doctor Who story of the year remains as The Bells Of Saint John which has a - staggering - total of two and a half million requests and is the sixth most requested programme of the year so far. The top four places are held by episodes of Top Gear - which is certain to put a reet scowl on a few sour boat-races of The Usual Suspects at the Gruniad Morning Star - with an episode of David Attenborough's Africa coming in fifth. The request figures refer to download and streaming requests only and don't necessarily reflect the total number who watched the whole episode. However the BBC does estimate the unique number of viewers watching each episode within a week of transmission via it's Live+7 figures. Speaking of which ...
That's, somewhat, one in the eye for all of those uninformed planks who've been suggesting that Doctor Who's overall audience has fallen significantly during the last series, based purely on the series' overnight ratings. The consolidated +7 figures show Doctor Who is timeshifted far more than most BBC programmes (the exception, again, would probably be Top Gear, which, likewise, has a huge regular timeshift audience). Around sixty two per cent of the show's average audience watch Doctor Who 'live' or within one day of transmission, compared with the BBC average of eighty seven per cent watching live. Around twenty three per cent of the viewers timeshift using a PVR or DVD recorder compared with the BBC average of six per cent, while eleven per cent now watch via the iPlayer, compared with the BBC average of two per cent. As previously noted, in relation to specific shows, the way in which the audience consume television appears to be changing, rapidly.

Meanwhile, as reported yesterday on this blog, the Sunday Torygraph announced that one of the bookie’s favourites, Rory Kinnear, had been offered the lead role of Doctor Who by the BBC. All full of it, so they were, bigging up their own inherent massiveness. Of course, the entire story was based on information provided by a - nameless, and almost certainly fictitious - 'source'. But was Rory himself the virry chap, as it were? No, of course, he wasn't - as yer actual Keith Telly Topping speculated - with great sadness - yesterday. And, last week when the Mirra printed more or less the same story. Now, Liz Buckley, a friend of Rory’s family, has told Twitter:
So, this would appear to suggest that the Torygraph malarkey over the weekend was all bullshit, then. As with virtually everything else that appears in newspapers which isn't fish and chips.

Here's the final, consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Three programmes week-ending 2 June 2013:-
1 Britain's Got Toilets - Mon ITV - 10.98m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 10.49m
3 EastEnders - Wed BBC1 - 7.18m
4 Emmerdale - Tues ITV - 6.93m*
5 The Apprentice - Tues BBC1 - 6.88m
6 The Voice - Sat BBC1 - 6.74m
7 International Friendlies: England Vs Rep Of Ireland - Sun ITV - 5.54m
8 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.13m
9 BBC News - Mon BBC1 - 5.10m
10 Les Dawson: An Audience That Never Was - Sat ITV - 5.03m*
11 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.64m
12 Six O'Clock News - wed BBC1 - 4.48m
13 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 4.40m
14 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.38m
15 Case Histories - Sun BBC1 - 4.32m
16 Frankie - Wed BBC1 - 4.11m
17 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 4.10m
18 The ONE Show - Wed BBC1 - 4.04m
19 ITV News - Mon ITV - 3.98m*
20 The Fall - Mon BBC2 - 3.96m
21 Not Going Out - Fri BBC1 - 3.87m
22 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 3.65m
23 Waterloo Road - Wed BBC1 - 3.64m
Programmes marked '*' do not include HD figures.

The BBC's Sunday Politics show is generally a rather sedate affair, heavy on serious interviews and light on any real controversy. But viewers were treated to a spectacular confrontation between the host, full-of-his-own-importance Andrew Neil and the American conspiracy theorist full-of-his-own-importance 'definitely not a complete mental' Alex Jones, which saw the latter labelled 'the worst person to be interviewed' on the show and 'an idiot.' The self-styled 'shock jock' had been invited on the show alongside the journalist David Aaronovitch to discuss the secretive Bilderberg conference, which has been taking place near Watford over the past week. But, having been asked on several occasions to let his co-guest speak, Jones launched into a tirade which included several conspiracy theories detailed on his website. He was cut off by Neil, but when he continued to rant, the presenter said: 'You are the worst person I've ever interviewed,' before thanking Aaronovitch and continuing with the show. With Jones's shouts still audible, the presenter looked into the camera and said: 'We have an idiot on the programme today,' before using hand gestures to indicate his belief that Jones, in fact, was a complete mental. After being told several times to try not to dominate the conversation, Jones appeared to lose his temper, shouting: 'Hey listen, I'm here to warn people; you keep telling me to shut up. This isn't a game. Our government, the US, is building FEMA camps. We have an NDAA where they "disappear" people now. You have this arrest for public safety, life in prison. It's basically off with their heads, disappear them. Take them away. Liberty is rising. Freedom will not stop. You will not stop freedom. You will not stop the republic. Humanity is awakening.' Yes, not a complete mental, clearly. Noting Neil's gestures, he added: 'No, you guys are crazy, thinking that the public's too stupid. You're crazy, thinking the public doesn't know. You're crazy, thinking the public isn't waking up.' Jones said earlier in the show that the creation of the Euro was 'a Nazi German plan', and the Bilderberg Group – an annual conference of politicians, business leaders and academics who meet behind closed doors – was 'heavily involved' in the EU plan. 'We have forced them from cover to admit they're puppeteers above the major parties,' he said. Taking on Twitter after the show, Neil said that Jones had 'played up' for the camera. 'The moment Alex Jones knew he was no longer on-air he stopped,' Neil wrote. Jones is renowned for his shock tactics and came to the attention of the British public after calling for Piers Morgan to be deported from the US for his views on gun control. He was invited on Morgan's chat show to discuss the issue, after the 14 December massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, where he called the presenter 'a redcoat foreigner' and threatened to 'start a revolution' if anyone tried to 'take our guns.'

Some of those who relished the rather Pirandellian spectacle of the BBC's coverage of The Queen's visit to New Broadcasting House on Friday (climaxing in an particularly postmodern fashion with her contribution to a Radio 4 special about her visit to New Broadcasting House) consulted the maps for BBC staff of the 'goldfish bowl' newsroom. The spot where Her Maj stood as she appeared - panto-style - behind the news presenters is, apparently, the number one, 'no-go area', marked 'please don't stand here.' But, you know, she's the effing Queen, she can stand where she likes, she owns the gaff. This wasn't the only instance of royal scorn for the BBC's rules, as The Queen wore a hat in the newsroom and was accompanied by an equerry equipped with a big fuck-off sword, both, apparently, contrary to BBC guidelines. Understandably, in the latter case although it's still somewhat alarming to find that there's, actually, a written-down rule in the BBC which says 'don't bring swords in to work.' At one point it seemed possible the sword might come in handy, when a second chap in military garb could be glimpsed making a throat-cutting gesture during the grisly live performance at Radio 1 – though whether he meant the chop for Danny O'Donoghue, Tony Hall or Chris Patten, responsible as her host for subjecting her to the Live Lounge ordeal, wasn't entirely clear.
A former CIA 'technical worker' (that's, err, a spy) has been identified by the Gruniad Morning Star as the alleged 'source' of leaks about American surveillance programmes. Edward Snowden, twenty nine, is described by the paper as 'an ex-CIA technical assistant', currently employed by defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. The Gruniad said that his identity was being revealed 'at his own request', a marvellous get-out clause for the newspaper was Snowden, presumably, looks forward to a lengthy spell of water sports in Guantanamo. As previously noted, this blogger would rather enjoy seeing Gruniad editor specky little Alan Runtbudgie secretly rendered by some of the NSA's top boys, and turning up a few days later looking like a turnip in an orange jumpsuit, if only because it'd give his journalists something else to write about besides crappy anti-Top Gear bollocks. We can dream, can we not, dear blog readers? Dreaming after all, as Blondie once noted, is free. About the only thing that is in this country at the moment. Anyway, the recent revelations are that US agencies gathered millions of phone records and monitored Internet data. The Gruniad quotes Snowden as saying that he 'flew to Hong Kong' on 20 May, where he 'holed himself up in a hotel.' He told the paper: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things. I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.' Asked what he thought would happen to him when his name became public, he reportedly replied: 'Nothing good.' Yeah, that sounds about right. Although, if he's really lucky he'll avoid The Anal Probe. Ask Alex Jones about that, he's very 'in the know.' Snowden said that he had gone to Hong Kong because of its 'strong tradition of free speech.' He should've tried the Ecquadorian embassy, they're said to be very accommodating. Sort of like the Travel Lodge of International Affairs. Only without the dreadful poxy and twee Lenny Henry adverts. On Wednesday night, the Gruniad reported a US 'secret court' had ordered phone company Verizon to hand over to the National Security Agency millions of records on telephone call 'metadata.' Can't have been that secret if the Gruniad found out about it. See, dear blog reader, this is the reason why most conspiracy theories (of the kind that yer man Jonesy espouses) don't really hold much water. Because, at the end of the day, nobody can keep a frigging secret. Apart from the Doctor Who production office, seemingly. But, perhaps I've said too much. And, if yer actual Keith Telly Topping next turns up as part of a concrete block holding up the new M4 bypass, you can probably take it as read that I have said too much and know that The Lordy Thy God Steven Moffat is not to be messed with. That Gruniad report was followed by revelations in both the Washington Post and the Gruniad that the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine Internet firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to 'track online communication' in a programme known as Prism. And, as previously mentioned, if the NSA did happen to check out yer actual Keith Telly Topping's Internet history, listen guys, most of those websites were just, you know, 'for research.' Honest. All the Internet companies deny giving the US government access to their servers. Prism is said to give the NSA and FBI access to e-mails, web chats and other communications directly from the servers of major US Internet companies. The data is, it is claims, used to 'track' foreign nationals suspected of terrorism or spying. The NSA is also collecting the telephone records of American customers, but not recording the 'content' of their calls. On Saturday, US director of national intelligence the superbly named James Clapper called the leaks 'literally gut-wrenching. I hope we're able to track down whoever's doing this, because it is extremely damaging to, and it affects the safety and security of this country,' he told NBC News on Saturday. Yep. So, that's yer man Snowden's knackers getting a right good spanking with a rubber truncheon when they get hold of him, you heard it from the horse's mouth. Prism was reportedly established in 2007 in order to provide in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information on 'foreigners overseas.' Which, for the purposes of clarity is, basically, everyone. The NSA has filed a criminal report with the US Justice Department over the leaks. The content of phone conversations is protected by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which forbids 'unreasonable searches.' However, information shared with a third party, such as phone companies, is not out of bounds. This means that data about phone calls - such as their timing and duration, rather than their actual content - can be gathered by government officials. Clapper's office issued a statement on Saturday, claiming that all the information gathered under Prism was obtained 'with the approval of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court.' Prism was authorised under changes to US surveillance laws passed under President George Bush and renewed last year under Barack Obama.

And so, especially for any poor bloody NSA staffer who's been assigned this blog to check for subversive material, here's your next batch of Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 15 June
With last year's winner, the hapless Leanne Mitchell, selling only nine hundred copies of her debut CD in the week after its release and with dwindling ratings for the current series (albeit, still nowhere near as bad as some commentators have been suggesting), some BBC executives must be feeling a tad anxious. Yet they've recently announced a third series of The Voice - 7:00 BBC1 - so perhaps they do believe the format is more important than any commercial success. Tonight, waste-of-space Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates present the live semi-final of the singing competition. The eight remaining acts each perform a carefully selected song (allegedly) before taking part in a group number with their coaches for the first time, hoping to persuade viewers to vote them into the final. Also taking to the stage are what we are promised will be 'two of the biggest names in pop.' But, we don't know whom yet. What's the betting, dear blog reader, that they're not, actually 'two of the biggest names in pop' but, rather, a couple of b-list non-entities desperate to get their boat-race on TV and promote their latest single? Meanwhile, yer actual has, reportedly, complained about the design of the chairs on The Voice. One sincerely wished that was the only thing wrong with this format.

For fifty seven years the illuminated red Granada sign glowed across Central Manchester. But no longer; Granada's Quay Street studios will shortly close and move to Salford's MediaCity. In a starry chunk of nostalgia, which will thrill every TV fan, professional Norther berk, the extremely unfunny Peter Kay takes us on a clip-tastic, sentimental journey in Goodbye Granadaland - 8:30 ITV. All the big names are here, including Jeremy Irons, Charles Dance, and Dame Helen Mirren, who was pointed in the direction of superstardom as Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect, and reveals that her time in Manchester making the series 'taught me everything that I know to this day about film-making.' And curry and chips, probably. It's a harmless enough way to spend ninety minutes of your time if you're not oot on the lash on a Saturday night, spotting future acting titans in snippets from old shows. Look, there's a very young Colin Firth in the much-mocked lunchtime staple Crown Court, for example. There are some good anecdotes, including one from University Challenge's Bamber Gascoigne, who made friends in the Granada canteen with 'someone called Doris Speed.'

Tom faces a dilemma about truth and confidentiality regarding the paternity of an unborn baby, and Sam tries to help a man deal with his anger issues, and give him a chance to save his marriage in the process in Casualty - 9:20 BBC1. An accident to strike terror into any cyclist's heart: the parked-car-door-opening-right-in-front-of-you horror. The poor lady who is sent arse-over-tip turns out to be hiding a secret turmoil – as Holby's A&E patients usually do – so that her husband has to learn about an unexpected dimension of brotherly love. Another troubled husband's problem is anger management. But both stories are part of a larger theme about what it takes to make marriages work. Robyn becomes concerned about an elderly woman with dementia and her husband, especially when it becomes clear their carer is struggling to look after them. Guest starring Steven Hartley and Chris Simmons (formerly of The Bill), Kellie Bright (Rock and Chips) and Lu Corfield.

Sunday 16 June
In a Britain torn by The Wars Of The Roses, comely young wench Elizabeth Woodville waits expectantly by a roadside with her two sons. She's hoping to catch a word with the passing York king, Edward IV. She wants a big favour from His Maj but the pair are soon in the throes of an electrified passion. Because they are both drop-dead gorgeous and fancy one another something rotten. It's an everyday story of royal knobbery as told in The White Queen - 9:00 BBC1. Thus starts this misty ten-part blockbuster (based on Philippa Gregory's award-winning novels). Whilst Elizabeth and Edward (Rebecca Ferguson, who has a slight but disconcerting Swedish accent and Max Irons, who thankfully doesn't) have big hot sweaty not-very-medieval sex in candlelit rooms, England itself is, verily, in turmoil as the houses of York and Lancaster stand making 'come and have a go if you think you're hard enough' gestures at each other. It's gonna get a bit tasty. The leads, as mentioned, are a handsome pair, but Janet McTeer, as Elizabeth's spell-casting mother, steals every scene she's in. This epic historical drama is set against the backdrop of The Wars Of The Roses (and, if you think that two banks of soldiers throwing roses at each other doesn't sound particularly deadly when ... you really should have stuck in at school a bit more) telling the stories of three different women with a greedy taste for power. Sort of like Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Christine Bleakley. Only, less plastic. And orange. It's 1464 and England has been at war with itself for nine years, battling over who is the rightful king. Edward IV is crowned with the help of master manipulator The Earl of Warwick - but when the monarch falls in love with a beautiful widowed commoner, Warwick's plan for control over the throne is threatened.

Julia McKenzie returns as the sleuthing spinster Jane Marple in the first of three murder mysteries. While staying at a hotel in the Caribbean, Jane investigates the death of a fellow guest, refusing to believe that he died of a heart attack in Agatha Christie's Marple - 8:00 ITV. With the help of a business tycoon she sets about finding the real cause of the man's demise, and is soon drawn into an inevitable 'web of deceit and dark magic.' As you do. Miss Marple has a bad knee and, on the sage advice of her nephew, is on a trip to a lush Caribbean island in the hope that the warmth will ease her aching joints. But we all know that Marple (the excellent Julia McKenzie) can never go anywhere without murdered corpses piling up and spoiling her fun. Or, rather, starting it. And so it begins at dinner one evening when a boring old major is startled by a familiar face in the throng. Of course, within minutes, death comes to paradise. Adapted by yer actual Charlie Higson and co-starring Antony Sher, Robert Webb (the unfunny one from Mitchell and Webb), Ashes To Ashes's Montserrat Lombard, the excellent Daniel Rigby (so good in Eric & Ernie last year), Hermione Norris from [spooks], MyAnna Buring, Warren Brown and Oliver Ford Davies. Quality cast. Should be worth watching.

While investigating a dangerous South American terrorist - believed to be linked to the death of multiple CIA agents - the team also try to help Kono who is on the run following a murder for which she was wrongly accused in the last in the current series of Hawaii Five-0 - 9:00 Sky1. Elsewhere, Steve McGarrett tries to shed some light on his mother's relationship with Wo-Fat and pays a visit to his nemesis in prison. But, their heart-to-heart takes a dramatic turn. Imported US crime drama, more often than you'd expect really rather good starring Alex O'Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park.

Monday 17 June
Dan Snow, Dallas Campbell and Anita Rani go behind the scenes at Heathrow, which has more than two hundred thousand passengers passing through it each day, witnessing air-traffic control in action and examining the science and logistics behind the flights in Airport Live - 8:00 BBC2. These four nightly live shows presume that anyone who's ever been through Heathrow will want to know what goes on behind the scenes, rather than just wishing fervently they could board an aircraft and get the hell out of the place with all of their luggage safely in the hold. In the first episode, Dan finds out how Heathrow went from a row of tents and wooden huts to one of the world's busiest airports in a remarkably short space of time, Anita discovers how weather affects the airport each day and Dallas looks at the first-class compartment of the A380, the world's largest passenger jet. Where all the rich nobs hang out. Continues tomorrow.

Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell return with Long Lost Family - 9:00 ITV - the sickly-sweet and manipulative show which aims to reunite relatives after years of separation. At the age of nineteen, Sue Udy set up home with her boyfriend and became pregnant, but was forced to give up her baby for adoption when the relationship ended. Now, at sixty eight, she's making one final attempt to track down her daughter after decades of searching. Meanwhile, father-of-two Alan Ross Harper wants to meet his birth mother and find answers to questions that have haunted him for years.

The BBC's tame mathematician Professor Marcus du Sautoy travels to an underground vault on the outskirts of Paris to examine Le Grand K - the physical standard for a unit of mass representing exactly one kilogram. He charts the history of the cylinder, which was created in the Nineteenth Century, and hears of an astonishing modern-day race to replace it because of its dwindling weight in Precision: The Measure of All Things - 9:00 BBC4. You wouldn't have thought that graphics of mathematical formulae and a visit to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures would be a recipe for high drama, dear blog reader. Yet in the hands of Marcus - Dara O Briain's oppo on School of Hard Sums and maker of some terrific Horizon episodes - it proves to be the case. The reason for the tension is down to the fact that Le Grand K — the world's master kilogram — is losing weight and the battle is now on to replace it. We also get pen portraits of Isaac Newton's discoveries, plus a history of how we came to have a standardised system of measurement. But the most entertaining moment comes when we see a British farmer in the 1970s denouncing the metric system with its 'cock-eyed kilograms.' He's now one of the leaders of UKiP, apparently.

Tuesday 18 June
Every now and then, about once or twice a series, CSI - 9:00 Channel Five - reminds viewers of how it can still assemble absurdly intricate, glossy mysteries full of cartoon characters and lurid details. Tonight sees one of those episodes, and for good measure it revolves around one of the regular cast who rarely troubles the spotlight — mild-mannered medical examiner David Phillips. He reluctantly attends his fifteen-year high-school reunion at the insistence of his heavily-pregnant wife, where the bubble machine suddenly starts blowing bloody bubbles; the bitchy Cordelia-like former prom queen running the reunion has been murdered. Nastily. From there, we get a excellent sequence of bizarre clues and character studies after David finds Becca Sabin dead on a table, having had her throat slit. A fragment of broken glass leads Greg Sanders to a photocopier from which he obtains a printout of the victim's face being forcibly held down by someone wearing a bracelet. That's, obviously, after there's been some arse-copying-action. Well, it's The Law, isn't it? Guest Kelly Nivens is identified as the owner of the jewellery and she tells the detectives that bitchy Becca had plans to reveal the secrets of her former classmates in a speech. Someone, it seems, doesn't want their secrets revealed.

The friends head to the British Consulate to establish whether they are in the clear, but find themselves stuck in a compromising situation, as usual, in Mad Dogs - 9:00 Sky1. They manage to establish the whereabouts of a CIA contact, but there is a catch - he lives in the middle of nowhere on the other side of South Africa. Thankfully, a familiar face with a keen sense of direction reappears at an opportune moment. The news that the contract on the four exiles has been lifted so they can finally go back home gets mixed reactions — during their brief catch-up it's clear that two of them have comfortable new lives in South Africa. But it's not going to be that straightforward and the friends are soon racing off across the country looking for a man who may - or may not - be alive and may - or may not - be able to help them out of the current mess they're in. Watch out for a cameo from Max Beesley's dad as a diplomat and that dwarf zombie-type thing, who is still lurking about.

The Borgias - 9:00 Sky Atlantic - sees the return for one final series of the drama charting the rise of the notorious family in Renaissance-era Rome. Series three opens with Alexander having been poisoned and, seemingly, dying. Only the quick thinking of his daughter, Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) gives him even a hope of survival. Naturally his boy-band pretty son Cesare, with the 'because I'm worth it' hair, is tossing his curly locks all over Rome as he tries to find his dad's assassins and give them a reet good talking to (or, you know, a dagger up the rectum). Which, some might regard as somewhat hypocritical as, you might recall, he murdered his own brother. As Pope Alexander fights for his life after being poisoned and Cesare eventually traces the assassination attempt to Cardinal Della Rovere, Milanese countess Caterina Sforza sends her assassin, Rufio, to end the Borgia dynasty, forcing her cousin Cardinal Sforza to pick a side. Jeremy Irons and Gina McKee star.

Wednesday 19 June
The BBC's tame geologist Iain Stewart investigates a new and controversial method of extracting natural gas from deep underground that involves hydraulic fracturing - or fracking, as it has become known - in the latest Horizon - 9:00 BBC2. Stewart travels to America to find out what the process is and what can be learned from the US experience, meeting people who have become rich from it, as well as those worried about the risks to their communities.

Computer hacker and proper twenty four carat psycho Christopher Pelant returns, changing the rules of his twisted game to seek revenge on Booth and Brennan in the season finale of Bones - 9:00 Sky Living. The team discovers the killer is using a surrogate to commit his murders, but loses the upper hand when Brennan makes a decision that enrages him.
Quick Cuts - 10:00 BBC4 - is a semi-improvised sitcom set in a hairdressing salon. Sue chucks Trevor out, Marianne contemplates having breast implants, Gavin is sick on a pigeon, Becky stalks her lover and Annie has a blind date with someone experiencing an unusual problem. Sue struggles to handle all this, as well as a shop full of customers. Starring Doon Mackichan and Paul Reynolds.

Thursday 20 June
Flights and Fights: Inside the Low Cost Airlines - 9:00 BBC2 - is a documentary examining the emergence of budget airlines to see how they revolutionised the industry and made huge profits whilst, seemingly, charging very little. The film follows Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary on a trip to Poland, accompanies an easyJet flight to Moscow and tags along with a group of lads heading for Riga in Latvia, to enjoy a stag party. It also looks at what the future holds for such airlines, with easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou trying to halt the company's expansion, while O'Leary has just placed a huge order for new planes. Sandi Toksvig narrates.
The stories of three women coming to terms with changes in their sexuality is told in Bi-Curious Me - 10:00 Channel Four. Dating coach Hayley Quinn has relationships with men and women, often at the same time, while fifty seven-year-old Jill is about to leave her husband to embark on a new life. The programme also meets Sophie, thirty, who has always thought of herself as heterosexual and didn't find a same-sex encounter as liberating as she had hoped.

Host Dara O Briain and regulars Chris Addison, Hugh Dennis and Andy Parsons are joined by Gary Delaney, Miles Jupp and Nathan Caton on Mock The Week - 10:00 BBC2 - the topical comedy quiz, with the panellists giving their take on the week's major news stories.
Friday 21 June
Olympic champion Greg Rutherford, broadcaster Kirsty Young, actress-writer Joanna Scanlan and - really very funny indeed - comedian Henning Wehn join team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack for the latest episode of the excellent Would I Like To You? - 8:30 BBC1. And, they'll all be trying to hoodwink their opponents with absurd facts and plausible lies about themselves. Rob Brydon hosts.

A repeat, but a quality one is The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople - 10:00 BBC4 - a documentary telling the story of Hereford rock band whose best-known hit, 'All The Young Dudes', was written for them by David Bowie. The film features rare and previously unseen footage, with contributions by former band members Ian Hunter (who comes across as a really smart, funny, a humane guy), Mick Ralphs and Verden Allen, as well as Queen's Roger Taylor and ex-Clash guitarist Micky Jones. They might have looked like 'hod carriers in drag,' as their producer, the legendary Guy Stevens's widow recalls, but Mott The Hoople had the power to inflame an audience to the point of riot with their down-and-dirty lads-together rock and roll. This biopic details their five-year journey from hard-grafting faux-naïfs, getting their first big hit (thanks to Bowie), a period of glorious success with songs like 'All The Way From Memphis' and 'Roll Away The Stone', to a final implosion in 1974. With more entrances and exits than a Spinal Tap drummer, the band's life was always a stormy one, but surviving members have the chance to give their version of events. Hunter and guitarist Luther Grosvenor (who, in those days, went by the name of Ariel Bender) are the only two who still look like they've once been rock 'n' roll stars but, as we discover, some egos are bigger than others. Preceded by an hour of unusual archive recordings from 1970s British bands.

Coronation Street actor William Roache has appeared in court facing historical sexual offences against five girls. Roache, from Wilmslow, was charged last month with two counts of rape of a girl aged fifteen in 1967. The actor, who plays Ken Barlow, last week faced new charges of five indecent assaults involving four girls aged from twelve to sixteen. He denies all the charges. He was bailed to appear at Preston Crown Court again on 2 September with a 13 January provisional trial date set. The five latest charges relate to a period between 1965 and 1968, when the assaults are alleged to have been committed in the Manchester area. Roache was initially arrested at his home on 1 May over the alleged rape of a girl in Haslingden in Lancashire. The latest claims arose from the publicity over that arrest, the Crown Prosecution Service said. An ITV spokesman previously confirmed Roache would not be appearing in the soap until legal proceedings had concluded.

The Returned, Channel Four's recent purchase from across the Channel was, mercifully, provided with subtitles during its opening episode on Sunday evening. However, this breaking down of the language barrier was absolutely no guarantee of the audience understanding what the buggering hell was going on. We saw a coach carrying a group of schoolchildren veer out of control and disappear off a perilous mountain road. Later, we witnessed a sombre meeting in the local town where parents of some of the victims tried to articulate their grief. But hang on, isn't that the girl we saw plunging to certain death striding towards her home a little while later? Bizarre. Soon, a young man turned up at his girlfriend's flat only to find she moved out years ago. Even weirder. Then a spooky little boy arrived at that same flat where a nurse was now living. He was unknown to her. He appeared to be mute. She christened him 'Victor.' Is he dead, too? The Returned is a supernatural drama, and therefore belongs to a genre which is often dismissed as trivial or not worthy of serious consideration by critics - who don't know their arse from a hole in the ground more often than not. However, this one appears to be definitely worthy of serious attention. On a basic level it is really well-made and makes the viewer actually use their own brain for once to try and figure out what's happening - something of a novelty in today's television landscape of numskull trash and programmes designed for those with a seven-second attention span. With a bewitching soundtrack by the Scottish band Mogwai and some beautiful cinematic touches – a butterfly, pinioned to a canvas, suddenly smashed through the glass and fluttered away into the night - there's a lot going on here to admire. But most importantly, The Returned works surprisingly well as a straight drama. The group meeting for the bereaved was well-constructed. We saw some envious eyes fixed on a couple who had lost a child and were having another baby. Disputes over the nature of what the memorial would look like felt real and raised genuine questions about how we should 'commemorate' the departed. The group leader spoke with unsettling zeal about 'resurrection.' The Returned, then, seems to have taken the essential shock elements of its genre and bolstered them with a healthy splash of yer actual proper emotional depth. The word 'zombie' has been used in much of the online discussion about The Returned, but this grates when you're talking about a drama which is so sensitively handled and articulated. Instead, ones initial thoughts returned again and again to the idea of the lost children, particularly with this episode's focus on Camille, the little girl on the coach. The scenes in which the family tried to deal with Camille's sudden return were played with utter conviction. Particularly strong was Frédéric Pierrot as Jérôme, who gave the impression of being a man who'd had his emotions flattened by a steamroller. I'm rather looking forward to the rest of the series.

Agatha Christie's Poirot returned on ITV to top the overnight ratings outside of sport on Sunday. David Suchet's final series of the long-running crime drama opened with 4.47 million viewers at 9pm. Earlier, Ben Shephard's new series Tipping Point was watched by three million punters at 7pm. BBC1's coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix averaged at 4.61m from 6.15pm. D-Day: The Last Heroes was seen by 2.31m at 9pm. On BBC2, Peter Jones Meets ... attracted 1.07m at 7pm, followed by Operation Snow Tiger with 2.11m at 8pm. New series Rise Of The Continents brought in 1.70m at 9pm. Channel Four's premiere of French drama The Returned secured 1.27m at 9pm.

New Zealand battled to a one-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in an enthralling low-scoring Champions Trophy encounter in Cardiff on Sunday. Kyle Mills struck with the first ball of the match and the Sri Lankans soon slipped to thirty four for four in the ninth over. Kumar Sangakkara made a patient sixty eight but Sri Lanka were all out for one hundred and thirty eight in the thirty eighth of their fifty overs. The Kiwis lost three wickets for one run in eight balls but despite four for thirty four in a series of astonishing spells from the mercurial Lasith Malinga the Kiwis edged to victory in the thirty seventh over. Both teams gave further examples of their ability to inspire and implode in almost equal measure and Group A, also including England and Australia, looks likely to be keenly contested over the next week. Perennial over-achievers New Zealand, winners in 2000, semi-finalists in 2006 and runners-up in the last tournament four years ago, have already beaten England in two ODIs this summer and seemed certain for victory after dismissing Sri Lanka for the lowest ODI total at Cardiff. Sri Lanka - with their normally superb batting line-up - came close to achieving the lowest defence of a total in an ODI in England and Wales but were made to pay for another dire batting display at Cardiff, scene of their eighty two all out on the final afternoon of the first Test against England in May 2011. While the team has witnessed several changes in recent years, the retirement of star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan with his one thousand three hundred plus international wickets the most notable, the bulk of their high-calibre batting remains in the form of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara. But on the pitch used for Thursday's opening match of the tournament between India and South Africa they found it difficult to settle from the very first delivery when Brendon McCullum leaped full length high to his left at slip to grab Kusal Perera's edge. Daniel Vettori dismissed Jayawardene in his last one-day international more than two years ago and a one-over spell was all he needed to remove the prolific batsman again. The effects of Vettori's Achilles tendon troubles left the thirty four-year-old less than balletic in the field but his shrewd slow left-arm bowling gave the Kiwis an important extra ingredient.
When Lahiru Thirimanne was run-out after finishing at the same end as his partner, Sangakkara angrily dispatched the following three balls to the boundary. However, pressure from the New Zealanders ensured the former captain was left with the quandary of merely playing out the overs with the tail or trying to accelerate the dwindling run rate, and he sliced Nathan McCullum to point as the innings swiftly folded. Such was the alacrity of Sri Lanka's demise that the New Zealand innings was required to begin half-an-hour before the scheduled interval and in that time paceman Shaminda Eranga tempted Luke Ronchi to edge behind. In bright afternoon sunshine it seemed the Kiwis would comfortably tick off the remaining runs but a slower ball full toss from unorthodox paceman Malinga completely perplexed Kane Williamson, who was plumb LBW, and triggered a collapse. Martin Guptill, who made successive unbeaten centuries against England, was caught at slip for twenty five and Ross Taylor was LBW without scoring but after two more wickets fell, man-of-the-match Nathan McCullum struck two fours in three balls to alleviate some pressure. He made a crucial thirty two and the McCullum brothers took their team within twenty four runs of the target in a ten-over partnership of thirty five that seemed like a century in the circumstances, before the irrepressible Malinga returned for a third spell. Varying between express pace and disguised slower balls at a fraction of the speed, all delivered with the unique angles of his action making the ball appear from behind the umpire's back, Malinga dismissed both in consecutive overs with unbeatable inswinging yorkers. Numerous decisions would have been referred in the tension but both teams had used their one review some time previously, although the umpires called for a replay to determine whether Kyle Mills had been run out with five still needed. Tim Southee negotiated Malinga's final over and the Kiwis edged over the line courtesy of a leg-side wide from Dilshan. 'I was incredibly nervous at one stage,' said Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum. 'Sri Lanka are always a dangerous side and we panicked a bit in the middle. It was very important to scrape through. We have enough experience to deal with situations like this, although it did get tough towards the end.' Counterpart Angelo Mathews lamented: 'We probably needed thirty to forty more runs. This was not the two hundred-run wicket that we originally thought, but we still need to toughen up a bit. Malinga almost won it for us. We have two more games and we need to tighten up in batting. The bowlers and fielders showed good character.'

Bristol Rovers football club has apologised after stating on its website its kit man had died. The message incorrectly suggested that Roger Harding had died. The mistake led to anger on fans' forums and the Bristol Rovers appreciation group on Facebook. But, it seems, rumours of his death had been greatly exaggerated. A club spokesman said it was 'told' Roger had passed away on Friday 'but it turns out this information was not correct. Although Roger is very ill, he is still bravely fighting for his life,' he said. 'Roger is a very important part of Bristol Rovers and our thoughts are with his family and friends as he continues his battle.' He added: 'We apologise again for any hurt our previous statement has caused.' Harding has been the club's kit man for more than ten years.

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is sad to report that the author Iain Banks has died aged fifty nine, two months after announcing that he had terminal cancer. The Scottish writer revealed in April he was suffering from terminal gall bladder cancer and was unlikely to live for more than a year. He was best known for his novels The Wasp Factory, Espediar Street, The Crow Road and Complicity. In a statement, his publisher said he was 'an irreplaceable part of the literary world.' Little Brown said the author was 'one of the country's best-loved novelists' for both his mainstream and science fiction books. 'Iain Banks' ability to combine the most fertile of imaginations with his own highly distinctive brand of Gothic humour made him unique,' it said. After announcing his illness in April, Iain asked his publishers to bring forward the release date of his latest novel, The Quarry, so that he could see it on the shelves. 'Just three weeks ago he was presented with finished copies and enjoyed celebration parties with old friends and fans across the publishing world,' Little Brown said. Banks had described being 'hugely moved' by the public support for him through his website. 'Still knocked out by the love and the depth of feeling coming from so many people; thank you, all of you,' he wrote on Banksophilia last month. The Wasp Factory, Banks' first novel, was published in 1984 and was ranked as one of the best one hundred novels of the Twentieth Century in a 1997 poll conducted by the book chain Waterstone's and Channel Four. The writer also wrote SF titles under the name Iain M Banks. His most recent book, The Hydrogen Sonata, was released last year. In 2008, The Times named him as one of the fifty greatest British writers since 1945. He had been born in Dunfermline, in 1954, to a professional ice skater mother and naval officer father. After growing up in the Greenock area, on the south bank of the Clyde estuary, he stayed in Scotland for his university years, at Stirling, before working at a range of jobs as his writing career took off. As of March 2013, he had published twenty six novels, several of which have been adapted for TV, radio and theatre. He was involved in a range of political and social causes. He was an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, had spoken in favour of Scottish independence and had written and spoken against Britain's involvement in the 2003 Iraq War. He has been married twice. He met his first wife Annie in London before the release of his first book in 1984, but the couple separated in 2007. The Scotsman newspaper reported in April that he had married his partner Adele Hartley, in a Humanist ceremony after asking her to be his 'widow.' The couple were then said to have taken a honeymoon in Italy.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of Day, yer actual Keith Telly Topping finds his very self in something of a Tamla-Motown mood this week. Nothing unusual in that, of course. Particularly, as summer's finally here. So, here's The Isley Brothers.

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