Tuesday, June 25, 2013

You Got Too Much Pride

Yer actual Jeremy Clarkson - comfortable cartoon right-wing hate figure for all those risible middle-class revolutionaries who both write for, and indeed read, the Gruniad Morning Star all of whom are so in love the concept of freedom of speech ... unless it's by someone they tuttingly disapprove of - has described an upcoming Top Gear segment as the programme's 'most ambitious' yet. The broadcaster tweeted two on-set photos from the latest BBC series, showing filming taking place on The Mall in London this week. The pictures feature a large number of vehicles lining the road leading up to Buckingham Palace. Many different types of transport can be seen, including sports cars, F1 cars, taxi cabs and motorbikes, complete with Union Jack flags. Alongside one of the photos, Clarkson his very self tweeted: 'Top Gear's most ambitious shoot yet.' Which might be a bit of crass hyperbole but it certainly looks quite impressive to this blogger's eyes. Cap'n Slowly James May, Richard Hammond and yer man Jezza will return for a new series on BBC2 on Sunday 30 June at 8pm. Which is thoroughly marvellous since it will, by its very existence, piss off lots of exactly the sort of glakes who absolutely deserve a good bit of pissing off. Frequently.
The White Queen lost nearly nine hundred thousand viewers for its second episode on Sunday, according to overnight figures. The War Of The Roses drama was still one of the most-watched shows of the night, attracting a still decent 4.48 million overnight audience at 9pm on BBC1. Earlier, Countryfile scored the largest ratings of the evening with 5.58m at 7pm, followed by the final Antiques Roadshow of the series current with 4.58m at 8pm. The Andy Murray documentary The Miserable Man Behind the Racquet brought in 2.57m punters at 10.30pm, ahead of Wimbledon's launch on Monday. To abject apathy in the Telly Topping household, let it be said. Can't stand the thing and am rather offended that such a huge chunk of the BBC's already limited sports budget goes in what is, unquestionably, a minority sport. Anyway, back to Sunday's ratings. On BBC2, yet another tennis profile Venus and Serena was seen by seven hundred and twenty three thousand viewers at 7pm. Kate Humble's new series Secret Life Of The Sun interested 1.37m at 8pm, followed by Rise Of The Continents with 1.68m at 9pm. ITV's Miss Marple regained nearly three hundred thousand viewers following last week's episode with 4.13m at 8pm. Earlier, Tipping Point was watched by 3.31m at 7pm. On Channel Four, the latest episode of The Returned pulled in eight hundred and sixty seven thousand punters at 9pm. Terror In The Skies has an audience of nine hundred and thirty nine thousand at 8pm. Channel Five's Big Brother entertained 1.36m glakes at 9pm, while Once Upon A Time continued with six hundred and eighty thousand at 8pm. BBC3's coverage of the Confederations Cup scored 1.28m at 7.30pm.

And, speaking of ratings, here are the final and consolidated figures for the Top Twenty Five programmes week-ending 16 June 2013:-
1 Coronation Street - 9.57 million
2 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 8.01 million
3 The Apprentice - Wed BBC1 - 7.81 million
4 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 7.09 million
5 The White Queen - Sun BBC1 - 6.75 million
6 The Voice - Sat BBC1 - 6.55 million
7 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.37 million
8 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.34 million
9 Horizon - Thurs BBC2 - 5.15 million
10 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.05 million
11 Frankie - Tues BBC1 - 4.85 million
12 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV - 4.81 million*
13 The Fall - Mon BBC2 - 4.65 million
14 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 4.64 million
15 Watchdog - Wed BBC1 - 4.52 million
16 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.44 million
17 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.42 million
18 Six O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.36 million
19 Marple - Sun ITV 4.31 million*
20 Love And Marriage - Wed ITV - 4.27 million*
21 The National Lottery: Saturday Draws - Sat BBC1 - 4.26 million
22 The ONE Show - Tues BBC1 - 4.15 million
23 All Star Mr & Mrs - Wed ITV - 4.09 million*
24 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 4.05 million
25 Mrs Brown's Boys - Fri BBC1 - 3.89 million
Programmes marked '*' do not including HD figures. No, this blogger can't remember the last time BBC2 had two shows in the top twenty most watched programmes of the week either, dear blog reader. And, it just shows what happens when Britain's Got Toilets finishes; all of sudden, their two big soaps aside, ITV can barely get an audience above four million.

National treasure Stephen Fry has thanked the 'warm, caring majority' who contacted him after he revealed recently that he had attempted suicide in 2012. Writing on his website, in a rather moving piece entitled Only the Lonely, Stephen said that 'the outburst of sympathy and support that followed my confession' had touched him 'very deeply.' The fifty five-year-old said his mental health had improved of late, but that he still struggled with loneliness and unhappiness. 'I am writing this for any of you out there who are lonely too,' he added. 'I am luckier than many of you because I am lonely in a crowd of people who are mostly very nice to me and appear to be pleased to meet me. But I want you to know that you are not alone in your being alone. Loneliness is not much written about but humankind is a social species and maybe it's something we should think about more than we do.' Stephen, who has bipolar disorder, disclosed details of his suicide attempt while speaking to fellow comedian Richard Herring last month. He said that he had taken 'a huge number of pills and a huge [amount] of vodka' while filming abroad, and a producer found him in an 'unconscious state.' The actor, writer and broadcaster has always been very candid about his experiences of depression, and campaigns to end the stigma around mental health issues for the charity Mind. He said that, following his latest revelation, the public had been 'overwhelmingly kind. There's something a little flustering and embarrassing when a taxi-driver shakes you by the hand, looks deep into your eyes and says, "You look after yourself, mate, yes? Promise me?"' he wrote. 'And there's something perhaps not too helpful to one's mental health when it is the only subject people want to talk to you about, however kindly or for whatever reasons.' Stephen - who has recently completed filming on the next series of Qi - is heading to America in October, where he is due to appear in Shakespeare's Globe theatre's acclaimed production of Twelfth Night, alongside Mark Rylance.

The Bleeding Cool website are still, desperately, trying to convince anyone that will listen (and, indeed, anyone that won't), that there is some currency in the 'shitload of old Doctor Who episodes have been found in Africa' rumour which they've been pushing like mad for the last couple of weeks. Here's their latest offering. 'I have no actual evidence for anything detailed below at all,' writes yer man Rich Johnston. 'But this is the rumour, as has been passed around by BBC producers, members of the Doctor Who production office and prominent professionals in Doctor Who circles. Which is why I'm reporting it.' Once again, dear blog reader,this blogger is saying nothing except that time will tell. It usually does.

Celebrity MasterChef returns to the BBC this summer with a new line-up of (allegedly) famous faces attempting to impress yer actual John Torode and Gregg Wallace his very self with their culinary outpourings. Sixteen alleged celebrities will be putting their palates to the test and proving their worth in the kitchen on primetime BBC1. Sugababes singer Heidi Range (no, me neither I'm afraid), former comic Les Dennis, actors John Thomson, Denise Black and Brian Capron, and grumpy old whinging hasbeen Ade Edmondson who was last funny about thirty years ago are among the competitors. Katy Brand, Shappi Khorsandi, the deadly killer Miranda Krestovnikoff, triple jumper Phillips Idowu, ex-test cricketer Matthew Hoggard and former boxer and Strictly Come Dancing veteran Joe Calzaghe are also taking part. Completing the line-up are another Strictly competitor Jo Wood (Rockin' Ronnie's ex-wife), rapper Speech Debelle, Boyzone's Shane Lynch and big-toothed broadcaster Janet Street-Porter. A bit b-list, perhaps, although at least the majority of these are people you might, actually, have heard of. Executive producer Carla-Maria Lawson said: 'The return of Celebrity MasterChef to this BBC1 peak time slot sees thrills and spills and some extraordinary cooking from our line-up of well-known faces. In this series, the contestants' enthusiasm in their pursuit of the MasterChef trophy is palpable, often inspiring and sometimes very, very funny.' Airing across six weeks, the show's challenges will include mass catering for Cirque du Soleil and the Harlequins rugby team, cooking for former Celebrity MasterChef stars Lisa Faulkner, Phil Vickery and Andi Peters, and dishing up meals for the dreaded restaurant critics.

will.he.is reportedly 'stormed off' the set of The Voice after Andrea Begley was announced as the winner on Saturday. Ooh, get her. An alleged 'source' allegedly present at the alleged final claimed on the Digital Spy website that will.he.is 'walked off stage from his chair looking really cheesed off and shaking his head' after Begley's win was announced. When cameras later cut to the coaches after witless waste-of-space Holly Willoughby interviewed Begley about her victory, only Jessie J and Tom Jones were shown in their chairs, with Danny O'Donoghue already on stage lapping up the glory. The Black Eyed Peas singer later reappeared on stage with the other coaches halfway through Begley's performance of 'My Immortal' after, allegedly, being told to return after consoling his own act Leah McFall. Stroppy malarkey. All is not well in the house of Voice, it would seem. That's if this is true, of course. Which, given the anonymous nature of the report is debatable.

Father Ted co-creator Graham Linehan has claimed that he couldn't have written the show today. The writer told the Independent that recent revelations about the Catholic church have made him 'too angry' to write another show like his acclaimed Channel Four comedy. 'Since Ted - and everything that's come out - I've just come to really hate the church,' he said. 'I could never write Ted now because I'd be so angry my fingers would go through the keyboard.' Linehan added that he had a 'great affection' for the character of Ted (played, superbly, by the late Dermot Morgan) when writing the series between 1995 and 1998. 'Ted is this light innocent bloke who somehow ended up in the priesthood, and I had great affection for him,' he explained. Linehan is currently working on a finale special for his other Channel Four sitcom The IT Crowd and also has a new BBC2 comedy Count Arthur Strong in the works. Which, yer actual Keith Telly Topping is very pleased about, being a great admirer of Graham and his works, generally, and Father Ted in particular.

Somewhat typical of the challenges the BBC's top brass will face is highlighted in an e-mail currently circulating at the corporation while unions hold a ballot over a pay offer recently to lower-paid staff. The BBC claims it 'can't afford' to offer them any more cash, the e-mail says, before listing things its management were able to pay for: the failed one hundred million quid DMI project, various eye-watering pay-offs to former executives, consultants' payments, headhunter fees (for the hunt which, brilliantly, produced George Entwistle's fifty four days as DG), car allowances, et cetera. Altogether it adds up to about one hundred and thirty million knicker, backing up the e-mail's argument that management could afford to make a better offer if they really wanted to.

ITV's charity fundraising flop Text Santa will return for a third time this Christmas. The event, which raises money for six UK-based charities, has raised over ten million smackers in its first two years on TV. Even if the audiences it pull in on ITV were risibly low. Last year's event was hosted by Ant and/or Dec, Phillip Schofield, witless waste-of-space Holly Willoughby, the curious orange hateful greed-bucket (and drag) Christine Bleakley and oafish professional Northern buffoon Paddy McGuinness. Six very good reasons not to watch it, frankly. The evening of alleged 'entertainment' included 'special' versions of middle-ranking ITV formats Family Fortunes and Celebrity Juice. It was shite, frankly. This year's charities scheduled to benefit are Barnardo's, BeatBullying, British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent, Age UK and Help The Hospices. All worthy causes so, take a tip dear blog reader. Give very generously to one, several or all of them and then avoid this programme like the plague. That way, everybody wins.
Twatting About on Ice may survive after Torvill and Dean's departure from the series, according to a - hopefully incorrect - report. And, given the fact that it's in the Sun, that well-known organ of true and accurate reportage (which also currently has about twenty of its journalists on police bail waiting various criminal charges. Charges which, of course, it is important to note, they all deny) that's certainly possible. Torvill and Dean recently announced that they will leave the show after the 2014 series, with ITV boss Peter Fincham confirming the programme's end following their exit. However, producers are said to be thinking about continuing the show with new professional coaches, according to the Sun. An alleged 'source' allegedly said: 'The show is still massive for ITV.' Which isn't even remotely true, but never mind. Britain's Got Toilets is 'massive for ITV'. So is Coronation Street. What Twatting About On Ice is, if anything, is 'moderately less of a flop for ITV than most of their other formats.' 'When Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean decided to go, it gave Peter Fincham a reason to get rid of it,' the anonymous - and, probably fictitious - alleged 'source' allegedly told the alleged newspaper. 'Yet many at ITV Studios think that was the wrong decision. Jayne and Christopher leaving is a big deal and it will be incredibly hard to replace them - but not impossible. To say that they are the only telegenic skating pros who could fill the role would be wrong. So watch this space.' Twatting About On Ice reportedly costs around a million smackers per episode to make, while this year's first eliminated celebrity Pamela Anderson cost two hundred and fifty grand. 'It's fine to bin a show if it is pulling in only a couple of million viewers in prime time,' the alleged 'source' allegedly added. 'But the world is not awash with shows that rate like Dancing On Ice does.'

The mother of Stephen Lawrence has expressed anger at claims an undercover police officer infiltrated the family's campaign for justice in 1993. Doreen Lawrence said allegations in the Gruniad Morning Star that the police had wanted to 'smear' her family 'topped' everything she had heard since her son's murder. Labour has called for a speedy inquiry to get to the bottom of the claims made by former officer Peter Francis, something to which the government seem to be keen on as well. Nice to see politicians on the same page as the public, for once. Scotland Yard has refused to confirm or deny the reports. But a spokesman said the Metropolitan Police 'shared' the Lawrence family's concerns. Former Home Secretary Jack Straw told the BBC he would be asking the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate the allegations. Francis told the Gruniad and Channel Four's Dispatches programme that he posed as an anti-racism campaigner in a hunt for 'disinformation' to use against those criticising the police. He claimed the Metropolitan Police were concerned the reaction to the Lawrence murder might result in rioting similar to that following the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles. Working as part of the Met's now-disbanded Special Demonstration Squad, which specialised in gathering intelligence on political activists, he said he came under pressure to find 'any intelligence that could have smeared the campaign' - including whether any of the family were political activists, involved in demonstrations or drug dealers. Francis, who used the name Peter Black while under cover, says the aim of his operation was to ensure that the public 'did not have as much sympathy for the Stephen Lawrence campaign' and to persuade 'the media to start maybe tarring the campaign.' Doreen Lawrence said that she was 'shocked and angry' at the disclosure. She said: 'Out of all the things I've found out over the years, this certainly has topped it. It just makes me really, really angry that all of this has been going on and all the time trying to undermine us as a family. Somebody sitting somewhere, calculating what they'd be doing to look at and infiltrate, our family. It's like, we're treated as if to say we're not human beings. Nothing can justify the whole thing about trying to discredit the family and people round us.' The Metropolitan Police said they would not 'confirm or deny' the account given by Francis, but admitted 'the claims in relation to Stephen Lawrence's family will bring particular upset to them and we share their concerns.' An independent investigation into a number of allegations against former undercover police officers, codenamed Operation Herne is under way. In a statement the Met said: 'Any actions by officers working on or with the Special Demonstration Squad need to be understood by Operation Herne in terms of the leadership, supervision, support, training, legal framework, tasking and reporting mechanisms that were in place at the time.' But the force gave the same response to allegations that another undercover officer had helped write the leaflets at the centre of the McLibel trial in the mid 1980s. The statement said: 'At some point it will fall upon this generation of police leaders to account for the activities of our predecessors, but for the moment we must focus on getting to the truth.' Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the allegations were 'shocking and appalling.' She said: 'Given the significance of the Lawrence case, and the unresolved concerns about corruption too, the home secretary should seek a faster investigation into these specific allegations.' Francis told the Gruniad he had come forward because of the 'morally reprehensible' way in which under cover officers had sometimes worked. He said he was 'particularly angry' that his role was never discussed by the Stephen Lawrence public inquiry chaired by retired High Court judge Sir William Macpherson. He claims that senior officers deliberately chose to withhold the information from the inquiry. Stephen Lawrence was killed in a sickening racist attack as he waited for a bus in April 1993. More than eighteen years later, in January 2012, Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of his murder by an Old Bailey jury after a review of the forensic evidence. Dobson and Norris had first been arrested in connection with the murder just weeks after it happened, but the case against them collapsed due to police incompetence. In 1999, the Macpherson inquiry into the killing and its aftermath published a report accusing the police of institutional racism. Sir William said during the investigation the Lawrences had been patronised, treated with 'insensitivity and lack of sympathy', and kept in the dark. The prime minister has called for an immediate investigation. Number 10 said David Cameron was "deeply concerned" by the allegations.

Countdown's Rachel Riley has clocked up her one thousandth appearance on the Channel Four quiz show – and as a surprise she was presented with a bunch of flowers and signed shirt by footballer Ryan Giggs. Riley, a massive Manchester United fan told the Daily Mirra: 'I had no inkling that I had just filmed my thousandth episode when Nick [Hewer] announced it on the show, and I was touched that the Countdown team had surprised me with the news. As Nick continued, I thought they might have got me a bunch of flowers. But I nearly fell through the floor when Ryan Giggs suddenly appeared.' Giggs reached a similar milestone in March – his one thousandth game for The Scum of Humanity. Riley added about the show, which will be broadcast on Tuesday on Channel Four: 'As a lifelong red, I've watched Giggsy rack up thousand-plus appearances since I was five so there couldn't have been a more special way to celebrate mine.'

'The slogan for the BBC's Wimbledon 2013 campaign says: "It hurts so much because they want it so bad"' notes Newsnight's acting deputy editor Marek Pruszewicz somewhat pickily in the BBC's in-house journal Ariel. 'I want badly for it to be grammatical. It hurts so badly that it isn't.' he makes a fair point, albeit one which is rather awkwardly open to question itself ('I want badly for it'?) Put your own house in order before you start going after the grammatical failing of others, matey!

Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to seven years in pokey and banned from public office for having sex with an underage prostitute. Berlusconi remains a free man while he appeals against the Milan court ruling and, frankly, is going to drag the legal process out for so long that he's unlikely ever to serve a single day inside. Both the seventy six-year-old media tycoon and the Moroccan woman concerned, Karima El Mahroug, deny they had sex. 'I intend to resist this persecution because I am absolutely innocent,' Berlusconi said after the verdict. He is already embroiled in several other court cases. In October 2012 he was given a four-year sentence for tax fraud, which is also currently under appeal. The media tycoon and one-time owner of AC Milan - once memorably described by Mad Frankie Boyle as 'the sort of bloke who if you told him to go fuck himself, he'd give it a go' - denies all the allegations. Berlusconi, lost an appeal to overturn the fraud conviction last week. This latest verdict ends a two-year trial which has frequently made the headlines, with its allegations of topless women and erotic party games. Berlusconi was convicted of paying for sex with El Mahroug, known as Ruby the Heart Stealer, in 2010, even though she was seventeen at the time. He was also found guilty of abusing the powers of his office, by arranging to have El Mahroug released from police custody when she was detained in a petty theft case. El Mahroug was one of a group of women invited to Berlusconi's private residence for so-called 'bunga-bunga' party evenings. If you don't know what 'bunga-bunga' parties are, dear bog reader, use your imagination. Berlusconi insists that these parties were actually dinners where female guests performed 'burlesque' dancing. The prosecution said the women were part of a prostitution system set up for his personal sexual satisfaction. Although frequenting prostitutes is not a crime in Italy, having sex with one who is under the age of eighteen is an offence punishable by a lengthy prison sentence. The sentence imposed by the Milan court is one more year than the six-year term demanded by the prosecution. El-Mahroug admits that she received seven thousand Euros from Berlusconi, but claims it was as 'a gift' after she attended one of his parties. She also told a separate trial last month that she had lied to investigators when she said that she had 'bathed naked' during parties held at the former prime minister's villa at Arcore. However, prosecutor Ilda Boccassini told the Berlusconi trial during closing arguments last month that the young woman had lied when she denied having had sex with the former prime minister. She said El-Mahroug had received more than 4.5m Euros from Berlusconi between October and December 2010. As soon as he heard the verdict, Berlusconi's lawyer Niccolo Ghedini announced an appeal. 'This is beyond reality,' Ghedini told reporters outside the court. 'The judges even went beyond the prosecutors' request.' Berlusconi will not have to spend any time in jail unless the lengthy appeals process is exhausted. Even then he may escape prison because of lenient sentencing rules for people over the age of seventy. The judgement could have major political repercussions for Italy, however. The guilty ruling could weaken current Prime Minister Enrico Letta's coalition government, which depends on the support of Berlusconi's centre-right party, People of Freedom. Despite Berlusconi's statements of loyalty to Letta, many analysts believe he could withdraw his support if he decides the government is not giving him enough protection. it does say an awful lot about the differences between this country and Italy that, over here, a dirty old scallywag and rotter who has inappropriate relations with a teenage girl finds himself subject to a visit from Operation Yewtree. In Italy, they make him Prime Minister.
The United States government has charged former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden with spying on Friday, apparently unaware that, in doing so, it had created a situation positively dripping with irony. At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an NSA spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Snowden with a totally straight face. 'These charges send a clear message,' the spokesman said. 'In the United States, you can't spy on people.' Unless you're the government, of course, in which case, seemingly, you can. The spokesman then went on to discuss another charge against Snowden — the theft of government documents: 'The American people have the right to assume that their private documents will remain private and won't be collected by someone in the government for his own purposes. Only by bringing Mister Snowden to justice can we safeguard the most precious of American rights: privacy,' added the spokesman, apparently in all seriousness. You couldn't make this stuff up, could you?
MPs are considering examining claims that legal and telecoms firms used private investigators to hack and steal information from rivals and the public. The Commons Home Affairs Committee may seek to question members of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency about what they know about the allegations. The Independent claims to have 'obtained' a SOCA document which it said suggested it was aware of such practices five years ago. Committee chairman Keith Vaz said they must be shown 'all relevant material.' SOCA's responsibilities are due to be taken over by the National Crime Agency in December. In 2008, SOCA produced a confidential report on the issue of licensing the private investigation industry, which drew on intelligence from police investigations into alleged criminal activity. It is understood the committee had access to the report during its inquiry into private investigators last year. According to the Independent, the SOCA document in question suggested that legal, telecoms and insurance firms routinely used private investigators to obtain information illegally - with one claiming that they made up eighty per cent of their client list. Vaz said it asked the agency for all relevant material when it was conducting its investigation and would now consider whether it should take up the matter again with the force. 'It appears that all these documents were not provided to the committee,' he said. 'I will be putting this on the committee's agenda for Tuesday and asking members if we should recall the relevant witnesses. I am concerned that with the abolition of SOCA, vital evidence may be lost in the transfer to the NCA.' Among those to appear before last year's inquiry were prominent lawyers, private investigators, policemen and figures from the security industry although no-one from SOCA appeared in person. 'This report remains confidential and SOCA does not comment on leaked documents or specific criminal investigations,' a spokeswoman for the agency said. 'Information is shared with partners as required.' Four private detectives were jailed in 2012 for conspiring to defraud people by 'blagging' personal information via persuasive phone calls as part of Operation Millipede. The four were working for private companies, solicitors and individuals. The Leveson Inquiry into press standards - triggered by allegations of phone-hacking at the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World newspaper - did not look into the issue of the involvement of other types of firms as it was outside its remit.

Championship football club Brighton sacked their manager, Gus Poyet, while he was working as a pundit for BBC Sport. Poyet was told of his dismissal when BBC3 production staff gave him a copy of the club statement off-air during Sunday's Confederations Cup coverage. Brighton suspended Poyet in May and say that they plan to appoint an interim manager pending the outcome of any appeal. 'I've still had no communication from the club,' Poyet said at half-time of the match between Spain and Nigeria. The club have yet to reveal what their reasons were for suspending and then sacking the Uruguayan. After the game, the forty five-year-old said he intended to appeal. 'From what I read from the statement, I am unemployed,' he said. 'My idea now is to appeal and get back to the job I've been doing until 7.30. I can't go into details of the future. It's just a matter of being calm and make sure you make the right decision. I've been trying to establish in the last forty five minutes what my rights are now.' At half-time, Poyet told BBC presenter Mark Chapman said: 'I'm probably the first to be in this position. Everyone can make their own conclusions about the way I have been informed by you. I think the BBC got a great story forever really because a manager getting the information that he's been released from his employment during the time of a programme is quite surprising. I am looking forward to clearing this.' Brighton released a statement on their website at 19:14 on Sunday. Poyet said he received an e-mail from the club at 21:03. The Brighton statement said Poyet had been 'informed by the club's internal disciplinary panel' he was no longer manager of the club. It added: 'This followed his suspension, an investigation, and a subsequent formal disciplinary process. In line with the club's own procedures, and UK employment law, Mr Poyet now has a right of appeal.' A club disciplinary hearing was adjourned last week after Poyet did not attend, with the League Managers' Association later suggesting that he had not had enough time to prepare. Brighton said at the time that 'was neither fair nor accurate.' The Uruguayan took over at Brighton in 2009 and won promotion from League One in 2011. The former Moscow Chelski FC midfielder guided them to a fourth-place finish in this season's Championship, but the Seagulls failed to reach the play-off final, losing 2-0 on aggregate to Crystal Palace in the semi-finals.

The BBC says it is 'very concerned' by a campaign by the Turkish authorities to 'intimidate its journalists.' In a statement, the corporation says that one reporter has been 'attacked on social media by the mayor of Ankara for her coverage of the current protests.' On Sunday, Mayor Ibrahim Melih Gokcek - who has clearly been watching a few too many episodes of [spooks], described the BBC's Turkish reporter, Selin Girit, as 'an English agent', launching a campaign against her on Twitter. This triggered a counter-campaign which became Turkey's most trending topic. In the statement on Monday, BBC Global News Director Peter Horrocks said that 'a large number of threatening messages have been sent to one of our reporters.' He stressed that BBC journalists 'are committed to providing impartial and independent journalism' and must not 'be directly targeted in this way. There are established procedures for making comments and complaints about BBC output and we call on the Turkish authorities to use these proper channels,' the statement added. In a separate statement, Britain's National Union of Journalists said: 'We want to send a strong message to Turkish authorities - it is simply not acceptable to target journalists in your turbulent times. We condemn the attempts to intimidate journalists and the threats must stop immediately.' Responding to the BBC accusations, Gokcek said it was 'unacceptable that Turkey is targeted by the BBC.' The mayor, a member of the ruling AK party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, began the Twitter campaign against Girit on Sunday, accusing her of trying to 'undermine' the Turkish economy in her reporting. He urged his followers to denounce the BBC journalist by sending tweets to the newly-created hashtag, which could be roughly translated as 'Don't be an agent on behalf of England, Selin Girit.' This soon became one of the most popular Twitter topics in Turkey. But it also angered many people across the country. They countered by using the hashtag 'Melih Gokcek is a provocateur', which quickly rose to become the country's number one trending theme. The mayor is now threatening to sue everyone tweeting with the second hashtag. This is not the first time that the BBC and Turkey have clashed over the corporation's coverage of the continuing anti-government protests in Turkish cities. Earlier this month, the corporation said that it was suspending its partnership with Turkey's NTV television channel, following NTV's decision not to transmit the BBC current affairs programme Dunya Gundemi. The BBC said that 'any interference in BBC broadcasting is totally unacceptable and at a time of considerable international concern about the situation in Turkey the BBC's impartial service to audiences is vital.'

We end today's blog update with some very sad news. Mick Aston, the former resident academic on Channel Four's Time Team, has died at the age of sixty six. Mick appeared on the popular show, which saw experts carry out experimental archaeological digs, from its inception in 1994 until 2011. Professor Aston lived in Somerset and taught at a number of universities. Time Team's official Twitter account said: 'It is with a very heavy heart that we've been informed that our dear colleague Mick Aston has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family.' The exact circumstances of the death of Mick, who was born and raised in Oldbury, in the West Midlands, and was known on the show for his colourful jumpers and unruly white hair, are not yet known. His close friend and former Time Team colleague Phil Harding said that he had received the news from Aston's son, James. Phil said that although Professor Aston had suffered from health problems, his death had come as a shock. 'It just seems so incredible, like a bad dream, but unfortunately this is no dream,' he said. The archaeologist said Aston was a 'unique man' who 'everybody loved. He just had a way with people. I cannot believe there was anybody who disliked him, he just had such a relaxed way,' he said. 'He had incredible knowledge and an effortless way of making archaeology accessible to people.' Francis Pryor, who also worked on Time Team, said that Mick had been 'a remarkable archaeologist who could really dig.' Professor Pryor added: 'I will remember him fondly - [he] was a warm, loving, nice man. He did very good work on original British towns and he was an authority on monastic church archaeology and early medieval archaeology.' Professor Aston had appeared as the senior archaeologist in nineteen series of the programme, in which specialists carry out an archaeological dig in the space of three days. 'He was partly responsible for its creation after telling Tim Taylor, the series producer, that it would be possible to evaluate a site in only three days,' a biography on the Time Team website says. It adds that Mick had worked in archaeology for more than forty years: 'Mick had a childhood love of archaeology, despite his school's best attempts to dissuade him.' It adds that Professor Aston was a 'passionate believer in communicating archaeology to the public.' Mick studied geography with a subsidiary in archaeology at Birmingham University. He joined the University of Bristol in 1979, organising and promoting lifelong learning and continuing education in archaeology. Before being named an emeritus professor at the university of Bristol, he first joined the The Team cast led by his close friend, the actor and presenter Tony Robinson, when the show began filming its first series in 1993. From 1996 to 2004, he was professor of landscape archaeology at the university. he was also Somerset's county archaeologist for a time. The university says on its website that alongside Time Team, Professor Aston worked on a major research project which investigated the origins of the English village at Shapwick and researched monastic and landscape archaeology throughout Europe. He was also an honorary visiting professor at Exeter, Durham and Worcester universities, and had published a number of books relating to archaeology. In July 2012, he received a lifetime achievement award at the British Archaeological Awards, a showcase for the best in UK archaeology. Mark Horton, professor in archaeology at the university, said at the time that Professor Aston had made 'the past accessible to all.' In February 2012, Aston, writing in the Western Daily Press, explained his decision to quit Time Team a year earlier, saying it was because Channel Four had altered its format and the show had been, in his opinion, 'dumbed down. There is a lot less archaeological content and a lot more pratting about. I was the archaeological consultant but they decided to get rid of half the archaeological team, without consulting me,' he wrote. In October last year Channel Four announced that the twentieth series of Time Team would be the show's last. The final series was broadcast earlier this year although a number of special episodes are planned for the future.

And so to today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Here's The Marvelettes.

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