Wednesday, July 03, 2013

In, Out, In, Out, Y'Shake It All About

Doctor goes up against Doctor in the final shortlist for the 2013 TV Choice Awards with both yer actual Matt Smith and David Tennant his very self being nominated in the Best Actor category, the latter for his role in Broadchurch. The two actors face competition from Brendan Coyle for Downton Abbey and Jeremy Piven for Mr Selfridge. Jenna-Louise Coleman is nominated for Best Actress for her performance as Clara in Doctor Who and faces competition from Olivia Colman for Broadchurch, Miranda Hart for Call The Midwife and Sheridan Smith for Mrs Biggs. Doctor Who its very self is nominated for Best Drama Series, a title it has won for the past three years. It faces opposition from Call The Midwife, Downton Abbey and Waterloo Road on BBC1. Voting is open online until Friday 12 July with the winners being named at a ceremony hosted by Ben Miller at The Dorchester in London on Monday 9 September.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have paid a visit to the Doctor Who set. Their Royal Highnesses visited the BBC's long-running popular family SF drama's Cardiff residence on Wednesday as part of its fiftieth anniversary celebrations. The Prince and the Duchess met yer actual Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman her very self in the first Royal visit to Roath Lock studios since they officially opened in March 2012. Chas and Camilla also took a trip onto the TARDIS set, before being introduced to a number of the show's iconic monsters - a Weeping Angel, a Cyberman, an Ood and the Daleks.
Luther returned for a third series to top the ratings on Tuesday evening, according to overnight figures. Idris Elba's BBC1 drama was watched by five million overnight viewers at 9pm. Very good it was too. And, in places, really nasty. This blogger very much enjoyed the discussion about whether Siouxsie & The Banshees are/were 'post-punk' or 'Goth'. And, Neil Cross's script also contained one of the funniest lines on TV this week: 'What is this, Nazi Russia?' and one of the most genuinely unsettling and unpleasant moments seen on TV in ages, involving a food blender. So, something for everyone, really!On BBC2, Today At Wimbledon bored 1.67m utterly shitless at 8pm, while Route Masters continued with 1.83m at 9pm. On ITV, Nature's Newborns interested 2.69m at 7.30pm. Secrets from the Workhouse dropped three hundred thousand punters from last week's opener to 2.80m at 9pm. Alan Titchmarsh's risible Love Your Garden was watched by 3.06m sad, crushed victims of society at 8pm. Channel Four's new series Gok Live: Stripping for Sunshine had an audience of 1.19m at 8pm. Child Genius interested 1.34m at 9pm. The penultimate episode of Dates was seen by six hundred and ninety two thousand viewers at 10pm. On Channel Five, Gibraltar: Britain In The Sun brought in 1.40m at 8pm. CSI continued with 1.77m at 9pm. Big Brother's latest episode attracted 1.45m at 10pm. BBC3's The Call Centre dipped to seven hundred and fifty four thousand at 9pm. The final Sweat the Small Stuff with Nick Grimshaw dropped to a new low of two hundred and seventy two thousand at 10pm. Because, no matter how hard you try, it's not possible to polish a turd. BBC4 documentary The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruickshank was seen by a quietly impressive seven hundred and twenty eight thousand punters at 9pm. On Dave, Storage Hunters was the most-watched multichannel show with seven hundred and seventy three thousand at 8.30pm.

Skins was one of the most-watched programmes on the multichannels on Monday, according to overnight figures. Kaya Scodelario's return to the E4 drama's final series attracted six hundred and sixty eight thousand viewers at 10pm. This is around one hundred thousand more than the sixth series finale in March 2012. On BBC1 it was a piss-poor rotten night - as usual on Mondays. Fake Britain was seen by 2.46 million at 7.30pm, while Panorama interested 1.71m at 8.30pm. A New Tricks repeat brought in 3.18m at 9pm. BBC2's Today At Wimbledon featuring Andy Murray's fourth round win scored 2.01m at 8pm. Rick Stein's India brought in a healthy 2.17m at 9pm. On ITV, The Dales continued its risible, sorry self with 2.96m at 8.30pm. Long Lost Family was the most-watched show of the night outside of soaps, gaining two hundred thousand punters from the previous week's audience to 4.96m at 9pm. Channel Four's Undercover Boss returned for a new series with 1.64m at 9pm. Daisy Donovan's Greatest Shows On Earth fell to four hundred and forty three thousand at 10pm. On Channel Five, The Gadget Show sought to entertain seven hundred and twenty six thousand viewers at 8pm. The Town the Travellers Took Over interested 1.29m at 9pm. Big Brother continued with 1.29m at 10pm. BBC3 documentary series Don't Call Me Crazy continued with six hundred and ninety three thousand viewers at 9pm. BBC4's Only Connect was, as usual, one of the better performers on multichannels with seven hundred and forty seven thousand at 8.30pm.

A bit of personal news now, dear blog reader. The little telly in the bedroom of Stately Telly Topping Manor decided to blow a fuse (or, you know, a circuit anyway) on Monday night right in the middle of a particularly gruesome episode of Hannibal. Still, it was a few years old and it only cost thirty nine quid from Cash Converters when it was purchased! On Tuesday morning, therefore, there was an early start for yer actual Keith Telly Topping to get up and into town and buy a replacement. Which he got - a little Alba sixteen incher for just over sixty knicker. Decent little set an'all. Thus, yer actual Keith Telly Topping is back to being Two Tellies Topping his very self. bet you're all relieved by that malarkey.
They topped the Glastonbury bill before one hundred thousand lucky punters and a couple of million people watched half of the set on the Beeb. The Rolling Stones' headline set has also been watched another seven hundred thousand times since they strutted off the Pyramid stage on Saturday night like they owned the gaff. Highlights of the performance by Sir Mick The Jag, Saint Keef, Charlie, Rockin' Ronnie and their mates, who closed their slot with the crowd-pleasers 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' and '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction', were the most popular from the BBC's exhaustive online coverage of the Worthy Farm festival. The Stones saw seven hundred thousand requests to the BBC iPlayer, ahead of around three hundred and eighty thousand for Friday's headliners, The Arctic Monkeys, and just one hundred and sixty three thousand for rock stars with O Levels Mumford & Sons, who closed the gig on Sunday night. The broad youth appeal of The Arctic Monkeys made them the most-watched band on mobile devices, with fifty nine per cent of views of the Sheffield band coming from mobiles and tablets. The Stones' set proved even more popular than some key moments from last summer's London Olympics. Usain Bolt's one hundred metre final win drew a comparatively-sluggish four hundred and twenty nine thousand requests. The BBC declared Glastonbury its first 'truly digital coverage of a music festival', with more than two hundred and fifty hours of live coverage to multiple devices, and the first major non-sporting event with hundreds of hours of devoted online footage since the 2012 London games. Bob Shennan, the BBC's controller of popular music, said: 'Glastonbury 2013 on the BBC has been outstanding. Record-breaking numbers of people tuned in to what has been our most comprehensive digital Glastonbury offering to date. This year, we gave our audience the opportunity to watch what they wanted, when they wanted and how they wanted. And they did.' In total, one-and-a-half million viewers saw the broadcaster's digital coverage of Glastonbury across the three days, with forty two per cent watching from smartphones and tablet computers. The corporation said it had seen huge growth in the number of people watching online from handheld devices since Christmas, and the proportion of Glastonbury mobile viewing was up compared to the Olympics, which averaged thirty four per cent. The BBC's Red Button coverage attracted saw 6.2 million viewers, up seventy seven per cent compared to the last Glastonbury festival in 2011. A peak audience of 2.6 million watched BBC2's Saturday night coverage of The Stones' appearance.

A new BBC2 drama set on the battlefields of World War I will see Michael Palin in his first on-screen TV acting role in more than two decades. Written by yer actual Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, and first announced some months agoThe Wipers Times is based on the true story of a satirical newspaper produced by soldiers in the trenches. Alongside Palin, the cast includes Ben Chaplin, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Steve Oram and Emilia Fox. The Monty Python's Flying Circus star is now probably best known on TV for his various travel series. Palin's last TV drama role was in Alan Bleasdale's GBH in 1991, in which he played a school headmaster intimidated by a newly-elected city council leader, played by Robert Lindsay. In its official announcement on Tuesday, the BBC described The Wipers Times as 'a story of the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.' Ben Chaplin plays Captain Fred Roberts, who discovers a printing press in the bombed-out ruins of the Belgian town of Ypres in 1916 and uses it to publish The Wipers Times (named after the army slang for Ypres). The paper's subversive humour proves to be popular with the soldiers on the front line but goes down less well with their superior officers. 'Just like the original Wipers Times, this new history drama will be filled with jokes, spoofs and amazing examples of courage behind the laughs,' said Janice Hadlow, controller of BBC2. As the war continued, the paper changed its name as the soldiers from the Twelfth Battalion Sherwood Foresters - who produced it - changed location. Its other titles included The Somme Times and, after the Armistice, The Better Times. Private Eye editor Ian Hislop and his writing partner Nick Newman's other projects include BBC children's sitcom My Dad's The Prime Minister. The drama will be shown on BBC2 later this year.

Sky1 is developing a full series of The Daltons starring Sheridan Smith. The comedy was originally launched via a 2011 edition of Sky's Little Crackers strand. The Daltons - written by Michael Wynne and inspired by Smith's own memories - starred the actress and her Royle Family co-star Ralf Little as a country and western duo. Annette Badland and Alan Davies also starred in the pilot episode, directed by The Mighty Boosh's Paul King. Sky's director of entertainment channels Stuart Murphy announced plans for a full series on Tuesday, Broadcast reports. Other projects currently in the works at Sky1 include the new Ray Winstone fronted drama Moonfleet and firefighter series The Smoke starring Jamie Bamber.

Just days after David Harewood announced that he was 'probably' not going to be the next Doctor the actor has turned his back on another British TV Saturday night institution. He has apparently turned down an offer to appear on the next series of Strictly Come Dancing. Harewood tweeted to spill the beans: 'I was asked to do a rather well known Saturday evening dancing show yesterday. I said no. Strictly speaking its not for me.' It is not yet known which other celebrities have been approached to appear on this year's dancing competition. Co-host of Strictly Come Dancing, Tess Daly, has hinted that producers are 'working hard' to sign up 'some big names' for the line-up of the eleventh series. Both Daly and Sir Bruce Forsyth his very self have been confirmed to return to present the show, which is due to begin in September. Harewood is probably best known for playing the role of David Estes in the American TV drama Homeland. Instead of appearing on the contest, the actor has confirmed he'll be 'doing Shakespeare in New York.'

Meanwhile, ITV is reported to be looking for a new entertainment series to replace Twatting About On Ice which has been, deliciously, binned. The broadcaster is searching for a new 'juggernaut entertainment show' to launch in the wake of the celebrity skating competition's final series in 2014. 'It could be two series that we're looking for or it could be one,' Broadcast quotes ITV's director of television Peter Fincham as saying. 'It depends on what's the right thing to do. It's a great slot that has a huge audience.' Potential Twatting About On Ice replacements are being eyed for a winter 2015 launch.

The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is among thirteen senior MPs whose websites have not been obtaining consent while gathering users' data in tracking files, cookies, the BBC has learned. Grayling's spokesman claimed, unconvincingly, that a cookie pop-up window had been 'accidentally disabled for a brief period.' However, the UK's data watchdog said that it would remind all thirteen MPs about their compliance with EU privacy laws. Campaigners say the law, which came into force a year ago, is 'unworkable.' The Information Commissioner's Office, which is tasked with enforcing the e-privacy directive containing the provisions on cookies, refused to confirm or deny that the websites were breaking the law. Cookies are small text files saved by websites on users' computers to store browsing information. Many websites owners have interpreted the law to mean that they must install pop-ups or banners giving details of how they use cookies, and make it easy for users to opt out. But no such feature appeared when the BBC visited the constituency websites of cabinet members Grayling, Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander, Ed Davey and Theresa Villiers, and cabinet attendee Andrew Lansley. Senior Labour MPs Harriet Harman, Ed Balls, Sadiq Khan, Mary Creagh, Vernon Coaker, Jon Cruddas and Karen Buck have also not adopted this approach on their constituency websites. ICO spokesman Robert Parker said that it was 'difficult' to determine whether each website was complying with the directive or not, and the watchdog would only make sufficient resources available 'if we felt that it was causing large numbers of people significant damage and distress.' But he said that the ICO would write to the MPs concerned to remind them of their obligations under the law. A spokesman for Clegg said that it was 'a technical oversight' that one of the MP's two websites did not seek users' consent to save cookies to their machines. 'After it was drawn to our attention, we have quickly taken steps to make sure the constituency website is compliant with the directive,' he said. It has emerged that the ICO sent a similar warning letter to Clegg in 2012. 'We have not conducted a thorough audit of your site,' it said. 'This letter does not confirm your site is compliant, or suggest it is not, but is intended to keep you informed.' Grayling's spokesman said: 'While some work was being done on the back end of the website the cookie policy plugin Cookie Control, which is a recommended plugin to use for WordPress websites, was accidentally disabled for a brief period of time. This was subsequently corrected.' Ed Davey and Karen Buck said they had 'taken new steps' to ensure that their website was 'compliant' with the law. A spokesman for Mad Hattie Harman, who is a prominent QC, said that her site had been compliant even without the cookie pop-up, which has since been re-introduced after a 'technical issue recently caused [it] not to display.' A spokesman for Mary Creagh said her website was 'being upgraded' and would soon contain a cookie widget.

ITV has threatened Channel Four programme makers with legal action after an investigation into Coronation Street actors allegedly accepting and promoting freebies. The Dispatches episode set up a fake booth at a 'gifting event' in Manchester. Coronation Street stars allegedly accepted bogus beauty and health products which they then mentioned on Twitter. ITV has written to programme producers saying the show is 'highly defamatory' and warning that legal action 'could follow' if the episode of Dispatches is broadcast. Which sounds, frankly, like a bit of scum bully boy thuggery to this blogger. Either the allegations which are, allegedly, made in the - as yet unbroadcast - documentary are true, in which case they deserve to be brought into the public light, or they are not, in which case the individuals allegedly named in the - as yet unbroadcast - documentary are perfectly at liberty to take their own legal action. Programme-makers are said to have set up a fake brand called Puttana Aziendale, which translates from Italian as 'corporate whore.' Heh! They gave away an anti-ageing skin toner and an energising bracelet. Soap actresses including Catherine Tyldesley and Brooke Vincent were pictured carrying bags for the fake brand at the event. The programme was investigating whether celebrities broke Advertising Standards Authority rules which say that plugs for free products should clearly be marked as adverts. An ITV spokeswoman said: 'The programme has made allegations that are false and highly defamatory and we have written to the producer threatening legal action if they decide to broadcast.' A further ITV statement added: 'Cast members responded to tweets sent directly to them by some brands to say thank you. Contrary to the allegations which have been made, they didn't receive free gifts in return for tweeting or indulge in any kind of unlawful marketing promotion.' A Channel Four spokesman said: 'We don't comment on upcoming Dispatches programmes.'

Channel Four is to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer live every morning during the month of Ramadan. The broadcaster said that it was an act of 'deliberate provocation' aimed at viewers who might associate Islam with extremism. The headline-grabbing move will see Channel Four broadcast the three-minute call to prayer at about 3am for thirty days from the start of Ramadan on 9 July. In addition, on the first day of Ramadan, Channel Four will interrupt programming four times during the day – to mark subsequent calls to prayer – with a twenty-second film to remind viewers of the approaching prayer time. After that date, the channel will broadcast the 3am call to prayer on live TV, with the other four prayer times will be broadcast on its website. Ralph Lee, Channel Four's head of factual programming, said: 'The calls to prayer prompt Muslims to carry out quiet moments of worship, but hopefully they'll also make other viewers sit up and notice that this event is taking place. Observing the adhan on Channel Four will act as a nationwide tannoy system, a deliberate "provocation" to all our viewers in the very real sense of the word.' Lee added in an article in the Radio Times: 'No doubt Channel Four will be criticised for focusing attention on a "minority" religion but that's what we're here to do – provide space for the alternative and a voice to the under-represented. Following the horrific events in Woolwich and subsequent reprisals against British Muslims, there has surely never been a more pressing need to give a voice to the moderate mainstream majority. And let's not forget that Islam is one of the few religions that's flourishing, actually increasing in the UK. Like Channel Four's target audience, its followers are young. It's recently been reported that half of British Muslims are under twenty five.' The Muslim Council of Britain supported Channel Four's move: 'This is a very special month for Muslims and its recognition on a mainstream channel is not only symbolic for belonging and solidarity but will hopefully help to portray a more realistic account of Islam and Muslims,' said a spokesman. He added that he believed that nearly five per cent of the UK will be actively involved in Ramadan and questioned whether the same could be said of other national events that gain significant TV coverage, such as the anniversary of the Queen's coronation. A short film of two to three minutes, Ramadan Reflections, will run ahead of each morning's call to prayer. The film, made by production company Watershed, will 'feature a range of voices, from imams to architects, feminists to a former rock chick, each providing some serious Ramadan food for thought.' Channel Four is also launching a season of programmes around the period of prayer, called 4Ramadan, starting on 8 July. The broadcaster has a history of launching controversial programming to spark a viewer, and media reaction. In 2008 the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was asked to deliver its alternative Christmas message, a counterpoint to the Queen's annual speech. Ahmadinejad, who is known for his controversial views on issues such as the Holocaust, women and homosexuality, delivered a seven-minute speech which sparked almost three hundred complaints. From racists. The media regulator Ofcom subsequently investigated the whinges, but cleared Channel Four of breaking the broadcasting code.

A film banned as 'pornography' in China was accidentally shown on a large LED screen in a public square in Jilin province, Chinese media report. Xin Jin Ping Mei (known in English as The Forbidden Legend: Sex and Chopsticks) was reportedly played to 'a surprised public' for about ten minutes. A technician had been watching the film on his computer without realising it was connected to the LED screen. He was meant to have been repairing the screen, reports said. Presumably he's currently being hung up by his knackers in a very dark cell somewhere. The advertising company which owned the screen alerted the technician, identified as Yuan Mou, to the live broadcast. Yuan then unplugged his computer and threw the disc out of the window, according to Chinese media reports. However, news of the accidental broadcast quickly spread like wildfire, and photos of the film playing over the main square near Jilin railway station soon went viral online. The incident is said to have taken place last week and reports said that police are investigating. Chinese microblog users primarily reacted to the incident with some amusement. Exclusive Title described Xin Jin Ping Mei as a 'class A Hong Kong film', while Oriental Emperor wrote: 'It's not broadcasting a sex tape of one of our officials, what's the big fuss?', referring to the recent scandal of a former Chongqing official. The film Xin Jin Ping Mei is based on the Seventeenth Century Chinese novel, known as The Plum in the Golden Vase. The version broadcast is widely reported to be a Hong Kong remake of the film. China has tight regulations controlling which films can be broadcast, including politically sensitive films and some with a sexual content. So, not in any way repressed bonehead bully boy thugs. oh no. very hot water.

Yer actual John Barrowman his very self has married his long-time partner Scott Gill on Tuesday. The actor and presenter announced the news by posting a clip on the photo and video-sharing website WhoSay.

Risible waste-of-space hasbeen (or, indeed, never-was) Kerry Katona has filed for bankruptcy for a second time, it has been announced. The Insolvency Service confirmed on Tuesday that the - alleged - 'entertainer' and reality show regular had filed bankruptcy papers at Wigan Crown Court. Just to complete a really bad week for Katona, she has also been dropped as the face of payday loans company Cash Lady, with the parent company PDB UK saying that it was 'sorry to hear about Kerry's current financial situation.' Which is very unusual because they're not normally sorry to hear about people in desperate financial straits. 'Clearly, as a business, we are committed to responsible lending,' the claimed. 'So it is with sadness that we will not be able to continue using Kerry as the face of Cash Lady,' PDB added in a statement to This Is Money. Now, that's irony. 'We enjoyed working with Kerry a lot, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours.' Katona herself is yet to comment on the reports. Her advert for Cash Lady was banned from TV by the Advertising Standard Authority in May, following complaints by viewers that it could 'promote irresponsible lending.' Katona was previously made the subject of a bankruptcy order by the High Court in 2008.

Rockin' Rodney Stewart agreed to allow BBC cameras into his home for a 'revealing' documentary on his hard-rocking life – but, he has reportedly refused to allow them to film his model railway. The Sun claims that the veteran singer told the Radio Times some things were 'off limits' for the documentary, Can't Stop Me Now, to be broadcast on BBC1 next week. Stewart said: 'There are very few places in my life that I like to keep private: that's one of them, and another is soccer on Sunday morning. Every three years Model Railroader puts me on their cover, which is better than Rolling Stone.'
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore claims, unconvincingly, that it is 'nonsense' to blame the recent abject failures of England's age-group football teams on the top flight. England's Under-Twenty One side lost every game at the European Championship and the Under-Twenties failed to win any group matches at their World Cup this summer. There has been criticism from some ex-managers and players who say the Premier League is hindering progress of young English players. But Scudamore said: 'That's nonsense, absolute nonsense.' Research has shown the playing time of English players in the under-twenty one age category in the Premier League has fallen to its lowest ever level. Ex-England manager Graham Taylor claims that the success of the Premier League has come at the 'expense of English players.' Although, frankly, the idea that The Turnip is, suddenly, an expert on pretty much anything except, as it were, not likely that, is truly laughable. Former England captain Gary Lineker accused the Premier League of having a 'disregard for the best interests' of the national team. And ex-England coach Glenn Hoddle suggests there needs to be a 'focus on elite English footballers at very young ages.' Meanwhile, outgoing Football Association chairman David Bernstein believes there is a 'desperate need' to increase the number of English players in the Premier League. However, Scudamore jumped to the defence of Premier League clubs and attempted to brush aside the notion that English players are being stifled by the number of overseas players in the top flight. 'There were two hundred and ten players qualified to play for England, playing in the Premier League last year,' said Scudamore. 'We ought to be able to find eleven to take the field to do well. Those players are playing week in, week out against the world's best talent. Our responsibility is to make sure the youth development systems in this country are as good as they can be. That huge investment, three hundred and twenty million quid, in the elite performance plan is starting to see results. We're starting to see more English-qualified people coming through the academies, we're starting to see more take part in first teams. All we can do is be responsible for some of the input. Clearly, our responsibility ends once those players go off and are selected.' Stuart Pearce was one of the victims of the failure of England Under-Twenty Ones to perform at the tournament in Israel after his contract as coach was not renewed.

Germany's standard dictionary has included a vulgar English term, used by Chancellor Angela Merkel among others, as an acceptable German word. Duden, the equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary in the UK, said it was 'reflecting the common use' of the word 'shitstorm' among Germans. The word, which is used in German to denote a public outcry, seems to have caught on during the Eurozone crisis. German language experts voted it 'Anglicism of the year' in 2012. One of them, Michael Mann, explained in a report by the Local newspaper, that the English word conveyed a'"new kind of protest, clearly different in kind and degree from what could be expected in the past in response to a statement or action.' In the past there have been controversies over German usage of words like 'download', 'job-hopping' or 'eye-catcher.' The new word has crept into the language, imported by people who heard its use primarily in American English. It is used by the highest and lowest in the land and when Chancellor Merkel recently used it at a public meeting, nobody batted an eyelid.
A review into impartiality in BBC news reporting has suggested the broadcaster should find ways to report more 'extreme' opinions. The report, commissioned by the BBC Trust, examined how the corporation reflects views from across the UK. It found the BBC had sometimes been 'slow' to catch up with public opinion on areas such as immigration and the EU. But former ITV chief Stuart Prebble, who led the review, praised the BBC for an impressive breadth of opinion. 'I have been impressed by the commitment of the BBC's journalists to ensuring that they bring a diversity of voices and viewpoints on a wide range of news stories to audiences across the country,' he said. The report found that too much weight is given to the views of politicians and the BBC should find ways to report more 'contentious' views from people outside Parliament, which would reflect wider public opinion. Prebble said it was clear 'the BBC cannot afford to rest on its laurels and it should ensure it does all it can to keep up with the ebb and flow of public opinion, which means avoiding over-reliance on Westminster voices, making efforts to find new voices even if they are contentious, and challenging their own assumptions on the accepted consensus.' The report suggested that the audience of Question Time should be chosen from a wider group, rather than just BBC viewers. BBC coverage of immigration, religion and the European Union between 2007 and 2012 was examined as part of the study. On reporting religion, it found a wide range of views but said there was a feeling among journalists that they were 'ill-informed' about religion. Prebble said the BBC had not fully reflected concerns about immigration's effect on Britain saying coverage was too often 'dry and clinical.' He put this down to an over reliance on interviewing politicians, many of whom were reluctant to address the issue. Prebble's investigation picked up from a 2007 report by John Bridcut, which set out twelve 'guiding principles' aimed at protecting against biased reporting and ensuring impartiality. Bridcut's report found that technological and social change had led to a wider range of opinion in society than the traditional right and left wing views. BBC Trustee David Liddiment said: 'Our impartiality reviews are an important inducement for the Executive to question itself, in this case on its breadth of opinion, to ensure it is doing all it can to achieve what licence fee payers expect and that it is constantly alert to changing public opinion. We deliberately chose some complex and controversial subject areas for the review in immigration, religion, and the EU, and our generally positive findings are testament to programme-makers across the corporation. It is clear that there is more to do and we will look to the Executive to deliver on this.' he added. In a press briefing, Prebble added that the BBC had 'caught up and more recently improved' the amount of airtime it gives to views on immigration from outside the political elite. Asked about criticism of the BBC - from scum of no importance with a sick agenda, usually - for allowing controversial figures, such as the radical cleric Anjem Choudary, to broadcast their opinion, he added: 'The BBC has an important role to play in hearing the voices we don't like the sound of and should keep its nerves when attacked by people who don't like to learn the lessons of history.'

The recently discovered fourth and fifth moons of Pluto now have official names: Kerberos and Styx. The International Astronomical Union, charged with making official name designations, stipulates in its rules that names derive from mythology. The names - referring to the three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hell and the river which separates the living from the dead, ranked second and third in an international public vote. The winning submission, Vulcan, was vetoed by the IAU. The two moons, formerly known simply as P4 and P5, were only discovered in July 2011 and July 2012, respectively. Both were spotted by a team using the Hubble space telescope, led by Mark Showalter, senior scientist at the Seti Institute. The team was initially on a hunt for rings around the dwarf planet - which lost its status as a full planet in 2006. The ensuing hunt for further planets and objects around it was supported in part by the New Horizons mission, which launched in 2008 on a course toward Pluto and the Kuiper belt of objects beyond it. It had been suggested that cosmic debris around the dwarf planet may 'pose a threat' to the probe. Shortly after the first new moon was found, another followed, and the IAU was in the market for two appropriate new names - and the Pluto Rocks! online vote was begun - receiving over half-a-million responses. 'I was overwhelmed by the public response to the naming campaign,' Doctor Showalter said. Vulcan was a suggestion made by William Shatner - it is, of course, the name of the home planet of Spock in Star Trek. Although it was a clear winner among the votes, the IAU opted not to use it, on the grounds that it is used elsewhere in astronomy, and- although it is a mythological name (the Roman God of fire) it is not sufficiently associated in mythology with Pluto, the ruler of the underworld in Greek mythology. Pluto's other three moons Charon, Nix and Hydra, were discovered in 1978 and 2005 respectively.

And so to Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, and a right proper glorious pop classic from yer actual Four Tops.

No comments: