Thursday, July 25, 2013

Learned How To Cry Too Young

Want to see a picture of yer actual Smudger, Jenna and The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat their very selves at Comic-Con dear blog reader? Silly question.
Who Do You Think You Are? returned on BBC1 with nearly five million overnight viewers on Wednesday. The Sherlock actress Una Stubbs's appearance on the ancestry documentary series interested 4.94m punters at 9pm. Earlier, a repeat of The Sheriffs Are Coming was seen by 3.67m at 7pm, followed by Your Money, Their Tricks with 3.79m at 8pm. On BBC2, Restoration Home was watched by to 1.42m at 8pm, while The Real White Queen continued with 1.34m at 9pm. ITV's The Zoo attracted 3.55m at 8pm. Ray Mears's Close Encounters proved something of a turn off for ITV viewers with but 2.09m punters at 9pm. On Channel Four, Superscrimpers continued with 1.01m at 8pm, while Twenty Four Hours In A&E pulled in 1.84m at 9pm. Channel Five's second episode of Myra Hindley: The Untold Story attracted nine hundred and twenty two thousand at 8pm. The latest Big Brother had an audience of 1.35m at 9pm. Aidan Gillen's new drama Love/Hate was seen by six hundred and ninety thousand at 10pm.

Channel Four is reported to be defying various bully boy-thug-style legal threats by ITV and ready to broadcast an undercover sting allegedly showing Coronation Street actors allegedly promoting bogus products on Twitter in breach of marketing rules. The one-hour Dispatches film, titled Celebs, Brands and Fake Fans, has been scheduled to go out on Channel Four on Monday 5 August at 8pm. Coronation Street actors including Brooke Vincent, who plays Sophie Webster in the soap, are said to have been covertly filmed receiving beauty products from a fictitious cosmetics firm set up by Dispatches. Some of the actors later tweeted about the products, which included bogus 'mystique spray' and a bottle of 'toner' which, actually, contained only tap water. Earlier this month ITV had got a right chimney on and threatened to sue Channel Four's bottom into the middle of next week over suggestions that the actors involved 'received free gifts' or engaged in any 'unlawful marketing promotion', claims which the broadcaster has furiously denied to the point of apoplexy. It is understood that Coronation Street actors feature heavily in the current version of the programme despite the legal threats, which were made after a number of 'right to reply' letters were sent to individuals who, apparently, appear in the film. The current affairs documentary set up a fake cosmetics firm Puttana Aziendale – which, amusingly, translates from Italian as 'corporate whore' – to sting a number of mostly b-list celebrities at an event called Celebrity Retreat in a Manchester hotel. Coronation Street actors – including Vincent, Catherine Tyldesley, who plays Eva Price and Georgia May Foote, who plays Katy Armstrong – were pictured in the Daily Mirra earlier this month posing with Puttana Aziendale shopping bags. The Advertising Standards Authority states that any individual endorsing products on Twitter should make it clear they are doing so by using symbols '#spons' or '#ad'. The show's official billing, published on Wednesday, said: 'In this one-hour special Dispatches goes undercover to investigate what's real and what's fake in the brave new world of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Celebrities have considerable influence on social media. But are some less-than-transparent when tweeting brand names with their legions of fans? Dispatches exposes the new tricks used by marketeers to plug brands, from buying fake Facebook 'likes' and YouTube 'views' to influencing social media conversations.' The Dispatches film has been produced and directed by Chris Atkins, the film-maker behind the acclaimed 2009 documentary Starsuckers which hoaxed several tabloid newspapers with fake celebrity stories. Atkins is working with independent producer Matchlight on the documentary.

Meanwhile, dear blog reader, do you think that perhaps tonight, somewhere in London, a conversation is taking place where someone is saying to someone else 'look, when I said that I wanted a massive cock this wasn't, quite, what I had in mind'?
Can't add much more to that, really. Next ...

The actor Michael French is to return to EastEnders full time as the womanising David Wicks later this year, twenty years after his first appearance in Albert Square. French made a brief appearance in the soap in January 2012, when he returned for the last scenes of Pat Butcher, his on-screen mother. Executive producer Lorraine Newman said it was 'an absolute honour' to have French back. 'Michael created an iconic character in David,' she said, adding that there was 'plenty to explore in the future.' French initially played the role from 1993 to 1996. He ran the car lot Deals on Wheels and found out he was the father of Bianca, played by Patsy Palmer. In his brief appearance last year, he rekindled his romance with her mother Carol, played by Lindsey Coulson. French left the soap in 1996 after his character had an affair with his half-brother Ian Beale's wife, Cindy, played by Michelle Collins. Cindy hired a hitman to shoot Ian, but he survived and Wicks helped her to flee justice. Since leaving the soap French has had a number of acting roles. Since 1998 he has played consultant and former heart surgeon Nick Jordan in both Holby City and Casualty. In which he was really rather good. Mind you, he was also in Crime Traveller but he probably just wants to forget about that and pretend it never happened. Sorry, Michael, some of us don't have that luxury.

Ardal O'Hanlon is joining the cast of Channel Four's new comedy London Irish. The Father Ted and My Hero actor will play the father of one of the main characters in the sitcom which is, according to pre-publicity, 'about a hard-drinking, hard-living expat community twenty-somethings in London.' Begorrah, bejesus, where's me shilelagh? O'Hanlon said: 'London Irish is a fresh, cheerfully outrageous, no-limits comedy.' Which has only been commissioned because Mrs Brown's Boy has been such a success. probably. 'There isn't a taboo that goes unexplored. I'm delighted to play Da, who's oblivious to all that. The writing is fearlessly funny and the cast ridiculously charismatic.' The comedy has been written by Derry-born Lisa McGee, who has previously worked on BBC3's Being Human and Channel Four's Totally Frank.

Musicians at the BBC Proms have battled soaring temperatures inside the Royal Albert Hall as the UK faces its first prolonged heatwave since 1997. Wagner's Das Rheingold, which lasted nearly three hours, was performed on Monday, when temperatures in London reached 33.5C. 'It was hot as Hades,' one audience member tweeted, saying it was 'crazy' to see the orchestra in 'tails & ties.' Pfft. Lightweights. Hitler managed to sit through it and, as we all know, he only had one ball. However, one musician said that he had chosen not to perform in informal attire. 'In such a traditional, breathtaking architecture like the Royal Albert Hall, I think it wouldn't be appropriate,' violist Wolfgang Hinzpeter told BBC Radio 3's In Tune. In his review, the Financial Times' Richard Fairman praised the 'warm and cultivated' performance but warned visitors about the 'sweltering heat.' The Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra performed the first part of Wagner's Ring Cycle, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, alongside fourteen singers. BBC Philharmonic trumpeter Gary Furr is playing at the Proms on Thursday night, alongside conductor Juanjo Mena and a troupe of Spanish dancers. 'It's going to be a sweaty one,' he told the BBC News website. 'The tailcoats are not ideal. We're acutely aware we're getting red-faced and dripping with sweat live on camera!' Furr explained that the temperature can also affect the pitch of brass instruments. '[The string section] is probably fed up of us oscillating in pitch,' he said. 'As the concert gets hotter and hotter, we have to make sure the pitch doesn't go up.' Audience members who contacted Radio 3 said that they would prefer the musicians to be more comfortable on stage. 'I was dripping in the circle, must have been awful on stage,' said one Tiffany Hore, whoever she is, on Twitter. 'I like white tie and tails, but pragmatism is good too!' 'I wouldn't have minded if they'd been wearing t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops,' agreed David Hendy (no, me neither). Speaking on In Tune, pianist Joseph Middleton said that he preferred to wear concert dress for the Proms despite the discomfort. 'I like the feeling of putting on something smart that you wouldn't wear at other times,' he said. A spokesman for the concert hall told the BBC that plans are in place to upgrade the Grade I listed building's Victorian heating and ventilation systems.

The actress Amanda Bynes has been sectioned following 'a disturbance' in Southern California during which she is alleged to have set fire to her own pants and the driveway of a residential property. A spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, Don Aguilar, would make no comment about the incident which prompted police to take Bynes into custody and commit her for psychiatric evaluation. But, according to local media reports the twenty seven-year-old actress started a fire in the driveway of a residence in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks. The website TMZ quotes an alleged - thought seemingly anonymous - 'eye-witness' who allegedly claims that the alleged actress 'put a flaming cloth on top of a gas tank' in an unsuccessful attempt to cause an explosion. He further alleges that he 'came upon' Bynes as she was lying on the floor near to the driveway with her trouser leg on fire. He is quoted as saying that he put out the flames and that the actress didn't appear to have been injured. Meanwhile, passer-by Andrew Liverpool - who may, or may not be TMZ's alleged 'source' - told KABC that he found Bynes: 'It's dark, it's 8:45 and I just see her laying down, stomach up and her pant legs on fire, a trail of, you know, fire and gas, and I pull over,' he said. The Ventura County Fire Department confirmed that it responded to an incident involving a gas can and that Bynes was 'at the scene.' It declined to comment on Bynes alleged involvement in the fire which was extinguished by local residents. Under California law a person may be detained for a mental health evaluation for up to seventy two hours, known as a psychiatric hold.

A new female superhero is on the rise in the most unlikely of places. Pakistani heroine The Burka Avenger is a mild-mannered teacher by day with secret martial arts skills to battle the forces of evil. She uses a burka to hide her identity as she fights local thugs seeking to shut down the girls' school where she works. It is a battle that Pakistanis are all too familiar with in the real world, of course. The Taliban has blown up hundreds of schools and attacked activists in North West Pakistan because it opposes education for girls. Action in the Burka Avenger cartoon series, which is due to start on Geo TV in early August, is more light-hearted than that, of course. The bungling bad guys in the series evoke more laughter than fear and are no match for The Burka Avenger her very self, undoubtedly the first South Asian ninja who also wields books and pens as weapons. Children who saw an early screening of the first episode at an orphanage on the outskirts of Islamabad reportedly laughed and cheered as The Burka Avenger vanquished her enemies. The Urdu language show is the brainchild of one of Pakistan's biggest pop stars, Aaron Haroon Rashid. It was conceived as a way to emphasise the importance of girls' education and teach children other lessons, such as protecting the environment and not discriminating against others. Rashid said: 'Each one of our episodes is centred around a moral, which sends out strong social messages to kids. But it is cloaked in pure entertainment, laughter, action and adventure.' The decision to clothe the hero in a black burka - the full-length robe commonly worn by Islamic women in Pakistan and Afghanistan - could raise eyebrows because some people view the outfit as a sign of oppression. The Taliban forced women to wear burkas when it took control of Afghanistan in the 1990s. Rashid said that he used a burka to give a 'local feel' to the show, which is billed as the first animated series ever produced in Pakistan. 'It's not a sign of oppression. She is using the burka to hide her identity like other superheroes,' said Rashid. The Burka Avenger's true identity is Jiya, whose adopted father, Kabbadi Jan, taught her the karate moves she uses to defeat her enemies as a child. When not dressed as her alter ego, Jiya does not wear a burka, or even a less conservative headscarf over her hair.

Scientists have discovered how allergic reactions to cats are triggered, raising hopes of preventative medicine. Although, 'don't get a cat' would appear to remain the most obvious preventative medicine on the market. A University of Cambridge team has identified how the body's immune system detects cat allergen, leading to symptoms such as coughing and sneezing. New treatments to block this pathway raise hopes of developing medicines to protect sufferers, they say. Allergy UK says the research is 'a big step forward' in understanding how cat allergen causes allergic reactions. Researchers led by Doctor Clare Bryant of the University of Cambridge studied proteins found in particles of cat skin, known as cat dander, which is the most common cause of cat allergy. They found that cat allergen activates a specific pathway in the body, once in the presence of a common bacterial toxin. This triggers a large immune response in allergy sufferers, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, sneezing and a runny nose. Bryant told BBC News: 'We've discovered how the cat allergy proteins activate the host immune cells. By understanding the triggering mechanism, there are now drugs that have been designed that are in clinical trials for other conditions, such as sepsis, that could potentially then be used in a different way to treat cat allergy and to prevent cat allergy.'
Papiss Demba Cissé and yer actual Keith telly Topping's beloved (though still unsellable) Newcastle have, reportedly, reached an agreement that means the striker will wear the club's Wonga logo on his shirt despite his religious beliefs. Cissé, a Muslim, pulled out of Newcastle's pre-season tour to Portugal after telling the club he was not prepared to promote the money-lending company. However, after a week of talks, both sides are satisfied and Cissé is now available to play for Newcastle again. The twenty eight-year-old will return to training with the first-team squad on Friday. Cissé is one of a number of Muslims at The Magpies but he was the only one to object to the club's choice of shirt sponsor. The Senegal forward has been training on his own while his team-mates have been in Portugal. In October, it was announced that high-interest pay-day lender Wonga would take over from Virgin Money as Newcastle's sponsor from the 2013-14 season. It is thought the contract is worth around eight million smackers a year to the club and its owner, Mike Ashley. man who, in the infamous words of Joey Barton, 'knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.' Speaking in June, PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes told BBC Sport: 'We're all aware that clubs need to generate revenue and sometimes have to use a wide range of companies. However, if someone feels very, very strongly that it's not compatible with their beliefs, then some sort of solution should be found.'

The Nigerian Football Federation has handed out life bans to players and officials of clubs which played in two notorious games that ended seventy nine-nil and sixty seven-nil. Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine went into a promotion play-off needing to outscore the other as they were level on points in the race for promotion from the Nigerian third-tier. Plateau United eventually defeated Akurba FC by seventy nine goals, scoring seventy two of them in the second half, while Police Machine were sixty seven-nil winner over Bubayaro FC, with sixty one one of their goals after the break. BBC Sport are reporting that all four teams have been suspended from football in Nigeria for ten years after what the NFF called 'a mind-boggling show of shame.' Players and officials from the clubs have been handed life bans, as well as the match officials at both matches. An NFF committee recommended the sanctions this week and indicated all involved would be handed their sentences soon, as well as having the names and pictures of all those banned published in shame and ignominy. 'It is unacceptable - a scandal of huge proportions,' said Muke Umeh, NFF chairman, after the story broke earlier this month.

The organisers of the Cockermouth Rock Festival - for there is such a thing, apparently - have confirmed that they will take legal action against Wiley (he's 'a rapper, m'lud') after he walked off stage during his set. Event organiser Marie Whitehead said that the rapper had 'breached his contract' by not completing the performance on Saturday night. Wiley left the stage after fifteen minutes of a forty five-minute performance. The crowd reportedly booed Wiley throughout his brief set after he had tweeted during the days leading up to the show that he didn't want to perform at the event and 'hated' his agent for booking him in the first place. Whitehead added that the festival's solicitors were looking at 'all angles of the damage' the rapper may have caused. She said that ticket sales of Saturday's event were lower than last year, when Tinchy Stryder, performed. 'We do know that a lot of people didn't think he was coming,' Whitehead said. Following the event Wiley tweeted boasting that that he had earned fifteen grand for quarter of an hour's work. Messages to his three hundred and fifty thousand followers included: 'I don't care about anything you any [sic] if you have to say your [sic] lucky I ain't even came [sic] to Cumbria and done fifteen mins [sic] and took your money.' Charming bit of public relations there. Wiley by name and Wiley by nature, it would appear. The rapper also described Cumbrians as a 'bunch of invalids', 'cretins' and 'inbred pagans.' Well indeed. Why do you think Tinchy Stryder's been so quiet since last year, matey? They only went and burned him in The Wicker Man, didn't they? Earlier this year, Wiley dropped out of playing Glastonbury the day before he was scheduled to perform. The rapper had been due to appear at the Silver Hayes dance arena on Saturday, but posted a series of tweets about how 'unhappy' he was.

And finally today, dear blog reader, here's a picture of Fiona Bruce her very self - and her legs that go all the way up to eleven - wearing yer actual Diana Rigg's catsuit from The Avengers. Which is nice. Very nice, in fact. Love the barefoot thing you've got going on there too, Fee.
And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Which comes directly from watching BBC4's 1978 episode of Top of the Pops this week and remembering what a stone cold fox Renaissance singer Annie Haslam was. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping bought this single the same week that he bought 'Clash City Rockers' and 'It's Raining' by Darts. Ah, them were the days.

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