Friday, July 05, 2013

On Yer Bike

Members of the Sherlock cast and crew have been confirmed as making an appearance at Comic-Con 2013. The BBC drama - shown in the US on BBC America - will, as it were, hit the fan convention in San Diego for the first time later this month, reports Entertainment Weekly. Co-creators The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss his very self will form part of the panel, along with producer Sue Vertue. Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are not expected to make an appearance, however, as they're, you know, busy. The panel will provide 'surprises' during the Q&A, which will be moderated by James Hibberd (no, me neither). It has also been confirmed that Sherlock will be broadcast on PBS in the US in 2014, after it first airs on BBC1.
The Prince of Wales has been offered a role in Doctor Who (allegedly) after 'impressing the show's writer' (allegedly) with his Dalek voice. Well, Chas certainly looks like an alien what with them ears and that. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were on a well-publicised visit to the set at BBC Wales' Roath Lock studios on day three of their summer tour of yer actual Wales. It's near England, apparently. Chas tried his hand at being an SF baddie by uttering the Daleks' famous 'exterminate' catchphrase into a voice modulator. Oh, it was hilarious, so it was. Yer actual Steven Moffat thought he was 'great' (although he was probably just saying that to be nice and, in reality, couldn't wait for this total fiasco to be over). He said: 'I haven't thought about how I could weave a meeting between The Doctor and the royal family. But Prince Charles's attempt at being a Dalek was great. There would be a part in the show for him if he wanted it.' During the visit on Wednesday morning, the royal couple was greeted by BBC Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies in Cardiff Bay - where Doctor Who is filmed - and then posed for pictures with two gold-coloured Daleks. The couple also met yer actual Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman, as well as The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat. Smudger said: 'The Prince was lovely and a charming bloke. He took quite an interest in the TARDIS' controls and asked a lot of questions about it. He told me and Jenna that he'd been a big fan of the show since he was fifteen - which we didn't know. The other thing which stood out for me is he had fantastic shoes.' Yeah well, that's because he can afford it out of all the money he makes from the Duchy of Cornwall, Matt. The tour included the set of the TARDIS as well as a display of some of the show's monsters, including a Weeping Angel and a Cyberman. Lovely Nick Briggs, who voices The Daleks, demonstrated some of their famous catchphrases, while production staff showed how a green screen set is used to generate some of the programme's special effects. In addition to Doctor Who, Roath Lock is also home to BBC dramas including Casualty, the Welsh-language drama Pobol y Cwm and children's drama Wizards Vs Aliens.

Yer actual Matt Smith, meanwhile, is to attend the official Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary Celebration Weekend at London's ExCeL. The event - spanning from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 November - will see Smith join fellow guests Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. Tom Baker will also be in attendance, though only on Saturday, with further high-profile guests to be announced in the coming weeks. 'The event this year will be an extra special occasion for me,' said Smith - who will depart Doctor Who at Christmas. 'I'm truly looking forward to a huge celebration with the fans in the lead-up to the fiftieth anniversary episode.' Confirmed events at the celebration include two theatre panel shows featuring star guests from fifty years of Doctor Who and a special effects show hosted by practical effects guru Danny Hargreaves. Activities in the main halls will include stunt workshops, audio and visual effect workshops, on-stage panels with cast members and walk-like-a-monster masterclasses with Doctor Who's official monster choreographer Ailsa Burke. Signature and photo booths with stars will also be in operation across the three days.

The identity of John Hurt's character in Doctor Who may have been revealed. Hurt appeared in the BBC's long-running family SF drama's May finale, The Name Of The Doctor - credited as 'The Doctor' - and will return in the forthcoming fiftieth anniversary special. The Daily Torygraph has quoted Doctor Who costume designer Howard Burden as saying that Hurt is portraying a previously unseen 'dark Doctor.' Which we all had kind of guessed anyway. 'There was a gap between Paul McGann playing the Doctor and Christopher Eccleston, when we didn't see a regeneration, and John Hurt will fit into that gap,' Burden's quote reads. 'He is a past Doctor, not a future Doctor.' The notion of Hurt playing an 'in-between' Doctor was already a popular theory among Doctor Who fans. The idea first surfaced when the seventy three-year-old actor was seen on the set of the fiftieth special sporting a leather jacket similar to the one worn by Eccleston's Doctor. The anniversary episode - also starring yer actual Matt Smith and David Tennant his very self - will be broadcast on BBC1 on Saturday 23 November.
In one of the weirdest alleged potential casting ideas of all time, it has emerged that the Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures allegedly once proposed making an alleged Doctor Who movie with alleged child molester and global superstar (that bit's not alleged, he was) Michael Jackson as the Time Lord. But don't worry, dear blog reader: the studio allegedly said that if the alleged Wacko-Jacko option didn't turn out it had a great alternative Doctor in mind, allegedly – Bill Cosby. The Times reports the thinking of the studio (if you can describe it as such, which is probably pushing things) was that The King Of Pop had done pretty good business with his recent film, Moonwalker whilst Cosby was riding high on TV at the time with with his sitcom, The Cosby Show. Fortunately, perhaps, the BBC allegedly told them where to go with their damn fool notions.

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping, as it happens, has but one thing to say about such a scenario at this juncture, dear blog reader.
And, now we're done ...

The BBC was caught out by Andy Murray's naughty bad swearing during his five-set quarter-final clash with Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday. Having lost the second set, Murray apparently exclaimed: 'Fucking wanker! What are you doing?' Commentator Andrew Castle spluttered: 'I do apologise for the language of course, but you can understand the frustration Andy Murray feels at this point. He really is torturing himself.' The Daily Scum Mail, of course, with their wretched, sick anti-BBC agenda smeared, like shit, all over their collective mush ran a page on Murray's 'volley of obscenities' on Thursday, reporting that - an unspecified number of - viewers 'reacted with anger' over the incident. As proof, they found one seemingly apoplectic Twitter user, Poorya Mortavaz, who was, apparently, so grossly offended by this discombobulation that he (or she) wrote: 'If a footballer swore as much as Murray people would be up in arms. But apparently it's okay in tennis?' Firstly, Poorya, many footballers do swear as much as Murray, and, indeed, considerably more. And, frankly, nobody but the biggest tight-arsed glake in all the world gives a damn about such rank and arrant nonsense. But, leaving that aside for a moment, where oh where are these mythical 'angry viewers' of which the Scum Mail claimed they had knowledge of? When contacted, by the Gruniad Morning Star, the BBC confirmed that just ten viewers had complained; hardly a storm of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand proportions. Perhaps the odious pond-scum of no importance at the Scum Mail might try to find a new racket the next time they want to try and stir up some anti-BBC shite.

Murray's dramatic Wimbledon quarter-final comeback, incidentally, brought the BBC their largest ratings of the tournament so far on Wednesday evening. A peak audience of 10.4 million tuned-in for the finale as Murray fought back from two sets down. The Apprentice climbed to a new peak this series on Wednesday evening, according to overnight figures. Lord Alan Sugar-Sweetie's latest firing ahead of next week's interviews gained over four hundred thousand punters to 6.3 million at 9pm on BBC1. The previous highest overnight rating this year was 6.21m. Earlier, the new Nicky Campbell series Your Money, Their Tricks interested 4.57m at 8pm. A Question of Sport was watched by 2.39m at 10.35pm. On BBC2, Today At Wimbledon's highlights coverage of Murray's five-set comeback scored 1.75m at 8pm. Horizon brought in an audience of 1.53m at 9pm, while The Apprentice: You're Fired! was watched by 2.19m at 10pm. ITV's new special Me & My Guide Dogs was seen by 4.24m at 8pm. Love & Marriage held steady with 2.93m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Twenty Four Hours in A&E continued with 1.95m at 9pm, while the final episode of Dates attracted six hundred and two thousand punters at 10pm. The penultimate episode of NCIS this season was seen by 1.47m at 9.15pm on Channel Five. The most-watched show on the multichannels was a repeat of Lewis on ITV3 at 9pm with nine hundred and sixteen thousand viewers.

Boardwalk Empire's Charlie Cox, The Hour's Romola Garai and Sherlock's Andrew Scott are to star in new BBC2 drama Legacy. BAFTA-winner Simon Russell Beale joins the trio in the Cold War thriller from writer Paula Milne. The one-off film is based on Alan Judd's 2001 novel of the same name and will be directed by Pete Travis. Legacy tells the story of a young spy, Charles Thoroughgood (played by Cox), who discovers the disturbing truth about his father's complex past. Scott will play Soviet diplomat Victor Koslov, while Garai is cast as the character Anna. Olivia Grant, Christian McKay and Tessa Peake Jones will also appear in the ninety-minute drama. 'Legacy falls well within the genre of the British spy thriller but has an extraordinary personal twist,' said Milne. 'For what is espionage if not betrayal at the most fundamental level of human interactions? When that occurs within a family, it's dynamite!' Legacy will be broadcast as part of BBC2's Cold War season, which also includes a series of factual commissions.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will be reunited at the special X-Files twentieth anniversary event at Comic-Con, it has been confirmed. The duo will both appear alongside the cult show's creator Chris Carter and writers David Amann, Vince Gilligan, Howard Gordon, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, John Shiban and Jim Wong at the fan convention on Thursday 18 July. Duchovny is the latest star from the series to confirm his attendance at the panel, which is expected to be one of the biggest draws at this year's event. The X-Files was a worldwide hit in the 1990s and early 2000s, running for nine seasons and two hundred and two episodes on FOX. Anderson and Duchovny became stars as the show's FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. The series also spawned two movies, 1998's The X-Files and 2008's I Want to Believe. The first of which was rather good and the second ... really wasn't.
Yer actual Richard Hammond's - really very dreadful indeed - BBC1 show Secret Service has reportedly been axed. Because it was crap and no one was watching it, basically. The Saturday night light entertainment show - if that isn't a misuse of the word 'entertainment' - saw the Top Gear star leading a team of 'secret agents' who carried out 'missions' for the public in the form of pranks. Yes, it really was every single bit as bad as that description makes it sound. And, indeed, then some. It will not return for a second series. And, lo, there was rejoicing throughout the land. A BBC spokesman confirmed the cancellation to the Sun, adding: 'We're talking to Richard about other projects.'

Sky is looking to cut down its number of American TV acquisitions to focus on original series. The broadcaster's director of entertainment channels, Stuart Murphy, has announced plans to buy 'fewer US shows' in future, Broadcast reports. 'Our roster of returning US series has grown,' Murphy explained. 'So we're only looking for a couple more [new shows] from the [LA pilot] screenings. Instead, our focus is to build up our original series,' he added. Upcoming original drama projects from Sky include firefighter series The Smoke, an Ian Fleming biopic starring Dominic Cooper and historical drama Moonfleet with Ray Winstone. A remake of Scandinavian crime drama The Bridge - retitled The Tunnel - is also in the works. Murphy also revealed that the broadcaster is seeking a new star-led sitcom. Murphy announced that he wants to commission a 'Sky version' of popular BBC comedies such as Miranda and Not Going Out. 'On Sky1, we're looking for an audience sitcom with a big star at the centre,' Broadcast quotes him as saying. 'I love Miranda and Not Going Out, so a Sky version of those shows would be bigger, funnier, probably [have] a longer run and [be of] higher quality.' Murphy also praised Charlie Brooker's spoof crime drama A Touch of Cloth, which will return to Sky1 with two new sequels. 'We also like the silly and physical humour that you get in Airplane or The Man with Two Brains,' he said. 'We definitely want more of that silly stuff.' Sky1 is currently developing a full series of comedy The Daltons starring Sheridan Smith and Ralf Little - based on a 2011 edition of its Little Crackers strand.
News Corp has defended billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch after a secret recording was released of the loathsome odious disgusting louse criticising the police inquiry into phone-hacking at his newspapers. Talking in March to a group of Sun journalists - many of whom are currently under investigation for alleged illegal wrongdoing - billionaire tyrant Murdoch is heard on the recording complaining about 'totally incompetent' police officers. The recording was obtained by the Exaro website and broadcast on Channel Four News on Wednesday. News Corp claims - rather unconvincingly - that Murdoch was 'merely showing understandable empathy' with staff who may, soon, be going to jail, and not trying to crassly weasel out of his own - and his organisation's - responsibilities. Allegations of phone-hacking at the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World thrust the newspaper's owners, News Corp, and its journalists directly into the spotlight. A separate Scotland Yard investigation is also looking into claims of illegal payments made to police and other assorted naughty and illegal badness. Dear blog readers may recall that, in July 2011, Murdoch had told the world how 'humble' he was as he appeared before MPs to answer questions about phone-hacking. Two years on, billionaire tyrant Murdoch appeared to sound rather less humble and contrite when recorded in private. 'It's a disgrace,' the News Corp executive is heard foaming in the tapes 'acquired' by Exaro and said to have been recorded at the Sun headquarters in Wapping. 'Here we are, two years later, and the cops are totally incompetent. The idea that the cops then started coming after you, kick you out of bed, and your families, at six in the morning, is unbelievable. But why are the police behaving in this way? It's the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing. And now they're arresting their own, who never even took money. They're going to put all newspapers out of business.' They're not, sadly, although if they did it would be a great day. It's also interesting that billionaire tyrant refers to the allegations as 'next to nothing.' One wonders if that was what the odious louse told the Dowler family as he looked them in the face and, personally, handed over a cheque for two million smackers to them after his newspaper had been caught hacking the phone of their murdered daughter. This blogger is guessing, probably not. Although, that is only a guess. In the recording, a full transcript of which has been published by Exaro, billionaire tyrant Murdoch - whom, nobody is scared of these days - hits out at the excessive amount of police manpower used to arrest well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks, the former chief of his UK publishing empire. 'The people who came in and turned over Rebekah on a Monday morning, and her mother-in-law, there [were] about fifteen or sixteen. Most of them, a dozen or so, came from Manchester, a murder squad or something. And there were three local cops. It's ridiculous, quite openly,' billionaire tyrant Murdoch claimed. Murdoch also said that the police 'falsely accused' the publisher of blocking their investigation when they came to search the company's headquarters in Wapping. '[Police] were in Rebekah's office for two days, thereabouts, when there were three executives in there with them,' he said. 'And [the police] say how they came in and got all this stuff against great resistance. But there was nothing there. They [the executives] were just watching. And [the police] didn't get anything worthwhile anyway, but that's another matter.' Billionaire tyrant Murdoch was scathing in his assessment of the police, labelling them 'totally incompetent' and a 'disgrace', and saying that he will 'hit back' at what he believes is a persecution of his tabloid titles. Geoff Webster, the Sun's deputy editor, referring to the perceived police 'vendetta', said it would be 'nice' to 'hit back when we can.' 'We will,' says billionaire tyrant Murdoch. Billionaire tyrant Murdoch's hardline stance behind closed doors is, of course, at serious odds with the contrite public apology he made last year at the Leveson inquiry into press standards and ethics. In April 2012 he claimed that he had been 'misinformed and shielded' from what was going on at Scum of the World, that he should have closed the tabloid years before he did in summer 2011, and that the scandal was a 'serious blot' on his reputation. Murdoch also implies in the recording that he will continue to employ and support journalists who are convicted of bribing public officials. He was asked by Graham Dudman, the Sun's former managing editor, what assurances he could give staff about their 'individual future' at the company if they are convicted of any offences. 'I expected that question,' Murdoch said. 'I've been told that I must not give guarantees, but I can give you something. Emotional support is not enough, I've got to do more. What you're asking is what happens if some of you are proven guilty? What afterwards? I'm not allowed to promise you, I will promise you continued health support. But your jobs – I've got to be careful what comes out – but frankly, I won't say it, but just trust me, okay?' Asked by a journalist what would happen once Murdoch was no longer around to lend his support, the mogul's response appeared to cut his youngest son, James, out of the battle for succession at News Corp. 'The decision would either be with my son, Lachlan, or with Robert Thomson,' he said. 'And you don't have any worries about either of them.' Murdoch also appeared to confirm that he has been 'aware' for a long time of the practice of bribing officials that existed in Fleet Street. 'We're talking about payments for news tips from cops: that's been going on a hundred years, absolutely,' said Murdoch. Billionaire tyrant Murdoch also offered his backing to the journalists, even if they were found guilty of crimes and sent to pokey. In public, Murdoch had previously always insisted that anyone found guilty of phone-hacking or corruption in connection to payment to public officials had 'no place' in his organisation. 'I will do everything in my power to give you total support, even if you're convicted and get six months or whatever,' he said on the recording. 'You're all innocent until proven guilty.' A spokesman for News Corp told Channel Four News: 'No other company has done as much to identify what went wrong, compensate the victims and ensure the same mistakes do not happen again. The unprecedented co-operation granted by News Corp was agreed unanimously by senior management and the board, and the MSC continues to co-operate under the supervision of the courts. Rupert Murdoch has shown understandable empathy with the staff and families affected and will assume they are innocent until and unless proven guilty.' A spokesman for News UK, home to billionaire tyrant Murdoch's UK newspaper business, claimed: 'Mr Murdoch never knew of payments made by Sun staff to police before News Corporation disclosed that to UK authorities. Furthermore, he never said he knew of payments. It's absolutely false to suggest otherwise.' A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said that it had not received any complaints that some of billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's comments in the recording were potentially criminal in nature, and as such had no comment to make.

Larry Lamb has told the Digital Spy website that he doesn't expect Gavin & Stacey to return for a new series any time soon. Which is, frankly, excellent news. We could do with far more news like that in these dark and troubled times, dear blog reader.

The author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce thinks that storytelling – and books in particular – play an important and underestimated role in knitting together modern society. Cottrell Boyce was giving the opening keynote speech at the Children's Media Conference in Sheffield, after a successful two years in which he was a key collaborator on Danny Boyle's Olympics opening ceremony, won the 2012 Gruniad children's fiction prize, and started as professor of reading at Liverpool Hope university. 'We are the stories that we tell,' he said, kicking off with an anecdote about Henry Gustav Molaison, an American patient who had several sections of his brain removed in an attempt to cure his epilepsy, and subsequently became a much-studied medical case. Molaison could remember functional skills – how to tie his shoelaces for example – but he essentially lived in the present, because he couldn't form new long-term memories. Cottrell Boyce drew a parallel with modern society. 'We're in danger of being a society that has that short-term memory,' he said. 'We don't know who we are, and we don't know what we're for. I think that can happen, and it's storytellers who can save us from that.' Cottrell Boyce also talked about his role in the Olympics opening ceremony, and widespread expectations beforehand that it would be disappointing at best, and a national embarrassment at worst. 'Why did people think it was going to be rubbish? Because when they tried to imagine what it would be they imagined it was going to be the Tudors, Churchill, Shakespeare, maybe the Romans. Two world wars and one world cup, basically,' he said. 'We discovered that the whole nation collectively had forgotten that they did the industrial revolution. That we invented the modern world! It's not really taught in schools. We are the stories we tell, and sometimes we get bogged down in stale old stories. And the writer's job is to question those stories, and to put new stories in place of those dead, stale old stories.' One example of that is The Return of Colmcille, a two-day festival which was a highlight of Londonderry's year as the City of Culture, and featured a fire-breathing Loch Ness Monster. It was Cottrell Boyce's first commission after the Olympic Games. The aim was to tell a new story about the city, and remind people that there was more to it than its troubled recent past – while using digital media (a fake sighting of the Loch Ness monster for example) to spread it far and wide. 'I thought, how weird would it be for Saint Columba that we were promoting his story through YouTube, and digital media, and Twitter?' said Cottrell Boyce. 'A book was at the centre of this thing: this big cabaret show with The Undertones in and the Loch Ness monster. It was intimately connected with a book, and so was the Olympics opening ceremony.' Humphrey Jennings' Pandaemonium, which told the story of the industrial revolution in a 'visceral' way, and became the inspiration for the opening ceremony. 'It became this huge multimedia-y, Twitter-y global phenomenon,' he said. 'And it started with a book, which I think is really important.' And also a gift: the book was given to Cottrell Boyce by a friend, and he in turn bought a copy ('for fifty quid!') for Danny Boyle when in the early stages of planning the opening ceremony. He suggested that the gifting element was hugely important, as opposed to simply convening a planning meeting to decide what to do and how. 'If it starts with a meeting, it wouldn't have happened. If you do that, you end up with Viva Forever!' said Cottrell Boyce, drawing laughter from the audience. 'Or Viva Six Weeks.' But he returned to books. 'Books are so central to it. There's a really specific reason for that, which is that all the great ideas come from the edge: the margins, the eccentric, the disenfranchised,' he said. 'Books can be written by anybody. Only books really capture those voices. Only books really have all the voices. Everything else is really translation, but the books have all the voices in the room.' Cottrell Boyce also warned that some elements of modern culture risk losing these voices, and the essence of storytelling. 'Sometimes I look at celebrity magazines and reality TV, and it seems to be like a version of Henry Gustav Molaison,' he said. 'I can see something that's going through the motions, and has the macabre galvanic twitchings of some kind of ghostly memory of what a story should be. "It should have a row in it, so let's do one. It should have sex in it so let's have some." But it never really adds up.' Cottrell Boyce was also asked about the way more children are using apps, playing games and using other forms of digital media alongside reading books, and whether this is a threat or a boost for storytelling. 'It's all storytelling isn't it?' he said. 'And they talk to each other, so it's about passing on stories. It's all stories, and I think it's all great. And I also think it's the same kids that read who play those games. It's not that games are stopping some kids from reading.' However, Cottrell Boyce did warn of the dangers of losing some elements around reading, such as seeing it as purely a solitary experience rather than a social one. 'A lot of the pleasure of reading is listening to somebody read to you,' he said. 'There are also key reading experiences that are social. Some of my children's generation had that with Harry Potter: they were all reading it on the same night.'

The editor of BBC Breakfast has died of cancer. Alison Ford, who led the BBC1 programme's move from London to Salford, joined the BBC as a trainee reporter in 1991. Director General Tony Hall called her 'a brilliant editor' and said Alison was 'a wonderful colleague and friend to teams across the BBC.' Ford held several senior roles in the BBC and Lord Hall said colleagues would 'feel her loss deeply.' She died on Tuesday following a 'long and courageous battle' with cancer, Lord Hall added. He said that his thoughts were with Alison's partner, Martin, and her two children. Former Breakfast presenter Sian Williams said: 'Alison was funny, positive, vibrant and strong. She never once complained about her illness, preferring instead to sit outside and celebrate life, over a glass of wine. She was a brilliant, inspirational colleague and a true and loyal friend. The loss to her family and those who loved her is incalculable.' Fran Unsworth, the BBC's acting director of news, said that the announcement had come as a 'deep shock. Alison was tackling her illness with the energy and indomitable spirit she showed in everything she did. Her talent, editorial experience and sense of humour defined the way she worked at the BBC,' she said. Ford held a number of senior roles in BBC News, including editor of Midlands Today, and she went on to become head of BBC East Midlands, where she was responsible for all radio, TV and online output for the region. She later became UK news editor and, most recently, led BBC Breakfast's move out of London.

An eighteen hundred-year-old carved stone head of a possible Roman god has been found in an ancient rubbish dump in County Durham. The discovery was made at Binchester Roman Fort, near Bishop Auckland, as an archaeological team dug through an old bath house. The twenty centimetre sandstone head, from the second or third century, which bears an uncanny resemblance to rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove, is similar to Celtic deity Antenociticus, thought to have been worshipped locally at the time. A similar head with an inscription identifying it as Antenociticus, was found in Newcastle, in 1862. The find, by first year archaeology student, Alex Kirton from Hertfordshire, was made as part of a five-year project at Binchester, which is attempting to shed new light on the twilight years of the Roman Empire. David Petts, lecturer in Archaeology at Durham University, said: 'We found the Binchester head close to where a small Roman altar was found two years ago. We think it may have been associated with a small shrine in the bath house and dumped after the building fell out of use, probably in the fourth century AD. It is probably the head of a Roman god - we can't be sure of his name, but it does have similarities to the head of Antenociticus found at Benwell in the nineteenth century. Antenociticus is one of a number of gods known only from the northern frontier, a region which seems to have had a number of its own deities. It's possibly a Geordie God, though it could have been worshipped at the other end of the wall.' Antenociticus is not mentioned at any other Romano-British site or on any inscriptions from Europe, which is why it has been identified as a local deity. The dig is a joint project between Durham University's Department of Archaeology, site owner Durham County Council, Stanford University's Archaeology Centre and the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland.

Sex and the City has been cited as a possible factor behind a decline in cases of pubic lice. An episode of the long-running HBO series originally broadcast in the year 2000 saw characters Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha having a waxing procedure where all of their pubic hair was removed. The British Association of Dermatologists (which glories in the utterly fantastic acronym, BAD) has claimed that there is 'a link' between the decline in lice infections and the launch of the bikini waxing trend, for which the show is thought to have kick-started.

On Friday evening, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping will be attending the last of Uncle Scunthorpe's Record Player events until September. This one is a special event at Newcastle Quayside's cycle-hub featuring Kraftwerk's Tour De France played, hopefully, at positively obscene volume. So, that would be today's Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day, then. Techno!

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