Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week Thirty Two: We're Gonna Cause Talk And Suspicion; We're Gonna Give An Exhibition.

A copy of the Doctor Who script for the episode Midnight - written by yer actual Big Rusty Davies and starring David Tennant his very self - is being put up for auction. The sale, taking place on 3 August, will benefit the charity Project MotorMouth run by Janet Fielding. Janet, of course, began her career starred as Tom Baker's companion, Tegan, in 1981. The script for Midnight - the tenth episode of the fourth series which was broadcast of 14 June 2008 - is Davies' own copy and is said to be 'full of annotations and drawings' by Big Rusty his very self. The auction will also feature scripts for The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit autographed by Tennant, and a Perspex panel resembling the TARDIS signed by six of the Doctors and some former cast members.

The BBC has issued a statement regarding the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary episode trailer which was shown at the San Diego Comic-Con last Sunday. Because, it seems, some - whinging - British fans (The Special People, basically) have not been shy in expressing their stroppy disappointment at not being able to watch the trailer online. Or, indeed, of not getting a pony. Or something. 'This was an exclusive Comic Con trailer made especially for the Doctor Who fiftieth panel, it has not been released in the US,' said the statement. Although quite why the BBC felt the need to dignify such whinging by even acknowledging it, let alone apologise is another question entirely. 'This world famous international event is an established platform used by all of the major producers. UK fans can look forward to exclusive content over the next few months,' they concluded. When Matt Smith his very self was being interviewed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Wednesday, Craig asked if 'fans' who were not at Comic Con would be 'mad' for not seeing the trailer. No Craig, mate, the people we're talking about here are just 'mad' full stop. Smudger his very self apologised saying, 'Sorry to all of those who haven't seen the trailer.' Instead of telling them to grown-the-fuck-up as he should have. But, of course, Matt's far too nice for that. But, I'm not. Case in point, dear blog reader: Yer actual Keith Telly Topping was greatly amused by something he saw online the other day in which someone was complaining about how he (or she) had been 'robbed' on whole season of Doctor Who episodes, because of the various production blocks for series six and series seven being pushed back to accommodate things like the Olympics, Matt's appearance in Bert & Dickie, Moffat's work on Sherlock et cetera. Then, in the next sentence, the same person was also complaining about how Moffat's era of Doctor Who was 'terrible' and had raped his (or her) Dalek-lovin' chidlhood. Or something equally over dramatic and embarrassingly inane. So, in other words, this chap (or lady) was complaining about not getting more Doctor Who episodes, which they wouldn't have liked and would, in all probability, have spent considerable time complaining about to anyone that would listen (and, indeed, anyone that didn't want to). Err ... isn't that 'a negative reality inversion', or some such? These, dear blog reader, are The Special People. Look upon their works, ye mighty, and despair.
Keeley Hawes' Ashes To Ashes fur coat has been auctioned by the BBC, along with an entire Blue Peter studio set. The broadcaster has set up an online auction of props and other items from its old West London studios as part of a clear-out following their recent move, according to the Sun. Among the items up for grabs were Keeley's fur coat which went for five hundred and ten quid, as well as her co-star Philip Glenister's retro velvet-collared jacket. The biggest item was the entire Blue Peter set, including stage walls, chairs and a table with the show's logo, which opened at ten smackers and went to Sunderland University for two thousand three hundred and fifty quid. Other BBC treasures on sale at PP Auctions were a cardboard cut-out of Strictly Come Dancing hosts Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daley at a starting price of thirteen notes and cut-outs of Doctor Who's Daleks valued at twenty six knicker each. A replica of Red Dwarf robot Kryten's head also found itself in the sale, as did framed artwork, building signs, office furniture and parts of the canteen.
Meanwhile, BBC Worldwide have announced the release (at last!) of the Complete Doctor Who Series Seven Boxed Set on DVD and Blu-ray. It'll be out in Britain on 28 October 2013, two days after yer actual Keith Telly Topping's fiftieth birthday. 'Say farewell to the Ponds all over again,' runs the publicity blurb. 'Meet the enigmatic Clara for the first time - and the second, and the third. Face enemies new and old, follow The Doctor (yer actual Matt Smith his very self) to the one place he should never go, and learn the secret to a really great soufflé. With a cliffhanger ending that will leave fans breathless, this set arrives just in time to catch up before the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary special on 23 November and The Doctor’s regeneration in this year's Christmas Special. In the first part of series seven, the Ponds (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) make their final voyages with The Doctor. They save a spaceship full of dinosaurs, don Stetsons in the Wild West and are even kidnapped by the Doctor's oldest foe. But when they arrive in Manhattan the Weeping Angels are waiting for them - and the Doctor has to say goodbye to his companions forever. The 2012 Christmas special, The Snowmen, brings The Doctor a new friend (Jenna Coleman) in Victorian London - but has he already met her before? And, will she be able to pull him from his mourning in time to save London from the chilling menace that threatens it? The final eight episodes of series seven see The Doctor and his new companion battle monsters on distant alien planets, become trapped in a Russian submarine with a deadly passenger, chase terrifying ghosts, and come face-to-face with an army of upgraded Cybermen. When his friends are kidnapped, The Doctor and Clara are forced to visit the fields of Trenzalore, where the question that must never be answered is finally asked ... and The Doctor uncovers the secret of The Impossible Girl.' The set includes fourteen episodes, with audio commentaries for The Snowmen, Cold War, Hide and The Crimson Horror, various 'Prequels' shorts for The Doctor, The Widow & The Wardrobe (curiously, the 2011 Christmas episode itself is not included, which is a bit of a pisser frankly), Asylum Of The Daleks, The Snowmen, The Bells Of Saint John and The Name Of The Doctor, all of the episodes of Pond Life, the documentaries The Making of the Gunslinger, Creating Clara and behind the scenes featurettes for every episode. There's also Doctor Who in the US, Last Days of the Ponds, The Science of Doctor Who, The Companions and Doctor Who at Comic Con (possibly even including that trailer!) Start saving your pennies now, dear blog reader.

Dan Neal's eviction on Big Brother was watched by 1.66m crushed victims of society on Channel Five on Friday, according to overnight figures. Tragically, Big Brother's eviction ratings have continued to grow - marginally - for the second week. On BBC1, Nigel Slater's Dish of the Day appealed to 2.05m at 7.30pm, while athletics coverage from the London Anniversary Games pulled in an audience of 3.30m between 8.30pm and 10.45pm. A Would I Lie To You? repeat achieved 2.26m. BBC2 showed the athletics in the proceeding hour to 1.97m, after which Gardeners' World and a Springwatch special were watched by 1.80m and 1.64m respectively. A second showing of the comedy series The Trip - starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon- was broadcast to seven hundred and fifty thousand punters at 10pm. On ITV, Harbour Lives was seen by 2.82m at 8pm, while Doc Martin scored 3.16m at 9pm. Channel Four's Four Rooms secured five hundred and seventy thousand at 8pm, followed by Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown with 1.63m at 9pm. Jon Richardson: Funny Magnet had eight hundred and twenty thousand viewers at 10pm. Two episodes each of Family Guy and American Dad! from 11pm on BBC3 filled the first four slots in the multichannel ratings, with the 11.35pm episode reaching seven hundred and twelve thousand viewers. A repeat of EastEnders on BBC3 at 10.30pm took five hundred and forty one thousand.

Channel Five continued to have success in the primetime ratings on Thursday night, beating Channel Four with its combination of freak-show and bully-boy TV Big Brother and The Hotel Inspector. Big Brother achieved an audience of 1.44 million at 10pm, while The Hotel Inspector was seen by 1.48 million at 9pm. Channel Five had an average audience share of 5.62 per cent in primetime. Meanwhile, Channel Four could only muster 4.19 per cent. First Dates only brought in eight hundred and ninety three thousand at 9pm, while Catching A Killer: Crocodile Tears fared slightly better at 10pm with 1.09 million. On BBC1, Britain's Favourite Supermarket Foods brought in 3.02 million at 8pm, while Crimewatch brought in 3.24 million at 9pm on BBC1. Dara O'Briain's Science Club intrigued 1.32 million at 8pm on BBC2 and ITV's The Briefs attracted but 2.65 million at 9pm.

Kevin Pietersen remains in England's Ashes squad for the third test, but ongoing concerns over his fitness mean there is a recall for James Taylor. The Nottinghamshire right-hander played in two tests last summer against South Africa before being replaced by Yorkshire's Joe Root. Spinner Monty Panesar is also drafted in, along with Surrey pace bowler Chris Tremlett. Fellow seamers Steven Finn and Graham Onions have been left out. The third Test begins on Thursday at Old Trafford. Pietersen was hampered by a calf problem throughout the second test at Lord's and was unable to field in the second innings. The England and Wales Cricket Board asked for Taylor to play as a guest for Sussex in a three-day match against Australia and he pressed his claims with a stylish unbeaten sixty four. As England, who lead the series two-nil, look for a decisive victory in Manchester, Panesar could play in a home test for the first time in four years on a pitch that has a reputation for spin. Tremlett has not been involved with England for eighteen months due to injury. Selector Geoff Miller said that England would give Pietersen time to prove his fitness but feels Taylor would be an adequate replacement. He said: 'Kevin Pietersen is continuing his recovery from a calf strain and he will be assessed by the medical team closer to the start of the Test, and we have therefore included an extra batsman in James Taylor who has been in good form for Nottinghamshire this season. Chris Tremlett has worked hard to regain fitness and form following a couple of injuries and his performances for Surrey this season have been very encouraging. Including an additional spinner in Monty Panesar, who has plenty of international experience, provides Alastair Cook and Andy Flower with a number of options.' Former England batsman Mark Ramprakash has coached Taylor with the England Lions and is confident the Nottinghamshire man can make the step up. He told BBC Radio 5Live's Sportsweek programme: 'He's been very consistent and he merits his selection. Jamie's a very good player. He's small in stature and people have questioned whether he has the ability to play at Test level but there have been other great players in the past who have had smaller stature but he can do that and he's still only twenty three. He had that experience last summer and he'll be really hungry to get in there and make an impression.'
And so to yer actual Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 3 August
In the aftermath of Amador's murder, Gregory finds himself with limited options, and as the Bureau closes in, he makes a decision that leaves Elizabeth distressed in The Americans - 9:45 ITV. Meanwhile, Stan promises Nina he will find out who killed Vlad, and the Jennings deal with boundary issues in their separate parenting. Spy drama, starring Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich.

In A Tribute to Mel Smith - 10:10 BBC2 - Griff Rhys Jones his very self remembers his friend and former comedy partner Mel Smith, who died last week. Featuring a compilation of highlights from Alas Smith and Jones, the comedy sketch show that the duo starred in. That's followed, immediately, by a much-welcome repeat of Not Again: Not The Nine O'Clock News - 10:45 BBC2 - which tells the inside story of the anarchic comedy sketch show. It ran on BBC2 from 1979 to 1982 and launched the careers of Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, Griff Rhys Jones and the late Mel Smith, as well as writers including Richard Curtis, Andy Hamilton and Clive Anderson among others. This documentary reveals how the series first came about, looks at the casting of the four main players and the dynamic of the team, as well as recalling the show's key moments, its impact at the time and its legacy. Featuring interviews with Smith, Jones, Stephenson and Curtis, as well as producer John Lloyd and the likes of Billy Connolly and Dara O Briain.

Sunday 4 August
The latest series of Top Gear comes to a close - 8:00 BBC2 - which, obviously, is incredibly bad news for various odious, risible middle-class hippie Communists glakes at the Gruniad Morning Star and some thuggish bully-boy lice at the Daily Scum Mail since it'll give them nothing to whinge about on a Monday morning until the next series comes round. Jezza Clarkson drives the Jaguar F-Type sports car on some of Britain's finest roads. Richard Hammond jumps inside the new Range Rover Sport and gives it a thorough workout off-road, on a track and in what he believes is its most natural habitat - the lanes of Cheshire. Meanwhile, James May goes for a countryside adventure in the New Bus for London, which is propelled by a turbodiesel generator and a powerful electric motor. Inspired by the machines they have tested, the trio then meet to celebrate Britain's motor industry with a grand finale in front of Buckingham Palace.

Populist historian Dominic Sandbrook - who made the patchy- and-flawed-but-always-fascination The 70s last year - traces the history of ze Cherman automobile industry from post-Second World War revival through to global success, and explores the role Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have played in changing the global perception of Germany in Das Auto: The Germans, Their Cars and Us - 9:00 BBC2. Sounds like the perfect come-down for all petrolheads suffering immediate cold turkey-style trauma after Top Gear's finale beforehand. Dominic also examines the decline of the British car industry in the 1960s and, especially, the 1970s, as well as its recent resurgence due to takeovers by, ironically, German companies.

Another very welcome repeat is Alan Whicker's Journey of a Lifetime - 10:00 BBC4 - a four-part series in which the late broadcaster looked back on the highlights of his TV career, revisiting some of his most famous interviewees and favourite haunts. In the first edition, Alan travels to Venice, a city of massive significance to him and one close to his heart, to retrace his steps from soldier to journalist and his subsequent move into the then-fledgling world of television. This is, of course, being shown as a tribute to the broadcaster, who died earlier this month.
Monday 5 August
Postponed from last week because of the birth of the Royal sprog - which probably gives one a pretty fair idea of the priorities of somebody at the BBC - is the two-part Long Live Britain - 9:00 BBC1. Julia Bradbury, Phil Hammond and Phil Tufnell present the first of two programmes broadcast either side of the Ten O'Clock News raising awareness of type two diabetes (which yer actual Keith Telly Topping's just discovered he has as it happens, dear blog reader), heart disease and liver disease. The show comes from the Rugby Super League's Magic Weekend in Manchester, where hundreds of people undergo the nation's largest-ever combined health screening. Fifty NHS nurses and a team of doctors provide health checks for more than four hundred members of the public to find out if they are at risk of developing one of these preventable, but potentially deadly, conditions. At the same time, Phil examines a group of celebrities who could be at risk and when three of them receive some alarming results, they all agree to make some lifestyle changes. Can actress and singer Jodie Prenger, former EastEnders actor Ricky Grover and Benidorm's Crissy Rock turn their lives around? Using footballers and dustbins chained up with lard-encrusted locks to demonstrate how arteries get clogged up isn't subtle, but if it gets the message across, we shouldn't really argue.

The Billion Dollar Wreck Hunt - 8:00 Channel Five - is a documentary following the work of deep-water salvage company Odyssey Marine Exploration as it attempts to locate three shipwrecks and recover their treasure. In the first episode, Andrew Craig and his team set out on flagship vessel the RV Explorer to the wreck site of the SS Gairsoppa, a steamer sunk by a German submarine in 1941 that is reported to have been carrying silver bullion worth as much as one hundred and twenty million smackers.

Cute-faced-if-lispy historian Lucy Worsley (a regular feature on BBC thee days) examines the changing fortunes of the British monarchy by touring a selection of bedrooms once occupied by members of the Royal family in Tales from the Royal Bedchamber - 9:00 BBC4. Along the way, the presenter - in her usual, fey, rather wan but often highly impressive style - reveals the extent of our age-old obsession with Royal babies, weddings and successions - witnessed just last week following the birth of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's first child, George Ringo Louis Armstrong.
Tuesday 6 August
As the Gibraltar locals and shocked and stunned by the murder of shipping agent Gordon Fletcher, Brian and Gerry - last seen being carried off in a shipping container - find themselves stranded on the side of a Spanish mountain, and now face the problem of how to get back to the rest of the investigation team in the latest episode of the popular New Tricks - 9:00 BBC1. As Sandra attempts to unravel secrets stretching back over three decades and link what has now become three murders, she still has doubts about the innocence of the charming but suspicious millionaire entrepreneur Harry Truman. But, that doesn't stop her joining him for lunch on his luxury yacht. Conclusion of the two-part series opener, with regulars Amanda Redman, Alun Armstrong, Dennis Waterman and Denis Lawson joined by Vincent Regan and George Irving.

Stephen Fry's Key to the City - 9:00 ITV - sees the writer, broadcaster, Qi host and national treasure tour the City of London, discovering the hidden mysteries of this rich and powerful square mile. Because, of course, British television is - in no way what-so-bloomin'-ever far too Londoncentric. Oh no. Very hot water. Along the way, he visits the Bank of England's vaults, witnesses high drama at the London Metal Exchange as dealers buy and sell stocks, and experiences Dead Man's Walk at the Old Bailey, where many condemned criminals trod their final steps. Plus, as a recipient of the Freedom of the City of London, Stephen finds out just what privileges this gives him. Presumably the first in a whole series of such shows in which Stephen tours the country doing programmes on the hidden treasures of, say, Doncaster. Or Cleethorpes. I'm looking forward to when Stephen Fry's Key to the City visits South Shields, personally.

The acclaimed historian and broadcaster Michael Wood tells the story of King Alfred the Great, arguing that he and his descendants were England's most influential and important rulers in King Alfred and the Anglo Saxons - 9:00 BBC4. In the first episode, the presenter details Alfred and his motley army's desperate guerrilla war in Somerset against the Danes, and establishes how Alfred lay the foundations for a single kingdom of 'all the English'. Filmed in locations including Reading and Rome and with contributions by leading scholars. This, dear blog reader, is what yer actual Keith Telly Topping pays his licence fee for.

Wednesday 7 August
Gregg Wallace and John Torode invite another two famous faces, one soap b-lister and a miserable old hasbeen who used to be funny thirty years about ago to step into the kitchen and take on the culinary contest in the first of this week's Celebrity MasterChef - 8:00 BBC1. The (alleged) 'celebrity' cooks this time around are the actor and comedian John Thomson, triple jumper Phillips Idowu, the Corrie actress Denise Black and Adrian Edmondson, whom the publicity blurb describes as 'funny-man, presenter and musician.' Well, one out of three, anyway. Their aim is to make it to the end of the week in the top two. But first, they have several challenges to complete. Here they come face-to-face with a crocodile - one of the ingredients in the mystery box ('I want a crocodile sandwich and make it snappy' says Gregg Wallace. Don't give up the day job, Gregg mate) - attempt to recreate John's pappardelle with Indian spiced meatballs.Without a recipe. And feed one hundred and twenty hungry students at Kingston University.

Minnie Driver's parents were not married, but all the time they were together her father had a wife and another family as we discover in the latest Who Do You Think You Are? - 9:00 BBC1. The actress didn't know this family secret until she was older and now she embarks on a quest to learn more about her dad's background and the whole side of his life that she knew nothing about. She begins by discovering he was awarded a medal for his role in the Battle of Heligoland Bight during the Second World War - but why did he throw the medal away? Minnie's trail to unravel the mystery leads her to relatives she never knew existed, as well as a kindred spirit.

Arty Alastair Sooke heads to Venice with the historian Bendor Grosvenor to explore the art the city has to offer, with each putting forward the case for their favourite styles and periods in The Culture Show - 10:00 BBC2. Alastair is passionate about the contemporary art being exhibited at the Biennale, while Bendor prefers the work of the Renaissance masters who changed the very nature of painting, and landscape artists who dominated the Eighteenth Century.

Chris Lintott and Lucie Green visit the UK's space cluster in Oxfordshire, where a new breed of autonomous robot - the invasion force of the future - is being developed in The Sky At Night - 7:30 BBC4. They also report on NASA's space rover Curiosity, which has been exploring Mars for several months, taking data from a planet which might offer the best chance of life elsewhere in the solar system. Meanwhile, Jon Culshaw explores the Moore Moon Marathon with astronomers in Chipping Norton.
Thursday 8 August
The award-winning 2011 crime drama The Field Of Blood returns - 9:00 BBC1 - with another two-part story, set against the backdrop of the 1980s newspaper industry and the activities of the security services in Northern Ireland. Journalist Paddy Meehan attends a domestic disturbance involving a well-known human rights lawyer, and sees an opportunity for a scoop when the woman is found murdered the next morning. But her investigation brings conflict to the newsroom and puts both her and her colleagues in grave danger as powerful forces try to hide the truth. Jayd Johnson, the great David Morrissey, Katherine Kelly and Ford Kiernan star. Adapted from Denise Mina's The Dead Hour, the second in her series of Meehan novels. Concludes tomorrow and hugely recommended.

Shoplife - 9:00 BBC4 - is a six-part series following the lives of a number of 'young people' employed at the Metrocentre in Gatesheed, including drama graduate and confectionery shop worker Tom who, in tonight's episode, practises for the shopping mall's children's show The Metrognomes, in which he is the understudy for the lead role. Also featured is sales assistant David who must curb his partying ways or risk losing his job. And hairdresser Emma who is inspired after attending a training day.
The comedian Rhod Gilbert returns to try his hand at four new and varied professions, beginning with that of a wedding planner in Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience - 10:00 BBC2. His task is to organise the Hollywood-themed big day of a young couple from the Welsh Valleys - but the bride is not fond of surprises, so what will she make of his chaotic contributions to cake design, music selection, ice sculpture and celebrity recruitment?

Friday 9 August
In the conclusion of the two-part The Field Of Blood, Paddy knows her career is at risk as she confesses she took a bribe, and to make matters worse she and McVie need to verify their story with the help of the murder victim's missing sister - but only if they can find her before ruthless criminals Lafferty and Neilson. However, they do uncover a dirty tricks campaign against the miners' union, and despite the young reporter's success, she still faces hostility from editor-in-chief Maloney, who appears to have her own news agenda.
Here's the news, now: The broadcaster Andrew Marr is returning to his Sunday politics show in September, nine months after suffering a stroke. Marr spent two months in hospital, which was followed by months of physiotherapy to help him walk again. BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show has since been presented by a series of guest presenters, including Jeremy Vine and Sophie Raworth her very self. Marr will also be returning to present Radio 4's Start the Week later in the year. As The Andrew Marr Show prepared to take its summer break, Vine said: 'We're back on the first Sunday in September which this year is 1 September. And I'm delighted to say that Andrew will be back in the hot seat presenting the show himself.' In a statement, Marr said: 'I'm hugely looking forward to coming back and want to give it my all but recovering from a stroke does take time. We've taken the decision to start with the Sunday show in the autumn and I'm delighted to be returning to present Start the Week on Radio 4 later on in the year.' Economics editor the divine Goddess that is Stephanie Flanders will continue to present Start the Week, along with other guest presenters, until Marr returns. Three months after his stroke, Marr gave an interview to his own programme, in which he said: 'I'm frankly lucky to be alive.' He blamed the stroke on overworking and 'intense periods of exercise.' He said his voice and memory had been unaffected by the illness but the left side of his body was weakened.

Yer actual Jenna Coleman has suggested that Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary special is 'a transformation episode.' The actress - who joined the long-running popular BBC family SF drama last year - described the interaction between Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt's Doctors as 'great.' She told Access Hollywood: 'The whole episode is a massive celebration and it's kind of about celebrating the last fifty years of Doctor Who, with a massive team of us all thrown in there, but it's quite a transformation episode and it very much changes the direction of where the show is going in quite a big way. It's in the can and all the 3D and effects and everything like that is taking place as we speak.' Hurt was introduced as 'The Doctor' in the series seven finale The Name of the Doctor and Coleman claimed that the anniversary special will "explore' his character. 'He is The Doctor that no-one knew about,' said Jenna. 'He is The Doctor that's never talked about, not mentioned, and of course we're going to explore why and that story, and also see David's Doctor and Matt's Doctor and John's Doctor – the three of them interacting, which is great,"'she added,finally pausing for breath. The special will be Smith's penultimate episode before bowing out of the show at Christmas. The show's eighth series - the first featuring the twelfth Doctor (or, is it now the thirteenth?) - will be broadcast in 2014, with Coleman continuing to appear as Clara Oswald.

The Black Adder could return as a movie set in a German prisoner of war camp. But, it probably won't. Producer John Lloyd revealed that he and Rowan Atkinson have discussed reviving the character as a Second World War Prisoner of War in Colditz. And he said it could even tie into the classic The Deadly Attachment episode of Dad's Army where Walmington on Sea Home Guard platoon encountered a German submarine commander. However the idea remains just that at the moment. Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Lloyd said: 'Rowan and I had this great idea – because we're all getting a bit old now – of doing a Dad's Army; that they are a platoon in Walmington-on-Sea and they get kidnapped by a German submarine and taken to Colditz and they all have to escape. Tony Robinson is probably very nearly seventy now and it would be just about the right age, and I think quite funny, don't you?' He added: 'It'd make a good movie, don't you think?' Last year Atkinson performed a Twenty First Century version of his character, Sir Edmund Blackadder, chief executive of a bailed-out bank, in a live sketch at Prince Charles’s benefit gig We Are Most Amused. Previous talk of a fifth Blackadder series has usually concentrated on the team being a Sixties pop group, The Blackadder Five, with Robinson as the drummer, Bald Rick. Lloyd was on BBC1 to promote his Edinburgh Fringe show Liff Of Qi, here he reiterated his 'concerns' (for which read whinges) about over-cautious TV executives, saying broadcasters are now 'a bit concerned what everyone else thinks.'
Nick Knowles has revealed that he would like to pursue an acting career. Insert your own punchline here, dear blog reader.
Deal Or No Deal winner Andy Barker has been jailed for not declaring his winnings from the ChannelFour4 game show. Barker - who won thirty five thousand smackers on the popular series presented by The Beard Of Despair - was declared bankrupt in November 2011 and should have declared his winnings to authorities, the Sun reports. However, he reportedly chose to spend the money on holidays and jewellery over a period of three months. He was declared bankrupt with debts of over sixty one grand and should have declared his winnings to pay back his creditors. He will now face a thirteen-week prison sentence after someone to whom he owed money to watched his appearance on Deal Or No Deal and snitched him up to the rozzers like a Copper's Nark. 'What should have been a joyful moment has become a nightmare,' his barrister, Tim Pole, informed the court. Well, yes - coming face to face with Noel Edmonds, I can see how that might cause some sleepless nights. Department of Business Innovation chief investigations officer Glenn Wicks added: 'Bankruptcy rules are there for a reason. The courts take offences like these very seriously.' Barker appealed against his custodial sentence but failed to have the decision overturned when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court.

Emmerdale has received over one hundred complaints - from people with nothing better to do with their time - following Gennie Sharma's murder this week. The character, played by Sian Reese-Williams, was suffocated by Cameron Murray (played by Dominic Power) following a car crash on Thursday's episode. Ofcom received almost a hundred complaints over the scenes, while fifty were sent directly to ITV. Most thought the scenes were 'too graphic' to be shown before the 9pm watershed. The media watchdog is currently deciding whether to investigate the episode, which attracted around seven million viewers. An ITV spokesman said: 'This episode was the culmination of a very dramatic storyline which has been running for over a year. We made sure appropriate warnings were broadcast before the episode aired.' Emmerdale producer Kate Oates recently defended the murder scenes, explaining that the team was 'very aware of what we can and can't show.'

Filming on Channel Four's What Happens In Kavos has been suspended after the production crew were accused of 'exploiting holidaymakers.' Production company Dragonfly, which makes the show for the broadcaster, has pulled its twenty staff out of the Greek resort following claims that they were promised 'a special prize' for finding women having unprotected sex. A production memo which the Sun claims to have eyeballed detailed the 'key stories' the crew should 'look out' for, which included women who 'take the morning after pill as a form of contraception', cheating couples, gay men 'converting' straight men to their gay ways and 'people having one night stands.' They should come round Stately Telly Topping on a Saturday night, frankly, all of those are weekly occurrences amongst the locals. Staff were also allegedly 'encouraged' to return to apartments at the end of the night to film those who were 'successful with pulling.' Dragonfly boss Simon Dickson said: 'We have apologised to Channel Four and halted production so we can regroup the team in London, investigate and fully understand how this happened.' What Happens In Kavos was renewed for a second series by Channel Four earlier this year after getting what were described as 'strong' ratings. A Channel Four spokeswoman added: 'We strongly refute any allegation that storylines are constructed or that any contributors are exploited. As is made clear in the document the crew seek full and appropriate permissions from venues and contributors when filming. Channel Four does not condone the deeply inappropriate references to casting in the What Happens In Kavos production notes. We have recalled the team to remind them of the standards of behaviour we expect from suppliers to Channel Four.'

Nigella Lawson - she has her knockers - is threatening to extremely sue a London PR executive who published a blog claiming that the pictures of her being grabbed by the neck by her estranged husband Charles Saatchi were 'staged for publicity purposes.' Lawson's law firm, the very scary Schillings, has written to Richard Hillgrove demanding that he remove the post which, it said, include statements that she 'wilfully misled the public, acquaintances and others by knowingly orchestrating an "assault" as a cynical PR exercise.' Schillings said Hillgrove's blog also claims that Lawson was 'feigning distress' over the assault, something it added is 'entirely untrue and grossly defamatory.' The Schillings letter to Hillgrove has demanded that he 'immediately' remove the post and the tweet linking to the post. They also demanded an 'immediate publication of an apology"'on his Twitter account. 'Failure to act swiftly will only aggravate the damage,' said the letter. Hillgrove, who runs his own company, Hillgrove PR, said that he has 'no intention' of removing the post and is prepared to go to court. 'I assume I'm going to be libel action, but I think it's grossly unfair the way he [Saatchi] has been treated,' he said. He has already received two letters from Lawson's lawyers but said: 'Most media commentators have had lots to say and have not been asked to take it down. This is a gross over-reaction. Why should I be crushed and threatened?' He claimed that he has 'not spoken' to Saatchi about the incident. Saatchi and Lawson announced that they were divorcing earlier this month, just weeks after the pictures showing him with his hand around her throat during a row at Scott's restaurant in Mayfair appeared in the People. In a statement to a newspaper Saatchi said he was 'disappointed' that Lawson was advised to make no public comment to explain that he abhorred violence of any kind against women and that he has never abused her physically in any way.

The BBC foreign correspondent Jon Leyne has died in London at the age of fifty five. One of the BBC's most experienced journalists, Leyne covered wars and unrest in many regions over the past three decades. He joined the BBC in 1985, and worked as UN correspondent in the early 1990s before serving around Europe and the Middle East, as well as in Washington. In recent years, Jon covered the Libyan uprising against Colonel Gaddafi and the Egyptian revolution. Acting Director BBC News Fran Unsworth said: 'Jon was a brave and courageous journalist in the best traditions of the BBC. He had an insatiable curiosity and told complex stories in an engaging and accessible way.' In 2001, Leyne was US state department correspondent and close to the Pentagon when the building was attacked from the air on 11 September. In the following years he travelled the world covering the journeys of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell. Leyne was appointed correspondent in Jordan and covered the 2006 conflict between Israel and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. While working in Iran during the 2009 elections, he was asked to leave within twenty four hours by the Tehran authorities who accused Britain in general and the BBC in particular of 'meddling in internal affairs.' That's 'reporting the news' to me and you. Earlier this year, Jon ended his Cairo posting early after suffering from severe headaches. He returned to Britain for treatment and was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

The world's oldest football clubs will go head-to-head in Derbyshire to celebrate the first derby match ever to be played. Sheffield FC and Hallam FC first clashed on 26 December 1860 with the match played under new rules drawn up by the founders of Sheffield FC. The so-called 'Sheffield Rules' became the basis of the modern game, introducing elements such as throw-ins and corner kicks. Organisers said that the event was to 'celebrate the heritage of football.' Chairman of Sheffield FC Richard Tims said: 'Sheffield FC were founded in 1857 and we played amongst ourselves for three years, married gentleman against unmarried gentleman et cetera. 'Three years later we pursued another cricket club to form a football club which was Hallam FC and we played them in a challenge match and the oldest derby has been continuing ever since.' Tims said that fans from all over the world were attending the match at Sheffield FC's home ground in Dronfield on Saturday. 'In fact we've got fifty four Nuremberg fans coming, some guys from Munich, some guys from Genoa. People who love Sheffield FC because we are the great-great grandfathers,' he added. Hallam FC was founded in 1860 and still play at their original ground at Sandygate Road. The site is the Guinness World Record holder for being the oldest football ground in the world.

Exeter City will play Fluminense next July to mark the centenary of the club facing Brazil in what was the five-times World Cup winners' first-ever representative match. The game will be staged on 20 July at Estadio das Laranjeiras in Rio, where the original game took place. That is only one week after the 2014 World Cup concludes just four miles away at the Maracana Stadium. 'We're happy to make the announcement. It hasn't been easy,' Exeter City vice-chairman Julian Tagg told BBC News. 'To get to this point has taken three years of planning. We've always been desperate to get a game on to commemorate the match one hundred years ago.'
The two sides will wear replica kits from the game a century earlier, which finished in a two-nil win for Brazil, and kick-off with the original ball. Exeter travelled to South America in 1914 for a series of games after being chosen by the Football Association as a 'representative' English team. The Grecians played three matches in Brazil, winning their first two games, against an English expatriate side and a Rio team, but the final game was against a team made up of the country's best players resulted in defeat. Fluminense, who have undertaken to finance City's trip to Brazil, will try to include 'guest' players from other clubs in Brazil to try to replicate the original fixture. It is not yet known when tickets for the fixture will go on sale, but Exeter are currently looking at potential travel packages for some of their fans. 'We're confident there will be more than enough tickets available for Exeter fans but that's a bit of an unknown conundrum because, at this stage, nobody quite knows what the demand is like to be,' said Tagg. As to the outcome of next year's match, he added: 'We don't really mind what the score is - as long as we win.'

The Internet was uqite literally a-buzzin' over the weekend with the story of a naïve Virginia Tech mascot who contacted Sub Pop records in hopes of receiving 'a video message from Nirvana' for her school's homecoming week. The letter was, seemingly, written by someone who wasn't aware that Kurt Cobain is, you know, a bit dead. Or, indeed, the fact that Nirvana wasn't a person (the band was referred to in the letter as 'she'). On Saturday, the legendary Seattle label decided to help the student out by providing a video of a makeshift Nirvana, which featured Mudhoney's Mark Arm.

The great American singer-songwriter JJ Cale had died of heart attack at the age of seventy four. An announcement on his personal website said that he had died at a hospital in La Jolla, California, on Friday. Born in Oklahoma, Cale helped to create The Tulsa Sound, which combined blues, rockabilly and country. He became famous in 1970, when Eric Clapton covered his song 'After Midnight'. In 1977 Clapton also popularised Cale's 'Cocaine'. The two guitarists worked together on a CD which won a Grammy award in 2008. Born in 1938, John Weldon Cale adopted the name JJ Cale to avoid being confused with John Cale of The Velvet Underground. Building up on the success of 'After Midnight', he recorded Naturally - the first of his 14 studio LP. He pioneered the use of drum machines and was famous for his personal laid-back singing style. However Cale always described himself as a songwriter rather than a singer, and his songs tended to enjoy greater success when performed by others - notably Tom Petty, Santana and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Therefore, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a little bit of the JJ oeuvre. Smokin'.

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