Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Hustle, Baby, Will Drive You Crazy

Yer actual Bill Nighy has confirmed that he turned down the lead role in Doctor Who. The actor was an early favourite to play the Time Lord when the BBC revived the popular family SF drama in 2005, prior to Christopher Eccleston's casting. 'I won't tell you when, because the rule is that you are not allowed to say you turned that job down because it's disrespectful to whoever did it,' Nighy told the Daily Scum Express. However, he continued, 'I will say that I was approached. But I didn't want to be The Doctor. No disrespect to Doctor Who or anything, I just think that it comes with too much baggage.' Nighy made a guest appearance on Doctor Who in 2010, playing the art expert Doctor Black in the episode Vincent And The Doctor - written by Richard Curtis.

New Tricks continued to dominate the Tuesday overnight ratings for BBC1, pulling in the largest overnight audience of the night. The long-running crime drama series had an audience of 6.9 million at 9pm for its latest episode. Later, the documentary Football's Suicide Secret attracted 1.2 million at 10.45pm. On BBC2, the conclusion of the sitcom Count Arthur Strong was watched by eight hundred and sixteen thousand punters at 8pm, while the latest episode of Chris O'Dowd's Family Tree had five hundred and twenty two thousand at 10pm. ITV picked up 3.1 million at 8pm for risible Love Your Garden, whilst a repeat of The Secret Life of Dogs, a last minute replacement for the scheduled programme On The Run, was watched by but 1.8 million at 9pm. Channel 's Four documentary You're Killing My Son: The Mum That Went On The Run pulled in 1.12 million at 9pm, while Channel Five achieved 1.3 million for the latest CSI: NY. Big Brother continued in its final full week with 1.2 million at 10pm. King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons was a surprise - but very welcome - hit on BBC4 with seven hundred and fifty three thousand at 10pm, while New Girl is proving to be quite popular on E4 with five hundred and forty thousand tuning in for the latest episode.
Daytime quiz show Fifteen To One is making an initial one-off comeback – with the excellent Adam Hills as host. It is being revived as part of a weekend of programming on Channel Four devoted to the Eighties. Yer actual Keith telly Topping once appeared on Fifteen To One back in the early 1990s, dear blog reader. He got to the last three but then blew it on a question on National Insurance. The irony of which was not lost on yer actual Keith Telly Topping as he was working for the Department of Employment at the time. Yeah, yeah, what y'gonna do? Anyway, the show originally ran from 1988 to 2003, with William G Stewart asking the questions. It's been reported that the comeback, on 20 September, could pave the way for a full series. The Australian comedian and broadcaster Hills - a particular favourite of this blogger - whose Edinburgh Fringe run of his stand-up show Happyism starts this, has become one of the faces of Channel Four since the success of his show The Last Leg. He was also recently interviewed on the BBC's Test Match Special about his love of cricket which, if you haven't heard it, is well worth half an hour of your time.' Alan Carr is also taking part in The Eighties Weekend, with a Chatty Man special 'interviewing stars from the decade.' At least, the ones that haven't been arrested under Operation Yewtree, anyway. There will be a second Big Fat Quiz Of The Eighties. Jimmy Carr (who is, to be fair, sometimes quite funny ... in small doses) hosted the first last year, when guests included the thoroughly odious Adam Buxton (who isn't funny at all), shouting cockney geezer Micky Flanagan (who really isn't funny at all ) and Jason Manford (who's, actually, a right good laugh).

Fiona Bruce might seem to be the personification of politeness and poise – but she has revealed that she sometimes has to 'bite her tongue' when people bring obviously worthless artifacts along to BBC1's Antiques Roadshow. That notoriously impartial and fair organ of the media the Daily Scum Express reports that Fiona told Woman's Weekly ahead of the new series: 'Sometimes a person asks: "Is this pottery very old?" One might think that the fact that it's got "dishwasher proof" stamped on the bottom is a clue but this isn't the kind of show where hopes are dashed. Even when someone's dug up something in the garden which they hope is valuable and I'm thinking: "If they had the other half it might be" – the experts go out of their way not to hurt their feelings.'
Former Made In Chelsea-person Kimberley Garner (no, me neither I'm afraid) is reportedly being sued by Agent Provocateur for design infringement. The British lingerie and swimwear company filed a lawsuit after it deemed designs from the reality regular's new 'swimwear collection' were too similar to its own. The retailer claims that the model's eighty five quid Monaco swimwear from her Kimberley London label infringes on the design of its popular Mazzy bikini.

The first trailer for BBC1's new 'dark whodunnit' series What Remains has been unveiled. David Threlfall. Russell Tovey, Stephen Mackintosh and David Bamber are among the show's cast. The plot centres on the arrival of Michael (played by Tovey) and Vidya (Amber Rose Revah) at their new flat in Coulthard Street to prepare for the arrival of their first baby. After discovering a leak in the flat, the couple stumble upon a decomposed body in one of the other flats, believed to be the resident of flat five. Detective Len Harper (Threlfall) is called in to investigate the dead body, one week before his retirement. He tries to discover why nobody noticed the disappearance of the resident and who is holding secrets about the death. Sounds good - and it's a terrific cast. What Remains will debut at the end of August on BBC1.

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self had an 8:30am appointment at the local medical centre on Wednesday, dear blog reader. Nothing to worry about, it's just a follow up now that yer actual Keith Telly Topping has been diagnosed with type two diabetes. He's a lovely chap, my doctor. Chris, he's called. He was also Mama Telly Topping's doctor and this blogger has, sort of, inherited him by default. In fact, it could be argued that he's too nice since all the old dears in the locale love him so much it's virtually impossible to get a bloody appointment with the bloke less than a fortnight in advance. anyway, he gave Keith Telly Topping some dermatological cream for a nasty little skin rash on Keith Telly Topping's calf, sorted out a repeat prescription for ibuprofen®™ and then we talked for a while about of diabetes-type things. About Keith Telly Topping's daily cycle exploits on Gillian (whom he'd already been out on first thing in the morning before the appointment), the weekly swimming and the increased walking and the fact that Keith Telly Topping lost nearly a stone in weight when he saw the nurse last week. So, Keith telly topping got weighed again - I don't want to get obsessive about this but I thought, since I was there ... Another four pounds down since last time, dear blog reader! 'You're doing fantastically well,' Chris said. 'Don't get discouraged if you find you've hit a wall at some stage.' He explained that there will reach a point where some of the fat starts to develop into muscle. 'You might find your weight actually goes back up for a while' he said but added that was normal. Then we got to the fun part. 'There's a couple of questions Steph didn't ask you last time, possibly because she was embarrassed,' he said. 'They're things that we have to ask everyone with diabetes so don't worry. Do you have any problems with erections?' 'Only when I turn over in bed and smack it against the wall,' Keith Telly Topping replied. Chris smiled, wanly, like this was the first time he'd ever heard that one. 'It usually depends on the circumstances,' this blogger continued . 'Such as?' 'Well, give me ten minutes on the Internet, for instance. Or in the company of the Big Dirty Woman. Or a quick skim through the latest issue of Spank Monthly and I'm usually all right in that department.' Again, Chris smiled, with a sort of 'oh yes, he's a comedian, I'd forgotten' look on his boat. 'I only mention this because some diabetes medication can cause erectile problems and should you have any, there are pills which can help,' he said rather like someone trying to explain quantum physics to a particularly thick five-year-old. Keith Telly Topping - thankfully - resisted the urge to say that he'd heard about those sort of pills but, usually, didn't you have you to get them from some dodgy-looking Russian website? Instead, he merely noted that, given the state of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's sex life over the last couple of decades, it really wasn't anything worth worrying about - for him or for me. We both smiled, as manly men do when discussing such things. And, then he asked Keith Telly Topping for a urine sample. I ask you, dear blog reader, could you perform after such a build up?

Whitechapel will be returning in the autumn for its fourth series on ITV and the first trailer for the latest episodes has been unveiled. Series four will comprise three two-part stories, with the show's leading trio - Rupert Penry-Jones, Phil Davis and Steve Pemberton - all back for the latest run. Pemberton - who plays Edward Buchan - has written the second two-parter. Whitechapel debuted in 2009, pulling in overnight ratings of up to eight million viewers for the series concerning a Jack The Ripper copycat. It was very good - albeit, the high ratings had, at least something, to do with the fact that the entire country was under two foot of snow for at least two of the episodes. The ratings average for the - much poorer - second series was 6.5 million, while the most recent third run - something of a return to form and broadcast last year - saw a rise to seven million. Executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle has suggested that the fourth series will 'reach new thrilling depths.'
The Daily Torygraph is facing calls to apologise over an article which described an Australian cricketer's inclusion in the country's test team as an 'experiment with their Asian immigrant population.' The phrase was branded 'disgusting' and 'disgraceful' by some readers after it appeared online and in Tuesday's paper in an article by cricket correspondent Scyld Berry. The online version of the article was later amended to remove the passage, which read in the paper: 'Usman Khawaja will be roasted for the limp defensive prod that he aimed at Graeme Swann when Australia were one hundred and forty seven for one. He could well be replaced in the Oval test by Phil Hughes and Australia's experiment with their Asian immigrant population will be shelved.' Khawaja, the Pakistan-born Australian batsman, moved to the country with his parents when he was a small child. Commenters on the Torygraph website were quick to complain about the phrase, but the backlash gained further momentum overnight after it was picked up by online forums in Asia. 'Totally disgusting comment from Berry regarding Usman Khawaka. Which will no doubt be edited by the Telegraph editors,' said one commenter on the Torygraph site. Another said: 'That's a disgraceful comment about Khawaja.' Some Twitter users called on the Torygraph to apologise to the twenty six-year-old Australian batsman. Melinda Farrell, a freelance sports journalist working for Australian TV network ABC, tweeted: 'Appalled by report in the Telegraph in Eng [sic] re Usman Khawaja re "Australia's experiment with their Asian immigrant population." IRRELEVANT!' The phrase surprised some in the cricket community, who believed it to be an unfortunate attempt by Berry, a normally well-regarded cricket correspondent, to make a wider point about the lack of diversity in Australian test cricket. Because, of course, the only alternative to that would be the suggestion that the Torygraph is an odious right-wing rag that indulges in Little Englander colonialist attitudes and casual racism on a daily basic and I don't think anyone seriously believes that. That's more the Daily Scum Mail's bag. The Torygraph's the newspaper of a much classier level of snob. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping has to confess, dear blog reader, that on the very odd occasions he buys a national newspaper these days - and it is, literally, once in a blue moon - the Torygraph would tend to be the one he goes for. Not on political grounds of course, they're all bastard twat-scum in the regard, but it's simply the best written otu of all of them. It certainly pisses all over the Gruniad and the Indi.

ITV is reported to be 'pushing' Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads to make a return to judging The X Factor, as the fifty million quid negotiations to renew contracts relating to the talent show 'hot up.' Mind you, this is according to the Gruniad Morning Star, so it's almost certainly a load of old bastard toot. The three-year contract between ITV, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's production company Syco and co-producers Fremantle for his shows – specifically The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent – expires at the end of this year. ITV is said to be keen to sign new contracts for both (desperate might be a better word, actually), but the Gruniad claim that they want Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads to commit to return and help boost the British X Factor's fortunes. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads stopped judging the British show in 2011 to focus on building an American version of The X Factor, which is broadcast on billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's FOX network. However, the US show has struggled to make a major impact against its rival American Idol. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads' PR spokesman, Max Clifford - taking a bit of time off from the eleven historic indecent assault charges he currently faces (charges which, of course, it is important to note, he strenuously denies) said: 'Obviously, everybody to do with the show wants Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads because he gives it an extra quality, we understand that, but with his commitments over there he simply can't be in two places at once.' However, the ten-year-old X Factor is, the Gruniad claims, 'starting to show its age with the lowest audience since 2006 tuning in to watch James Arthur win last year's finale.' The show is still the biggest on British television in terms of sheer audience profile, easily trumping the BBC's rival The Voice. Nevertheless, ITV chiefs are said to be 'aware' that Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads his very self could be a key catalyst in turning around the drop in viewing figures. One alleged 'insider' alleged claimed that Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads would be 'more likely' to return if ratings for the forthcoming third series of the US X Factor fell, which would potentially put the show in danger of cancellation. This would free-up Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads' schedule, but it would also mean that it could be mid-autumn before ITV would learn of the media mogul's intentions as the show returns to FOX on 11 September. It is understood that Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads earns around one hundred thousand smackers an episode, but ITV would be keen to reduce his fee and the overall production costs according to the Gruniad. The broadcaster's hand has been strengthened since the last three-year deal was signed as the previously-impregnable Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads has had disappointing ratings for Red or Black? and the disastrous ones for the cookery show Food Glorious Food, both Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads conceits. However, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's shows still form the backbone of ITV's entertainment schedule and, frankly, they're pretty much fucked without them. 'ITV in a way can't do without BGT or X Factor,' an alleged 'insider' allegedly said. 'It's a question of who is feeling more vulnerable.' It is thought that ITV will sign a deal for The X Factor, it can make as much as one hundred million smackers a season in advertising revenue and sponsorship, but that if talks to guarantee Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads' appearance falter, it could look to offer reduced terms such as a two-year contract. Also due to expire is ITV's golden handcuffs deal with its star presenters, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly. The pair are in a strong position going into negotiations, Saturday Night Takeaway and I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) both continue to perform strongly, and a renewal is expected to be a much more straightforward process. They are reportedly on between eighty and ninety thousand knicker a show and have set up a new production company Mitre Television.

The BBC, meanwhile, has played down speculation that Sir Tom Jones is about to quit The Voice. As if anybody actually cares.

Sky News cameraman Mick Deane has been shot dead in Egypt. He was fatally wounded on Wednesday whilst covering the ongoing violence in Cairo. The rest of his team were unhurt. Head of Sky News John Ryley said: 'Everyone at Sky News is shocked and saddened by Mick's death. He was a talented and experienced journalist who had worked with Sky News for many years.' He added: 'The loss of a much-loved colleague will be deeply felt across Sky News. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family. We will give them our full support at this extremely difficult time.' Deane was married and had two sons. Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall called Deane 'a friend, brave as a lion but what a heart. What a human being.' He added: 'Micky was humorous in a dry way, he was wise and when you're on the road with small teams, people like that are diamonds to be with. Our hearts go out to his family. He died doing what he'd done so brilliantly for decades.'
The Sun's Whitehall editor, Clodagh Hartley, has denied conspiracy to misconduct in public office in relation to a charge brought under Operation Elveden. Hartley and a member of the public, Marta Bukarewicz, pleaded not guilty to the single charge in a hearing at the Old Bailey in central London on Wednesday. Both Hartley and Bukarewicz were arrested last year as part of Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden inquiry into alleged payments to public officials. A former consumer affairs and home affairs reporter, Hartley became the Sun's first female lobby correspondent in 2009 after a stint working in Los Angeles for the paper.

Ryanair is to sue Channel Four over a Dispatches programme about safety concerns at the no-frills airline. The Dispatches episode, Ryanair: Secrets From The Cockpit, was broadcast on Monday and featured anonymous pilots raising concerns about the airline's fuel policy. 'Ryanair has instructed its lawyers to issue legal proceedings against Channel Four [and] Dispatches for defamation and Ryanair looks forward to this matter being resolved in the courts and the safety of Ryanair's operations being thoroughly vindicated,' said a Ryanair spokesman. The programme detailed three incidents in which Ryanair pilots allegedly had to call in emergency alerts because they were low on fuel. Ryanair said that the incidents in question happened 'due to bad weather' and that the aircraft 'complied fully with EU regulations.' The programme also highlighted a survey by the Ryanair Pilot Group which found safety concerns among one thousand pilots and first officers. Almost ninety per cent of respondents claimed that the company's safety culture was 'non-transparent', while two-thirds said they felt uncomfortable raising safety issues according to the programme. The company added: 'Ryanair rejected the false and defamatory claims made by the Channel Four's Dispatches programme which, wrongly, impugn and smear Ryanair's outstanding twenty nine-year safety record based on nothing more than anonymous hearsay claims made by individuals whose identity was concealed, and/or by representatives of pilot unions of Ryanair's competitor airlines masquerading as a non-Ryanair Pilot Group.' In response, Channel Four said 'we stand by our journalism.' So, see you in court, then. Big fight, little people. Michael O'Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, has previously said that he believes the Dispatches programme to be 'unfair and inaccurate', claiming it is an attempt by European pilot unions and its competitors to 'smear' Ryanair.

Jeff Anderson, the editor of BBC1's Watchdog, is to move into a new role heading daytime production for a portfolio of shows including Bargain Hunt and Flog It. Anderson, who was founding editor of ITV's Tonight with Trevor McDonald in 1999, joined the Anne Robinson-fronted BBC consumer affairs programme in 2010. He officially takes the new title of head of daytime production for BBC Factual Production and will be responsible for two hundred hours of programming output. 'As editor of Watchdog for the past three years, Jeff has demonstrated his particular skill in blending impeccable journalism with a populist touch,' said Natalie Humphreys, controller of BBC Factual Production. Alan Holland will take up the role of acting editor of Watchdog while a recruitment process is conducted. When Anderson joined Watchdog, he followed in the footsteps of his brother, Steve, who edited the show in the late 1990s.

The advertising watchdog has banned a Sky TV campaign starring yer actual Bruce Willis, ruling that the use of small print to explain pricing of its broadband service was misleading. The advert, made by the agency WCRS, showed the actor entering an office complaining about the speed of his broadband service. In the advert a - rather flirty female - character says: 'You could try Sky Broadband, it's totally unlimited. Sky Broadband Unlimited is £7.50 a month, which is less than half BT's standard price.' Later in the advert, further information is provided, noting that 'Sky Talk and line rental (£14.50) required' to get the deal. A viewer made a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority claiming that the advert was misleading because it did not make clear the extent of the commitment consumers had to make in order to get the broadband service at £7.50. Sky said the advert made its pricing clear and was 'not confusing' to 'the average viewer.' Whatever that's supposed to mean. Specifically, the company stated that the only commitment a consumer needed to make to get Sky Broadband Unlimited was to take a Sky line rental, which came with an inclusive Sky Talk Weekends call package costing £14.50 a month. Sky said that it was not required for consumers to take Sky TV. The ASA disagreed and criticised Sky for using small print to advertise its price claim of £7.50, saying it would have been 'more appropriate' to use a voice-over. The ASA also took issue with the fact that the text advertising the price claim was only present for fifteen seconds in the advert and not throughout. Finally, it ruled that the advert was confusing as it did not make clear the commitment required by consumers, adding: 'We considered that the minimum monthly price of both Sky TV and line rental should have been clearly communicated together with the £7.50 price claim.' The ASA banned Sky from running the advert again. Which will, presumably, piss them off big-style as Bruce Willis doesn't come cheap. I mean, look at their latest one, they're using Jeff Stelling instead. Much cheaper.

Channel Four has announced the details of its Real Sex Season, a selection of shows examining how 'pornography is affecting our lives and sex lives' in 2013. Which makes a change because that's usually the job of Channel; Five's owner, soft-core pornographer Richard Desmond. The broadcaster claims that it is 'looking into whether' ever-increasingly accessible porn is 'damaging' and if 'young people' are growing up being 'hard-wired for porn.' Ignoring the fact that young people (particularly young males) have pretty much always been obsessed with porn. What's that great line from The West Wing? 'Show the average American teenage male a condom and his mind will turn to thoughts of lust,' to which Toby replies: 'Show the average American teenage male a lug wrench and his mind'll turn...' Or, indeed Xander's reply to Cordy's question of whether looking at guns makes him want to have sex: 'I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex!' Shows will include Porn On The Teenage Brain, a documentary looking at the effects of pornography on teenagers which is presented by former lads' mag editor Martin Daubney, and The Week The Women Came - so many potential jokes, so little time - a show about a group of women teaming up in the pursuit of 'more satisfying sex.' The press release for the series claims that 'with regular therapy sessions and "homework" to carry out with their partners, each woman will embark on a journey of sexual reawakening to confront her loss of libido or inability to orgasm head-on.' Or, they can just do the sensible thing and buy a vibrator instead. Date My Porn Star will feature three men meeting their 'favourite adult stars to see if they can still distinguish between reality and fantasy' and it will also look at 'the mechanics of the adult industry from the casting couch to those who are "gay for pay."' Virgins will feature a selection of young people discussing what it's like to be a virgin in 2013 with pornography 'hanging over them' - once again, so many potential jokes ... - and The Golden Rules of Porn is described as 'a tongue-in-cheek look at blue movies.' 'The aim of this season is to get a healthy perspective on sex,' said Channel Four's head of sex, Ralph Lee. 'We live in a world where pornography, fantasy and fetish are being considered the norm by many and we want to be very un-British and talk about what really goes on in Britain's bedrooms.'

Sky Sports News's roving be-'tasche'd reporter yer actual Nick Collins fell arse over tip live on-air outside Wembley Stadium on Wednesday evening. If you didn't catch it at the time,dear blog reader, I urge you to check it out the link. It's bloody hilarious, so it is! That one's going to be turning up on It'll Be Alright On The Night from now till doomsday. Collins was, apparently, standing on a step-ladder at the time of his, ahem, fall from grace. No one seems entirely certain as to why he was standing on a step-ladder (although, presumably, it was so that the director could get the stadium in a head-shot behind Collins's ugly mush). Some might regard the conceit of doing a live report whilst standing on a step-ladder as - how shall we put this as nicely as possible? - asking for bloody trouble. Collins, speaking before the England versus Scotland friendly, was doing a report on the likely team line-ups when he suddenly disappeared out of shot with a loud clatter and, then, a muffled crunch. It's really hard to describe that, dear blog reader, without sniggering. 'Now that's the kind of thing that you hope never happens to you on live television,' said the anchor-man (and prime arsehole) Jim White unsympathetically when Sky Sports News hurriedly cut back to him in the studio. 'But it obviously happened to Nick there. We shall go back to Wembley just as soon as Nick Collins tells us he's okay and fit to broadcast. Stay with us.' Needless to say the clip has, subsequently, gone viral. Whether Collins sustained any injuries during the incident - apart from wounded pride, that is - no one seems certain about; or, indeed, much cares to be honest. He works for Sky, after all. But, England won the game 3-2 so, that's all right.

Seven people have been charged with match-fixing by the International Cricket Council and another two - including the Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens - have been charged for not reporting corruption in the game. The alleged offences took place during the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League. The ICC said the charges 'relate to an alleged conspiracy within the Dhaka Gladiators franchise to engage in match-fixing and spot-fixing activity.' Those charged with fixing offences have been provisionally suspended. All nine people charged have fourteen days to respond to the allegations made against them. 'The evidence uncovered is a grave reminder of the need for the sport to remain vigilant against the continuing threat of corruption,' said ICC chief executive David Richardson. 'It is also for players and support personnel to take personal responsibility for protecting the integrity of the game.' The punishment for match-fixing offences ranges from a minimum five-year suspension up to life, while failure to report an approach carries an upper limit of a five-year ban. The charges are a result of alleged incidents uncovered by the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit. The Bangladesh Cricket Board asked the ACSU to monitor the second edition of the BPL, a Twenty/20 tournament which took place in February and March this year. The ICC said the identities of the nine charged will not be revealed until the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings. However, former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful asked for forgiveness 'for all the wrong-doings that I have committed' as the ACSU investigation was taking place. The twenty nine-year-old added he had 'come clean to the ICC investigating team and co-operated with them completely.' 'I have not been involved in any corrupt activity and have not been charged with any,' said Stevens. 'I am co-operating with the ICC in their investigation and prosecution of the corruption charges.' The thirty seven-year-old added: 'I am totally against any corruption in cricket and would never do anything other than perform to the best of my ability in any game.'

Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has said that he is 'worried' about delays at five stadiums still being built for next year's football World Cup. Rebelo said the pace of construction 'must be accelerated' if the venues are to be ready by December. Brazil has seen two months of protests against corruption and overspending in the preparation for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Only one of the six stadiums under construction is currently on schedule. The opening match venue in Sao Paulo is eighty per cent complete and is expected to be ready by the end of the year, as demanded by the World Cup organisers, FIFA. There are bigger concerns over the pace of work at the arenas being built in Manaus, Curitiba, Cuiaba, Porto Alegre and Natal, which are between seventy and eighty per cent ready. 'This must be seen as a warning. We cannot keep on the same rhythm, or we will not deliver them on time,' said Rebelo. 'It is possible to intensify. We are able to meet the deadlines, but it should be noted that it will require us to speed up the construction.' He warned that no extra government funds would be given to construction companies to have the work finished on time. 'There will be no budget increase, because, for example, instead of paying ten workers during two months, you can pay twenty to work for thirty days,' Rebelo explained. The World Cup will be played in twelve stadiums across the country. The opening match is due to take place at a brand-new venue being built in the outskirts of Sao Paulo on 12 June. The final is scheduled for the 13 July in country's most famous football stadium, the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Six of the World Cup venues were put to test in June during the Confederations Cup, won by Brazil with a 3-0 victory over world champions Spain. FIFA has previously said that the World Cup will go ahead in Brazil as planned. 'The first game will happen in Sao Paulo, the final will be in Rio. There is no plan B,' said FIFA general-secretary Jeremy Valcke during the Confederations Cup.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a top bit of yer actual Hi Tension.

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