Friday, August 09, 2013

The Latest Trend

Global ratings are now available for last weekend’s broadcast of Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, with the BBC estimating over 1.5 million fans around the world joined the 6.3 million viewers who watched the show in Britain. In the United States, BBC America reported just under nine hundred thousand total viewers for the show which was broadcast at 2pm Eastern Time. This made it the highest telecast ever outside of primetime among the twenty five to fifty four years age group demographic, and it was only beaten by The Royal Wedding as the biggest non-prime telecast ever on the channel. According to Trendrr.TV the thirty-minute event was 'the most talked about TV show' of the day apart from sport, on social media in the US, beating the likes of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never on MTV and Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E in terms of young people bellowing 'O! M! G!' and the like. On Tumblr, there were 11.84 million views of the Official US Doctor Who Tumblr site since the show's announcement and fans created three million Doctor Who-related reblogs on the day of the show. Twitter activity around the special was double the popular long-running family SF series' season average for BBC America and at the peak of the activity, six out of the ten trending topics in the US were related to the announcement. Doctor Who continues to be the highest rating programme on the network. In Canada the show was broadcast on SPACE, which reported four hundred and twelve thousand viewers at its peak for the special, making it the number one network for the key eighteen to fifty four demographic during that time. While in Australia, forty thousand punters sacrificed sleep to tune into the live broadcast at 4am ET with a total of two hundred thousand watching the show - or its repeat - on ABC2. An additional forty thousand have so far watched the programme on iview, ABC's catch up service.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of yer actual Peter Capaldi his very self earlier in the week on his way back from from the newsagents, seemingly, having gone out to buy all the papers which covered the story of his casting.
One of those papers, from the Daily Record, featured yet more revelations about Peter's teenage fandom years. Which is worth a read, if only for their use of a brilliant photo from Peter during his time on The All New Alexei Sayle Show.
Chiwetel Ejiofor was destined to be the eleventh Doctor but turned down the role, according to alleged 'sources' on the show, the Daily Mirra has claimed. Matt Smith would never have got the role, they suggest, if The Shadow Line and American Gangster actor had agreed a deal back in 2009. The fantasy author and Doctor Who scriptwriter Neil Gaiman caused something of a kerfuffle when he made the revelation that a black actor had once been offered the role on his blog shortly after Peter Capaldi was announced as the next regeneration of the Time Lord. Gaiman said that it felt like 'a missed opportunity' and said he still hoped a non-white actor would take the role one day. Which, this blogger believes is likely (as is, inevitably, the fact a ladygirl will, one day, get the role as well. Which will be excellent if only because it will piss off some people who really deserve a bit of pissing off). 'Would I like a person of colour as The Doctor? Absolutely,' Neil said, and added: 'I have no doubt there will be. I know one black actor who was already offered the part of The Doctor, and who turned it down.' Following these comments, and the inevitably speculation that they set in motion, the Mirra was allegedly 'contacted' by 'several sources' who, allegedly, said they were 'one hundred per cent percent confident' that the actor Gaiman was alluding to was, allegedly, Chiwetel. Allegedly. Chiwetel had previously said he was 'keen' to take the role, but, the Mirra claims, he 'could not agree terms' when offered it after David Tennant announced he was leaving in 2009. Matt Smith was, subsequently, cast and has been superb in the role for the last four years. Chiwetel's agents failed to return the Mirra's calls and the BBC said that it was 'pure speculation,' to suggest this course of events was accurate. 'However,' the Mirra continued, 'worried BBC bosses moved swiftly to make it clear that Capaldi was their first choice this time around.' In a subsequent statement, Neil backtracked somewhat and said: 'Do you think I have anything to do with casting Peter Capaldi, or with who gets the part or what happens in Doctor Who? I don't,' he said. 'I have no secret insider knowledge. I am not part of a mysterious casting cabal. I'm an author on a book tour. No, [the black actor] didn't turn down the role of the twelfth Doctor. There have been many Doctors cast over the years.'

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) is to make an appearance in an improvised comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe according to the Chortle website. The Doctor Who showrunner, and co-creator of Sherlock, will be one of the guests on Ad Lib, at The Assembly Hall on 21 August. Hosted by Fred MacAulay, the show aims for 'an hour of spontaneous and unexpected conversation from some of Britain's sharpest, funniest and most creative brains.' The first of five shows will also feature Frank Skinner alongside Moffat, who also, of course, wrote the comedies Coupling and Joking Apart. The format was created by Stuart Snaith, the former director of comedy at BBC Worldwide, and the show is produced by Dan Schreiber, from The Museum of Curiosity.

The Field of Blood returned for a new series with over three million viewers on Thursday according to overnight figures. The David Morrissey two-part drama opened with 3.36m at 9pm on BBC1. This is around eight hundred thousand more viewers than its previous peak in 2011 during its first run. Earlier, Celebrity MasterChef rose slightly from Wednesday's episode with 3.91m at 8pm, topping the night's audiences outside of soaps. On BBC2, Dara O'Briain's Science Club attracted 1.35m at 8pm, followed by The Men Who Made Us Thin with 1.34m at 9pm. Rhod Gilbert's new series Work Experience was watched by 1.05m at 10pm. ITV's Married To The Job continued with a thoroughly miserable 2.44m at 8.30pm, while new documentary Fraud Squad opened with an equally piss-poor 2.42m at 9pm. On Channel Four, The Dealership dropped to seven hundred and ninety five thousand at 8pm. How To Get a Council House appealed to 1.46m at 9pm. Legally High interested five hundred and forty seven thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Hotel Inspector Returns gathered 1.34m at 9pm, followed by the latest Big Brother with 1.60m at 10pm.
Clare Balding may have won a legion of fans for her highly praised BBC TV performances during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, but she still has some way to go to work the same magic for BT, with an average of around just one thousand viewers tuning in to watch her first show. BT unveiled Balding as a marquee signing in January to help drive the popularity – and credibility – of its two new sports channels, which launched at the beginning of August. At the time Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said that the weekly sports magazine programme, called The Clare Balding Show, would be 'a flagship programme' for the pay-TV channel. Balding fronted the first live studio show on Thursday night, featuring special guests including Olympic rower Katherine Grainger, Queens Park Strangers manager Hapless Harry Redknapp and Rio Ferdinand of The Scum. The show attracted an average of just twelve hundred viewers and a fifteen-minute peak audience of four thousand, for BT Sport 1. The peak audience rises to eight thousand if the measure is made on a five-minute interval, according to unofficial overnight audience figures. 'We are delighted with the launch of BT Sport, we think this is a great start, but we are focused on the long-term and not on any one particular day or show,' said a spokeswoman for BT trying hard no to sound desperate. 'Every day is important to us in terms of quality of programming and our appeal.' With such low viewing numbers BT has some way to go to deliver on its promise of a more 'open' and 'inclusive' coverage than Sky. And Balding will have to work hard to fulfil what she has previously said will be 'sports broadcasting in a way that will appeal across age groups and certainly to male and female viewers.' As a pay-TV operator BT Sport will not be expecting big numbers for its non-sport programming – rival BSkyB frequently struggles to get more than a few tens of thousands of viewers to big US shows such as Mad Men – but the first night ratings will be a reminder of the scale of the job executives have ahead of them as a new entrant in the sports TV market. 'They wouldn't have been expecting big numbers pre-season, or for the show in general going forward,' an alleged 'TV industry source' to the Gruniad Morning Star. 'The real acid test will be what viewing they get for the Premier League matches. That is what really matters.' Balding is in hot demand having taken over Channel Four's horse racing coverage at the beginning of January, as well as BBC1 game show Britain's Brightest on Saturday evenings and Radio 2's Good Morning Sunday.

Yer actual Charlotte Church has revealed that she recently rejected the offer of a judging role on The X Factor, calling the show 'the machine that kills music.' The singer explained that she took a meeting with producers of the ITV talent series but realised that she would have no creative input and 'politely declined.'
Jonathan Creek's Alan Davies has spoken about cuts to the show's budget. The actor - who has appeared in the title role, on-and-off since 1997 - admitted that the BBC programme's budget is 'really squeezed.' He told the Sun: 'One of the films we made recently was set in a country house and David Renwick had to write into the script that the house had been mothballed while a family was away overseas. That meant the design department didn't have to decorate any rooms. We could put sheets on furniture.' In addition to script rewrites, Davies revealed that the production team cut costs by shooting at night. 'We do lots of scenes at night so it's in the dark and the viewer can't see we haven't had the money to dress it,' he said. Davies added that he is regularly asked where his character's iconic windmill home has gone. 'People say, "Why doesn't he live in the windmill?" The character's life has changed, he's married and lives in a house now. But the fact is that when we did the show in the 1990s, we hired a windmill for a week, put sets on three different floors and created a home for this character. It's the iconic image of the show, Creek in his windmill, the lonely, strange man. People loved it and it was a brilliant idea and the design department executed it excellently. But it's out of the question now to do that. We can't afford to do that and it does make a difference.' The long-running murder mystery series attracted seven million punters when it broadcast its most recent episode in April.

Olivia Colman her very self has said that it is a pleasure for her to work with Broadchurch co-star yer actual David Tennant. Colman told the BuzzFeed website that she is 'constantly amazed' by Tennant's friendly demeanour. 'He's the sweetest man in the world, an absolute joy to work with,' she said. 'Everyone keeps asking me what it's like working with him, and I wish there was something that I could make up as he's so nice. He's awful! Very rude!' The actress went on to praise Tennant's strong work ethic. 'He's a really lovely, funny, witty, gentle man,' Colly explained. 'After a day's work, I'll go, "Shall we go and have a beer?" and he'll go, "No, no, no. I'm going to learn my lines and then I'll have a cup of tea." I'm forever trying to get him to come out and have a drink! But he's such fun. A giggler.'
The Wombles may return in a new TV series and feature film. Mike Batt - who helped turn the children's TV characters into pop stars in the 1970s - has outlined plans to bring back the characters after acquiring the rights to the brand. The songwriter announced to his fans (all four of them) that his firm now has the major shareholding in Wombles Copyright Holdings, after having a fifty-fifty share for many years with the estate of author Elisabeth Beresford. He wrote: 'Suffice to say we have plans for two new twenty six-part TV series, a feature-length movie and an interactive online Wombles World experience. We think the Wombles characters are timeless, funny and lovable, and we can assure the Beresford estate that we shall protect and look after the quality and integrity of the characters as we always have done. We think there are audiences of new children and international audiences who missed The Wombles the first time around and will be thrilled to see the brilliant high-quality animations and new musical productions we shall be mounting.' Beresford published the first Wombles story in 1968. A TV series began in 1973 with Bernard Cribbins as the narrator, returning for another series sixteen years ago. Beresford's stories were reprinted in 2010 and 2011.

Channel Five has insisted that it is 'satisfied' with the ratings for the latest series of Big Brother, highlighting the 'uplift' in post-timeshift viewer numbers. The fourteenth series of the crass, invasive reality show is consolidating up to 1.9m viewers, a six per cent increase on last year's 1.7 million. It is also the best average audience for a series since the show moved to Channel Five in 2011. Despite the figures being considerably lower than in the show's mid-2000s peak on Channel Four and the normal Big Brother series failing to match the audience figures of Celebrity Big Brother, the broadcaster still insist that they are 'pleased' with the latest figures. Despite the fact that the show, itself, remains what it always has been, a risible, ghastly freak-show full of attention junkies and drama queens. Nick Bampton, commercial sales director at Channel Five, said: 'Great housemates and all the twists and turns the show has delivered have meant we've seen this really encouraging uplift in audience. It bodes well as we approach the final and then the launch of Celebrity Big Brother.'
Channel Four has seen the biggest loss of audience reach among the UK's five main public service broadcasting networks in the last six years, according to a report from Ofcom. The media regulator, which in June sent a letter to the broadcaster voicing 'concerns' about 'issues' including the audience share of Channel Four's main network, on Thursday said that it was the worst performer in comparison with BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel Five since 2007 in terms of average weekly reach. However, when each PSB's full portfolio of services is taken into account, Channel Four has only seen a very slight dip in terms of average weekly reach over the period – similar to the BBC and ITV portfolios. Channel Four's main network has seen a fall in its average weekly reach across all homes from fifty nine per cent in 2007 to fifty one per cent at the end of 2012, excluding its one hour time-shifted service Channel 4+1, according to Ofcom's annual public service broadcasting report. Ofcom said that BBC1 remained 'stable' over the same time period (seventy eight per cent), as did Channel Five (with only a slight drop from forty to thirty nine per cent), while ITV fell (seventy per cent to sixty four per cent) and did BBC2 (fifty eight to fifty two per cent). However, statistically speaking Thursday's report backs up Channel Four's argument that in terms of the overall share of its portfolio of channels, which include niche services such as More4, Film4 and E4, along with C4+1 and repeats channel 4Seven, it's actually doing all right. On this basis, the average weekly reach for Channel Four's total portfolio has dipped only very slightly since 2007. On the same portfolio measure ITV and its other channels – including ITV+1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 – fell slightly and Channel Five, including Channel 5+1 and spin-offs such as Five USA, actually increased. The BBC's portfolio (including BBC3, BBC4, BBC News Channel, CBeebies, CBBC and BBC Parliament) dipped from eighty six to eighty five per cent. 'Channel Four's digital portfolio channels attract the highest proportion of additional reach when compared with the other PSB channels,' said Ofcom, moving from adding eight per cent reach in 2007 to fifteen per cent in 2012. 'The data suggest that PSB portfolio channels help to stabilise or extend overall reach for each PSB broadcaster, counter-balancing any core channel declines in a competitive digital environment.' Ofcom highlighted the ratings issue with Channel Four's main network in a letter to chairman Lord Burns and chief executive David Abraham earlier this year. It pointed out that the 'continued decline' means it now accounts for only 'just over half' of the total viewing share of the broadcaster's portfolio of channels. 'The main Channel Four service represents the majority of [Channel Four Corporation's] investment in original content and has specific licence obligations,' Ofcom added in its letter. 'Viewing of the service remains important to their delivery and public value.' Ofcom's report on Thursday pointed out that in terms of share of viewing the flagship Channel Four network has fallen from nine per cent in 2007 to six per cent in 2012. The broadcaster failed to hit the audience share target set by Abraham, according to its annual report published in May. A Channel Four spokesman said: 'Channel Four delivers public service value across its portfolio, which has maintained a consistent weekly reach of almost seventy per cent across the last six years. Over 2013 our channels have been the home to wide range of critically acclaimed programming including the likes of The Murder Trial, The King in the Car Park, How to Get A Council House, The Returned, The Mill, Southcliffe, My Mad Fat Diary and Dispatches which have both delivered to this remit and achieved audience success.' Ofcom said that spend on all content for Channel Four declined by four per cent in real terms year-on-year to four hundred and ninety two million knicker, with spend on first-run originated content remaining 'almost consistent' at eight hundred and eighty five million quid. The report also said between 2007 and 2012 viewing of national news on the five main PSB channels declined from ninety hours per individual per year to eighty two hours. Much of the decline is attributed to viewers switching off ITV, which has seen a precipitous fall from twenty four hours per person per year to thirteen hours over the time period. Viewing also fell by an hour on both Channel Four and Channel Five but increased on BBC1, from fifty six hours to sixty one hours.

BSkyB is reported to be considering launching a new male-targeted sport and entertainment channel, to take on rivals including ITV4 and UKTV's Dave. Sky executives are, according to a typically shit-stirring article in the Gruniad Morning Star, 'understood' to have been 'working on a blueprint' for the new channel for 'a number of months', with one potential launch date 'initially pencilled in' for the satellite company's annual results announcement on Friday 26 July. However, the broadcaster used its results to unveil an extension of its Now TV Internet service, launching a £9.99 set-top box to try to lure non-Sky subscribers to connect their TV to the Internet. It is understood that the launch of the channel is likely to be put on the back burner, in the short term at least, as it has not managed to gain a distribution deal to broadcast in Virgin Media's four million-plus households. On 20 June, BSkyB registered the name Sky Bravo, a nod to the channel it closed at the end of 2010 following the one hundred and sixty million smackers acquisition of Living TV Group although, the Gruniad claim, 'this is understood to be one of a number of potential names being investigated for the new service.' BSkyB closed Bravo, a male-oriented channel home to shows including Spartacus: Blood & Snots, Dog the Bounty Hunter and Sons of Anarchy and its spin-off Bravo 2 because it targeted a similar demographic to Sky1, but 'without the same brand equity or reach.' Executives have now, according to the Gruniad, 'had a rethink' on how to bolster BSkyB's audience profile and channel offering, with a gap spotted 'in the male market.' Sky Atlantic targets a high-end viewer, with shows such as Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men; Sky1 is now positioned very much as a family-focused option; Sky Arts is for culture buffs and Sky Living is, largely, female-oriented. 'BSkyB does not have a channel of the same ilk as Dave or ITV4, it is definitely an opportunity they have identified and have been working on,' one alleged 'source' with alleged knowledge of the alleged channel project told the alleged newspaper. It is thought that while sport content has been considered for the proposed channel, the main focus is male-targeted entertainment programming. 'There's never a shortage of ideas on things we could do in the future and we're always looking at how we might develop our channels,' said a spokesman for BSkyB. 'However, we have no firm plans at this stage.' BSkyB has had a number of channel launches and rebrands in recent years. Sky Atlantic launched in 2011, a dedicated Formula 1 channel launched in 2012 following BSkyB's deal to share the TV rights with the BBC until 2018. In 2011, BSkyB rebranded its free-to-air channel Sky3 as Pick TV, offering repeats of shows such as Noel Edmond's Are you Smarter Than A Ten-Year-Old? and Coach Trip.
Labour MP and anti-Murdoch campaigner Tommy Watson (power to the people!) is preparing to fly to Australia to talk about the conduct of billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch’s organisation, alleging that the media proprietor - whom nobody is scared of any more - has 'learned nothing' from the phone-hacking scandal at his newspapers in the UK. Watson decided to fly out after seeing election coverage by News Corp Australia newspapers, in particular the front page of Thursday’s Sydney Daily Telegraph, which depicted the prime minister and deputy prime minister as bumbling Nazis from Hogan's Heroes, and the front page of Monday's Telegraph, which told voters to kick this mob out. 'I've already seen [that] The Australian is saying I'm coming out to take on tabloid editors for their treatment of Kevin Rudd, which isn't true,' Tommy told the Gruniad Morning Star. 'I'm coming out there to ask some serious questions about whether Rupert Murdoch has learned the lesson of the Leveson inquiry in the United Kingdom. Looking at the headlines in some of his newspapers, it seems to me he has learned nothing from the scandal.' Watson plans to fly out some time in the next fortnight and said he did not have a schedule, although he has had offers and is hoping to give speeches and hold community meetings while in the country. 'One of the things that the public inquiry focused on was how newspapers in the UK tended to deliberately mix editorial with news and I saw those two editions of the Daily Telegraph and thought, "Oh no, that poor editor of the Daily Telegraph is obviously working under orders from New York during the election,"' he said. 'I thought those days were over, and you should be calling him [Murdoch] out on those things.' He added that he would have to return to the UK by 9 September, when the trials of some former News Corp staff, including well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks and the Prime Minister's former, if you will, 'chum', Andy Coulson, are due to begin. Watson has been one of Murdoch's most vocal critics and was dogged in his pursuit of him through allegations that journalists at one of his newspapers, the Scum of the World, had illegally hacked phones to get stories. Watson said he would meet with members of the ALP and, although he had not been in contact with Kevin Rudd's office, he added that he would be 'happy' to meet him. He made the decision on Thursday night after tweeting that he was 'tempted' to come out. 'The Daily Telegraph front page was an insult to all thinking Australians. I'm definitely coming,' Watson tweeted to one of his followers. Watson's trip planning comes as News Corp Australia chief executive Kim Williams announced his resignation. The New York Post editor, Col Allan, has also travelled to Australia for the election campaign and will spend the next couple of months overseeing the tabloids. Williams’s resignation came within a fortnight of Allan’s arrival. Rudd has been locked in a battle with News Corp Australia newspapers, with the Daily Telegraph in particular backing the Coalition in the lead-up to the election. Rudd has attacked the newspapers and questioned the motives behind their coverage, which he says is to do with Murdoch’s opposition to the national broadband network for business reasons.

Interesting news in the Sun, which reports that watching football on a mobile or tablet is 'up to eight times better for the environment than a telly, according to new research.' Really? The Sun is interested in green issues? Gosh, that's a first. The pollution caused by watching a match on a forty two inch plasma screen is like driving 1.3 miles in a petrol car, they claim (except, if you are watching the footie, you are still in the same place, obviously). That flatscreen generates four hundred and eighty grams of carbon dioxide emissions, against just sixty grams for watching on a smartphone via Wi-Fi. Have you guessed the punchline yet? 'It means football fans watching Premier League goals with the Sun's new Goals app on their phone are doing their bit for the environment.' They've even roped in old John Motson to make the point.
Poor Motty. It's tragic the misery that being unemployment can cause. How much did they pay you for your soul then, John?

There was a significant figure missing in the Sky Sports commentary box on the opening day of the fourth Ashes test at Chester-Le-Street on Friday morning. Their great humourist David Lloyd is, currently, laid up in Rochdale Royal Infirmary recovering from a knee operation. 'I'm in hospital right now, which has meant I'm not available for selection in Durham,' David said in his Daily Scum Mail preview of the game. 'But rest assured, I'll be watching every ball from my bed in ward ten and bringing you my thoughts on the hospital food (and the cricket) over the next few days.' Everyone at From The North wishes you a speedy recovery, Bumble. Much speedier than that time you got hit in the Jacob's Cream Crackers at one hundred miles an hour by Jeff Thomson at Perth. The coverage isn't the same without you. There's nobody to take the piss out of Nasser's nose for a kick-off. Well, except Botham. And Atherton. Actually, come to think of it, there's lots of people taking the piss out of Nasser's nose. But, still, it's better with you in the box describing the corridor of uncertainly and your current correspondence with the British Tripe Marketing Board.
The beautiful Riverside Ground at Chester-le-Street (or, whatever they're calling it these days), in the shadow of Lumley Castle is, of course, staging its first ever Ashes match. The venue, which was built in the early 1990s when Durham became a first class county, didn't stage its first Test until 2003, and this will only be its fifth in all. Chester-le-Street - with it's population of just around thirty thousand is, in fact, the smallest population centre ever to host a game of test cricket.
A scheme which saw vans drive through London calling on illegal immigrants to leave the country is to be investigated by the advertising watchdog. The Home Office said its vans which say 'go home or face arrest' had worked but did not say how many people had, actually, left. The Advertising Standards Authority said they launched the investigation following sixty complaints. The pilot scheme had been widely criticised by the Lib Dems and Liberty. Vans were driven around Barnet, Hounslow, Barking and Dagenham, Ealing, Brent and Redbridge, as part of the campaign. Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said the scheme was 'stupid and offensive' and Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt said the scheme was 'an act of desperation.' In a statement, the ASA said complainants had expressed concerns that the advert, in particular the phrase 'go home', was offensive and irresponsible. It said complainants were concerned this was 'reminiscent of slogans used by racist groups to attack immigrants in the past and could incite or exacerbate racial hatred and tensions in multicultural communities. Separately, some complainants have challenged whether the claim "one hundred and six arrests last week in your area" is misleading,' the ASA added. 'They've also challenged whether it is misleading because it implies arrest is the automatic consequence of remaining in the UK without permission.'

Karen Black, who featured in cult films such as Easy Rider, Nashville and Five Easy Pieces, has died aged seventy four. Hugely prolific, the Illinois-born actress appeared in more than one hundred movies over a career spanning forty years. She died at a clinic in Los Angeles, three years after she was diagnosed with ampullary cancer. Her breakthrough role, in 1969, was as a prostitute who takes drugs with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider. Black, who was raised in a Chicago suburb, almost always played troubled, neurotic characters. Despite her impressive filmography, she had to turn to the public to help pay her healthcare costs. Her online funding appeal raised more than sixty thousand dollars, according to her husband, Stephen Eckelberry. Black earned an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award for one of her most memorable roles - opposite Jack Nicholson - as a waitress who dates an upper-class drop-out, in Five Easy Pieces. She also won a best supporting actress Golden Globe award for the role of mistress Myrtle Wilson in 1974's The Great Gatsby. Black went on to be nominated for a Grammy Award for playing a country singer in the ensemble cast of 1975 musical drama Nashville. She also starred as a jewel thief in what turned out to be Alfred Hitchcock's last movie, Family Plot, released in 1976. Beginning in 1967, she appeared in guest roles in several television series, including The FBI, Run for Your Life, The Second Hundred Years, The Big Valley, The Iron Horse, Judd For The Defense and Mannix. She also wrote and sang the theme song and supporting songs for the supernatural thriller The Pyx (1973). She starred as Nancy Pryor, the stewardess who is forced to fly the plane, in the disaster film Airport 1975 . In the same year, she played multiple roles in the classic anthology movie Trilogy of Terror. The segments, all written by Richard Matheson, were named after the women involved in the plot — a plain college professor who seduces a student (Julie), a pair of sisters who squabble over their father's inheritance (Millicent and Therese), and the lonely recipient of a cursed Zuni fetish doll which comes to life and pursues her relentlessly (Amelia). In 2009, Black worked with director Steve Balderson on Stuck! — an homage to film noir women-in-prison dramas. The following year she appeared in John Landis' thriller Some Guy Who Kills People.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a little Northern Soul gem from Barbara Randolph.

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