Sunday, August 04, 2013

Week Thirty Three: Send For The Doctor

So, anyway, dear blog reader, if you were just idly wondering, it's this fellah.
The excellent Peter Capaldi IS The Doctor. A fabulous actor whom yer actual Keith Telly Topping has been a fan of for nearly thirty years (although, before that, I thought he was great in Traffic. My thanks to Dave Hutchinson for that joke and congratulations to the four old bastards that got it.) I think, tonight, yer actual Keith Telly Topping is going to have to dig out the videos (yes, videos, some of us still have them - thousands of them in my case) of a much younger Peter Capaldi in things like Selling Hitler, Chain and Giving Tongue (or, even, particularly brilliant episodes of Ruth Rendell Mysteries and Waking The Dead - at least I've got the latter on DVD). And then watch them just so that I can say, hand-on-heart, 'I said he'd make a good Doctor in 1990, why didn't anybody listen to me for twenty five years?!' So, anyway, for the first time since 1996 (and, probably, the last time ever), The Doctor is actually older than yer actual Keith Telly Topping (Peter was born in 1958). Balance has, finally, been restored to the cosmos and that. Right. Good. Pure dead glad we got that sorted, eventually. This blogger is - along with most of fandom it would seem, genuinely, properly made up by this news. Now, please, can we get on with the rest of our lives?
Peter Davison and Bernard Cribbins were amongst the special guests who appeared on Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor. The identity of the twelfth Doctor his very self was revealed on the show, with host Zoe Ball interviewing the new Time Lord with a bunch of the most singularly inane questions imaginable. Although, she's still preferable to Fearne Cotton. Certainly, no one could accuse the Beeb of failing to milk the regeneration for all it was worth ... and a bit more besides. As the fiftieth anniversary of the first episode of the popular long-running family SF drama approaches in November, the celebration programme was broadcast, climaxing with the naming of the twelfth actor to play The Doctor on television. (We're not counting Richard Hurndall. And as for John Hurt, well, that's still a matter to be decided upon by The Committee.) The thirty-minute programme, in a coveted 7pm slot, was parachuted into the BBC1 Sunday night schedule late last week sandwiched between Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow. The project even had its own codename: Houdini. It was put together some at speed over the past month by a small group of entertainment producers. Charlotte Moore, the new controller of BBC1, who has school-age children herself, hit on the idea of a live event after being appointed in June. The guest list of former Doctor Who actors and some non-specific 'celebrity fans' appeared in front of a four hundred-strong audience at the BBC studio complex in Elstree. A battalion of Daleks were also present. And lovely Rufus Hound was on excellent form so it wasn't all terrible! Lead writer and executive producer The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) described playing The Doctor as 'one of the biggest roles in British television.' Since its revival, in 2005, Doctor Who has become one of the top five BBC 'superbrands' – another is Top Gear – selling to about seventy countries around the world and, via overseas sales and associated merchandising, pulling in an estimated annual profit of some fifty million smackers for the Beeb. 'You want people to be shocked when the name comes out,"' Moffat was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times. 'You want people to go, "No, that would never work!" They did that with Matt, when they announced Matt. It was, "He's far too young, and he doesn't look right. He's got silly hair." You want people to go, "Oh, what have they done?" And they always get wrenched out of their comfort zone, and then they find The Doctor again. And there's such a range of what The Doctor can be.' On the subject of yer actual Smudger's casting in 2010, The Moff added: 'You know it when you see it, and that's it. Matt was overwhelmingly right, for the reasons that everyone now knows. He is like an old man trapped in a young man's body. He was irresistible, the hipster boffin. The other thing is, essentially, at root, it's a star part. Someone who is a star or will be a star is going to play that part. Someone you can't stop looking at.' And, Peter is certainly that.
But, to think, it could have all been so different.
Some say that he was offered the part but turned Moffat down as he only wanted to be paid in cheese ... All we know is that there's this coming in November.
Meanwhile, if Peter wasn't The Doctor you were hoping for, dear blog reader - though God only knows why - then never mind. There'll be another one along in three or four years time. Meanwhile, here's a picture of some kittens.
Celebrity MasterChef shed a further million punters for its third episode on Friday, according to overnight figures. Presumably because Janet Street-Porter's 'I'm pure dead angry and eccentric, me' act was starting to get right on many people's tit-end. Just a guess, you understand. The cookery show attracted 2.63m at 7.30pm on BBC1, down 1.14m from the previous night's second instalment and a whopping 2.07m from its premiere on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Callum Knell's eviction on Big Brother was watched by 1.69m from 9pm on Channel Five. Back on BBC1, a repeat of the Sherlock series two finale (complete with that trailer afterwards) was watched by 2.23m at 8.30pm and Would I Lie To You? pulled in 2.22m at 10.45pm. On a pretty wretched night for overnight ratings all round, BBC2 showed coverage of swimming to five hundred and eighty thousand bored viewers at 7pm, after which Celebrity Mastermind and Gardeners' World were seen by 1.42m and 1.98m respectively. Comedy series The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, attracted eight hundred and ninety thousand viewers at 10pm. On ITV, Harbour Lives continued with 2.69m at 8pm, while an old Doc Martin scored 3.03m at 9pm. Channel Four's Four Rooms secured eight hundred thousand at 8pm, followed by Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown with 1.42m at 9pm. Family Guy achieved the highest ratings across the multichannels, with the 11.35pm episode reaching six hundred and eighteen thousand viewers on BBC3.

Disgraceful lowest common denominator slavver I Love My Country debuted with a risible 2.96m overnight viewers on Saturday. BBC1's new 'patriotic celebrity quiz show' - the single worst format the Beeb has inflicted on us since Don't Scare The Hare - attracted seventeen per cent of the available audience from 7.30pm. Luckily, despite its utter wretchedness, I Love My Country didn't, quite, manage to stink up the entire night for BBC1. The four hundred and ninety seven millionth showing of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was earlier watched by more viewers - 3.12m from 5.15pm. The National Lottery: Break the Safe scored 4.42m at 8.15pm, while good old reliable Casualty was watched by 4.41m at 9.15pm and Mrs Brown's Boys pulled in 4.16m at 10pm. Meanwhile, speaking of horrorshows (and, indeed, drags), Your Face Sounds Familiar finished with an only slightly less laughably poor 3.70m on ITV at 7.30pm, its highest ratings since its first episode in June. Looks like viewers really were glad to see the back of it. All Star Family Fortunes earned 3.29m at 8.45pm and the latest episode of The Americans was seen by nine hundred and fifty thousand punters an hour later. On BBC2, Dad's Army, from 7pm, was watched by six hundred and fifty thousand. Proms Extra 2013 hadfive hundred and fifty thousand viewers at 7.30pm and David Starkey's Music and Monarchy took seven hundred and forty thousand at 8.15pm. The fourth episode of the drama Top of the Lake completed a very underwhelming night for the channel with eight hundred and ninety thousand viewers from 9.15pm, down slightly on the audience from the previous week. A Tribute to Mel Smith then interested 1.12m at 10.15pm, the first BBC2 show of the night to top a million. Channel Four showed Grand Designs to seven hundred and seventy thousand viewers at 7pm. The X-Men was seen by 1.21m at 8pm, after which the 2010 movie Kick-Ass took 1.26m at 10pm. Eight hundred and eighty two thousand viewers watched the cricket highlights between 7pm and 8pm on Channel Five, while a double bill of NCIS had six hundred and ninety two and eight hundred and twenty seven thousand punters respectively from 8pm. The latest episode of Big Brother interested 1.09m at 10pm. Foyle's War was the highest rated show on the multichannels, picking up nine hundred and thirty eight thousand on ITV3 at 6.50pm.

Here's your next batch of Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 10 August
As mentioned above, dear blog reader, I Love My Country - 7:30 BBC1 - is the sort of TV format that ITV specialise in and now the BBC seem to be attempting to muscle in on their territory. It's also the sort of format which has viewers screaming at the screen 'Why? Why of the love of God, why?' Just remember, dear blog reader, someone, somewhere within the BBC commissioned this steaming pile of rancid, poxy diarrhoea. Is it too much to hope that it was the same chap, or lady-chap, that also gave the green light to The Wright Way? They used to hang people for lesser crimes than that. Gabby Logan moves from sports presentation to light entertainment (because, my didn't that work out so well for Claire Balding when she tried the same thing?) to host this 'rowdy, light-hearted game show' (it says here) in which two panels of 'famous faces' compete to demonstrate their knowledge of all things British. It's rase, dear blog reader. Utter and complete drivel. Team captains Frank Skinner (Frank, for Christ's sake, mate, what were you thinking?) and full-of-himself unfunny cockney geezer Micky Flanagan are, this week, joined by the singer Mel C (remember her?), former Waterloo Road actress Chelsee Healey (remember her?), Paralympic athlete Jonnie Peacock, nasty, curious orange TV presenter, greed bucket, horrorshow (and drag) the odious Christine Bleakley, actor Larry Lamb and Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman. No one knows why. Or, indeed, much cares, if the ratings for the first episode are any indication. Jamelia fronts the house band. Horrible in every way imaginable.
In The final episode of David Starkey's Music & Monarchy - 8:10 BBC2 - the historian examines music in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (the Twenty first got time off for good behaviour) - when the Crown rediscovered the power of pageantry and ceremony and native music experienced a renaissance. Starkey explores the royal origins of Elgar's 'Land of Hope and Glory', Parry's 'I Was Glad' and Walton's 'Crown Imperial', and visits London's Royal College of Music and St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle to learn about their crucial roles in the revival of British music.

Inside the Perfect Predator - 8:00 BBC4 - is a documentary using ground-breaking computer graphics and close-up photography to reveal the inner alchemy that gives four extraordinary hunters the edge, from the moment they detect their prey through to the vital kill.. Soaring above the people of London is the fastest animal on the planet, the peregrine falcon, on a mission to kill for her chicks. Off the coast of South Africa the world's largest predatory fish, the great white shark, has just completed a seven thousand mile journey and is hungry for seal blubber. On the plains of Africa the fastest land animal, the cheetah, struggles to provide for her cubs as her enemies move in. And having survived a drought by entering into a state of suspended animation, the prehistoric Nile crocodile is poised to ambush his dinner.

Sunday 11 August
Wor Si King and Davey Myers go on their latest tour of the UK in The Hairy Bikers' Restoration Road Trip - 9:00 BBC2. The purpose for this three-part series is to meet enthusiasts restoring machinery from the Industrial Revolution, beginning by helping renovate a steam-powered winding engine at Pleasley Colliery in Derbyshire. They then head to London, where Dave drives the city's oldest working underground train - Met 1 - before the duo visit the world's largest collection of steam engines.

Kirstie Allsopp is a rather curious creation, dear blog reader. And, I say creation because, to be honest, I'm genuinely not sure if she was born or whether she was knocked up to order in a laboratory by Channel Four's scientists (on the borrow from Monsieur Garnier's laboratoire, no doubt). Certainly, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has lived a full and varied life and, in all his forty nine years he's never met a single person remotely like Kirst her very self. And, he's actually quite glad about that. Her latest TV format, Kirstie's Fill Your House For Free - 8:00 - features the mumsy, bossy, Tory house-hunter-turned-home-maker trying to prove that you, yes you dear blog reader - on your sink council estate with your income support and your ASBO - can 'make a house a home without spending the big bucks.' Or, big pounds, since this is a British show and we don't have bucks over here, Channel Four, might be an idea to mention that fact in your next press release. After watching this shallow and risible excessive in thoroughly nauseating tweeness for an hour, the answer appears to be that, yes, you can, indeed, do that. So long as you're happy living with a pile of old junk in your living room, that is. It should be called Kirstie Fills Your House With Rubbish, frankly. Kirstie excitedly informs us that we can use an old, stingless tennis racket as a mirror, fetch a radiator from a scrapyard (who, in the name of God throws away radiators? And, more importantly, who goes hunting around scrapyards looking for them?) then use it as your kitchen table. You can also nail together some crates left in a pub car-pack (that's Kirstie's alibi and she's sticking to it, m'lud) and it will make 'a lovely sofa.' Or, stick some rotten old newspapers on your lamp-shades. You get the general idea. Or, you could just, you know, buy a kitchen table or a mirror instead. Poundland do mirrors for a quid. Bit of a radical suggestion, I know, but that's yer actual Keith Telly Topping, always full of radical suggestions just as mumsy, bossy, Tory Kirstie Allsopp is, in fact, always full of hot wind. Even if, for some bizarre reason, you did happen to find Kirstie's makeovers tasteful - which they're not - then you're going to need all the luck in the world trying to mimic it yourself. Like trying to mould a metal shopping trolley into a 'trendy chair' with your B&Q hacksaw, for instance. According to Kirstie, if you split a crate in half, it can make 'a lovely sofa.' The bit where you piece together the crates, add in the metal arms, do a bit of spot-welding and fix it all together were, tragically, left out of Kirstie's Fill Your House For Free. Which says it all really. Anyway, in this episode, mumsy, bossy Tory Kirstie helps Kent couple Liz and Stephen Moss, sourcing and creating some sturdy and stylish pieces for their family home. Presumably, Liz and Stephen are another example of the seemingly endless group of young professional couples from the Home Counties that Channel Four appear to have on standby for Kirstie's most famous show, Location, Location, Location. Also requiring assistance are Londoners Alistair Bray and Charlotte Campbell, who have recently moved into their first flat together, but have little money for furniture. The team transforms their bedroom, fitting it with wardrobes, drawers and 'a bespoke dressing table', all for free. Horrorshow, dear blog reader, And drag.
In the aftermath of the shootings, the families of the dead are each immersed in their own struggle to comprehend the fallout in Channel Four's grim and gritty drama Southcliffe - 9:00. For Claire, the loss of her daughter is too difficult to confront, while Paul, in his mourning, tries to compensate for the bad husband and father he has been. David's secret about his childhood friendship with Morton begins to take hold of him, and the more he imposes his own explanation for the tragedy, the more the residents reject it. Starring Shirley Henderson, Anatol Yusef and Rory Kinnear.

Monday 12 May
In Fightback Britain - 8:30 BBC1 - the divine Goddess that is Julia Bradbury ... and Adrian Simpson reveal some of the ways in which the public are helping the police in the fight against crime, capturing evidence on camera, using amateur detective work and sometimes even putting their own lives in danger. Stories include the armed robbers who got more than they bargained for when they set out to steal fifty grand worth of motorcycles, the man whose laptop e-mailed him pictures of the burglar who took it, and the woman who used night-vision technology to catch a naughty knicker thief. Plus, with almost half of all robberies in Britain now involving a mobile phone, Julia and Adrian have advice on anti-theft software for smartphones. In the first episode of this four-part series we meet the lorry drivers who bravely step in to try and avert disaster when a thirty-tonne lorry hurtles down a motorway in the wrong direction. We meet a man whose computer software enabled his stolen laptop to e-mail him pictures of the people it ultimately wound up with as they sat unawares in bed, before being arrested by the police. And finally we meet a woman who is so tired of getting her knickers stolen from her washing line that she sets a trap using night vision cameras to catch the knicker nicker in act and, as it were, hang him out to dry. Only to be thwarted, initially, by her husband falling asleep on the job. Pfft. Amateur!

It seems that every single programme on telly tonight has the word 'Britain' in it, dear blog reader. Presumably, that's just in case any of you forget where you live. There's Fightback Britain and Fake Britain on BBC1 and Benefits Britain 1949 - Channel Four 9:00. Benefits claimants volunteer to live for a week by the rules of 1949, the first year in which the system was up and running, to find out how their income would change. Craig, twenty four, discovers that being born with spina bifida doesn't entitle him to financial help, but the post-war welfare state has another solution - it offers him training and work experience. Melvyn, seventy one, struggles to cover food, bills and transport with his £38.48 pension and fifty four-year-old Karen, who is currently on sickness benefit, learns how the government would have viewed her condition sixty four years ago.

Dreaming The Impossible: Unbuilt Britain - 9:00 BBC4 - continues this curious obsession with having the word 'Britain' in the title of every sodding show on TV. Architectural investigator Doctor Olivia Horsfall Turner reveals the fascinating and dramatic stories behind some of the grandest designs never built. She begins in 1855, when visionary designer Joseph Paxton put forward ambitious plans for the Great Victorian Way, which promised to alleviate congestion in London by encircling the city centre with a ten-mile-long glass structure containing shops, houses, hotels and eight railway lines.
Tuesday 13 May
In the latest episode of New Tricks - 9:00 BBC1 - the team reopens the sixteen-year-old case of an infamous getaway driver convicted of murdering his wife when new evidence suggests it could have been a miscarriage of justice. But Gerry, who was on the original investigation, refuses to believe the prisoner is anything but as guilty as sin. Meanwhile, Brian is in a reflective mood, convinced his days at UCOS are numbered after his actions against former police commander Embleton. Alun Armstrong, Dennis Waterman and Denis Lawson star as the veteran coppers, with Amanda Redman.
Anita Rani travels to Mumbai to investigate the obesity epidemic hitting India's middle class, meeting overweight teenagers unable to stop bingeing on western fast food in India's Supersize Kids - 9:00 BBC2. She reveals that Indians are genetically more disposed to being overweight and to developing the diabetes that often accompanies it, and visits clinics at the centre of a booming industry in weight-loss surgery. Part of the This World strand.

Last year, police attempted to track down almost ninety thousand people who either skipped trial or broke their licence conditions. Now, senior officers warn they are pursuing these targets with fewer resources than ever, as told in On The Run - 9:00 ITV. In this one-off programme, yer actual Natasha Kaplinsky and Mark Williams-Thomas team up to locate three wanted men - a sex offender, an international fugitive and a burglar - and apprehend them with the help of officers, using a variety of undercover stings and subterfuge. Then, presumably, they'll be tried via Twitter and hanged in the streets which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports News. This, dear blog reader, is Britain in 2013. Hideous, isn't it?
Wednesday 14 August
Boyzone's Shane Lynch, former Coronation Street actor Brian Capron, the comedienne Shappi Khorsandi and TV presenter the deadly killer Miranda Krestovnikoff are the latest b-listers to compete in this week's third heat of Celebrity MasterChef - 8:00 BBC1 - aiming to make it to the end of the week in the top two. Their first challenge is the mystery box, where they are given ingredients including a whole saddle of goat. Then they try to recreate John Torode's deceptively simple tomato tart with herb salad - as usual, without a recipe - and finally enter the world of catering, feeding more than one hundred students at Goldsmiths College, London.

The actress Lesley Sharp was adopted at just five weeks old, having been born as a result of her birth mother's affair with a married man. Knowing that her biological father has died, she now sets out to learn more about him, tracing her half siblings and delving deeper into the paternal side of her family in the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? - 9:00 BBC1. She discovers that her great-great-grandfather fostered Barnardo's children, so follows the trail of one of them all the way to Canada to hear tales of what kind of home her relative provided.

ITV's thoroughly wretched and piss-poor coverage of Live International Football continues tonight with England versus Scotland (kick-off 8.00pm). Odious greed bucket, horrorshow (and drag) Adrian Chiles presents (badly) all the action from the friendly at Wembley, as international football's oldest rivals lock horns for the first time since 1999. Scotland's 1-0 win at the old Wembley on that occasion was not enough to prevent England claiming a place at Euro 2000 at their expense, as they had won 2-0 in the first leg of the play-off four days earlier at Hampden Park. Which was, of course, funny. While the stakes are not as high this time, both sides will be eager to claim bragging rights and find their best form ahead of next month's World Cup qualifiers. Commentary by Clive Tyldesley and numerous inane and pointless comments will be added by the risible, worthless waste-of-space that is Andy Townsend.
Thursday 15 August
In Paul O'Grady's Working Britain - 9:00 ITV - the comedian presents the first of two programmes in which he explores the history of the British working class. For Paul, these were the people who made Britain great, from the dark days of the Industrial Revolution to the hairnets and rubber gloves of the factory line. But what happened when these jobs were no more? Travelling from his childhood town of Birkenhead to Clyde in Glasgow, he discovers the factories and mines that were at the heart of industry and the effects of their disappearance. He also speaks to people who are keeping the culture and values of the class alive and tries his hand at some typical jobs to see whether the sense of pride has survived.

The second episode of Dig WW2 with Dan Snow - 7:00 BBC2 - sees the historian head out to sea to hear the story of the Empire Heritage, a cargo ship filled with Sherman tanks sunk off Malin Head during the Battle of the Atlantic in 1944. He gets the opportunity to fly a Second World War aircraft while visiting an RAF flying boat base on Lough Erne, and meets the experts intent on discovering the identities of the remains of soldiers killed during the conflict.

Friday 16 August
Big School - 9:00 BBC1 - is a classroom comedy about a group of teachers who 'really should know better.' David Walliams stars as the uptight deputy head of chemistry Mr Church, who is about to resign from Greybridge School when he meets the attractive new French tutor Miss Postern on her first day. However, his chances of wooing her are threatened when laddish PE instructor Mr Gunn also makes a move on their new colleague - so Church takes advice from a pupil on how to succeed with women. With hilarious consequences, no doubt. Catherine Tate, Philip Glenister and Frances de la Tour co-star.
In The Burrowers: Animals Underground - 9:00 BBC2 - Chris Packham sheds light on the underground world of water voles, rabbits, badgers and moles, observing the animals using full-scale replicas of their subterranean homes - including the world's largest man-made rabbit warren. The naturalist investigates how they create their burrows, their breeding habits and the ways they give birth.

And, finally, if you're struggling to find anything else to watch tonight, you could do a hell of a lot worse that a repeat of the opening episode of BBC4's excellent Punk Britannia - 9:00. An insight into the musical landscape of the 1970s, exploring the development, influence and legacy of the punk genre, beginning with the rise of pub rock and the emergence of bands including Dr Feelgood, Ducks Deluxe and Kilburn & the High Roads. Featuring contributions by artists including Paul Weller, John Lydon, Mick Jones, Adam Ant and Wilko Johnson. Narrated by yer actual Peter Capaldi his very self. Who, of course, was once the singer/guitarist in a punk band, the - never legendary - Dreamboys.
And, so to the news: The actress Ruth Jones and her - alleged - comedy series Stella have been nominated for a string of BAFTA Cymru awards. Which is a bit surprisingly since Stella is, frankly, stinking rotten shite with no earthly worth whatsoever. Michael Sheen is in the running for a best actor award for his role in The Passion which was filmed on the streets of Port Talbot. Many of the other categories are dominated by programmes made by BBC Wales with Sherlock, Doctor Who, The Indian Doctor and The Story of Wales all short-listed. The awards ceremony will take place in Cardiff on 29 September. Jones is nominated for her lead role in Stella as well as a best writer award for the series, which is made in South Wales and broadcast on Sky 1. if you've never seen it, count yourself lucky, it's about as funny as a pain in the dong. The programme is up for ten BAFTA awards in total. Sherlock, starring yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman his very self, receives four nominations including best television drama. BAFTA Cymru director Allison Dowzell said: 'This year we received a record of number of entries and according to our judges the quality of the nominations has been particularly high. We are excited to be able to bring together the very best representatives of the creative industries in Wales in order to recognise the time, energy, determination and hard work that goes into making and producing creative media, TV and film programmes here. We're sure to see some very worthy winners rewarded for their efforts on the evening. Once again we have had the loyal support from our sponsors and we're delighted to welcome new supporters to the event this year.' Elsewhere, ITV's Welsh current affairs series Y Byd ar Bedwar is short-listed twice while its English news programme Wales Tonight is up against BBC Wales Today and S4C's Newyddion in the news category. The Story of Wales is nominated for four awards including best factual series and best presenter for Huw Edwards. The comedian Griff Rhys Jones is also nominated in the best presenter category for Britain's Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones. In the best actor category, Mark Lewis Jones, for Stella and Rhodri Meilir for S4C's Gwlad Yr Astra Gwyn are up against Michael Sheen. Mali Harries for The Indian Doctor and Sara Lloyd-Gregory for S4C's Alys join Jones as best actress nominees. The BBC network drama The Indian Doctor is nominated five times in total including best television drama. S4C's Alys is up for three awards, while producer and screenwriter Russell Davies' new teen drama Wizards Vs Aliens, produced by BBC Cymru Wales for CBBC, receives three nominations. Meanwhile, the composer Karl Jenkins has been nominated in the original music category for his work on The Story of Wales. Doctor Who is in line for a BAFTA for sound and for the editing of last year's Christmas episode called The Snowman. Barry John: The King is up for an award in the single documentary category.

Daniel Radcliffe, Ashton Kutcher and Mariah Carey are among theose lending their voices to roles on the new seasons of The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad. It will be the second time that Radcliffe has featured in The Simpsons, after a Halloween episode in 2010. Carey will play 'a redneck animal handler' in American Dad, while Kutcher will make a guest appearance on Family Guy. FOX makes all three animated shows. In 2010, Radcliffe loaned his voice to a young vampire, this time round he will play a strange older boy that Bart encounters. Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss, Bridesmaids' star Kristen Wiig and Eva Longoria will also voice characters for The Simpsons' twenty fifth season. Moss will play a mum who names her baby after Homer when he helps deliver the child. Wiig will play an FBI agent in the show's first episode going out on 29 September in the US. Also included in the series is an episode by Anchorman creator Judd Apatow. Last year Apatow revealed that a script he wrote for The Simpsons twenty two years ago is to finally make it to air. The script sees Homer hypnotised into thinking he is ten years old. Other guest voices on Family Guy will be Conan O'Brien, Two and a Half Men's Jon Cryer, Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad and Maroon Five singer Adam Levine playing himself. Zooey Deschanel, the star of New Girl, will also voice a role on American Dad.

Waste-of-space Holly Willoughby has 'laughed off' the attention given to her breasts. The presenter sparked complaints - from various tight-arsed tossers who didn't have anything better to do with their time - with a revealing dress at The Voice final earlier this year. 'None of that bothers us at all. [Her husband] Dan never gets jealous. They're just boobs. We work together on Celebrity Juice and we have the most fun,' Willoughby told the Sunday People. 'It's Dan's show and I can hear him laughing in my ear. Actually, all the rude stuff that Keith Lemon says is kind of Dan's fault.' Speaking of the complaints, she added: 'I don't take much notice of these things. If you don't let it bother you it can't hurt you. There'll be really lovely articles and there will be really horrible ones. If you take all of them at the same level then you don't get too upset or too big-headed, whichever way the pendulum swings. It's just not important to me.' Willoughby's neighbours recently spoke to the press following false accusations that the This Morning host kept her 'whole neighbourhood awake' with 'her drunken behaviour.'

After months of speculation, the BBC broadcaster Andrew Marr, who suffered a stroke in January, has spoken exclusively to the Observer about his difficult convalescence – and about his return to work at the beginning of next month. In a wide-ranging interview Marr, fifty four, went out of his way to praise the NHS. 'I don't believe there is anywhere in the world as good as the best of the NHS,' he said. 'I've had an extraordinary level of care and attention.' Echoing his wife Jackie Ashley's recent comments to Radio 4, he observed that for many less high-profile stroke sufferers, the aftercare stage has become problematic. 'Too many people get turned out of hospital and dumped in wheelchairs,' he said. Marr also spoke about his unconventional post-stroke convalescence programme, and of his work with Tom Balchin, whose Arni physiotherapy programme – Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury – remains controversial. Perhaps to confound some of his critics, who have speculated in the press about his fitness for a high-profile political programme, Marr also described his appetite for getting back to his Sunday morning television programme in time for the autumn party conferences. 'I'm going to renew my lobby pass and return to my Westminster haunts,' he said. It's not yet clear at this stage how and when Marr will resume hosting Start The Week on Radio 4. Marr said that he has used his eight-month convalescence to 're-evaluate' his lifestyle. He said that in his former life he had 'lived at too much of a rush. In hospital, I remember thinking that I have gobbled life too much. I have gone racing from one thing to the next, and never enjoyed the moment. From now on, I'm going to make sure I suck the juice out of life. I had been working at an insane rate. I had this idea that I could do more than anybody else.' Now, he says, his plan is to slow down and 'do a lot less, a lot better.' As part of his personal redemption – and as a fairly archetypal response to a brush with death – the broadcaster, who twice edited the Independent and wrote a column for the Observer, has vowed to put his 'abrasive' reputation behind him. 'I want to be kinder and nicer now,' he claimed. 'I've had lots of fights with lots of people, but now I want to reconcile myself with them. Life's too short for feuds and battles.' His idea of 'slowing down', however, remains idiosyncratic. During his recovery, he has co-authored a pseudonymous thriller, completed a film portrait of German premiere Angela Merkel and written a new introduction for the paperback reissue of his History of Scotland. 'I hope it will ruffle some feathers,' he said.

The energy minister Michael Fallon has defended comments about fracking, in which he suggested that drilling could disrupt the home lives of media commentators in Southern England. Fallon told a private meeting that it would test 'how thick their rectory walls are' and 'whether they like the flaring at the end of the drive.' The remarks came amid protests against potential fracking in West Sussex. The Tory minister told the BBC that his words were 'light hearted.' Reported in the Scum Mail on Sunday, they thought to be specifically aimed at a journalist who has previously backed fracking. Fallon said fracking would only be allowed if 'absolutely safe.' According to the Scum Mail, Fallon, the MP for Sevenoaks in Kent, made the remarks after explaining that exploratory studies for fracking could spread across Southern England following tests off the Lancashire coast. He is quoted as saying: 'The second area being studied is The Weald. It's from Dorset all the way along through Hampshire, Sussex, East Sussex, West Sussex, all the way perhaps a bit into Surrey and even into my county of Kent.' The newly promoted minister said 'of course it's underneath the commentariat. All these people writing leaders saying "why don't they get on with shale?" We are going to see how thick their rectory walls are, whether they like the flaring at the end of the drive.' The BBC's political correspondent Robin Brant said that it is thought the reference to the 'commentariat' was aimed primarily at the Spectator magazine journalist and former Daily Torygraph editor Charles Moore, who lives in a rectory in East Sussex and has written about his support for fracking in the past. In an exchange with the BBC, Fallon confirmed that he had made the remarks but said the newspaper report had 'completely misconstrued a light-hearted remark.' He said that 'no fracking will be allowed in The Weald unless it is absolutely safe and the environment is fully protected.' In the past, Fallon has described shale gas as an 'exciting new energy resource.' Fracking uses high-pressure liquid pumped deep underground to fracture shale rock and release gas. But it has prompted concerns form environmentalists over fears it can cause small earth tremors, the huge amounts of water required for the process and concerns that potentially carcinogenic chemicals used may escape as a results of bad practice. On Friday, the energy company Cuadrilla begun drilling for oil at a site in Balcombe, after being held up by more than a week of protests. Cuadrilla owns licences to test drill for shale gas in the UK but has said it had 'no plans' to use fracking. One or two people even believed them. However, demonstrators from across the UK have gathered in the area saying that they fear test drilling could lead to the search for shale gas and fracking at the site. A government report published in June 2012 concluded that fracking was safe 'if adequately monitored.' Fallon's comments came after a row prompted by comments over fracking by former government energy policy adviser and arsehole Lord Howell. He was criticised for saying that fracking should take place in 'desolate' areas of the North East though, he later revealed that he actually meant to refer to the North West. So, not only is he an arsehole, he's a geographically challenged arsehole to boot. Howell later apologised 'for any offence caused' - that's commonly known in political circles as 'a non-apology apology' since it suggests that those who were offended by the comments are the ones in the wrong rather than the arsehole who made the comments in the first place. Howell said he was suggesting fracking should take place far away from residences in 'unloved places that are not environmentally sensitive.'

King of the Mods yer actual Sir Bradley Wiggins signalled a return to form with a hugely impressive win in the thirty seven kilometre time trial at the Tour of Poland. Sir Brad, who won the Tour De France and Olympic time trial gold in 2012, recorded a time of forty six minutes and thirty six seconds. He defeated his nearest rival, Fabian Cancellara a four-time world time trial champion, by fifty six seconds. It was the final stage of the week-long race. The Tour of Poland, now in its seventieth year, had been the Team Sky rider's first competitive action since he withdrew part way through the Giro d'Italia in May. He was unable to defend his Tour De France title, won by his Team Sky colleague Chris Froome, because of a knee injury but his performance in his specialist discipline showed he was back to his best on an undulating course as he recorded his first win of the 2013 season. 'It was a fantastic performance,' said Team Sky sports director Dan Hunt. 'It was a real lesson in how to time trial. We went out this morning and researched the course and it was obvious that it suited Brad. The climbs suited him, the descents suited him and then it was a flying, rolling run-in into Krakow. He absolutely smashed it.' Wiggins is next due to compete in the Eneco Tour in Holland, from 12 to 18 August. He will then race in the Tour of Britain (15 to 22 September) with his main focus being the individual time trial at the Road World Championships on 25 September, which are being held in Florence in Italy. In Poland, he was performing mainly domestique duties for Team Sky team-mate Sergio Henao, who was third last year, but finished fifth after the seven stages this time around. The Netherlands' Pieter Weening, of Orica Greenedge, was the overall winner after a superb time trial. He was twenty seven seconds behind leader Christophe Riblon before the start of the final stage but overhauled that deficit to win by thirteen seconds.

The American rock group Bloodhound Gang (never heard of them? Me neither) have been banned from a Russian music festival after a band member stuffed the Russian flag into his underpants on stage. For a laugh. Heh. Underpants. Funny. The lack of culture minister Vladimir Medinsky described the band as 'idiots' and said they were 'packing their suitcases' as he spoke. Bass player Jared Hasselhoff was seen in a video posted on YouTube pushing the flag into the front of his pants and pulling it out of the back. Hasselhoff later apologised for the stunt, local media reported. Well, that's not very rock and roll is it, matey? Would Keef Richards have apologised? Would he bugger. The incident took place in a 31 July concert in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. 'Don't tell Putin,' Hasselhoff said to applause as he grabbed a Russian flag from the wall behind and performed the stunt. The band had been expected to play at the Kubana festival, held in the first week in August in Russia's Krasnodar region. But their performance billed for Friday was cancelled. 'I spoke to the Krasnodar region authorities. Bloodhound Gang is packing their suitcases,' Medinsky said on Twitter. 'These idiots will not perform in Kuban.' Festival organiser Ilya Ostrovsky told 'We're here to make friends or listen to music. We will not allow anyone to insult the inhabitants of any country.' Local media reports later said that Hasselhoff had been 'questioned' by police. The head of Russia's Investigations Committee, Vladimir Markin, said that his department was prepared to pursue criminal charges against 'all those involved' if prosecutors decided there was a case. Bloodhound Gang formed in the 1990s and are known for their provocative and sexually explicit lyrics.

It seems nought but five minutes since the last football season ended and yet, here we are, and a new one is already underway. Albeit, it's only the Championship, the real start of the season occurs in two weeks time when the Premier League kicks-off. Anyway, for the four people in the world that are interested, Queens Park Strangers, Reading and Wigan Not Very Athletic (and their odious, risible chairman) all won on the opening day of the new Championship season following their relegation from the Premier League last term. Promoted Bournemouth and Yeovil Town also picked up three points, but Doncaster Rovers were beaten at home by Blackpool. Dirty Leeds secured a dramatic win over Brighton & Hove Albinos, Nottingham Forest edged out Huddersfield Town and there was a derby stalemate at Turf Moor. Watford picked up a narrow win at Birmingham City and Leicester City overturned a half-time deficit to claim the points at the Smoggies of Middlesbrough. Nedum Onuoha and Andrew Johnson scored just before half-time as promotion favourites Queen's Park Strangers came from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at Loftus Road. Reading also recovered from conceding an early goal to win 2-1 at home against Ipswich Town, with Danny Guthrie's seventy fifth minute effort proving the difference. New signings Grant Holt and Leon Barnett were among the scorers as Wigan romped to a 4-0 win at Barnsley, who saw Dale Jennings sent off on his debut. Ed Upson scored with two minutes left to hand Yeovil a memorable 1-0 win at Millwall in the club's first ever match in the Championship. Bournemouth marked their return to the second tier with victory as Lewis Grabban scored a goal in each half in a 2-1 home triumph over Charlton Not Very Athletic. But Doncaster failed to emulate their fellow promoted clubs as Tom Ince's last-minute goal wrapped up a 3-1 win for Blackpool at the Keepmoat Stadium. New signing Luke Murphy quickly endeared himself to the Elland Road faithful as he scored a ninety fourth minute winner as Dirty Leeds beat Brighton 2-1. Troy Deeney is among the favourites to be the division's top scorer and his eleventh minute goal earned Watford a 1-0 win at Lee Clark's Birmingham. Forest were also 1-0 winners as Billy Davies' likely promotion contenders beat Huddersfield thanks to Henri Lansbury's fifty third minute goal. Burnley and Notlob Wanderers got the Championship season up and running at lunchtime and Darren Pratley's equaliser secured the visitors a 1-1 draw in the local derby at Turf Moor. Goals from Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy in the space of seven second-half minutes gave Leicester a 2-1 success on Teeside.

Meanwhile, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle have agreed a fee to sign twenty seven-year-old France striker Bafetimbi Gomis from Lyon. The Ligue 1 club accepted an offer in the region of eight million smackers, but Newcastle must still agree personal terms with the player. Gomis, who is close friends with Magpies midfielder Moussa Sissoko, scored twenty goals in forty four games for Lyon last season. Newcastle are also working on a deal for QPR's Loic Remy, another France international (to go with the several they already have) on a season-long loan. Gomis, who has scored three goals in twelve appearances for France, becomes Newcastle's first major transfer business of the summer following Joe Kinnear's arrival as director of football. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has been in the market for a new striker having sold Demba Ba to Chelsea for seven million knicker in January. He will become the eleventh Frenchman in Newcastle's first-team squad. Gomis came through the youth ranks at lower league outfit Sporting Toulon Var before moving to St Etienne in 2000 aged fifteen. The striker made his senior debut for St Etienne in 2004, and went on to make one hundred and forty two league appearances for the club, scoring forty goals. He scored twice on his international debut for France in a friendly against Ecuador in May 2008, which earned him a place in Les Bleus' squad for Euro 2008. In July 2009 Gomis made a thirteen million quid switch from St Etienne to Lyon where he has spent the last four seasons.

Is this the most unfortunate bit of sub-editing you've ever seen from a newspaper, dear blog reader?
One trusts someone got a right good bollocking for that. S'cuse the pun.

Which brings us to today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. It's that time again, dear blog reader, the cosmic wheel has turned yet again. Though, somehow, I can't see Peter Capaldi reforming Dreamboys to record a cover version.

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