Friday, September 27, 2013

I Heard It In The House of Commons Everything's For Sale

Could even the BBC their very selves devise and execute something more impressive than this gorgeous fan-created Peter Capaldi Doctor Who title sequence, dear blog reader? There are some disgustingly talent people on the Internet with, simply, too much time on their hands, clearly! Jolly well done, that chap (or, indeed, lady - delete as applicable).
And now, dear blog reader, a quick word from both of our our sponsors.
Whitechapel climbed back slightly in the overnight ratings on Wednesday. The ITV drama's fourth episode gained two hundred thousand viewers from last week to 3.23 million at 9pm. Earlier, Big Star's Little Star was watched by a sickening 3.81m at 8pm. On BBC1, Watchdog interested 3.93m at 8pm, followed by the final Who Do You Think You Are? of the series featuring John Simpson with 4.12m at 9pm. Father Figure had an audience of 1.59m at 10.35pm. BBC2's House That One Hundred Thousand Pounds Built appealed to 2.02m at 8pm, while Brian Cox's Science Britannica garnered 1.35m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Three Day Nanny was seen by nine hundred and three thousand punters at 8pm, followed by Grand Designs with 2.11m at 9pm. Gogglebox returned to 1.34m at 10pm. Channel Five's latest episode of CSI: NY was watched by nine hundred and forty six thousand at 9pm, while Wentworth attracted seven hundred and eighty nine thousand viewers at 10pm. On BBC3, the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie brought in nine hundred and seventy two thousand at 7.45pm.

Yer actual Sir Trevor McDonald's US prison documentary topped Thursday's ratings outside of soaps, according to overnight figures. Women Behind Bars With Trevor McDonald was seen by 3.54 million viewers at 9pm on a, frankly, piss-poor night all round. Earlier, wretched unfunny alleged 'sitcom' Pat and Cabbage spectacularly failed to amuse 2.32m at 8.30pm. If ITV had a thoroughly rotten night, then it wasn't much better for BBC1 with Steve Backshall's Super Giant Animals bringing in but 2.71m at 8pm. Later, Question Time interested 2.31m at 10.35pm. BBC2's The Wonder Of Dogs attracted 2.55m at 8pm. Peaky Blinders dipped to 1.75m at 9pm, while Mock The Week had an audience of 1.55m punters at 10pm. On Channel Four, Location, Location, Location gathered 2.07m at 8pm, followed by Educating Yorkshire with 2.41m at 9pm. My Tattoo Addiction was seen by 1.43m at 10pm. Channel Five's latest episode of CSI: NY was watched by 1.10m viewers at 9pm. Thursday remains, by a considerable distance, the best night to go out all week - as yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self does - as the chances of missing anything you'd probably want to watch are negligible. (Though, you're advised to set your recording devices wisely for Mock The Week just in case Andy Parsons or Dara O'Briain says anything funny).

Very much a case in point. The TV Comedy One-Liner of the Week came from Mock The Week and Andy Parson's observation as part of a 'Things you wouldn't hear on a DIY show' round: 'This week on Grand Designs, two more middle-class tossers piss away their life savings on some glorified Wendy House.' It's funny cos it's true.
That - narrowly - beat last week's TV Comedy One-Liner of the Week, the bit in the last episode of Qi when Steven Fry's suggestion that Alan Davies hadn't invite him to Alan's wedding provoked something of an outburst of mock-indignation for Alan his very self: 'I did invite you. You didn't come! You were filming an episode of Bones!'
The BFI will be premiering An Adventure In Space And Time - the Mark Gatiss biopic drama about the genesis and early years of Doctor Who - on Tuesday 12 November. The ninety-minute production for BBC2 has been written by Gatiss, directed by Terry McDonough and stars David Bradley as William Hartnell. Before it it is broadcast on TV screens, though, it is being shown first on the big screen as part of the BFI's Doctor Who At Fifty season. The event will start at 8.20pm and a question-and-answer session with a special guest panel will also be held, with the names of those taking part still to be confirmed. Tickets will be allocated by two separate ballots via the members' section, with one ballot for 'BFI Champions' opening on Monday 30 September, and another ballot for members, which will open on Tuesday 1 October. A broadcast date for the drama is yet to be announced.
Martin Freeman his very self is a man in demand. He's recently completed shooting on the third series of Sherlock, plus he's got another Hobbit film hitting cinemas this December. His next role will see him enter unchartered territory, taking on US TV in FX's reboot of the Coen brothers' 1996 film Fargo. The ten-episode series, inspired by the Oscar-nominated movie, will see Martin play Lester Nygaard, the uninspired insurance salesman originally portrayed by William H Macy, who received a nomination from the Academy for his efforts. Lester's seen better days and is struggling to put up with his nagging wife when a mysterious stranger comes to town and changes his life forever. The rootless, manipulative newcomer, Lorne Malvo, will be portrayed by yet another Oscar-winner, Billy Bob Thornton, whose character soon sets Lester on a path towards destruction. The updated series will follow an 'all-new "true crime" story with a new case and characters, all seeped in the humour, murder and "Minnesota nice" of the original,' according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The BBC's economics correspondent, Stephanie Flanders, is to join investment bank JP Morgan. Steph, who has been with the BBC for eleven years - five of them in her current role - and was previously the economics editor on BBC2's Newsnight, will become the chief market strategist for the UK and Europe at JP Morgan Asset Management. Steph said: 'In my new job, I'll have more time and resources for research and I'll get a deeper understanding of the markets, from inside one of the world's most experienced financial institutions. 'I'll also be helping to grow a business. That's something I've never done before. Having spent all of my working life as an economist, talking about the market economy – this feels like the right time to give it a try.' During her time at the BBC she worked on Newsnight and presented on both TV and radio, notably her Stephanomics series on Radio 4, which took the title of her blog posts. She also presented the Masters Of Money series on BBC2 last year. Flanders is reported - by the Gruniad, if not anyone that actually matters - to have 'been regarded internally' as 'a strong contender' to be the second female presenter of Radio 4's Today, a role which went to Mishal Husain. James Harding, the BBC's director of news and current affairs, said Steph had 'given our audience unrivalled coverage of the economy – the most important story in Britain over the past few years. She has done it with intelligence, understanding and good judgement. For the past eleven years she has been an exceptional journalist and broadcaster and she'll be sorely missed. We all wish her every success in the future.' Steph will step down from her economics reporting role immediately, but will continue to present Radio 4's Start the Week and will finish filming an upcoming documentary for the BBC. She will begin her new job in November. Robert Peston, the BBC's business editor, added: 'Stephanie has been the outstanding economics broadcaster of the last few years. She has made an enormous contribution to the BBC, because of the authority and clarity of her journalism. We all wish her well in her new and challenging role, but I will feel the loss of an always stimulating and supportive colleague.'

A landmark report says scientists are 'ninety five per cent certain' that humans are the 'dominant cause' of global warming since the 1950s. And, in other 'news', apparently bears shit in the woods. Who'd've thought it?

More than half of people in the UK regard the BBC as their single most important source of news, according to new figures released by the media regulator Ofcom. The report said that television remained - by far - the most important platform for news, used by seventy eight per cent of adults against forty per cent who read newspapers, thirty five per cent who turn to the radio and thirty two per cent who look to the Internet. The BBC website remains the most popular online destination, used by fifty two per cent of people who go online, against nineteen per cent of people who use Facebook for their news access and ten per cent who turned to Twitter for online news updates. While Twitter was praised for the 'range of opinions' it offers, more than any other named 'source' across any media, less than a third of people who used it regarded it as accurate or trustworthy, said Ofcom. Others regard it - and those who use it - as a complete and utter waste of space. There was a big age differential, with twelve per cent of people aged sixteen to twenty four using the Internet for news, against one per cent who went online among the over fifty fives, according to the News Consumption in the UK report published on Wednesday. Asked to name their single most important source for news, thirty four per cent of respondents said BBC1, followed by ITV (thirteen per cent) and six per cent who said the BBC News channel, just ahead of Sky News (five per cent) and the BBC website, also with five per cent. In total, fifty three per cent of people regarded one of the BBC's news outlets, across TV, radio and online, as their most important 'source' of news. But while BBC TV was regarded as important, its viewers scored it marginally lower in terms of accuracy and reliability, and trustworthiness, than viewers of Sky News. Asked whether it was impartial and unbiased, and offered a range of opinions, BBC TV scored less highly (among their respective viewers) than Sky News, ITV and Channel Four News. Channel Five News rated worst among the TV news services. Ofcom said that 'younger people' were more likely to turn to a website or app, with twenty four per cent of people aged sixteen to twenty four regarding a digital media 'source' as their first choice for news, ahead of an average of fourteen per cent across all age groups. Similarly, sixteen to twenty four-year-olds were 'least likely' to 'name check' a TV channel. Despite its lower reach compared to newspapers or radio, the Internet had a higher share of the news market because it is used more frequently, said the regulator, with a twenty one per cent 'share of reference', against eighteen per cent for radio and thirteen per cent for newspapers (television remains top, with fifty seven per cent).

Channel Four has announced that Homeland's third season will premiere in the UK next month. The award-winning terrorism thriller - starring Damian Lewis and Claire Danes - will return on Sunday 6 October at 9pm. It will premiere on Showtime in the US on Sunday 29 September.
There a very interesting piece by Jack Seale of the Radio Times on the American reaction to the final episode of Broadchurch here which is well worth a few moments of your time, dear blog reader. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self particularly enjoyed the fact that, seemingly, everyone in the US thinks that every television programme in Britain is made by the BBC. Hang on, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self will qualify that. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self particularly enjoyed the fact that, seemingly, everyone in the US thinks that every television programme in Britain that's good is made by the BBC. Not quite, dear Stateside blog readers. Mostly, but not quite.
HBO has revealed Robert De Niro will replace James Gandolfini in new mini-series Criminal Justice, following the death of The Sopranos actor in June. De Niro will play an ambulance-chasing New York lawyer in the show which Gandolfini had been developing, based on the 2008 BBC series by Peter Moffat. Gandolfini had starred in the pilot episode and will remain an executive producer, albeit posthumously. He died in Rome earlier this year after suffering a heart attack, aged fifty one. The show's future had been unclear but according to Deadline Hollywood the team was 'keen to continue' in Gandolfini's honour, because he had been 'so passionate and committed' to the project. The website's TV Editor, Nellie Andreeva, claimed that HBO wanted 'a great actor whom Gandolfini would have wanted for the role and who would honour Gandolfini's memory with his performance.' She added: 'I hear their list consisted of one name only, Robert De Niro, who responded and came on board.' It is not yet confirmed when the seven hour mini-series will be broadcast, but production is expected to begin in March. Criminal Justice sees De Niro's character, Jack Stone, take on the case of a Pakistani, played by the British actor Riz Ahmed, who is accused of murdering a girl on New York's Upper West Side. The original BBC series took a different approach, with each episode tracking an individual murder case on trial with a different cast. However writer Moffat is an executive producer on the HBO series, which was written by Richard Price. The first hour will be directed by Steven Zaillian, who has been looking after the project for more than four years. The series was one of Gandolfini's last on-screen roles, along with the romantic comedy Enough Said which is due for release 18 October. HBO originally rejected the Criminal Justice pilot in February, but revived the idea as a mini-series in May.

Lancashire Police has confirmed that it has received new allegations against naughty old scallywag and convicted kiddie fiddler Stuart Hall. The eighty three-year-old broadcaster was sentenced to fifteen months in clink in June, after previously pleading guilty - eventually - to fourteen indecent assaults against girls aged between nine and seventeen. The sentence was later doubled to thirty months after Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge played his joker and ruled it 'unduly lenient.' 'We can confirm that we have received further allegations against Mr Hall and we are working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to determine the most appropriate course of action,' read the Lancashire Police statement. 'We take all allegations of sexual abuse seriously and we would encourage people with any information about sexual abuse or who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward and report their concerns confident in the knowledge it will be investigated appropriately and with sensitivity.'

Firefighters were called to Battersea Power Station after a TV stunt 'caused concerns' - from glakes - that the historic building was alight. Flames were projected on to the Grade II-listed building in South-West London to promote the explorer Bear Grylls' new show on the Discovery Channel Escape From Hell. London Fire Brigade said that it was called at 19:50 but realised that it was a false alarm on reaching the site. The thirty nine-acre site is to be turned into three thousand five hundred homes, offices, shops and a park. As part of the stunt, the TV presenter abseiled down the building as flames came up from the ground. A fire service spokesman said: 'We attended and as soon as we got there we realised it wasn't an incident for us. But we take every call seriously.' Even the really frigging stupid ones, seemingly. A Malaysian consortium is redeveloping the site and restoring the building, and it will take at least ten years to complete the eight billion smackers project. The building, known for its four brick chimneys, has been vacant since being decommissioned in 1983 and is on English Heritage's 'at risk' register. Grylls also revealed that the broadcaster and national treasure Stephen Fry joined him for an upcoming Wild Weekends show, according to the Daily Torygraph. Grylls said: 'We were in crazy weather conditions, one thousand feet wall climbs and camping out in caves, and climbing down massive waterfalls. He was exhausted and broken, but amazing.' Grylls added that the pair became quite close during their experience, saying: 'There was lots of "Good night, general" and "Good night, darling."'

Lord Sugar-Sweetie's bid to recover costs from - and administer a punishment beating to - the winner of The Apprentice after she lost a constructive dismissal claim against him has failed. Which is almost as funny as him threatening such a course of action in the first place. Nobody like bullies, Alan. An East London Tribunal Service panel ruled that Stella English should not pay any of the fifty grand legal fees Sugar-Sweetie had demanded. The initial tribunal said that English's case and ridiculous and 'should never have been brought' - a statement reiterated by Sugar-Sweetie's lawyers in his bid to recover costs. The panel rejected the bid and said that English 'truly believed' she had a case. Henry Hendron, lawyer for the mother of two, said that his client was 'over the moon' at the verdict and added that the tribunal had stated she did not bring the original claim against Lord Sugar-Sweetie's company 'motivated by malice or bad intentions.' He said that English 'is now keen to put this saga behind her.' During the proceedings, English, who has been unemployed since July, claimed that she had but two hundred quid in her bank account. Which is a damn sight more than a lot of people have got. She also claimed that despite owning three properties, she had been 'forced to apply for housing benefit' and is considering applying for jobseekers allowance. She told the panel: 'I do not know how I am going to feed my kids, never mind the mortgages.' Well, you could try getting a job, love. Just a wild suggestion. In her witness statement, English said the entire episode had affected her family financially and emotionally, had 'a devastating impact' on her career prospects, and the stress had contributed to the breakdown of her marriage, leaving her unemployed and a single parent. The thirty four-year-old, who earned one hundred grand a year, had then claimed she had 'no real role' at Sugar-Sweetie's IT firm, Viglen, but Sugar-Sweetie argued that he had no case to answer. Following a unanimous ruling in his favour, he tweeted that the verdict has been 'a victory for the law against the claim culture.' At the time, in a written judgment, Judge John Warren said: 'This was a claim which should never have been brought. There was no assurance or suggestion that the winner would receive direct mentoring from Lord Sugar.' The judge found that English, of Whitstable, was given a 'real job' at Viglen, with 'enormous scope for advancement and learning.' Not to mention one hundred grand a year, salary. The 2010 Apprentice winner resigned from the company in May 2011 and then 'felt pressurised' into taking up a new position at Sugar-Sweetie's Internet set-top box company YouView, English had told the hearing. Sugar-Sweetie claimed that he was 'trying to help her out' by offering her a new position because she had complained of being 'desperate for money.'

According to the Sun, MC Hammer will reportedly host a new ITV2 show 'based around people with no star talent.' Insert your own punchline here.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is wholly indebted to his good mate, the legend that is Danny Blythe, for the following observation: 'Watching Educating Yorkshire tonight I actually thought for a split second that this was a caption, and that there really was a girl on it called Toshiba. And this didn't surprise me in the slightest.' This blogger knows exactly what he means.
On a marginally-related theme (ie, something else that yer actual Keith Telly Topping is nicking which the same mate posted on Facebook) Danny also observed: 'They've added in a voice-over of "And I love my twin sister" on the NatWest advert, haven't they? Were people really that confused? Did they think the two women were the same person, or some kind of Sliding Doors parallel universe versions of the same person who inexplicably hug at the end without causing a massive anti-matter implosion?' Which is both true, and gives yer actual Keith Telly Topping the perfect excuse to post a screengrab of the 'lesbian' sister that 'loathes' swimming. And, you know, why ever not? It's a free country, after all.
Qatar 2022 World Cup organisers say that they are 'appalled' by the findings of an investigation into the treatment of migrant workers in the country. The Gruniad Morning Star reported Nepalese workers in Qatar 'face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery.' Tournament organisers says the Qatari government will 'study' the allegations - although whether they'll actually do anything about them is another matter entirely - while FIFA says it is 'very concerned.' A Qatari statement read: 'There is no excuse for any worker in Qatar to be treated in this manner.' The Gruniad investigation claims 'at least' forty four workers died between 4 June and 8 August because of heart-related issues or workplace accidents; that there is some evidence of 'forced labour' on a major World Cup infrastructure project; Nepalese men have not been paid 'for months' with salaries retained and passports confiscated to limit their movements and that access to free drinking water on construction sites has 'been denied on some occasions.' The statement from World Cup organisers continued: 'The health, safety, well-being and dignity of every worker that contributes to staging the 2022 FIFA World Cup is of the utmost importance to our committee and we are committed to ensuring that the event serves as a catalyst toward creating sustainable improvements to the lives of all workers in Qatar.' The statement added: 'We firmly believe that all workers engaged on our projects, and those of the other infrastructure developers in Qatar, have a right to be treated in a manner that ensures at all times their well-being, safety, security, and dignity. This is our top priority as we begin to deliver on the promises made in our bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.' Radio 5live spoke to the chief executive of Qatar 2022, Hassan Al Thawadi earlier this month, before the findings were published. Asked about the issue of working conditions, he said: 'Our priority when it comes to the workers is to ensure the safety, security, dignity and health of each worker is catered for and taken care of.' He added that work on World Cup projects had yet to get under way, but when it did contractors would have to abide by a 'workers' charter. We've shared these workers' standards and our workers' strategy with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and we are in open discussions with them as well,' he added. The 2022 World Cup is already under scrutiny because of concerns about the effects Qatar's searing summer heat could have on players. A FIFA statement said that the world football's governing body 'will again get in contact with the Qatari authorities.' FIFA's executive committee will discuss the issue when it meets in Zurich on 3 and 4 October to discuss the possibility of moving the competition to winter.

King of the Mods Sir Bradley Wiggins was denied a first road world title as Germany's Tony Martin claimed a third consecutive time trial gold with a commanding ride in Florence on Tuesday. Wiggo overhauled Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara in the final third of the 57.9km course to win a deserved silver - just as he did in the 2011 Championships. But Martin had built a lead from the start and came in 46.09 seconds ahead. Ireland's Nicolas Roche was thirteenth with Britain's Alex Dowsett down in forty first.
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has been ruled out of Sunday's elite race at the Road World Championships. The twenty eight-year-old 2012 Tour Of Britain winner, who is replaced by Luke Rowe, tweeted: 'Sorry I had to withdraw, don't have the form to help the lads.' Tour De France winner Chris Froome will lead the powerful eight-man British team, which also includes King of the Mods Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. Meanwhile, Ed Clancy and Jess Varnish both claimed gold at the British National Track Cycling Championships on Wednesday. Double Olympic gold medallist Clancy claimed the open pursuit event in four minutes and 26.015 seconds. Varnish won the women's five hundred metres time trial gold in 34.455 seconds. Sophie Thornhill celebrated victory in the para-cycling time trial while Jon-Allen Butterworth set a new world record of 1:05.725 in his Paralympic men's time trial. 'It's not a personal best but it's the best I could have done. I'm just happy to take the win,' said Varnish, who has been out of action with a back injury. Clancy said: 'With four laps to go in the final I just gritted my teeth and dug in as much as I could. It was hard, I just went flat out.'
Singer Christine McVie rejoined her former Fleetwood Mac bandmates on-stage for the first time in fifteen years at London's O2 arena on Thursday. She performed a rendition of the band's hit 'Don't Stop', a song she wrote in 1977. Fleetwood Mac's resident airhead Stevie Nicks had earlier promised that McVie would join the band for two UK dates, although she could not confirm which concerts. McVie was part of the band from the 1970s to the the 1990s. There was an enthusiastic reception from the crowd when she introduced to the stage at the O2. Founding Fleetwood Mac member Peter Green - who left the group in 1970 - was also in the crowd for the concert, receiving a dedication for the song 'Landslide' from Nicks.

Polls to discover the nation's favourite poem have traditionally crowned Rudyard Kipling's If as number one, while TS Eliot has usually been hailed as the greatest poet, but now an audit of the poems most-requested on BBC Radio 4's Poetry Please has found that American poet Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening is the piece that listeners most want to hear. Presumably because they have, as it were, miles to go before they sleep. Hey, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self don't just throw these things together, you know, dear blog reader. The programme's producer, Tim Dee, has added up every poem featured on the programme since it began - in 1979 - to produce a list of the most popular requests. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening has been read out seventeen times in the show's thirty five years on-air. Kipling's If was voted the nation's favourite poem by BBC television viewers in 2005 and 2009, as part of its poetry season, and viewers also crowned TS Eliot as the UK's favourite poet. 'To see Frost at the top is a nice correction to the patriotism of the "nation's favourite" poems or poets. It's much more human,' Dee added.
In second place on the Poetry Please requests list, broadcast sixteen times in thirty five years, is Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways and in joint third place, having been read out fourteen times, are Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas and Adlestrop by Edward Thomas, both poems associated with place. 'Adlestrop is a crowd-pleaser, but it's also a lovely, open-ended piece. Robert Frost was the poet who made Ed Thomas into the writer he was. They lived in adjacent villages in Gloucester and Frost helped him,' Dee said. Listeners most often request poems as a way of marking an emotional life event, whether it is the poem that wooed their spouse, the birth of a grandchild or the death of somebody close to them. Requests for the purposes of showing off are 'quite rare', Dee said. The list is notable for having no contemporary - or even particularly recent - poems on it; the most recent is Fern Hill, first published in 1945. There is no Simon Armitage for example. No Carol Ann Duffy, no Philip Larkin or Sylvia Plath, and no Seamus Heaney in the top ten. Even more worrying, there's nothing by Smokey Robinson either. Eliot appears further down the list, with Journey Of The Magi (nine readings), Macavity The Mystery Cat (six readings), and The Love Song Of Alfred Prufrock and Skimbleshanks (both five readings). One feature shared by Poetry Please's top ten – as well as their mostly emotional rather than intellectual concerns – is brevity: the majority of the top ten poems are no more than a page or two long. The top-most-requested poems are being collected in an anthology, Poetry Please: The Nation's Best-Loved Poems, with a foreword by yer actual Roger McGough, the programme's presenter, to be published by Faber on 3 October.

On this very Thursday evening dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self attended, of course, the latest Record Player event hosted by yer actual Uncle Scunthorpe at the Tyneside. This was one yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self had been looking forward to for some time, an evening of top Kraftwerk-influenced electro-pop, a clash of the eighties with New Order's Low-Life up against yer actual Pet Shop Boys' Actually.
And, as per usual, totally thrilltastic it was too. There have been many proper twenty four carat great Record Player nights over the last couple of years and it was always going to be hard to beat some of those (the chilled-out night we did Bridge Over Troubled Water, for one) but the electro-pop face-off between The News and The Shoppies might, just, be one of finest half-dozen or so yet. Hearing 'Sunrise' played at extreme volume was a bone-shaking experience. An evening of good company, fine music, and more than a few larfs. Thus, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 33(s) of the Day we have, essentially, the same double-header. Here is The News
And, after that, a visit to The Shop.

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