Monday, September 09, 2013

I Seen It In A Documentary On BBC2

John Hurt has spoken of his surprise at Doctor Who's fandom and popularity around the world. The veteran actor made his first appearance as a previously unknown incarnation of The Doctor in the BBC's popular, long-running family SF drama earlier this year and will return for the upcoming fiftieth anniversary special. Speaking about being involved in the show, he told the Gruniad Morning Star: 'I had no idea that Doctor Who had got so huge. I just thought, "Brilliant, I'll be a Doctor!" I was suddenly - what do they call it? You start "trending". This is all new to me!' When asked about speculation that he plays a 'dark' version of The Doctor, he said: 'Of course you have to remember that The Doctors are all one person, so I'm not outside of that. I can't talk about it, but I will say I was really impressed when I did it.' He added: 'Both the previous Doctors - Matt Smith and David Tennant - boy, are they good at it. They are so quick, and there's a huge amount of learning and no time to learn it in. All that fake scientific nonsense. Terribly difficult to learn.' Hurt also revealed that he was 'pleasantly surprised' by the treatment he received from Doctor Who fandom. 'I've done a couple of conferences where you sit and sign autographs for people and then you have photographs taken with them and a lot of them all dressed up in alien suits or Doctor Who whatevers,' he said. 'I was terrified of doing it because I thought they'd all be loonies, but they are absolutely, totally charming as anything. It's great fun. I'm not saying it's the healthiest thing - I don't know whether it is or isn't - but they are very charming.' Ah, you haven't met any of The Special People yet, Johnny, that usually sorts the men from the boys.
In the meantime, here's a picture of a couple of pure-dead-sad member's of Star Trek fandom doing that Vulcan 'live long and prosper' malarkey. Saddos!
Strictly Come Dancing nudged ahead of its fierce ITV rival The X Factor in the annual Saturday night ratings war as the two shows clashed for the first time this year. The popular BBC1 dance competition, which began this weekend, drew an average overnight audience of 8.4 million viewers. This debut put it narrowly ahead of the 7.94 million overnight viewers who watched the hour-long edition of The X Factor. The 8pm Strictly episode, which revealed the fifteen pairings for the new series, peaked with 9.13m at 7.45pm. The figure is approximately four hundred thousand viewers up on last year's launch episode's overnight ratings. However, the ITV talent show had a big slump in its overnight audience compared to the launch show the previous week, which saw an average of 8.78 million tune in to see the return of Sharon Osbourne to the judging panel. The two shows only overlapped for ten minutes, between eight o'clock and ten past the hour. The X Factor was broadcast between 20:00 and 21:00, while Strictly Come Dancing ran at the earlier time of 18:50 to 20:10. Strictly's launch saw the celebrities, announced earlier in the week, introduced to their professional partners. The pairings saw Anton du Beke - whose previous partners have included Anne Widdecombe and Nancy Dell'Olio, poor sod - join forces with ex-Bond girl Fiona Fullerton. Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is paired with Brendan Cole and broadcaster Vanessa Feltz will dance opposite regular James Jordan. Jordan's wife Ola will mentor Hollyoaks actor Ashley Taylor Dawson (no, me neither), while former international rugby player Ben Cohen will dance with Kristina Rihanoff, best remembered as John Sergeant's valiant partner a few years back. 'Strictly is back,' crowed Charlotte Moore, the controller of BBC1. 'A brilliant show launched the new series with Sir Bruce, Tess and the judges all on top form last night.' ITV's own z-list celebrity dance fiasco Stepping Out, a pale attempt to match Strictly's success which was shown between 18:30 to 20:00 and which is, thankfully, dying on its arse, drew a risible, if hilarious, average overnight audience of but 2.15 million, a considerable slump - over a third of its audience - from last week's debut show, which was watched by a still-not-particularly-good, considering it's a lead-in show for The X Factor - 3.54 million viewers. Elsewhere The National Lottery: Break The Safe scored 3.50m at 8.15pm on BBC1, while The Last Night At The Proms was watched by 4.11m chinless, buck-toothed toffs at 9.15pm and Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow pulled in 1.85m at 11pm. On BBC2, Dragons' Den was broadcast from 6pm, with seven hundred and twenty thousand tuning in. Dad's Army had 1.24m at 7pm. A repeat of Mock The Week was watched by an audience of seven hundred and seventy thousand viewers from 9pm. On ITV, Through The Keyhole took 4.21m at 9pm and then movie Hell Boy II: The Golden Army was viewed by seven hundred and ninety thousand punters from 10.15pm. Including yer actual Keith Telly Topping an his house guests, as it happens. On Channel Four, Double Your House For Half The Money and Grand Designs had four hundred thousand and six hundred thousand punters respectively from 7pm. The horror movie Insidious followed with 1.30m at 9pm. North Sea Hijack - one of the most appallingly dreadful, and, therefore, fascinating, films ever made - appealed to five hundred and fifty four thousand at 6.15pm on Channel Five, while two episodes of NCIS took seven hundred and sixty six thousand and one million viewers from 8.15pm. The latest episode of Celebrity Big Brother interested 1.28m at 10pm.

'The Black Hole of Calcutta is often invoked by Strictly Come Dancing studio audiences' according to some shite on no importance in the Gruniad Morning Star trying to be funny and failing - don't give up the day-job, you middle class hippie Communist - but similar analogies were allegedly voiced when the launch show was recorded last week at Elstree, the studio where Ice Cold in Alex was shot back in the 1950s. Among those allegedly whinging about the heat in the studio was, allegedly Brucie his very self. Who, allegedly, was heard muttering off-camera: 'I was in India in 1954 and they had air-conditioning in every bloody restaurant, every bar, and here we are. It's amazing, isn't it?' 'TV viewers were denied seeing one positive result of the tropical conditions', the Gruniad louse continues, 'when a giant moth – compared by some in size to a bat, though by that stage they may have become unhinged – flew around the studio after mysteriously emerging from Forsyth's jacket. Perhaps it had been hibernating there since 1954.'

Returning to the subject of overnight ratings, The X Factor climbed back up on Sunday evening when it wasn't up against Strictly. The second arena audition episode of the series was up by over a million from the previous evening to 9.11 million overnight punters at 8pm. This is down by around one hundred thousand punters from the last Sunday episode. Earlier, Coronation Street's Sunday night instalment was watched by 7.29m. Brenda Blethyn drama Vera also dipped by over one hundred thousand to 4.72m at 9pm. On BBC1, Countryfile attracted 5.22m at 7pm, followed by Antiques Roadshow with 4.93m at 8pm. The latest What Remains had an audience of 3.70m at 9pm. BBC2's latest episode of Dragons' Den interested 1.90m at 8pm. Later, Simon Sharma's acclaimed The Story of The Jews had 1.14m viewers. On Channel Four, documentary Hitler's Rise: The Colour Films appealed to 1.33m at 8pm. The terrestrial premiere of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy scored 1.13m at 9pm. Channel Five's latest Celebrity Big Brother was watched by 1.76m sad, crushed victims of society at 9pm.

Meanwhile, there seems to have been some major bugger-up of some description at BARB this week. As a consequence, the usual final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty programmes for week-ending 1 September 2013 are unavailable. Nevertheless, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self has been able to cobble together, from various sources, a final and consolidated Top Ten, just for you dear blog reader:-
1 The X Factor - Sun ITV - 10.40m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 9.01m
3 New Tricks - Tues BBC1 - 8.89m
4 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 7.3m
5 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.65m
6 The Great British Bake-Off - Tues BBC2 - 6.60m
7 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.48m
8 Celebrity MasterChef - Fri BBC1 - 5.28m
9 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.27m
10 What Remains - Sun BBC1 - 5.23m
Hopefully normal service will be restored next week and From The North can provide a full Top Twenty. BBC2's top-rated programmes of the week, aside from The Great British Bake-Off were University Challenge (2.50m). Twenty Four Hours In A&E topped Channel Four's list (2.30m). Celebrity Big Brother, inevitably, topped Channel Five's week (2.32m victims of cruel medical experiments).

A slightly naughty burlesque performance on Britain's Got More Talent, which ended with several pixellated shots of a ladygirl dancer's bare bottom, has been found to be in breach of broadcasting guidelines. Albeit, even they acknowledged that it was a very nice bottom so, you know, it wasn't all bad news for the lady in question. The talent show screened an audition by a dancer called Scarlet Cuffs (one imagines not her real name) before the watershed on 13 April 2013. ITV said that 'efforts' had been made to obscure 'any nudity or partial nudity.' But the sequence was deemed 'unsuitable for children' by the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom. Who are, let us repeat an old mantra, a politically-appointed quango, elected by no one. Scarlet's audition was shown on ITV2, in a companion episode to Britain's Got Talent, in which amateur performers compete for a place in The Royal Variety Performance. And, thereafter, instant obscurity. The dancer was first pictured backstage, where she refused to speak to the host, the dreary Stephen Mulhern, explaining she was 'resting her voice' due to pneumonia. After taking to the stage, however, she sang 'The Bare Necessities' from The Jungle Book before asking the audience: 'Have I given you a clue, ladies and gentlemen?' The camera cut to Mulhern holding up a sign saying 'Get 'Em Off' as Scarlet removed her gloves, turned her back to the audience and unzipped her dress, revealing her - extremely shapely - arse. According to the Ofcom report, the next eight seconds consisted of the following: 'a two second mid-shot of [Scarlet] wriggling her bottom out of the dress; a one second close-up of her bottom; a two second long-to-mid-zoom showing Scarlet in wide shot with her naked bottom [facing] the audience; a two second mid-shot of Scarlet shaking her naked bottom to the audience; and a later one second shot of Scarlet shaking her naked bottom to the audience.' Which, obviously, shows that they've watched it in great detail. Several times. Just to be sure. One viewer - without anything better or more constructive to do with their time, seemingly - contacted Ofcom to complain about the striptease, after which Ofcom contacted ITV for an explanation. The broadcaster claimed that 'while some viewers may find any burlesque performance unsuitable for children simply by virtue of the "sexualised" nature of burlesque itself, Britain's Got Talent has featured a number of similar acts over the years.' It therefore 'did not consider that this performance would have exceeded the likely expectations of the vast majority of the audience.' ITV added that the segment had been 'carefully edited' and contained 'saucy' humour, 'rather than being overtly erotic.' However, it agreed that 'not all parents will consider acts of this nature to be appropriate' and said it 'regretted any offence caused.' Ofcom noted that it had 'previously warned' ITV about another burlesque performance on Britain's Got Talent which was 'on the margins of acceptability. Ofcom therefore considered that, in this latest broadcast, the nudity was 'more evident' than the previous case 'due to the frequency and close-up nature of some of the images of the performer's naked buttocks. While we noted the nudity was pixellated, Ofcom disagreed with ITV and considered it was of limited effectiveness and did not sufficiently obscure the performer's naked buttocks.' Ofcom added that daytime repeats of the programme made it 'even more likely' that children might see the performance. And, of course, children should never, ever, see a naked nude-y bare bum otherwise they might, you know, be traumatised and grow up all wraped and depraved. Obviously. Ofcom ruled that the sequence 'would have exceeded the likely expectations of the audience, and especially parents" and had not been appropriately scheduled.' And, furthermore, asked for Scarlet to be sent round to there place where they could administer their chastisement personally.

Patrick Stewart his very self has married the singer Sunny Ozell at a private ceremony in which Stewart's X-Men co-star and friend Ian McKellen served as minister. Few details are known about the wedding, which was confirmed by Stewart with a picture he tweeted of himself joined by his new wife in a ball pit. McKellen loaned his sonorous tones to the ceremony, writing on Facebook 'I did my part' and posting a picture of his Doctor of Divinity certificate and 'Minister' T-shirt. The pair are, of course, good friends of many years standing, having starred together in several movies in the X-Men franchise and shared a stage in a theatre production of Waiting For Godot. Stewart confirmed his plans to wed Ozell back in March during an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show. The singer posted a somewhat bizarre video of her now husband on YouTube last week which saw him offering slapstick acting tips, the clip having already racked up over three and a half million hits.

Brilliant things about Sunday night's extended episode of Qi XL as compared to Friday's standard episode; fifteen minutes more of the wonderful Sara Pascoe. Dreadful things about Sunday night's extended episode of Qi XL; fifteen minutes more of odious, risible, unfunny lanky streak of piss Jack Whitehall. Swings and roundabouts, innit?
A rare Auton carnival mask from the 1971 Jon Pertwee-fronted Doctor Who story Terror of the Autons fetched more than five grand when it was auctioned on eBay. The painted fibreglass head, with felt eyes, was sold on the online auction site by a London-based person with the screen-name miss-p73 (probably not her - or, indeed, his - real name). The seller claimed in the item description that the item had been given to her family in the late-1970s when her father worked for a studio transport company. She added that the accompanying foam rubber hat had long since perished, and said that the mask had been 'much loved and played with' in her youth, which had led to it being 'a bit chipped and scraped.' After over fifty bids the prop - which was only available to buyers in the UK - finally went for five thousand one hundred and fifty four smackers when the auction ended on Thursday 5 September. The carnival masks were worn by The Autons to disguise their true evil and naughty nature as they handed out deadly plastic daffodils to unsuspecting members of the public. Who then got killed. Sort of goes with the territory, really. The four-part adventure started Pertwee's second series as The Doctor. Written by Robert Holmes and directed by Barry Letts, it was broadcast between 2 and 23 January 1971. And, it made seven year olds like yer actual Keith Telly Topping all across the country shite in their own pants and sleep with the light on for a fortnight afterwards. So, job well done there, then.

The Ashes, the return of the Premier League and transfer deadline day all helped Sky Sports record its biggest ever month on its digital platforms. The sports broadcaster saw more than three million unique users visit its Sky Sports News smartphone app in August, its highest ever, while over four million monthly unique users used the Sky Sports Football Score Centre app across a range of devices. The Sky Sports iPad app was also checked by more than half a million users. Sky’s coverage of the Ashes was watched more than sixteen times on its Sky Go platform. The first test was the most popular with over half-a-million users requesting 4.5 million live views. The first day of the Premier League – 17 August – saw over three hundred and fifty thousand people tuning in to Sky Go, helped by The Scum's game against Swansea. David Gibbs, director of Sky Sports Digital, said: '2013 sees Sky Sports' best year of sport yet, with a greater breadth and depth of sport than ever before. We see a huge appetite from our customers to watch and get closer to the biggest sporting events via their digital devices – whether that's their iPad at home, or desktop PC at work. As a result, we continue to develop our award-winning range of mobile TV services and apps to deliver our customers the Sky Sports experience – wherever they happen to be.'

The former cabinet minister - and convicted liar - Chris Huhne has attacked 'the Murdoch press' for its role in the speed-points-swap-scandal which had 'monstrous' consequences for himself, his ex-wife and their family. A whinge which, whilst it may have some truth in it, spectacularly fails to acknowledge his own, not insignificant, role in himself and his ex-wife being banged up in pokey for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Writing his sob-story in the Gruniad Morning Star, the former Liberal Democrat MP - and convicted liar - claims that nasty The Sunday Times, which broke the story, 'groomed' his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, to divulge details of how she had taken three motoring penalty points for him a decade ago when he was an MEP. So, in other words, this convicted liar is claiming that it's the fault of the press that the public distrust politicians for stealing, cheating, fiddling their expenses et cetra. Novel theory. When both Pryce, a one time senior government economist, and Huhne were jailed in March for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, she was just another 'burned contact', Huhne writes. The former energy and climate change secretary - and convicted liar - argues that politicians must 'combat concentrations of power', including of the sort possessed by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch - whom no one is scared of any more - who 'has used his media muscle to bulldoze a way for his business interests.' Which, again, is largely true - but, it would probably help matters if politicians didn't provide Murdoch's papers (and others for that matter) with good copy by being caught lying, cheating, fiddling et al. Each successive government made billionaire tyrant Murdoch more powerful, Huhne argues, as he calls for 'a more diverse media ownership.' Huhne believes that he may have been 'targeted' by billionaire tyrant Murdoch's newspapers because he called for the Metropolitan police to reopen the phone-hacking inquiry. He claims that at around the same time the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World, suspecting he was having an affair, had him tailed. Huhne's marriage collapsed when the Sunday tabloid exposed his relationship with forty six-year-old PR adviser Carina Trimingham. He left Pryce for Trimingham in 2010. Which turned out to be a pretty bad move for all concerned. Huhne's career was destroyed when, in 2011, Pryce snitched him up good and proper to the The Sunday Times like a dirty stinkin' Copper's Nark and that. She grassed to the paper that eight years earlier she had taken three speeding points for her then-husband. Huhne had been caught by a speed camera on the M11 in Essex and would have faced a driving ban due to the number of existing points on his driving licence. Huhne, who last month was hired as European chairman of the US energy firm Zillha Biomass Energy, despite his criminal conviction for lying (so, he clearly hasn't had his life entirely destroyed by being - rightly - sent down to six month in stir), suggests that the point swap seemed like a 'minor matter' at the time. Acknowledging that he should not have done it - which is, you know, big of him, since it's sodding illegal - he admitted his actions had 'not helped' the low regard in which the public hold the vast majority of politicians. True bloody right, it doesn't, matey. You're supposed to be someone who makes the law, not breaks it. But, staggeringly, Huhne then argues that modern-day parliamentarians are no more 'venal or self-serving' than those outside politics, but says they are now subjected to 'twenty four-hour media scrutiny' that is far more intrusive than in the past, and is having a 'corrosive effect' on how the public views politics. Or, in other words, 'bankers and businessmen get away with murder and politicians used to as well. But now, because of people like me getting caught red-handed doing illegal shit, everyone knows that we're all scum. Poor us.' Or, similar crass and ignorant staggering self-justification. From, just to repeat, a convicted liar. I think the sheer brass-neck of this sorry attempt at blame-shifting is the thing that sticks in the craw far more than the - in theory, more criminal - fact that, for just a few minutes, this odious fraction of an individual has managed to make those of us who would cheerfully see billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch and all his grubby spawn out of business and starving in the gutter, actually want to defend the bloke's right to expose lice like Huhne. He claims there is a 'new aggression' in the tabloid press, partly due to falling sales. Huhne, let us remember, had maintained his innocence right up to the first day of the joint trial, when he changed his plea to guilty and stepped down from his seat in Eastleigh. So, not only a liar but a serial liar, at that. Pryce pleaded not guilty, citing the rare defence of marital coercion, but the jury didn't buy it and she was extremely convicted following a retrial. Sentencing the couple to The Big House in March, judge Mr Justice Sweeney said 'any element of tragedy is entirely your own fault.' Sweeney said Pryce was motivated by 'an implacable desire for revenge' on her former husband, whose reputation she had set about ruining whilst trying to protect her own. In her dealings with the media, she had demonstrated 'a controlling, manipulative and devious side' said the judge. She has since written a book, Prisonomics, based on her time in jail. So, it would seem she hasn't done too badly out of six months in the slammer, either. To Huhne, Sweeney said: 'Despite your high office you tried to lie your way out of trouble by claiming you were innocent, by repeating that lie again and again during your extensive interviews by the police. You have fallen from a great height, albeit that is only modest mitigation given that it is a height that you would never have achieved if you had not hidden your commission of such a serious offence in the first place.'

Dear blog readers really should take a gander at the new Newsnight editor Ian Katz's Twitter feed, before the inevitable anti-candour clampdown from the BBC kicks-in. According to his former employers, the Gruniad Morning Star, in his first week in charge – nicely coinciding with the premiere of the WikiLeaks film The Fifth Estate, in which Dan Stevens plays him – the former Gruniad deputy editor was Frank to the point of being Francis about the trickiness of getting more women on as guests ('I will find them, but harder than I realised. It's just the chap experts are a lot easier to find') and of keeping yer actual Jezza Paxman happy - a tricky thing at the best of times. The latter challenge is not yet one Katz seems to have mastered, as the anchorman made little secret of his scorn for having to invite viewers to send in video shorts ('I can hardly wait', he is reported to have scowled) and quiz guests about Cheryl Cole's artistically remodelled arsehole and other tattoos, backdropped Qi-style by giant images of body art ('that was the most ridiculous discussion I've ever chaired on Newsnight', guest Rachel Johnson snitched Jezza as saying after ripping his mike off once the piece had finished). So, it was possibly a little wistfully that Katz noted a French politician interviewed for another item 'displayed formidable Paxman handling skills by referring to him as "my dear."' For once, even yer man Paxo was lost for words.

The statue of Frank Sidebottom destined for his home town of Timperley is now complete. Artist Paulina Skavova has put the finishing touches to the bronze at her studios in the Czech Republic, and it is now ready for delivery. Fundraisers are still fifteen hundred quid short of their target, however, and are planning a final event to make up the difference. The statue is expected to be unveiled in October.
Sky Vision has acquired the international rights to Emily Mortimer's new comedy series Doll & Em and Ray Winstone-fronted drama Moonfleet. The move, which comes ahead of Mipcom, marks two of the most significant scripted series picked up by the nascent international distribution arm of the pay-TV broadcaster. Doll & Em is produced by King Bee Productions, the independent production company owned by Mortimer, for Sky Living and will become the first original comedy series to be distributed by Sky Vision. The six-part comedy, due to be broadcast later this year, follows Mortimer and her real life best friend Dolly Wells set in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Sky Vision is also distributing Moonfleet, the two-part classic drama from Company Pictures, based on John Meade Falkner's novel. It stars Winstone as the smuggler Elzevir Block and The White Queen's Aneurin Barnard as a young John Trenchard. The drama will launch on Sky 1 later this year. Sky Vision managing director Carl Hall said: 'I am thrilled we will be launching our first comedy series at Mipcom with Dolly and Emily in Cannes and our first drama feature. Following the launch of Sky Vision just last year, we are already offering a wide range of high-quality drama and comedy from Sky and other third-party producers. Although we've made a strong start, we have even more ambitious plans moving forward.'

Tokyo has been chosen to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games ahead of Istanbul and Madrid. The Japanese capital won a final round of voting by International Olympic Committee members in Buenos Aires to beat Istanbul by sixty votes to thirty six. Madrid had earlier been eliminated in a first-round ballot. The announcement was met with jubilant scenes in Japan, as Tokyo prepares to host the event for the first time since 1964. When IOC president Jacques Rogge - who will retire after twelve years in the role on Tuesday - announced the winning city, the Tokyo delegation jumped to their feet in celebration and waved the Japan flag. A number of them were overcome with emotion and wept, following two years of intense lobbying. 'I would like to thank everyone in the Olympic movement and we will host a wonderful Olympic games,' a delighted Prime Minster Shinzo Abe said. Bid leader Tsunekazu Takeda added: 'It is a great honour that Tokyo has been chosen. The first thing I will do when I return is to thank all of Japan.' London mayor Boris Johnson sent 'huge congratulations to Tokyo for winning the honour of hosting the greatest sporting spectacular on the planet.' He continued: 'I am sure that, like London, your great city will put on an extraordinary event. This is a magical moment of celebration to savour before the years of hard work ahead.' The decision means Tokyo - which campaigned with the message that 'the Olympics will be safe in our hands' - will become the first Asian city to host the games twice. They were also awarded the event in 1940 but the games were cancelled because of World War II and they had to spend the next twenty odd years atoning for their war crimes before finally getting another chance in 1964. And, to be fair, putting on one of the great Olympics of the modern era. The success of the Tokyo bid followed a personal address from the Japanese prime minister during the presentation stage, in which he allayed fears over the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, one hundred and fifty miles from the city by saying: 'It has never done, and will never do, any damage to Tokyo.' The plant had been leaking radiation after an earthquake and tsunami hit the North East of the country in 2011. 'I cannot believe it,' Japanese fencing Olympic silver medallist Yuki Ota told BBC Sport. 'A thousand times I imagined Jacques Rogge opening the paper - it has become a reality. After the earthquake everyone in Japan was depressed but now we have to make a dream come true.' The prime minister's presentation also revealed the role sport had played in boosting the country in the past two years and pointed out that no Japanese athlete had failed a drugs test at an Olympics or Paralympics - a thinly-veiled dig in the direction of both of Tokyo's rivals for the prize. It added that sponsorship would reach record levels and ten new permanent sports venues would be constructed, including the Olympic Stadium, which will be finished by 2019 in time to host the Rugby World Cup. For Istanbul, their campaign had not been able to overcome concerns about serious political unrest in the country, a series of doping scandals among the country's athletes, the jailing of political opponents and journalists, plus the conflict in neighbouring Syria. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had flown to Buenos Aires from the G20 summit in Russia to argue the Turkish city's case. But his efforts were to no avail, and Istanbul registered its fifth failed bid. If it had been successful, it would have been the first games in a predominantly Muslim country. In Madrid, tens of thousands of people were left dejected in the city's Puerta de Alcala square when the news was announced that it had failed for a third straight time to win the summer games. The Spanish capital's presentation - which featured former Olympic sailor Crown Prince Felipe - had emphasised providing a 'sensible, reliable and trustworthy' Olympics but ongoing worries about the economy undermined the bid, along with the recent Operation Puerto doping scandal.

Lucozade and Ribena have been sold by Glaxo Smith Kline to Japanese firm Suntory for £1.35bn. Now, whatever way you look at it, that's a couple of jolly expensive tasty beverages, nice as they are. Personally, yer actual Keith Telly Topping usually gets them at Morrison's or ASDA for ninety nine pee a bottle. Presumably, Suntory went to Waitrose. Big mistake.
BBC Worldwide is to up its spend on UK content to two hundred million smackers over the next twelve months, the bulk of which will be spent with UK independent production companies. The move will result in the commercial arm of the BBC breaking the two hundred million quid figure for the first time, up from one hundred and seventy six million spondoolicks in 2012-13, as it acquires international rights to UK programming from independent producers as well as in-house BBC content. This comes after the company’s restructure earlier this year, which gave individual regions more power – a move that led to the departure of a number of key staff. BBCW chief content officer Helen Jackson told Broadcast magazine that the extra investment would particularly benefit drama, natural history and factual entertainment producers. 'The fact that we're investing significantly more in content this year than we've ever done speaks volumes,' claimed Jackson. 'We're putting more money into programme development and production – that's BBC production and independent production, as well as our self-generated content through our own production network,' she added. Last year, BBCW invested just over one hundred and four million knicker in distribution rights as well as seventy two million notes in 'other programming', including BBCW funded commissions such as Orphan Black, the SF series produced by Temple Street Productions for BBC America, Mox Productions' Best In Town and ThreeSixty Production's Factomania, both of which were ordered by BBC Worldwide Channels commissioner Tracy Forsyth. This year, however, it will increase its total content spend by fourteen per cent. It is providing backing for two BBC Wales productions: the fantasy drama Atlantis, created by Misfits creator Howard Overman and Merlin producers Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy and the Andrew Davies-scripted adaptation of War And Peace. It is also funding non-BBC series, including Me & You Productions' An Idiot Abroad spin-off The Moaning Of Life and BBCW Channels commissions, such as Nasty Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: London and Nasty Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: Cosmopolitan Cities. 'My primary focus now is working with producers, writers and talent at an early stage of development to devise shows and develop ideas that have the potential to become valuable anchor shows and brands. I'm prepared to place bigger bets to do this,' added Jackson. BBCW represents content from two hundred-plus independents and has development and distribution deals with more than forty. Jackson said BBCW would continue to take stakes in independents – adding to its five-strong portfolio, including Clerkenwell Films and Baby Cow Productions – but first look deals are the current priority. The latest such deal was struck with Voltage TV this week, the production company set up by ex-Dragonfly managing director Sanjay Singhal, who founded the company with former BBC Commercial Agency executive Steve Nam. Singhal was responsible for Dragonfly series including The Hotel and One Born Every Minute and the company has six projects in paid development for the BBC and Channel Four. 'Backing UK talent, writers and producers is a critical part of what we do and is certainly the most fun and rewarding part,' said Jackson. 'Sanjay and Steve are brimming with really exciting ideas and have the know-how, energy and experience to deliver them. Nurturing these relationships and championing British success is incredibly important to us.'

Eight out of ten Britons have admitted to lying to appear intelligent, according to the results of a new study. Sixty two per cent admitted to lying about having read 'classic' novels such as Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace and George Orwell's 1984, when they actually haven't, Metro reports. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping meanwhile, has, dear blog reader. Fifty three per cent said that they have 'changed their appearance' and twenty six per cent have 'purposely corrected other people's grammar.' Eighteen per cent have 'dropped famous quotes' into conversations and fourteen per cent have claimed to have better knowledge of a foreign language. Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings said that the study shows that 'being intelligent has never been more sexy and that the vast majority of us are working hard to appear smarter than we actually are.' She continued that it 'proves' that people want to embrace 'their inner geek', partly 'because of the popularity of SF based TV and drama shows.' Eh? 'From expertise in literature and wine to a penchant for correct grammar and art-house or foreign language films, wannabe geeks are exaggerating their worldly qualities in order to appear more nerdy,' she claimed. The study was carried out to tie in with the release of The Big Bang Theory season six on DVD. Which, says it all really.

Holly Hagan - who is a Geordie Shore-type person, apparently (no, me neither) - has whinged that men are 'not interested' in dating her directly because of her involvement with the crass, attention-junkie reality show. And we're supposed to, what, feel sorry for you, love?
Greggs has produced its own version of the cronut, naming it the 'Greggsnut'. The cronut is a hybrid between a croissant and a doughnut. It is made by frying croissant dough, then laminating the mixture to make it extra flaky. It has already proved incredibly popular with the people of New York when The Dominique Ansel Bakery trademarked the name and recipe. The bakery has seen people queuing overnight to sample the treat. Greggs has now introduced a similar version in thirteen of its London stores, which will be sold until 1 October. And all this happens at the very time that yer actual Keith telly Topping has been diagnosed with type two diabetes and, thus, can't have one. Truly, dear blog reader, there is no God. A spokesperson described it as 'the most exciting thing since the birth of the sausage roll.' The birth of a sausage roll was 'exciting'? Did I miss that memo? They added: 'We are hoping the combination of a Greggs own layered pastry shaped into a doughnut captures the taste buds of London.' But, not Newcastle where the company actually comes from. Gettin' ideas above yer stations, lads and lasses. We'll still be here buying stotties when aal the fancy Southern tossers have moved on to other bakeries. The Greggsnut has spent 'two months in development' and comes in two flavours - summer berry and crème, and caramel and pecan.

And so, dear blog reader, to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Here's a tale of modern life from Goldie Lookin' Chain. Word.

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