Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week Forty One: Trying To Wear My Resistance Down

'A hint at the answer to the biggest Twelfth Doctor question' wrote The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) on Facebook, posting a link to this thing here: Speaking in an interview with Nerd (no, me neither), yer actual Steven Moffat his very self is claimed to have said: 'We are aware that Peter Capaldi's played a big old part in Doctor Who and Torchwood before and we are not going to ignore the fact. I remember Russell [Davies] told me that he had a big old plan as to why there were two Peter Capaldi's in the Doctor Who universe: one in Pompeii and one in Torchwood. When I cast Peter and Russell got in touch to say how pleased he was, I said, "Okay, what was your theory and does it still work?" and he said, "Yes it does. Here it is,," We'll play that one out over time. It's actually quite neat.'
BBC1 was clearly hoping to persuade viewers to tune in to its new Merlin-replacement, the fantasy drama Atlantis, on Saturday evening by scheduling brief teasers for the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary special both before and after it. Fans were promised 'stings' which would reveal the new '#Doctor Who' ident which is set to accompany future The Day of the Doctor announcements, as well as the hashtag which Doctor Who 'bosses' (that's 'producers', only in tabloid-speak and, therefore, with considerably less syllables) hope that Twitter users will soon become very familiar with. And, everyone who isn't on Twitter will, like, not.
Alleged 'show insiders' allegedly also - allegedly - promised further alleged 'surprises' during the eight-week run-up to the broadcast of the fiftieth anniversary on Saturday 23 November (that's not alleged, it's definitely happening), including 'a bold, brilliant and unexpected' trailer for the landmark episode. Along with the news came a backstage image from the set of The Day of the Doctor, showing the Time Lord's oldest foes The Daleks their very selves looking rather less deadly than usual.
From the forthcoming Complete Season Seven Doctor Who DVD box-set, here's some unseen Doctor and River, in a Neil Gaiman-scripted minisode, Rain Gods. (The credit given to Steven Moffat is, by all accounts, erroneous.)
Some Doctor Who fans - who are, obviously, not completely bloody mental - have launched a petition (on the Internet, of course) to persuade the people who, you know, decide on these things to light up the Empire State Building 'TARDIS blue' on 23 November in celebration of the show's fiftieth anniversary. Err ... okay. The petition has attracted over twelve thousand signatures in under a week following its launch on 23 September. From people with, it would seem, nothing better to do with their time and energy. Thankfully, most online petitions are regarded by the majority of 'normal people' for the utter trite and ludicrous nonsense they are and are, as a consequence, ignored and ridiculed. So ... next.
Meanwhile, here's The Doctor Who Timeline Explained With Tube Maps
The UK is to create a new 'cyber unit' to help defend national security against attack, the defence secretary has announced. Oh, please let them be called The Cyber Men! The Ministry of Defence is set to recruit hundreds of reservists as 'computer experts' to work alongside regular forces in the creation of the new 'Joint Cyber Reserve Unit.' News on whether they'll be stations on Mondas, Telos or London is, as yet unknown. The new unit will also, if necessary, 'launch strikes' into cyber space, the cyber controller Hammond said. An Invasion, if you will. Recruiting for reservists to join the unit will start next month - anyone with metal limbs, a computerised brain or no heart is advised they're a shoe-in for the gig. The role of the unit is to protect computer networks and safeguard vital data. And to hit back if anybody messes them about. The Revenge Of The Cybermen, if you like. In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said the 'creation of the Joint Cyber Unit will allow Defence to draw on individuals' talent, skills and expertise gained from their civilian experience to meet these threats.' And to, you know, 'delete.' Hammond told the Scum Mail on Sunday that clinical 'cyber strikes' could disable enemy communications, nuclear and chemical weapons, planes, ships and other hardware. And that Britain could be made powerful again. 'From beyond the grave!' Hands up anybody who thinks yer actual Keith Telly Topping has milked this joke to the absolute limit, dear blog reader. Okay, you can all put your hands down now.
Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch is to appear on the first episode of the forthcoming series of The Graham Norton Show. The Sherlock actor will be interviewed on the BBC chat show when it returns to screens next month. Joining Cumberbatch are Harrison Ford, unfunny and odious lanky streak of piss Jack Whitehall and the terminal James Blunt, who will be performing his latest single 'Bonfire Heart'. That's bound to be unmissable, one imagines. Benny was last interviewed on the programme in May, and is expected to talk about his role as Julian Assange in the WikiLeaks film The Fifth Estate. The Graham Norton Show returns to BBC1 on Friday 11 October at 10.35pm.
Postmodernist ironic comedy TV one-liner of the week came from the latest episode of Qi on Friday. When Stephen Fry asked if anyone knew what 'extreme knitting' was, Sue Perkins replied: 'I've now got Gregg Wallace in my head going "knitting doesn't get more extreme than this."' Sue Perkins, ladies and gentlemen, taking the piss out of the presenter of a BBC cookery show. Where to even begin ...!
David Mitchell is to host the first episode of Have I Got News For You when it returns for its latest series next week. It will be the thirty nine-year-old comedian's ninth appearance in the host's chair for the long-running topical panel show. Joining the Peep Show actor will be regular team captains yer actual Ian Hislop and Paul Merton his very self alongside Channel Four News presenter Cathy Newman. The final guest has not yet been confirmed. The new series will begin next Friday 4 October at 9pm on BBC1.
And, speaking of the new series of Have I Got News For You, do you want to see a Doctor Who-influenced trailer for it? Of course you do, dear blog reader, you're only human after all.
Atlantis, the BBC's lavish new fantasy adventure drew an average audience of 5.62 million overnight viewers on Saturday night. Reviews for Atlantis - which stars Jack Donnelly as the Greek hero Jason - have been broadly positive with the Torygraph praising it as 'action-packed, big fun Saturday evening entertainment.' The X Factor on ITV was watched by 7.6 million viewers, down eight hundred and sixty thousand punters from last week's overnight figures. Odious, cardboard pile of dung, Stepping Out, was earlier watched by but 2.17m at 7.15pm and risible Through The Keyhole had 3.26m punters at 9.45pm, as BBC1 beat ITV's arse hollow in every slot during primetime par one. An average 9.11 million people tuned in to the return of Strictly Come Dancing, the highest watched programme of the night by a distance. That was up from Friday's show, which drew 7.8 million. It was also up over seven hundred thousand viewers on last year's series average of 8.7m and peaked with an audience of at 9.92m at 8pm. With an overlap of just five-minutes the traditional Saturday night battle between The X Factor and Strictly was avoided, with Atlantis filling the same time slot as the Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced chef from Crossroads' talent contest. Written by Misfits creator Howard Overman and Merlin's Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, the opening episode of Atlantis 'boasts both a strong cast and terrific visuals' according to website Digital Spy. Though in the same review, it claimed the show - which sees Jason arriving on the shores of the pre-sunken mythical island searching for his father - 'is sticking far too rigidly to a tried-and-tested format.' A delighted BBC spokesman - for once thankful not to be talking about executive pay or what various once much-love national treasures may or may not have done during the 1970s and 80s - said: 'Saturday nights on BBC1 are back in style, with over ten million viewers tuning in for Strictly and new fantasy adventure drama series Atlantis getting off to a brilliant start.' Also on BBC1, Match Of The Day was viewed by 3.77m at 10.30pm. On BBC2, Dad's Army took 1.15m at 7pm and Count Arthur Strong interested five hundred and twenty thousand punters half an hour later. A repeat of The 70s was seen by 1.04m at 8pm, while Mock The Week earned 1.08m viewers from 9pm and The Sarah Millican Slightly Longer Television Programme had 1.16m at 9.30pm. At 10.15pm, Dara O'Briain: Craic Dealer pulled in nine hundred and thirty thousand viewers. On Channel Four, a Marvel's Agents of SHIELD repeat and Grand Designs had seven hundred and eighty thousand and five hundred and fifty thousand viewers respectively from 7pm. Movie The Taking of Pelham 123 was watched by seven hundred and fifty thousand at 9pm. Channel Five broadcast The Wonderful Country at 7.45pm, attracting three hundred and thirty nine thousand punters. Point Break later pulled in three hundred and ninety nine thousand from 9.45pm. Ford Saturday Night Football Live was the highest rated broadcast on the multichannels, bringing eight hundred and fifty seven thousand to Sky Sports 1 from 5pm to watch The Arse's win at Swansea. Midsomer Murders followed with seven hundred and eighty three thousand on ITV3 at 9pm.

The first episode of the new series of Strictly Come Dancing scored 7.81m overnight punters on BBC1 on Friday according to overnight data. The audience peaked at 8.07m at 9.45pm, roughly on a par with last year's opener. It was down six hundred and twenty thousand punters from the 7 September launch show. Meanwhile Channel Four was having something of a bumper night by their standards, with Joss Whedon's highly-anticipated Marvel's Agents of SHIELD launching to 2.76m (including yer actual Keith Telly Topping, as it happens) at 8pm. The final episode of The IT Crowd secured 1.46m viewers at 9pm, while Alan Carr: Chatty Man had 1.63m at 10pm. Back on BBC1, The ONE Show interested 3.65m from 7pm, after which Ronnie's Animal Crackers appealed to 2.46m at 7.30pm. A repeat of an old episode of Miranda took 3.32m at 8.30pm and John Bishop Live: Rollercoaster Tour attracted 2.44m at 10.45pm. BBC2 showed The Hairy Bikers' Everyday Gourmets to 1.43m 7pm. Mastermind and Gardeners' World then interested 1.97m and 2.26m respectively from 8pm, while David Attenborough's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates had 1.43m at 9pm. Qi attracted an audience of 1.99m at 10pm. On ITV, Gino's Italian Escape was seen by 2.79m from 8pm. Odious oily twat Piers Morgan's Life Stories followed with a - properly risible - 2.03m at 9pm and The Break-Up took five hundred and twenty thousand from 10.45pm. On Channel Five, The World's Strongest Man earned three hundred and ninety one thousand at 7pm and Monster Moves took six hundred and seventeen thousand an hour later. CSI:NY was viewed by nine hundred and forty four thousand punters at 9.15pm and The Punisher was seen by 723k at 10pm.
The Shields Gazette has been running a series of on-set behind-the-scenes video diaries from the forthcoming second series of Hebburn. The latest features top local radio personality and yer actual Keith Telly Topping's sometime writing partner, the legend that is Alfie Joey his very self. (Alf, incidentally, informs yer actual Keith Telly Topping that among the guest actors on the new series of Hebburn will be the great John Woodvine. So, there you go, that's a proper From The North exclusive!)
Other recent examples of the Gazette's exclusive videos include one featuring the very excellent Stefan Peddie.

And so, to the next lot of yer actual Top Telly Tips:-
Saturday 5 October
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly host the first of this weekend's two Strictly Come Dancing episodes at 6:25 on BBC1. And, the competition really gets going for the (alleged) twinkle-toed stars - singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, TV regulars Deborah Meaden, Susanna Reid, Dave Myers, Rachel Riley and Vanessa Feltz, actors Ashley Taylor Dawson, Patrick Robinson, Mark Benton, Fiona Fullerton and Natalie Gumede, fashion designer Julien Macdonald (no, me neither), footballer's wife Abbey Clancy and sporting stars Ben Cohen and Tony Jacklin - as they and their partners step out onto the dance floor for the second time. Tomorrow the first pro-celebrity couple will be leaving the competition, as their scores from judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell are added to those of the voting viewers. But which pair will have performed their last dance? The results are tomorrow at 7.20pm.
Coulson takes his crew to Peru to investigate a mysterious object codenamed 0-8-4 in the second episode of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD - 8:00 Channel Four. But, when he runs into Commandant Camilla Reyes, sparks soon fly - in more ways than one. Clark Gregg stars in the comic-book adventure, with Camilla Reyes, Ming-Na Wen and Brett Dalton.
Leonora is a sixteen-year-old orangutan who has been living in a commune on a protected island run by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. The Natural World documentary Orangutans: The Great Escape - 7:30 BBC2 - follows Leonora and her three-year-old infant Lemar as they undertake an epic and life-changing journey by boat, road and finally helicopter, before being released into the rain forest. The abiding image in this film is of an orangutan inside a crate, which is then strapped on the back of a truck or suspended in the air under a helicopter. A camera fixed inside the crate captures her bewildered reactions as she is driven through busy city streets and flown over the Borneo jungle on her way to being released into the wild. She is part of a major programme to liberate hundreds of orphaned orangutans who have lived most of their lives at a sanctuary, and she is a pioneer: how she and seven others cope with life in the wild will determine the fate of six hundred others.

Sunday 6 October
An extravagant party at the Abbey gives the Crawleys an opportunity to reunite with old friends. Some guests, however, prove more welcome than others, and alongside the celebrations come skulduggery and heartache in the latest episode of Lord Snooty's Downtown Abbey - 9:00 ITV. Former EastEnders heart-throb Nigel Harman joins the cast, and soprano Kiri Te Kanawa makes a guest appearance as famous singer Dame Nellie Melba. And, you know, squeals a lot.
Tonight also sees the return of the acclaimed American thriller Homeland - 9:00 Channel Four - starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin. With Brody still at large almost three months after the terrorist attack on Langley, Saul plots a counterstrike aimed at those connected to the devastating incident. However, his attempts to revive the CIA's fortunes are hampered when Carrie becomes the focus of a hostile senate investigation. Meanwhile, Dana's destructive behaviour causes problems for her family.
On a broadly similar theme, one of the world's most wanted fugitives surrenders himself to the FBI, claiming to have vital information on dangerous criminals and terrorists who have never been brought to justice in the opening episode of the latest much-trailed US import The Blacklist - 9:00 Sky Living. However, he has one condition - he will only speak to rookie profiler and nobody knows why he is so interested in her, including the woman herself. The concept for this slick American espionage thriller is a bit convoluted - albeit, not overwhelmingly so - but you're advised to pay attention if you want to keep up. Government agent turned master criminal Raymond Reddington (the excellent James Spader) hands himself into the FBI, offering information on a terrorist previously thought dead. The catch is he will only speak to new recruit Lizzie Keen (Megan Boone), who is due to start as an FBI profiler on that very day. The presence of The Silence of the Lambs looms over the scenes in which Reddington mentally toys with Kean, but Spader has enough of a mesmerising, supercilious charm to make them his own, and the head-to-heads are matched by some impressive action set-pieces. A fine support cast is headed by Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Ryan Eggold and Parminder Nagra. On the strength of this first episode, this one might well be latest in a long line of left-field, action-fueled, testosterone-snorting US imports (The X Files, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, 24 and Homeland to name but four of the more popular) to find a cult audience in the UK.
Top Gear presenter yer actual Jeremy Clarkson and comedians Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey join regular panellist Alan Davies on Qi XL - 10:30 BBC2 - an extended version of the popular comedy intelligence quiz. Host Stephen Fry his very self asks a range of fiendish questions on the topic of Kings, with points being awarded for interesting answers as well as correct ones.
Monday 7 October
In the final episode of A Very British Murder with Lucy Worsley - 9:00 BBC4 - the historian tells the story of one of the first high-profile killers - Doctor Crippen, who was hanged in 1910 for poisoning and dismembering his wife - before turning her attention to the inter-war period, when detective fiction reached the peak of its popularity at the hands of authors like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers. After undergoing the elaborate initiation ceremony of the Detection Club, which was set up by a group of British writers in 1930, Lucy considers how Alfred Hitchcock's movies and Graham Greene's novels eclipsed the traditional murder-mystery story in the depiction of homicide.
Continuing the series about re-creating and improving machines from history which began in March, Beat The Ancestors returns - 7:00 Channel Five. In which Dick Strawbridge challenges a team of engineers to build a flame-throwing boat like the one which reportedly once saved the Byzantine Empire from almost certain defeat. The experts face a stern test as the wooden vessel is highly flammable and they are working next to a vat of napalm. Will the dangers of playing with fire and water make it an impossible task?

In the latest episode of The Crime Thriller Club - 9:00 ITV3 - yer actual Bradley Walsh is invited behind the scenes of detective drama Midsomer Murders and Whitechapel star Phil Davis drops by for a chat. Plus, there's a crime thriller reading recommendation.
Tuesday 8 October
It's the quarter-final in The Great British Bake Off tonight - 8:00 BBC2 - and Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood test just how the five remaining contestants can cope with unconventional flours and unusual desserts, beginning by baking a signature loaf using non-traditional wheat flours such as spelt, rye, potato and tapioca. Urgh. Who actually eats tapioca? Gruniad readers, that's who. Anyway, in the technical challenge the contestants have to each prepare a gluten-free dacquoise, which is made with coffee custard, hazelnut praline and meringue, before creating dairy-free novelty vegetable cakes for the so-called 'showstopper' round. Would you like a cake or a meringue? No, you're right, I'll have a cake. Ba-doom. Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins present. And, next week on Qi, somebody makes a Sue Perkins joke!
Masters Of Sex - 9:00 Channel Four - is a twelve-part American drama set in the 1950s, chronicling the lives of two pioneering researchers who paved the way for the sexual revolution of the following decade while struggling with their own issues of success, betrayal and jealousy. William Masters (played by yer actual Michael Sheen), a doctor at Washington University in St Louis, runs a medical practice by day and conducts a secret study of human sexuality by night. Former nightclub singer Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) is recruited to the secretarial staff at the hospital and soon proves to be a valuable asset to Masters' work.
In Art Of Australia - 9:00 BBC4 - the scholar Edmund Capon explores the role and history of art in his adopted homeland of Australia. In the first edition, Edmund reveals how creativity helped European immigrants settle in the new, distant land, and how the country's indigenous culture was overlooked until the introduction of impressionism helped establish a national identity.
In 2002, forklift truck-driver Ian Tibbetts from Telford in Shropshire started to go blind. He has never seen the faces of his twin boys, and despite numerous treatments to restore his sight, nothing has so far worked. The documentary The Day I Got My Sight Back - 10:35 BBC1 - follows Ian over a several month period as he undergoes a series of bizarre-sounding procedures in a last-ditch attempt to see again. The operations, performed by Christopher Liu at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton, involve inserting a tiny lens into one of the patient's teeth and then implanting the tooth into Ian's eye.

Wednesday 9 October
BBC4, it would seem, have their own little village full of sexy historians who make fascinating documentary series about relatively obscure aspects of social and military history. You might have noticed, dear blog reader. There's Lucy Worsley, of course, and Janina Ramirez. The latest off the block is the medievalist Helen Castor, lecturer in History at Cambridge University and author of Blood & Roses and She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth. In Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death - 9:00 BBC4 - Helen explores life in the Middle Ages, beginning with a look at the circumstances surrounding labour and birth at the time. She reveals how childbirth was one of the most dangerous experiences a medieval woman could encounter and that it took place in an all-female environment. With little in the way of pain relief, it was believed that the agony endured was punishment for the original sin of humankind.
The hunt is on to find a gang of suspected cannibalistic killers lurking in the sewers before a missing girl becomes the next grisly victim in the latest episode of Whitechapel - 9:00 ITV. The station, meanwhile, is under attack and 'the forces of evil' (Jamie Oliver and Piers Morgan presumably) are moving against the team on all sides. And as the case takes a dangerously personal twist for Chandler, he must resort to desperate measures - which will, inevitably, lead to blood and snots before the crime is solved. Ober-the-top, but usually quite entertaining crime thriller, starring Rupert Penry-Jones, Phil Davis and Steve Pemberton. Last in the current series (and, if this year's overnight ratings are anything to go by, possibly the last ever).

The Great British Year - 9:00 BBC2 - is a documentary following British wildlife through the seasons. Spring marks a series of beginnings, as trees explode with blossom and mornings fill with the chorus of birdsong. Long-tailed tits frantically build nests, a stoat mother hunts rabbits to feed her playful young, while in the oceans, seahorses sway to a graceful courtship dance. As spring becomes summer, guillemot chicks leap from their cliffs to begin life at sea and this year's young prepare for life alone. Narrated by Joseph Fiennes.
Forget Kevin Macdonald's Hollywood remake with Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren - good as that undeniably was - it added nothing to Paul Abbott's scintillating original six-part version of State of Play, a gripping, mature, clever, intriguing political thriller from 2003 which begins a repeat run on the Drama channel tonight - 9:00. David Morrissey has never been better as the tormented New Labour MP on the rise Stephen Collins, a man who is at the crossroads of both his personal and professional lives when his young research assistant (and secret lover), Sonia Baker, dies under a London Tube train at rush hour. Stephen breaks down in tears at a press conference when he's asked about her death and the assembled hacks sense a story although, perhaps inevitably, it's the wrong one. Alarm bells quickly ring at the offices of the Herald (Bill Nighy rightly won a BAFTA as the mercurial, seen-it-all editor Cameron Foster at the Gruniad-like newspaper) and ambitious reporter Cal McCaffrey (a grand, star-making turn by John Simm) digs deep into the background of Collins, a man who is supposed to be his friend. It's easily the best thing that Abbott has ever written (and, given that it directly followed both Touching Evil and Clocking Off, that's really saying something); his script is complex, taut, witty, just a bit dangerous and never, for a single second, patronises the grown-up audience it was intended for. The direction, by David Yates, is flawless and adds greatly to the tension. And the once-in-a-lifetime cast (which also includes the likes of Philip Glenister, Amelia Bullmore, Michael Feast, Polly Walker, Marc Warren, a superb James McAvoy, Sean Gilray and Kelly Macdonald giving the performance of her life) are all on properly outstanding form. If you missed this first time around, dear blog reader, or you didn't buy it on DVD when HMV were flogging it off for a fiver a couple years ago on the back of the movie adaptation, do yourself a favour and use your recording devices very wisely for the next six weeks. The BBCs naughties drama revival - and yer actual Keith Telly Topping's restored faith in British TV - started here.
Thursday 10 October
Breathless - 9:00 ITV - is a new six-part series which is fairly obviously ripped-off from Mad Men (with a bit of Call The Midwife thrown in). Co-created and written by Paul Unwin, who has also directed the first two episodes, Breathless follows the lives of a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital, a world in which everything and everyone has their place. But underneath the shiny veneer simmers a cauldron of lies, deception and guilty secrets, driven by love, ambition and sex. The series opens in 1961, a time when Britain was on the brink of the Sixties revolution – abortion is illegal and the contraceptive pill is only just becoming available to married women. Set in and around a busy Gynaecology unit, medicine becomes the perfect stage to play out the shifting and complex moral codes of early 1960s society. Otto Powell (Jack Davenport), a brilliant and charismatic surgeon, is summoned to the hospitals theatre where young surgeon and pretender to the throne, Richard Truscott, is about to make a rather serious error. Humiliating though it is, Richard has his wife to be, ex-nurse Jean (Zoe Boyle), to take his mind off such things. Away from the hospital Otto and his ever-faithful anaesthetist Charlie Enderbury (Shaun Dingwall) have been called out for a private operation. Angela (Catherine Steadman), new to the hospital and first time on a private procedure, is appalled when she discovers it’s an abortion, still very much illegal in 1961. Otto finds himself quite taken by this headstrong new nurse.
Truckers - 9:00 BBC1 - is a new drama about a haulage company in Nottingham, with each episode focusing on a different member of the team as he or she undergoes a life-changing journey. Malachi (Stephen Tompkinson) is struggling to accept his marriage is over - after all, he and his ex-wife still live together, even though she has a new fiance. But when he interrupts them having culinary-themed phone sex, it becomes clear he has to move on, so son and fellow trucker Glen sets about helping his desperate dad turn his life around. Meanwhile, at the yard, boss Martin has installed an advanced new system and revised rosters - and no one is happy. Harry Treadaway, Ashley Walters and Sian Breckin co-star.

Medical journalist Michael Mosley and a team of doctors offer advice on health, using their expertise and the latest research to investigate the truth behind various claims being made in the media in Trust Me, I'm A Doctor - 8:00 BBC2. Surgeon Gabriel Weston takes part in an experiment at the University of Surrey's Sleep Research Centre to discover whether an extra hour in bed could have major benefits, while A&E specialist Dr Saleyha Ahsan asks if people can be overweight and still healthy, and tests the accuracy of two different methods used to assess fatness.

Friday 11 October
In Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1 - Paul Merton and Ian Hislop as usual poke fun at the week's headlines with the help of a couple of celebrity panellists and a guest host.
South African comedian Trevor Noah makes his debut on Qi - 10:00 BBC2 - joining fellow stand-up Jason Manford, broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and regular panellist Alan Davies. Host Stephen Fry asks a range of fiendish questions on the topic of Killers, with points being awarded for interesting answers as well as correct ones.
Former Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel actress Charisma Carpenter - a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping - was the survivor of a truly terrifying real-life incident more than twenty years ago. The actress - then a twenty one year old cheerleader for the local football team - and two male friends were swimming at San Diego's Torrey Pines State Beach in 1991 when they were violently attacked by an armed man. He ordered Charisma to tie up her friends with the clear intention that he would, then, rape her. With astonishing bravery and a gun held to her head, Charisma refused and, in the ensuing commotion, the group were able to fight off the man who fled, shooting and wounding one of Charisma's friends. Their witness statements eventually led to the arrest of their assailant, an off-duty police officer and serial rapist. In the first episode of a new real-crime series, I Survived Evil - 9:00 Really - which Charisma herself hosts, she tells her own story in raw detail about what happened that dreadful night.
To the news now: Yer actual Sarah Parish her very self has whinged that she was 'shocked' (and, presumably, 'stunned' as well) by ITV's decision to cancel the drama Monroe last year. In case you never saw it - and, if you didn't, don't worry, you're in the massive majority - Monore was a not particularly distinguished medical drama which came to an end after ITV decided to, as it were, put it out of its misery in November 2012. Because it had lost half of its initial audience over the course of a year. So, in that regard, it's certainly not surprising it got the old tin-tack. TV programmes, generally, get cancelled for one of three - fairly obvious - reasons. Either a) because they're shit, b) because no one was watching them, or c) because they're shit and no one was watching them. Monore one would appear to have fallen into the second category. The fact that it was, always, a somewhat piss-poor attempt to produce a British take on House notwithstanding. Parish - now starring in the BBC's Atlantis - described the decision to cancel Monroe as 'bizarre.' Which it wasn't or anything even remotely like it. Parish told the Press Association: 'I don't want to put myself out of a job with regards to commissioning editors, but I think it was a bizarre decision.' That was Sarah Parish there, dear blog reader, not putting herself out of a job with commissioning editors. Jolly good effort, Sarah. 'Peter Bowker's one of the best writers and James Nesbitt was in the role of his life.' (Err ... he wasn't, Sarah. That was Jekyll. Or, possibly Murphy's Law. Certainly not Monore.) 'We were all like, "Wow, can't quite believe it." But that's the business, isn't it?' Yes, it is. If you make someone and bugger-all people watch it then, frankly, it's a bit churlish to criticise those who commissioned it in the first place for not wanting to make any more. 'You've just got to put a smile on your face and go "Okay", otherwise you'll end up really angry and bitter and sad.' And, trust me dear blog reader, you wouldn't want to see Sarah when she's angry and bitter and sad.
Monroe was first broadcast in March 2011 and starred Nesbitt as Gabriel Monroe, a 'maverick neurosurgeon' not at all like a grumpy Irish version of Greg House. Oh no, very hot water. The show premiered with an audience of 6.85 million viewers on ITV, but ended its second run with an overnight of but 3.53m.

Tess Daly has dismissed criticism of Bruce Forsyth, calling the veteran presenter 'a legend.' Well indeed. Although, to be fair, so was the fall of Troy. What's your point, Tess? That he's an ancient relic whose myth far outshines the reality of his existence? Or Something?

Lee Mack has suggested that fewer women become comedians because they are not so inclined to show-off or be competitive in conversation as men. The comic waded into what he described as 'the thorny issue' of women in comedy when quizzed for Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. Presenter Kirsty Young asked Mack, a team captain on Would I Lie to You?, about the lack of female comics on panel shows. The forty five-year-old said: 'The problem isn't that there’s not enough women in panel games. The problem is there's not enough women in comedy in general. If twenty per cent of comedians out there are female then it makes sense that twenty per cent of people on the panel are female.' Mack, who wrote a thesis on women in comedy when he was a student at Brunel University, added: 'I am only quoting other scientific reports on it. When men sit around together and talk they are very competitive. One person will tell and anecdote and the next person will try and top that with another anecdote. When you get six women in a room together they share a lot more. They will be far more interested in what the other person has to say. The conservation is broken up a lot more and it's a more interactive. And less about individually showing off. When you start doing stand-up. If you have been trained in showing off because you are a bloke than its going to be more conducive to your style of humour. Its actually a compliment, I think, to women that there aren't as many female stand-ups because they are far more interested in what each other has to say than standing there on the own and showing off.'

Alan Carr says his planned sitcom has been put on hold – because he was too slow in writing it. He had planned to write and star in a comedy based around a professional dog-walker, but was beaten to the idea by BBC4. He host told the Digital Spy website: 'I'm the worst at writing and getting stuff down. There's one been commissioned for BBC4 which is identical to mine! That's how slow I am, and I could slap myself for not being more proactive. I'm so lazy.' In July, the BBC commissioned six episodes of the sitcom Puppy Love from Getting On creators Jo Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine, in which Scanlon plays a 'formidable dog trainer.' Sounds thigh-slappingly hilarious. Carr said: 'I was sitting and writing, and then I went, "Oh no, shit!"' Presumably that's a comment on hearing about Puppy Love's commissioning rather than a comment on what he was writing? The comic said he would like to write another sitcom, but was struggling to think of a subject. How about a comedy writer who keeps on thinking up subjects just after someone else has? Sounds like it has a lot of comedy potential to this blogger.

Channel Four News has appointed Newsnight assistant editor Rhodri Jones as its head of home news. Jones becomes the latest in a string of high-profile journalists, including Paul Mason, Matt Frei and Michael Crick, lured by Channel Four News from the BBC2 current affairs programme. Ben de Pear, the Channel Four News editor, announced the appointment in an e-mail to staff on Friday afternoon. 'I am very pleased to announce that Rhodri Jones is joining the Channel Four News team as the head of home news,' he said. 'Rhodri is currently an assistant editor on Newsnight at the BBC where he is one of their key programme editors. He has produced many special editions for Newsnight including conference and election specials. He will be responsible for driving our editorial vision for home news, building on the programme's emphasis on exclusive, original and agenda-setting journalism. Rhodri beat off an impressive array of internal candidates which reflected the real strength and depth we have here.' Mason joined the ITN-produced Channel Four programme from Newsnight in August after more than a decade at the corporation.

The narrative pace of the football world is often all too fleeting, yet at just after 5pm on Saturday we saw – or rather heard – a football event which was truly historic. For the first time since 1974, when Brian Clough's Derby County were champions, there was a new permanent voice behind the BBC's classified results. Charlotte Green, the former Radio 4 announcer and newsreader whose voice will have already been familiar to millions, replaced the previous incumbent, James Alexander Gordon. Gordon had read the results for close to forty years before retiring due to illness; Green has described her appointment as his replacement as 'a huge honour.' Green has earned a reputation as an experienced and reliable broadcaster. She worked as a newsreader and announcer at Radio 4 for more than three decades, leaving the station earlier this year. She is perhaps best known for her stints on Today and The Shipping Forecast, among other BBC audio institutions. Charlotte is also, as it happens, a keen and knowledgeable football supporter, having been captivated by Stottingtot Hotshots' double-winning team as a child – despite her father being a lifelong fan of The Arse. A regular listener to the classified check, Charlotte has fulfilled a childhood dream that began reading the results aloud to her sister at the family kitchen table. Green is the first female announcer to read the classified football scores, but in the build-up to her debut the respected broadcaster has tried to brush the issue aside. Green stated in the build up that her gender was 'not relevant' – all that mattered was that she carried out her task professionally. She appeared to achieve that goal comfortably in an effortless first outing. Charlotte's debut, heard by millions on Radio 5Live and the World Service, went without a hitch on a day of remarkable results – from The Scum 1 West Bromwich Albinos 2 to Rangers 8 Stenhousemuir 0. The radio veteran cruised through the classified scores with plenty of poise and little fuss, adding only 'and finally' ahead of the last result – The New Saints 6, Carmarthen Town 0. Aside from a Spurs win (they drew with Moscow Chelski FC in the day's early kick-off), things could hardly have gone more smoothly. The immediate reaction was positive, with Green's debut widely described as flawless. Many listeners noted that she sidestepped the famed intonation of her predecessor – stamping her own style on proceedings, and keeping fans guessing in the process. Charlotte's stated aim was subtly to become synonymous with this historic Saturday afternoon fixture. From the early evidence, it seems that one of football's oldest institutions may have found a fitting new voice.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping has, sad to report, been feeling pure dead rotten so he has for the last few days dear blog reader (hence the lack of any bloggerisationisms on Saturday). He thinks that he may have picked up a touch of The Dreaded Lurgy from one of the great unwashed at the swimming pool on Thursday. Nevertheless, he did manage to get out on Gillian on Sunday morning and, actually, that twenty minute run around the Tour De St Anthony's has made him feel a shade less headachy and snivelly and coughy than he had been for the previous seventy two hours. It won't last, of course.

Israeli public TV reportedly pulled a trailer that parodied notorious killers only minutes after posting it to its website. Channel One's promo for satirical show The Jews Are Coming features three stereotypical rifle-toting settlers identified as Baruch Goldstein, who killed twenty nine Palestinian worshippers in Hebron, Yigal Amir, the assassin of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yona Avrushmi, who threw a hand grenade at a left-wing rally in 1983. The US-based Jewish website Forward describes each cheerily recounting his crimes before chorusing 'I'm a right-wing murderer' to the tune of a popular children's song. A viewer uploaded it to YouTube, where it quickly went viral. While a few viewers saw nothing wrong with pillorying ultra-nationalist killers, most - including right-wing politicians - described it as 'propaganda at taxpayers' expense.' Channel One struggles to compete against commercial channels and had reportedly been 'delighted' to pick up the show, styled as 'a satire on Jewish history with a contemporary twist.' But programme maker Natalie Marcus told Forward that she feared Channel One might drop the show from the schedules a month before it's even due to be broadcast. She insists the show 'pokes fun across the political spectrum.'
For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day here's a little twenty four carat classic from yer actual Martha and her actual Vandellas their very selves.
And, since we've had that, let's have the b-side as well.

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