Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week Forty: Yes, Mister Godfrey, You May Be Excused

Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) accepted the Outstanding Contribution Award for the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama Doctor Who from one of its former stars, Peter Davison his very self, at the TV Choice awards which took place on 9 September. In his speech, yer man Moffat paid tribute to Doctor Who's 'wonderful and incomparable' current leading man, yer actual Matt Smith, before calling Davison and fellow Doctor Who veteran David Tennant to the stage. Doctor Who also fought off competition from Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife and Waterloo Road to win the Best Drama award on the night.
Meanwhile, here's another on-set show from The Moffinator's other great contribution to society, the new series of Sherlock.
And, because yer actual Keith Telly Topping likes the cut of yer jib, dear blog reader, a very silly - marginally related - story in the Daily Scum Mail.

Finally on the Sherlock front, the noted Holmes historian David Stuart Davies (Jeremy Brett's biographer and whose excellent commentaries accompany several of the Basil Rathbone movies on the 2005 Complete Sherlock Holmes DVD collection) was a recent guest on the Sherlock set. He posted the following photo on Twitter under the heading 'The Company I Keep!'
Mrs Brown's Boys was the most-watched primetime programme on another quiet Friday night outside of soaps, according to overnight audience data. A repeat of the comedy's third series finale was seen by 3.73m viewers at 9.30pm on BBC1. ITV's highest rated show aside from its soaps was odious, risible, oily twat Piers Morgan's Life Stories, featuring former Coronation Street actress Julie Goodyear. It was broadcast to 3.58m crushed victims of society at 9pm. Audiences for Channel Four's 1980's themed night also peaked at 9pm with 2.1m for Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown. A celebrity special of Fifteen To One was watched by 1.38m at 8pm. . Jessie J's 10pm appearance on Alan Carr's Chatty Man was seen by 1.6m. Rewind the Tube had an audience of five hundred and twenty thousand punters at 11.15pm. On BBC2, David Attenborough's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates pulled in 2.08m at 9pm, with 2.1m tuning into the latest episode of Qi at 10pm. Meanwhile, Channel Five's 9pm screening of action thriller War was seen by five hundred and forty five thousand. Orphan Black opened to an audience of five hundred and fifty eight thousand viewers on BBC3 at 9pm.

Peaky Blinders dropped over three hundred thousand overnight viewers for its second episode on Thursday. Cillian Murphy's period drama attracted 2.09 million at 9pm on BBC2. Earlier, Kate Humble's The Wonder of Dogs was seen by 2.73m at 8pm. On BBC1, the crime documentary Honeymoon Murder brought in 3.06m at 9pm. Question Time interested 2.25m at 10.35pm. ITV's wretched, unfunny Pat and Cabbage continued with 2.26m at 8.30pm. The final episode of The Guilty climbed back from last week to 2.86m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Location, Location, Location appealed to 2.11m at 8pm. Educating Yorkshire was seen by 2.77m at 9pm, followed by Bouncers with 1.55m at 10pm. Channel Five's The Railway interested seven hundred and seventy seven thousand punters at 8pm, while the latest Celebrity Super Spawas watched by four hundred and sixty thousand viewers at 9pm.

And, so to the comedy highlight of the week. UkiP's annual conference was hit by farce on Friday, after one of its most high-profile bell-ends, sorry, members hit a journalist in the mush and called a room full of women 'sluts'. Classy. So, just another typical day at the office for the odious right-wing glakes, seemingly. In other developments, reports emerged claiming that UKiP's leader, Nigel Farage, allegedly held alleged fascist views and allegedly sang alleged pro-Hitler songs at his alleged school (allegedly) while a former UkiP MEP claimed that the candidate selection process was 'gerrymandered.' But, all of that was nothing compared to the hilarity surrounding chief bell-end Godfrey Bloom who used the word 'sluts' whilst addressing a Women in Politics event at the party's conference. Most women were, rightly, furious about this. Interestingly, sluts were also reported to be angry at being compared to UKiP members. After being challenged about his outrgaeous and numskull comments, Bloom attempted to claim that they had been, merely, 'a joke' and suggested that members of the audience had laughed. Which they may well have done. It doesn't make it right, though. UKiP's Diane James said the language was 'unacceptable' whilst party leader Nigel Farage said it was 'inappropriate.' Bloom was later filmed hitting a Channel Four News reporter in the face with a party brochure. Which, to be fair, was quite funny since the journalist in question was trouble-making little oik, Michael Crick. I mean, we've all wanted to do it, I'm sure. In a fringe meeting at the party's annual conference in London, the Yorkshire and Humber MEP made reference to previous comments he had made about women not cleaning behind the fridge. When two of the ladies at the meeting said that they had never cleaned behind their fridges, he said: 'This place is full of sluts.' He was appearing on a panel with three female UKiP activists. Confronted afterwards about his remarks, Bloom claimed: 'All the girls said, "None of us clean behind the back of the fridge" and I made a joke and said this place is full of sluts.' The risible, odious Bloom provoked controversy last month when he talked about British foreign aid allegedly going to 'bongo-bongo land.' Dear blog readers may recall Adam Hills' magnificent piece on The Last Leg shortly afterwards on the subject. Asked about the latest furore, James - one of the most senior female figures in the party - claimed the language was 'demeaning' but 'did not reflect the views' of most UKiP members. Farage said that he needed to establish what had been said before taking action but that if the reported remarks were accurate, it was 'wholly and highly inappropriate.' He added: 'There comes a point where people cross too far over a line.' Outside the room Bloom, who is clearly not a mental nor nothing, was confronted by several journalists about the remarks he had made. Bloom branded Sky News journalist Dan Mccaffrey 'a sad little man' before leaving onto the street. He was asked by Crick why a UKiP brochure emblazoned with the phrase 'changing the face of politics' featured only images of white people. Bloom responded by branding Crick himself a racist. 'What a racist comment. How dare you,' he bellowed. 'That's an appalling thing to say, you're picking people out for the colour of their skin? You disgust me,' he continued, storming off down the street with, seemingly, a reet chimney on. When Crick followed him continuing to ask questions, Bloom turned around and hit Crick in the face with the brochure. Bloom also reportedly told ITV News correspondent Paul Brand: 'You treat me badly, you'll get a lot worse than [Crick's slap]. That is a threat to any journalist.' Oooo. Big talk. Small individual. And then, as if all that wasn't enough, in a subsequent interview broadcast by the BBC, Bloom asked Newsnight's political editor Allegra Stratton whether her mother had ever called her a slut. 'You're untidy, you leave your kit lying around, has your mother never called you a slut?' he asked. Stratton replied: 'I don't think she has. She's called me other things but not that.' Bloom said: 'Perhaps you're very tidy. There was no malice, it was a joke, it was all on camera.' So, to sum up then, that's Channel Four News, ITV News, Sky News and the BBC this clown has managed to insult and/or abuse in less than half a day. You simply have to admit, dear blog reader, by anyone's standards that's pretty impressive, particularly for a politician whose basic job is to try and keep the media onside, as it were, whilst getting their message across. One has to wonder whether someone from Channel Five News would like to nip around to Mister Godfrey's gaff and get insulted so that he can, as it were, complete the entire set. A tip Godfrey, pal. When you're in a hole, it's usually a good idea to stop digging. Farage subsequently said that Bloom should 'consider his position' over his 'selfish and stupid' comments, and said that he would speak to UKiP chairman Steve Crowther about the matter. UK'P press officer, Gawain Towler, then tweeted: 'Chairman has removed the whip from Godfrey Bloom pending a formal disciplinary hearing.' Farage later accused Bloom of 'destroying' the conference and said his actions could 'not be tolerated.' Yes, Mister Godfrey, you may be excused.
Stephen Fry his very self has criticised the state of print journalism in the UK in a post on his Tumblr account. Responding to a piece in the Torygraph by some arsehole of no importance - Tim Walker - questioning whether the actor and Qi host writes his own tweets, Fry asked why the author 'wrote this nasty screed, knowing full well it insinuated all kinds of things that weren't true?' Well, because he works for the Torygragh, basically, Stephen. They're all like that, haven't you noticed? He observed: 'The Telegraph's human cockroach ends by wishing I would give up Twitter for ever. I won't do so, not for him nor anyone else. Aside from any other consideration, having a following vaster by millions than his disgusting rag means I never ever have to submit myself to the horror of a print interview ever again in my life. Ever. Imagine what joy that means!' Accusing Walker (whom he describes, brilliantly, as 'some weasel' which sounds about right) and others within the industry of putting him off print press, Fry continued: 'One of the chief glories of Twitter, from my point of view, is that it allows me to short-circuit loathsome bottom-feeders of his kind. If I do a TV chat show, or a radio interview people are free to think I'm a wanker, because at least it's me they're listening to or watching. Not some 'profile' version of me filtered through the envious, mean-spirited spite of an arsehole journalist whose only attainment is the ability to sneer.' Fry also said that while he endorses numerous charities and causes via Twitter, he times his tweets so that the organisations can be prepared for any extra server load. Detailing the messages that he sent while Walker saw him with fellow Hobbit cast member Andy Serkis, Fry explained: 'I was complying with two charity tweets that my diary alarm pinged me to make. If I'm late, the charities might waste money that they have paid to whoever is hosting their server cluster so that it can take the extra traffic. That wouldn't occur for a second to a (clearly digitally illiterate) gossip-monger. The fact is this. No one else on Earth knows my Twitter password: Every tweet I make is my own aside from (obvious to anyone with the wit to see them) these charitable tweets that I have consented to post.' Stephen noted that Walker was entitled to insult him 'as aggressively as I've insulted you, but you're not allowed to lie again: just give me a sensible solution as to how to run a Twitter identity and pass on charitable news.' He concluded with an anecdote from a filmed interview he gave abroad, where he was asked if there was anything which made him ashamed of the country of his birth. Stephen said that when he observed the country's printed press made him feel ashamed to be English, he was told by the interviewer: 'That's the answer everyone gives.'

The BBC is reported to be piloting a new TV panel show that Professor Brian Cox calls 'a sort of science Qi.' Dara O Briain and Ben Miller – both of whom have science degrees – are also taking part in the trial episode, alongside the physicist Jim Al-Khalili. The recording took place this week for a possible BBC2 series, although no other details are known at this time. Other than that Patrick Stewart was around.
Now, here's another comedy highlight of the week, dear blog reader. When Sheikh Yousuf Badri told the Egyptian TV host Riham Said to keep herself covered during the interview, let's just say that Riham didn't quite obey his big-knobbed sheikhly orders.
You go, girl! That's the way to deal with sexist religious bigots. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping would like to marry Riham, dear blog reader!

Saturday 28 September
The look of relief on Anton Du Beke's boat a couple of weeks ago when he realised that, following a string of not-so-light-footed dance partners, he wasn't going to be lumbered with lard-bucket (and drag) Vanessa Feltz spoke volumes. Although judging by the first group performance during the launch show of Strictly Come Dancing - 9:00 BBC1 - there are plenty of other middle-ranking celebrities who also look like they could be dance disasters either because they don't know their left from their right (Dave Myers and Mark Benton, in particular) or don't have a sense pf natural rhythm (Deborah Meaden and Tony Jacklin). But, one imagines Anton would have liked to be in Artem Chigvintsev's shoes when it was announced he'd be partnering Coronation Street's Natalie Gumede, the one celebrity whose dancing looks almost professional already. Anyway, the popular pro-celebrity dancing contest returns proper this weekend, as Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly host the second of two live shows. Benton, Myers, Meaden, Jacklin and Feltz along with Abbey Clancy, Ben Cohen, Sophie Ellis-Bextor (who has a sore toe, apparently), Fiona Fullerton, Natalie Gumede, Julien Macdonald (no, me neither), Susanna Reid, Rachel Riley, Patrick Robinson and Ashley Taylor Dawson are the 'famous faces' who have signed up for the challenge, but only six of them will dance tonight. And although they will be watched over by ever-critical Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell, the celebrity hoofers can breathe easy, for whilst the experts will be giving their opinions, there will be no public vote or elimination (or, indeed, execution) this week - although the judges' scores will be carried over to next week. Continues tomorrow.

Atlantis - BBC1 8:25 - is a much-anticipated fantasy drama set in the vast legendary city, following the adventures of the young Jason and his friends Hercules and Pythagoras. Fledgling hero Jason goes in search of his father, only to find himself washed up on the shores of a mysterious land - a world of strange creatures, soothsaying oracles and palaces so large it is said they were built by giants. This is the city of Atlantis - but the newcomer soon realises that he has chosen the wrong time to arrive in the kingdom when he becomes mixed up in a deadly ritual from which, it seems, there is no escape. Jack Donnelly, Mark Addy and Robert Emms star. Looks decent (and, more than a bit camp) from the trailers.

The Sarah Millican Slightly Longer Television Programme - BBC2 9:30 - is, as you might have guessed from the title dear blog reader, an extended edition of the popular chat show. In which the South Shields-born comedienne performs stand-up monologues inspired by what she has seen on television and interviews the people whom she loves to watch. In this episode, Wor geet canny Sarah talks about motoring programmes with former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson, chats to Law & Order: UK star Bradley Walsh about crime dramas and gets the low down on quiz shows from Pointless co-host Richard Osman.

Sunday 29 September
An speaking of extended editions, tonight sees the latest episode of Qi XL - BBC2 10:30 - with popular semi-regulars Sue Perkins, Ross Noble and David Mitchell joining the omnipresent Alan Davies. Host yer actual Stephen Fry (to the huge annoyance, no doubt, of some pipsqueak of no importance in the Daily Torygraph) asks a range of fiendish questions on the topic of Knits & Knots and various other things starting with the letter 'K', with points being awarded for interesting answers as well as correct ones. You know the drill by now.
The Ginge, The Geordie & The Geek - BBC2 7:30 - is a new sketch show featuring an array of (allegedly hilarious) characters and starring Graeme Rooney (The Ginge), Paul Charlton (The Geordie) and Kevin O'Loughlin (who, by process of elimination must, surely, be The Geek). In the first episode, gulls raid a local business (to be fair, that does sound quite funny), a ventriloquist's puppet has a torrid affair, dancers create revolutionary choreography and a wolf and a pig go for counselling. Plus, Braveheart as it has never been seen before. This, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self has to see.
Having moved his cabin to the beach, Kevin sets about doubling the floor space by building a sun lounge to bring in light and give him somewhere to entertain friends in Kevin McCloud's Man-Made Home - 8:00 Channel Four. But in keeping with his theme of only using local resources and recycled junk, he constructs it out of old lorry and aeroplane windows. He also uses an old anchor to help keep a hammock in place, before taking a dirty dive into London's oldest dock in search of any other bits and pieces he can recycle. Or, Kev, you could just buy an effing house with the vast moolah that, one is certain, Channel Four pay you annually for Grand Designs. Bit of a radical suggestion, I know.

Monday 30 September
Obsessive-compulsive Mrs Tishell returns to the village of Portwenn, and her affection for Martin quickly disappears when he refuses to pass her fit for work in the latest episode of Doc Martin - 9:00 ITV. As if he didn't have enough on his plate, the grumpy doctor must also face his fear of blood when tests show that Lorna has a high level of ferratin, which is placing a strain on her heart and liver. Meanwhile, PC Penhale hopes to be selected for an elite police squad by taking part in a survival training course - but ends up shooting himself in the foot. Popular quirky Cornish-based comedy drama starring Martin Clunes and Caroline Katz. Like Midsomer Murders, very popular with Octogenarians, this one. Never seen the attraction of it, personally, but it's undemanding and unpretentious enough and, if you've got nothing better to do for an hour, like, you know, starring at the wall, then at least the scenery's quite nice.
In the second episode of A Very British Murder With Lucy Worsley - 9:00 BBC4 - the disturbingly alluring saucy minx (and, you know, acclaimed historian, author and broadcaster) explores how science and detection influenced the popular culture of murder during Victorian times. Writers including Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins were fascinated by grisly and 'orrible crimes of bloodshed, and the literary genre which came out of this fascination captured the imagination of ghoulish and sick readers. The presenter also reveals that when Jack the Ripper began his Autumn reign of terror in London at the same time as Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was published, the idea of the serial killer was introduced to the British public. Albeit, that term wouldn't be coined and enter popular consciousness for another eighty years at least.
In Porn On The Brain - 10:00 Channel Four - the journalist Martin Daubney examines how young minds are affected by pornography, the increasing ease of access to which, he discovers, is 'a concern' for many neuroscientists, therapists and teachers. If not for the 'young minds' themselves, per se. As a minor character in The West Wing once noted: 'Show the average American teenage male a condom and his mind will turn to thoughts of lust.' To which Toby wisely replied: 'Show the average American teenage male a lug wrench and his mind'll turn ...' Having resigned his position as editor of lads' magazine Loaded after becoming a father, Martin learns how sexually explicit material has changed since his own adolescence, and collaborates with a Cambridge University study of men who feel they have become addicted to X-rated content. He also reveals the 'shocking' results of a survey conducted by the University of East London which looked into the pornographic habits of teenagers.

Tonight's episode of Panorama - BBC1 10:35 - is a special documentary (in a different time-slot than usual - one imagines due to content), travelling inside Syria to reveal the devastating impact of the civil war on children caught in the conflict. The camera crew is accompanied by British doctors, who witness the aftermath of the bombing of a school by what is suspected to be a napalm-like incendiary device, as well as medical facilities constantly under attack. Both of these are crimes under international law, and both demonstrate how youngsters are bearing the brunt of this human tragedy. Whether this will change the appetite of the British public for getting involved in a messy internal conflict with no obvious exit strategy which could end up as big a farce as Iraq is another matter entirely. Do come to this blogger looking for a quick answer on that one. Because there are no quick or simple answers when it comes to the world these days. It's big and it's confusing and I be a'feared of it.

Tuesday 1 October
It's the final episode of the current series of the popular New Tricks - 9:00 BBC1. One which has seen significant changes in front of the camera with the departures of Alun Armstrong and Amanda Redman (no doubt, to the extreme satisfaction of at least a couple of writers on the show). Anyway, enough of such behind-the-scenes school yard malarkey, in this episode the detectives are asked to carry out a preliminary investigation into a corrupt senior officer who may (or may not) have suppressed evidence when a notorious crime boss was sent to the slammer for, allegedly, murdering a prominent doctor. However, Sasha feels torn because she is almost certain that eight years ago the convict in question also killed her CID partner. Meanwhile, Steve gets a shock when his estranged son turns up at work to see him. Tamzin Outhwaite, Dennis Waterman, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Denis Lawson star.
Judges grandmumsy Mary Berry and Big Hard Scouse Paul Hollywood set the remaining contestants three mad eff-off rock tasks involving pastry, beginning by asking them to make 'signature suet puddings' in The Great British Bake Off - BBC2 8:00. Is there such a thing as a 'signature' suet pudding, dear blog reader? Surely, a suet pudding is a suet pudding. All you need is lots of lard. For Mary's technical challenge, they must prepare eight religieuse - which are sort of delicate choux pastry buns filled with a majesty squirt of creme patissiere and topped with heart-attack-inducing lashings of ganache. Then, as if all that malarkey and shenanigans isn't enough, dear blog reader, they've got to create three (not one, but three) different types of perfectly puffed pastries in the always popular show-topper round. Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins present and add pithy comments at various points which makes the whole thing vaguely watchable. Any dear blog readers who, like yer actual Keith Telly Topping, have recently been diagnosed with type two diabetes should be advised, other (less sugar-coated) cookery programmes are available.

In the latest episode of the US import Castle - 10:00 Channel Five - Beckett and Castle investigate the death of a famous psychic who reportedly predicted her own murder, and the case prompts them to engage in a spirited debate about the existence of extrasensory abilities. American crime drama, starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic which can be moderately amusing and quite clever about one episode in every two or three.
It's the morning after a wedding party and Bronagh wakes up wearing the bride's dress, Packy discovers he has shared a bed with his ex-girlfriend Steph, and Conor is left puzzled when he finds an unsettling message written on the ceiling in London Irish - Channel Four 10:00. Sounds like a right old how do you do, and no mistake, begorrah, bejesus, where's me shillelagh? The friends then hear that a man they all hated has died and Packy is determined to attend his wake because he's got his eye on the deceased's grieving girlfriend. As you do. Comedy, starring Kerr Logan, Sinead Keenan, Peter Campion and Kat Regan.

Wednesday 2 October
The British Year - 9:00 BBC1 - is a rather fine looking four-part documentary series following British wildlife through the seasons, beginning on New Year's Day, with the landscape in the grip of winter. Time-lapse photography shows a magical country shrouded in frost and swirling mist, while water becomes the enemy as the creatures must cope with ice. Red squirrels resort to subterfuge, kites track a farmer's plough to get at the worms beneath the frost, and as winter fades adders bask in the sun and the woodland floor erupts with snowdrops. yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self is something of a sucker for this kind of thing, produced by the BBC's Natural History department down in Bristol. Highly recommended.

This country's science has a long track record of accidental if serendipitous discoveries which ended up being hugely beneficial to mankind, including research into why the sky is blue leading to a breakthrough in the fight against bacterial infection just to take one completely random example. In the final part of the excellent Science Britannica - 9:00 BBC2 - yer actual Professor Brian Cox his very self examines whether it is better to let scientists 'do their own thing' as it were and hope for happy accidents, or to back only people with proven track records at the risk of missing the occasional left-field gem. Last in those superb series.
The team is thrown into total and utter chaos and discombublation and that (well, a bit more than normal, anyway) when Buchan is kidnapped in the first of a new two-part Whitechapel - 9:00 ITV. With Miles taunted by an unknown force in the station, Riley's infected hand worsening, and Mansell teetering on the edge of self-destruction it's all going to hell in a hand-cart it would seem. So, rather against type, Chandler takes the lead in an investigation into the discovery of a runner's disembowelled body found in the sewers. The incident has led some to suspect the return of The Black Swine - a mythical sow which was said to have spawned a litter of mutated feral creatures beneath Victorian London (cos, let's face it, there's nowt worse than an evil pig running amok) - whilst others to believe that a subterranean gang of cannibals is running wild beneath London's streets. Okay, may that's worse. Mad as effing toast, as usual! And, still hugely entertaining - albeit, initial overnight ratings have been been rather disappointing this series as compared to previous years (though timeshifting seems to be boosting the final, consolidated figures up to more acceptable levels). Starring, as usual, Rupert Penry-Jones, Phil Davis and Steve Pemberton.

Thursday 3 October
Tony Blackburn introduces an edition of Top Of The Pops first broadcast on 26 October 1978 - 7:30 BBC4 - with performances by yer actual Elvis Costello & His Very Attractions, Chris Rea, Public Image Ltd their very selves, Jonathan King, The Boomtown Rats, Dollar, The Jacksons, City Boy and The Undertones. Plus, dance sequences to give all the dads The Horn by yer actual Legs & Co. So, four great bands (I'm including The Jacksons in case anyone's wondering) a load of old toot and at least one convicted sex offender. A pretty typical episode of Top Of The Pops from the 1970s in other words.
Pain, Pus & Poison: The Search for Modern Medicines - 9:00 BBC4 - is a documentary exploring how scientists exploited the natural world to make medicines, beginning by investigating the challenges they faced trying to create a drug that would alleviate pain. The programme examines what physical discomfort actually is, why people want to control it, and how the discovery of morphine led to two hundred years of scientific breakthroughs and self-experimentation.

Dara O Briain and regulars Chris Addison, Hugh Dennis and Andy Parsons are joined by Milton Jones, Miles Jupp and Josh Widdicombe on the topical comedy quiz Mock The Week - 10:00 BBC2 - with the panellists giving their take on the week's major news stories.

Friday 4 October
Ah Friday night is proper comedy night again on the BBC, with the return of Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1 - with old hands (and national treasures) Paul Merton and Ian Hislop poking fun at the week's headlines with the help of their team mates and a guest host. Dunno who, yet, but it doesn't really matter, it'll still be great if they've got material to work with.
Meanwhile Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and comedians Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey join regular panellist Alan Davies on tonight's Qi - 10:00 BBC2. Stephen Fry asks the usual range of fiendish questions on the topic of Kings, with points being awarded for interesting answers as well as correct ones. This will be, assuming the broadcast goes ahead as scheduled, the first time in two series that Jezza's regular appearances on the show have occurred during the series in which they were filmed, so that'll be nice.
Sarah realises that ensuring the Orphans' survival is going to take a lot more than police work in the latest episode of BBC3's new cult import Orphan Black - 9:00. As she continues to pursue the killer, her long-awaited reunion with Kira is put in jeopardy and her ruse as a cop is at an increasing risk of becoming exposed. SF drama, starring Tatiana Maslany.
Which brings us to the news, dear blog reader: As previously announced, some of stars from the cast of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet are returning to Tyneside this weekend to celebrate the comedy drama's thirtieth anniversary. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self was even dragged from his pit early on Friday morning to talk about the show on Alfie & Charlie's Breakfast Show on BBC Newcastle. You can catch it here for the next six days or so, (I'm on about forty minutes into the show if you're interested in checking it out.) First broadcast in 1983, the programme followed the adventures of a diverse group of construction workers on building sites in Germany, Spain, Cuba and the USA. Written by the great Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement, it went on to make stars of many of the actors taking part. Now, to celebrate the show's thirtieth anniversary, a series of celebrations are being held in Newcastle. On Saturday there was an event at the Tyneside Cinema at which the results of a fans' poll revealed their all-time favourite episode. There was also the chance to put questions to La Frenais and Clement, who said: 'It will be really interesting to find out which is the fans' favourite.' He added that one episode from the series which resurrected the show in 2002, which involved the 'sale' of Middlesbrough's Transporter Bridge, provoked a strong reaction. 'A lot of people believed that,' he said. 'They were outraged that the Transporter Bridge was going to be torn down.' It wasn't, of course. Saturday evening featured a 'Brickies banquet' at the Hilton Hotel in Gatesheed, where fans could meet the writers and some members of the cast. On Sunday there will be a guided bus tour of TV and film locations around Newcastle and Gateshead including places used in Auf Wiedersehen Pet, The Likely Lads and Our Friends In the North. All profits from the weekend's events will be donated to The Sunday for Sammy Trust, a charity which provides funding for young people from the North East looking for a career in performing arts. Auf Wiedersehen Pet initially ran for two series in the 1980s and returned for another - hugely acclaimed - series followed by another and a two-part special in the early 2000s. It also made household names of the lead actors Tim Healy, Kevin Whately, Jimmy Nail, Gary Holton, Christopher Fairbank, Pat Roach and Timothy Spall. The then-unknown Nail made a particular impression when he turned up for the audition. La Frenais said: 'When he walked in, Dick turned to me and said "Oh my god, this is odd, please may he be able to act. Even just a little."' Nail, who was given the role of abrasive bricklayer Oz, said: 'I didn't know what they wanted me for. I didn't understand at the time what the scale of the job was going to be.' Holton, who played womanising Cockney carpenter Wayne, died after a drug overdose in 1985 at the age of thirty three during filming of the patchy but often brilliant second series (that run of half-a-dozen episodes mid-series where they're doing up Ally Frazer's mansion in Derbyshire remain some of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourites of the series). Roach, a former wrestler who starred as Bristol bricklayer Bomber, died of throat cancer aged sixty seven in 2004 after the second 'comeback' series. Healy, who played Dennis, the leader of the group and now appears in the ITV sitcom Benidorm, said: 'It will be great to be back with the boys again. We've all come a long way since the series started, but it's a show that will always be in my heart and soul.'

An - exceedingly wealthy - Tory cabinet minister (and knobcheese) has attacked Labour and the Liberal Democrats over tax plans which, he claimed, would 'penalise wealth creators.' Writing in, of course, the Daily Torygraph, the Justice Secretary (and ignorant slaphead louse) Chris Grayling said that both parties wanted to 'clobber the rich.' And the problem with that, is, exactly?
West End musical theatre star Lee Mead is to join the cast of the BBC medical drama Casualty. It will be the first full time on-screen role for the winner of BBC singing competition Any Dream Will Do. Mead said he was 'thrilled' to be joining the show and 'can't wait to get started and learn all of the medical jargon.' Mead made his TV acting debut in one episode of Casualty in 2011, which he said he 'really enjoyed.' But the actor and singer said that this would be 'a completely different challenge.' Playing a character called Lofty - a 'popular nurse with a less-than-ordinary background' - Mead said he didn't imagine he would 'be in the frame to play him. I am hoping he will charm audiences and they will get behind him.' Casualty executive producer Oliver Kent said while the character was being developed, they 'couldn't think of anyone else to better to play him. With a very different background to most of the other nurses, his clumsy charm is sure to win everyone over,' he said. Mead will first appear on screen in early 2014.

ITV is reportedly planning to poach (if you'll excuse the cookery pun) odious, risible lard-bucket (and drag) Eamonn Holmes from Sky to become the new host of their notorious breakfast TV fiasco Daybreak. Just one more reason not to watch the Godforsaken piece of total excrement, dear blog reader.

Rachel Riley spelled out the word 'arse' on Friday's episode of Countdown. Which was a reet good laugh. During one of the early rounds on the Channel Four quiz show, which is hosted by Nick Hewer, Riley was placing the randomly-ordered consonant and vowel tiles onto the letters board when the arse emerged. As the word was gradually spelled out, both Riley and the studio audience tittered with naughty glee. After the thirty-second timer had run out, both contestants revealed they had formed the seven-letter word 'coarser' from the nine letters provided.
The BBC last week re-ran an old episode of Mastermind in which one contender's specialist subject was the Reginald Perrin novels of David Nobbs. The author saw the episode and tweeted afterwards: 'The contestant got all sixteen [questions], I got seven!'
Adam Richman, the former star of Man Versus Food, has revealed that he has lost more than four stone after quitting the food and travel show. The presenter, who had ballooned to 'the size of a small car' with a forty inch waistline while making the show, said he had become depressed over his weight. His last episode in the series, where he travelled the US taking on increasingly huge food-eating challenges, was broadcast last April. So, in other words, a man who presented a TV show in which he ate massive amount of grub got fat. And he was, what, surprised by this occurrence? Now, however, Richman has lost sixty pounds thanks to avoiding the huge portions which he had devoured for several years on the show, and through taking regular exercise. Blimey, what an astonishing revelation. Speaking to People magazine about his new svelte appearance, which he hoped would also make his 'female prospects better', Richman said: 'I could see my belly, It was unflattering. It sent me into depression. The crew [on a recent road trip] got a bunch of pizzas, and it was all I could smell. It sucked. But I had a Greek yogurt with raw almonds, water, and an iced coffee, and I was satisfied.' He added that the show has also left restaurateurs with certain expectations of him. 'People expect me to order the biggest, richest dish, but it's nice saying "no, I'm no human Dyson"' he added. 'When I watch old episodes, I see my doughy face. But I'm not filled with regret. Man Versus Food was the biggest career-defining opportunity. I went from anonymity to someone of note with access to amazing eateries.'

Kanye West's alleged demands while appearing on Later ... With Jools Holland have been dismissed as 'nonsense' by the BBC. The US rapper was reported by the Sun and, in a spiteful, sneering and typically trouble-making agenda-soaked piece of horseshit in the Gruniad Morning Star - so, no one you'd actually believe - to have asked for his dressing room carpet to be ironed before performing on the BBC2 show earlier this week. However, a BBC spokesperson has told the NME that the story is entirely untrue and that the artist was 'great to work with.' They said: 'This is all utter nonsense. It's wish fulfilment - people expect stars of his stature to make diva demands, but the truth is Kanye was great to work with. There were more flowers in the dressing room than usual, but that's it.' West was alleged to have complained that the carpet was 'too bumpy' and to have also required over half the fifteen dressing rooms available at the studios. But, it seems, this is all lies which is pretty much what you'd except from odious shit scum like the Sun and the Gruniad.

The late singer - and alleged paedophile - Michael Jackson's statue at Fulham FC's stadium is to be removed. Former owner Mohammed Al Fayed unveiled the artwork to, frankly bemused, Fulham fans outside the club's Craven Cottage ground in 2011. It was commissioned by the businessman in tribute to his late friend Wack Jacko, who visited the ground. Once. However, the club's new owner Shahid Khan, who bought it from Al Fayad earlier this year, has stated that the statue will not be part of the club's redevelopment plans. 'The statue is not part of the Riverside development of the stadium and will be returned to the former chairman in due course,' read a statement from the club. What Al Fayad intends to do with the sodding thing once he gets it back is not, at this time, known. Or, indeed, much cared about. Jackson was a guest at Craven Cottage in April 1999 and watched Fulham's 2-0 victory over Wigan. Before the unveiling, Al Fayed said: 'Michael Jackson was truly a legend, a term used too often in this modern world saturated in the hyperbole surrounding celebrity. He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a tragic and untimely death.' The Jackson monument was heavily criticised by Fulham fans at the time of its unveiling. Al Fayed told his critics to 'go to hell.' Which, presumably, is exactly where Jacko is now if those alleged kiddie fiddling rumours were true. Which, of course, they might not have been.
Carole King will receive a special honour from the organisers of the Grammy Awards next year. The singer-songwriter will be named MusiCares Person of the Year at an event held two nights before the main Grammys ceremony in January. She will be serenaded by artists including Lady Gaga, The Dixie Chicks, Bette Midler, Steven Tyler, Jason Mraz and her former partner James Taylor. King, seventy one, was honoured with a Grammy for lifetime achievement this year. Previous recipients of the MusiCares Person of the Year title include Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Barbra Streisand and Neil Young. The award will honour King's career as a writer and performer, which spans nearly six decades, as well as her charitable and philanthropic work. The four-times Grammy winner was the first female solo artist to sell more than ten million copies of a single LP with Tapestry, which stayed in the US charts for six years after its release in 1971. Her songs - often written in collaboration with her first husband, Gerry Goffin - included 'The Locomotion', 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow', 'Chains', 'Goin' Back', 'It Might As Well Rain Until September', '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman', 'I'm Into Something Good', 'Up On The Roof', 'It's Too Late' and 'You've Got a Friend' and her songs have been recorded by the likes of The Beatles, The Monkees (including the astonishing 'As We Go Along') and Aretha Franklin. 'Her contributions as a songwriter and performer have truly changed the landscape of pop music, and her philanthropy speaks volumes about her generosity and personal passions,' said Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, which runs the Grammys. The award will be given out at a fundraiser in Los Angeles on 24 January. A musical of King's life, charting her rise from Brooklyn to fame and fortune, is due to open on Broadway next spring called Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

The singer-songwriter Jackie Lomax, who worked with The Beatles, has died at the age of sixty nine. A statement on his website said that Jackie died after a short illness on 15 September, in the Wirral. Signed to The Beatles record label Apple, Jackie recorded with his close friend George Harrison and Eric Clapton. 'For Jackie it was always about the music and he had only recently put the finishing touches to his next CD, Against All Odds,' his website said. 'Jackie deeply appreciated the fans who followed him throughout his fifty-year career and his family and friends would like to thank each and every one of you for your support and loyalty,' it added. Jackie started his music career in Liverpool as part of the Merseybeat scene and played in a number of bands, most notably local legends The Undertakers. He knew The Beatles well from performing at the Cavern Club and was the first act to sign to the Apple label releasing a superb version of Harrison's 'Sour Milk Sea' as one of the label's first single releases. Tony Bramwell, the former publicist for Apple, said that notorious alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon persuaded Lomax to sign with them. 'He was a great rocker, a solid out-and-out rock and roller,' Bramwell said. Harrison took responsibility for Jackie's recording career and wrote and produced his début single. Lomax recorded with Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton but his solo career did not bring the hoped-for hits. Jackie also sang on The Beatles' songs 'Dear Prudence' and 'Hey Jude'. His fifty-year music career included touring with The Drifters and Tom Petty. His funeral will be followed by a remembrance ceremony gig in Liverpool at a later date.

Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf has been charged by police in relation to the spot-fixing scandal in this year's Indian Premier League. Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of the Indian cricket board's president, has also been charged. Rauf was removed from the Champions Trophy panel in May. Meiyappan was arrested in the same month after he was questioned by police probing illegal betting on the Twenty/20 league. A Mumbai court will hear their case on 21 November. They are two of twenty two people who have been charged for gambling, cheating and fraud, the police said. Rauf has officiated in forty eight Tests and ninety eight one-day internationals. Srinivasan has distanced himself from Meiyappan, saying: 'It is up to him to defend his position, it has got nothing to do with me.' The BCCI last week banned former India fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals team-mate Ankeet Chavan on spot-fixing charges.

Britain's Mark Cavendish won his second stage at this year's Tour Of Britain on Saturday by out-sprinting Canada's Elia Viviani to the finish on Guildford High Street. The Manxman, riding for Omega Pharma-Quickstep, repeated Wednesday's victory in Llanberis to claim the ninth stage win of his career in his home race. Cav's Great Britain team mate and close pal Sir Bradley Wiggins remains the overall leader by twenty six seconds after the one hundred and fifty five kilometre seventh stage from Epsom to Guildford. The race concludes on Sunday with a circuit stage around central London. On Friday, Great Britain academy rider Simon Yates sprinted to a superb victory on stage six.
Meanwhile, Tour De France winner Chris Froome has been named in the Great Britain team for the Road World Championships in Italy, which start on Sunday. Froome joins Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard in a very strong eight-man squad, with Wiggins also involved in the time trial with Alex Dowsett. Junior world champion Lucy Garner, Lizzie Armitstead, Katie Colclough and Nikki Harris make up the women's team. Emma Pooley declined a place in the squad to focus on her PhD studies. British Cycling performance director Sir Dave Brailsford said: 'We have real strength and depth in the team, and it's a real boost for us to have two Tour De France winners, along with high-calibre support from the likes of Cav, Geraint, Steve and Ian. I'm looking forward to seeing what Lizzie can do out on the Worlds course given her great form - and I'm confident that Lucy, Katie and Nikki can give her the support she needs. We've got some great opportunities across the board.'
Durham captain Paul Collingwood has said that Geoff Cook's absence from first-team affairs after a heart attack in June galvanised their Championship success. Collingwood lifted Durham's third title in six years after their eight-wicket win against Nottinghamshire, with fit-again Cook in attendance. Cook handed responsibilities to coaches Jon Lewis and Neil Killeen while undergoing recovery. 'All the players wanted to do it for Geoff,' Collingwood told BBC Sport. Collingwood's return to county cricket after an illustrious England career last term led to his appointment as captain toward the back end of the campaign - and a run of five wins from the last six matches. That form was continued into the current season, with victory against Nottinghamshire their fifth in succession and tenth in the championship, and adds club honours to the World Twenty/20 title he collected as England skipper in 2010 and being part of three Ashes victories. 'It's very, very satisfying,' Collingwood said. 'The county season is very gruelling, there's a lot of travel for which you need a lot of fitness.' Following the departure of senior professionals such as Liam Plunkett, Ian Blackwell and Michael Di Venuto last term, Durham were not expected to trouble the title contenders in 2013. However, a youthful squad, peppered with senior professionals such as Collingwood and Graham Onions, has been potent with bat and ball and sealed the Championship with a game to spare. 'For such a young group of lads to win the Championship it really does put us in good stead for the future. A lot of decisions that are made here at the club are made for the next five to 10 years, and for the guys to respond and take responsibility on like they have over the whole season really does put us in good stead.' This season's success is likely to bring an end to the Durham careers of several players from the 2013 squad, with Mitch Claydon already confirmed to leave, and uncertainty regarding the future of Steve Harmison and Will Smith. 'In many ways that's probably the real regret of the season. The financial situation at the club means we have to lose a lot of players and players we don't want to lose, players who have put their hands up at the right times and put in big performances for us,' Collingwood continued. 'They've been absolutely magnificent for this club and they've been driven by their own personal pride in many ways. I do take my hats off to the guys who keep fighting for Durham and knowing that its probably going to be their last year for them. We've still got a strong core of good young players that are going to drive us on for the next ten years. As long as we keep hold of them and as long as they have the ambition, which I am sure they will, this club will be safe and well.'

A four-megaton nuclear bomb was one switch away from exploding over the US in 1961, a newly declassified document confirms. Two bombs were on board a B-52 bomber that went into an uncontrolled spin over North Carolina - both bombs fell and one began the detonation process. The US government has acknowledged the accident previously, but never made public just how close the bomb came to detonating. The document was obtained by journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act and published in the Gruniad Morning Star. Schlosser told the BBC such an explosion would have 'changed literally the course of history.' The plane was on a routine flight when it began to break up over North Carolina on 23 January 1961. As it was breaking apart, a control inside the cockpit released the two Mark thirty nine hydrogen bombs over Goldsboro. One fell to the ground unarmed. But the second 'assumed it was being deliberately released over an enemy target - and went through all its arming mechanisms save one, and very nearly detonated over North Carolina,' Schlosser told the BBC. Only the failure of a single low-voltage switch prevented disaster, he added. The bomb was almost two hundred and sixty times as powerful as the bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The accident occurred during the height of the Cold War between the US and Russia, just over a year before The Cuban missile Crisis brought nuclear fears to the US's front door. There has been ongoing speculation ever since, including a 1961 book by former government scientist Doctor Ralph Lapp. The newly declassified document was written eight years after the incident by government scientist Parker Jones - who was responsible for mechanical safety of nuclear devices. In it, he comments on and corrects Lapp's narrative of the accident, including listing that three out of the four fail safe mechanisms failed, not five out of six as originally thought by Lapp. 'One set off by the fall. Two rendered ineffective by aircraft breakup,' Jones writes. 'It would have been bad news in spades. One simple dynamo-technology low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe.'

All of which apocalyptic malarkey brings us nicely to today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. I guess this one is, very much, for UKiP's own nuclear bomb waiting for go off, Mister Godfrey his very self. In the words of Father Dougal, careful now.

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