Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Sins Of The Fatherland

Former Doctor Who star David Tennant his very self has enjoyed some fun at the expense of the next man to take on the role, yer actual Peter Capaldi, reports the Sun. So, this is almost certainly lies in that case. The former The Thick Of It star will, reportedly, get to use his Scottish accent when playing The Doctor, unlike Tennant, who put on an English accent. 'I just think it's lazy,' suggested Tennant at a Doctor Who event in London ahead of the show's fiftieth anniversary episode (in which, of course, Tennant his very self will appear alongside Matt Smith). Tennant said that it 'wasn't easy' leaving the show in 2009. 'Part of me would have stayed doing it forever. But it's one of those things where you just have to take a deep breath and think: "If I don't leave this show now, people will resent me still being there in twenty five years."'
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has said that gender should not dictate who plays The Doctor. Peter Capaldi his very self will play the twelfth Doctor (or, possibly thirteenth, depending on yer actual John Hurt's status) from Christmas onwards, though Moffat told the NerdCubed website that he is 'reasonably confident' a female performer will eventually be cast in the role. 'The problem with this whole [female Doctor] argument is everybody says "a woman" - you don't ever cast "a man" as The Doctor, you cast a particular man,' Moffat explained. 'One day I'm reasonably confident somebody in this role - whether it's me or someone else - will say not, "Let's cast a woman", they'll say, "That person, that's the one who could the be The Doctor."' The BBC's popular long-running family SF drama's head writer insisted that finding an actor to play The Doctor should not be about 'casting a gender. You're just casting someone that you think will set that role on fire,' he said. 'I think for now that is Peter - I thought it was Matt [Smith] before - it's not about the gender thing.'
As previously speculated, the fiftieth anniversary episode of Doctor Who will be broadcast simultaneously in more than seventy countries. The Day of the Doctor, which will star Matt Smith and his predecessor David Tennant, will also be shown in more than two hundred British cinemas. So far TV networks in seventy five countries have agreed to broadcast the show on 23 November (or, in the case of some on the other side of the world, the early hours of 24 November). Tim Davie, chief executive of BBC Worldwide, said he hoped to take 'appointment viewing' to 'another level. In its fiftieth anniversary year, we wanted to create a truly international event for Doctor Who fans in as many countries as possible,' he continued. 'The simultaneous broadcast and cinema screening of the special across so many countries will make for a fitting birthday tribute to our Time Lord.' Smudger and Ten Inch will appear in the seventy five-minute episode alongside John Hurt, introduced as 'The Doctor' at the end of the last episode to be broadcast. 'The Doctor has always been a time traveller,' said executive producer The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat. 'Now he's travelling time zones.' The BBC has announced a raft of programmes to celebrate the anniversary of the much-loved family SF drama. Highlights include a BBC2 lecture by yer actual Professor Brian Cox on the science behind the show and An Adventure in Space and Time, a drama by Mark Gatiss about the show's creation and early years. Though the premiere date of 23 November is embedded in every Doctor Who fan's calender, the actual time of the broadcast has yet to be confirmed; however, ABC have announced that their prime-time repeat broadcast of The Day of The Doctor will be on the Sunday at 7:30pm. Meanwhile, PRIME in New Zealand have reported that they will show the episode within twenty four hours of its broadcast in the UK (the episode's usual PG censor rating means that it unfortunately cannot be shown on the terrestrial channel in the early morning). So, it would seem that two of Doctor Who's biggest fanbases outside the UK - countries which have been buying and watching Doctor Who since about 1964 - aren't to be amongst those who actually get to see the thing 'live' as it were. Whereas, fans in, I dunno, say The Federated States of Micronesia, will! (Let is be noted, here and now, dear blog reader, that yer actual Keith Telly Topping has no idea if The Federated States of Micronesia even has a TV service, let alone whether they purchase Doctor Who from the BBC to show on it, he's just making a point.) You couldn't make it up, could you?

A Doctor Who-themed trailer promoting the return of the long-running topical panel quiz Have I Got News For You has been made available to view online by the BBC. The trailer, which has been running for the past few days on BBc1 and BBC2, shows the TARDIS arriving in front of the Houses of Parliament - and a visibly aged BBC political editor Nick Robinson - in the year 2063 and team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton emerging in Fourth Doctor-style garb to glean from a copy of a final print edition of a newspaper what has changed in the world. Have I Got News For You will start its forty sixth series on BBC1 on Friday 4 October at 9pm, with David Mitchell as the guest presenter and Danny Baker and Cathy Newman as the guest panellists. The series will comprise eleven episodes.
Doc Martin easily topped Monday's overnight ratings outside of soaps. The Martin Clunes drama rose by a hundred thousand punters from last week's episode to 7.43 million at 9pm on ITV. On BBC1, Motorway Cops was seen by 2.70m at 9pm. BBC2's University Challenge pulled in 3.01m at 8pm, while The Midwives was watched by 1.44m at 9pm. Never Mind the Buzzcocks returned with 1.23m at 10pm. Channel Four's Gadget Man gathered 1.05m at 8.30pm, followed by Chicken Fried Shop with 1.05m at 9pm. The documentary Porn On The Brain interested nine hundred and seventy six thousand punters at 10pm. On Channel Five, Inside Broadmoor was seen by 1.24m at 9pm. Under The Dome was watched by nine hundred and forty five thousand at 10pm. BBC4's Only Connect topped the multichannels with nine hundred and twenty six thousand viewers, followed by the excellent A Very British Murder with seven hundred and nine thousand at 9pm.

And, speaking of Only Connect, was anyone else slightly startled by the exceptionally tight skirt that yer actual Victoria Coren Mitchell was spotted wearing at one point? Just me then? Fair enough.
The Wrong Mans kept its overnight audience above two million viewers for its second episode on Tuesday, according to overnight data. However, odious unfunny berk James Corden and Mathew Baynton's alleged comedy - which is, actually, about as funny as a wart on the end of ones knob - dropped over nine hundred thousand punters from the previous episode to 2.12m at 10pm. In other words, it lost almost exactly a third of its audience in just a week. Sarah Millican's Television Programme dipped to 1.57m at 9.30pm. Earlier, The Great British Bake Off jumped by nearly half a million punters to 6.26m for its latest episode at 8pm. BBC1's New Tricks topped the ratings overall outside of soaps with 6.77m at 9pm for the final episode in the current series. On ITV, Glasgow Celtic's loss against Barcelona scored 3.08m at 7.30pm. Channel Four's Double Your House For Half The Money attracted nine hundred and ninety three thousand at 8pm. My Big Fat Gypsy Christening was watched by 1.85m at 9pm. On Channel Five, CSI: NY had nine hundred and fifty seven thousand viewers at 9pm, followed by Castle with six hundred and sixty five thousand at 10pm.

ITV has revealed the trailer for its new drama Breathless, starring Jack Davenport and Joanna Page. The period drama opens in 1961, and follows the lives of a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital. The six-part drama, which also stars Sarah Parish, Catherine Steadman and Iain Glen, is billed as being set in a world of 'lies, deception and guilty secrets, driven by love, ambition and sex.' So, Mad Men meets Call The Midwife, in other words.

The final episode of Breaking Bad saw the drama draw its biggest audience to date, with 10.3 million viewers tuning in to US cable channel AMC. According to Nielsen figures, the seventy five-minute finale set a series record in viewership, breaking a record set one week earlier by the previous episode. Some, however, have sought to watch the programme by less legitimate means. According to the TorrentFreak website, the show has been illegally downloaded more than half-a-million times. 'Just twelve hours after the first copy appeared online, more than five hundred thousand people had already downloaded the show via various torrent sites,' the news site reported. It claimed that most of the downloaders come from Australia, followed by the US and Britain. Set in Albuquerque, Breaking Bad revolved around a high school chemistry teacher who becomes a methamphetamine dealer after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. The show's conclusion followed its success at this year's EMMYs, where it was crowned best drama and won an additional prize for best supporting actress. In a statement, AMC president, Charlie Collier, paid tribute to Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan for ending the show 'on his own terms.' With regard to cable show finales, Breaking Bad's ranks third behind The Sopranos and Sex and the City, whose final instalments on HBO were seen by 11.9m and 10.6m respectively. Zombie thriller The Walking Dead remains AMC's most-watched show, achieving ratings of 12.4 million.

The Labour leader yer actual Ed Milimolimandi is currently locked in a furious row with the Daily Scum Mail over an article in the odious right-wing rag about his Marxist academic father headlined The Man Who Hated Britain. You might have noticed, dear blog reader, it's been on The News and everything. Ed says that the story about the late Ralph Miliband's political beliefs was 'a character assassination' and 'a smear'. Both of which it clearly was. And 'lies', which it may well also have been. The only thing that this blogger really has to add to the entire issue is the observation that the Daily Scum Mail - a vile, odious, wretched, nasty historically Nazi-supporting right-wing tabloid written by a cabal of bully boy (and girl) louse thugs - seemingly doesn't like the leader of the Labour party very much and wants to piss him off considerably by insulting the memory of his late father. And people are, what, surprised by this? That's sort of their job, isn't it? One would've rather hoped to see Ed rise above such rank knobcheese glakery, difficult as that may have been. Because, if you let the chebs get under your skin, in any context, they've won. And that's in no one's interest. As noted when the Scum Mail recently provoked a similar angry response from Stephen Fry over just such a sneering cowardly 'look at us, we're so clever' piece of spite and bile, one imagines that the Scum Mail's horrorshow (and drag) of an editor, the bully and coward Paul Dacre, will be delighted that he's drawn an angry response from someone whom he and his colleagues, clearly, take great pleasure in baiting. One can easily imagine the odious snake Dacre standing, puffing out his chest in front of his mirror, preening himself like a peacock, with a big sick smirk on his pudgy, sour face at how really very clever he is to get Ed Milimolimandi to even notice him. What would, frankly be in everyone's interest would be for Red Ed to get on with his day job of running the Labour party and turning them a viable electable force again. And then, actually getting them elected - possibly as part of a coalition with the Lib Dems, possibly as the outright biggest party - so that when he's become Prime Minister, he can implement every single recommendation of The Leveson Report and watch the coward and bully Paul Dacre squirm like a dog. Sadly, that almost certainly won't happen. But, we can all dream, dear blog reader, can we not? Dreaming, as Blondie once noted, is free. Nevertheless, this blogger was particularly impressed when, on Twitter, a Labour party member noted: 'Couldn't find a pic of Ed Miliband's dad as a WW2 Brit sailor so here's one of the then owner of [then] Daily Mail instead.'
From The North would like to make it clear that the Daily Scum Mail's then owner, Lord Rothermere, is the one on the left in this photo (probably the only time he was ever on the left in his life). Just to avoid any possible confusion. On his right - and, indeed, on everyone's right - is Hitler.

Also, dear blog reader, it was jolly entertaining to see Labour's attack dog, Alistair Campbell, unleashed on the Scum Mail's hapless deputy editor Jon Steafel on Newsnight on Tuesday. In a series of 'heated exchanges' with the slaphead Steafel, Campbell, the former director of communications at Downing Street under Tony Blair, said (correctly) that the Daily Scum Mail was 'the worst of British values posing as the best', claimed that the article was 'not defensible' and that the hideous Dacre himself should have been appearing on the programmes instead of sending some non-entity like Steafel. After the broadcast, a Labour Party spokesman said: 'The deputy editor of the Daily Mail tonight admitted that it was an "error of judgement" to publish a picture of Ralph Miliband's grave accompanied by a crude pun. The newspaper should now apologise for this error of judgement.' The Press Complaints Commission said that it had received thirty two complaints about the article - although what they were actually complaining about, other than the fact that the Daily Scum Mail is a spiteful and mean publication run by and written by lice, which we all knew anyway and, sadly, isn't against the PCC code, is another matter entirely. Wednesday's edition of the Daily Scum Mail - who are, seemingly, loving all the additional publicity - devoted a further four pages to the ongoing row and included an abridged version of its editorial from the previous day. It also highlighted the support given to Miliband from the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister on Tuesday for defending his father, as well as reflecting views from both sides of the debate by other political figures and its readers. There's also some very interesting coverage on the row in the Gruniad including the author of the original article, Geoffrey Levy, defending his comments and an angry piece by the author of Miliband's biography, Michael Newman, from whose book Levy seemingly selected his quotes, on how his work had been 'distorted' by the Scum Mail. There's also a thoughtful and rather Mail-like character assassination of the wretched bully and coward Dacre by Roy Greenslade, Ed Miliband's challenge to Daily Mail exposes editor Paul Dacre as a bully which is well worth ten minutes of dear blog readers time. Unlike just about everything else in the Gruniad.

A regular Simpsons character is to be killed off in the new series, producers have revealed. Executive producer Al Jean broke the news at a press conference promoting the twenty fifth season, which started on Sunday. He said: 'I'll give you a clue that the actor playing the character won an EMMY for playing that character, but I won't say who it is.' This is, however, not much of a clue as Simpsons actors have won a total of twenty five EMMYs over the years, and many play multiple characters. The episode in question will see the first major character written out of the show since Maud Flanders fell to her death from the grandstand at the Springfield Springway – when Homer ducked out of the way of a barrage of T-shirts being fired from a cannon in 1999 (although the character has occasionally appeared since in flashbacks or as a ghost).
Sir Paul McCartney and Katy Perry will appear on The Graham Norton Show when it returns to BBC1 in October. They will be joined on the sofa by actress Natalie Portman and unfunny berk James Corden on the 18 October edition of the chat show. Macca his very self will chat to Norton about his latest CD New and he will also perform material from the record. Meanwhile, Portman will be in the studio to promote Marvel's Thor sequel The Dark World. Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch, Harrison Ford, lanky streak of piss Jack Whitehall and James Blunt will perform on the first episode of the series next week.

Some proper good news now, dear blog reader. Yer actual Billy Connolly has been given the all-clear from prostate cancer. The seventy-year-old comedian and actor broke the news while in Glasgow for Celtic's match against Barcelona. During an interview with Sky Sports News he said: 'I got the clearance on Wednesday on my cancer so I'm okay.' Last month The Big Yin's spokeswoman said he had undergone minor surgery for early-stage prostate cancer. He has also been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The spokeswoman said that Billy was receiving 'appropriate treatment' after being assessed as having the initial symptoms of Parkinson's, but she added that he would continue to perform on stage and screen. Connolly started his showbusiness career as a folk singer, developing the stand-up act which made him famous and led to a career in television and film. He went on to perform sell-out stand-up shows around the world, present a series of documentaries and become an in-demand character actor, starring alongside Judi Dench in Mrs Brown and playing a dwarf warrior in The Hobbit. He is married to the actress and psychologist Pamela Stephenson and has five children.

The Daily Mirra this week reported how 'fans' of ITV's Downton Abbey were allegedly 'less than keen' on the new series and had branded it Downton Shabby because of its allegedly 'boring storylines.' Yer actual Keith Telly Topping makes no comment on the veracity of this claim, dear blog reader, he's never been a fan of Lord Snooty's exercise in wistful nostalgia for a time when working people knew their place. Meanwhile, in completely unrelated news, the Mirra announced that it was premiering its 'exciting new television advert' - their words, not the words of anybody else - asking the question: 'Did we make you think?' The new campaign kicked off during ITV's The X Factor, but 'in case you are out and forget to set your Sky Plus, don't fear – the advert will be played again during Downton Abbey on ITV on Sunday.' Doubtless they expected punters to skip the programme and just watch the advert.

Chris Evans will return to Saturday night TV for the first time in eighteen years this weekend, promising to raise the BBC's National Lottery show above its current 'two dimensional nothingness.' The Radio 2 breakfast DJ, who will present the lottery show for the next thirteen weeks, alongside his Friday night hosting duties on BBC1's The ONE Show, is eyeing a more substantial return to the small screen. Two years after his Channel Four reality flop, Famous and Fearless, which he co-presented with Clare Balding, Evans said: 'As it happens, I think I did my bit in [Famous and Fearless] quite well. But there's real sense in waiting for the wind to blow back in your direction. When you're hot on TV, like I was from 1992 to 2000, you think people are buying your ideas, your formats, but they are not,' Evans told the new issue of Radio Times. 'They're buying the heat. They want to hire you. You start thinking you're a genius, but you aren't. With radio, I just waited and it all worked out. And what I'm doing with TV is just waiting. When the wind comes back, I will go.' Evans has taken Radio 2's breakfast show to a record audience of nearly ten million listeners since succeeding Sir Terry Wogan. But his TV career, since the heady highs of The Big Breakfast, TFI Friday and his last Saturday night show, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush, has been chiefly memorable for fiascoes such as Channel Four's Boys and Girls, Channel Five's Terry and Gaby Show, which he made through his production company, and ITV's OFI Sunday, which he also presented. Evans said BBC1's current Saturday night lottery offering was 'barely a show' and told the listings magazine that the show was set to have 'more heart.' Evans, who recently told his radio listeners that he wanted to buy Channel Five, said: 'It won't happen, it wasn't a joke.' Reflecting on his career, the forty seven-year-old said: 'The thing is, when you're young, you're allowed to mess up. You are allowed to start lots of things and not necessarily finish them. You can leave a wake of success, mediocrity and destruction. And you can sort of, professionally, get away with it. It's a rite of passage. But as you get older, you have to make things stick, I suppose. You're given jobs where you're a safe pair of hands.' He added: 'I realised what live performers must realise sooner than me, that one of best ways to excite people is not necessarily to be excited yourself. If you live like a rock 'n' roll star seven days a week, you're going to kill yourself. I am definitely better on radio in having once been so fallible. And I am lucky in that a lot of people have forgiven me for a lot of things. But, you know, I really did cock up a lot of stuff.'

Danny Dyer is to become the new landlord of the Queen Vic as he joins the cast of EastEnders this Christmas. The actor – who had,he claims, previously 'had talks' to become a Walford regular – will take over the running of the fictional pub before the end of the year. Dyer is known for playing a hooligan in Football Factory and a TV documentary series in which he celebrated violent characters, but he will now be breaking up the fights when he takes on the role of Mick Carter. He will be joined in the Vic by Kellie Bright – who has appeared in Ali G In Da House and the Only Fools And Horses spin-off Rock & Chips – who is to play his wife Linda. Mick is the brother of Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) and Tina, who is another new recruit to the show played by Luisa Bradshaw-White. 'Patriotic family man' Mick is described as 'a bloke's bloke' who is also 'a big softie' and he and Linda were childhood sweethearts. 'He thinks nothing of throwing on Linda's pink dressing gown and cooking breakfast for the family in the morning before getting the beer barrels ready downstairs,' the BBC said. Dyer said: 'I'm so excited about starting a new chapter in my career and I cannot wait to become part of the East End family.' Bright added: 'I'm very excited about joining the show. Not only am I looking forward to working with Danny but becoming landlady of the Vic is a real honour.' Executive producer of the show, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, has been behind an overhaul of the cast, recruiting new faces and dropping other characters. He said: 'I'm so excited to have actors of Danny and Kellie's calibre joining what is an already strong and talented company of actors. Having been together over twenty years, Mick and Linda have a good marriage and an easy shorthand with each other - but can also still fight like teenagers. They will laugh, cry, argue and make-up … much to the embarrassment of their children and the delight of Albert Square's residents. Mick and Linda still love each other, no matter what life throws at them. And moving from Watford to Walford, life's about to throw them a few curve balls.' Mick was brought up by Shirley when their mother walked out, but they have been estranged for a number of years due to 'animosity' between her and Linda. Dyer claimed in 2009 that he had been 'in talks' for a role in Albert Square but had decided that he 'could not handle the glare of publicity' which would accompany a part in the series. Which has to be the first time in his life that Danny Dyer has ever been, in anyway, afraid of publicity. 'I quite liked the idea of it. But actually, in reality, I just got cold feet. Just from having a meeting it's all over the newspapers and it gave me the horrors. Imagine if I went in it,' he said at the time. The actor was subsequently involved in a furore over an 'advice' column he contributed to lads' magazine Zoo in which a reader was told to cut his ex-girlfriend's face to help him get over their split. The column was dropped by the magazine but Dyer maintained afterwards that he was 'misquoted' when the column was 'dictated' to a journalist.

The betting pundit John McCririck has defended his on-screen persona as 'pantomime' on the opening day of his employment tribunal against Channel Four, as he insisted that he had been sacked solely because of his age. The seventy three-year-old is seeking three million smackers in damages from Channel Fout and the production company IMG Media after he was dropped from the channel's racing output at the turn of the year. At a tribunal in London on Monday, McCririck claimed that his provocative statements, some of them sexist, were 'part of a role' he played, especially when on reality TV shows. 'Because Captain Hook is horrible to Peter Pan and kids in Peter Pan, it doesn't mean the actor playing him goes around abusing kids in the street,' said McCririck, who was accompanied by his wife, Jenny, at the hearing. 'All this is a pantomime villain thing that Channel Four encouraged.' He denied that he was 'anti-women' and said that if anyone to whom he had given a nickname during his time on-air had asked him to desist, he would have stopped. He described his humour as 'a very public school thing, it's a bit immature but it lightens up the programme. Channel Four never, ever said: "Look, we don't like this sexist thing, we don't like it when you call your names, don't wave your arms around."' McCririck, who claimed that the loss of his job had left him 'depressed and reduced to watching daytime TV' (oh, the horror) also claimed that he had been dismissed solely because of his age. 'It's an age thing, they use the word "freshen up." Freshen up is a euphemism for kicking out older people,' he claimed. 'People in their thirties onwards live in fear in this country that the new suits and skirts will come in and just go for new and trendy. It's totally wrong.' IMG replaced McCririck with Clare Balding after the company took over production duties on Channel Four's racing coverage from Highflyer. McCririck said that IMG's decision 'typified a culture' in which, when new people came in, 'they have got to change, they can't go in and keep the same people.' He said: 'There's nobody better around, I have been sacked purely because of my age.' He also quoted a line by the former Home Secretary - and notorious whinger - David Blunkett who said that TV executives 'worship the cult of youth.' Channel Four and IMG both deny that McCririck was dropped because of his age. A Channel Four spokesman said the channel was 'grateful' to his contribution over years, but added: 'We reject the suggestion that discrimination on the basis of age played any part in the decision not to include John in the Channel Four Racing team from 2013 and we are vigorously defending this claim.' An IMG spokesman said: 'Along with C4 we will strongly defend the claim that age played any part in the decision not to include John McCririck in the on=screen racing team.' The tribunal was adjourned until Tuesday morning while the panel of judges reads witness statements and watches clips of McCririck's appearances on television, including racing coverage as well as reality TV shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and Celebrity Wife Swap.

Gary Lineker his very self has launched a passionate defence of Match Of The Day by suggesting that the BBC’s often maligned football highlights programme still 'sets the tone' and 'leads the way' in its coverage of the game. He also voiced his belief that enduring criticism of the programme, which the former England striker began to present in 1999, has been led by the Daily Scum Mail and 'their anti-BBC issue.' Scrutiny of Match Of The Day has intensified - by arseholes in the media rather than nay 'normal people' - since the emergence of Gary Neville as a trenchant football pundit at Sky. Lineker admits 'I wish we had [Neville] on Match of the Day'- well, he's certainly preferable to The Little Shit - but points to the fact that the BBC programme is still 'much more widely watched' than Sky’s football shows and that 'we generally hit between six to seven million [viewers] every weekend.' Lineker's comments, in an exclusive interview with the Gruniad Morning Star, follow the announcement that the BBC's leading football pundit, Alan Hansen, will leave after the World Cup next summer. 'Match Of The Day has fundamentally improved since we got the [TV rights] contract back in 2003,' Lineker said. 'But football is so emotive and that's why people are never going to be entirely satisfied. But our audiences have improved year on year. We're bucking the trends on highlight shows for sport – audiences are down everywhere and, considering the excessive football on TV, it's remarkable we rarely go below four million on Saturday night, with another couple of million on Sunday morning. We generally hit between six to seven million every weekend, despite the current climate and amount of channels.' Acknowledging the 'exceptional' impact of Sky, Lineker said: 'It's so much easier when you can just spread yourselves but so many more people watch our show than any of theirs. It's important to remember that. We still set the tone. You see how so much of our analysis will be copied on the Sunday and Monday and you think, "Oh yeah?" We still lead the way, I think.' He also resisted the charge that there is widespread dissatisfaction with MOTD. 'I don't think there is. I think it's a Daily Mail thing and their anti-BBC issue. I get massive feedback on Twitter and the vast majority is incredibly positive. The only thing that has been levelled consistently against MOTD, particularly in the Daily Mail, is that there's a cosy atmosphere and it's the same people every week. A lot of people like familiarity as well, but we're changing things now. We've already seen about seven different pundits this season. [Last] Saturday we had Danny Murphy and Roberto Martínez. So we shake it up but there’s no need to change the fundamentals.' Lineker also defended the programme’s comparative lack of analytical depth. 'You cannot get involved in debate on MOTD,' he said. 'You can do it on Sky because they've got hours and hours. We've got a couple of minutes. It's a very disciplined show. Our primary purpose is to show the action and the analysis is very secondary. We have lots of people who would prefer no analysis. We have lots of people who would prefer more analysis. We have to find a balance.' In considering Neville's work as a pundit Lineker said: 'The only difficult thing for him is that when it comes to analysing England players he's involved with them as coach. There have already been a couple of occasions when he's avoided it. But he's very good and I wish we'd had him on MOTD.' Lineker defended Alan Shearer, whose allegedly 'bland persona' and knowledge of European football has been questioned consistently. By 'some people in the media' if not anyone that actually matters. 'Personally, I think he's really good,' Lineker said. 'He's improved a lot. I think the problem is that when players start, with the odd exception, they need a transition and they can be a little guarded. But if you listen to Alan Shearer now compared to four years ago he's become very strongly opinionated. He's as strong as anyone and understands the game really well. We do lots of research and he's generally in the top three of who people rate.' Lineker also suggested that his colleague had been 'misunderstood' when, in 2010, Shearer said of Hatem Ben Arfa: 'No one really knows a great deal of him' after the France international performed well for Newcastle United. 'That was so out of order,' Lineker said. 'He obviously meant Newcastle supporters in general. It's so easy to turn around and say: "Oh, he doesn't know anything about football." He quite clearly meant that we, as a nation, do not know much about Hatem Ben Arfa – outside of us in the game who obviously do lots of research and watch foreign football all the time. Alan's a competitive soul and he works really hard. All the guys do.'
Former DJ Dave Lee Travis has been charged with two counts of indecent assault in addition to twelve charges he already faces. The sixty eight-year-old is accused of assaulting a woman aged over sixteen between 1 January 1992 and 31 December 1993. Travis - whose real name is David Patrick Griffin - will appear on bail at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 3 October. He already faces eleven indecent assault charges and one of sexual assault. He has indicated he will plead not guilty to the first twelve charges. He appeared in court at the Old Bailey on 6 September in relation to those counts. Travis, a Radio 1 presenter between 1968 and 1993, when he infamously resigned in a huff, was first charged on 15 August as part of Operation Yewtree, an investigation into historical claims of sexual offences linked to the entertainment industry. At his last court appearance, he was released on bail on condition that he lives at his home and does not contact the alleged victims. The existing allegations date from 1977 to 2007 and relate to nine female complainants aged between fifteen and twenty nine at the time. A trial date for these charges has been set for 4 March 2014. The trial is expected to last four to five weeks. Travis was charged with the latest two counts of indecent assault when he attended a police station by appointment, Scotland Yard confirmed. Operation Yewtree was launched in the wake of sexual offence allegations against ex-TV presenter and naughty old scallywag and rotter Jimmy Savile. The operation has three strands. One is looking specifically at the actions of Savile and the second strand concerns allegations of sexual offences against 'Savile and others.' Travis's arrest falls within a third strand, relating to allegations against other people unconnected to the Savile investigation.

Astronomers have created the first map of the clouds on a planet outside our Solar System. The planet in question is Kepler-7b, a large gaseous world like Jupiter, roughly one thousand light-years away. The researchers used data from NASA's Spitzer and Kepler space telescopes to study the exoplanet, which orbits close to its parent star. Their results suggest the hot giant is marked by high clouds in the west and clear skies in the east. The findings have been accepted for publication in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters. 'By observing this planet with Spitzer and Kepler for more than three years, we were able to produce a very low-resolution "map" of this giant, gaseous planet,' said co-author Brice-Olivier Demory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. 'We wouldn't expect to see oceans or continents on this type of world, but we detected a clear, reflective signature that we interpreted as clouds.' Astronomers have previously been able to make temperature maps of planets orbiting other stars, but this is the first look at cloud structures on a distant world. Kepler-7b is something of an oddity - bigger than Jupiter, but lower in mass - with a density about the same as polystyrene. The Kepler telescope's visible-light observations of this distant world's moon-like phases led to a rough map of the planet that showed a bright spot on its western hemisphere. But these data were not enough on their own to decipher whether the bright spot was coming from clouds or heat. So the team used Spitzer to gather further clues about the planet's atmosphere. They determined that light from the planet's star was bouncing off cloud tops located on the west side of Kepler-7b. 'Kepler-7b reflects much more light than most giant planets we've found, which we attribute to clouds in the upper atmosphere,' said Thomas Barclay from NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, US, who works on the Kepler telescope team. 'Unlike those on Earth, the cloud patterns on this planet do not seem to change much over time - it has a remarkably stable climate.' NASA says that the findings are an early step towards using similar techniques to study the atmospheres of exoplanets that are more like Earth in composition and size. Paul Hertz, director of NASA's astrophysics division in Washington DC commented: 'We're at a point now in exoplanet science where we are moving beyond just detecting [them], and into the exciting science of understanding them.' The Kepler mission has now ended because of problems with the spacecraft's reaction wheels - the spinning components that aid fine-pointing of the satellite. But astronomers are still studying the data it gathered; the mission has so far discovered more than one hundred and fifty hours bona fide exoplanets and thousands of other candidate worlds.

And now, continuing our new - irregular - series Examples of things that are, like, totally geet cush, and make the world a better place by their very existence. Number two, 'the strategic use of black gloves to cover a pair of naughty boobies,' as modelled in this instance by regular From The North favourite, yer actual Gillian Anderson her very self.
TV programmes which are only broadcast online to UK audiences are to be eligible for 2014's BAFTAa's TV awards. US-made shows such as Netflix's House of Cards and Breaking Bad will only be eligible for the international award as well as the audience award. BAFTA said the changes reflect 'trends among the viewing public' for watching shows not broadcast on TV. The academy added that the change ensured the awards would 'remain relevant. We're in a golden era for storytelling and programme-making, with top-class shows being broadcast online as well as on digital and terrestrial television,' said BAFTA's chief executive, Amanda Berry. 'The latest update to our rules ensures we celebrate and reward the very best.' The comedy programme category has been expanded in another change to the rules, and will now be called Comedy and Comedy Entertainment Programme. For 2014 it will include panel-led shows such as Have I Got News for You and Qi, chat shows and those featuring stand-up comedy to ensure 'a more lively competition'. Earlier this year House of Cards became the first online show to be nominated in a major category at the EMMY Awards, where it was up for for fourteen prizes including best drama. It lost out to Breaking Bad. BAFTA's changes come into force for both the Television Craft Awards on 27 April 2014 and the Television Awards on 18 May, with entry for both open from 1 October to 3 December this year.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's something for the Daily Scum Mail to abuse.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Oh no dear Keith you weren't alone in getting a glorious eyeful of Vicky Coren's tiiiight dress. I love watching the Wall round on only Connect and that's in some way because you get to see Victoria out from behind the desk!