Saturday, October 05, 2013

Week Forty Two: My Sister Held Me Close And Whispered To My Bleeding Head

We start today's bloggerisationism update, dear blog reader with yer actual 'who hated Britain more, a man who fought against the Nazis or a newspaper which actively supported them for nearly a decade-gate' and, also, with the very welcome return of Have I Got News For You to BBC1 on Friday evenings. The former malarkey occurring this week, of course, meant that inevitably the latter had an overload of quality comedy material to work with. It was yer actual Ian Hislop who stated it all off when he launched what the Daily Mirra in best snorting 'shock-horror-probe (pictures)' tabloid-style(e) described as 'an astonishing attack' (but, was actually, merely a perfectly rational and valid attack) against the Daily Scum Mail and its owner. Top man, Ian Hislop. Top man.
The Private Eye editor and regular team captain on the BBC's long-running topical news quiz 'let rip' (again, courtesy of the Mirra) as Ian, Paul Merton and their guests - host David Mitchell, Channel Four News reporter Cathy Newman and broadcaster and national treasure Danny Baker - found fun in the ongoing row between Ed Milimolimandi and the newspaper everyone loves to loathe over their (quite ludicrous) claims that Ed's dad, Ralph, 'hated Britain.'
Ian said: 'This is the man that hated Britain on the evidence of one entry in a diary - written when he was sixteen - when he'd just arrived as a refugee in this country. It was the most pathetic piece. What, I think, will be embarrassing for the Mail's editor is that the Mail is owned by the Rothermere family. What did your dad do? Well, the current Lord Rothermere's father loved Great Britain so much he went to live in France as a tax exile. He then passed on the nom-dom status to his son who doesn't, actually, pay the normal amount of tax despite owning a newspaper that's owned through various tax companies in Bermuda. So, once you start doing "I'm looking at your family" it gets embarrassing ... The Rothermere family, if you want to go further back, we get to the great-grandfather who "let's join in together" ran the headline Hurrah For The Blackshirts.'
'The comments', noted the Mirra, 'received a favourable reception at the TV studios when they were made during filming on Thursday night.' 'Favourable' being a euphemism for ecstatic in this particular case. Ian also observed that the Daily Scum Mail had 'not so much shot its own foot off but blow it off with a mortar' with the story. 'The Daily Mail accused the father of being "a committed Marxist"' added Paul Merton, before asking the obvious question, 'what's the point of being an uncommitted Marxist?!' 'Even if we make the leap of faith that his old man did "hate Britain", my dad hated David Bowie' noted Danny, on top form as usual. 'I think Hunky Dory's a masterpiece! It doesn't work like that.'
The discussion continued, moving on to how much of an embarrassment the Scum Mail's 'now toxic' editor - the odious coward, bully and snake Paul Dacre - has become. 'When he was on Newsnight, the fellah they did put on to be the fall guy and the patsy, he said "Oh, well, if you're going to go back eighty years ..." As opposed to the seventy five years you're going back for Ed Milliband's dad! There's a seventy five year cut off point? That's how journalism works?' asked Danny with glorious outrage. 'I thought it was quite funny that Dacre's nickname at the Mail is Mugabe,' added Ian. 'He's very old, he won't retire and he hates the opposition!'
In another part of the show, a round concerning this week's Tory party conference, Cathy Newman's sly little dig at Karren Brady's 'body-con' dress which she wore at the conference was also worthy of note. 'If you believed the "body-con" there, you'd just call an ambulance, wouldn't you?' asked David Mitchell.
They thoroughly got their own back on Ms Newman's bitchiness, however, by showing that infamous clip of her dancing in yer actual 'Gangman style' on Channel Four News. 'C4 style' indeedy!
Cathy also added, brilliantly, that the Daily Mali (a Twitter account dedicated to highlighting the current doings in the Central African country) had tweeted a frank disclaimer wanting to make it absolutely clear to all potential readers that they had nothing whatsoever to do with the Daily Scum Mail!

There was also the bit about Ed Milimolimandi, seemingly, 'growing his own Michael Goves' at the Labour conference the week before. 'Looks like the world's dullest boy band' said Danny. 'No direction' added Ian, quick as a flash.
TV comedy line of the week, however, was David's comment concerning rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove's suggestion - in support of his odious bully boy thug chums at the Scum Mail - that 'political commentators' should have 'a right to offend.'
'I couldn't agree more ... you four-eyed reptilian tosspot!' said Mitchell. That was followed, closely, by: 'For legal reasons we can make any derogatory comments about Daily Mail editor Paul Darce. But, apparently, his dad's an arsehole! Sorry, was an arsehole!' Thank God Have I Got News For You is back, dear blog reader. In these sick and dreadful times, today we needs its razor-sharp wit and ability to poke fun at crass bullies and cowards more than ever before.
That was From The North exercising its 'right to offend' dear blog reader, just in case you were wondering.

Friday also saw a properly tremendous episode of Qi on BBC2 with the surprise, but highly watchable, double-act of yer actual Jezza Clarkson and Jimmy Carr his very self on particularly inspired form. To the point where even the master of the one-liner Bill Bailey found himself slightly overlooked. Jezza's comment about some squirrels with their tails stuck together ('that's fucking hysterical') being a particular highlight.
One imagines that some lice of no importance at both the Gruniad Morning Star and the Daily Scum Mail, under normal circumstances, would have immediately been rushing to construct stories about Clarkson being a squirrel murderer, after first checking for some 'outraged' comments from the usual suspects on Twitter - that being The Arbiter Of The Worth Of All Things these days, it would seem. Except that both organs of the media are pretty busy at the moment running stories about the Daily Sum Mail itself and their abuse of Ed Milimolimandi's dad. Now that, dear blog reader, is proper irony.
Meanwhile, Jezza his very self has claimed that he was 'drunk' when he said - on Twitter - that he was thinking about standing for parliament against yer actual Ed Milimolimandi. Which is comforting as this blogger has always believed - and continues to believe - that everything which is ever written on Twitter was the work of drunks. Anyway, Jezza has now taken the joke some stage further by saying he may challenge Nick Clegg instead. The Top Gear presenter 'set tongues wagging' (according to Metro, if not a real newspaper) when he 'revealed' that he was 'considering' contesting the Labour Party leader’s seat in Jezza's home town of Doncaster at the next general election. But, he has now, seemingly, announced he has the deputy prime minister - and Tory puppet - in his sights instead. 'I was a bit drunk when I suggested I would stand as an independent candidate in Doncaster. I meant Sheffield Hallam,' he told the Sun. And, yet again, seemingly, some glakes masquerading as journalists have taken him seriously. Arseholes.

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat is to take part in 'an exciting late addition' to this year's Cheltenham Literature Festival programme. The Doctor Who showrunner and Sherlock co-creator will appear in conversation in Sherlock, The Doctor and Me, a special session for Radio Times taking fans behind the scenes of the hotly anticipated Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary episode, providing insights into the casting of yer actual Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi his very self, and reflecting on the extraordinary success of his and Mark Gatiss's Twenty First Century Sherlock Holmes adaptation. The hour-long session takes place at Cheltenham Town Hall at 3:45pm on Sunday 13 October. Tickets, priced at a tenner, can be purchased via the official Cheltenham Festival website from twelve noon on Sunday 6 October for members and Monday 7 October for 'the ordinary people'. The Moffinator has been executive producer and head writer on Doctor Who since 2009. The show celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in November, just in case you've been asleep for the last couple of years. Moffat co-created Sherlock with Mark Gatiss and won a writing BAFTA for his work on the show. He's also a proper-good bloke, with a really witty streak and is a close personal friend-of-a-friend of yer actual KTT. But, then you knew that anyway, dear blog reader so the entire last sentence has been a colossal waste of everyone's time. Much like life, really.

And now, here's a very cute photo of Jenna Coleman in her socks.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD continued with 1.93m on Channel Four on Friday evening, overnight data reveals. The second episode of Joss Whedon's return to TV, which was broadcast at 8.15pm, was down around eight hundred thousand punters on the previous week's launch episode. On BBC1, The ONE Show interested 3.85m from 7pm and Ronnie's Animal Crackers appealed to 2.02m at 7.30pm. A repeat of Miranda was watched by 2.53m at 8.30pm, after which the first episode of the forty sixth series of Have I Got News For You, with guest host David Mitchell, achieved the highest ratings of primetime outside news and soaps with 4.98m at 9pm. And, very good it was too - see above. At 9.30pm, Citizen Khan had 2.94m (14.3%). BBC2 showed The Hairy Bikers' Bake-Ation to 1.53m at 7pm. Mastermind and Gardeners' World then took 2.17m and 2.42m respectively from 8pm, while Natural World had 1.67m at 9pm. Qi had an audience of 2.01m at 10pm. On ITV, Gino's Italian Escape was seen by 3.02m from 8pm. The, odious risible oily twat Piers Morgan's Life Stories, featuring Brian Blessed, followed with but 2.68m at 9pm - at the same moment that odious risible oily twat Piers Morgan's bete noire Ian Hislop's Have I Got News For You was pulling in almost exactly double that figure. Laugh? Laugh, dear blog reader? This blogger nearly laughed and laughed and laughed until he bloody well stopped. And then he laughed some more. The movie Mickey Blue Eyes took eight hundred thousand viewers from 10.45pm. On Channel Four, Unreported World secured seven hundred and twenty thousand punters at 7.30pm, while Eight Out Of Ten Cats had 1.48m at 9pm and Alan Carr: Chatty Man got 1.38m at 10pm. On Channel Five, The World's Strongest Man earned three hundred and thirty five thousand at 7pm and Monster Moves took seven hundred and eighty nine thousand an hour later. NCIS was watched by 1.01m at 9pm and Under Seige was seen by seven hundred and nineteen thousand at 10pm.

And, speaking of Ian Hislop, there's a really terrific interview with the Private Eye editor in this week's Radio Times. Highlights include Ian being asked 'What [on TV] can't you miss?' 'Simon Schama's The Story Of The Jews is a terrific subject, beautifully told,' Ian observed. 'I'm just amazed to find that much well-written prose on telly and that he's all over the world.' What are Ian's guilty pleasures? 'Homeland: I wish they'd hurry up and show the third series.' (It's coming, matey, it's coming. Have patience and see below.) 'I also really liked The White Queen, although everyone said it was terrible. I do enjoy historical fiction; sadly most people objected to the fact that there was lot of fiction and not much history.' Who, the magazine wondered, were Ian's favourite TV stars or shows when he was a child? 'Sadly they've all been arrested,' he noted, before adding. 'I lived abroad a lot when I was young so we tended to get random American or Australian imports ten years late – like I Love Lucy.' Who was his first crush brought something of a revelation: 'When I was at prep school, we were allowed to watch Top Of The Pops; I think it was an attempt to keep us heterosexual. Pan's People was a huge favourite, especially Babs [Lord], the blonde dancer. I met her once and told her that I was very grateful to her.' And, finally a very obvious question, who was Ian's favourite guest host on Have I Got News For You? The answer will surprise no one: 'William Shatner. He had no idea who we were or what was happening in Britain, and he was brilliant: very sharp and very self-aware.'

Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's latest Top TV Tips:-

Saturday 12 October
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly host as Strictly Come Dancing - 6:30 BBC1 - celebrates romance, with the couples performing their routines to some of 'the greatest love songs of all time.' Although, one imagines 'April Skies' by The Jesus & Mary Chain probably won't be among them. Will they prove they are 'a perfect match' on the dance floor and manage to woo the judging panel of Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell? Or, will it be a case of 'what becomes of the broken-hearted'? One thing's for sure - tomorrow night a second couple will be packing away their dancing shoes for the duration and buggering off back where they came from. The professionals will also be taking to the floor for 'a loved-up group routine.' Sounds positively pornographic. So, expect yer actual Keith Telly Topping to be tuning-in to find out what all the fuss is about. The results show is, as usual, on Sunday at 7.20pm.

In July 1969, The Rolling Stones their very selves played in front of two hundred thousand mostly stoned hippies - for free - in Hyde Park in Central London, a landmark gig which came only two days after the death of their founding member Brian Jones whom they'd recently sacked because of his annoying junk habit. Thousands of butterflies were released at the start of the gig. Most of them, having been cooped up in airless boxes for several hours, were already dead. That sort of summed up the end of the 1960s, really. Anyway, this past summer, having already 'wowed the crowd' at Glastonbury (where, to be fair, they were really good), the veteran rockers returned to Hyde Park on two consecutive Saturday nights as part of their fiftieth anniversary celebrations - a bit like Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary only, here, the rubber masks are being worn by Mick, Keef, Charlie and Rockin' Ronnie. Ba-dum. Thank you, thank you, yer actual Keith Telly Topping is here all week, dear blog reader. Anyway, you can see highlights of all this malarkey in The Rolling Stones Return To Hyde Park: Sweet Summer Sun - 10:35 BBC1. Here Mick, Keef, Charlie, Rockin' Ronnie and their backing band treat a hundred thousand mostly stoned people who work in IT to a selection of their greatest hits, including yer actual 'Gimme Shelter', yer actual 'Jumpin' Jack Flash', yer actual 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' and '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' its very self. And, as at Glasto, there's a special appearance by former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor - who, of course, made his debut with the band at that original concert back in 1969.
Sunday 13 October
On the latest episode of The Review Show - 8:00 BBC4 - yer actual Kirsty Wark is joined by a literary panel of (admittedly entertaining) Manc gobshite Paul Morley and Professors Sarah Churchwell and John Mullan to discuss the six works shortlisted for this year's Booker Prize - We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, Harvest by Jim Crace, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin. There is also music by Steve Mason.

Former bank finance director Sally Walker and her retired MP husband, Laurence, have been cleared of stealing three million smackers from their children's charity fund, but Helen is convinced that they are as guilty as sin and wants to expose their naughty ways in the latest episode of the caper series By Any Means - 9:00 BBC1. TomTom scours cyberspace to uncover where and how the couple have hidden the money, while his colleagues hatch a back-up plan, bugging the suspects' home in an attempt to secure a recorded confession. However, a persistent journalist's own digging inadvertently puts the operation in danger and the team is forced to take drastic action.
In this week's Qi XL - 10:30 BBC2 - the South African comedian Trevor Noah makes his debut on the comedy quiz (well, actually, he made his debut on Friday's episode but this is the extended version, remember), 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.
Monday 14 October
In Stephen Fry: Out There - 9:00 BBC2 - the broadcaster travels to various parts of the world to learn about people's experiences of coming out as gay and talks to a number of crass, ignorant homophobic shitheads to try to understand the origin of their numskull hatred. He begins by reflecting on the changes that have affected gay people in in his lifetime and chats to Elton John and David Furnish, as well as the US actor Neil Patrick Harris, about their own experiences. He also travels to Uganda, where the government is proposing a new anti-homosexuality bill that includes death penalty and life imprisonment clauses, and visits America to investigate a therapy treatment that claims to be able to change a person's sexual orientation. Given that there are eighty four countries which still criminalise homosexuality, making a series about the experience of being gay around the world was never going to be easy for the production team – particularly when their presenter is one of the most famous and recognisable 'out' gay men in the entire world. The producers apparently sought specialist advice from the BBC and were told that if they wanted to film in Saudi Arabia, Iran or any of the other five countries where there is still a death penalty for being gay, they would have to go undercover. Even then, they would probably be followed by the secret police who, after they had left, would interrogate any interviewees they'd spoken to, who could face torture or imprisonment.
Dallas Campbell delves into the Horizon archives to chart the deadly disasters which have helped make air travel today the safest it has ever been. In Impact! A Horizon Guide To Plane Crashes - 9:00 BBC2 - the presenter reveals how previous crashes have been investigated to determine what went wrong and how scientists have worked to ensure these failures do not happen again. Sounds rather good. And, that's immediately followed by a repeat of another Horizon clip-show, Forty Years on the Moon - 10:00. In which yer actual Professor Brian Cox takes a journey through the BBC science archive to explore the story of man's relationship with the moon, from James Burke testing NASA equipment to Neil Armstrong's first small steps on the lunar surface and the dramatic tale of Apollo 13. He also asks whether international competition could help reignite the public's enthusiasm for space travel and bring about the dawn of a new space age.
Young people provide a candid insight into how it feels to be a virgin at a time when social networking and easily accessible pornography have transformed the sexual landscape in Diary Of A Teenage Virgin - 10:00 Channel Four. They include a fifteen-year-old girl considering sleeping with a boy she met online, a sixteen-year-old who believes she's the oldest virgin in Sunderland (... probably is, actually), and a seventeen-year-old who has amassed a huge collection of, ahem, 'adult material' on his computer, but has no real-life experience.

Tuesday 15 October
In tonight's world cup qualifier, England play Poland (kick-off 8.00pm). Of course, sadly, this is ITV's coverage of the concluding Group H qualifier from Wembley Stadium, where England's hopes of making it to Brazil could be decided. So, look forward to three hours of brain-numbing tedium and risible malarkey for people who haven't got the faintest foggiest idea what they're doing. And, that's before we even get to the match itself. Roy Hodgson's men may need to produce a much better performance than they gave in the reverse fixture at Warsaw's National Stadium last October, which finished in a 1-1 draw. That match had to be postponed until the following day due to a torrential downpour, and while the conditions were not conducive to flowing football, the Poles arguably did a better job of adapting to the circumstances and were worthy of a share of the spoils on that occasion. Presented by the risible, odious grumpy greed bucket (and drag) Adrian Chiles, with commentary by Clive Tyldesley and Andy 'You Know Nothing' Townsend, and analysis from Roy Keane, Terry Butcher and Lee Dixon.
In The Sarah Millican Television Programme - 9:30 BBC2 - the comedienne chats to Embarrassing Bodies and Supersize vs Superskinny presenter Doctor Christian Jessen about TV medical shows, and is joined by Game of Thrones actors John Bradley, Finn Jones and Kristian Nairn to discuss the fantasy genre. Sarah also performs stand-up monologues inspired by what she has seen on TV this week.

The sexual response study is banned from the hospital, so Masters is forced to move it to a brothel, but soon receives unwelcome visitors in the second episode of Masters Of Sex - 9:00 Channel Four. Finding herself held responsible for the project's removal, Johnson is left fighting to save her job while struggling to care for her children. Meanwhile, Libby asks for Ethan to be reinstated as her doctor. Drama set in the 1950s, starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.
Wednesday 16 October
The documentary The Great British Year - 9:00 BBC1 - follows British wildlife throughout summer, when animals flock from afar and competition for food is high. Hunters time their arrival from Africa to feast on the huge glut of flying insects, falcons chase after dragonflies, and sea urchins are forced to protect themselves from harmful UV rays. Plus, thermal cameras reveal the activities of nightjars on a Dorset heath and thunderstorms bring out hordes of hungry snails. Narrated by Joseph Fiennes.

When Gastric Bands Go Wrong - 9:00 Channel Five - as you might expect from the title tells the stories of three people who suffered the consequences when their weight-loss surgery did not go to plan. David lost twenty four stone following a gastric bypass, but his skin failed to tighten and he was left with more than five stone of excess skin. Rachel had the same procedure eight years ago, but her intestine ruptured and poisoned her insides, causing massive damage and ultimately leaving her incontinent. Samantha shed almost fifteen stone in twelve months before her gastric band caused an infection in her stomach that made it burst, leaving her in a coma and battling for her life.

When a dead body is found at the midpoint of the Channel Tunnel, English detective Karl Roebuck and his French counterpart Elise Wassermann are sent to investigate on behalf of their respective countries in the opening episode of The Tunnel - 9:00 Sky Atlantic. The case takes a surreal turn when a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, forcing the pair into an uneasy partnership. Remake of the Scandinavian crime thriller classic The Bridge, starring Stephen Dillane and Clemence Poesy. In English and French.
In The One and Only Cilla Black - 9:00 ITV - our kid Paul O'Grady hosts an evening celebrating the all-round entertainer's fifty years in showbiz, from performances in her home city of Liverpool alongside The Beatles, to best-selling success in the music industry and a long career as a much-loved TV presenter. Our Cilla brings back Blind Date for a one-off special featuring some of its most memorable contestants, she stars in a Coronation Street scene with Rita (Barbara Knox) and Norris (Malcolm Hebden), and closes the show with a rendition of 'Liverpool Lullaby'. Sounds, sadly, wretched. And this blogger says that as a very big fan of the lady's musical career. Guests include Alison Moyet and Katie Melua, who perform two of Cilla's classic hits. Probably really badly.
Thursday 17 October
Elizabeth receives a chilling visit from Chief Inspector Mulligan, who reveals he has information that could turn her life upside down in Breathless - 9:00 ITV. Meanwhile, Otto continues to fuel his obsession with Angela by paying her a visit, and while the pair find it increasingly difficult to deny their attraction to each other, the idea of getting involved with a married man makes her uncomfortable. Elsewhere, the honeymoon period is short-lived for the Truscotts when Richard discovers the truth about Jean's miscarriage. Starring Jack Davenport, Natasha Little and Zoe Boyle.

Up All Night - 10:00 Channel Four - is the first of four documentaries following 'life after dark' across Britain. Toilet attendants in the ladies' and gents' loos of a busy club in Crawley, talk about their jobs, as cameras capture the conversations, dramas and grooming habits of revellers across four lively nights.
In November 1983, Dennis Nilsen was sentenced at the Old Bailey to life imprisonment for killing six men and the attempted murders of two others. The docu-drama Countdown To Murder - 9:00 Channel Five - examines the events that led him to become a serial killer, using witness testimony, detailed crime reports, forensic evidence and expert commentary by criminologists, detectives, pathologists and journalists.

Full-of-himself Mike Read presents an edition of Top Of The Pops - 7:30 BBC4 - from 9 November 1978, with performances by Dandy, Patrick Juvet, The Boomtown Rats, Darts their very selves, The Cars and yer actual X-Ray Spex. Plus, dance sequences by Legs & Co.

Friday 18 October
It's your usual 'Friday night is comedy night on the BBC' thing going down. These range from the very good - Have I Got News For You (9:00 BBC1), Qi (10:00 BBC2) - to the 'I laughed once, but I think that might have been a reflex action, I apologise' - Citizen Khan (9:30 BBC1) - and the umpteenth repeat of an episode that was funny when it was shown first time but now, nah, not so much - Miranda (8:30 BBC1). Father Ted and The IT Crowd writer Graham Linehan joins Jo Brand and Jimmy Carr (and, obviously, Stephen and Alan) on Qi. Later, on The Graham Norton Show - 10:30 BBC1 - Graham is joined by yer actual Sir Paul McCartney MBE, chatting and performing from his latest CD New, and Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, soon to be seen back on the big screen in Thor: The Dark World. Odious, unfunny buffoon James Corden and pop diva Katy Perry also squeeze up on the sofa.
On BBC4, there's a repeat of all three episodes of How The Brits Rocked America starting at 7pm (highly recommended if you missed it first time around), there's also a couple of episodes of Mock The Week and two Qi XL's on Dave, the first of a two-part Wire In The Blood on ITV3 (10:00) and episode three of The Blacklist (9:00 Sky Living), in which Red's allegiance to the FBI is tested when he is reunited with a high-ranking Chinese spy who previously hired him to decode a classified CIA transmission. Meanwhile, spending time in shady company is starting to rub off on Liz as she secretly investigates her husband's past.
The news now: And, Doctor Who fans can stop fantasising - although, they probably wont: But, it seems that Karen Gillan will not be in the fiftieth anniversary special. Not that anybody seriously thought for a second that she would be. Speaking to Radio Times, the former companion finally stamped on a few - stray - Internet rumours, put about by glakes, that Amy and Rory Pond would be appearing in The Day of the Doctor. The fiftieth anniversary episode will unite yer actual Matt Smith and Jenna Colman with former Doctor and companion David Tennant and Billie Piper their very selves, which, apparently, 'fuelled speculation' that Kazza might make a surprise appearance. Although speculation amongst, I repeat, glakes. Alas, it is not to be: 'I'm not in it, just to put that out there,' said Karen her very self. So what are her plans for the fiftieth anniversary special, asked the magazine? 'I'm going to watch it!' she replied. 'I think I'm going to be in America, so I'll probably round up all the people who like to watch Doctor Who in the area. We'll probably watch it and drink PG Tips and eat Jammy Dodgers, if I can get them.' Jammy Dodgers you should be okay with, Kaz, but I think you might find yourself stuck with Twinings rather than PG Tips.
Yer actual Jeremy Paxman has said he 'seriously considered' quitting Newsnight after the Jimmy Savile and Lord McAlpine fiascoes 'dealt a hammer blow' to the reputation of BBC2's flagship current affairs show. 'I thought about it, of course, but in the end I decided that there were several bad decisions, they were individual bad decisions and I felt that loyalty commanded that I stayed,' Paxo told BBC 5Live. 'I did seriously consider it.' He said that he went as far as discussing his potential resignation with a colleague, but would not elaborate on whether this was with senior BBC management. Newsnight executives were heavily criticised for deciding to scrap an investigation into naughty old scallywag and rotter Jimmy Savile's alleged sex crimes – ITV's rival current affairs show Exposure eventually broke the story – and for running a separate piece which led to McAlpine wrongly being accused of child abuse by some people on the Internet. The scandal resulted in the BBC director general George Entwistle being forced to resign after fifty four days in the job. Paxman said that the scandal had damaged Newsnight's reputation, but he hoped it was not still viewed as tarnished. 'Of course it was damaged, it was certainly damaged at the time,' he said, adding that he was back to enjoying presenting Newsnight and would stay 'as long as somebody asks me.' Paxman said several executives at the BBC Trust, which governs the corporation, had 'floated the idea' of scrapping the show in the wake of the scandal. 'It is my belief – I've never checked this out – that there were a couple of people on the BBC Trust who thought, over-reacted, who felt that it should be shut down,' he said. 'I have never checked it out but that was the story at the time.' He said that he 'wouldn't be surprised' if it were true that the idea of scrapping Newsnight had been floated, but considered that it was 'never a serious possibility. I do know that for a fact,' he said. The BBC has spent more than five million quid of licence fee payers' money on internal investigations and inquiries relating to the Savile sex abuse fiasco. This includes paying McAlpine one hundred and eighty thousand quid - or, the cost of several episodes of EastEnders - in damages over false child abuse allegations made by various people in the wake of the Newsnight story. The legal costs of BBC staff who appeared as witnesses in the inquiries – including Entwistle, the former BBC News director Helen Boaden and the former director general Mark Thompson – ran to almost three hundred grand. Since the scandal, Newsnight has maintained a lower profile – bar the ridiculous media meltdown caused by discussion of Paxman's decision to sport a beard to present the programme, and a recent Twitter gaffe by its new editor, Ian Katz. Katz, a former deputy editor of the Gruniad Morning Star, was forced to issue a formal apology to the Labour party after he publicly tweeted what was meant to be a private message about Rachel Reeves, a member of the shadow cabinet, being 'boring' on the programme. A BBC spokesperson said: 'The BBC has published The Pollard Report in full and we have accepted its recommendations. We have nothing further to add.'

David Tennant's Winter turn in the RSC will be as the title role of Richard II; his performance will also be screened live in cinemas around the United Kingdom on 13 November as part of the National Theatre Live season. In addition, the Manchester International Festival's production of Macbeth starring Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston will be screened at venues around the United States as part of the National Theatre Live's Encore programme.
Comedy Central has announced a new game show pilot featuring 'spandex, sprouts and a tiny bike.' What could possibly go wrong? Called The Almost Impossible Game Show, the programme has been created and produced by Initial - an offshoot of Endemol - who have also been responsible for the wretched Your Face Sounds Familiar and the slightly better Total Wipeout. The Almost Impossible Game Show will see contestants pit themselves against a series of 'incredibly simple, yet fiendishly difficult' games. Each contestant will be given multiple attempts to try and complete five physical challenges, but any contestant who manages to complete this 'almost impossible' feat will win a cash prize. Jill Offman, managing director of Comedy Central UK, said: 'This ludicrous yet genius format is our stab at the absurd world of Japanese game shows, with a Comedy Central twist.' Shaun Parry, head of entertainment at Endemol UK, added: 'We are delighted that this utterly ridiculous new physical game show is being backed by Comedy Central. It features spandex, sprouts and a tiny bike. Needless to say, it's highly sophisticated.'

Former Emmerdale actress Hayley Tamaddon is joining the cast of Coronation Street. The actress has landed the role of new character Andrea, who will be introduced in a storyline with established regular Steve McDonald. An upcoming plot will see Steve decide to go back to school, wanting to improve his education as he has been struggling to help his daughter Amy with her homework. Andrea will be one of Steve's classmates in his lessons and they quickly strike up a friendship, but this doesn't go down well with Steve's suspicious partner Michelle. A show statement teased: 'Is Michelle right to be wary, or has Andrea actually set her sights on another well-known Weatherfielder?' Perhaps we'll never care.
Afghanistan will play in the cricket World Cup for the first time in 2015 after beating Kenya by seven wickets in their final qualifying match in Sharjah. The country - one of the world's poorest and affected by decades of conflict - only received associate status, the second tier below test nations, earlier this year. They reached a target of ninety four to finish second behind Ireland in the World Cricket League and will be in England's group at the World Cup, which is being held in Australia and New Zealand. Their first match in the competition will be against Bangladesh in Canberra on 18 February 2015 and they will also face Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand before taking on England in Sydney on 13 March. Needing a win to move above United Arab Emirates and Netherlands, Afghanistan's bowlers restricted Kenya well, with only Morris Ouma and Rakep Patel reaching double figures. Skipper Mohammad Nabi, in his twenty seventh one-day international, steered them to victory with an unbeaten forty six that featured three fours and two sixes. In the twentieth over, the twenty eight-year-old thumped a six over long-on and in the next dispatched slow left-armer Shem Ngoche out of the ground. He struck the historic winning runs two balls later with a four through mid-wicket. 'I can't express my feelings,' Nabi said. 'It is a very big day in my life. I'm sure there will be huge celebrations back home. I'm happy for the people of Afghanistan and look forward to playing in Australia and New Zealand. I didn't expect to play in a World Cup when I started playing cricket. But now I can cherish this moment and look forward to playing against the best sides in some of the best playing facilities. Playing in a World Cup will be one grade up and we'll try to work hard and do better.' Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan, the former Pakistan left-arm seamer who played four Tests and ten ODIs, said: 'I'm lost for words. This is the best day of my coaching career. I had very few great and memorable days in my life and this is right up there. It has been a dream for so many years and now we have achieved it. There will be tremendous atmosphere in Afghanistan and I'm so happy for them. This year they'll get two Eids [Muslim holidays] to celebrate.' Two more associate nations will qualify for the tournament in a play-off competition in New Zealand next year. The Netherlands and the UAE will compete with Scotland, Kenya, Namibia, Canada, Uganda, Hong Kong, Nepal and Papua New Guinea - the latter led by Kent and England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones. Afghanistan were playing in Division Five of the World Cricket League as recently as 2008. In 2010, they reached the ICC World Twenty/20 in the West Indies by winning a qualification event in UAE, where they lost both of their group games in the tournament to India and South Africa. They also qualified for last year's World Twenty/20 in Sri Lanka after finishing second to Ireland in qualifying, but were beaten by both India and England in the opening group phase.

BT Sport is opening up its services to all Freeview, BT TV, Sky and Virgin viewers in October. The broadcaster will take over the BT TV, Freeview channel fifty seven during the weeks of 7 and 14 October from 7pm on Monday to Friday. It will round off 'Open October' with BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN becoming available for all viewers on 26 and 27 October. The 'Open October' weekend includes live rugby from the Aviva Premiership, including Bath versus Gloucester, Northampton versus Saracens and Wasps versus Leicester and coverage of Crystal Palace taking on The Arse in the Premier League. Entertainment shows The Clare Balding Show, Baker and Kelly's VSPO, Beyond the Octagon, Rugby Tonight and Life's A Pitch are among the highlights across the week. Other sporting events airing across the two weeks include the FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifier between Spain and Belarus, the UEFA U21 Qualifier between England and Lithuania, the Skrill Premier match between Macclesfield Town and Southport and Bundesliga action between 1899 Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen. BT Sport's Simon Green said: 'We want to give even more viewers the chance to see the new programmes and live sporting action happening on BT Sport during October.' Because, nobody's watching the channel as it stands. 'Making the channels open to all allows us to show how we are offering something for everyone, from sports entertainment shows through to exclusive live sporting action.'

The Simpsons – already the longest-running sitcom on TV – has been renewed for another season. The FOX network confirmed that the animated series would return for a twenty sixth series next year. The broadcaster’s chairman of entertainment, Kevin Reilly, said: 'For more than a quarter of a century, The Simpsons has captured the hearts and minds of fans in a way that transcends ages, languages and cultures. This ground-breaking series is not only the longest-running scripted show in television history, it's one of the greatest sitcoms of our time, and I'm looking forward to yet another landmark season.' The Simpsons returned for its twenty fifth season last Sunday, attracting 6.37 million total viewers in the States. And this week, the show broadcasts its annual Treehouse of Horror Hallow'een special, with opening titles by horror film director Guillermo del Toro. Meanwhile, John Oliver is to appear in an episode in series twenty five. The British comic and Daily Show regular is to play Wilkes John Booth, a neighbour of the Simpson family whom Marge has never met, TVLine reports. The website speculates that his character’s name, close to the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, could be a hint that he is linked to the killing off of a regular character, a plot twist which was recently announced by executive producer Al Jean. Oliver recently signed on to reprise his role as Professor Duncan on the NBC sitcom Community.

Homeland returns to British screens for a third season on Sunday night after record audience numbers for the first episode in the US, with critics suggesting the show is 'back on form' following an allegedly lacklustre second run. Yer actual Keith telly Topping, for what it's worth, rather enjoyed the second series but, he may be wrong. It has been known. Once or twice. Season three begins two months after an explosion which killed off a significant number of main characters, for which the rogue marine and former congressman Nicholas Brody has been blamed. In the first episode, Tin Man Is Down, there is a new climate of paranoia within the ruling elite as the government becomes hostile towards the CIA. High-level corruption, whistle-blowers and illegal surveillance continue to form the backbone of the drama, which, after an extraordinary year in the real US political system, now seems particularly prescient. Ratings for its debut on the cable network Showtime were up twenty six per cent from the previous season's opener. In the UK the political thriller has been a breakout success for Channel Four, maintaining an average of over three million viewers on Sunday nights. Discussing its initial appeal, Jay Hunt, the chief creative officer of Channel Four, said: 'The pilot was taut, exciting and beautifully acted. It was, at its heart, the story of an outsider and felt like the perfect fit for Channel Four. We were lucky to spot its potential as, unlike other acquired shows which become competitive bidding situations, we were unique in really wanting Homeland.' Seasons one and two broadcast some time after their US showings, but the gap has been closed to seven days between US and UK transmission to capitalise on international buzz. It follows a similar pattern to other cult dramas such as Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, which are screened or available to view in Britain just days or even hours after their initial broadcast. Homeland's first season was a hit with critics. Attempting to explain its success, Ben Preston, the Radio Times editor, said: 'We, a nervous public living in times of austerity, are drip-fed apocalyptic headlines from the security services and the government, and actually having a drama which made the dilemmas of that world come alive was just engrossing. Homeland brought it all to your living room.' Claire Danes has won numerous awards for her performance as the agent Carrie Mathison, including an EMMY last month for best actress in a drama. Other actors including Damian Lewis as Brody and Mandy Patinkin as the CIA mainstay Saul Berenson have picked up multiple nominations, and in 2012 the show won the Golden Globe for outstanding drama series, beating Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Game of Thrones. Viewing numbers remained consistent but the show fell from critical grace during an explosive second season that some felt stretched credulity. Not an opinion shared by this blogger, just to repeat. 'I can understand how some people might think that we got a little plotty and a little too 24 at the end,' the producer Alex Gansa told the LA Times this year, referencing the testosterone-snorting FOX action series starring Kiefer Sutherland on which he also worked. 'We had some big moves we needed to make.' Last week US critics largely hailed Homeland's return to form. David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun said the first episode 'reminded me of the deeper ways in which these fictional series are raising issues and asking questions about Washington that even journalism isn't.' Robert Lloyd of the LA Times was impressed with Danes' performance, which at this early stage is more central to the plot than last time. 'I can't think of another actor who portrays extremity so convincingly; you credit the pain, and the joy, even as you mark and admire the work,' he wrote. However, the New York Times' Alessandra Stanley was less convinced. 'The third season doesn't just stretch credulity, it tries patience,' she wrote, criticising Lewis's absence from the season premiere and the continuation of a subplot involving Brody's teenage daughter, Dana. The Gruniad Morning Star's television critic Mark Lawson said he feared that the damage to the show's reputation caused by season two may have been fatal. 'In common with many of the characters, I am in a slight state of paranoia. Season two for me was not as strong as season one and so the prospect of the third concerns me,' he said. 'My fear is that Homeland may turn out to have been a perfect one-season drama that carried on because of a commercial rather than artistic imperative.'

It's hardly Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster - but a headline in the Linclonshire Echo this weeks read: Comedian says acts who haven't been booked to appear in Lincolnshire have, unsurprisingly, not performed in Lincolnshire. Errr ... no shit, Sherlock? The - blindingly obvious - sentence came about after Dave Gorman, the comedian in question, complained to the newspaper about the original story (and its headline) which took a tweet the popular comedian had posted about his tour dates out of context in an attempt 'to turn it into a man-casts-slur-on-county story.' The paper, it would seem, quickly capitulated with their unarguable - if stating-the-bleeding-obvious - alternative.

FIFA has agreed to set up a task-force to look into alternative dates for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. But a final decision on when the ruddy hell the tournament could be played will not take place before the 2014 World Cup. Fears that Qatar's total mad-hot summer temperatures could pose a heath risk to both players and fans forced football's world governing body to act. The task-force will consult with medical experts, broadcasters, sponsors and influential European leagues. 'We need to carry out very deep consultations and investigations and show some diplomacy and wisdom,' said FIFA president Sepp Blatter. At the climax of a two-day meeting in Zurich, Blatter also confirmed that Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa would head the task-force. The BBC understands that FIFA is considering inviting English Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore to be a member of the working group. He has been an outspoken opponent of plans to stage a World Cup in the Northern hemisphere winter, claiming it would 'lead to disruption' in many domestic leagues. The name of FA general secretary Alex Horne has also been mooted but alleged 'sources' allegedly say the final composition of the task-force will be 'subject to agreement' by FIFA's executive committee. The Premier League said in a statement: 'We welcome the news that FIFA intends to conduct a thorough consultation process involving all of the appropriate stakeholders, including confederations, associations, leagues and clubs.' Qatar was awarded the World Cup in December 2010, beating Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States in a vote. The Gulf state planned to combat the fierce heat, with temperatures rising to in excess of forty degrees, by building air-conditioned stadiums. But concerns remained, prompting Blatter to announce in July this year that the World Cup should be switched to a cooler time of the year, away from Qatar's summer months of June and July. There have also been calls to strip the desert nation of the right to stage the World Cup completely and run the vote again. But Blatter insisted: "The World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar. There you have it.' Qatar has also come under scrutiny after a British newspaper published a report that accused the country of abusing the rights of migrant workers. Blatter said FIFA could not 'get involved in labour issues' in any country but added that his organisation 'cannot ignore' the allegations. 'I express all my sympathy and regret for anything that happens in any country where there are deaths on construction sites, especially when they are related to a World Cup,' he told a news conference. Hassan Al Thawadi, head of Qatar's organising committee, has already said that the Gulf state was addressing concerns. 'It's not a World Cup being built on the blood of innocents,' he claimed. 'That is unacceptable to anybody. We will be eradicating these issues.' Prior to Friday's announcement, Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the head of the FIFA inspection team that assessed Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid, thought the tournament should be moved to January and February, when temperatures in the Gulf state average about twenty two degrees. However, that could lead to a potential clash with other big sporting events, notably the Winter Olympics and American football's Super Bowl, as well as domestic football leagues and the Champions League in Europe. New International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has said he is 'confident' there will be 'no clash' with the Winter Olympics. American TV network FOX, World Cup rights-holder for North America, is understood to be 'concerned' over the commercial implications of any move that would see the World Cup clash with the NFL season.

Loic Remy scored twice as yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle defied Cardiff City's second-half fightback to earn all three points. The Magpies dominated early on and led thanks to Remy's two goals in the space of eight first-half minutes. The French striker cut in to rifle home from twenty five yards, and added a second with a cool finish. Cardiff improved after the break and Peter Odemwingie's low shot reduced the arrears, but they could not find an equaliser as Newcastle held on for their second away win of the season. The victory should ease the media pressure on manager Alan Pardew, who had lost two league games in a row and in a run of three wins from twenty three. The Bluebirds, who have now lost their last eight games to the Magpies, had goalkeeper David Marshall to thank for keeping them in a game that saw the visitors dominate the first half. The bonny Toon, like, had too much pace and power for their hosts and looked like they could score at will. Marshall produced an instinctive left-handed stop to deny Remy's poke from the edge of the six-yard box. The Scottish keeper did the same moments later when he tipped Moussa Sissoko's shot from outside the box over the bar. But the visitors were not to be denied and Remy found the net when he turned inside and his right-footed shot squeezed inside Marshall's post to make it 1-0. The home side were hanging on under the constant Newcastle pressure and the Bluebirds soon found themselves two down just before half-time. Marshall managed to save Papiss Cisse's initial shot after having been put in by Yohan Cabaye, but the ball rebounded to Remy and the striker produced a calm finish outside the box to double his tally and score his fifth goal in four starts for The Magpies. They could have had a third when Marshall was caught out as midfielder Cabaye's speculative free-kick from distance hit the post. City manager Malky Mackay introduced Jordan Mutch at half-time and thirteen minutes later he delivered a square ball for Odemwingie to score his first goal for his new club. The England Under-Twenty One midfielder gave Cardiff some much-needed creativity in midfield and he started to dictate the play as United struggled to defend their lead. Cardiff's best chance to equalise fell to Mutch in the dying moments when he tried to chip Magpies goalkeeper Tim Krul, but the Dutchman pulled off a fine save. The home side kept looking for the equaliser but Newcastle managed to hang on to record a vital victory.
Yer actual Morrissey's autobiography is finally to be published later this month after the former Smiths singer resolved a dispute with his publisher which had threatened to derail the book's release. Last month, the singer claimed that 'a last-minute content disagreement' with Penguin had led to the deals 'collapse.' Despite initially saying that he was seeking a new publisher, Morrissey now appears to have patched up his relations with Penguin. Penguin Classics said that the imaginatively titled Autobiography by Morrissey would now come out on 17 October. That is a month later than the original publication date. A Penguin spokesperson declined to comment on the cause of the dispute and the delay. The memoir is expected to 'lift the lid' on the fifty four-year-old's life growing up in Manchester and his relationship with his former band mates in The Smiths, one of the most genuinely important and influential bands in British music. Mozza has also enjoyed a successful solo career since the band split up in 1987 and is known for outspoken views on animal cruelty, politics and the royal family - he's not a fan of any of them, frankly. This year, the singer suffered a series of what he referred to as 'medical mishaps' which led to him recently cancelling his US tour. He was also forced to cancel part of his South American tour in July due, he said, to a 'lack of funding.'

Child divers are being recruited to appear in the sequel to horror movie The Woman in Black, which starred Daniel Radcliffe. Crowthorne-based company Divecrew is looking for ten to thirteen-year-olds to appear as 'floating ghosts' in the forthcoming Hammer film, called Angel of Death. A school spokesman said that filming was taking place underwater in order to capture the 'ghostly feel.' Jeremy Irvine and Phoebe Fox star in the follow-up to the hit 2012 film. Instructor Martin Weddell said that filming would take place in Pinewood Studios and in Oxford. 'Boys and girls must be comfortable in the water,' he said. 'Previous drama experience would be a benefit but not essential.' Divecrew is seeking up to ten children for the production. Set four decades after The Woman in Black, the sequel will see the haunted Eel Marsh House used by the government to shelter a group of evacuated children during World War II. It will be directed by Tom Harper.

A Moroccan teenage boy and girl have reportedly been arrested for posting an online photograph of themselves kissing. Not shagging, just kissing. Kissing with tongues, possibly, but still just kissing. The couple - aged fourteen and fifteen - had their picture taken by a friend outside their school in the North-Eastern town of Nador and posted it on Facebook. They were nabbed by the bobbies for 'violating public decency' after a local newspaper printed the photo. The couple are due appear before a juvenile court next week. A campaign to post a million copycat photos was later launched in protest. From The North concurs.
For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's The Fab Four their very selves - Black, David Joey and Kim - and the best song about incest ever written!

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