Friday, October 04, 2013

With The Lights Out It's Less Dangerous

Although it hasn't been confirmed yet, rumours are rife and circulating on the Interweb (if not anywhere more reliable) that the regeneration sequence for the Doctor Who Christmas episode was filmed this week. With yer actual Matt Smith turning, as if by osmosis, into Peter Capaldi his very self. Wheels turn, dear blog reader, civilisations rise ... And all that.
And so the cosmic cycle continues. This daft little show about a mad man in a box. They tried to bin it, they tried to burn it and fifty years later, it's still sticking out.

The National Media Museum will be invaded by Doctor Who fans this half term. Bloody hell, and you thought The Daleks were dangerous. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama, the museum is launching Doctor Who Family Fun. The exhibition will be holding activities for fans of all ages. Visitors will be able to make a light-up TARDIS, a moving Dalek, or create their own Doctor Who monster to take home with them and unleash upon the unsuspecting citizens of their street. There will also be a behind-the-scenes film showing how a Doctor Who episode is made. The 2013 episode Nightmare In Silver will also be shown. The whole family will be able to take part in a Doctor Who quiz while young children can make their own monsters. Learning programme coordinator Elaine Richmond said: 'We hope families will join us this half term to help keep the Museum from the clutches of the dreaded Daleks. We're very excited about this event and promise a lot of Doctor Who-themed fun and activities in anticipation of the fiftieth anniversary episode next month.' Doctor Who Family Fun takes place at the National Media Museum, Bradford from 26 October to 3 November.
Meanwhile, yer actual David Tennant is to star in the US remake of Broadchurch. The actor, of course, played Detective Inspector Alec Hardy in the hit ITV crime drama earlier this year and is reportedly to be playing 'a similar role' in FOX's wholly unimaginative (and almost certainly shite) upcoming adaptation, TV Guide reports. Tennant will again play the lead male detective in the investigation into a young boy's death, though this time his character will be an American. The forty two-year-old's last brush with US television was in the NBC legal drama pilot Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, which was not picked up to series. The American Broadchurch will start shooting in January 2014 and will be broadcast on FOX either later next year or in early 2015. Chris Chibnall - creator of the original show and executive producer on the remake - has claimed that FOX's take could be 'as good [as] if not better' than the original. But, more likely, it'll be shite. It is currently unclear how Tennant's casting on FOX's Broadchurch might affect his potential participation or otherwise in the upcoming second series of the ITV version.

And, in today's completely bloody pointless Doctor Who non-story, yer actual Kate O'Mara has 'revealed' that she 'is keen' to return to the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama as The Rani, a character she last played - badly - in 1987. But, that's not going to happen or anything even remotely like it so we'll file this in the 'yesterday's chancers desperately trying to get a gig' file alongside 'Barry Chuckle quite fancies a role on Doctor Who' and the like and move on.
Whitechapel's horrorshow of a fourth series continued as the bonkers-but-usually-quite-entertaining thriller lost another one hundred and eighty thousand overnight viewers for its penultimate episode on Wednesday, according to overnight data. The ITV drama was seen by just 3.05 million at 9pm. Wretched, risible Big Star's Little Star also - very satisfyingly - dipped to 3.66m at 8pm. On BBC1, Watchdog came out on top overall outside of soaps to 4.13m at 8pm. Which, in and of itself, is a pretty sorry indication of what a thoroughly dreadful night on telly it was. The new seasonal documentary The Great British Year was, at least, pretty to look at and interested 3.70m at 9pm. Father Figure which is supposed to be a comedy, apparently, was watched by 1.27m at 10.35pm. BBC2's The House That One Hundred Thousand Pounds Built appealed to 1.87m at 8pm, followed by the final episode of Science Britannica with 1.26m at 9pm. You can see why over two million more people decided to watch Big Star's Little Star; because one of these programmes required some thought from the audience and the other one, definitely, doesn't. Channel Four's hilariously bad Three Day Nanny brought in 1.01m at 8pm, while Grand Designs had an audience of 2.11m at 9pm. Gogglebox when managed to acquire 1.27m at 10pm. On Channel Five, the latest NCIS was watched by 1.08m at 9pm, followed by Wentworth with eight hundred and eighteen thousand punters at 10pm.

Sir Trevor McDonald's Women Behind Bars stayed top of Thursday's overnight ratings outside of soaps and news. The US prison documentary dipped to 3.11 million at 9pm. Earlier, Pat and Cabbage continued to limp along to its inevitable mercy-killing with 2.11m at 8.30pm. On BBC1, Mark Chapman's Mayhem & Mishaps interested 2.72m at 9pm on a thoroughly shite night for all of the major channels. Question Time brought in 2.56m at 10.35pm. BBC2's The Wonder Of Dogs appealed to 2.75m at 8pm, while the latest Peaky Blinders held steady at 1.74m at 9pm. Mock the Week was watched by 1.55m at 10pm. On Channel Four, Location, Location, Location was seen by 1.82m at 8pm, followed by Educating Yorkshire with 2.31m at 9pm. My Tattoo Addiction gathered 1.31m at 10pm. Channel Five's The Railway attracted eight hundred thousand punters at 8pm, while the latest NCIS had an audience of eight hundred and thirty four thousand at 9pm.

Sir Bruce Forsyth has pulled out of Saturday's Strictly Come Dancing after reportedly contracting flu. The BBC confirmed that the eighty five-year-old presenter will not feature on the Saturday night live show.

Charisma Carpenter her very self was just twenty one when she escaped a brutal attack by a serial rapist who tried to murder two of her friends. The Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel actress was swimming at a San Diego beach one evening with her two (male) friends when a masked man appeared from the shadows and threatened her with a gun. 'I thought he was going to rob us,' says Charisma about the terrifying incident in 1991, 'but it became clear his intention was to rape me and have me tie up the two men.' Her friends, Arthur Gracia and Aldo Ochoa, were in the water when they heard the actress scream and ran to her aid. The gunman ordered Charisma to tie Gracia's hands with a belt while he restrained Ochoa. With astonishing bravery, and with a gun held to her head, the quick-thinking Charisma looped the belt loosely, giving Gracia the chance to attack the assailant. In the struggle, Gracia was shot in the chest and Ochoa was seriously wounded when a bullet went through his stomach. The gunman fled, while the blood-soaked trio struggled to a local convenience store and raised the alarm. During the attack, the gunman had given Charisma his torch, which she held throughout her ordeal. It was to prove a key piece of evidence in the case. When she handed it over to authorities, they discovered that it was a police-issue torch with the name 'Hubbard' written on it. Shortly afterwards, off-duty police officer Henry Hubbard was arrested for the attack and linked to a string of others. In court he pleaded extremely guilty to eight violent sexual assaults and two attempted murder charges and was sentenced to fifty six years in jail. 'He'll be out in half that time due to good behaviour – that's an interesting phrase,' notes Charisma. 'I'm appalled. I don't feel justice was served. He raped a thirteen-year-old girl. He asked her if she was a virgin, raped her, then asked if she liked it – he's very sick. Anyone who could do something like that shouldn't be allowed out into society ever again. I don't know how they could be rehabilitated.' Prosecutors described Hubbard as a 'clever and dangerous predator' who coolly and rationally sought out his victims. During a two-month spree in the summer of 1991, Hubbard searched for couples on the beach late at night, then forced the woman to bind the man's hands before raping them. While his crimes had made the local news, Charisma says that she was unaware there was a rapist on the loose. After the attack, people asked her why she put herself in danger. 'I remember those comments twenty years later,' she says. 'Was it the smartest thing to do? No, but I was young and we weren't the only ones out that night. Those comments came from a place of fear, concern and stress. I didn't allow them to cause any grief.' While Charisma was physically unharmed, it left her suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. 'I had anxiety and panic attacks. I'd wake up in the middle of the night feeling afraid,' she says. For the first three years after the attack she says she didn't deal with it 'at all. I just put one foot in front of the other. Eventually I had counselling, which was life-saving. I was emotionally broken. I have a good life today and a lot of that is down to counselling – it gave me strength.' However, the ordeal has cast a long shadow. During her time making the Buffy spin-off Angel, on which she appeared from 1999 to 2004, Charisma would set off for work under cover of darkness. 'I'd go to work at 4am and would have to leave my house to get to my car in the middle of the night,' she explains. 'I'd have to talk myself down from the panic that would set in that came from thinking someone would attack me. It would be impossible to have an experience like that and for it not to leave long-lasting impressions. It's like if you're a pedestrian and a car swerves off the road and hits you. It doesn't mean you never walk along a street again but you're more aware and alert.' Charisma provides a detailed account of her attack on the first episode of her new TV series, I Survived Evil. The series features stories of other women who have survived horrific ordeals. 'By sharing my story I want to offer people who might have had similar experiences reassurance,' she says. 'I've had so many blessings and bigger and better things have happened to me that have overshadowed that night. You can have a good life even after something terrible has happened to you.'

BBC World News has won a prize for its coverage of the Syria conflict at the news and documentary EMMY awards in New York. The series of reports, entitled Inside Syria's Uprising, saw journalists Ian Pannell and Paul Wood reporting from rebel-held parts of Syria. The main winner was US broadcaster CBS, which took home twelve awards. Channel Four News and ITN also collected awards for news and current affairs at the same ceremony. The latter awards were International EMMYs, which were presented in conjunction with the news and documentary EMMYs at Tuesday's ceremony. Channel Four News was the winner in the news category for The Battle for Homs, its coverage of the shelling of the Syrian city of Homs by government forces in February 2012. Others nominated in the category included the GMA Network in the Philippines and Brazil's TV Globo. The award in the current affairs category went to ITN for Banaz: An Honour Killing, which told of a young British Kurdish woman killed in suburban London by her own family. Awards were presented in forty two categories in all, including breaking news, investigative reporting, outstanding interview and best documentary. BBC World News beat off stiff competition from major US broadcasters to take the accolade for news coverage of the Syria conflict, including CNN, NBC and CBS. Andrew Roy, editor of BBC World News, said that the award was 'testament to the extraordinary personal commitment and bravery' of BBC journalists who were 'prepared to risk their lives to tell the true story from Syria's frontlines. It has been, and remains, one of the most difficult stories we have ever covered,' he added. 'We will continue to share this story with the world.'
And so to 'who hated Britain more, a man who fought against the Nazis or a newspaper which actively supported them for nearly a decade-gate' which at first appeared to be nothing more than a silly-season story about a particularly noxious and vile newspaper with a long and extremely dreadful history of spiteful and odious reporting having a go at one of their political opponents by besmirching the memory of his late father. Nothing much to see here, let's move on. However, the longer it goes on, the more it's beginning to look like this could be a defining moment in both Ed Milimolmandi's political career but, also, the potential future direction of the Daily Scum Mail in and of itself. Ed, you see, has gone way beyond the 'I'm mad as hell and I want everyone to know it' stage and is, it would seem, now scenting blood. He is demanding that Lord Rothermere the owner of the Daily Scum Mail and the Scum Mail On Sunday (and the great-grandson of Harold Harmsworth, First Viscount Rothermere, a close personal friend of Hitler, just in case you didn't know) mount a full and frank inquiry into the 'practices and culture' of his flagship newspapers, arguing that an apology made by the peer after a Scum Mail On Sunday reporter intruded on a private Miliband family memorial service did not go far enough. Rothermere reportedly sent a thoroughly grovelling private letter to Miliband on Thursday night in which he 'expressed regret' at the episode – but rejected claims that the incident 'reflected a wider problem of culture and ethics' at the Scum Mail on Sunday and Daily Scum Mail, which have been aggressively demonising the Labour leader over the past fortnight. Labour officials said that the apology from Rothermere was 'an important step', but noted that the letter 'made no reference' to the controversial article published by the Daily Scum Mail on Saturday in which the newspaper characterised Miliband's late Marxist academic father, Ralph, as 'the man who hated Britain'. Stoking the row, a Labour spokesman said that Milimlimandi still believed 'the culture and practices' of the two papers 'needed addressing' and, until they were, 'many people will continue to believe that these newspapers are not upholding the values and decency of the British people.' Ed had dragged Rothermere into the debate after the Labour leader wrote to the proprietor, suggesting that 'a common line of decency' had been breached when a Scum Mail on Sunday reporter gatecrashed a memorial service for his uncle on Wednesday on the twenty ninth floor of Guy's hospital in London. Earlier in the day, the Scum Mail on Sunday's editor, Geordie Greig, who had been seen as a candidate to one day succeed the odious snake Paul Dacre as editor of the Daily Scum Mail, had issued his own 'unreserved apology' for the intrusion. Two journalists, Jo Knowsley and Amy Iggulden, are understood to have been suspended by the paper. But, if Rothermere had granted the request for an inquiry, it would have amounted to a vote of no confidence in the coward and bully Dacre, the Daily Scum Mail's long-serving editor, the most hated man in Britain, who is known for a tough and pugnacious approach and rejection of any and all criticism. Dacre also acts as editor in chief at the two titles. Privately, according to the Gruniad Morning Star, reporters at the Scum Mail titles were said to be 'astonished' that Greig had moved to blame his reporters so quickly and believe that part of the job of a highly paid editor is to 'take the flak for the team' and deal with the matter behind closed doors. It also - very much - brings up the question of who, exactly, sent the two reports to the event in the first place if it wasn't the editor. On Thursday night, Miliband gave an extensive interview to the LabourList website. He said: 'I want to know how these practices are allowed to happen. Not on the basis of being "one rogue reporter" or "one rogue editor", but what is it about the culture and practice of the organisation that makes these kind of things acceptable? Because the decisions made by an individual in an organisation are shaped by the culture and practice of an organisation.' Earlier in the day, the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, intervened to defend Miliband. 'It seems to me that if anyone excels in denigrating and often vilifying a lot about modern Britain, it's the Daily Mail,' Clegg said to nodding of heads from all sides of the political spectrum. 'They don't like working mothers, they don't like the BBC, they don't like members of the royal family, they don't like teachers, they don't like the English football team – the list goes on.' The circumstances leading up to Rothermere's letter are also thought to reflect 'tensions' at the top of the newspaper group. It is understood that following Labour complaints on Wednesday night, Greig was 'full of remorse' about the intrusion at the memorial service, saying that he, personally, had 'not known' about the actions of his reporters. Yet in a conversation with Miliband on Thursday morning, no apology was offered, and instead, as if he was reading from a legal letter, Greig instead attempted to justify the story, adding that the reporter involved had identified herself. Some alleged Labour 'sources', according to the Gruniad, concluded that the odious bully and coward Dacre – whose relationship with Greig is often described as 'tense' – had 'imposed a tougher line' overnight. Following the fruitless conversation with Greig, Miliband decided to cut out the middle-man and wrote directly to Rothermere setting out the episode at the memorial service. He published the letter just before 11.45am on Thursday. Within ninety minutes, Greig had issued a full and grovelling apology and promised an investigation, adding it had been 'a terrible lapse of judgment. I unreservedly apologise for a reporter intruding into a private memorial service for a relative of Ed Miliband,' Greig said. 'The reporter was sent without my knowledge; it was a decision which was wrong. I would further like to apologise to members of the family and friends attending the service for this deplorable intrusion.' The Scum Mail on Sunday journalist allegedly arrived at the memorial service held at Guy's hospital for Miliband's uncle, Professor Harry Keen, a distinguished doctor who died earlier this year. She is understood to have twice accosted distressed family members to ask them to comment on the Ralph Miliband controversy. They refused to do so. Labour 'sources' allegedly said the memorial service was 'a private event' and it is understood that the reporter learned about it from a Facebook page. In his letter to Rothermere, who inherited the Scum Mail titles in 1998 from his father Vere Harmsworth, the Third Viscount Rothermere, Miliband wrote: 'My wider family, who are not in public life, feel understandably appalled and shocked that this can have happened. Sending a reporter to my late uncle's memorial crosses a line of common decency.' Labour officials said that they were 'grateful' for Greig's apology, but stressed that Miliband in his letter had proposed that Rothermere 'conduct an investigation' into 'who is responsible for the culture and practices of these newspapers which jar so badly with the values of your readers.' Some Labour officials believe that the Scum Mail titles operate under a bullying culture in which some reporters feel forced to put the publication of a story before ethics. Labour also wants, if possible, to expose before the election any newspaper efforts to portray Milimolimandi as somehow 'apart' from mainstream British culture. Miliband declined to refer the matter to the Press Complaints Commission feeling it would be a waste of time given that the commission has been so discredited by previous cases of a similar nature. Labour described it as 'a toothless tiger', not least because the odious snake Dacre was a previous chairman of the editor's code of practice committee, which sets standards for journalists. On Thursday night, the issue was discussed on BBC1's Question Time. The Huffington Post's Mehdi Hasan was applauded by the audience when he asked who hated Britain more: Ralph Miliband, who he noted served in the Royal Navy during the second world war, or the 'immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-bashing Daily Mail.' He also contrasted the newspaper's founder Henry Harmsworth, whom he accused of siding with the Nazis before the conflict, with Ralph Miliband. Asked about the controversy, Hasan said: 'Let's have the debate about who hates Britain more, it isn't a dead Jewish refugee from Belgium who served in the Royal Navy, it's the immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-baiting Daily Mail.' The Scum Mail's vile and odious columnist Quentin Letts squirmed in his seat before criticisng his sister paper for sending a journalist to the memorial service, calling it 'clearly indefensible.' But, he was derided by the audience when he attempted to claim the Scum Mail was 'outside the political village,' with one fellow panellist reportedly declaring afterwards that such a claim proved that irony was, officially, dead. Letts described the late socialist academic as a 'useful idiot' for 'people that were promoting Marxism' during the Cold War. Letts added that Ralph Miliband had been 'furious that we won the Falklands War. He wanted us to lose the Falklands War. Is that the behaviour of a man who loves his country? I'm not sure it is.' However, the shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, praised Ralph Miliband's military record, and told the programme: 'People who haven't served their country and fought for their country should really think before deciding that they have a monopoly on determining British values.' The audience enjoyed that. The PCC's chairman, Lord Hunt, issued a statement saying that he was 'deeply concerned' by the episode at the memorial service. The PCC said there had been seven hundred and twenty six complaints from the public about the Daily Scum Mail's original article. The Conservative chairman of the Commons culture select committee, John Whittingdale, also said that the intrusion at the memorial service was 'a clear breach of the code.' The dispute comes by coincidence days before a crucial meeting of the privy council, before which ministers will decide whether to accept a royal charter enshrining the press industry's version of self-regulation. The meeting could reject the industry's version and then seal the one proposed by parliament, an outcome which most newspaper groups strongly oppose. It is generally agreed that the behaviour of the Scum Mail on Sunday reporter would breach basic elements of press ethics code drawn up under either royal charter. Lord Justice Leveson, the judge who chaired the inquiry into press ethics, is also due to appear in front of two parliamentary select committees next week. Alastair Campbell, the former press secretary to Tony Blair, accused the odious snake Dacre of being 'a bully and a coward', adding: 'He hates anyone who gets in the way of his rather warped and twisted view of the world.' If Dacre had an ounce of decency, he said - which, of course, he doesn't although, to be fair, neither does Campbell himself - Dacre would 'retire to his Scottish estate' with 'his fifteen million pounds pension.' Asked why he was moved to speak out, Miliband said he had 'a personal reaction' to the article that appeared in the Scum Mail last Saturday. 'It's a very simple thing,' he said. 'It's about defending the honour of my dad, because the Daily Mail said that my father hated the country, and my father served in the Royal Navy. He loved Britain, he fought for our country and I'm afraid there's a moment when a paper crosses a line and when I felt as a son that I had to speak out on behalf of my dad. My dad's not alive any more, he can't speak out, but I can and that's why I did what I did and I think it was the right thing to do and, as I say, I was speaking as a son, not as a politician.'

Reaction to the Scum Mail's sick agenda-based boot-boy thuggery has been swift and damning right across the political spectrum. A former member of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet has accused the Scum Mail of 'telling lies' about Ralph Miliband. In the biggest blow yet to the Scum Mail editor, the 'bully and coward' Dacre, Lord John Moore of Lower Marsh said that his former tutor, Miliband, was 'a good man' who 'never had a bad word to say about Britain.' Moore, who served in Thatcher's cabinet between 1986 and 1989 and was - briefly - tipped as a potential successor to Thatcher, said that it 'beggars belief' the Scum Mail could 'impugn the patriotism' of Miliband, who taught Moore at the London School of Economics. Praising Miliband as 'a great academic' and 'an inspiring teacher', Lord Moore said: 'Ralph Miliband taught me and I can say he was one of the most inspiring and objective teachers I had. Of course, we had different political opinions but he never treated me with anything less than complete courtesy and I had profound respect for his integrity.' In a statement issued to the Press Association, Moore added: 'He had come here as a refugee, done his duty to his adopted country by serving in our Royal Navy during the war, become a great academic and raised a good family. I saw him week after week and it beggars belief that the Daily Mail can accuse him of lacking patriotism. I never heard him ever say one word which was negative about Britain – our country. The Daily Mail is telling lies about a good man who I knew. The people of this country are good and decent too. They do not want the Daily Mail attacking the dead relatives of politicians to make political points.' The intervention by Lord Moore came after Lord Heseltine, the former Tory deputy Prime Minister, accused the Scum Mail of 'demeaning the political process' with its attack on Miliband. In remarks that went further than the careful response of most Tory ministers, Heseltine said that there was 'no justification' for the headline on the Miliband piece which claimed that Miliband 'hated Britain'. Heseltine told The Daily Politics on BBC2: 'This is carrying politics to an extent that is just demeaning, frankly. The headline isn't justified. It is completely out of context. As everybody knows the guy fought for this country and we now live in a totally different world to the clash between communism and fascism.' Heseltine addressed the Scum Mail's claim that Marxists such as Ralph Miliband deserved to be 'condemned' because of the repression of the Soviet Union. He said: 'Let us be frank. Stalin did some of the most appalling things but the Russians turned the second world war.' Heseltine also said that the Scum Mail had published 'hatchet jobs' on any politician they didn't like, including Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg. Clegg himself suggested the Scum Mail 'excel' in denigrating and vilifying modern Britain. Speaking on LBC's Call Clegg show, he mounted a strong defence of the right of Ed Miliband to protest at what he regarded as 'lies' about his father being printed by the paper. The Liberal Democrat leader said: 'If anyone excels in denigrating and vilifying modern Britain it is the Daily Mail.' He said he rarely read the paper, but 'every time I do open it, it seems to be overflowing with bile about modern Britain. They don't like working mothers, they don't like the BBC, they don't like members of the royal family, they don't like teachers, they don't like the English football team. The list goes on – talk about kettles and pots.' He added: 'I think it was quite understandable that Ed Miliband should react like that because clearly what they were saying about his dad was just out of order. The Daily Mail is free to print what it likes and people like me are perfectly free to say what they say is wrong.' The Scum Mail's 'unattractive' attack on Ed Miliband's late father has 'damaged' the paper and 'revolted many people' the senior Conservative minister Francis Maude said. In the strongest attack by a Tory minister on the Scum Mail - and in marked contrast to the waffling of David Cameron and the horrifying support given to the newspaper by the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove, the Cabinet Office minister criticised the newspaper for 'maligning a dead person', who could not mount any defence. Maude is a member of the privy council committee which is due to decide on a royal charter to implement some of the findings of The Leveson Inquiry on press regulation. In an interview on Newsnight, Maude went further than other Tory cabinet colleagues, who have simply defended the Labour leader's right to defend his father. Maude, whose father, Angus, was a member of Thatcher's cabinet, said: 'Like Ed Miliband, I had a father who was in the public eye and I think it's quite unattractive to seek to ascribe to the son, the children, what the father has stood for. That is very unattractive, especially when that person is dead and can't reply for themselves. I think it probably will have done the Daily Mail some damage because it does look very unattractive and I think a lot of people will be pretty revolted by that approach.' Maude, however, said it would be 'wrong' to ban such journalism: 'I don't think everything that is unattractive should be made illegal, no.' Lord Glasman, a senior Labour figure and ally of Ed Miliband, compared the attack on Ralph Miliband to the McCarthyite hunting of Communists in the US in the 1950s. Speaking on Radio4's Today programme, he praised the Labour leader's 'courageous decision' to take a moral stand against the Scum Mail, adding that the row 'has got to go on for a while.' Charles Moore, the former editor of the Daily Torygraph, accused the Scum Mail of offending against taste and decency' on 'multiple fronts.' Moore writes in this week's Spectator magazine: 'The Mail managed to offend against taste and decency on multiple counts – attacking a man for his deceased father's views, misrepresenting those views, attacking a Jew, attacking a refugee from Hitler.' The Scum Mail should simply have focused on Ralph Miliband's Marxist views – and his son's move to the left, Moore claims. It should not have accused Ralph Miliband of hating Britain. He wrote: 'Why did it not stick to the red angle? Although it is true that a significant minority on the left was actually treacherous in its support for the Soviet Union, even more harm was done by honest, decent patriots, such as Ralph Miliband, who thought that state socialism was the answer to our woes. People are so anti-Tony Blair these days that they have forgotten how heroically he squashed such views and thus made his party electable. Young Miliband took a giant step backward last week. That is the point that needs making all the time.'

Meanwhile, the historian John Simkin fears he is partially - and unintentionally - responsible for the Scum Mail's attack on Ed Miliband. He runs a website, Spartacus Educational, which contains a biography of Ralph Miliband and he has noted similarities between the Scum Mail's article and information gleaned from that biography. On his blog, Simkin writes: 'In the article Geoffrey Levy quotes from a diary entry that the sixteen-year-old Ralph Miliband wrote in 1940: "The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world ... When you hear the English talk of this war you sometimes almost want them to lose it to show them how things are." Levy probably got this information from my webpage on Ralph Miliband. [Actually, it seems that the information came Michael Newman's book, Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left]. On Saturday, if you typed in "Ralph Miliband" into Google my site came second after the Wikipedia entry. The Wikipedia page did not have this information on Miliband then (it does now but at least it references my web page".' But, Simkin's biography placed that quote in a historical context. It crucially explained why he wrote it after arriving in Britain: 'Miliband had been dismayed by the anti-Semitism he found in London. For example, he felt he was unable to tell his first girlfriend, Marjorie, that he was Jewish.' And who was responsible for that prevailing climate of anti-Semitism? Step forward Viscount Rothermere (Harold Harmsworth), great-grandfather of the current (fourth) Lord Rothermere. Simkin's biography of the first Lord Rothermere gives an example of his rabid anti-Semitism. On 10 July 1933, in a piece in the Daily Scum Mail which sought to excuse 'Nazi atrocities' as 'a few isolated acts of violence', Rothermere wrote: 'The German nation, moreover, was rapidly falling under the control of its alien elements. In the last days of the pre-Hitler regime there were twenty times as many Jewish government officials in Germany as had existed before the war. Israelites of international attachments were insinuating themselves into key positions in the German administrative machine. Three German ministers only had direct relations with the press, but in each case the official responsible for conveying news and interpreting policy to the public was a Jew.' The same (or a similar) piece also appeared in Australia, in the Perth-based Daily News. At the time, Rothermere was a highly vocal supporter of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists, known as The Blackshirts. But he suddenly withdrew his backing in July 1934. Why? Simkin quotes the historian James Pool, author of Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding Of Hitler's Rise To Power: 'The rumour on Fleet Street was that the Daily Mail's Jewish advertisers had threatened to place their ads in a different paper if Rothermere continued the pro-fascist campaign.' Pool goes on to point out that Rothermere later met Hitler and told him how the 'Jews cut off his complete revenue from advertising' and compelled Hitler to 'toe the line.' Hitler, of course, declined. Nevertheless, Rothermere continued to publicly support Hitler until as late as the autumn of 1939 and the brink of the outbreak of war. It later emerged that he was paying a retainer of five thousand quid per year (two hundred thousand smackers in today's money) to Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe, a close confidante of Hitler and other Nazi leaders, who was widely regarded as a German spy. Simkin is clearly upset at the possibility that his site had provided the source material for the Scum Mail article, which falsely claimed that Ralph Miliband 'hated Britain.' He writes in his blog clearly in support of Ed Miliband's actions: 'It is time we stood up to these vicious bullies.'

And finally on the subject of 'who hated Britain more, a man who fought against the Nazis or a newspaper which actively supported them for nearly a decade-gate', one of the more unexpected but rather welcome side affects of this whole fiasco is an increased interest in Ralph Miliband himself. He remains some distance from being labelled 'a bestseller' but the furore over Miliband's beliefs has, it seems, caused a noticeable spike in interest in his books. As with all authors specialising in densely-argued, Marxist-informed political thought, the overall sales figures remain modest, but radical bookshops are reporting a knock-on effect from the Scum Mail's focus. And on the biggest bookseller of all, Amazon, Miliband currently occupies two of the top three sales slots in the 'socialism' category – the third is a biography of him – and has three titles in the top five thousand bestsellers. Not something to put Stephen King in a sweat, perhaps, but still rather notable. 'We've sold many more than we normally do. It's a relative term, but sales are definitely up a few hundred per cent,' said Nick Gorecki, co-manager of the long-established radical bookshop Housmans, which set up shop in North London in 1945. 'I don't want to over egg the pudding as it's very much relative. He's an important historical figure, and I'd say his analysis still has relevance to the Labour party now, but he's not usually one of our big sellers.' Housmans has played at least some part in this with a slightly cheeky window display of Miliband's books with the legends: 'As seen on TV!', 'while stocks last' and, best of all, 'hated by the Daily Mail.' On Amazon, Parliamentary Socialism is currently Miliband's best seller, Socialism For A Sceptical Age just scrapes into the top five thousand bestsellers overall, with The State In Capitalist Society just outside this.

Joanna Lumley has appeared in three new adverts for Sky On Demand, spoofing well known TV dramas. The actress is seen imitating scenes from Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Grey's Anatomy.
Meanwhile, here's the latest in the BBC's TARDIS around the world, photos.
The man who dropped John McCririck from Channel Four's horse racing programmes has said the decision was 'entirely unrelated to his age.' Jamie Aitchison, commissioning editor for sport, told a tribunal that the pundit's 'exaggerated tone' was 'out of step' with the channel's ideas for developing their coverage. McCririck was 'seen by many as a comic act rather than a serious horse racing journalist,' he claimed. The seventy three-year-old is accusing his former employers of age discrimination. Channel Four and IMG Media deny the claims. In a statement to an employment tribunal, Aitchison said: 'John McCririck's exaggerated tone and style and propensity to offend was out of step with the vision for the programme, and also unappealing and irritating to many current and potential viewers.' Aithcison added that the decision to drop McCririck from the line-up last year was 'taken for legitimate and justified reasons.' Speaking earlier this week, McCririck told the tribunal that his image as 'a bigot and a sexist' went 'side-by-side' with his 'career as a serious journalist.' The seventy three-year-old claimed his appearances as 'a pantomime villain' on reality TV shows did 'not reduce' his 'gravitas' and denied they damaged horse racing. While admitting there had been 'plenty of complaints' to Channel Four about his behaviour, McCririck said that he was 'aware that Channel Four approved of it because they kept on having me on their programmes.' Channel Four landed the rights to broadcast all UK horse racing events, including the Grand National and Royal Ascot, in 2012 and began their coverage a year later. McCririck was subsequently axed from the coverage, as a new-look team led by Clare Balding took over. Aitchison said he 'and others' at Channel Four felt that while the broadcaster's coverage up to 2012 had catered well for 'a contingent of dedicated horse-racing fans, it was niche and non-inclusive at times. Channel Four set out to create a tone that was a little more serious, measured and inclusive,' he added. Aitchison, who has worked previously as a producer on BBC and ITV sports shows, rejected McCririck's claim that he was sacked because of his age. In his witness statement, he said concerns over McCririck's style were 'supported by audience surveys', press coverage and viewer complaints. 'None of the decisions taken in respect of who to invite and who not to invite to be in the on-screen team for Channel Four racing from 2013 were taken on the grounds of their age, or indeed for any reason other than merit, including the decision not to invite John McCririck to be part of the team,' he added. Wednesday's proceedings also saw the odious rent-a-quote thuggish right-wing Tory MP Philip Davies appear as 'a character witness' for McCririck. 'I can't think of anybody who is more on top of his game, nor suitable for the role,' the MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire told the tribunal. Davies, who sits on the Commons culture select committee, acknowledged that he had previously criticised Channel Four for 'being too politically correct.' This incidentally, dear blog reader, in case you hadn't come across him before, is the same Philip Davies who on 7 October 2006, after an act of vandalism which was initially alleged to have been perpetrated by Muslims, was quoted by the Sun as saying 'if there's anybody who should fuck off it's the Muslims who do this sort of thing.' It was later exposed by the Independent, among others, that the incident in question did not, actually, involve Muslims. The Sun was subsequently forced to issue a - rather grovelling - apology four months later. Davies himself, however, has never apologised for his disgraceful comments. Unless he did it very quietly whilst no one was looking. This is also the same Philip Davies who called for government to 'scrap the Human Rights Act for foreign nationals and chuck them out of the country.' Who said in parliament that disabled workers are 'by definition less productive' and could work for less than the minimum wage. The Conservative party quickly distanced themselves from his comments. Representatives from mental illness charities Mind and Rethink called his suggestion 'preposterous' and 'seriously misguided.' This is, also, the same Philip Davies who in March 2007 voted against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations which proposed to allow the Secretary of State to make regulations defining discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation, create criminal offences, and provide for exceptions. The same Philip Davies who, in March 2011, also claimed, wrongly, that there was 'no basis in evidence' that restricting branding on cigarette packets would reduce smoking levels, saying 'I believe that the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes is gesture politics of the worst kind. It would not have any basis in evidence and it would simply be a triumph for the nanny state and an absurd one at that.' He also complained, while calling for a Parliamentary debate on 'political correctness', about a school production of Romeo and Julian during LGBT History month. He is also an organiser for the economically right-wing Taxpayers' Alliance, a - small but very vocal - group which claims to 'speak for' taxpayers rights. This, despite the fact that there are in excess of forty million taxpayers in this country (including gay people, disabled people, Muslims, 'foreign nationals' and several other sections of society about whom Davies has made controversial comments in the past) and almost none of whom seem to have actually been asked whether they want to be 'spoken for' by this group of people. Certainly, this blogger - a tax-payer ever since he left school at eighteen - never got a memo from them. Just so we're clear about this, you people do not, even remotely, speak for me. Anyway, that Philip Davies. I'll tell you what, dear blog reader, if I was the John McCririck, I'd be absolutely delighted that Philip Davies wants to speak on my behalf. What could possibly go wrong? McCririck was supported in his allegations of ageism by former Channel Four racing presenter Lesley Graham who gave evidence to the hearing on Tuesday. In a statement, Graham, whose workload was cut from forty days to fifteen in 2009, said: 'I had no notice that this was going to happen and was extremely surprised and disappointed. The only reason I could think that my annual days were being reduced was because of my age - I was due to turn fifty in 2010.' she said. Graham Fry, managing director of sports production worldwide at IMG, said in a witness statement that McCririck was ditched because of 'concerns' that his 'larger-than-life style' grated with the public. 'We were concerned that John McCririck's presenting style was over-dramatic, liable to offend and would not have mainstream appeal,' he said. 'I was also concerned about John McCririck's credibility as a betting presenter in the context of a more serious, journalistic style of Channel Four racing, given the public persona he had created through appearances on other television programmes.' Fry, who prepared IMG's winning bid to produce the programme, said he found McCririck's stints on reality shows 'pretty disgusting and shocking.' Jennifer Eady QC, representing McCririck, challenged Fry about a message he wrote during the preparation of the bid which asked: 'Is there a sexier picture of Francesca Cumani we can put in?' Fry told the tribunal that it was a 'flippant comment to a colleague' as he believed the presenter, suggested as a potential reporter for Channel Four racing but never used, looked 'quite severe' in the initial picture. Eady suggested it was 'evidence' IMG was really concerned with obtaining 'young, more glamorous, sexier presenters to appeal to the young audience' but Fry said the company was simply 'trying to identify new talent.' In his witness statement Fry said McCririck's betting coverage was 'difficult to follow, since it was very technical and was delivered in a loud, brash, aggressive and long-winded style which I considered to be over the top and distracting.' The hearing continues.
Max Clifford has pleaded not guilty to eleven counts of indecent assault. The alleged incidents took place between 1966 and 1985 and involve seven girls and women aged fourteen to nineteen at the time. Speaking to reporters outside Southwark Crown Court on Friday morning, Clifford said: 'I'm okay. Obviously I am totally innocent of these charges. It's been a very hard time for myself, my wife, my family, loved ones.' He added: 'I have been helped tremendously by the public support, everywhere I go. That obviously has made a huge difference. It is not the nicest of situations, but you have to face up to it.' The trial is scheduled to take place in March 2014, and is expected to last up to four weeks. Clifford was arrested by Operation Yewtree officers last December and charged in April. He appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court in May.

Headline of the week on the Digital Spy website: Abbey Clancy on first Strictly dance: 'I nearly vomited'. Personally, yer actual Keith Telly Topping didn't think it was quite that bad.
Some people might find televised sports such as snooker painfully slow to watch, but imagine viewing five hours of non-stop knitting. Norwegian national broadcaster NRK is to broadcast National Knitting Night next month, in which competitors will attempt to break the world record for producing a sweater, from shearing a sheep to final stitches. The Times reports that the show is part of the country's 'Slow TV' phenomenon, which has previously included a leisurely multi-day cruise through the fjords, and ten hours' coverage of a train journey between Oslo and Bergen. The most controversial show so far has been National Firewood Night, which featured showing wood being chopped and then eight hours of a fireplace burning the logs. One of the show's creators told the New York Times: 'We received about sixty text messages from people complaining about the stacking in the programme. Fifty per cent complained that the bark was facing up, and the rest complained that the bark was facing down. One thing that really divides Norway is bark!'

Cilla Black and Paul O'Grady are to appear in a sitcom together. The pair will feature in Led Astray, which begins production this month. The show has been written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, who created Birds Of A Feather. So, that's one very good reason not to watch it, dear blog reader. O'Grady will play Black's half-brother in the alleged sitcom, with a half-hour pilot beginning production this month. If successful, the show will be broadcast on BBC1. O'Grady was most recently seen in an acclaimed role playing a dying cancer patient in Holby City. He said of his role: 'It was emotional filming Holby. And I did actually come home feeling sick as I would lie in bed all day with tubes on me, and then I would go into Holby the next day, and they would put even more tubes on me. They make you look ill, so after fourteen hours of that every day, I came home and I really had to tell myself that I wasn't actually ill as I wanted to do everything so much justice. I literally had to tell myself to stop it, remember that I wasn't ill and I was only playing a character.'
Blackadder's Sir Tony Robinson his very self is to make his first theatre appearance in sixteen years in The Wind In The Willows. The sixty seven-year-old will play the narrator, Kenneth Grahame, in the Royal Opera House production, which plays at the Duchess theatre in London for eight weeks over Christmas. The dance musical, based on Grahame's 1908 children's novel, has had three runs since it was originally staged in 2002. Dancer Will Kemp will reprise his role as Ratty. Best known for his portrayal of the hapless Baldrick in the BBC comedy series The Black Adder and its several sequels, Sir Tony last appeared on stage in Alan Bennett's Forty Years On in 1997. He has previously appeared in the West End, at Chichester Festival Theatre and the National Theatre as well as with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His television credits include Channel Four's archaeology series Time Team, which he presented for twenty years until it was axed last year. Tony received a knighthood in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours. The Wind In The Willows, which tells the story of four woodland friends using singers, dancers, actors and puppets, is the Royal Opera House's first commercial transfer to the West End. As well as Kemp, whose credits include Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, the cast includes Cris Penfold as Toad, Christopher Akrill as Badger and Clemmie Sveaas as Mole. Choreographed and directed by Tuckett, the production is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

The Football Association has been accused of a 'dereliction of duty' after failing to question three non-league clubs about suspicious betting activity on a number of games. Billericay Town, AFC Hornchurch and Chelmsford all came under scrutiny from the FA after bookmakers stopped taking bets on several matches involving the clubs in the Conference South last season. The FA promised to act and told clubs to 'remind players and officials of their responsibilities under the rules.' But the chairmen of all three Essex clubs have told BBC Sport that none of them have been questioned or even approached. The former head of the FA's compliance unit, Graham Bean, said the governing body's failure to contact the clubs was 'disgraceful and a dereliction of duty.' He added: 'It is my belief that the FA tend to stick their heads in the sand at suggestions of match-fixing and tend to give a perception that they don't think it actually exists. When I was at the FA, I once raised the idea of having an intelligence hotline where anonymous contact could be made to report wrongdoing. I was laughed at for the suggestion.' The chairman of Billericay Town now wants the FA to conduct a thorough investigation. 'I am calling for the authorities in this country to investigate the possibility of match-fixing at our level of football,' said Steve Kent. 'How can they investigate alleged match-fixing involving my club when not a single person from the police, the FA, or the league made any kind of approach to us whatsoever? It's amazing.' Last month, a group of British players in Australia were arrested and charged with match-fixing offences while playing for the Melbourne-based Stars in the second-tier Victorian Premier League. All four of the accused played non-league football in England before moving to the Stars. Three of them - Joe Woolley, Reiss Noel and Nick McKoy - joined from AFC Hornchurch. 'In the light of recent events in Australia, it's time for a proper investigation,' said Kent. 'I'm not saying match-fixing is rife or commonplace, but from the information I have been gathering it certainly warrants an investigation. When I saw the names involved I was shocked. The names I was reading I was so familiar with. Last season, they were all playing at our level. We played against them. That's what shocked me the most. You don't know if it's gone on. There were rumours last year in the press so it makes you wonder. I didn't believe that there could be match-fixing at this level, I thought the players were too honest.' Colin McBride, the chairman of AFC Hornchurch, told the BBC he was backing Billericay's stance and said the FA had been 'amateurish. It's surprising the FA didn't contact us, you'd have thought we'd have got a courtesy call,' he said. 'We feel in limbo. We can't draw a line under it and we want to move on. That's the disappointing thing, I think we deserve an answer.' McBride said that he hoped his former players, who he described as 'good lads, good footballers', were acquitted. 'I truly hope they're innocent,' he said. 'I'm deeply shocked and deeply upset. I truly hope they're found not guilty.' The BBC claims to have learned that 'concerns' were raised at the FA and within the betting industry when irregular amounts of money were gambled on certain Conference South matches last season. For example, despite being a match in the sixth tier of the English game, played out in front of just four hundred spectators, hundreds of thousands of pounds was placed on Billericay's away match at Welling in November, the vast majority of it on Asian betting exchanges. 'It was a phenomenal amount of money,' said Kent, who has conducted his own inquiries into why bookmakers suddenly stopped taking bets on matches involving his club. 'There was more money bet on our game than on the Barcelona game [that week]. That's where the story came from. The FA and the league picked up on that but they did nothing about it. If there is a problem, let's sort it out, get rid of it and move on. The FA are the only ones that can do it really - they have the power.' Kent said not everyone is happy he has decided to speak out, but he is determined the issue is addressed. He added: 'We don't want cheating, we don't want to win or lose just because someone has identified our club as vulnerable, or someone wants to make a fast buck. We want to know that when we go to a game our players have given their best.' Alleged 'sources' at the FA have allegedly told the BBC that 'a lack of direct contact' with Billericay, AFC Hornchurch and Chelmsford 'does not mean' enquiries have not been made. The BBC also says that it has learned the governing body has been 'sharing information' with the authorities in Australia. 'The FA takes the matter of integrity extremely seriously,' said a spokesman. 'The FA does not confirm any details of investigations or enquiries made, or indeed whether they are ongoing.' Former FA chairman Lord Triesman told the BBC he was 'astonished' to learn that no-one at Billericay, Hornchurch or Chelmsford had been interviewed by the FA. He added: 'It seems to me to be one of the first obligations of the organisation to ensure the sport's properly regulated and scrupulously fair. Match-fixing, which has been a huge problem in leagues around the world, is one of the most critical problems. It destroys the ethics of the game.' Asked if he thought match-fixing was going on in English football, Triesman added: 'You can never be complacent about it. If there's a credible allegation, it should be investigated immediately by the regulatory body. That is their duty.'

The best-selling American author Tom Clancy has died at the age of sixty six, his publisher Penguin has confirmed. Clancy wrote a string of best-selling spy and military thrillers. His seventeenth novel, Command Authority, is due out in December. Several of his books featuring CIA analyst Jack Ryan have been adapted into successful Hollywood films. The former insurance broker died in a Baltimore hospital near his Maryland home, according to reports. Clancy, who died on Tuesday, was remembered as 'a master of his craft' by Tom Weldon, chief executive of Penguin Random House. 'Tom Clancy changed readers' expectations of what a thriller could do,' Weldon said. 'He will be greatly missed by millions of fans in the UK and around the world.' Written in his spare time, The Hunt For Red October (1984) was Clancy's first published novel and sold more than five million copies. President Ronald Reagan helped to fuel the success of the book when he called it 'a perfect yarn.' The novel was made into a film in 1990, starring Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan and Sir Sean Connery as suspiciously Scottish-sounding Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius who 'ssshails into hishhtory.' And that. Baldwin paid tribute to 'the great writer Tom Clancy' on Twitter, remembering him as 'a real gentleman of the old school.' Harrison Ford went on to play the character of Ryan in film versions of Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, while Ben Affleck played the character in 2002 release The Sum Of All Fears. Jack Ryan: Shadow One, a new film to feature the character directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh, is set for release this December. Clancy usually wrote one novel a year, making him one of the wealthiest authors in the world. In 2002 he was ranked at ten in Forbes magazine's Celebrity One Hundred list with estimated earnings of $47.8m. As well as a successful writer, Clancy also became closely associated with the world of video gaming. In the 1990s he founded Red Storm Entertainment, later bought by Ubisoft, which developed games based on Clancy's ideas. Blockbuster video game titles bearing his name included Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six. 'Tom Clancy was an extraordinary author with a gift for creating detailed, engrossing fictional stories that captivated audiences around the world,' said Ubisoft on its Facebook page. 'We are humbled by the opportunity to carry on part of his legacy through our properties that bear his name.' British author Barbara Taylor-Bradford also paid tribute to Clancy on her website. 'I'm stunned to learn of the sudden passing of [a] legendary novelist,' she wrote. 'A remarkable talent whose books and movie adaptations held me captive for many enjoyable hours.' Clancy was known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines. One, written in 1994, told of a crazed Japan Airlines pilot who flies into the Capitol building in Washington. In a 2003 interview, CNN presenter Wolf Blitzer suggested that his precise accounts of the US military techniques were 'giving away secrets' to terrorists. 'I never got any fan mail from Osama bin Laden, and I don't really know how many books I sold in Afghanistan,' the author replied, pithily. 'You have to talk to the marketing people about that. But I'm not really concerned about it.' 'He was ahead of the news curve and sometimes frighteningly prescient,' said Ivan Held, president of Penguin imprint GP Putnam's Sons. 'To publish a Tom Clancy book was a thrill every time.'

An inquiry has been launched after two million smackers of public money was used to buy Be-Atles memorabilia later revalued at just three hundred grand. The Be-Atles were a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them, dear blog reader. The review of the 2008 purchase by Merseytravel began when auditors found 'a conflict of interest' between the valuer and seller. KPMG said 'serious failures' occurred when the transport authority bought items including notorious alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon's glasses for The Beatles Story museum. Merseytravel said 'due process' was 'not followed' but 'changes had been made.' The authority took over the running of the museum in 2008. It bought Lennon's wire-rimmed glasses for a permanent exhibition at The Beatles Story museum which it runs along with two other Merseyside visitor attractions. The glasses and other exhibits including handwritten studio notes from Be-Atles producer Sir George Martin were revalued as part of an internal scrutiny process. When the valuation was put at three hundred thousand knicker, Merseytravel started its own investigation. The auditor, KPMG, also found two 'areas of concern' over the purchase. The combined report said: 'The person carrying out the valuation had been a company director with the person selling The Beatles' items. Although the conflict was identified, the lawyers were still instructed to proceed with using this valuer. Both issues represent a serious failure in corporate governance.' KPMG recommended a 'full investigation into The Beatles memorabilia valuation and the authority should take appropriate action.' Merseytravel chairman Liam Robinson confirmed its initial investigation showed 'elements of due process' were not followed. He said: 'We will look to take action if we establish that we were let down by those we were relying on at the time and that the interests of the taxpayer were not well served in the original negotiation. This could not happen now. Our new governance and scrutiny processes would not allow it.' Robinson added that The Beatles Story was 'unaffected by this revaluation' and 'remains profitable.' KPMG concluded it was 'satisfied' that Merseytravel had 'proper arrangements in place for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in their use of resources.'
So, the schedule at Stately Telly Topping Manor on Thursday was as follows, dear blog reader. AM - yer actual Keith Telly Topping got up early and was oot on Gillian for a bit (a bit of what, I hear you ask. That would be telling). The, yer actual started the washing off, did a gym-and-swim session at Byker pool (6.04 miles in fifteen minutes on the bike, a fraction over one mile in twelve minutes walking on the treadmill, - pausing only to note that 'Stop The Rock' by Apollo 440 is a really good tune to walk fast to! - two lengths of the pool, steam room, sauna, shower). PM - yer actual his very self went to Morrison's for some essential supplies, came home, made us dinner (garlic mushrooms with chicken fillets if you're interesting because yer actual KTT his very self was fair Hank Marvin by this stage). Then, in the evening this blogger's attendance was required at yer actual Uncle Scunthorpe's latest Record Player at the Tyneside. It was Nevermind so, frankly, the evening could have been either a revelation or a chore. In the end, it was neither, just an averagely okay loud rock record with some good moments that's nowhere near as good as millions seem to believe it is. Thus, today's Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day is, of course, this.

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