Friday, November 15, 2013

A Crucial Point One Day Becomes A Crime

So, dear blog readers, welcome, you are, to one 'uge massive effing motha of a From The North Doctor Who-dominated blog update. Let's start with this.
Tasty.

It has to be said, dear  blog reader, Thursday 14 November 2013 may well have been one of the biggest ever news days in the programme's near-fifty year history. Firstly, the BBC released another batch of sexy publicity photos to promote the forthcoming fiftieth anniversary episode The Day Of The Doctor. Various images feature yer actual Matt Smith, David Tennant his very self and John Hurt as The Doctor, The Doctor and, err, The Doctor respectively, with Jenna Coleman as Clara, Billie Piper as Rose and featuring that really annoying lass off Gavin & Stacey as Queen Elizabeth and Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart.
Publicity images were also made - thoroughly - available for the, if you will, 'minisode', The Night of The Doctor its very self. Which caused the Interweb to implode on Thursday lunch time. You might have noticed. 'I'm The Doctor. Probably not the one you were expecting!'
Hands up who'd rather like a Paul McGann series now? Okay, you can all put your hands down. If it's any consolation, this blogger is with you all the way.

It should also be noted that one regular dear blog reader noted, having just watched The Night Of The Doctor: 'A-freaking-mazing! I swear, I just squee'd my knickers into next week!' To which yer actual Keith Telly Topping replied: 'I would have too, if I'd been wearing any. Although, quite why I'd be wearing a pair of your knickers, Haze, is perhaps a question best left for another day.' Yes. I think it's probably best to leave that one dangling. As it were.
These are proper exciting times to be a Doctor Who fan, dear blog reader. The BBC also released on Thursday a trailer for the forthcoming biopic An Adventure In Space And Time, to be broadcast next Thursday on BBC2 from 9:00pm.
Looks beautiful, Mark. You done good, soldier.

The BBC have also confirmed that Doctor Who's first four-part adventure, An Unearthly Child, will be broadcast next week on BBC4 as previously scheduled. Recent media reports had suggested that scriptwriter Tony Coburn's son Stef - who is, clearly, not a greedy chancer motivated solely by a sickening lust for mucho filthy wonga, or anything even remotely like it - has challenged the Corporation's ownership of the copyright of the TARDIS, leading to a question over whether or not his father's story could be broadcast. Coburn, himself, stated via his Twitter account that he had been 'informed' the BBC were not going to show the episodes. However, now it would appear that he was misinformed in this regard. The BBC Press Office told the Doctor Who News website: 'These first episodes form an important part of the BBC’s celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who and we don't want to deny BBC viewers in the UK the opportunity to see them. We don't believe that Mr Coburn’s claims should affect any planned programming.' An Unearthly Child is to be broadcast from 10:30pm on Thursday 21 November on BBC4, immediately following the climax of An Adventure In Space And Time on BBC2.

Stef Coburn, incidentally, told the Independent that he was 'extremely angry' Mark Gatiss's An Adventure In Space And Time 'excludes' his father. Which is, frankly, more than a bit churlish. Mark is, as everyone knows, an ardent fan of the show and, one is certain he would've loved to have included everyone who had the slightest connection with the creation of, and early years of, Doctor Who - from Sydney Newman right down to Doris, the tea lady. But, An Adventure In Space And Time is a one-off ninety minute TV movie rather than a ten-part series and there has, apparently, been quite a bit of compression in Mark's script, as he noted when the drama received its premiere at the BFI on Tuesday. ('That was genuinely the biggest challenge - taking off my anorak, which is almost impossible, and narrowing it down. There was a draft where Sydney Newman was walking down the corridors of Television Centre and there were about one hundred people behind him with names bobbing above them - it was like Sherlock - there was Bunny Webber and Donald Wilson and David Whitaker ... It just didn't work and, eventually, you've got to go for it and say, "You can't have everyone."') For instance, David Whitaker, Doctor Who's first script editor, had a hell of a lot more to do with shaping and defining the long-running family SF drama than Tony Coburn ever did and Mark informs us that he didn't even have room to squeeze David in. Or, for that matter, designer Ray Cusick, or theme tune composer Ron Grainer, or Daleks creator Terry Nation. As the excellent Life, Doctor Who and Combom website notes: 'Regardless, it's understandable that Stef Coburn would like the general public to know about his father more, but this seems an awfully drastic way of garnering attention. Given that everyone was so enthusiastic about the rediscovery of Anthony Coburn's scripts earlier in the year, it's interesting that we've gone so quickly from that atmosphere of good will to outright hostility.' Nevertheless, one imagines that the BBC themselves are - privately - having a jolly good chuckle about all this malarkey. You know what they say, good publicity is good, bad publicity is great, but no publicity is fucking terrible.

And still it comes. The BBC have also released a video of an event from BBC Cymru Wales, where Doctor Who's showrunner, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat looks back over fifty years of the show.
Which will, no doubt, have some of The Special People gurning into their breakfast cereal and wittering on to anyone that will listen (and, indeed, anyone that won't) about how Moffat has ... done something or other that they disapprove of and how he horribly abused their Dalek-lovin' childhood with his ways. And that. They're quite a sight, dear blog reader, with their sour, pinched faces and their wholly impotent - but, often unintentionally hilarious - whigning. If you're ever in need of a ruddy good laugh, seriously, check 'em out on as message board near you. You'll be slapping your own thigh and howling with mirth within seconds.

Also to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the show, Doctor Who Magazine issue four hundred and sixty seven - out now - is the biggest issue ever, at one hundred and sixteen packed pages. (Yer actual Keith Telly Topping hopes that the editor, the lovely Tom, will remember all these free plugs he's getting on From The North just in case I ever want to try and flog him an article!) It also comes complete with a very special 1960s-themed mini-issue, which imagines how DWM might have celebrated the series' first anniversary. There's also a set of twelve art cards, featuring all twelve Doctors (hang on, doesn't John Hurt qualify? Right of this moment, he's had more screen-time as The Doctor than yer man Capaldi!) and nine free audio downloads of Doctor Who stories. Cor. That should be enough to keep you all thoroughly entertained until 23 November.
When John Hurt was introduced as 'The Doctor' earlier this year, it left some fans asking not only 'Doctor who?', but also 'Doctor when'? What, exactly, did this new incarnation mean for the chronology of the Time Lord? Which number Doctor was/is he? Now, showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has cleared it all up – insisting that Hurt's Doctor does not alter the order of the Doctors. 'I've been really, really quite careful about the numbering of The Doctors,' Moff said. 'He's very specific, the John Hurt Doctor, that he doesn't take the name of The Doctor. He doesn't call himself that. He's the same Time Lord, the same being as The Doctors either side of him, but he's the one who says, "I'm not The Doctor." So the Eleventh Doctor is still the Eleventh Doctor, the Tenth Doctor is still the Tenth.' As seen in The Night Of The Doctor, Hurt's 'The War Doctor' is first glimpsed after regenerating from Paul McGann's eighth Doctor, putting Hurt's Doctor between McGann and the ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston. This blogger rather likes the idea of calling John 'the eighth-and-a-half Doctor' but, writing in the Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat his very self went on to clarify further. 'Technically, if you really counted it, the David Tennant Doctor is two Doctors, on account of the Meta-Crisis Doctor [seen in Journey's End]. It's not a matter of counting the regenerations, but of counting the faces of the Time Lord that calls himself The Doctor. 'There's an anomaly Doctor slotted in somewhere, that's all. In the script to The Day Of The Doctor, Matt's Doctor was called the Eleventh, and David's was called the Tenth, so the numbering stays exactly the same – and we call Peter Capaldi the Twelfth Doctor.' Okay? Clear as mud, eh?
The Gruniad Morning Star's usual wretched faceache reviewer Sam Wollaston has got his pen out over Thursday evening's The Science of Doctor Who with yer actual Brian Cox (no, the other one). And, some trademark unfunny sarcasm aside, seems he actually got with the programme: 'Then it's into the lecture hall of The Royal Institution for Professor Cox to explain whether and how it's all possible. The place is full of stars and television personalities; it's like its own mini-solar system of celebrity. Brian is the sun of course, the centre of it all, around which the others circle, drawn by the pull of his mind, the light of his smile, and the Bliss of Knowledge. They applaud each other, just for being who they are ... Oh shut up! I'm just jealous, that I'm not invited. I'm just part of the black void beyond. Well, there certainly is life out here – pond life maybe, but life all the same ... There you have it then. Doctor Who is part-science fiction, part-science fact. Forward time travel: possible, but you need a very quick skateboard. Backward time travel: too tricky. Oh and aliens? Certainly possible, but not found yet. Apart from The Weeping Angels, which are in your attic, and are just waking up right now.'

The Digital Spy website seems to have rather enjoyed it as well. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping, as it happens, hasn't even properly watched The Science Of Doctor Who yet, having got back to Stately Telly Topping Manor very late (and with a very sore back) after a night of, if you will, shaking his goddamn booty down to the ground to Peter Hook And The Light (see below). Nevertheless, his recording device did work and, from the ten minutes he saw of The Science Of Doctor Who before he crawled, wearily, into his pit, it looked rather splendid. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping particularly enjoyed Matt's cameo at the beginning and the look on Foxy Coxy's face when he started playing 'Things Can Only Get Better'.
The BBC have also released details on the BBC3 (properly wretched sounding) 'after-party' for the fiftieth anniversary. The live show is claimed to 'celebrate all things Doctor Who' with yer actual Matt Smith and fans around the world. Live from London's Southbank, Zoe Ball and Rick Edwards will get the after-party started on BBC3, it says here, as they are joined by Smudger his very self and 'guests' to discuss The Doctor's 'most epic adventure yet.' As soon as titles roll on BBC1's The Day Of The Doctor, viewers can join the current Doctor his very self, as well as a host of previous Doctors and their time-travelling companions in the ultimate celebration of fifty years of Doctor Who on BBC3. Or, you can watch Borgen on BBC4 like this blogger intends to. Entirely up to you, dear blogger, it's a free country, after all. As well as 'all the gossip' on the The Day Of The Doctor, there will be exclusive interviews, show-stopping monster moments and fans will be giving their reaction, as they showcase how they are celebrating the special anniversary. One Direction will also be joining the party as they gate-crash the show live from LA to wish The Doctor a happy birthday. Christ alone knows why. Zai Bennett, the Controller of BBC3 - and the plank who cancelled Doctor Who Confidential (and Ideal for that matter) - says: 'The fiftieth anniversary is going to be a huge party for Doctor Who and we're delighted that BBC3 will be able to give the fans all the backstage access to the stars at the hottest ticket in town.' Commissioned by Pinki Chambers (no, really), Doctor Who Live: The Afterbirth is executive produced by Mark Cossey and Phil Dolling. It is produced by Russell Minton and made by BBC In-house Entertainment and Events. And, to repeat, it sounds embarrassingly wretched. Stick with Borgen, dear blog reader. They'll be speaking Danish, it's true, but that'll still easily be more understandable than anything which comes out of Zoe Ball's gob.
And finally in our massive, 'uge Doctor Who round-up, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's old mucker Caroyln Arnold has written a quite superb piece on her favourite Doctor (and, one of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's, too), Peter Davison his very self, for the BBC's Ariel website. Check it out here: 'Tegan (the companion played by Janet Fielding) was my role model, the Mouth on Legs who wanted to be an air hostess. So did I! I practised my BBC Australian accent whenever I could, but was devastated to find out that my lousy eyesight ruled me out of that job.'
The Children In Need Rocks 2013 concert highlights attracted 4.21 million on Thursday evening, according to overnight data. Gary Barlow's charity event topped the night overall for BBC1, with a just shy of twenty per cent of the available audience share from 8pm. On BBC2, MasterChef: The Professionals continued its very impressive run of late with three million punters watching Tom and Steven make it to the semi-finals at 8pm, while The Science Of Doctor Who was also a sizeable hit for the channel with 2.60m punters at 9pm. A repeat of the Doctor Who-themed Never Mind The Buzzcocks - hosted by yer actual David Tennant his very self - was then watched by 1.61m at 10pm, slightly up on the sort of numbers that the long-running music quiz usually pulls in despite the fact that it was a repeat. That'll be down to National Heartthrob Dave, obviously. It was a properly rotten night for ITV - their two soaps aside - with final episode of mega-flop period medical drama Breathless seen by a mere 2.11m at 9pm, down nearly two hundred thousand from the previous week's episode. It won't be back, this blogger confidently predicts. On Channel Four, Amazing Spaces interested 1.49m at 8pm, followed by the latest Bedlam with nine hundred and eighty thousand punters at 9pm. Bouncers continued with 1.30m at 10pm. Channel Five's Countdown To Murder appealed to 1.13m at 8pm. Person of Interest was watched by eight hundred and seventy six thousand at 10pm.
Yer actual Stephen Fry and Rob Brydon his very self are among those who will feature in the second series of Sky's This Is Jinsy. The - alleged - comedy series (this blogger laughed once) from Chris Bran and Justin Chubb will return to Sky Atlantic in January 2014. The divine Olivia Colman, Sir Derek Jacobi and Stephen Mangan will also make guest appearances in the show. This Is Jinsy centres around Arbiter Maven (played by Chubb) and Sporall (Bran) as they attempt to handle the residents of a unique island, based on the writers' experiences of living in Guernsey. If you've never seen it, don't worry, you're not alone, it has an audience of about six. Consisting of eight episodes, the new series will see Stephen portray Doctor Bevelspepp, who uses his encyclopaedic knowledge of Jinsy to help save the island from an attack by ... something. Katy Brand, Dame Eileen Atkins, Phil Davis, KT Tunstall and Greg Davies will also guest star during the series. Among the returning actors are Alice Lowe as Soosan Noop, Janine Duvitski as Mrs Goadion and Geoff McGivern as Trince.

For the latest Examples of things that are, like, totally geet cush, and make the world a better place by their very existence, number twenty seven: Los Angeles at night.
Followed, as usual, by Great Daft Moments From TV History. Today, number twenty: Pete Tranter's sister from Red Drawf.
Forza Motorsport Five has been given two new trailers by the Top Gear chaps. The first, which is narrated by Richard Hammond, explores the game's GT career mode. 'This is GT racing where, if you've got the money, you can make all your racing driver fantasies come true,' The Hamster explains. Richard then looks at the BMW M3 GT2, and the Corvette racing team. Narrated by James May, the second trailer explores the modern muscle car, including the 2007 Shelby GT500 and the Dodge Challenger SRT8 392.
As yer actual Keith Telly Topping's good mate and From The North regular Andrew noted t'other day over the news that John McCririck had extremely lost his ageism case against Channel Four: 'In amongst the daily guff which wears us all down, it is a wonderful moment to recognise that John McCririck is now, officially and legally, "unpalatable to a wide audience." Small victories, etc.' It's been a rotten week for horrorshow (and drag) McCririck and it got worse on Thursday when it was revealed that he'd been, shall we be charitable and call it 'economic with the actualite', regarding his employment status. McCririck, who has described himself as 'unemployable' following the catastrophic failure of his legal claim for alleged ageism against his former employer, will continue to work for the At The Races TV channel for thirty days each year, Matthew Imi, ATR's chief executive, said. So, it would appear that, tragically, McCririck isn't unemployable or anything even remotely like it. 'He still works for us and he will continue to do so,' Imi said. 'He's been with us from day one. We're very happy with John's involvement in ATR and nothing will change. He is on The Sunday Forum this weekend and that will probably be the next time he is on the channel.' On Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday morning McCririck described himself as 'a pariah', adding: 'I'm now unemployable because of what's happened here. My ability is unimpaired, my merit is unimpaired, it's not as if [Channel Four] brought other people in who are better than I am.' Others, it would seem, would argue differently. McCririck has appeared regularly on At The Races since 2004. It was disclosed at a preliminary hearing into his ageism claim in June that he received a signing-on fee of one hundred thousand smackers and a 'service fee' of a similar amount per annum when he joined its team of presenters, later reverting to a day-rate of two grand.

Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads has signed a new three-year deal with ITV to keep The X Factor and Britain's Got Toilets on the air until 2016. And, it had been such a lovely day up to that point, as well ...

The Daily Show correspondent John Oliver will host a weekly topical comedy show on HBO starting next year, the cable channel has announced. The move means Oliver will say goodbye to Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, which he joined as a correspondent and writer in 2006. He guest-hosted the show for three months this summer while Stewart was on sabbatical filming a movie. The hosting gig earned widespread praise and positioned Oliver as heir apparent to the coveted anchor seat. 'I'm incredibly excited to be joining HBO, especially as I presume this means I get free HBO now. I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at The Daily Show for the best seven and a half years of my life,' Oliver said in a statement on Thursday. 'But most of all, I'd like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it's entirely his fault.' Oliver has repeatedly described The Daily Show as his dream job. It is what brought him to the US, after somewhat moderate success as a comedian in his native England where he was seen as - an admittedly very funny - poor man's David Baddiel. HBO said the still-unnamed show will 'take a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events,' and take a Sunday evening slot. Since 2003, the channel has aired Real Time with Bill Maher, a show sometimes compared to The Daily Show because of its wry take on news events. At Comedy Central, Oliver hosted comedy showcase series John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show. He also had a recurring role on NBC's Community as psychology professor Ian Duncan, who has a drinking problem. 'We weren't otherwise searching for another weekly talk show, but when we saw John Oliver handling host duties on The Daily Show, we knew that his singular perspective and distinct voice belonged on HBO,' said HBO original programming president Michael Lombardo. 'We are extremely excited that John has agreed to make HBO his home.'

TV reporter Claire Metz turned up on a doorstep to do what looked like a routine interview and ended up being held at gunpoint. Metz, who works for WESH-TV in Orlando Florida, knocked on the door of one Shauna Justice, a woman who had been suspended from her job as a police dispatcher after allegations that she had failed in her duties. When Justice answered the door, she yelled at Metz to get off her property and waved a gun towards her. Metz backed away, asking Justice to calm down. Police were then called and Justice was extremely arrested. Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said that Justice told the police she was 'justified' in pointing the gun at Metz because she 'felt harassed to the point where she felt threatened.' Metz was not carrying a microphone and didn't have a camera in her hands. Justice was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A loaded nine millimetre semi-automatic handgun was confiscated by the law. She was later released on bail. Justice had been suspended without pay after an internal investigation revealed that she had been on her personal mobile phone instead of monitoring a trainee dealing with an emergency call about a man who had suffered a heart attack. The trainee gave the wrong location to an ambulance team. The heart attack victim died before the mistake could be rectified. Metz said: 'It was frightening. I could not have been more stunned because typically when someone doesn't want to talk to the media they just tell us.'

Russell Brand has described David Cameron and George Osborne as 'filthy, dirty, posh wankers.' Which may well be accurate but, hell, it's a bit of a pot-kettle-black type thing coming from auld Brandy, isn't it?

The husband of jailed Pussy Riot band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has told the BBC that he has spoken to his wife for the first time since she went missing twenty six days ago. Pyotr Verzilov said his wife was in a prison hospital in western Siberia. He said she was undergoing tests for 'various conditions' at the Tuberculosis Hospital in Krasnoyarsk. But, he added that she does not have tuberculosis. Verzilov said his wife had told him that conditions at the hospital were 'much better' than at the penal colony in Mordovia, where she had been held previously, and that she had not been beaten during the twenty six days she was missing. Ah, that's nice. A 'no beating' regime. How progressive. Russian prison authorities had issued a statement confirming that 'convict Tolokonnikova has arrived to the institution of the Russian prison service in the Krasnoyarsk region.' A spokesman said her exact location had been sent to her lawyer, who had instructions not to tell anyone else. Instructions which he, seemingly, failed to comply with. So, it'll probably be off to the salt mines with him as well. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and two other band members were sentenced to two years hard labour last year, after staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral. In the song they implored the Virgin Mary to 'throw Putin out.' Sadly, she didn't - well, she's a fictional construct, so it'd be a bit difficult for her - and The Butcher of Grosny remains thoroughly in place. They were charged with 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.' In this country, members of punk rock groups also incur press hatred and then, thirty years later, become national treasures and get to front butter commercials. Hopefully, it'll be much the same in Russia (although, I wouldn't bank on it. Butter's bloody expensive out there). One member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on appeal in October. But after her appeal attempt failed, Tolokonnikova went on hunger strike. She had complained of abuses by prison staff at Mordovia, including working long hours and being denied drinking water in her cell. She was moved to a medical unit and her whereabouts were unknown since October. Her husband, who was on his way to Krasnoyarsk when he spoke to the BBC, says he hopes to see her soon.

From a woman of conviction and dignity to Tulisa Contostavlos, who has accepted forty two grand damages from news website TNT after it published a still from a sex video which appeared on the Internet. The settlement was revealed during a hearing at London's High Court. It is looking at legal costs arising from breach of privacy proceedings brought by the singer against a number of defendants last March. TNT took the photo down as soon as it knew an injunction had been granted and that it was in Big Trouble but had already received up to nine thousand hits. Mr Justice Dingemans was told it was the 'only mainstream publisher' to display a still from the video. He said that had 'encouraged' people to look for illegal copies of the video elsewhere. TNT claimed the still added nothing to the story and the public would have been aware of the video from other coverage. The judge heard that, after an admission of liability, TNT made an offer of forty two thousand smackers compensation, which was accepted. Although it has since gone into administration, its insurers say they are willing to pay the money. In July last year, the twenty five-year-old N-Dubz singer won an apology from her ex-boyfriend, the rap artist Justin Edwards, who had initially denied being responsible for the tape appearing on the web. On that occasion, solicitor Jonathan Coad told the High Court that the invasion of her privacy was 'of the most severe kind imaginable.' He claimed that she had been 'particularly distressed' by the 'wholly untrue allegation' made by people that she was in some way complicit with the release of the footage.

Now, speaking of utterly worthless individuals there is no love lost, it would seem, between Ulrika Jonsson and odious, risible Kay Burley, who knocked the former ITV weather presenter out of Twatting About On Ice in a 2007 'skate-off.' Ulrikakaka wrote in a Sun guest column on Wednesday: 'Sky News presenter Kay Burley, who has been on-screen for one hundred and twenty eight years, says she is living proof that "older" women can work in TV. Yes Kay, but one tit doesn't make a spring, love.' Ooo. Get her. The odious, risible Sky News presenter, never short of a speedy retort, or any opinion on pretty much any subject - usually like herself, odious and risible - tweeted somewhat cryptically: 'Just off to work in my 4x4 to start my one hundred and twenty ninth year in front of the camera. Tune in.' (The "4x4" is, the Gruniad Morning Star claim, an unflattering reference to Jonsson's four children by four different fathers, rather than a type of car.) Big fight, little people. With odious, risible Burley just having signed a new five-year Sky contract, there are clearly many more miles left to run in the pair's feud. Perhaps we'll never care.

Rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove has condemned Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads after the media mogul was quoted as saying that the secret to success was 'to be useless at school then get lucky.' The education secretary, rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike told his bestest arse-licking chums at ScumMailonline that Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's comments were 'irresponsible and stupid' and said they undermined teachers' efforts. Although, arguably, not as much as rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove undermines teachers with his numskull twottish policies. Swings and roundabouts, innit?

Fans and family of yer actual Lou Reed have paid tribute to the late singer at a music-rich public memorial on the streets of New York. Billed as 'a simple celebration', the event saw fans dance to Reed's music which were played over loudspeakers. His widow, the performance artist Laurie Anderson, greeted well-wishers as they enjoyed the music. The former Velvet Underground frontman died on 27 October after complications from a liver transplant. The memorial was previewed on Reed's Facebook page as a gathering with 'no speeches, no live performances, just Lou's voice, guitar music and songs - playing the recordings selected by his family and friends.' Lou's songs could be heard for three hours on Thursday across the plaza next to the city's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and featured many high points of his long career. Reed's music frequently made reference to New York, a fact acknowledged by local fan Alan Bako. 'I like his music and I like the idea that he's a real New Yorker,' Bako said. 'I remember when I saw him at the Fillmore East with The Velvet Underground in the late 1960s,' he said, in reference to the legendary New York club. Known for songs including 'Perfect Day', 'Satellite of Love' and 'Walk on the Wild Side', Reed was considered one of the most influential singers and songwriters in rock. The Velvet Underground became renowned for their fusion of art and music and for their collaboration with Andy Warhol. As a solo artist, the musician released twenty studio LPs. Meanwhile, it has been announced that long-serving Rolling Stone magazine music critic and writer Anthony DeCurtis is to write a biography of Lou. Billed as 'the inside story' of Lou's life, the Little, Brown and Co book is untitled and has yet be assigned a publication date.

The folk singer Roy Harper has reportedly been charged with sexually abusing a girl from the age of twelve. The seventy two-year-old is due before Hereford Magistrates' Court on Monday accused of nine counts of sexual assault. West Mercia Police said that the alleged offences are alleged to have been committed in Herefordshire between 1975 and 1977 and relate to one victim. Harper has performed with Pink Floyd and was a massive influence a whole range of artists, including Led Zeppelin. The summons was issued to the musician on 16 October, after he was voluntarily interviewed by police at Heathrow Airport on 22 February. Harper has produced more than thirty LPs during his long and varied career and performed on a sold out tour just last month. He sang lead vocals on Pink Floyd's 'Have a Cigar' on their 1975 classic Wish You Were Here and was awarded the Mojo Hero Award in 2005.

Big business – cut-throat? Mercenary? Not on your doo-dah. As the festive period gets ever nearer, it would appear that the spirit of Santa is alive and well in the world of advertising. Sainsbury's Christmas advert, 'praised for its fresh and honest approach to the festivities', according to the Daily Scum Mail, handed rival Co-op an early present by featuring three of its products in the 'epic' commercial. 'We're delighted our delicious Christmas products have made it into their ad. It certainly gave us a chuckle,' said a Co-op spokesman. So, in this spirit of co-operation (s'cuse the pun), what other unlikely partnerships can we hope to see – Wee Shughie McFee competing in Strictly Come Dancing, maybe?

Some horribly sad news, now. The actor Paul Bhattacharjee, who appeared in the James Bond film Casino Royale and EastEnders killed himself after he was declared bankrupt, an inquest has heard. The body of Paul was found at Splash Point cliffs in Seaford in East Sussex on 12 July as reported by From The North at the time. The actor, from South London, was a 'proud man' who had a 'darkness inside him that was irreparable', according to his partner Emma McKie. Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of suicide. In a statement read to Eastbourne Magistrates' Court, McKie said Paul was a 'protective man and he couldn't have handled the bankruptcy becoming public knowledge. He would not have wanted to let me down or hurt me or his friends. The bankruptcy was the final straw after a life of major highs and lows.' Paul was last seen leaving the Royal Court Theatre in London's Sloane Square two days before his body was found. A post-mortem examination found that he died from multiple injuries. McKie told the inquest she last saw her partner on 10 July when he complained of having an upset stomach. She called him at 19.00 to say that she was heading home and he later texted, telling her to have dinner without him because he would be very late. The final text message McKie received from him at 21:16 contained the words: 'I'm sorry.' 'I do believe that Paul would take his own life,' McKie said. 'I knew about his past and the pain inside him, and I could see it in his eyes.' Craze said that he received an anonymous letter which said Paul's death was 'deliberate' and linked 'wholly and entirely to his bankruptcy.' He told the court: 'There isn't scope at all in this case and therefore the conclusion of this inquest will be that Gautam Paul Bhattacharjee took his own life whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed. He was extremely depressed at the time. This was a huge tragedy for a lot of people.' Paul was in a production of the play Talk Show at the Royal Court at the time of his death. He played a doctor in Casino Royale in 2006 and appeared in several episodes of EastEnders as Inzamam between 2008 and 2010. He had also appeared in Waking the Dead (in which he put in splendid turn as a serial killer), [spooks] and The Bill. Last year he appeared as Benedick opposite Meera Syal in an Royal Shakespeare Company production of Much Ado about Nothing.

'So, yer actual Keith Telly Topping, what was Thursday night's Record Player event at the Tyneside with Uncle Scunthorpe his very self like, then?' I hear you demand, dear blog reader. No, honest, I do. Of course, as usual, it was pure mad brilliant. Seventy five minutes of top Jimi H action in the area. Relaxed, dynamic and with a fabulous slide-show. Then, more or less as soon as the final notes of 'Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)' had faded into the ether and we'd had a sustained minute of applause, several of us had to cut a dash and make a quick schlep, double time, across town to Digital where yer actual Peter Hook And The Light were playing a set containing performances of two of New Order's finest, Movement and, a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping, Power, Corruption & Lies. They were already three songs into the former when yer actual Keith Telly Topping and his chums arrived at the club (thus meaning, of course, that we missed 'Dreams Never End', damn it). But, thankfully, we got all of the latter, including both encores (long, but terrific, versions of 'Everything's Gone Green' and 'Temptation', no less). Right good it was, an'all. The Light are a really tight little band and play the material beautifully and Hooky himself was in very good form - by turns jokey and terrifying. So, no change there then. Obviously, his voice is considerably lower than Barney's meaning that several of the songs had to be rearranged, but they did it well, I'll give them credit for that. Bit of a winner all round, then - and particularly good since it was a freebie for yer actual Keith Telly Topping and his mate Christian after winning the quiz at last week's Record Player. Of course, for every ying there is, always, a yang waiting around the corner like a piece of dogs turd, and the trip home, it has to be said, was a bit of a killer. Yer actual his very self felt somewhat like Sherpa Tensing after taking a Metro and two buses to get back to Stately Telly Topping Manor in, by the time he got there, the wee small hours of Friday morning.

So, have a guess what today's Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day is then, dear blog reader? Go on!

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