Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Dream Till The Sunrise

The BBC has revealed an official synopsis - albeit, quite a short one - for the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary episode. The Day Of The Doctor will be simulcast globally and screened in cinemas on Saturday 23 November. The full synopsis reads: 'The Doctors embark on their greatest adventure in this fiftieth anniversary special. In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London's National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as The Doctor's own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.' The landmark episode has been scripted by Doctor Who's showrunner and executive producer The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat, with Nick Hurran in the director's chair. Yer actual Matt Smith, David Tennant his very self, Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and John Hurt will star in the seventy five minute drama, which will feature classic monsters The Daleks and The Zygons.
David Tennant his very self and yer actual Matt Smith will both be guests on The Graham Norton Show on Friday 22 November, it has been confirmed. Presumably to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the murder of John Kennedy. or something. The two Doctors' joint chat show appearance broadcasts, of course, the night before the BBC's long-running popular family SF drama's anniversary episode. Other guests on Graham's show that evening will be Emma Thompson, Jimmy Carr and Robbie Williams.
BBC2, meanwhile, has announced a broadcast date for An Adventure In Space And Time. The drama - commissioned to mark Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary - will depict the creation of the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama and its early days under original lead William Hartnell (played by David Bradley). Written by yer actual Mark Gatiss, An Adventure In Space And Time will be shown on Thursday 21 November at 9pm, the BBC has confirmed. The transmission date is two days prior to Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary. An Adventure In Space And Time - also starring Jessica Raine and Brian Cox as verity Lambert and Sydney Newman - is part of a celebratory slate of programming marking the TV milestone.
Yer actual Neil Gaiman has been revealed as the final short story author of the Doctor Who e-book stories. The series is part of the fiftieth anniversary, with each short story being based on one of the eleven Doctors. Nothing O'Clock will be published towards the end of this month. Neil's story focuses on Matt Smith's character. Neil also revealed that he wanted to tell about the back-story of The Doctor's assistant, Amy Pond, before she got married. Neil said that he had created a new villain called The Kin, which he hopes will 'terrify' Doctor Who fans. The fifty two-year-old author added: 'Once I'd finished telling my story, in which I create an incredibly creepy Doctor Who villain or possibly bunch of villains called The Kin, there was definitely part of me who went "You know, wouldn't it be fun to put this on screen?" Wouldn't this be fun to see if I can actually make people wee themselves with terror in real life?' Other authors who contributed to the series include Malorie Blackman, Patrick Ness and Charlie Higson. Neil said that there is a part of him which 'wishes' he could write an episode for the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi. 'Even though I managed to find time where there was no time at all, to write this story, I haven't been able to find time to write an actual Doctor Who episode. So I think that may have to wait a series or two.' That is, of course, providing that shite story in the Scottish Scum Express claiming Peter's 'might' leave after one series turns out to be the utter tripe we all think it is.
The first official picture from Sherlock's third series has been released, featuring both yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman his very self. The BBC1 drama's new series will again span three episodes - The Empty Hearse by Mark Gatiss, The Sign Of Three by Stephen Thompson and His Last Vow by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He). Moffat said: 'It's been a long time since Sherlock Holmes jumped off that roof - it's time to reveal the truth about what happened between him and the pavement.' Yer man Gatiss added: 'Sherlock and John are back at last! And they're just where we want them - on the streets of London having mad, thrilling adventures.' Can't wait.
It's also been announced that the new series of Sherlock will premiere in London this December. The British Film Institute confirmed that BFI Southbank will host 'a special screening' of The Empty Hearse. Held on the afternoon of 15 December, the screening will be followed by a Q&A session with members of the cast and production crew, although specific attendees are yet to be confirmed. The BFI previously hosted a preview screening of the second series premiere, A Scandal In Belgravia, in December 2011, prior to the series being broadcast on BBC1 in January. Tickets will go on sale to BFI members from 11.30 on Wednesday morning and to the general public on 12 November.

Ripper Street topped Monday night's ratings outside of soaps despite a large drop in its overnight figure for the second episode of its second series. The BBC1 period chiller lost around seven hundred thousand punters week-on-week to 4.34 million at 9pm. On BBC2, University Challenge was watched by 3.18m at 8pm, followed by the opening episode of the new series of MasterChef: The Professionals with 3.19m at 8.30pm. And the scowling look on sour-faced Monica Galetti's mush when she was presented with what looked like a plate of sick at one point was worth the entry fee all on its own. The Choir also returned for a new series with 2.66m at 9pm, while Huey Morgan's big girly mug-smashing strop on Never Mind The Buzzcocks entertained - if that's the right word, 1.25m at 10pm. The Fun Lovin' Criminal proved that he, seemingly, isn't so fun lovin' after all as he stormed off the BBC2 quiz show after falling out with the guest host, one Rizzle Kicks. The singer started sulking after Rizzle (probably not his real name, I'm guessing) used Fun Lovin' Criminals lyrics in the Next Lines round of the competition, a standard practice on the comedy music show. There was also some mug smashing. It was quite funny. Bit of a storm in a teacup, really. ITV's Tales From Northumbria with wor geet canny Robson Green brought in 3.57m at 8pm. A repeat of the Martin Clunes drama A Mother's Son interested 3.24m at 9pm. On Channel Four, 999 attracted 1.52m at 9pm. Fresh Meat returned for a new series, with nine hundred and twenty thousand punters at 10pm. Channel Five's The Woman With Forty Cats was watched by 1.32m at 9pm. Under The Dome continued with nine hundred and forty six thousand at 10pm. On BBC4, Only Connect attracted nine hundred and thirteen thousand viewers at 8.30pm.
Strictly Come Dancing's overnight figures rose from the previous week to top the Sunday night ratings. The BBC1 dancing competition's audience was slightly down from Saturday night, but up nearly six hundred thousand viewers from its previous Sunday results show, attracting 10.12 million at 7.15pm in an episode in which yer actual Rachel Riley was voted off the competition. ITV's The X Factor dropped around again, more than five hundred thousand punters from last Sunday to 8.35m at 8pm. Downton Abbey's viewership rose by almost eight hundred thousand from last week's episode to 9.49m at 9pm. Also on BBC1, Countryfile pulled in a quite staggering 7.5m opposite The X Factor and The Paradise gained back nearly two hundred thousand viewers week-on-week with 4.73m at 8pm. Richard Hammond Builds A Planet gathered 2.06m at 9pm. Earlier, ITV's Surprise Surprise was watched by 3.75m numskull glakes at 7pm. On Channel Four, The Bigfoot Files interested 1.33m at 8pm. The latest episode of Homeland was watched by 1.71m at 9pm.
Here are the final, consolidated figures for the Top Twenty Four programmes, week-ending 27 October 2013:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 10.66m
2 Downton Abbey - Sun ITV - 9.73m
3 The Great British Bake-Off - Tues BBC2 - 9.45m
4 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 9.35m
5 The X Factor - Sun ITV - 8.29m
6 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.99m
7 Doc Martin - Mon ITV - 7.84m
8 Emmerdale - Thurs ITV - 7.64m
9 Countryfile - Sat BBC1 - 7.44m
10 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 6.94m
11 Atlantis - Sat BBC1 - 5.61m
12 DIY SOS: The Big Build - Tues BBC1 - 5.48m
13 The Paradise - Sun BBC1 - 5.44m
14 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 5.26m
15 Agatha Christie's Poirot - Wed ITV - 5.15m
16 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.87m
17 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.77m
18 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 4.76m
19 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.51m
20 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 4.45m
21 Match of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 4.40m
22 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.11m
23= By Any Means - Sun BBC1 - 4.07m
23= Watchdog - Tues BBC1 - 4.07m
All ITV programmes this week do not include HD figures as, according to the BARB website, they didn't bother to submit and HD figures. Similarly, Channel Four's entire week of ratings are missing in action. BBC2's top-rated programmes of the week, aside from The Great British Bake-Off's truly astounding audience, was University Challenge (3.31m). Followed by the wretched, unfunny The Wrong Mans (2.77m), Trust Me, I'm A Doctor (2.77m), Great Continental Railway Journeys (2.64m), Iceland Foods: Life In The Freezer (2.43m) and Qi (2.36m). Shoplifters & Proud topped Channel Five's ratings (2.32m). The Saturday night episode of The X Factor was watched by 7.40m on ITV (again, without HD figures). Strictly's Sunday audience was 10.19m.

Marcia Wallace, the late actress who provided the voice of Edna Krabappel in The Simpsons, has been remembered in the long-running cartoon's latest episode. Sunday's edition of the series began with Bart at the blackboard, standing beneath the poignant message: 'We'll really miss you Mrs K.' Wallace died of complications from pneumonia on 25 October at her home in Los Angeles at the age of seventy. The actress won an EMMY in 1992 for her work on the long-running animated show. Wallace appeared in one hundred and seventy eight episodes in all, voicing grumpy fourth-grade teacher Edna in all but three of them . The actress's death was confirmed on 26 October by The Simpsons' executive producer Al Jean, who said she had been 'brilliant and gracious. She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character,' he said in a message on Facebook.
In the latest of From The North's recurring series, Examples of things that are, like, totally geet cush, and make the world a better place by their very existence, number eighteen: Red sweaters. As modelled here by the divine Marilyn. Lovely.
Top Gear and Family Guy have joined forces for a special crossover. Jezza Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have been given a cartoon makeover in the style of Seth MacFarlane's comedy animation. Family Guy's Peter Griffin appears in the latest edition of the Top Gear Magazine. Which, no doubt, some louse of no importance in the Gruniad Morning Star will find a reason to whinge about. In a comic strip, Griffin reveals that the fastest he has ever driven is eighty eight mph. 'I'd have gone faster, but I ended up in 1955,' he says, in reference to the film Back To The Future.
I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) will return for a thirteenth series on Sunday 17 November, ITV has announced. So, that'll be worth avoiding, then.
Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks was involved in 'a deliberate effort to hide material from police' during the 'panic-stricken' days around the closure of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World, the jury in the phone-hacking trial has been told. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks - then chief executive of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World's publisher News International - and her personal assistant, Cheryl Carter, have been extremely accused of trying to conceal seven boxes of her notebooks the day after the announcement that the paper was to close down in shame and ignominy and two days before its final edition slithered out from under a rock. Both deny the charges. Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, told the jury on Monday that the 'attempt to hide evidence' happened during the 'fevered and anxious' days before the paper was closed in early July 2011 and whilst the nation celebrated. Edis said that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was 'aware' Scotland Yard had reopened its investigation into phone-hacking in January 2011 and had declared the company's 'determination to co-operate' with the police. 'There was always a course of justice in existence which could be perverted by hiding evidence. Hiding evidence was not acceptable at any time that year, but the atmosphere, we would suggest, became even more fevered as time went on,' said Edis. On 7 July 2011 it was announced that the Scum of the World was being such down. Again, to repeat, in shame and ignominy. On 8 July, Carter arranged to have the boxes containing w ell-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's notebooks removed from the News International archive in Enfield, the jury was told. That day, said Edis, was 'a significant day' as it was the day that the former editor of the Scum of the World and the prime minister's, if you will, 'chum', Andy Coulson, was very arrested by police. 'A media firestorm which was about to engulf the News of the World, so you can imagine the extremely anxious if not panic-stricken approach that must have been going on,' Edis told the jury. 'When we come to look at what Mrs Brooks was doing in July 2011, we always need to bear in mind the context. This was a big business for News International and for her. At all times she was aware there was a police inquiry, Operation Weeting,' he added. The jury heard how Carter, along with her son Nick and Gary Keegan, the husband of well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's other personal assistant, Deborah Keegan, went to Enfield to collect seven boxes of notebooks and took them to Carter's home. They were told they were selected for this exercise two days before the Scum of the World was to close because they 'could be trusted.' Later, in an interview with police under caution, Carter said that the boxes had, in fact, 'been mislabelled' and contained her own notebooks, the prosecution said. The boxes of notebooks have never been found, Edis added. Carter was also alleged to have given 'a false alibi' to the police about the whereabouts of well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks on the same day, claiming that she was 'not in the office', when mobile phone records show that the two of them had been at News International's Wapping headquarters. 'The false alibi was quite dishonest to cover what happened. Because she'd remember where the boss was on the Friday before the News of the World closed, wouldn't she?' said Edis. He claimed that Carter not only lied about the contents of the boxes but also about the reasons for removing them. Carter said when she was being questioned by police the reason why the boxes were removed was because Ian Mayes, the News International archivist, had asked her to move them because the archive was 'downsizing.' Edis told the jury that was, simply, not true. 'So, there were a number of falsehoods about this exercise all of which were completely unnecessary if they related to material related to Mrs Carter, not Mrs Brooks,' said Edis. Edis also alleged that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks ordered the deletion of e-mails which covered the entire period of her editorship of the Scum of the World and the Sun. It was 'normal policy' for companies to have e-mail deletion policies to improve efficiency. 'There's nothing wrong with that in principle,' he said, and News International's original plan was to delete everything 'before December 2008.' But, by looking at 'Mrs Brooks's personal involvement' in the e-mail deletion, 'we may learn what she hoped it might achieve for her', he claimed. In January 2010 Brooks sent an e-mail to News International's legal affairs department asking: 'What happens to my e-mails with deletion?' In June, she inquired why the deletion programme was not already under way. 'That's her chasing the implementation of the e-mail deletion,' said Edis. Then, in August 2010, Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks sent another e-mail reiterating that 'everyone needed to know' that 'anything before January 2010 will not be kept.' When that date during January 2010 was queried, she replied: 'Yes. January 2010. Clean sweep, Thanks.' Edis said: 'So there's a change in the date. Now it is anything before January 2010. Which happens to catch her entire time as a working editor at News International.' On the changing of the e-mail deletion date, Edis said: 'We suggest that shows Mrs Brooks may have had a personal interest in this email deletion policy – both to the date of the cut-off and for her own personal e-mails – also that it should be got on with. This is all going on in the context of the Guardian having published its article in the summer of 2009. We suggest that there is some evidence that Mrs Brooks was keen to get rid of the material that related to her activities when she was editor, first of the News of the World and then of the Sun.' The jury was also shown an exchange of e-mails dating back to December 2010 between well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks and Matthew Anderson, News International's head of corporate affairs. Brooks e-mailed Anderson about her 'concerns' that Vince Cable, the business secretary, would not change his view on News International parent company News Corporation's bid to take full control of BSkyB. In an e-mail dated 16 December 2010, she protested that the Financial Times was 'attacking News International because News Corporation are trying to buy Sky', adding: 'It's not going to change Cable's view of us.' Anderson replied by saying that he was 'confident' that they could 'put some distance' between the company and the phone-hacking days of the past. 'What we lose by not putting out a statement is credibility. We have spent months moving from "rogue reporter" to "zero tolerance" with some success,' he wrote. Five days later, on 21 December 2011, Cable was stripped of responsibility for ruling on News Corp's Sky takeover after telling two undercover Daily Torygraph reporters he was 'at war' with Rupert Murdoch. A Richard Burton line from the classic war movie Where Eagles Dare was also quoted as part of an alleged conspiracy to hinder the police investigating well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks the day that she was arrested, the trial heard. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks and her husband, the millionaire Old Etonian Charlie, embarked on what the prosecution described as 'a quite a complicated and risky' cover-up designed to hinder police searches of their homes. The operation, which involved coded text messages between security staff citing Burton's line 'Broadsword calling Danny Boy', went spectacularly wrong when a cleaner at the Brooks's Chelsea home found a computer in the car park belonging to millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks hidden behind a bin and reported it to the police. The jury heard that security staff drove to the couple's Oxfordshire home the night before well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's arrest in July 2011, allegedly removed material, and took it to News International's offices in Wapping. The trial was told that on 17 July, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks and her husband returned to London, and went to their solicitor's office and then to Lewisham police station where a pre-arranged interview was due to take place. The crown showed the jury a still photograph timed at 12.15pm on 17 July from CCTV footage of millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks with a jiffy bag and a laptop in the underground car park of the couple's London home. 'He comes around the corner and turns left, just off camera, that's where the bins are,' said Edis. 'He returns [into the view of the camera] empty-handed.' The prosecution alleged that this was to ensure the items were not seized during the police search. At 2.06pm, News International's head of security, Mark Hanna, arrived and was later photographed with a brown briefcase in his hand. The crown inferred that this had come from Oxfordshire where Hanna had been the night before with the couple. He then collected the jiffy bag and the laptop from the area of the rubbish bins, the Crown claimed. When 'the coast was clear' to return the material to Chelsea, Hanna came up with a cover story, the prosecution claimed, because they may have been seen entering the building by press or police who may still have been in the area following the search. A security operative - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was asked to collect the material in Wapping, but also to pick up some pizzas to look like he was a takeaway delivery person. He arrived at the Chelsea apartment building just after 9.30pm on 17 July. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was still being interviewed at Lewisham police station at the time but her husband was upstairs at home, Edis said. The jury was shown CCTV footage of the security man with a black bag in his hand 'heading off in the direction' of a bin in an underground car park. 'He returns empty-handed,' said Edis. A friend of millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks went down to the car park to collect the pizza from the security man, who then reported back to his line manager (who also cannot be named for legal reasons). 'Broadsword calling Danny Boy. Pizza delivered and the chicken is in the pot,' he texted, the jury was told. Edis explained that the reference was from the movie When Eagles Dare. The line manager texted back: 'Fucking amateurs! We should have done a DLB or brush contact on the riverside! Cheers mate, log in the hors ad [sic] "pizza delivery"'. Edis added that 'DLB' is a reference to a 'dead letter box', another reference to spy thrillers and a technique for handing sensitive material from one person to another. He then told the jury that the misspelled phrase at the end of the text was to 'log in the hours as pizza delivery' because he could not have said 'log in the hours as perverting the course of justice.' It is alleged the bin bag included a brown briefcase that had been taken from the Brooks's Oxfordshire home earlier that morning. Edis told the jury that this was 'not relevant.' He added that the bag contained what 'they thought was safe to bring back.' He added: 'What the prosecution say is that this whole exercise was quite complicated and quite risky and liable to go wrong.' There would need to be 'a real purpose. Otherwise you are just attracting suspicion to yourself for no reason at all. It wasn't just to prevent the police from having a bag of unopened post. The only rational explanation for it is it was designed to hide material so that the police wouldn't get it.' He added: 'All we have to prove is that the activity was designed to hinder the police searches and had a tendency to do so.' Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, millionaire Old Eotnian Brooks and Mark Hanna all deny the charges against them. The trial continues.

The rape scene in Downton Abbey will not be investigated by media regulator Ofcom despite more than four hundred whinges from viewers. The regulator said that it would not be taking any further action over Lord Snooty's controversial storyline in which Anna May Bates - played by Joanne Froggatt - was attacked and raped by a guest's valet. The scene in the Sunday night period drama, watched by more than nine million people, allegedly prompted 'outrage' among some viewers and a huge amount of coverage and debate in the media for weeks afterwards. A total of two hundred and forty four complaints were made to Ofcom, with around two hundred received by ITV. Just in case you're wondering, that equates to approximately 0.0048 of one per cent of the total viewing audience. So, seemingly the 'controversial' scene wasn't anywhere near as controversial with the vast majority of viewers as the press would like to have us believe. Ofcom, having studied the show and the complaints, said on Monday that it would not be launching a formal investigation of the broadcast. The regulator decided that any 'potential offence' was 'justified' by the context in which the scenes were represented. It also took into account the incident was broadcast at 9.45pm, after the watershed, and was accompanied by a clear pre-transmission warning by ITV. Ofcom also took into account the fact that there were no graphic scenes of the attack itself, which took place off screen behind closed doors. It is understood that a number of the whinges were from people who did not think the storyline was 'necessarily an appropriate theme' to be exploring in a Sunday night period drama. Whatever the hell that had to do with them. The fact that the production disagreed would suggest that, perhaps, those viewers might like to turn over and watch something else instead of whinging about it like a spoiled child who's been denied their chocolate ration. Lord Snooty, the drama's creator, has previously defended the storyline broadcast in the episode on 6 October. The scene showed Anna being confronted in the kitchen by Mister Green, the valet, played by Nigel Harman. When Anna fought back, she was hit over the head and dragged to a small room. Although the attack was not shown, viewers could hear Green hitting Anna before she emerged later in her underdress with cuts and bruises to her face. 'If we'd wanted a sensational rape, we could have stayed down in the kitchen with the camera during the whole thing and wrung it out. The point of our handling is not that we're interested in sensationalising, but we're interested in exploring the mental damage and the emotional damage,' Lord Snooty growled, seemingly grossly offended that any of those nasty 'common people' had dared to question his right to do whatever the hell he likes, when he likes, to whom he likes. He is, after all, a Tory, that attitude sort of goes with the territory. 'Downton deals in subjecting a couple of characters per series to a very difficult situation and you get the emotions that come out of these traumas,' Lord Snooty claimed. 'When you handle very difficult and sensitive storylines, the minus is that they do expect more work from the audience but the plus is they can take you to a helpful place in terms of self analysis. The fact that [viewers] engage with it is sort of what you pray for as a programme-maker, because with most series that's not happening. It's always a compliment that everyone gets so involved in the show.'
Mark Byford, the former deputy director general of the BBC, has defended the pay-off package which saw him leave the BBC with over a million smackers. He claimed, unconvincingly, on BBC Radio 5Live's Victoria Derbyshire Show: 'I absolutely don't think it was greed on my part at all.' Others may disagree. This blogger included. Byford left the BBC in 2011 after being made redundant as part of a drive to cut the number of highly-paid senior executives at the BBC. He side-stepped questions about paying any of the money back. He said the pay-off was 'properly approved' and added: 'I absolutely think I've done no wrong.' A report by the National Audit Office, released in July this year, criticised the BBC for paying out twenty five million notes in severance to one hundred and fifty outgoing senior BBC managers - two million knicker more than their contracts had stipulated. Byford's payment was revealed to be the highest at nine hundred and forty nine thousand smackers, after thirty two years of service at the BBC. Byford, speaking to Derbyshire during an interview to promote his new book, admitted it 'was a large sum' - no shit? - but claimed that he had not wanted to leave the corporation. 'I lost my job, I was made redundant, I left when I was told to leave by the BBC. After thirty two years of working there I was devoted to the corporation,' said Byford. 'It was a lot of money and it was in a context that I was the number two at the BBC and I'd served more than thirty years there. It was in a context of being made redundant in a very big cull of senior management. I felt very strongly myself that it should touch every level including right at the very top.' He continued: 'I didn't want to go, I loved my job but I absolutely understood that if [redundancy] touched me I would accept it.' When Byford left the BBC in 2011 his pay-off was made up of twelve months' salary worth four hundred and seventy four thousand quid, with a further four hundred and seventy four thousand smackers pay in lieu of notice, despite the fact that he had stayed on to work on coverage of the Olympics and the Royal Wedding. He also received seventy three grand for holiday pay which he had not used since 2004. Former director general Mark Thompson, who oversaw Byford's payment, was questioned about the issue by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee in September this year. He told them that Byford's pay-off had represented 'value for money' and denied current director general Tony Hall's claims that the BBC had 'lost its way.' Since taking up the job in April Hall has introduced a cap on BBC severance payments of one hundred and fifty grand. When asked by Derbyshire if he deserved his massive pay-out, Byford said that it was 'what had been approved' by the 'appropriate body' at the BBC, the remuneration committee. Which isn't really answering the question she asked, but never mind. 'I wasn't there, I took no part in it and I was given what I was given,' he said. He added that he had not entered into any salary negotiations 'since the day I joined the BBC, aged twenty on a holiday job.' In September, former BBC chairman Lord Grade defended Byford's pay-off during an interview on Newsnight and claimed that Byford was 'a great asset to the BBC.' Grade also suggested that Byford could have prevented several recent crises at the BBC, including the failure to broadcast a Newsnight investigation into the Jimmy Savile fiasco. However on Tuesday, Byford told Derbyshire that it was 'impossible to say' whether he would have handled things differently. 'I don't think you or I can answer that with any sense of accuracy or insight, because I wasn't there,' said Byford. 'As part of my responsibilities the most complex and sensitive editorial issues would land on my desk. Whether those things would have been handled in a different way you just can't say.' Byford also denied that he had ever heard rumours about dirty old scallywag and rotten rotter Savile during his career at the BBC. 'I started at the BBC in 1979 at BBC Leeds, his home city, my home area of West Yorkshire. As you said, I stayed in the BBC for thirty two years. I never heard any of those rumours or anecdotes or claims about sexual abuse on BBC premises,' claimed Byford. He continued: 'Obviously I'm as horrified, disgusted as any other individual or employee at what happened. Obviously the first and primary concern is about the victims of that abuse. It's absolutely horrific. The BBC has got to learn those lessons and ensure that that kind of behaviour and incident can never ever happen again.'

Christopher Jefferies, the Bristol landlord wrongly accused of the 2010 murder of landscape architect Joanna Yeates and vilified by the scum tabloids as a result, is to have his story dramatised by ITV. Written by Peter Morgan and directed by Roger Michell, The Lost Honour is now filming in Bristol. The excellent Jason Watkins, from Being Human, will play the former teacher. Michell, a former pupil of Jefferies', said that the two-part drama would be 'a vivid and ultimately uplifting account of a man who was wrongly accused. It's a story that celebrates our right to be eccentric,' continued the director of Notting Hill and Le Week-end. 'It also, as it happens, is the story of a rather brilliant man who was once my English teacher.' 'No one will ever forget the man with the eccentric hair who became so connected with the murder of Joanna Yeates,' said Morgan, BAFTA-winning writer of Frost/Nixon and The Queen. 'I want to make sure that no-one forgets the same man who was acquitted, and who fought back to clear his name and became a very British kind of hero.' Jefferies was arrested after the twenty five-year-old was found dead in December 2010 but was eliminated from the inquiry some time afterwards. His detention in connection with the murder sparked massive press interest and he late, successfully, and very satisfyingly, sued a number of newspapers for mucho wonga for their crass and ignorant libels of him during a period when he had not been charged with any crime. In 2011, Christopher told The Leveson Inquiry into media ethics that the media had 'shamelessly vilified' him and that there had been a 'frenzied campaign to blacken his character'. Earlier this year, Christopher - finally - received a letter from Avon and Somerset Police apologising for the distress he suffered during the probe into Joanna's death. He is set to be played by Watkins, a member of the National Theatre company who has recently appeared in Doctor Who and The Wrong Mans. Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak, Joanna's neighbour, was jailed for a minimum of twenty years in October 2011 after being found guilty of her murder.

An episode of BBC2's Secret History Of Our Streets about Deptford High Street has won two prizes at the Grierson British Documentary awards. The programme, about how a thriving market became one of the poorest areas in London, won the reader's choice award and best historical documentary. Radio Times readers voted for their favourite in the magazine's poll. Artist Grayson Perry was named best documentary presenter for his All In The Best Possible Taste on Channel Four. The prestigious best documentary series award went to David Nath and James Newton for BBC4's The Year The Town Hall Shrank, which followed the effects of the economic downturn in Stoke-on-Trent. Most entertaining documentary went to Nina Conti for he, if you will, 'mockumentary' Nina Conti: A Ventriloquist's Story - Her Master's Voice. Other winners included Ben Anthony's one-off documentary 7/7: One Day In London, which won the best documentary on a contemporary theme award. It focused on the aftermath of the London bombings in 2005 when fifty two people died and more than seven hundred were injured in the capital. The judges, lead by Emma Loach, praised the film as 'tender and profoundly moving.' The programme won best single documentary at this year's BAFTA TV awards. Film-maker John Battsek took home the coveted Grierson Trustees Award. Battsek set up Passion Pictures in 1999 and has gone on to produce more than twenty five documentary features including Searching For Sugar Man, which won a best documentary Oscar earlier this year. Channel Four's Syria: Across The Lines won best current affairs documentary, while best arts documentary went to BBC1's Imagine: The Fatwa - Salman's Story, about award-winning author Salman Rushdie. The ceremony took place on Monday evening at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's Southbank and was hosted by TV presenter and journalist Claudia Whatsherface.

MasterChef: The Professionals judge Michel Roux Jr has said that British cooking shows are not as 'fancy' as their French counterparts. The chef explained that The Great British Bake Off and its French version are the same format, 'but the tests are a little bit more fancy – put it that way.' He also discussed France's MasterChef, where the contestants are challenged to taste raw animal innards and identify the creature they come from. On whether the British MasterChef could follow suit, Roux revealed that he and fellow judge Monica Galetti had been trying to persuade producers to do exactly that. 'To be brutally honest, I do hope one day we get to that stage,' he told the Radio Times. 'We will get there. Personally, I don't find that shocking and I strongly believe that the British viewer is ready – that the British viewer would be quite happy to watch that and would be fascinated.' Roux added that his favourite TV show at the moment is La Meilleure Boulangerie De France, which translates as France's Best Bakery. He said: 'You do want to lick the screen. It's just beautiful. Obviously in England we don't have any – or as many – artisan bakers or proper boulangeries but one day when there are it's going to be a programme that's great to make.'

Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe will return to BBC2 in early 2014. The series will follow Charlie's annual hour-long Christmas and New Year round-up Charlie Brooker's 2013 Wipe. 'Whether it's news, or film, TV, or Twitter, if it's making the agenda and it's worth pointing a finger and laughing at Charlie will tackle it,' said producers. 'And if there's nothing to tackle, then expect lengthy chunks on the worst adverts or most pointless events.' Doug Stanhope returns to the show, as do the show's own Philomena Cunk and Barry Shitpeas, in addition to brand-new contributors Brian Limond and Jake Yapp. The show is written and presented by Brooker, with Annabel Jones and Nick Vaughan-Smith as executive producer and Ali Marlow as series producer.

As mentioned in a previous blog, on Monday evening yer actual Keith Telly Topping was a guest of the legend that is Hebburn's Steff Peddie on his regular comedy nights at The Stand in Newcastle. And, jolly good fun it was too. Both Steff and yer actual Alfie Joey were on proper fine form and yer actual Keith Telly Topping had a reet good time on the sofa with Steff alongside fellow guest, the cage fighting champ Colin 'Freakshow' Fletcher (nice bloke, and very funny too). Here's a shot taken at the event of Steff 'admiring', if that's the right word, Alf's darza shoes.
And, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's one of the songs Alf did in his Tony Christie-style set. Nice.

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