Thursday, November 07, 2013

Transmit The Message To The Receiver

The official trailer for Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor will be broadcast this weekend. The clip will first be shown at 8pm on BBC1 on Saturday 9 November, between Strictly Come Dancing and Atlantis.
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has promised an 'epic' and 'sublime' Doctor Who anniversary episode. 'Matt and David got on so well and their interaction on-screen is a sublime double act,' Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) said. 'It was eye-twisting at times. You don't quite realise how these two men have become hard wired into your brain as The Doctor.' Yer actual John Hurt has been cast in the landmark episode as a mysterious previously unknown incarnation of The Doctor, with Moffat calling the actor 'one of the most distinguished distinguished actors this country has produced and has now become part of Doctor Who mythology.'
Meanwhile, a series of new images from the The Day of The Doctor have been released by the Beeb. Including these two.
Nice, aren't they? And then, the BBC and BBC Worldwide have also launched this week a new interactive Doctor Who website which will be powered by fans. Although whether that's a good thing or not is an question entirely. By uploading content to www.doctorwhosavetheday.com, fans can unlock five sneak peek clips from the fiftieth anniversary special. The new digital TARDIS website pulls together the best fan-produced content from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with a specially shot video - featuring yer actual Matt Smith his very self greeting users on arrival in a friendly manner.
BBC2 have released the trailer for their forthcoming programme The Science Of Doctor Who, an investigation of science concepts behind the series to be presented by Professor Brian Cox next Thursday, 14 November at 9:00pm.
BBC Worldwide have released the details for the forthcoming Doctor Who DVD of The Enemy of the World, which is due out in the UK from the 25 November 2013. And it's - really rather fantastic - cover.
Meanwhile, the Canadian broadcaster SPACE have now confirmed that they will be broadcasting An Adventure In Space And Time on Friday 22 November at 9:00pm ET, the time slot reported for BBC America earlier in the week. The press release re-iterated that the channel would also simulcast The Day Of The Doctor the following day, though the time has yet to be confirmed.
Agatha Christie's Poirot dropped over one hundred and fifty thousand viewers for its third new episode on Wednesday, overnight data reveals. Despite the small dip in overnight ratings, the crime drama attracted an audience of 4.21 million and an average audience share of eighteen per cent when it was broadcast on ITV at 8pm. Topping - indeed, telly topping if you will - Wednesday night's ratings outside of soaps was BBC1's Britain On The Fiddle. The second episode in the three-part series was watched by 4.82m viewers at 9pm. Watchdog gathered 3.92m earlier at 8pm. On BBC2, Masterchef: The Professionals brought in 2.78m at 8pm. David Mitchell (the funny one) and Robert Webb's Ambassadors drew nine hundred thousand punters at 9pm. Channel Four's River Cottage appealed to eight hundred and eighty thousand at 8pm, 2.01m tuned in for Grand Designs at 9pm and 1.56 watched Gogglebox at 10pm. On Channel Five, 1.12m saw Too Fat To Fly at 9pm.

Yer actual David Tennant's The Escape Artist dropped nearly a million viewers on Tuesday night, according to overnight data. The BBC1 drama was still the most-watched show outside of soaps and news, with 4.11 million punters at 9pm. On BBC2, the second episode of MasterChef: The Professionals attracted 2.90m at 8pm, while Iceland Foods continued with 2.21m at 9pm. ITV's Champions League coverage of The Scum's 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad was watched by four million viewers at 7.30pm. On Channel Four, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners interested 1.87m at 8pm. Embarrassing Bodies the appealed to 1.37m at 9pm, although Christ only knows why. Masters of Sex continued with six hundred and seventy seven thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's The Mentalist thrilled 1.18m at 9pm, while Castle brought in eight hundred and ten thousand at 10pm.

Speaking of MasterChef, the second episode of this year's series saw the first elimination. Four of the first batch of eight chefs faced scowly-mushed Monica's infamous Skills Test with Gregg's Wallace adding totally unhelpful comments of acid wit from the sidelines. Then, Michel Roux challenged them to recreate his biersuppe - which a couple of them, more or less, managed. That was followed by them making a classic dish of their own choosing. 'I'm a very capable chef. I deal with pressure and whatever's put in front of me,' claimed young Lindsay. Monica and Michel, seemingly, did not agree and out she went. It was noticeable, also, that the producers have been up to their old regular trick on deliberately including some really boastful statements from the very contestants that then conspire to fall flat on their faces; case in point, young Matt, who cockily announced to all an sundry that he reckons he's good enough to win the competition. Twice. That he's even still in it, despite serving up what looked like a plate of cold sick during the opening episode and making, effectively, cheese-on-toast instead of choux buns on the second was more down to Lindsay's - several - disasters than anything he actually did himself that was anything even remotely like good. Thankfully, the other two chefs on the episode, Marcus and - especially - 'spice man' Luke seem to have something about them and could go far. As, indeed, did Scott and Patrice two of the quarter finalist qualifiers from episode three.
Weird TV moment of the week - by about a million miles - was in the latest episode of The Blacklist watching the great Robert Sean Leonard - Wilson in House - playing a genocidal chemist. Strange.
Olivia Colman her very self has confirmed that she will star in the second series of the hugely successful ITV detective drama Broadchurch, reprising her role as Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller. The murder mystery gripped viewers in April, with a peak audience of nine million. The drama about the death of an eleven-year-old boy also won critical acclaim. Double BAFTA-winner Colman said that her return was 'set in stone' but added that she would not be in the - much dreaded - US remake. Her Broadchurch co-star, yer actual David Tennant, is reportedly starring in the America version, which is expected to begin filming in January for broadcast on the FOX network during the 2014-2015 season. And which, despite old Ten Inch's presence, will still probably be shite. Colly, who is also currently filming the return of BBC2 comedy Rev, said how 'lucky' she felt to be doing a wide range of roles. 'I've always enjoyed my work and I'm lucky to be doing it,' she said. Colly won two BAFTAs in May for her roles in Accused and Twenty Twelve. She and Tennant also won best actor and actress for Broadchurch at the Crime Thriller Awards in October, while co-star Andrew Buchan was also named best supporting actor. Additionally, the series took home the award for best TV programme. The drama is also being adapted into a novel, according to the Daily Torygraph, which said the rights have been bought by Little, Brown Book Group. Scriptwriter Chris Chibnall is said to be co-writing the book with British psychological thriller author Erin Kelly. The newspaper said it will be published in August 2014. By which time, presumably, some potential readers might have forgotten that it was Joe Miller what done it.

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 nineteen: The 1960s.
It's also worth remembering, of course, that it was frequently very cold during that particular decade.
Yeah. I think that pretty much sums it up.
The Scum of the World's managing editor told police that the newspaper had listened to murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's voicemail whilst she was still thought to be missing, the jury at the phone-hacking trial has heard. Stuart Kuttner called Surrey Police on 13 April 2002 to inform them that a recruitment agency in Telford had left the message on the thirteen-year-old's mobile phone. Kuttner urged the police to check the lead, the Old Bailey was told. He has denied the charge of conspiring to hack phones. Kuttner, of Woodford Green, was the Scum of the World's managing editor for twenty two years. He was not in court on Tuesday due to, allegedly, being in 'ill health.' In his absence, the court heard that Kuttner told officers the newspaper had gained access to Milly's mobile phone number and pin and had told them about the call from the recruitment agency. Police told him that the message was thought to have been left by 'a professional hoaxer' - a claim which was then repeated on page nine of the tabloid the following day. Later on 13 April, chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck also called police and confirmed them that the newspaper 'had access' to Milly's voicemail, had obtained the number from alleged 'sources' and that it intended to run the story the following day, the jury of nine men and three women heard. Giving evidence, a senior Surrey Police press officer, Sarah McGregor, later told the court that Kuttner and Thurlbeck - who has already pleaded extremely guilty to phone-hacking - had contacted Surrey Police. She said that she was told by an officer that Kuttner had offered the force 'significant information.' The officer claimed Kuttner had also said the newspaper had Milly's mobile and pin numbers. McGregor added that Thurlbeck had said the newspaper had 'obtained' Milly's mobile number and pin number 'from school children' - a claim which was subsequently shown to be a bare-faced lie. McGregor, who was relying on notes made at the time, was challenged on her account by Jonathan Kaplan QC representing Kuttner. He argued that in her notes she had recorded that the Scum of the World 'had stated' - not that Kuttner himself had stated. 'NotW is a substitution for Thurlbeck,' he said. 'That should be "Mister Thurlbeck stated.' But McGregor responded that that was 'not the case' and that her notes were accurate. The court also heard that a week after the initial contact with the police about Milly, Kuttner sent an e-mail to McGregor in which he admitted: '... we passed on information about messages left on Amanda Dowler's mobile phone. In addition, we advised of other messages left on this number and we offered a copy of a tape recording of the messages and other assistance.' Under cross-examination, McGregor said that no officer from the Surrey Police 'to her knowledge' had considered investigating the Scum of the World for phone-hacking at that time. She said she had not considered raising the possibility that hacking was illegal, telling the court, 'I'm not a detective.' In the Scum of the World's first edition, the story quoted the voicemail message left by the recruitment service which said: 'We're ringing because we've got some interviews starting, can you call me back?' By the second edition the text of the message had been edited out, while third edition focused on 'outrage' at the possibility that it had been a hoax, the court heard. The court was also told that the paper's former editor, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks was in Dubai on 13 April but there was alleged contact between her and colleagues, including her then deputy, the prime minister's former, if you will 'chum', Andy Coulson. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks and Coulson both deny conspiracy to hack phones. Another witness, William Hennessy, told the court that he had met well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks 'through a friend' while on holiday in Dubai in April 2002. While socialising on one occasion with well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks and her then husband, TV hard man Ross Kemp, he said that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks had 'made her excuses' to leave and he had overheard her saying that she had something 'to do with the missing Surrey schoolgirl.' Earlier, the court published three e-mails between the Scum of the World's then head of news, Ian Edmondson and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, which prosecutors say show the former 'tasked' Mulcaire with phone-hacking. Edmondson, from Raynes Park, also denies conspiracy to phone hack. Last week, the court was told that the first e-mail message between Mulcaire and Edmondson, on 20 April 2006, referred to the MP Tessa Jowell and her husband Frank Mills, at a time when Mills had been accused of involvement in bribery linked to former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi. It said: 'Substantial traffic both ways, also looks like she's selling up.' Another message, from 27 April 2006, referred to Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and contained a reference to 'press * and Pin', which prosecutors suggested was Mulcaire telling Edmondson how to hack a phone. The third e-mail referred to an adviser to former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, who was at the centre of a publicity storm because he was accused of having an affair. Coulson, of Charing in Kent, who also denies conspiracy to commit misconduct, left the newspaper industry in 2007 and went on to become David Cameron's communications director. And 'chum'. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, of Churchill, who was editor of the Scum of the World between 2000 and 2003, and her PA Cheryl Carter, of Chelmsford, both deny perverting the course of justice. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks denies another charge of perverting the course of justice, along with her husband millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks and News International's former head of security, Mark Hanna. She and Coulson also deny separate charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct and general bad, wicked naughtiness.

A former Scum of the World reporter whose byline appeared on the 2002 Milly Dowler story which referred to her hacked voicemails has told a jury that he 'did not write' the article in question. Robert Kellaway said: 'My recollection is I was never assigned to the Milly Dowler story, it wasn't a running story that I was part of.' He added: 'As far as I am aware, the first time I saw this article was in the summer of 2011.' Asked to explain how it was that his name could have got on it, he claimed that it could have been 'a simple production error.' Another explanation was, he suggested, that journalists on the disgraced and disgraceful Sunday tabloid were judged by a 'key performance indicator' based on the number of times their names were published in the paper. Sometimes when, through no fault of their own, a reporter's name had not appeared for some time, the 'news desk append your name to a story in order to keep your byline count up', he said. 'If that's what happened, it's slightly ironic that this might have been a professional favour that somebody has attempted to do,' he said. He said that he was 'not involved' in the Dowler story until 2004. The phone-hacking trial has heard that the Scum of the World published two versions of the Milly Dowler story on 14 April 2002, in which the paper reported claims that the missing Surrey schoolgirl was said to have been contacted by a recruitment agency in Telford, offering an interview at a local Epson printer factory. The paper reported that the claims 'could' be a hoax. One article was under Kellaway's byline and the other under that of another reporter. The jury has been told the information came from the hacking of Milly's mobile phone while the schoolgirl was still missing, and before her body had been discovered. Kellaway was asked by Timothy Langdale, QC for the then Scum of the World deputy editor Andy Coulson, if he was handed any tapes of the voicemails or knew about Dowler's voicemail messages being listened to or accessed. He replied tat he had not. The trial continues.

Claims for phone-hacking damages brought by the former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and three others against Mirra Group Newspapers can go ahead, the High Court has ruled. Claims brought by Eriksson, David and Victoria Beckham's former nanny, Abbie Gibson and ex-footballer Garry Flitcroft can go ahead, Mr Justice Mann said. And, he dismissed outright an application to strike out parts of claims brought by Eriksson and the actress Shobna Gulati. MGN denies the claims 'vigorously.' An application for MGN - the publisher of the Daily Mirra, Sunday Mirra and the People - to appeal will be heard at a later date. The judge said all four claims for breach of confidence and misuse of private information - which were filed at the High Curt in October 2012 - should survive in their present form. In his ruling, he said that the claims did not set out direct evidence of hacking. Instead, they were based on inference from a number of facts said to be evidence of a pattern of phone-hacking in the tabloid industry generally and at MGN in particular. In the case of Gibson and Flitcroft, the judge rejected the assertion that their claims had 'no reasonable prospect of success.' Neither of the two had been told by the Metropolitan Police that they may have been victims of hacking. He said 'significant blows' had been landed on Flitcroft's case but it had not been destroyed to such an extent that it had no reasonable or real prospect of success. He also took into account that MGN had not denied that Gibson's phone had been hacked. 'The absence of even a bare denial is, for the purposes of the present application, of some significance, and the alternative disclosure would not require the identification of a source,' he added. In a statement MGN said it continued 'to contest the four claims vigorously.'

Jailed kiddie-fiddler Stuart Hall has appeared in court to face fifteen charges of rape and one count of indecent assault involving two girls. The allegations relate to girls aged sixteen or under and are said to have taken place between 1976 and 1981. Hall is currently in jail serving thirty months after pleading extremely guilty to fourteen counts of indecent assault. He appeared at Preston Magistrates' Court and is due before the city's crown court on 29 November. The latest allegations are said to have been carried out in Greater Manchester and Cheshire. Last month, it was announced Hall had been stripped of the OBE he was awarded in December 2011. He was the face of BBC regional news in the North West before he presented It's A Knockout. In later years, he was best known for his football match reports on 5Live.
A remake of the ground-breaking 1970's miniseries Roots, about several generations of a black family from African slave roots, is reported to be in development by the History channel. The US company confirmed that it had acquired the rights after reaching a deal with Mark Wolper, whose father, David, made the 1977 original and it's 1979 sequel Roots: The Next Generation. The story of Kunta Kinte, Kizzy, Chicken George et al broke ratings records when it was first broadcast and earned an unprecedented thirty seven EMMY nominations, winning nine of them. It is hoped the new series will appear on screens some time during 2015. The 1977 series was shown over eight consecutive nights on ABC in the US, drawing one hundred million viewers for its conclusion, nearly half of the entire country. It was also a huge success around the world. It was an unlikely hit at the time - with a largely black cast - but it is credited with helping to improve race relationships while blending fact and fiction into a soap opera package. 'We would like to revive that cultural icon for a new audience,' History's Dirk Hoogstra told Deadline. History has also acquired the rights to the book the mini-series was based on, Roots: The Saga Of An American Family, from the estate of author Alex Haley. Writers are expected to draw on both sources from a contemporary perspective with Wolper acting as an executive producer. Several big budget film projects have recently focused on the issue of slavery, including this year's Oscar hopeful Twelve Years a Slave and Quentin Tarantino's 2012 film Django Unchained. The History channel has also enjoyed success with blockbuster historical mini-series over the last few years, such as The Bible, Vikings and Hatfields & McCoys starring Kevin Costner. 'History in general is in the zeitgeist, which is great for us being a network whose name is History,' Hoogstra said.

A crowd-funding campaign to bring back clay character Morph for an online series has reached its target after eight days. Aardman Animations set up the seventy five grand campaign on Kickstarter to help fund twelve new one-minute episodes. Morph was one of the first characters created by the company that later created Wallace and Gromit. He started life on BBC children's art show Take Hart more than thirty years ago, messing up presenter Tony Hart's desk.
Greg Davies's sitcom Man Down has been given a second series by Channel Four. Although why is a another question entirely since it's about as funny as a kick in the stones and hardly anybody seems to have been watching it.

Not content with stepping in to back Russell Brand's criticism of the political process, yer actual Jeremy Paxman has 'blasted' (that's scum tabloid speak for 'criticised' only with less syllables) TV newsreaders who appear on Strictly Come Dancing. Speaking to Radio 2's Steve Wright in an interview ahead of Children In Need, Paxo said: 'I will pay good money not to watch newsreaders making twats of themselves. I don't understand why they want to do it.' Revealing that he had been approached - twice - to take part in Strictly, he added: 'You want your head examined to do that.' Which suggests that that yer man Paxo didn't phone in to vote for Bill Turnbull or John Sergeant in previous years, and isn't currently rooting for Susanna Reid in this current series. Indeed, the increasingly curmudgeonly Newsnight host revealed he didn't watch much TV: 'The great discovery is, I think, the off button.' One rather wonders what he made of his colleague Kirsty Walk's twinkle-toed efforts on Newsnight last week. Not much, we imagine.

Odious, risible Sky News presenter - and total starva - Eamonn Holmes has signed a five-year deal to stay with the channel amid reports that he was being lined-up to front ITV's troubled early morning flop Daybreak. The head of Sky News, John Ryley, said: 'When Eamonn joined Sky News in 2005 it was a massive coup and eight years on that hasn't changed. Eamonn's inimitable style and rapport with his Sunrise team has proven hugely popular with our viewers. The show has consistently high ratings and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching it flourish over the last eight years.' Risible lard-bucket Holmes, who also presents ITV's This Morning every Friday with his wife Ruth Langsford, had been tipped - by people who clearly didn't know what they were talking about - to take over Daybreak which is currently hosted by Lorraine Kelly and Aled Jones. It was relaunched last year, with the pair replacing odious greed-bucket (and drag) Adrian Chiles and the curiously orange Christine Bleakley, but was seen by four hundred thousand fewer viewers than tuned-in to see the programme make its debut three years ago. Odious greed-bucket Chiles and horroshow (and drag) Bleakley were - very satisfyingly and publicly - axed in December 2011 after they failed to recreate their success from BBC1's The ONE Show and audiences didn't so much trickle as flood away.

The BBC Trust has upheld a lone complaint against Dan Snow's History of Syria, in which the presenter implied that Israel had 'started' the Six Day War. The single complainant - who clearly had nothing more important or constructive to do with his or her time - whinged Snow's statement that 'In 1967, Assad was Minister of Defence when Israel launched a series of strikes against Egypt, Jordan and Syria' and 'vilified' Israel. Which it didn't, really. In fact it's, actually, a statement of fact - Israel did launch a series of (very successful, as it happens) air strikes against those three countries on 5 June 1967. Bombed 'em up good, so they did, it was on the news and everything. Nevertheless, the Trust showing their usual spectacular cowardice in standing up to bullies, found that 'more context was required' in the BBC2 documentary. It concluded it was 'not duly accurate' to describe the events as Snow did. Addressing his initial complaint to the BBC, the complainant whinged that 'it was unsurprising that Israel was vilified when a BBC presenter could imply that the Jewish state started the 1967 war.' The BBC responded by saying that there had been 'no implication' as to who had been the aggressor, merely that the attacks were launched by Israel and that this was entirely accurate. The complainant took his whinge to the Editorial Complaints Unit, but it was also not upheld 'as it found that the language used in the broadcast was not materially inaccurate or in breach of the Editorial Guidelines.' Appealing to the BBC Trust, the complainant said that the wording in the one-hour documentary 'could have been changed' to better reflect the situation at the time and the various events leading up to the outbreak of war, emphasising that Israel acted in self-defence in response to a military attack by Jordan. The Trust said it was clear that the programme's focus was Syria - which the sodding title sort of gives away - and the history which lies behind the present conflict in that country. It noted the earlier defence by the documentary's executive producer in which he said: 'The "offending" line - about Israel launching a series of air-strikes in 1967 - is not inaccurate.' Which it isn't. 'It is bald, admittedly, but given the Syrian context of the film, I don't think it is reasonable to think that we should have created the space to place the line within a broader Israeli context. The focus was Syria ... to have spent more time on the background/context from an Israeli perspective would I think have been distracting or, worse still, confusing.' However, the Trust - spineless and cowardly as always - found that the events of the Six-Day War were of such significance in the history and politics of the Middle East, that, 'despite the brevity of the reference, more context was required.' It found 'the need to use clear and precise language was particularly acute in relation to content dealing with conflict in the Middle East.' Or, in other words, 'there are some people who will whinge about anything related to the numerous Middle East conflicts, maybe we should just ignore the entire region and, perhaps, they'll all go away. Or grow up. Not very likely, is it?' The Trust praised 'an otherwise informative and nuanced programme' but concluded 'particularly given the evidence that Jordan launched attacks on Israel before Israel's forces were engaged, it was not duly accurate to describe the events on 5 June 1967 in the way this programme did.'

The BBC is reportedly seeking to capitalise on the success of The Great British Bake Off by urging the country to get its fingers dirty with a new gardening series. The Daily Torygraph - always a good friend to the Beeb, of course - reports that The Great British Garden Revival is aiming to encourage people to reverse the trend for paving over their own leafy corner of This Sceptred Isle and, instead, return to a riot of colour where flowers abound. The series starts on 9 December and will be hosted by Charlie Dimmock and Monty Don.
ITV has partnered with Virgin Atlantic to give Coronation Street and Emmerdale fans an in flight catch-up service. For all those who are wholly unable to wait until they get home to their personal video recorder for their soap fix.

South Park has spoofed the public row a'tween those two icons of ... something or other, Sinead O'Connor and Miley Cyrus, in its latest episode. The two singers had 'a clash of views' after O'Connor wrote 'an open letter' to the younger singer warning her against allowing the music industry to 'prostitute' her talent. Might have been better, Sinead, love, if you'd, you know, bought a stamp, made it a closed letter and sent it directly to Miley herself rather than putting it up on the Internet but, never mind, what's done is done. In the South Park episode, Foofa from children's entertainment show Yo Gabba Gabba! is being told by her friends to stop her 'raunchy behaviour.' They then recruit Ms O'Connor to help and end up urging Foofa 'not to show her "strange" on TV.' Which, frankly, is something we should all be in favour of, dear blog reader. O'Connor can be heard singing 'I'm looking for a boyfriend', a reference to her online search for a 'sweet, sex-starved man' in 2011. However, Foofa rejects everyone's advice and ends up in another raunchy performance at The MTV Video Awards. That's not based on anything specific. Oh no, very hot water.
All of which rather reminds yer actual Keith Telly Topping of his favourite Sinead O'Connor anecdote. During the late 1980s in an interview with NME, O'Connor voiced the opinion that she did not like The Pogues because 'they're not real Irish.' When told about this, Pogues frontman Shane MacGowna reported replied, 'that's all right, she's not a real skinhead!'
BBC4 has announced a special season of programming to celebrate Dem Blues. The season will retrace the history of the music genre and explore its place in American culture from the Twentieth Century and beyond. Two-part series Blues America is produced by Mick Gold and narrated by Fun Lovin' Criminals star and notorious mug-smasher Huey Morgan. The first programme, Woke Up This Morning will be broadcast on 29 November at 9pm. It charts the development of the blues from its roots in minstrel and medicine shows into a commercial industry. Contributors including yer actual His Holiness Saint Keef Richards his very self, Taj Mahal and Chuck D will discuss key moments in the blues rising. The second offering Bright Lights, Big City includes insights from Bonnie Raitt, Seasick Steve and Buddy Guy. Airing on 6 December at 9pm, it recalls the genre's movement from post-war Chicago, Detroit and Memphis to forge a style that would give birth to 1950s rock'n'roll. Also part of the special season of programming is Big Bill Broonzy: The Man Who Brought The Blues to Britain, the first ever film biography of the man who introduced the genre to the UK in the 1950s. Guitarist John Fahey will be remembered with director James Cullingham's In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey, on 8 December. The series concludes with a BBC4 session from American singer-songwriter Raitt plus surprise guest Paul Brady, filmed at Stoke Newington Town Hall in London.

Meanwhile, notorious mug-smasher Huey Morgan has continued his, ahem, 'fallout' with Never Mind The Buzzcocks by blocking the show's official Twitter feed. That'll show 'em, Huey.

Channel Four has given the green light to a second series of period drama The Mill. The new six-part series will be based between 1838 and 1842, a time of political change following the Poor Act Amendment of 1834 which made a distinction between 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor. A press release on series two reads: 'As well as picking up where it left off with characters such as feisty Liverpudlian apprentice Esther Price (Kerrie Hayes) and progressive young engineer Daniel Bate (Matthew McNulty), series two will introduce new characters, including John Howlett and his family, economic migrants in search of work in the booming North, and a handsome apprentice shoemaker called Will Whittaker. The Mill is a distinctly Channel Four take on costume drama, showing history from the bottom up - a worm's eye view. The narrative is driven by a young, spirited cast who depict a moment in history when the working classes were beginning to demand a say in their own lives.' Filming will begin at the National Trust's Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire in February. Series one of The Mill broke records for Channel Four on launch this summer, with a consolidated audience of 3.8 million. It was the channel's biggest drama launch since This Is England '88.

On Thursday evening, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self will, as usual, be attending Uncle Scunthorpe's Record Player at the Tyneside. This week, it's a particularly fine slab of angular, spiky electro-funk, Talking Heads' 1979 masterpiece Fear of Music. So, obviously, guess what today's Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day is? Go on, dear blog reader, you know you want to.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Very good news about The Mill returning for a second series...and Man Down too, I can't help it, I really like Greg Davies.