Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Is For Accusations

Yer actual Jenna Coleman was seen emerging from the TARDIS before an embrace with Peter Capaldi his very self during Doctor Who filming in Cardiff on Tuesday afternoon. Coleman's Clara Oswald, who was wearing a navy blue cardigan and the same, really rather nice, short tartan skirt she'd sported in The Time Of The Doctor, was pictured stepping out of The Doctor's time machine before hugging him. Capaldi's Doctor can be seen responding to Clara's embrace by awkwardly flailing his arms about a looking like he'd rather appalled by the very idea. So, not as 'touchy-feely' a Doctor as the last couple, then? The War Doctor would, likely, approve of this. Meanwhile, The Doctor his very self was sporting his new 'Rebel Time Lord look' first unveiled earlier in the week - a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, dark blue trousers, a white shirt and Doc Martens that make him look like he's just stepped out of the front row on a Specials concert in 1979. Tasty. Peter, who replaced yer actual Matt Smith as the BBC drama's lead at Christmas, was later photographed taking a break and warming up in a long duffel coat before having his hair and make-up retouched. Speaking about Capaldi taking over from Smudger his very self, Jenna said at the recent National Television Awards: "[Peter is] great - of course, we all know he's going to be wonderful. It's been great to get up on our feet and get started - we just seem to have taken off like a rocket.' Head writer and executive producer The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has written Doctor Who's eighth series première, which will be directed by Kill List, Ideal and A Field in England filmmaker Ben Wheatley.
Death In Paradise remained right at the toppermost of the overnight ratings on Tuesday night. BBC1's Caribbean crime drama dipped by three hundred thousand viewers week-on-week to 6.57 million at 9pm and was the highest rated programme of the night aside from soaps. On BBC2, Children's Emergency Rescue interested 1.68m at 8pm, followed by Inside The Animal Mind with 1.25m at 9pm. Vic and Bob's House Of Fools maintained its audience with eight hundred and fifteen thousand at 10pm. ITV's first of two Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? celebrity specials was watched by 3.08m at 8pm. Paul O'Grady's Animal Orphans appealed to 2.88m at 9pm. On Channel Four, The Jump dropped a further two hundred thousand punters to 1.84m at 8pm as yet more viewers discovered just exactly what a total crock of stinking shat the thing is. The Taste was also down - over one hundred thousand punters - to seven hundred and thirty two thousand at 9pm. Channel Five's Gibraltar: Britain In The Sun intrigued nine hundred and ninety six thousand at 8pm. The penultimate Celebrity Big Brother had an audience of 2.52m at 9pm. Botched Up Bodies was seen by nine hundred and fifty eight thousand at 10pm.

Celebrity Big Brother achieved big ratings for Channel Five on Wednesday evening, according to overnight data. The live final attracted 3.04 million sad, crushed victims of society at 9pm to watch odious unfunny right-wing scum Jim Davidson emerge from the jungle. This is down over one hundred thousand from the programmes launch episode, but up by a million viewers from Charlotte Crosby's win in September. Earlier, Ultimate Emergency Bikers brought in 1.08m at 8pm. On BBC1, Outnumbered returned for its final series with 4.76m at 9pm. This is up nearly six hundred thousand punters from the sitcom's last regular episode in 2011. A repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys was watched by 3.58m at 9.30pm. ITV's Midsomer Murders topped the ratings overall with 5.06m at 8pm. And, if you missed it, don't worry, Arabella Weir done the dirty deed. BBC2's Restaurant Man interested 1.43m at 8pm, followed by Horizon with 2.45m at 9pm. On Channel Four, rotten horrorshow (and drag) The Jump was watched by 2.02m at 8pm, while Twenty Four Hours in A&E appealed to 1.73m at 9pm.

BBC iPlayer recorded a record three billion requests in 2013, up thirty three per cent on 2012, with Top Gear the most popular show. Fronted by yer actual Jezza Clarkson, the popular motoring show - hated by various full-of-their-own-importance middle-class hippy Communist lice at the Gruniad Morning Star and some odious bully boy thugs at the Daily Scum Mail, if not anyone that actually matters - made up ten of the top twenty most requested programmes, with 3.4 million requests for part one of its Africa Special. Doctor Who was the second most popular show with 3.1 million requests for the fiftieth anniversary special, The Day Of The Doctor in November. Series two of the - wretched - BBC3 comedy Bad Education with lanky streak of piss Jack Whitehall premiered on iPlayer, with 2.9 million requests. Miranda, The Voice and the nature documentary Africa also made the top twenty, along with the animated film Madagascar, as the online catch-up service recorded a total of 2.2 billion requests for BBC TV shows and eight hundred million million for radio. Cricket helped make sure live sports coverage dominated the top radio programmes in 2013, with England's Ashes triumph during the summer proving hugely popular - Test Match Special made up nineteen of the radio top twenty. The BBC said that 2014 would see a move towards the type of exclusive content the iPlayer featured in 2013, following the success of 'mini-sodes' for Sherlock (Many Happy Returns) and Doctor Who (The Night Of The Doctor), which were seen by millions. Bad Education was just one of the shows to premiere on iPlayer and head of TV content, Victoria Jaye said they were 'delighted by the audience response' to both types of exclusive content: 'We've begun the journey to transform iPlayer from a TV catch-up service into an online TV destination in its own right,' she added. 'As we move into 2014, we will originate more exclusive programmes for iPlayer, as well as offer an ambitious range of content to complement our biggest brands and events.' Last year saw a rapid growth in mobile and tablet viewing, with tablet requests alone up by one hundred and four per cent and programmes accessed on more than one thousand different devices. December proved a bumper month for iPlayer, with two hundred and seventy one million requests for TV and radio programmes. Mobile and tablet requests overtook PCs for the first time over Christmas, as the audience moved away from their desks and used the iPlayer app to watch content on tablets and phones. Downloads of the mobile app passed the twenty million mark, with nine hundred and forty two thousand of those taking place over the festive period alone. However PCs were still the biggest single platform for requests in 2013, making up an average of forty three per cent.

Bones - a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping, as it happens - has been renewed for a tenth season in the US. The FOX crime drama will return to the network on 10 March, moving from Friday nights to a Monday time slot for the remainder of its .current, ninth series. 'Over the course of nine seasons, Bones has grown from a hit crime procedural into a beloved pillar of our line-up that resonates with fans in a way that only the best of shows can,' FOX entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said. And, for once, he isn't talking utter bollocks. 'Our viewers have embraced Emily [Deschanel], David [Boreanaz] and the entire cast and characters of Bones as their very own, and I think they are going to love what Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan have planned for season ten.' Reilly gave no indication as to whether season ten would be the show's last, despite suggesting that such a scenario is likely earlier this month. 'I would anticipate it would be the final season,' he said at the time.
In the single least surprising news industry of the year so far, Granville's corner shop will soon be open for business again after the BBC confirmed that it was commissioning a full series of Still Open All Hours with yer actual David Jason. The sequel to the Ronnie Barker sitcom Open All Hours, which ran on the BBC for twelve years until 1985, returned for a one-off special at Christmas and was watched by a consolidated audience of 12.2 million viewers, the most popular comedy on British TV since The Vicar Of Dibley in 2007. Written by its original creator, Roy Clarke, it will now come back for a full six-part series. 'I am so delighted that we are doing a series of Still Open All Hours as the feedback from our Christmas special has been so rewarding and encouraging,' said Jason, who starred in the original series alongside Barker. 'We want to have more fun giving the audience the kind of show they seemed to appreciate. It goes to prove that the corner shop is still open all hours.' To be shot in Doncaster and shown on BBC1 later this year, it will be made by the corporation's in-house comedy department. The controller of BBC comedy commissioning, Shane Allen, said: 'The resounding success of the Christmas revival showed the huge and enduring audience affection for this much-loved classic. Roy has done a terrific job of updating the characters whilst keeping what was warm-hearted and enjoyable about the world of the original series.'

And, in the second least surprising industry news of the year, Breathless has been - extremely - cancelled after a single series. The period medical drama - which was shamelessly ripped-off from a combination of Call The Midwife and Mad Men - will not return for a second run, broadcaster ITV has confirmed. Because it was shit and no one was watching it, basically. Zoe Boyle - who played Jean Truscott - told Radio Times that Breathless would 'unfortunately' not be returning though she described working on the show as 'a really fun experience. I loved the part and I loved the script and I loved the show as a whole,' she said. A love that was, seemingly, somewhat unrequited as nobody else seemed to share it. Breathless launched with but 3.4m viewers in October - a pretty poor figure for a primetime ITV drama, but it was get much, much worse. An overnight audience of just 2.11m tuned in for the final episode the following month. Jack Davenport, Sarah Parish, Iain Glen and that awful woman from Gavin & Stacey appeared alongside Boyle on the show. ITV also axed crime drama Whitechapel in November after four series also due to declining audience numbers but has commissioned new original drama including John Simm thriller Prey and mystery series Grantchester.

'Confusion' and 'a lack of planning' were the reasons behind the utter failure of the BBC's ninety eight million quid Digital Media Initiative, according to a report. 'A failure to understand the problems' the project faced also led to its cancellation, the National Audit Office said. The BBC's technology chief John Linwood was extremely sacked in July over the project's demise, although that was only announced this week. DMI had been intended to move the BBC away from using video tape. The plans - which were supposed to produce new in-house production tools, an online digital archive and a new database - were shelved in May, when the BBC's director general, Tony Hall, admitted that it had 'wasted a huge amount of licence fee payers' money.' The gross estimate of the amount spent on DMI was £125.9m, although the net cost to the licence fee payer was estimated to be £98.4m. Linwood revealed in written evidence published by the Commons public accounts committee on Tuesday that he is taking legal action against the BBC. 'I have issued legal proceedings against the BBC and intimated contractual claims, and am still involved in an internal process with the BBC,' he wrote. Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said on Tuesday: 'The BBC Executive did not have sufficient grip on its digital media initiative programme. Nor did it commission a thorough independent assessment of the whole system to see whether it was technically sound. If the BBC had better governance and reporting for the programme, it would have recognised the difficulties much earlier than May 2012.' The NAO report, which was commissioned by the BBC, concluded it had been 'too optimistic about its ability to implement [DMI] and achieve the benefits.' It added that confusion about the technology and problems with getting the system to work had also been to blame, including 'confusion within the BBC about the use of key terms such as "archive database" and "digital archive."' DMI was set up in 2008 but was halted last autumn having never become fully operational. The NAO report said the BBC had hoped to save ninety eight million smackers in the long run through the new systems - but in the end, the final estimate of the benefits it brought to the BBC was zero. The report criticised governance of the project, pointing out that the BBC had not appointed 'a senior person' to act as a single point of accountability and bring all the strands of the initiative together. It also said that reporting arrangements had been 'not fit for purpose', with no 'clear and transparent reporting' on the project's progress, or lack of. The NAO office also said the BBC's executive board had 'not applied enough scrutiny' to the project during the key period of 2011 and the first half of 2012, when completion dates were being pushed back. The BBC had identified the relocation of some of its departments to Salford in 2011 as a critical deadline - but when BBC Sport moved to Salford, it bought in an off-the-shelf digital storage system at a cost of eight hundred grand because DMI was 'not ready.' Some smaller parts of DMI still went ahead, including a replacement music reporting system. The report also concluded that while the BBC Trust questioned the executive board in September 2011 about delays and the impact of them, it did not 'challenge it sufficiently' until July 2012. The BBC admits that it got it badly wrong and has now adopted new procedures for managing big projects. Diane Coyle, vice chairman of the BBC Trust, said: 'As we announced last December, we are working with the executive to strengthen project management and reporting arrangements within a clearer governance system. This will ensure that serious problems can be spotted and addressed at an earlier stage.' A separate statement released by the BBC executive board said: 'We are grateful to the NAO for its report. As we have previously acknowledged, the BBC got this one wrong. However, we have taken swift action to overhaul how major projects are managed after the new management team closed DMI last year.'

Wentworth has been handed a third season. The Australian prison drama - an update of Prisoner: Cell Block H - is currently shooting season two and will resume production in March after a short break. Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh said: 'Wentworth's first season was a triumph with its remarkable performance and production qualities which enthralled our Australian audience and achieved such great international recognition.' One or two people even believed him.
ITV has announced plans for a brand new pay channel on Sky. ITV Encore will be dedicated to the broadcaster's 'best drama output' - so, that should fill up all of an hour a week - and will be launched in 2015. Available on Sky's platforms, it will be ITV's first new channel in eight years and is part of a four-year partnership with Sky. From 2015, it will also broadcast original dramas featuring 'high quality production values, big name lead actors and compelling narratives', ITV claimed - somewhat unconvincingly - in a statement. ITV content will also be made available on Sky's range of services including Sky+HD, Sky Go, NOW TV and Sky Store. ITV's chief executive Adam Crozier said: 'A key part of our strategy is to become the most watched, most loved and most talked about family of free and pay channels for every household and every advertiser in the UK.' Which isn't going to happen any time soo so, you know, good luck with that. 'ITV's brilliant dramas contributed to a fantastic on-screen performance last year - we had three out of the top five dramas in 2013, which helped us increase our share of viewing on the main channel for the first time in a decade.' What he forgot to mention is two of those three were Coronation Street and Downton Abbey. 'ITV Encore is right in line with our strategy of growing non advertising revenues while at the same time creating even greater opportunities to showcase new drama.' Sky's Jeremy Darroch said: 'Our customers love great drama and so we are delighted to bring them exclusive access to a new channel from one of the best loved brands in TV. This is good news for Sky customers and a positive way for us to work with ITV in a broad, mutually beneficial partnership.'

BSkyB has reported an eighteen per cent fall in pre-tax profits to five hundred and twenty seven million smackers in the six months to the end of December, as investment in new services and Premier League rights costs incurred in its battle with BT Sport hit the broadcaster reet hard in the nadgers. The company's adjusted operating profits, the measure of profit most closely watched by analysts and investors, fell by eight per cent year on-year. Total revenues grew by 6.3 per cent to £3.75bn as the company hailed a strong performance in the run-up to Christmas. Jeremy Darroch claimed that that BT's push into Premier League football had 'not hurt the company', with viewing of Sky Sports at a six-year high. 'It has been a noisy period in terms of competition but you can see across the board our business is continuing to power ahead', he said. 'Our financial performance was strong in the first half and we remain on track for the full year. We are moving through a year of investment in which we are absorbing the one-off step up in Premier League costs well.'

Sky has also signed a five-year deal for the exclusive rights to the entire HBO TV catalogue, which includes top American shows such as Girls and Game of Thrones, in a move which heads off a threat from arch-rival BT to enter the entertainment and film market. BSkyB has struck early to extend its existing agreement out to 2020 in a deal worth as much as two hundred and seventy five million quid over five years. Deep-pocketed BT has so far spent billions of pounds snapping up prime TV sports rights, including Premier League and Champions League football as well as Premiership Rugby, with industry observers suggesting that BSkyB's stranglehold on film and entertainment rights could be the next flashpoint. Billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's satellite TV company has moved quickly to secure a wide-ranging two-pronged deal with HBO, which revolutionised the TV market by investing in big budget dramas such as The Wire and The Sopranos. BSkyB broadcasts much of the HBO catalogue on its heavily-promoted Sky Atlantic channel. In addition BSkyB has also reached an exclusive agreement to co-fund and co-produce top-end dramas, of the scale of the multi-million pound per episode Game of Thrones, that could run to tens of millions of pounds investment in new shows per year. Yer man Jeremy Darroch, said: 'HBO is synonymous with must-see TV. Original production is the natural next step and we are enormously excited at the prospect of working together to realise our shared vision for epic drama of a truly spectacular scale.' The deal makes BSkyB the exclusive partner for HBO, which has previously co-produced popular dramas such as the BBC's Parade's End, with the rights to exclusively broadcast the programmes developed in the UK market. While Sky is perhaps best known for its multi-billion pound annual investment in football rights, it is also a significant investor in original British productions, such as the Daniel Radcliffe comedy A Young Doctor's Notebook and the wretched Stella, to the tune of six hundred million knicker a year. The scale of the deal, estimated at potentially two hundred and seven five million notes in total across five years, is less than the value of one-year of the nine hundred million smackers deal BT struck to snatch the Champions League TV rights from Sky.

Monty Python's Flying Circus's so-called 'seventh member', Carol Cleveland, is to write her memoirs to coincide with the comedy troupe's comeback shows this summer. The actress, now seventy two, was the only permanently featured female performer with the all-male line-up, appearing in thirty of the forty five TV episodes and all four of their films. Terry Jones recently said of her contribution: 'We were very grateful for Carol Cleveland. She filled her role like nobody's business.' During the filming of the first series, Michael Palin said to her: 'I'm so sorry we don't have more for you to do but we're just not very good at writing parts for women.' As well as her work with Python, Carol appeared in more than thirty movies, over fifty TV shows and more than eighty theatre roles, as well as a variety of BBC radio shows – all of which she promises to cover in her new book PomPoms Up! She was even directed by Charlie Chaplin in the 1967 film comedy The Countess From Hong Kong starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren. She said earlier this month: 'As much as Python has been a wonderful thing for me in another respect it has been a bit of a ball and chain simply because I'm known for that' The autobiography will be released in June, the month before Cleveland joins Palin, Jones, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam on stage for the ten London comeback gigs. She has previously performed a one-woman stage show, also called PomPoms Up! about the world of beauty queens and glamour stooges.

The Sun has recruited Zoe Salmon in its battle against the BBC's alleged 'political correctness.' The odious tabloid paper reports on an - alleged - 'BBC ban' on children's presenters wearing red lipstick or 'provocative clothing' and recruits former Blue Peter presenter Salmon to comment. Melissa Hardinge, an executive editor at CBBC, told a BAFTA panel on the future of children's television: 'Obviously sexualisation of girls is something we take incredibly seriously. We try and show fantastic female role models. I go onto the floor of Friday Download and make them take their red lipstick off, the presenters. The older end of our six-to-twelve age groups are very interested in relationships, and we have to show positive role models and the correct way of going about having relationships.' Salmon responds that 'Red lipstick is the perfect fix without having to plaster on layers of make-up. The face is instantly brightened and glowing by virtue of the red lipstick. Red lipstick worn with plaited hair, a tracksuit and trainers will simply give that all-important bright, energetic look. Worn with a strapless top, tight jeans, heels and false eyelashes it would give an entirely different look to a children's TV presenter. It's all about using common sense.'
A former Scum of the World reporter claimed that he had lied to police when he was caught trying to hack a phone as he was 'just toeing the line', the Old Bailey jury has heard. Dan Evans, who was caught trying to hack into designer Kelly Hoppen's phone, said that he 'bitterly regretted not taking a braver course of action.' Evans, who has admitted hacking, said that his ex-editor and the prime minister's former, if you will, 'chum', Andy Coulson had 'direct knowledge' of exactly what nefarious skulduggery and naughty shenanigans Evans was up to in 2005. Coulson, he claimed, knew 'exactly what went on on his watch.' Evans, said that his his activities were 'completely understood' by superiors. He said 'even the office cat knew' about the scale of phone-hacking at the paper. The office cat is not, currently, one of those charged with various offences but Coulson denies all charges including conspiracy to hack phones. Evans admitted to lying about trying to access Hoppen's phone messages but said it that was because he was part of 'an enormous conspiracy' at News International. When it was put to him that he had lied, Evans said: 'I was toeing the line, the party line, the company line.' Evans said that he was 'very frightened' when he was caught and a bogus defence he used when initially questioned by a superior on the paper had 'inadvertently' made it into a witness statement drafted by the company's lawyers Farrers. Under questioning from Coulson's lawyer, Timothy Langdale QC, Evans reflected on his change of approach, saying: 'I appear to be open, honest and truthful.' Evans was arrested in August 2011 and produced a prepared statement for police. He told the Old Bailey that statement was 'cobblers' and he had just been 'maintaining the lie', claiming 'the sticky keys defence' - that Hoppen's phone may have been hacked accidentally because Evans had damaged keys on his own mobile phone. He also admitted that he had lodged papers as part of Hoppen's civil claim against the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World which repeated the lie and resulted in prosecution for perverting the course of justice. Evans said: 'That was entirely my decision. I was one person caught between the prime minister, caught between the tabloid world, caught between highly paid lawyers I didn't know what to do, I'm very sorry for lying about that.' However, Evans then changed his story, turned supergrass, admitted phone-hacking and became a key witness for the prosecution. He was asked why he had later said to investigators that 'every journalist was mucking around with phone tapping.' Evans told the jury: 'I'm saying most reporters at that time had access to inquiry agents and were able to get people's phone records and medical records, not just at the News Of The World but at other tabloid newspapers at that time.' Langdale said: 'Boiling it down to essentials you wouldn't really be a candidate for immunity unless you spoke about others [phone hacking].' Evans agreed. He was asked why he claimed phone-hacking was discussed at daily editorial meetings at which he had not been present. Evans said that he was 'told' by 'someone' who had been in a particular meeting. 'As far as I was concerned it was so widely known, and so extensively, there was a very wide conspiracy within the organisation,' he said. Langdale later said: 'You are prone to making sweeping assertions which are not based on fact.' Evans replied: 'That is incorrect, sir - though I understand why you may want people to believe that.' The reporter was also challenged over his claim during evidence on Tuesday that Coulson exclaimed 'Brilliant!' when he heard a tape of actress Sienna Miller's voicemail message to Daniel Craig. Under questioning earlier, Evans said his use of the word 'brilliant' was 'an attempt to paraphrase the scene' in the newsroom. 'It is truthful evidence,' he said 'The general context of the exact word, "brilliant", I was paraphrasing. I think the word came out of my mouth as trying to explain the general sense of how happy he was.' Langdale said: 'Do you accept you did not say the word "brilliant" in your police statements?' 'Yes,' replied the former reporter. Langdale also suggested to Evans the allegation that Coulson knew about the voicemail was 'not true.' 'I did not see you there at the time - it is true,' Evans replied. Later, when he decided to speak to the police in an attempt to obtain immunity from prosecution, Evans told them that he wanted 'to be honest for the sake of his children.' But, he said: 'I can pinpoint the moment, many years ago, I took the wrong path. I want to look my kids in the eye and tell them they need to be honest ... I want to go down my life on the right path.' Evans also stated that tabloid newspapers often make up quotes about celebrities, attributing them to 'a friend.' Evans said: 'It won't come as a shock to some people that not every piece of information in a tabloid is the truth. We re-write, we sanitise. I'm a bit embarrassed about it. One of the things you do when you are trying to "fill in" a quote is to say "what would they have said?"' The jury has heard that Evans pleaded guilty to hacking at the Sunday Mirra between 2003 and 2005 and at the Scum of the World up to 2010. He also pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office between 2005 and 2010. Evans also confirmed he had admitted intending to pervert the course of justice. The court heard that he entered into an agreement with the Crown Prosecution Service in 2012 and had given two statements since. Coulson is one of seven people who deny charges related to phone-hacking. He also denies conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
Dave Lee Travis, the self-confessed 'hairy cornflake', has told a court that an alleged assault against a nineteen-year-old deputy carnival princess 'just didn't happen.' The deputy carnival princess, her very self, had earlier suggested that it very much did happen. Travis told Southwark Crown Court that he was 'never alone' with the woman at the opening of a hospital radio station in the early 1970s. The former DJ said that his wife, Marianne, was present at the event and denied that he had groped the teenager. Travis denies thirteen counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault. The court was shown a video recording of Travis and his entourage attending the event at Hertford County Hospital in 1973. In sections of the hour-long footage, Travis posed for photographs with the carnival princess and her deputy, telling them in the video: 'Put your arms around my neck girls, go on.' He is then seen crouching down between the teenagers with his head at their chest height before picking one of them up and swinging her in his arms. Asked about the deputy carnival princess's claims that he groped her while he was alone with her, Travis said: 'I don't know what I can say to that. All I can say is that, no, it didn't happen. I was never alone with this woman.' He said there were 'a lot of people' with him 'from start to finish', adding: 'My wife was there, for goodness' sake. I'm not going to ask the question "Why would I?" It just didn't happen.' During cross-examination, Travis said that the claims against him had made him 'as mad as hell.' He said it was 'absolutely one hundred per cent wrong' to suggest that he thought touching women in the ways alleged had been 'acceptable.' Travis was asked whether he had been 'tempted' when he worked surrounded by young women. Miranda Moore QC, for the prosecution, asked if he had told police: 'When you work in a sweet shop, you don't eat the sweets.' Travis admitted that he had, on occasion, 'fallen to temptation' but said that it was 'unfair' for his sex life to be 'dragged into the public arena. I don't expect consensual sex or consensual kissing to be brought up in a case where I am accused of indecently assaulting women,' he said. Moore asked whether Travis thought of himself as 'a sex symbol' during his career as a radio personality. Travis replied: 'I have never said, in my life, that I am a sex symbol. No, I am a big hairy, cuddly bear.' He added that he had 'no idea' why sixteen separate women had come forward to make complaints against him. Travis admitted he may have 'irritated' some women. The trial continues.

Coronation Street actor William Roache was 'always a perfect gentleman', his on-screen wife has told a court. Anne Kirkbride, who plays Deirdre Barlow, is among cast members giving evidence at the actor's trial at Preston Crown Court. Roache denies two rapes and four indecent assaults against five women aged sixteen or under between 1965 and 1971. He was cleared of one indecent assault on the judge's direction on Monday. Asked what she thought of Roache, Kirkbride said that if she was to describe him in one word, it would be 'lovely.' The actress, who joined the soap in 1972, smiled at Roache as she delivered her evidence. Following her, Chris Gascoyne, who plays the actor's son, Peter, in the soap, said that Roache was 'fantastic', 'very calm, relaxed', and a person who 'takes every day as a new day which is inspiring to me. Bill sets the precedent for everyone. He is decent and kind to everybody', he claimed. Helen Worth, who plays Gail McIntyre, described Roache as 'a father figure, an elder statesman. He was caring, never anything more', she said. Roache is the longest-serving member of the Coronation Street cast, having portrayed Ken Barlow since the soap began in 1960. The case continues.

Now, as mentioned in a previous blog, dear blog reader, a Facebook message from Uncle Scunthorpe his very self asking for 'a list [of] ten albums that have stayed with you throughout your life' brought a predictably Asperger's-like avalanche of 'can't live without 'em' selections, volumes one to five. You knew this was going to be a continuing theme, didn't you? Here's part six.
Followed, inevitably, by part seven.
And, part eight.
Where will it end, you ask? Stay tuned.

Another signal has emerged that the Abbott government in Australia intends to strip the ABC of its international broadcasting service – the Australia Network – in a significant concession to billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch and to conservative commentators critical of public broadcasting. The Australian foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, has been preparing the public ground since opposition for the ABC to lose its Australia Network regional broadcasting service, which it was awarded by the previous Labor [sic] government after a bitterly contested process. In January Bishop criticised the quality of the programming on the Australia Network, and argued it was 'not serving Australia's regional interests' as 'a tool of public diplomacy.' The Australian newspaper reported on Thursday that the service was 'likely to be scrapped' in the May budget as 'a savings measure.' The commission of audit established by the government will also run the ruler over other ABC services. The Sky News network lost out to the ABC in the Australia Network tender process carried out under the previous government. The multimillion-dollar tender was botched due to sharp divisions within Labor over whether the ABC or Sky should emerge with the regional service. Sky, a broadcaster part owned by BSkyB, which is a sister company to billionaire tyrant Murdoch's Australian publishing arm, News Corp – has made no secret of its incandescent fury about that process, and has lobbied the Coalition to have the ABC's contract dumped. In its aborted media reform package in early 2013, Labor did manage to legislate a provision where only the ABC or its associated companies could provide 'commonwealth funded international broadcasting services.' It was a means of trying to lock in the ABC's position regarding the Australian Network after any change of government. The reform suggests the Coalition would need further legislation if it wanted not to bank the saving, but clear the field for a commercial broadcaster. Whether the ABC would need to be compensated for the contract is unclear. The acting opposition leader, Tanya Plibersek, said that she 'did not watch' a lot of the Australia Network because she lived in Australia, but believed the channel was providing 'a very valuable service' in projecting Australian values to the region. She said the government was 'proposing to cut almost a quarter of a billion dollars' through the axing of the Australia Network contract, despite signalling before the election that it would not reduce funding to the ABC. Asked whether the Australia Network should reflect support for Australia to achieve the aim of soft diplomacy, Plibersek said freedom of speech was a 'worthy value' to promote. 'I'm very happy for the world to see that in Australia you can stand up, you can criticise the government, the government can respond and everybody goes home that night safe and sound,' she said. The Greens leader, Christine Milne, said that the Australia Network did 'an outstanding job' and it would be 'a very bad mistake' for the current government to abandon the service. In addition to bruised feelings over the Australia Network process, the billionaire tyrant Murdoch-owned News Corp is also campaigning to have the ABC pushed out of digital news services. The ABC's online content is offered free to readers and viewers, and News Corp is one of several publishers arguing the national broadcaster's ongoing digital expansion threatens their business. News Corp faces further commercial pressure in 2014. The tabloids will face competition in Australia for the first time in many years with the entry of the British-owned Daily Scum Mail – tragically, one of the most successful digital news sites in the world, largely due to its infamous 'sidebar of shame'. The Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, who sounds like a right good laugh, frankly, launched a strong public criticism of the ABC on Wednesday during a radio appearance on 2GB in Sydney. Abbott took issue with the ABC's reporting of claims by asylum seekers of mistreatment at the hands of the Australian navy. The prime minister suggested that the national broadcaster needed to be 'more patriotic', and should be inclined to give the navy 'the benefit of the doubt.' The ABC has taken steps to check the accuracy of the claims, made by the asylum seekers, and an e-mail from an ABC researcher made its way into the public domain indicating that some editorial executives 'doubted the allegations were accurate.' This e-mail has given impetus to the broadcaster's critics who contend that the story should not have been broadcast. A spokeswoman for the national broadcaster said: 'In a climate where official information about asylum seeker operations is scarce and hard to come by, the ABC makes no apologies for seeking as much information as it can from as many sources as it can to either verify or disprove the allegations at the centre of the story.' Abbott also reaffirmed his 'concerns' about the ABC's collaboration with Grunaid Morning Star Australia on the story that revealed Australian spy agencies' past efforts to target the phones of the Indonesian president, his wife and inner circle. Those disclosures were based on documents provided by the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Abbott's intervention was amplified in Sydney’s Daily Scum Torygraph newspaper on Thursday with strong page one treatment. The paper quoted Abbott's business adviser, and former ABC chairman, Maurice Newman as saying: 'In relation to the navy, [the ABC has] given credence to the idea that the navy may well have tortured people. Ninety nine per cent of Australians would think that's highly unlikely. I think [the allegations] are inimical to Australia's best interests. It casts doubt on Australia's reputation and I think it's regrettable.' The communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, however, launched a defence of the ABC. He told Fairfax Media that politicians' may have issues' with ABC content, but could not tell media outlets what to write. 'What's the alternative? The editor-in-chief [of the ABC] becomes the prime minister?' Turnbull said. 'Politicians, whether prime ministers or communications ministers, will often be unhappy with the ABC but you can't tell them what to write.'

Midget Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber has been charged with assaulting a limousine driver in Toronto last month. The nineteen-year-old handed himself in at a Toronto police station where he was mobbed by TV crews, news photographers and screaming teenage fans. The charge comes a week after he was arrested and charged for a separate incident in Florida for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Howard Weitzman, Bieber's lawyer in California, said the entertainer was 'innocent' and that he expected the case to be treated as 'a summary offence', which is the equivalent of a misdemeanour in the United States.

Reports of witches and ghosts were among the emergency calls which Devon and Cornwall Police attended in the last three years. Thirty-five reports citing various mythical beasts or extra-terrestrial activity were made since 2010, with officers investigating eighteen of them. The police federation called for 'a public debate' to discuss priorities and the screening of calls. Police said they 'graded every call according to risk to life.' Calls highlighted included: A customer refusing to leave a premises in Torquay shouting that she was possessed by a ghost, witchcraft in Redruth which had been 'going on for months' and a man in Saltash who thought a caller was the ghost of Christmas past. Officers gave 'words of advice' to someone claiming he was an alien from another planet. Presumably the last of those words being 'off'. The details, released in a freedom of information request, revealed that a person who thought they were a werewolf and told the force that they wanted to go running on the moors was 'refused assistance.' Reports which officers did not attend included a man who said that ghosts were 'sitting on his living room chair.' Nigel Rabbitts, chair of Devon and Cornwall Police Federation, said that it had 'continually raised concerns about demand versus resources', the need for 'investment and training of staff who take the calls' and 'managing the public's expectations.' He said: 'There should be a public debate as to what the public see as a priority, how resources should be distributed and what percentage of calls for service should be screened out.' A police spokesperson said: 'While we would always encourage the public to call the police if they have a genuine cause or need, we would ask that anyone thinks very carefully before making an emergency call as a joke or prank.'

Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. However, for the next few weeks' that's taking a break and being replaced by a new - marginally related - featured, Keith Telly Topping's A To Z of Groovy Tunes. A, dear blog reader, is for Aztec Camera.


The Fog Horn said...

Can you please let me know which is the band in the black and white album cover that says '70s on trial' on it? Please email

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping said...

It's not a band I don't think, it's a stock image I found on Goggle covering "1970s fashions"; I believe it originally comes from a late 60s/early 70s style journal.