Tuesday, January 21, 2014

City Sickness

Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch has confirmed that he plans to 'keep going' with Sherlock. A fourth and fifth series of the hit BBC1 drama are currently in the planning stages. 'I'm going to keep going with it,' Benny said at the TCA press tour. 'I love it. I find it very invigorating.' The actor also spoke favourably of the US series Elementary - which is broadcast by CBS and stars his friend Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes - branding rumours of a feud between the two shows 'bullshit.' Cumberbatch also revealed that he had discussed the role of Holmes with Robert Downey Jr, who has played the detective in two Hollywood films. 'I sat down on the sofa with Robert Downey Jr last night, and we had our first conversation and shared notes on playing Sherlock Holmes,' he said. 'This is the most dramatised fictional character of all time, so there's a lot to talk about.'
On a related theme, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has already revealed that he is preparing a fourth series of the hit detective drama (and, indeed, a fifth). But now he has gone one step further, saying that the BBC series will continue 'until Benedict gets too famous.' The Hollywood Reporter's coverage of a Moffat and Cumberbatch Q&A at the Television Critics Association press tour also quotes the actor as adding: 'I'm fine with it.' Asked about why the writers had added Amanda Abbington to the series as Watson's wife, Moffat said: 'If you have a female perspective on the two men, it's very, very funny and very illuminating. They all see through Sherlock so fast, but John is still bamboozled.' He added that Abbington will continue to be part of the series, despite a mixed reception from half-a-dozen of the more conservative (for, which read completely mental) Sherlock fans: 'Mary is absolutely here. We don't just off her. How would that be at the start of the next series? "Where's Mary?" "Oh, dead!"' The producer also tackled the knotty subject of the passionate kiss between Sherlock and arch-villain Jim Moriarty in the season three opener, part of one of the - slightly less plausible - scenarios of how Sherlock faked his own death. 'We got the idea from the palpable chemistry between Benedict and Andy,' said Steven, giving credit to co-writer Mark Gatiss. He said that Mark told him: 'I've done something slightly cheeky.' But slash-fiction fans who hope that the pair might have really locked lips may be disappointed: 'We cut it before contact, and indeed, sex. Because, that was wrong,' said Gatiss. Cumberbatch confirmed: 'We didn't actually connect.' Sorry girls, he's still a virgin.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self picked up the Sherlock series three DVD on Monday morning (in ASDA, if you're checking, dear blog reader). Now, it seems extremely churlish to whinge about any aspect of this properly terrific package but, being the contrary sod that he is, yer actual Keith Telly Topping is going to anyway. I was a tiny bit disappointed to find that there weren't any episode commentaries on as listening to Steven, Mark and Sue's thoughts on the episodes had been, for me, one of the highlights of the previous two series sets. Nevertheless, there are three rather good little fifteen minutes documentaries on the second disc as extras so that was some small comfort. A slightly more surprising omission was the mini-sode Many Happy Returns. On Facebook this blogger speculated that this could, possibly, have been a rights issue, something which was, partly, confirmed by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat to this blogger in one of his semi-irregular comments on shit I dribble on about: 'I just asked the wife. We're a bit vague about Many Happy Returns to be honest. But it was a BBC thing, not Worldwide funded. So, um, that's probably "a thing" ... I don't think anyone thought there would be much interest in commentaries, but maybe we could do them as podcasts some time. Schedules are a problem, we're all a bit busy. And frankly, it's just a lot of people talking while the telly's on. I can't listen to them without going "Shh!"' The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) has spoken, ladies and gentleman.
The final scenes of long-running Coronation Street character Hayley Cropper have been praised by critics as 'brave' and 'emotionally charged.' The Torygraph called the character's exit 'brave and moving', as she took her own life to end the pain of terminal cancer. The Daily Scum Mail's review praised the 'sensitive acting' of Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Nielsen as Hayley's devoted husband Roy. A peak audience of 10.2 million punters tuned in to watch her final moments with an average for the episode of 9.7m from 8.30pm. Monday night's episodes culminated in Hayley carrying out her wish to die rather than suffer from pancreatic cancer. She took her own life with a cocktail of drugs while Roy was by her side and ensured that he took no direct part in hastening her death. The character of Hayley, who has walked the cobbles for sixteen years, spent time saying her own farewells to close friends, keeping her decision a secret from everyone but her husband. Ben Lawrence, writing in the Torygraph, said the episodes were 'something special.' Her death 'was not handled with the customary swiftness that defies us to empathise - we were in that flat with Hayley and husband Roy living every tragic moment,' he said. With reference to the 'right to die' debate encapsulated in the drama, Lawrence added: 'With this storyline, handled with bravery and nuance, Coronation Street has made considerable progress in the debate.' The Independent's Ellen E Jones said that the issue was explored 'without compromising the emotional truth of two much-loved characters,' adding Hayley's 'decision to die looked neither easy nor unambiguously noble.' Lucy Mangan, writing in the Gruniad Morning Star, said the two episodes were 'finely scripted' and featured 'some of the best performances the cobbles have ever seen. Goodbye Hayley, and goodbye Julie Hesmondhalgh. And thank you for everything,' she concluded. She also looked back on the partnership between Roy and Hayley and their 'years of loving, careful, delicate performances.' Hayley was the first transgendered character in British soap history, who found love with the socially awkward cafe owner and forged a steady alliance. Nielsen's performance was singled out by some critics, with Christopher Stevens in the Scum Mail saying he was 'speechless with grief' but had 'eloquent eyes.' The Torygraph's Lawrence said Nielsen's acting 'beautifully captured the internal anguish of a quiet man.' Other actors from Coronation Street took to Twitter as the drama unfolded, with Catherine Tyldesley saying: 'I've cried to the point of feeling sick.' Antony Cotton added: 'That was quite something. Powerful stuff. Exhausted watching it.' Hesmondhalgh, from Accrington, has spoken out in support of tackling the right to die issue through her soap exit, saying it was 'a real privilege' to play and that she had 'always really understood Hayley's decision.' Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Monday, she admitted the final scenes would be 'a hard watch.' After being a Coronation Street regular since 1998, the actress is now starring on stage at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre in the play Blindsided.

Benefits Street climbed once again in the overnight ratings for Channel Four on Monday night. The controversial documentary series rose by around two hundred thousand viewers to 4.51 million at 9pm. Earlier, Food Unwrapped interested 2.07m at 8.30pm, while My Baggy Body intrigued 1.97m at 10pm. BBC1's The ONE Show was the most-watched programme outside of soaps with 4.92m at 7pm. A New Tricks repeat garnered 2.68m at 9pm. Panorama appealed to 1.88m at 8.30pm. On BBC2, University Challenge was watched by 3.21m at 8pm, followed by Winterwatch with 2.79m at 8.30pm. Russia On Four Wheels brought in 1.53m at 9.30pm. ITV's Great Welsh Adventure was seen by 3.55m at 8pm, whilst The Bletchley Circle dipped by around by around two hundred thousand viewers week-on-week to 3.73m at 9pm. On Channel Five, Celebrity Big Brother continued with 2.33m at 9pm, followed by the first episode of Helix with nine hundred and fifty nine thousand at 10pm.

Death In Paradise continued its winning ways at 9pm on Tuesday night with 6.87 million overnight punters, more than double its nearest competition. Quite a good episode, as well. It featured a truism which Doctor Who fans know only too well. Stick yer actual Michelle Ryan in a tight vest and stretchpants and you're always onto a winner.
It was also jolly nice to see Peter Davison cropping up in the episode playing, rather against type, a somewhat down-on-his-luck scuzzy scriptwriter.
The Kris Marshall-fronted crime drama dipped by two hundred thousand viewers from last week's series launch to 6.87 million at 9pm. Later, The Naked Rambler was seen by 2.16m at 10.35pm. BBC2's Winterwatch appealed to 2.65m at 8pm, followed by documentary The Search For Alfred The Great with 1.70m at 9pm. Vic & Bob's House Of Fools dropped nearly three hundred thousand week-on-week to nine hundred and thirty six thousand viewers at 10pm. On ITV, River Monsters interested 2.52m at 7.30pm. Weight Loss Ward brought in 3.23m at 8pm and Paul O'Grady's Animal Orphans gathered 2.84m at 9pm. It was a rotten night for ITV which, Emmerdale aside, didn't manage to win a single slot in primetime. Channel Four's Location, Location, Location appalled 2.35m at 8pm, followed by The Taste which continued to shed viewers faster than a really big shedding thing with eight hundred and sixty seven thousand at 9pm. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares USA attracted 1.02m at 10pm. On Channel Five, Gibraltar: Britain In The Sun was seen by 1.00m at 8pm, while Celebrity Big Brother continued with 2.27m at 9pm. Autopsy had 1.29m at 10pm. On Sky1, Ross Kemp's Extreme World returned with two hundred and fifty one thousand geezers at 9pm.

Here's the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Four programmes for week-ending Sunday 12 January:-
1 Sherlock - Sun BBC1 - 11.38m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 9.55m
3 The Voice - Sat BBC1 - 9.35m
4 EastEnders - Thurs BBC1 - 8.91m
5 Emmerdale - Thurs ITV - 8.77m
6 Birds Of A Feather - Thurs ITV - 8.41m
7 The 7:39 - Tues BBC1 - 7.41m
8 Silent Witness - Fri BBC1 - 7.33m
9 Benidorm - Thurs ITV - 6.28m
10 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 6.22m
11 Six O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 6.11m
12 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 6.06m
13 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.95m
14 The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins - Sat BBC1 - 5.84m
15 Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 5.75m
16 Midsomer Murders - Wed ITV - 5.67m*
17 Twatting About On Ice - Sun ITV - 5.65m*
18 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.64m
19 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 5.12m
20 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 5.04m
21 THe Bletchley Circle - Mon ITV - 4.81m*
22 Celebrity Mastermind - Sun BBC1 - 4.67m
23 All Star Family Fortunes - Sun ITV - 4.64m*
24 Benefit Street - Mon Channel Four - 4.61m
ITV programmes marked '*' do not include HD figures. The average audience for Sherlock's three episodes was a properly mind-boggling 11.83m. BBC2's top-rated show of the week was University Challenge (3.35m), followed by Stargazing Live (3.00m), Operation Grand Canyon With Dan Show (2.64m) and Qi (2.34m). Channel Four's highest-rated show, apart from Benefit Street was Location, Location, Location with 2.89m. The Friday episode of Celebrity Big Brother was Channel Five's highest performer with 2.86m. The week's two episodes of BBC4's The Bridge attracted audiences of 1.49m and 1.36m respectively.

Fleming will be available on Sky Go a week ahead of its TV transmission it has been announced. The four-part drama biopic about James Bond author Ian Fleming, starring Dominic Cooper in the lead role, will be shown on Sky Atlantic on 12 February. However, the first episode will be made available to watch online from 5 February at 9pm. The drama also stars Lara Pulver, Rupert Evans, Lesley Manville, Samuel West and Anna Chancellor. Sky's decision follows that of Channel Four, which debuted every episode of the past series of Fresh Meat online.
Would I Lie To You? has been named the best comedy show of 2013 by the British Comedy Guide. Readers of the website voted the Rob Brydon-hosted programme the best panel show of the year, as well as the overall top title. Editors of the website said: 'This is the first time a non-scripted show has claimed the title, and much of that credit must go to the brilliant banter between David Mitchell and Lee Mack.' The eighth series of Would I Lie To You? is due to be recorded in the spring.
Danny Boyle's Channel Four comedy Babylon has unveiled its first trailer. The pilot episode, which has been written Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, will be broadcast on Sunday 9 February. Babylon follows Brit Marling's Liz Garvey, an American expert in new media who has been drafted in by Jimmy Nesbitt's Chief Constable Richard Miller to revolutionise London's police force. The show also stars Paterson Joseph, Jill Halfpenny, Adam Deacon, Daniel Kaluuya and Jonny Sweet. Boyle is directing the pilot as well as executive producing with Robert Jones, Armstrong and Bain. A full series is due to shoot in the autumn.
Alan Davies is to host a BBC2 show about the Winter Olympics. The weekly show will 'take a funny, irreverent and entertaining look at all the action from the games in Sochi.' It follows the success of Adam Hills's comedy entertainment show about the Paralympics, The Last Leg. Three episodes of The Alan Davies Show will be recorded in front of a studio audience in London on the three Fridays of the games – 7, 14 and 21 February. Davies is a keen amateur skier but admits that he is 'pretty hopeless ... but [I] really love doing it.' Each episode of his Winter Olympics show also promises 'guests from the worlds of comedy, entertainment and sport.'
The BBC, ITV and Channel Four have been cleared of breaching broadcasting regulations for giving airtime to radical cleric Anjem Choudary in the wake of the Woolwich terrorist outrage. Media regulator Ofcom, which launched its investigation last July, said that the broadcasters' news programmes did not break the broadcasting code because Choudary was adequately and robustly challenged by the presenters and his views were 'adequately contextualised' as being 'in the minority.' However, on Monday Ofcom also revealed that it is to open new investigations into Channel Four News, Channel Five's 5pm news bulletin, and Sky News over their coverage following the conviction of soldier Lee Rigby's murderers in December. 'Where highly controversial individuals are given the chance to articulate their views on television or radio, broadcasters must ensure that their views are challenged and contextualised as appropriate,' Ofcom said. The regulator added that it would be 'a disproportionate restriction' of a broadcasters' freedom of expression to block potentially offensive individuals from appearing on TV. Because, let's face it, if that was the case, then three quarters of ITV's reality programming would be down the swanny. 'This is especially the case in news and current affairs programming, where the timely and comprehensive coverage of on-going news stories may require individuals or organisations with challenging views to be given airtime,' said Ofcom. The regulator - a politically appointed quango, elected by no one - investigated interviews with Choudary aired on Channel Four News, BBC2's Newsnight and ITV's breakfast fiasco, Daybreak in the days following Rigby's murder in Woolwich on 22 May, after some viewers complained that his comments were 'offensive.' The media regulator also assessed and dismissed complaints about an interview with Choudary on an edition of the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme which aired on 20 December, after Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale were convicted of murdering Rigby. Ofcom did not go as far as launching an investigation into the Today interview. In a series of TV interviews last May Choudary, who said that he 'encountered' Adebolajo at a number of Islamist demonstrations, refused to condemn the killing. In an interview with Daybreak's Jonathan Swain, he said that 'some around the world' would see the killers as 'heroes.' Ofcom received twenty two complaints about the interviews across the three TV broadcasters, and sixteen about the Today interview. Complainants said that it was 'offensive' to give Choudary time to air offensive views, disrespectful to Rigby's family to interview him so soon after his death and that it would 'incite hatred against the Muslim community.' Ofcom has launched new investigations about TV news coverage of the guilty verdicts in the Rigby murder case which were broadcast on 19 and 20 December. The regulator has received two complaints apiece about Channel Four News, for an interview with radical cleric Omar Bakri Muhammed on 19 December and Five News at Five and Sky News for interviews with Jeremiah Adebolajo, the brother of one of the convicted killers, on 20 December. Ofcom is also investigating three complaints about a Channel Four News piece on the extremist al-Shabaab training camp in Somalia broadcast on 16 December. Earlier this month, Ofcom cleared nine news and current affairs broadcasters, including the BBC, ITV and Sky News, of airing graphic footage of Rigby's murder after investigating almost seven hundred complaints.

A biography of Doctor Who's first producer is to be published next January. Drama and Delight: The Life and Legacy of Verity Lambert is being written by Richard Marson and will be published by Miwk Publishing Ltd. Not only was Lambert the popular long-running family SF drama's first producer, it was also her first TV programme as a producer, having been poached from commercial rival ABC by the BBC's drama chief Sydney Newman. At the time, she was both the youngest and the only female drama producer at the BBC. Lambert went on to have a hugely successful and influential career in TV production, becoming a head of drama herself - at Thames Television - and later setting up her own production company, the award-winning Cinema Verity. She received an OBE in the 2002 New Year Honours for services to film and television production and, that same year also saw her presented with BAFTA's Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television. She died of cancer in 2007 at the age of seventy one. For five decades, the name Verity Lambert appeared on the end credits of many of Britain's most celebrated and talked-about television dramas, among them Adam Adamant Lives!, Budgie, The Naked Civil Servant, Minder, Edward and Mrs Simpson, Eldorado, GBH and Jonathan Creek.

Downton Abbey is already an international phenomenon and one especially loved in America - you might have noticed - but, as everybody in the industry knows, you haven't really arrived as a genuine, twenty-four carat TV phenomena until you have your very own porn parody. Now, UK Harmony Films has announced they are producing Down On Abby - a triple-X big, broad, massive and hard homage to the award-winning drama. It is set at 'the beautiful Bottomley Manor', and characters include Lord and Lady Grabhem, their stepdaughters Abby and Fanny and servant Master Bates. It will be available from your local mucky book shop on the shelf next to Spank Monthly. Probably. Lord Snooty's thoughts on this matter are not, at this time, known.
Declan Bennett, star of the West End show Once, is to join EastEnders as Dot Branning's grandson Charlie Cotton. Bennett's character is the eldest son of Dot's son, Nasty Nick. 'I'm delighted to be joining the cast of EastEnders, especially at what seems to be an extremely exciting time for the show,' said Bennett. He will begin filming for the BBC soap this month and can be seen on screen from March.

BBC presenter Simon King has captured a potential burglar on camera. Springwatch film-maker King's camera recorded images of a tea-leaf climbing over a fence and then legging it across a garden. Police now want to speak to the man in question in connection with a nearby burglary and other nefarious skulduggery. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that the footage was recorded around 3.45am on 12 January at a home in Herne Hill. King recorded the footage using his 'fox camera', which streams live on his personal website. The wildlife expert said: 'I understand that a neighbour of our urban fox family residence was burgled and our cameras captured the possible suspect. Anyone can view our network of webcams live through our website and they will often see animals doing the strangest of things - but this is taking it one stage further. I hope the police are able to make use of the images and that this matter is resolved with as little disruption as possible for all concerned.' The police spokesperson added that, thankfully, the individual had not managed to steal anything from the property - so he's a pretty incompetent robber - and asked anyone with information about who he is to contact them and grass him up like a Copper's Nark. So that he can so be pinched by the bobbies and be given a nice little stretch at Her Majesty's. King has also contributed to BBC shows Big Cat Diary and Planet Earth.
Historian and presenter Dan Snow, The Choir's Gareth Malone and newsreader Kate Adie are among the broadcasters to voice a new series of interactive guides on World War One. Using original material, they have been created by new BBC educational brand iWonder, to coincide with the launch of the BBC's World War One Season. Radio 1 DJ Greg James, The ONE Show's Matt Baker and TV doctor Michael Mosley also look into aspects of the war. Eight of the twenty five guides are now online. Among them, Adie's guide tackles how the war affected the status of women, while Mosley discusses the plastic surgery techniques pioneered to help fix faces destroyed by shrapnel. The next seventeen will be added to the site by the end of January, designed to work on laptops, tablets and smartphones and 'reintroduce audiences to a war they think they know', according to Tim Plyming, executive producer for BBC knowledge and learning. Malone examines how the song 'Pack up Your Troubles' became so popular, poet and journalist Ian McMillan will look into the role of poetry in the war and and BBC Security correspondent Frank Gardner explores why journalists were threatened with execution during the conflict. Historian Snow will narrate a guide looking at how soldiers survived such terrible conditions in the trenches. 'I'm fascinated by the stories of trench warfare. We hear a lot about how soldiers died, so I wanted my iWonder guide to take an in-depth look at how soldiers survived the trenches,' said Snow. 'The new format gives me the opportunity to present a view on this subject in an engaging and innovative way.' The Today programme's Mishal Husain, Radio 3's Tom Service and former politician and broadcaster Michael Portillo have also voice guides. 'The guides span life in the trenches to poetry and propaganda and we hope each one will educate and inform the curious novice as well as the history buff,' said Plyming. The BBC has commissioned more than two thousand five hundred hours of programmes over the next four years to mark the anniversary of the war, including Jeremy Paxman's Britain's Great War for BBC1. More iWonder guides will be launched throughout 2014 covering subjects from science to natural history, to arts and religion.

The battle for ratings continues unabated across the television world, but one of the BBC's biggest names has an unusual way of showing that viewing figures matter at the Beeb. In a Radio Times interview, Jeremy Paxman says he would like to see presenters telling people to switch off their TVs if it's a slow news day. 'I'd often like to see the presenters say: "Not much happened today, so I'd go to bed if I were you,"' Paxo said. The Newsnight anchor also refutes claims that he 'looks bored' on the programme, saying: 'I can't help my face. It's long and I can do nothing about it.' He then give his opinions about national service (good, but not advocating its return), his infamous interview with Russell Brand (he's not 'full of rubbish') and politics in general (he finds the whole 'green-bench pantomime' at Westminster a bit silly).
Newsnight has hired Channel Four News reporter Katie Razzall as a special correspondent. On Monday, the BBC2 programme also announced the appointment of Olly Lambert as its first 'filmmaker in residence.' Razzall, who has worked at Channel Four News for fourteen years, has been given a wide brief spanning 'lighter stories to social issues' as well as leading coverage of 'religion, legal affairs and disability issues.' 'I have lived and breathed Channel Four News for fourteen years, a period of time and a programme of which I am immensely proud,' said Razzall. 'However, the opportunity to join Newsnight at such an exciting time in the show's evolution was just too good to ignore. I'm greatly looking forward to a wide-ranging brief in one of the best newsrooms in the country.' Razzall's appointment is the latest by Newsnight's editor, Ian Katz, since joining the flagship daily news and current affairs programme last year. Katz said he has long admired Razzall's 'distinctive voice and original reporting' and praised her versatility. Lambert, who has documentary credits including Syria: Across The Lines, The Tea Boy Of Gaza and My Child The Rioter, has a three-month contract and will work with the show's producers, as well as making his own films for Newsnight. Razzall's appointment marks the reversal of something of a trend in recent years of Newsnight journalists departing for Channel Four News. Newsnight's economics editor Paul Mason switched sides last year to be Channel Four News culture and digital editor. Shaminder Nahal moved from her role as a Newsnight deputy editor to the same job at Channel Four in late 2012. Michael Crick left Newsnight in 2011 to become Channel Four News's political correspondent, following in the footsteps of Matt Frei and Jackie Long, who also went to Channel Four in 2010. In November, Katz brought Laura Kuenssberg back to the BBC as Newsnight's chief correspondent from ITV News, where she was business editor. Kuenssberg, a former chief political correspondent for the BBC News channel who moved to ITV in 2011, will also join the show's presenting team. Katz has also hired Chris Cook of the Financial Times as policy editor, and appointed Newsnight political correspondent David Grossman as technology editor. Emily Maitlis has been appointed political editor to cover Allegra Stratton's maternity leave.

Risible The Jump host witless Davina McCall has promised that the forthcoming, wretched-sounding reality show will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Which isn't a very comfortable place to be, frankly, so that sounds like one very good reason not to watch it. 'Picture the scene - it's January, you're depressed, New Year's Eve has been and gone, you've already broken your New Year's resolutions and you're feeling really bad about yourself,' McCall said, seemingly now a spokeswoman for the entire viewing public. 'What you need to do is sit down in front of the television and watch an entertainment programme that will have you clenching your buttocks so hard that you won't need to visit the gym for a month,' she claimed. No Davina, chuck, that really isn't 'what we need.' Trust me, I speak as a fully paid up member of the viewing public.

And, speaking of banal trivia, nasty, opinion-on-everything Coleen Nolan has 'hit out' at Celebrity Big Brother housemate and risible, odious right-wing gobshite ridiculous Jim Davidson. Big fight, dear blog reader. Little people. Coleen - whose sister Linda is currently in the house - told that bastion of quality journalism new! magazine that Davidson is 'a sexist, racist, homophobic pig.' Which, one supposes, proves that - like a broken clock - even Coleen Nolan can be right occasionally. She added that she was 'absolutely fuming' when Davidson brought up Linda's late husband, Brian Hudson, and the 'Frank Carson's dressing room' incident. (In 1985, Hudson was fined two hundred smackers after pleading guilty to stealing twenty quid from Frank Carson's wallet. Hudson stole marked banknotes and was filmed taking money on a hidden camera that had been set-up by the police.) 'The thing that annoys me is he chips away and walks away,' Nolan said of Davidson. 'Be a man, have the balls and go, "What is your problem?" It was the lowest of the low.' Nolan, who admitted that she is 'worried' about her sister and fears that she may not be 'mentally strong enough' for Big Brother, also said she wants to say 'much' to Davidson but doesn't want to be 'unclassy.' So, she sold her story to a cheap, tatty magazine instead. That's class. 'People were quick to Google the whole Frank Carson thing and retweet it saying, "She's married a thief,"' Nolan said. 'But no-one's Googled Hell's Kitchen [wherein Davidson infamously used vile homophobic language in relation to the openly gay Brian Dowling]. Let's re-run that show, because that's Jim Davidson. Is he quiet generally in life? Not in a million years. And he's gone in here and thought, "I've got to be careful what I say."' Nolan also claimed that she had previously met Davidson, adding that he was 'vile.' Yes. We know. 'It was when I met Shane Richie, my first husband, and we were at a charity event,' she said. 'I was doing a soundcheck with my sisters and he said to Shane, "Which one of them are you fucking then?" at the top of his voice. It was so disrespectful.'
The News International director of security told one of his team that he had dug a hole in his garden to 'burn stuff', the phone-hacking trial has heard. Robert Hernandez, who worked in security at the company, said on Monday that he and Mark Hanna went for a drink in St Katharine Dock on 9 July 2011 after the Scum of the World published its last edition. Asked by the prosecution what they discussed, Hernandez said they talked about the closure of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World and the protection Hanna had provided to well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks, then chief executive of News International. 'What he explained when the hacking scandal came to light, he had to do protection at her house and sometimes when there was an event, he would act as a back-up driver,' claimed Hernandez. They went on to discuss well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, who Hernandez said Hanna described as 'a good boss, a good person to work for and she was kind.' Asked by Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, what else they discussed, Hernandez said: 'The conversation went on, at some point, he mentioned one time that he dug a hole in his garden and burned stuff.' Hernandez added: 'I asked him if it was papers and he did not reply. He just looked at me and didn't reply and just changed the conversation.' Hernandez claimed this was 'ten or fifteen minutes' after they had discussed well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks. Hanna and Brooks have been extremely charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by allegedly helping to conceal material that could have been of interest to police investigating phone hacking. They have both denied the charge and pleaded not guilty. On-cross examination by Hanna's counsel William Clegg QC, Hernandez said that he 'did not know' what was burned or when Hanna had made the fire because he did not tell him. 'For all I know, he could have been burning bank statements,' Hernandez said. Earlier on Monday the phone-hacking trial heard from two staff working at the Brooks's Chelsea Harbour home on the day that millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks realised a bin bag containing a laptop and a brief case had gone missing, after it had been left behind a rubbish skip in the complex's underground car park. Neil Perkins, a porter at the complex, told how he 'found a man' rustling through bins in the car park around lunchtime on 18 July 2011, the day after well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks was arrested by plod. Perkins was told shortly afterwards by Brooks's driver, who was in the car park on the phone at the time, that they were 'looking for a rubbish bag that was left last night.' In the first bag the police found a brown leather briefcase which contained a jiffy bag, and a Sony Vaio laptop, a programme from Wimbledon tennis tournament, a newsletter from the British Kunekune Pig Society and a document containing information concerning road repairs. Also in the bag, the jury was told, were a pornographic magazine, Lesbian Lovers, and six pornographic DVDs titled: Lanny, Tera and Briana: Stars Entre Elles, Where the Boys Aren't Seventeen, Bride of Sin; Instant Lesbian, Lesbian Psychodrama Volume Two, Lesbian Psychodrama Volume Three and Lesbian Psychodrama Volume Ten: Petites Salopes. Among other items on the inventory created by detective constable Karyn Millar were a pair of glasses, a USB stick, a HTC smartphone, one pink striped notebook, a digital voice recorder and some homeopathic medicine. The second bag, a black nylon bag emblazoned with the words 'World Economic Forum', was stuffed with correspondence, with five items addressed to well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks, five to her husband and four items to his mother, Carolyn. It also contained an Apple laptop with 'a News International tag', which the jury was told, was a silver metal stickers identifying it as the property of the newspaper company. The black bag also contained an Apple iPad and a thumb drive. The paperwork found also included an invoice to millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks, who is a racehorse trainer, for stud fees and horse transport. The jury has already heard that millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks had, allegedly, 'disposed' of a jiffy bag and a laptop the previous day when his wife was in Lewisham police station being questioned. He and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks went upstairs and talked to other staff about the bag and learned that it had been handed to police. He was 'annoyed', said Perkins, and said 'Oh, I'll sue them.' However, he added that he did not really know what was going on. Cross-examined by counsel for Charlie Brooks, Perkins said he knew the Brookses and had occasionally been in their flat. Their housekeeper would call him if a light bulb needed changing. Millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks had also been 'kind enough' to loan him 'a black tie' for an event he attended and he had also given a signed copy of his book. The trial extremely continues.
A woman who alleges that she was sexually assaulted by William Roache has told the court that a she was warned about Roache by another Coronation Street actor. Preston Crown Court heard that the late Peter Adamson, who played Len Fairclough in the soap, warned her that Roache would 'lead you astray.' The woman alleges that Roache groped her when she was about fourteen years old. Roache denies two rapes and five indecent assaults between 1965 and 1971. The woman told the court last week that Roache assaulted her after he arranged passes for her to visit Granada Studios in Manchester with her sister. During cross-examination by the actor's lawyer, Louise Blackwell QC, she said Adamson, who she referred to as Len Fairclough, looked directly at Roache and then told her: 'You want to keep your eye on him, he will lead you astray.' The woman claimed Roache groped her in a room after she was led past the Rovers Return pub on the set. The trial continues.

A woman who was allegedly assaulted by Dave Lee Travis claims that the incident caused her 'forty years of hell.' The veteran DJ was alone with the then nineteen-year-old at the opening of a hospital radio station in 1973 when he, allegedly, put his hand up her skirt and groped her, Southwark Crown Court heard. Travis denies thirteen indecent assaults and one sexual assault. The woman broke down while giving evidence, saying that the assault left her 'scared to go out alone.' She said Travis - on trial under his real name David Patrick Griffin - had 'a haunting look' on his face when he touched her. After the incident she felt 'ashamed and frightened' and avoided watching Travis on television, she told the court. 'He screwed a lot of my life up,' she said. The woman - who was raised a strict Catholic - said that her late husband never knew that the alleged assault had affected the couple's love life. 'When he put his arms around me, I'd freeze,' she said. Earlier, the trial heard from a former theatre stage hand who claimed that Travis had only stopped assaulting her when one of the Chuckle Brothers spoke outside a dressing room door. The woman said that Travis attacked her in his dressing room, holding the door shut while he was appearing in a Christmas pantomime performance of Aladdin. The show also starred Barry and Paul Elliot, better known as the Chuckle Brothers. The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the court: 'I was about to go and he was suddenly behind me. He's a big chap and he engulfed me and he had his hand on the door above me. He put his other hand down the front of my jogging bottoms.' She said she struggled to escape and managed to open the door slightly despite his superior strength. 'I heard someone say "All right, Dave", at which point he released me,' she said. The woman said the voice belonged to one of the Chuckle Brothers, who were walking along the corridor towards the dressing room. She said that she told a supervisor about the incident, which had left her 'confused and scared', and it was agreed that she would not have to enter Travis's dressing room again. But she said she did not report the assault because she feared she would lose her job. 'We decided that because it was my first job in theatre it wouldn't be me who was going to be believed,' she said. 'I think I felt that even if someone believed me it still wouldn't be me that kept my job.' The incident allegedly happened in the early 1990s when the victim was twenty one. The court also heard Travis squeezed a BBC camerawoman's bottom during a recording of Top Of The Pops in the early 1980s. The witness, whose claims are not part of the charges Travis faces, said it was 'sustained touching.' She said Travis later gave her a 'tight"'and 'unnatural' hug and said the words 'beautiful woman.' After this alleged incident, the witness said she made sure she never again worked on Top Of The Pops when Travis was on the show. 'I just got away from him as fast as I could,' she said.
Delivery of the BBC's review into what it knew about dirty old scallywag and rotten rotter Jimmy Savile has been delayed until mid-2014 at the request of Lancashire Police and the CPS. They asked the review team to wait until criminal proceedings against ex-presenter Stuart Hall had concluded to avoid prejudicing his trial. The BBC's independent inquiry, led by Dame Janet Smith, had been intending to publish its findings during January. It has been in contact with seven hundred and twenty people and interviewed one hundred and forty witnesses. A statement from the review said the delay was requested owing to fears its report could adversely affect the fairness of Hall's trial. The eighty three-year-old broadcaster is facing fifteen charges of rape and one count of indecent assault involving two girls. The statement said: 'Dame Janet Smith and Dame Linda Dobbs appreciate the wish of many (including the victims) that the report be delivered as quickly as possible. They have, however, considered the request and concluded that, in the interests of justice, delivery of the report should be delayed. The BBC has been informed of, and agrees with, the review's decision.' Dame Janet's inquiry was launched after allegations of decades of abuse committed by Savile emerged following his death in 2011.

Fresh questions have emerged about the Channel Four documentary Benefits Street after it emerged that the BBC was involved in early discussions about commissioning the controversial series but decided against pursuing it. One of the working titles for the BBC series was The Benefit Street, suggesting that its creators had a good idea of what the show was going to be about long before those who appeared in it did. Several participants have claimed they were told the programme was about community spirit. The company behind the series, Love Productions, approached the BBC two years ago. 'It's true that the BBC was involved in some early development on the programme but we decided not to take the project further,' said a spokeswoman for the corporation. She declined to be drawn on why the BBC decided against the project but pointed out that in the last few years it has broadcast several programmes focused on benefits, including Nick and Margaret: We All Pay Your Benefits, a series fronted by Lord Sugar's two advisers on The Apprentice, BBC3's People Like Us, about a housing estate in Manchester and The Future State Of Welfare, presented by John Humphrys. The spokeswoman suggested that at the time when the BBC was deciding whether to proceed with what became Benefits Street, other formats 'felt stronger.' Love, which is behind the BBC's hugely popular The Great British Bake Off, said the idea of focusing on one street where the majority of people were on benefits was suggested to the corporation only after another project fell through. 'Benefits Street [in its current form] was not dropped by the BBC,' a spokeswoman for Love said. 'A completely different series involving an entrepreneur working with people who were unemployed and on benefits was decommissioned because the entrepreneur had a clash of commitments.' Some of the residents of James Turner Street in Birmingham, where the series is filmed, have expressed anger that they, allegedly, did not know what the programme was going to be called when it was being filmed. After the first episode was broadcast, Dee Roberts, a qualified mentor and support worker who featured in the show, told the Birmingham Mail: 'They said they wanted to film for a TV show about how great community spirit is in the street. I participated in the show on that belief. But this programme has nothing to do with community, which you can tell from the title. It's all about people in the street living off benefits, taking drugs and dossing around all day. It makes people out as complete scum.' Love insists that all involved were informed of the chosen title when they were invited to a pre-broadcast screening. At least one participant apparently agreed that it was 'the most suitable of the working titles' which Love used in the two years since filming began. Kieran Smith, the creative director behind the series, which has attracted more than four million viewers and has been a huge ratings success for C4, has insisted his team was 'upfront' with the street's residents. 'We have been very clear with people that this is a series about benefits,' he said last week. He told Radio 4's Today programme that he had not told residents the series was going to be called Benefits Street 'because I didn't know it was going to be called Benefits Street then.' The show has been attacked by some critics for supposedly encouraging criminal behaviour, including shoplifting and cannabis cultivation, but has also been praised by others for sparking a national debate about Britain's welfare system. But some question whether it gives an accurate portrayal of life in that particular street. A couple who lived on the street claimed that they had been filmed for a year but were not included in the final cut because they were not on benefits. Some residents allege they were 'bribed' to appear with cigarettes, fast food and alcohol. It was claimed that furniture was moved from a nearby street so that the street's characters could be filmed lounging outside their homes. Love categorically denies all of these claims. A 'community activist' whom the Gruniad Morning Star alleged is 'in contact with many of the residents who have featured in the programme' said that their experiences has 'left them reluctant to appear in a live television debate discussing the furore' that has erupted since it was broadcast. 'Not many of them are keen to take part in the live debate,' said Desmond Jaddoo of the Birmingham Empowerment Forum. 'The ten residents I am in contact with have said they won't take part.' Jaddoo added that the consequences of being 'under the media microscope' were being felt across the neighbourhood. 'Children are being bullied at school and people are driving by outside the school shouting abuse while the children are in the playground,' he said. 'There are signs that a backlash against what critics are calling "poverty porn" is building in the wake of the controversy,' the Gruniad claims. 'Residents in Grimsby are angry that Skint, a similar Channel Four documentary series about people on the poverty line, is currently being filmed in their town. Civic leaders fear Grimsby will end up being demonised by the show, which began test filming in the Nunsthorpe district of the town just before Christmas.' The first series of the show was filmed on the Westcliff estate in Scunthorpe and drew complaints from locals, who said it was 'car crash television.' Which it was. Now the mayor of North-East Lincolnshire, Councillor Peggy Elliott, had said that she fears Grimsby could suffer from its 'exposure' on national television. 'What we don't want is bad publicity that is created by a TV company cherry-picking one thing and then using it to bring down a whole area,' she told the local press.

So, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a slightly more positive portrayal of life near Cleethorpes.

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