Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week Five: And Anarchy The Ghastly Birth, Lay Dead Earth Upon The Earth

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has told his Facebook followers: 'I don't have anything on telly for ages, so, logically, they should all be hating somebody else. It's somebody else's go and that's official!' Heh. Steven has also spoken about an idea he had for The Day Of The Doctor which, unfortunately, he didn't manage to pull off; referencing the Peter Cushing's movie version of The Doctor. This is what he had to say in an interview with the latest Doctor Who Magazine: 'When I started writing The Day Of The Doctor I knew I wanted every Doctor to make some sort of appearance. But what about Peter Cushing? I love those movies, but they don't exactly fit with the rest of the show, do they? You remember that line, in The Black Archive, when Kate is explaining about the need to 'screen The Doctor’s known associates.' She wasn't supposed to be looking at the Vortex Manipulator – originally she was walking past posters for the two Peter Cushing movies. In my head, in The Doctor's universe those films exist as distorted accounts of his adventures. Sadly, we couldn't afford the rights to the posters.' Couldn't afford it? What, this one?
Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch has admitted that he considered turning down the lead role in Sherlock. Luckily, for all concerned, he didn't. Benny told Entertainment Weekly that he had 'pause[d] for thought' when first offered the role of the famous detective in the hugely popular BBC1's drama. "My reservation was, "This is a very iconic character, there will be a lot of attention on it" - this was before I had had any significant success,' he explained. 'I knew there would still be a lot of focus on it. And while I had done work, it wasn't stepping into the populist limelight like playing a character like Holmes.' Benny added that the passion of Sherlock's creators Mark Gatiss his very self and The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat was what convinced him to take on the role. 'I thought, "If I'm going to do this - if I'm going to step into the limelight with a large leading role of iconic status - then I might as well do it with these people,"' he said. 'They know what they're doing and I completely trust them. I felt like I was being asked to join the family and have some fun.'
First there was the - really not bad at all - American drama Elementary, a modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. Now it appears that the massive domestic and international success of the BBC's Sherlock is to spawn a veritable flood of new adaptations on Arthur Conan Doyle's detective after a US court ruling paved the way to fresh interpretations. The Sunday Times reports that while some of Conan Doyle's stories and plotlines are still protected by copyright, the character of Sherlock Holmes himself is not. The judge ruled that only the last ten Holmes stories remained under copyright, adding that the remainder had entered into the public domain. American studios lining-up films include Paramount, which has a Sherlock comedy script supposedly starring Will Ferrell, while Warner has hired Iron Man 3 scriptwriter Drew Pearce to write the third part of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes series starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. International producers will now be able to sell their films in the US market, leading to reports in the Indian press that Slumdog Millionaire star Anil Kapoor is in talks with a UK-based director, Anand Tucker, to play a Punjabi version of yer man Holmes. A film is also planned in China, where the BBC show is massively popular, with fans hailing Benedict Cumberbatch as 'a male God' and pointing to possible gay subtexts in the show; its launch attracted some three million punters on the video-hosting platform Youku.
The final and consolidated ratings for His Last Vow was 11.38m (more or less exactly the same audience as The Sign Of Three a week earlier). Over the three episodes of its third series, Sherlock had an average of 11.83m viewers per episode, the highest figure for any drama series (or, mini-series) on British TV in God-knows how long (a decade, at least).

Thigh-slapping laughter echoed around the land last week when ITV accused the BBC in its submission to the culture select committee's inquiry into the corporation's future of repeatedly 'aping' it. You might have noticed, dear blog reader. The guffawing was - inevitably - followed by the words 'pot', 'kettle' and 'black' as accusations of crass and fek-ignorant hypocrisy were dumped, like a really big sack full of stinking diarrhoea, on ITV's very doorstep. And, a new party game emerged for media watchers, based on identifying the most egregious instances of ITV let's be blunt about this, copycatting a BBC format: Was it, for instance, ripping off Strictly Come Dancing with Twatting About On Ice. Or, was it redoing Dragons' Den as Tycoon - both before the era of Peter Fincham? Or, more recently, what about aping MasterChef, Great British Bake Off and Call The Midwife respectively as a trio of - very satisfying - ratings disasters in Food Glorious Food, Britain's Best Bakery and Breathless?

And, speaking of Call The Midwife, it easily topped Sunday's overnight ratings, scoring its highest-ever overnight audience figures. The BBC1 period drama attracted an average audience of 9.61 million at 8pm, up from last year's opener of 9.32m. Earlier, Countryfile Winter appealed to 7.05m at 7pm, whilst the opening episode of The Musketeers launched to an impressive 7.41m at 9pm. Fake or Fortune? in which Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould helped a chap prove his Edouard Vuillard was an original had 4.8 million. On ITV, Mr Selfridge returned to 4.85m at 9pm. This is down around two million viewers from last year's premiere episode, and around five hundred thousand from its last episode, shown in March. Twatting About On Ice fell to 5.77m - with 4.71m watching the results show - and was comfortably beaten by Countryfile. BBC2's Masters Snooker final scored 2.15m at 7pm, followed by a Top Gear repeat with 1.11m at 9.15pm. On Channel Four, Speed With Guy Martin brought in 1.77m at 8pm. The documentary Don't Look Down was seen by 1.47m at 9pm. Channel Five's broadcast of Legally Blonde attracted an audience of 1.26m at 7pm, followed by Celebrity Big Brother with 2.34m at 9pm.
The Voice was - by a huge distance - Saturday night's most watched programme with an overnight audience of 7.61m, down seven hundred thousand punters on last week's opener. The show peaked with 8.9m. The figures show that the episode attracted 1.2m more viewers than the second episode of the 2013 series. We'll call that 'the Kylie effect', yes? However, the best news about Saturday's overnights was the figure for Z-List Celebrity Drowning. The wretched piss-poor horrorshow (and drag) could only manage but 3.64 million viewers. Seemingly, the general public are, finally, waking up to what an utter stinking pisspot this wretched horrorshow (and drag) actually is. On BBC1, Nick Knowle's National Lottery: Who Dares Wins pulled in 5.13m at 8.20pm, followed by the latest episode of Casualty with 4.86m at 9.10pm. BBC2's Live Snooker: The Masters spectacularly failed to entertain 1.51m at 7pm, whilst a last minute repeat James May's Toy Stories - which saw the Top Gear presenter attempt to create a life-size model of a Spitfire - inserted into the schedule because the snooker, merifully, finished early, was seen by nine hundred and forty thousand. Take Me Out scored the highest primetime ratings for ITV, with - a still not very good - 3.94m tuning in to watch gurning professional Northern oaf Paddy McGuinness play matchmaker at 8.30pm. The Jonathan Ross Show had an audience of 2.62m at 9.45pm, with guests including Russell Brand, Dermot O'Dreary, Goldie Hawn and James Blunt. Christ, there's a bunch of people you really want to stay in on a Saturday night to watch. Channel Four's repeat of Britain's Killer Storms pulled in 1.11m at 7.30pm, while US drama Hostages continued with 1.05m at 9pm. A 10pm showing of the Nicholas Cage movie Knowing was seen by eight hundred thousand. On Channel Five, Celebrity Big Brother continued to offer the channel's highest primetime ratings, with 1.72m. Earlier in the evening, an NCIS double-bill attracted six hundred and thirteen thousand at 7.45pm and seven hundred and twenty two thousand at 8.40pm. On the multichannels, two more superb episodes of The Bridge did well for BBC4, with 1.04m tuning into the murder drama at 9pm and eight hundred and ninety two thousand watching the second at 10pm. ITV3's Doc Martin drew in seven hundred and thirty three thousand with a repeat of the series three premiere at 8pm, while ITV2 attracted seven hundred and ficve thousand with a showing of The World Is Not Enough at 9pm.

Silent Witness was Friday's highest-rated show outside of soaps. The long-running BBC1 crime drama continues to dominate Friday night overnight ratings, this week drawing an average of 5.73m viewers - an additional two hundred and thirty thousand punters on last week's figures. By comparison, ITV pulled a risibly pathetic average of 2.86m viewers in the 9pm slot for odious oily twat Piers Morgan's Life Stories featuring Men Behaving Badly's Neil Morrissey. BBC2 maintained control over the evening, with The ONE Show drawing 4.38m at 7pm, followed by Celebrity Mastermind with 3.12m. A repeat of Miranda grew the channel's audience to 3.73m at 8.30pm. The Graham Norton Show, featuring Girls creator and star Lena Dunham, Olivia Colman, Idris Elba and Keane, attracted 3.63m at 10.45pm. The Martin Lewis Money Show provided ITV's best non-soap ratings at 8pm, with an audience of 3.05m. On BBC2, Mastermind took over nine per cent of the available audience share, with 2.08m tuning in. The return of An Island Parish also performed well, with 2.11m at 8.30pm. Qi saw an audience of 1.84m at 10pm. Channel Four's own panel show, Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown attracted 1.73m, shedding one hundred thousand viewers from last week's episode. Sarah Millican: Chatterbox Live followed with 1.1m viewers. Celebrity Big Brother continued to deliver strong ratings for Channel Five, with 2.35m tuning in for Lionel Blair's eviction. BBC3's repeat of Sherlock's series three conclusion, His Last Vow attracted four hundred and sixty seven thousand at 9pm, while the second in a Family Guy double was the most popular multi-channel show at 11.25pm with nine hundred and four thousand viewers.

Rotten horrorshow (and drag) Birds Of A Feather topped the Thursday night ratings for a third week running, according to overnight figures. However, the ITV sitcom dropped a further eight hundred thousand viewers from last week, being watched by 5.93 million at 8.30pm. If it carries on at this rate, it'll be watched by four men and a dog by the end of the series. Benidorm was also down - over six hundred thousand - from last week to 4.60m at 9pm. On BBC1, Silent Witness climbed by two hundred thousand to 5.48m at 9pm. Earlier, the animal documentary Hidden Kingdoms attracted 3.41m at 8pm, while Question Time interested 2.56m at 10.35pm. BBC2's final Great Sport Relief Bake Off appealed to 4.26m at 8pm, followed by Wild Brazil with 1.90m at 9pm and Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe with 1.14m at 10pm. On Channel Four, Supersize Vs Superskinny brought in 1.01m at 8pm. The Undateables continued with 1.54m at 9pm and What Happens In Sunny Beach brought in 1.07m at 10pm. Channel Five's Celebrity Big Brother had 2.11m at 9pm, followed by Botched Up Bodies with nine hundred and twelve thousand at 10pm. On E4, The Big Bang Theory attracted 1.43m at 8.30pm while the first Brooklyn Nine-Nine was seen by eight hundred and seven thousand at 9pm.

Want to buy yer actual Alan Davies's old motorbike, dear blog reader? The Jonathan Creek star is selling his DL1000 V-Strom – which he bought in 2004 to undertake a trip around Europe and has barely ridden since – for the Riders For Health charity. It has five thousand five hundred miles on the clock and is on sale for just over three grand. Full details here.
BBC2 has released the first cast picture from its Twenty Twelve sequel W1A. Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes will reprise their roles in the upcoming comedy series. W1A will follow Hugh Bonneville's Ian Fletcher as he takes on his next big job as Head of Values at the BBC. Jason Watkins, Monica Dolan, Hugh Skinner, Nina Sosanya and Sarah Parish will also appear in the four-parter, which is currently filming.
And so to yer Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 25 January
When an unknown bomber threatens to blow up a chemical plant, Saga and Martin team up once again to track down the villain in The Bridge - 9:00 BBC4, which has been terrific so far this series. After compiling the clues, they find a common denominator that confines the would-be terrorist to a particular area, but the questions still outweigh the answers. Meanwhile, Saga begins to realise romance is harder than she thought, and Martin uncovers a secret in his Swedish counterpart's past. Then, in the night's second episode, Laura, the key witness in Saga and Martin's ongoing case, regains consciousness, and finally manages to help the duo compile a composite sketch of the perpetrator. However, it becomes clear that an insider is doctoring information in their reports. Superb tense and brilliantly-acted Scandinavian crime drama, starring Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia.
It's a bit of a quiet night on telly, The Bridge aside, though there is, at least, a repeat of (in this blogger's not even remotely humble opinion) the finest ever two-part episode of Waking The Dead - 9:00 Drama. In False Flag, a long-abandoned car belonging to a former Home Secretary is discovered in a London garage, containing both a skeleton and an unexploded time bomb. Boyd and his team face a race against time after the discovery triggers a tragic and sinister chain of subsequent events and the Cold Case Unit find themselves paddling in the murky waters of the intelligence community and Ulster terrorism.
The skeleton is that of Gerald Doyle, a student with an Irish background, missing since 1981 and who is suspected of having been a member of an IRA terrorist cell, possibly the one which murdered leading Tory politician Duncan Sanderson (based, not even remotely loosely, on Airey Neave). The unexploded bomb points to terrorist activity as the cause of death as does the execution-style method of Doyle's death - a shot to heart at close range. However, Doyle's parents produce a set of his diaries, which reveal that he was actually a mole working deep undercover for the intelligence services to infiltrate the cell and thwart their assassinations. Boyd's Cold Case Unit begin to feel like they, themselves, are being watched and their fears are realised when they find surveillance equipment in Boyd's car. As they discover their victim may have not have been as guilty as they once thought, a witness whom Boyd and Grace questioned as a part of the investigation commits suicide. Under pressure from one of his superiors, Boyd is given two days to solve the case, before MI5 take over. This densely plotted and edge-of-the-seat feature-length episode - written by Stephen Davis and first shown in 2004 - guest stars Timothy West, Frances De La Tour, Danny Webb, Tom Georgeson and Christopher Strauli, with Trevor Eve, Sue Johnston, Holly Aird, Wil Johnson and Claire Goose. If you haven't seen this one before, it's hugely recommended.
Or, there's the first episode of Hornblower - 7:50 ITV4 - the drama based on CS Forester's tales of Eighteenth-Century seafaring adventure and salty old sea dogs. The seventeen-year-old Horatio Hornblower experiences seasickness while still in Spithead as he begins his Navy career and runs into trouble with a tormentor - until war with France gives him a chance to prove himself in the heat of battle. Ioan Gruffudd and Robert Lindsay star. Again, if you haven't seen this one before, you could do a lot worse than use your recording devices wisely.
Sunday 26 January
Notorious criminal Vadim engineers a full-scale riot from his prison cell, but there is more to his plot than a little trouble-making - which could prove fatal for the king himself in The Musketeers - 9:00 BBC1. Can the Musketeers uncover his plan before he overthrows the monarchy? Meanwhile, d'Artagnan tries to prove he has what it take to join the regiment. Jason Flemyng guest stars in the swashbuckling adventure, with Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Howard Charles, Santiago Cabrera and Peter Capaldi.

In The Review Show - 8:00 BBC4 - Kirsty Wark and guests professional Northerner Paul Morley, Mark Ravenhill and Denise Mina review Martin Scorsese's latest film The Wolf Of Wall Street and cycling documentary The Armstrong Lie, which have both been nominated for BAFTAs. An exhibition of work by Turner prize-winner Martin Creed is previewed, gender politics comes under the spotlight in an all-female production of Blurred Lines at the National Theatre, and there is a discussion on Stewart Foster's debut novel We Used To Be Kings. With music by Icelandic singer-songwriter Ásgeir.
Trade unionists arrive at Selfridges to demand more rights for workers and the protest stirs up emotions among the staff, with some asking whether Harry will return to America if war breaks out, and what this will mean for their jobs in the latest episode of Mr Selfridge - 9:00 ITV. Wanting to reassure everyone he isn't going anywhere, the store owner organises a tango party to thank his employees for all their efforts. Meanwhile, Lord Loxley thwarts Lady Mae's plans to escape to the country without him, and Rose tracks down Henri, finding him living in squalor.

Monday 27 January
Jeremy Paxman presents Britain's Great War - 9:00 BBC1 - a superb-looking four-part documentary charting how the First World War affected the lives of the British people and created what is known as modern Britain. The first film focuses on the early stages of the conflict, the announcement of which led to stunned disbelief, followed by a mass recruitment drive as volunteers signed up to fight. With the fear of invasion gripping the country, even Boy Scouts were engaged to help guard bridges, and for the first time British civilians were bombed from the air and fired on by enemy ships. Jeremy hears from a one hundred and five-year-old eyewitness to one such attack - the shelling of Hartlepool in December 1914.
Tonight also sees the return of Food & Drink - 8:30 BBC2 - the show featuring recipes, tips and discussions on the latest food trends, beginning with a look at how to reduce food waste and save money. Host Michel Roux Jr and resident drinks expert Kate Goodman are joined by The Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry, who uses stale bread to create a fish-pie topping and shares stories of her days as freezer correspondent in the 1960s. Kate does a tasting of grappa - which is made from a by-product of wine-making - and there is debate about whether food is too cheap.

In the last of the current series of The Bletchley Circle - 9:00 ITV - lack of action by the police leaves the women to conclude there must be corruption within the vice squad and that catching the gang red-handed is their only option. Plotting to infiltrate the crime ring to find out the location of the hotel being used as a base, they visit Marta in her restaurant, pretending Jean is a potential new client. This leads to an opportunity for Lucy to memorise the businesswoman's ledger, which may hold the key to the whole operation. Starring Rachael Sitrling, Hattie Morahan, Sophie Rundle and Julie Graham.
Tuesday 28 January
Humphrey and the team are called upon to investigate the death of Fidel's old school friend, Carlton Paris, who has been shot at home in Death In Paradise - 9:00 BBC1. The victim was last seen alive at an art gallery with Dorothy Foster, a wealthy older woman - and before long they discover he made his living as an escort and had left several disgruntled and heartbroken women in his wake, including a local judge and the wife of a club owner. But as the investigation progresses, Fidel struggles to keep his emotions in check, forcing him to confront some long-buried issues. Kris Marshall (who, surprisingly, isn't a shit as you might have expected he would be), Sarah Martins, Danny John-Jules and Gary Carr star, with guest appearances from Don Warrington, Adrian Scarborough, Sharon Small, Tristan Gemmill and former Blake's 7 actress Josette Simon.
Combining remarkable demonstrations of abilities with revealing photography, Chris Packham travels the world to uncover the secrets of animals' intelligence, emotions and self-awareness in Inside The Animal Mind - 9:00 BBC2. The first episode explores the remarkable ways creatures use their senses, examining how dogs' powerful ability to detect smell creates a bizarre alternative reality for them.

In the latest beautifully daft House Of Fools - 10:00 BBC2 - when his probation officer calls round to the house, Bosh asks Vic, Bob, Julie and Beef to help him convince her he has finally become an upstanding member of society. To show that Bosh is fully rehabilitated, the gang opens a pop-up restaurant to wine and dine her and ensure his parole continues. Easily, the best thing that Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer have done in at least a decade (and, possibly two). Guest starring Nikki Amuka-Bird.
Wednesday 29 January
Wednesday really is the arse-end of the week at the moment in terms of having anything even vaguely interesting in the schedules, dear blog reader. However, at least tonight we've got the return of Outnumbered - 9:00 BBc1 - the award-winning and popular domestic comedy by the great Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin. Sue is worried about Karen, who is having trouble fitting in with her new classmates, but the concerned mum's attempts to settle the matter via e-mail backfire in spectacular fashion. Jake has a confession to make and Ben (who is now taller than his father) is auditioning for a school musical about Spartacus - despite the fact that, as his family tries to remind him, he cannot actually sing. Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner star as the exasperated parents, with Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche and Ramona Marquez.
When wealthy farmer Martin Strickland is discovered bound to a tree, doused in truffle oil and mauled to death by a wild boar, the investigation leads DCI Barnaby to tyrannical celebrity chef Ruth Cameron at the upmarket Wyvern House restaurant in Midsomer Murder - 8:00 ITV. However, secrets from the past surface after the murderer strikes again, and the repercussions are felt further than they were originally intended. With Neil Dudgeon, Neil McCaul, Sharon Small and Marc Elliott.

Thursday 30 January
The documentary Hidden Kingdoms - 8:00 BBC1 - focuses on small creatures in an urban setting. In Rio by the Sea-o, marmosets use power-lines as they would tree branches to scour the streets for food, and one animal becomes separated from its group and is forced to the ground, where it confronts the dangers of the city alone. Almost eleven thousand miles away in the neon metropolis of Tokyo, a rhinoceros beetle begins an extraordinary journey to find sanctuary on a rare patch of greenery, along the way facing predatory bats, eight-eyed jumping spiders, praying mantises and a sharp-eyed crow. Including Hidden Kingdoms Revealed, showing how the film was made. Narrated by Stephen Fry. Last in the series.

Historian Dan Snow looks back at ninety years of the Winter Olympics, examining the impact of the political upheaval during the Twentieth and Twenty First Centuries in Dan Snow's History Of The Winter Olympics - 9:00 BBC2. He examines the Games held in Nazi Germany in 1936 and the tense rivalry between East and West during the Cold War. Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean reminisce about their gold medal-winning performance in Sarajevo in 1984 and Dan tells the story of British man Arnold Lunn's role in the development of the Alpine skiing disciplines of downhill and slalom racing.
Kids Who Kill - 10:00 Channel Five - is a documentary (with a truly revoltingly tabloid title) examining the personalities of children who have been convicted of murder and analysing what motivated them to kill. Daniel Bartlam was fourteen when he attacked his mother, Jacqueline, with a claw hammer and set her body on fire, while Santre Sanchez Gayle was just fiften when he was paid two hundred quid to kill Gulistan Subasi in 2010. Other cases featured include that of brothers Connor and Brandon Doran and their fourteen-year-old friend Simon Evans, who kicked a homeless man to death 'for a dare', as well as probably the most notorious British child killers case of the last fifty years, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables who were ten when they murdered the toddler James Bulger in 1993.

In Playhouse Presents: Nixon's The One - 9:00 Sky Arts 1 - Harry Shearer stars as disgraced former US president Richard Nixon in a comedy drama based on transcripts of tape recordings made during his time in office. Rambling conversations, clumsy comments and awkward meetings expose Nixon's intimate, sly and fraught relationship with adviser Henry Kissinger, his obsession with wire-tapping, his difficult relationship with the media and his anxiety over the East Coast intellectual establishment.
Mike Read presents an edition of Top Of The Pops - 7:30 BBC4 - from 1 February 1979, including performances by Nazareth, The Three Degrees, UFO, The Members, Sally Oldfield, Billy Joel, Two Man Sound, Generation X, Driver 67 and The Pointer Sisters. Plus, dance sequences by Legs & Co.

Friday 31 January
German comedian Henning Wehn, singer Michael Ball and actress-presenter Caroline Quentin reveal their pet hates to Frank Skinner, in the hope he will banish them to Room 101 - 8:30 BBC1. Things that really get on the guests' nerves this week include fundraising, clairvoyants and junk mail. Things that get on this bloggers nerves include Caroline Quentin her very self. Swings and roundabouts, innit?
The second of two compilations of highlights from the eleventh series of Qi is BBC2's highlight - 10:00. Hosted, as usual, by Stephen Fry, guests including David Mitchell, Ross Noble, Phill Jupitus, Katherine Ryan, Josh Widdicombe, Sue Perkins, Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr and Jezza Clarkson joined regular panellist Alan Davies to answer questions based on subjects beginning with the letter K. Last in the current series. The 'L' series begins filming in the summer.

Ruth Jones returns for a second series of Stella - 9:00 Sky 1. In this Ruth, famous for playing a stout, mouthy Welsh lass in the dreadful Gavin & Stacey plays, wait for it, another stout mouthy Welsh lass. Typecasting? I couldn't possibly comment. Stella is a gutsy fortysomething working mum from The Valleys, isn't it, who has decided to put love on hold and focus all her energy on her family and her nursing degree, there's lovely. In the latest episode the student nurse's HRT causes her sex drive to go up a notch or two, leading to an unexpected encounter with 'a famous face.' Her relationship with new neighbour Michael, on the other hand, is less civil after a squabble over a wheelie bin. Aunty Brenda makes it clear she means business when she organises a meeting with Dai and trouble looms for Zoe and Luke when Lenny gets back in touch. Alan follows doctor's orders and starts trying to lose weight. Yes, dear blog reader, it really is very single bit as wretched as it sounds.
The Wall Street Journal has won a ruling allowing it to fully report on the well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks phone-hacking trial, without having to sign an undertaking that it will abide by reporting restrictions imposed by the judge. This ruling raises the prospect of the New York-based financial newspaper, owned by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, reporting differently in the US and Asia in its print editions to its European edition, available in the UK, and the subsequent risk of this being picked up by the Internet. The Wall Street Journal successfully challenged what it deemed an 'illogical' Crown Prosecution Service request to give written 'agreement to comply' with reporting restrictions applying to UK media in exchange for access to prosecution material. The request has been made to all foreign media and those who have signed have been given access to CCTV footage, maps, financial statements, transcripts of police interviews with witnesses and defendants, photos of property seized and witness statements shown to the jury in the Old Bailey trial. Mr Justice Saunders, who is presiding over the trial, said there was 'strong public interest' in enabling both the foreign and national press 'to report as full and as accurately as possible the proceedings' and he could 'see no good reason why they should not have the documents in the same way as the national press does. I do not consider that the signing of the agreement should be a pre-condition of that supply [of documents],' Saunders added. He noted that 'the Wall Street Journal submit that the requirement to enter into this agreement imposed by the CPS on the foreign media is illogical as it does not apply to UK based media who publish outside the jurisdiction. They also submit that it amounts to an unnecessary restriction on the freedom of the press.' Saunders also commented: 'Such is the power of the Internet that everything, wherever it is published, can find its way onto the Internet and be available worldwide and more importantly in this country. The inability of domestic courts to control the flow of information on the Internet has been apparent in this trial.' The Attorney General, who was represented by Angus McCullough during the Wall Street Journal's application, was of the view that a ruling in favour of the paper would not pave the way for foreign media to publish material or discussions not put before the jury with impunity. 'There appears to be an assumption made by both Wall Street Journal and the CPS that, if the Wall Street Journal were to publish in a report of the case outside the jurisdiction information, which is subject to reporting restrictions that they would not be in contempt of court,' Saunders said. 'Mr McCullough did not accept that that proposition was necessarily correct and neither do I. The information is no doubt sent in a report from the court to the local office and from there to America for inclusion in the American or Asian editions. In those circumstances it may well be that a publication of the information takes place in this country.' Last October the Wall Street Journal overturned an injunction imposed by Mr Justice Cooke after it published names of individuals mentioned in a draft indictment in a Libor rate fixing trial. The paper described the injunction as 'a serious affront to press freedom.'
Dave Lee Travis 'had a fumble' up the skirt of a teenage pop fan as he presented an episode of Top Of The Pops, a London court has heard claimed. The woman said that she was seventeen when Travis indecently assaulted her at the BBC studios in Shepherd's Bush in 1978. She told Southwark Crown Court she had been wearing 'an off-the-shoulder top' and 'a ra-ra skirt' at the time. Travis denies thirteen counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault. The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that she was called over by a member of the studio crew to be on television as Travis introduced the next band. '[Travis] put his arm around myself and pulled me towards him. It was cosy on screen,' she said. 'Then, he slipped his hand down and put it up my skirt. The skirt would have been lifted from the back. I can only really describe it as having a fumble of my bottom area. I think he was trying to get into my underwear.' Footage of the alleged incident was played to the jury. The witness said that Travis was then 'one of the biggest names on Radio 1.' She said that the footage cut just as she began to 'grimace' - evidence, she said, that she was being assaulted by the presenter. 'That's why I couldn't comprehend what was going on. I felt really uncomfortable. I think I just stood there,' she said. The woman said that she 'could not remember' how the incident ended. 'I felt violated. The main thing is the camera crew was there, in front of all these people - that's what made it uncomfortable,' she said. The alleged victim said she believed the vintage clip shown before the jury would have been edited by the BBC at the time due to what she believed was 'quite obvious.' She also said that Travis specifically requested for her and her friend to appear in the shot. Stephen Vullo, defending, said the witness 'appeared to be smiling' in a still image. 'You smile because you were perfectly happy to be where you were and nothing bad was happening to you,' he said. The woman replied: 'A lot of photos are taken and they don't always tell the truth. You can see from the video I'm not happy.' Asked if it was a false accusation, she said: 'It actually happened, so it's true.' The woman said she would not 'waste time coming here to tell a load of lies', adding that she did not want to come at all 'because it's such a high profile case' and said it was both 'scary' and 'nerve-wracking.' The witness described how she and her friend agreed not to tell anyone: 'He was a big famous DJ, we were nothing. We decided to go home and say nothing.' Earlier, the court was told that Travis indecently assaulted a teenage hotel worker as she checked him into his room in the coastal town of Bude in Cornwall, where he was staying for a Radio 1 concert. Miranda Moore QC, prosecuting, said the woman was eighteen or nineteen when the alleged assault happened in the 1980s. When asked why she did not complain to senior managers or the police, the witness said: 'I was afraid that Mr Travis was a big star and I would be laughed out of town. I was a naive country girl.' The woman said she came forward to police after seeing Travis give a television interview dismissing any involvement in allegations linked to the case of shamed radio DJ and TV presenter dirty old scallywag and rotten rotter Jimmy Savile. When Vullo asked if she had 'made up' the allegation, she replied: 'No, I have no reason to.' Travis, from Buckinghamshire, is charged with counts of indecent assault between 1976 and 2003, and a sexual assault in 2008. The DJ and presenter is accused of assaulting eleven women, one of whom was fifteen at the time of the alleged crime. The case was adjourned until Monday morning.

Meanwhile, following their perfectly extraordinary reportage of the Travis case a couple of days earlier, the Metro have been at it again with yet another potential contender for Headline Of The Year.
A woman has told a court tat she was 'left feeling humiliated, disgusted and ashamed' after,allegedly, being raped by Coronation Street actor William Roache. The woman, now aged sixty two, told Preston Crown Court the two alleged rapes took place at Roache's homes in Haslingden on separate occasions. She claims that she suffered depression for several years afterwards, the jury heard. Roache denies two counts of raping a fifteen-year-old girl in 1967. He also denies five counts of indecent assault involving four girls. Those, alleged, offences involve girls aged sixteen or under in Manchester between 1965 and 1971, the court heard. During cross-examination, the woman said that she 'could not remember' Roache saying anything after the second alleged rape. She claimed she had been invited into the cottage but was 'under the impression' that 'an elderly woman was living there.' Louise Blackwell QC, defending, asked the woman if she was worried that she was pregnant. The woman replied: 'I don't think I knew enough then. I didn't realise the implications. They didn't talk about those things in them days.' She added: 'I should have known that I should not have trusted him.' Asked what she did in the hours that followed the alleged attack, she said: 'I can't remember exact details, you just want to close your mind to them. I never thought that I would have to repeat them. I have buried these for forty seven years.' The woman agreed that she 'changed her mind' about her age at the time of the attacks. She initially said she was fourteen, although now states she was fifteen. Challenged by Miss Blackwell, who said the reason she got it wrong was that she was 'not telling the truth', the woman replied: 'Sometimes I can't remember what I said yesterday. I have not forgotten anything about the main events, believe me.' The woman said that she had continued to watch Coronation Street after the alleged rapes as there was 'no threat when he is on television.' She told the court that she watched an episode of ITV's Piers Morgan's Life Stories featuring an interview with Roache which 'made her skin crawl' when he discussed his love life. The court heard that the woman did not give her name when she first approached police. Asked why by prosecutor Anne Whyte QC, she said that she was 'ashamed', adding: 'I didn't want my name in the papers. I wasn't even sure it was confidential.' Giving evidence, her son said that his mother 'opened up' to him after a discussion about recent high-profile abuse cases. He said that he was 'very angry', but his mother 'frustrated' him more. During the conversation, his mother told him Roache was 'not a monster' and had not physically hurt her. 'It made my blood boil because she was kind of defending him, if that makes sense', he said. He told the court that he was 'persistent' in telling her to go to the police and admitted he was 'like a dog with a bone. I said there could be other people like this.' The trial continues.

Girls creator and star Lena Dunham has joked that Victoria Beckham is 'too chic' to be on the US drama as she launched its third series in London. The twenty seven-year-old – who also produces and writes the award-winning show, as well as starring as aspiring writer Hannah Horvath - admitted that rumours about Posh making a cameo appearance 'had been greatly exaggerated', after Beckham mentioned that she was a fan of the show. 'Victoria Beckham mentioned she loved the show in an interview and this has been metastasised into "Victoria Beckham is the fifth Girl,"' Durham said on the red carpet at Cineworld Haymarket in the West End. 'We love Victoria Beckham but she's a little chic or us.'
Orange Is The New Black actress Michelle Hurst has woken from a coma, following a car accident. The actress, who plays Miss Claudette in the Netflix drama, was placed into a medically-induced coma while surgeons operated near her spine. Author Piper Kerman, whose book the series is based on, tweeted a link to an online fundraiser for Hurst. 'She is out of the coma (after sixteen days) and has opened her eyes,' read the statement. 'We can't send flowers yet because she is in ICU at UNC Chapel Hill Hospital. She is progressing slowly, but progressing. She is out of the medically induced coma and is responsive.' In Orange Is The New Black Hurst shares a prison room with the main character, Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling, who was recently nominated for a Golden Globe. Miss Claudette is feared by many of the other inmates. Orange Is The New Black is one of the most successful programmes made by online TV provider Netflix and has been commissioned for a second series. The show is based on Piper Kerman's memoir, which tells of her own experiences in a women's prison.

Two screenwriters have launched a lawsuit claiming that the hit American sitcom New Girl was plagiarised from a pilot they developed. In the writ, Stephanie Counts and Shari Gold claim that the comedy is based on a script they wrote for a series called Square One. According to the lawsuit: 'Any differences between the Square One scripts and New Girl are so small and insignificant that they cannot be afforded copyright protection, and are, in fact, nothing more than transparent attempts to hide defendants' blatant plagiarism.' The ninety two-page complaint published on The Hollywood Reporter's website, alleges that their agents at William Morris Endeavor secretly passed their script to producers, who were represented by the same company. They claim that their 2006 script was 'based on Stephanie's real-life experience when she discovered her husband was having an affair, leading her to move into a three-man bachelor pad' with her brother, a Hollywood stuntman, and two of his friends. The lawsuit claims that Counts and Gold once proposed Zooey Deschanel for the lead, but the idea was dropped as the producer did not know who the actress was. They claim the alleged plagiarism first came to light in February 2011, when the writers learned of a show in development called Chicks and Dicks, which 'sounds remarkably similar to Square One.' It is alleged that Chicks and Dicks subsequently became New Girl. The credited author of New Girl is Elizabeth Meriwether, a WME client, who is one of the co-defendants in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, credit on the series and an injunction against any further filming and distribution of the show.

The veteran BBC costume designer Ken Trew, the man who designed Sylvester McCoy's costume in Doctor Who as well as revamping Jon Pertwee's costume and creating the first costume for The Master, played by Roger Delgado, has died at the age of seventy seven. Ken was born in Newport and attended Newport College of Art. He later worked in repertory theatre as a set designer before moving to London where joined The Festival Ballet for six months, which included a tour to Barcelona and Lisbon. It was during this tour that Ken applied to become a Costume Designer at the BBC. He joined the corporation in 1964 as a dresser and at the end of 1965 became an assistant designer working on such productions as Z Cars. His first involvement with Doctor Who was on The Myth Makers (1965) with William Hartnell, which was recorded at Riverside Studios. He assisted designer Bobi Bartlett on the Patrick Troughton Cyberman story The Invasion (1968). Ken designed the opening story of Jon Pertwee’s second season, Terror Of The Autons (1971) introducing a more colourful version of Pertwee's costume originally designed by Christine Rawlins. Producer John Nathan-Turner used Trew regularly in the 1980s for the Peter Davison story Snakedance (1983) and the first part of The Trial Of A Time Lord (1986) with Colin Baker. He established the look of the seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, for Time And The Rani (1987), and then worked on Remembrance Of The Daleks (1988), The Curse Of Fenric, Ghost Light and Survival (all 1989). He was also the designer for the Children In Need special Dimensions In Time (1993). Other design work on Ken's lengthy CV included Doomwatch, Barlow At Large, A Very Peculiar Practice, Bergerac, The Prisoner Of Zenda, Strangers And Brothers, The Onedin Line and Anna Karenina. The designer died on 11 January of Sporadic CJD a very rare condition affecting only one or two in every million people each year in the UK.

BBC presenter Komla Dumor has died suddenly at his home in London at the age of forty one, it has been announced. Ghana-born Dumor was a presenter for BBC World News and its Focus On Africa programme. One of Ghana's best-known journalists, he joined the BBC as a radio broadcaster in 2007 after a decade of journalism in Ghana. Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama said on Twitter that his country had lost one of its finest ambassadors. BBC Global News Director Peter Horrocks called Dumor 'a leading light of African journalism' who would be deeply missed. He was 'committed to telling the story of Africa as it really is', Horrocks said in a statement. 'Africa's energy and enthusiasm seemed to shine through every story Komla told. Komla's many friends and colleagues across Africa and the world will be as devastated as we are by this shocking news.' Komla featured in New African magazine's November 2013 list of one hundred most influential Africans. It said he had 'established himself as one of the emerging African faces of global broadcasting', who had 'considerable influence on how the continent is covered.' James Harding, BBC Director of News and Current Affairs, spoke of Komla Dumor's 'singular role in transforming the coverage of Africa. He brought a depth of understanding, a great deal of courage, a joyous charm and boundless charisma to his work,' Harding said. Komla Dumor was born on 3 October 1972 in Accra. He graduated with a BA in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Ghana, and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard. He won the Ghana Journalist of the Year award in 2003 and joined the BBC four years later. From then until 2009 he hosted Network Africa for the BBC World Service, before joining The World Today. In 2009 Komla Dumor became the first host of Africa Business Report on BBC World News. He was a regular presenter of Focus On Africa and had fronted the programme the day before he died. He travelled across Africa, meeting the continent's top entrepreneurs and reporting on the latest business trends around the continent. He interviewed a number of high-profile guests including Bill Gates and Kofi Annan. Last month, he covered the funeral of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, whom he described as 'one of the greatest figures of modern history.' He anchored live coverage of major events including the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the funeral of Kim Jong-il, the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the Norway shootings and the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. In his review of 2013, published last month, Dumor said the passing of Mandela was 'one of the moments that will stay with me. Covering the funeral for me will always be a special moment. I will look back on it with a sense of sadness. But also with gratitude. I feel lucky to have been a witness to that part of the Mandela story.' Meeting Komla Dumor for the first time in Ghana in 2007, BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet said that she had 'noticed how young Ghanaian journalists looked up to him.' He never flinched from asking tough questions, but also loved to share a laugh, she said. She added that Komla 'had many loves' including football, his faith, his family: 'He always said "I just love talking with people."'

A UKIP councillor has blamed the recent heavy floods across Britain on the Government's decision to legalise gay marriage. Christ almighty, some people are just scum. David Silvester - who is, obviously, not completely mental nor nothing - claimed that the Prime Minister had acted 'arrogantly against the Gospel.' Silvester, from Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, defected from the Tories in protest at David Cameron's support for same-sex unions. In the letter to the Henley Standard he wrote: 'The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.' The scriptures are also very clear that anyone wearing a garment woven from two clothes should be stoned to death. There is, tragically, no news, yet, on whether this arsehole's shirt is made from polyester and cotton because, if it is, one is sure they would be little shortage of people who would be happy to donate a brick to him so he can carry out The Lord's doings. You may notice, also, that this wretched waste-of-space didn't bother to add that the scriptures also say 'judge not least ye be judged' (this blogger is, as he's previously said on several occasions, a big fan of the Gospel According to Matthew). Too late, pal, you have been. It's remarkable, is is not, how many Christians are very quick to quote the Bible to justify their latest bout of numskull homophobia - or some other crass prejudice they hold against some minority section of society - but, elsewhere, careful to pick and chose the bits they wish to follow and the bits they want to blithely ignore. Because they're hypocritical twats, basically.

Hapless West Ham United dropped back into the bottom three as yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though still unsellable) Newcastle ended a run of three successive league defeats with a win at Upton Park. Victory for Crystal Palace against Hull City means that the pressure is right back on The Hamsters boss, odious self-important waste-of-space big fat Sam Allardyce after his team were out-fought for long periods, and outclassed for even longer by yer actual's bonny Magpies. Which was effing funny. It was, genuinely, thigh-slappingly amusing watching red-faced Allardyce suffering on the sidelines, gurning like a good'un and muttering significantly more expletives than Alan Pardew's headline-making rant last week. Good. I'm glad. Couldn't possibly happen to a more odious and risible individual. His face when the away fans began singing their fifth chorus of 'you're getting sacked in the morning' dear blog reader was, trust me, a sight to see. Anyway, Yohan Cabaye gave Newcastle the lead with a well-placed shot after sixteen minutes and Loic Remy poked in a second as United completely dominated the first half before the deficit was reduced when the unfortunate Mike Williamson found his own net in a goalmouth scramble just before half-time. Cabaye added his second in stoppage time with a spectacular free-kick from twenty yards. It could have been a different result for the hosts had big useless plank Carlton Cole not skewed Matt Taylor's delivery miles wide from just six yards out or Andy Carroll - looking uncannily like Cap'n Boyds-Eye with his big bushy beard - sent a volley virtually into geostationary orbit from only slightly further out. That was even funnier than the wretched Allardyce's gurning mush. However, anything but a victory would have been unjust for Newcastle who were particularly impressive in the first half, while the Hamsters' fans witnessed another exasperating display in which their side rarely troubled Tim Krul's goal and they weren't shy in displaying their furious anger at their side's timid attitude. The sublime Cabaye opened the scoring after sixteen minutes when he sidestepped Razvan Rat before placing his shot into Adrian's bottom left-hand corner. Remy, who earlier had a shot deflected a foot wide of the post, added the second, and his eleventh goal of the season, soon after when he controlled Moussa Sissoko's right-wing cross with his chest before poking the ball past the Spanish keeper. Cabaye came close to making it 3-0 when his shot was kept out by Adrian's brilliant one-handed save and, after a 5-0 thumping at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup and a 6-0 loss at Sheikh Yer Man City in the Capital One Cup, home fans must have feared another trousers-doown drubbing was on the cards. But just before half-time, West Ham were back in it when Williamson bundled into his own net after Cole's initial shot was blocked by Krul. The home side built on that timely boost to put more pressure on Newcastle's defence in the second half though, in truth, they didn't look like scoring a second if they'd played for another week. They could have equalised when Taylor's sumptuous cross was fired horribly wide by big useless plank Cole. And then Carroll, introduced against his former club with thirty minutes remaining as he continues his comeback from a long-term injury, made a terrible connection with Stewart's Downing cross from eight yards. The ball ended up closer to the International Space Station than Tim Krul. How miserable, probably soon-to-be-sacked Allardyce could have done with the finishing of Cabaye who, with moments of the match remaining, sealed Newcastle's sixth away win of the season with a delicate free-kick from twenty yards that went in off the upright to send the Hamsters deep into the relegation zone.

And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader. Here's a popular beat combo who find themselves (unwittingly) in the news - if not, necessarily, the charts - for the first time in about thirty years.

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