Saturday, January 25, 2014

Week Six: Hollow Inside

The BBC continued to dominate British terrestrial television, with fifty eight of the top one hundred most watched shows broadcast in 2013 being form BBC1 or BBC2 according to industry figures published by BARB. ITV was, however, the only one of the five terrestrial broadcasters to increase its audience share last year. BBC1 and Channel Four both took a post-Olympics hit, dropping their overall audience share from 2012's bumper figures. However, the BBC1 still retains - by a distance - the most watched programmes in the key drama, comedy and factual categories. In comedy and light entertainment, seven of the top ten shows were also on the BBC including BBC1's Still Open All Hours - 2013's best comedy performer - Mrs Brown's Boys and Strictly Come Dancing. Doctor Who's critically acclaimed fiftieth anniversary episode took the most watched drama programme crown, giving one hell of a beating to both Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife. ITV had six of the top ten drama shows, including Broadchurch and Mr Selfridge. Consolidated BARB data, published by industry magazine Broadcast, reveals that ITV's share grew by three per cent last year across all hours, while its peak share was up 5.6 per cent. Figures were boosted by the success of long-running hits such as Downton and I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want). ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale also both performed strongly, with Corrie growing by six per cent above 2012 and Emmerdale by three per cent. In contrast, BBC stalwarts EastEnders dropped by more than 4.5 per cent and Holby City by five per cent though Casualty maintained its audience levels from 2012. Channel Four fared poorly in the ratings last year, with no shows in the top one hundred and significant slumps in audience numbers on previous hits such as One Born Every Minute. BBC2 and Channel Five also both suffered drops in audience share. BBC2 was down by 5.4 per cent to 5.83 per cent across all hours - putting it just ahead of the 5.79 per cent recorded by Channel Four. Channel Five was, marginally, down on its 2012 figures. BBC1's coverage of London's New Year fireworks display achieved the biggest average TV audience of 2013, with a consolidated audience of 13.52 million though these figures do not included viewings on catch-up services like the BBC's iPlayer. While C4's Hollyoaks was up a strong seven per cent in share terms, it was not enough to counter the slippage of the channel's peak time bankers. Twenty Four Hours In A&E's run was nearly double the length of 2012's but its 2.9 million average audience represents a share decline of more than ten per cent, and One Born Every Minute's 3.3 million was down a whopping twenty six per cent in share. Better news came in the short run of The Undateables, something a a surprise hit, whose 3.4 million across its five episodes was up eleven per cent on 2012's three episodes. 2013 confirmed 2012's promise that the mass-appeal sitcom is back. The five episodes of BBC1's Miranda in January 2013 averaged 9.1 million, while Mrs Brown’s Boys averaged 9.5 million across the entire year (the two Christmas 2013 episodes averaged 11.4 million). Boxing Day's Still Open All Hours (12.2 million) did the strongest business of any comedy show all year. ITV's initial forays into traditional sitcom were not so successful. Vicious averaged 3.9 million on spring Mondays at 9pm (its Christmas special on 27 December achieved 3.7 million) but it will be back for a second series, while its double bill partner The Job Lot managed 3.2 million. It, too, will be back albeit on ITV2. Pre-watershed fiasco Pat And Cabbage (2.9 million) also fell short of expectations. In light entertainment, I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) averaged 11.1 million, up seven per cent in overall audience share terms and eight per cent among both the sixteen to thirty four years demographic. Share for ITV's other traditional autumn entertainment behemoth, The X Factor (9.8 million), was down two per cent on 2012. While pleased that the declines have slowed, ITV will need The X Factor to rediscover its advertiser-friendly youthful and upmarket audience soon. BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing reiterated its lead over The X Factor, equalling its 2012 performance with 10.7 million. C5's summer run of Big Brother averaged 1.8 million, compared with 1.6 million in 2012. Drama had a good year. As well as Downton Abbey (11.8 million for the autumn series), ITV launched two new mainstream hits. The thriller Broadchurch (9.4 million) and the period drama Mr Selfridge (eight million). BBC1 got some good figures for The Village (6.5 million) alongside Call The Midwife (10.5 million) and the long-established New Tricks (8.1 million) and Doctor Who (12.8 million for its fiftieth anniversary episode in November and 11.2 million for the Christmas special, Matt Smith's finale). BBC2's The Fall averaged an impressive 4.3 million, ahead of piss-poor comedy drama The Wrong Mans (3.3 million) and The Politician's Husband (2.8 million), while Peaky Blinders and Dancing On The Edge each averaged 2.4 million. C4's best drama offering was The Mill (3.2 million), with Southcliffe next on 2.4 million. With all this, plus Sky's critically acclaimed Mad Dogs and Netflix's House Of Cards, drama, not so long ago an endangered genre, now seems to be in high demand. The 5 December episode of E4's The Big Bang Theory was the highest- rated show on the PSB digital channels with 2.8 million. Not far behind was ITV2's thoroughly wretched and odious squirm-fest Celebrity Juice, the best of which was 2.5 million on 28 February at 10pm. The top six ratings for the best non-PSB digital networks (excluding sport) were all boosted by more than one million via recording. The best, Sky 1's US apocalypse drama Revolution, achieved 2.2 million after a live rating of six hundred and forty thousand on 29 March 2013. Outside Sky, Watch's Dynamo: Magician Impossible on 11 July was top with 1.4 million. Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary episode (12.8 million, plus simultaneous cinema attendances and massive iPlayer figures) well and truly mullered Downton Abbey's autumn series finale (12.2 million) for top drama episode of 2013. Call The Midwife's best (10.9 million) was just ahead of ITV's Broadchurch (10.5 million for the 22 April denouement). ITV's other newbie, Mr Selfridge, peaked on 6 January with 9.4 million. BBC2's The Great British Bake Off signed off with a record 9.5 million. BBC1's Africa averaged 7.5 million for the series, the best of which was 2 January's episode with 8.5 million. ITV's best factual offering was Our Queen on 17 March (6.8 million), but the appearance of returners Long Lost Family (6.3 million) and Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs (six million) will have been commercially and strategically satisfying for the advertising network. Earlier this week, the BBC announced that the third series of Sherlock had become its most-watched drama series in over a decade. An average of 11.82 million people tuned in for the third series of the detective drama on BBC1. The first episode - in which Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, returned from his apparent death - had a consolidated audience of 12.72 million, while the other two programmes attracted 11.38 million viewers. BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said: 'This latest accolade is the icing on the cake and only further demonstrates the audience's huge appetite and appreciation for original British drama on BBC1.'

Rotten piss-stinking horrorshow (and drag) Birds Of A Feather continued to top Thursday's ratings for ITV, according to overnight data. The rank-dreadful sitcom climbed back from last week's drop in audience by around four hundred thousand sad crushed victims of society, being watched by 6.32 million overnight punters at 8.30pm. Later, Benidorm was also up by nearly two hundred thousand week-on-week to 4.79m at 9pm. On BBC1, Silent Witness dipped by around two hundred thousand to 5.24m at 9pm, while Hidden Kingdoms attracted 3.52m at 8pm. BBC2's Restoration Home: One Year On gathered 2.17m at 8pm, followed by Winterwatch with 1.92m at 9pm. Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe entertained 1.06m at 10pm. On Channel Four, Supersize vs Superskinny pulled in 1.41m at 8pm. The Undateables had an audience of 1.89m at 9pm and What Happens In Sunny Beach was seen by nine hundred and forty seven thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Celebrity Big Brother continued with 1.94m at 9pm, followed by Botched Up Bodies with eight hundred and thirty nine thousand at 10pm. On E4, The Big Bang Theory had an impressive 1.51m at 8.30pm.

Silent Witness once again topped Friday night's primetime overnight ratings. With 5.2m punters tuning in at 9pm, the crime drama was once again the most popular show outside of the soaps, despite shedding five hundred thousand viewers from last week's figures. BBC1 remained on top throughout the evening, starting with The ONE Show drawing 4.27m at 7pm. Room 101, featuring Labour peer Joan Bakewell, Pointless co-presenter Richard Osman and comedian Roisin Conaty, saw 3.41m tune in at 8.30pm, while The Graham Norton Show attracted 3.73m viewers at 10.45pm. ITV held a steady audience share of around twelve per cent for its primetime offerings. The Martin Lewis Money Show dropped more than three hundred thousand viewers from last week, with 2.81m watching at 8pm. Oily twat Piers Morgan's Life Stories - featuring Beverley Callard, who ought to be sodding well ashamed of herself - attracted but 2.97m an hour later. BBC2's Mastermind boosted its audience to 2.21m at 8pm. An Island Parish, which returned for a new series last week, fell to 1.81m at 8.30pm. Travel show Italy Unpacked saw an average of 1.56m viewers at 9pm. The channel's audience climbed to 1.84m at 10pm for for the first of two series-ending 'best of' clip shows of Qi. On Channel Four, 1.26m watched cookery show Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast at 8pm, while Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown pulled in 1.9m at 9pm. A repeat of My Big Fat Gypsy Holiday saw a sharp dip in viewers to seven hundred and ninety thousand. Celebrity Big Brother dominated Channel Five's evening, with 2.4m watching Linda Nolan's eviction at 9pm. BBC3's Friday night film, the Bruce Willis SF action movie Surrogates, attracted four hundred and twenty six thousand at 9pm. The 80s box office smash Top Gun mustered three hundred and four thousand viewers on E4 in the same slot.

The Voice continued its ratings success for BBC1 on Saturday night, once again topping (or, indeed, telly topping) the primetime overnights during its 7pm slot. According to overnight data, an average audience of 7.89 million tuned in to watch this weekend's show, which saw performances from Adele's cousin Georgia, and Vicky Jones - the sister of McFly's Danny Jones. Apparently. The episode had an audience peak of 9.6m towards the end. On ITV, Tom Daley's wretched Pro-Celebrity Drowning - very satisfyingly - attracted but 3.54m at 6.45pm, as Richard Whitehead and Austin Healey made it through to the semi-finals of the diving competition. And Pollyanna Woodward, didn't. This was a down one hundred and seventy thousand punters on last week's overnight audience. The risible excuse for a series is currently drawing approximately one and a half million viewers per episode shy of the figures it was pulling in during its first series, last year. Proof, perhaps, that whilst you can fool some of the people some of the time you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Here endth the lesson. Back on BBC1, 5.03m watched National Lottery: Who Dares Wins at 8.15pm, while 4.65m tuned in to watch Casualty at 9.10pm. A repeat of the first ever episode of Mrs Brown's Boys had 4.72m at 10pm. Which, one imagines, caused that snooty prick at the Torygraph, mentioned the other day who loathes the Brendan O'Carroll comedy so much, to absolutely explode in impotent fury. Good. BBC2's biggest in primetime came from an episode of Dad's Army, which pulled in 2.02m at 8pm. Morecambe & Wise in Pieces: At Home entertained 1.79m at 8.30pm, while 1.39m tuned in to a repeat of that episode of Qi XL where the divine Victoria Coren dreamed she'd be asked about why the Mare Hare was important to the Aztecs at 9.30pm. Back on ITV, odious, horribly, nasty Take Me Out was viewed by 3.73m at 8.15pm, while The Jonathan Ross Show attracted 2.26m at 9.30pm as the full-of-himself presenter interrogated Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound and some woman who was on The X Factor that nobody will remember in eighteen months time. US drama Hostages was Channel Four's highest-rated show, pulling in seven hundred and fifty thousand viewers at 9pm. Earlier in the evening, Speed With Guy Martin brought in five hundred and forty thousand at 7pm, while Bigfoot Files attracted five hundred and seventy thousand at 8pm. Celebrity Big Brother continued on Channel Five, with 1.75m tuning in at 9.30pm. A triple-bill of NCIS did well for the channel earlier in the evening, with eight hundred and seventy eight thousand watching the night's third episode at 8.30pm. ITV3's Midsomer Murders repeat topped the multichannel ratings; 1.05m watched the detective drama at 9pm. A double-bill of The Bridge attracted nine hundred and seventy three thousand and eight hundred and thirty one thousand viewers to BBC Four at 9pm and 10pm respectively.

The BBC has announced details of an upcoming five-part drama series titled The Secrets. Olivia Colman, Alison Steadman and Steve Oram will be among the cast of the series, to be directed by True Love's Dominic Savage. Each thirty-minute episode will centre around 'a provocative incident' told from separate viewpoints. Nick Payne will write two episodes of the series, while the others will be written by Elinor Cook, Ben Ockrent and Bad Education's Sarah Solemani. Dominic Savage said: 'I am delighted to be part of this new strand which really illustrates what the BBC stands for. Working with new and talented writers along with the best actors the UK has to offer is a real privilege and I can't wait to get started.' Cook's story will concern 'a man who is married to two women and living a secret double life, before being exposed.' The first episode, from Payne, will star Colman, Steadman and Oram, following a vet who is expecting her first child. She has 'access to chemicals to put pets to sleep, while also having a mother who wants to die due to a debilitating illness.' The other episodes will deal with 'a girl claiming to be an unknown sister to a boy', a police officer' having an affair with his brother's wife' and 'a bride discovering her fiancé was once accused of a horrendous crime.' BBC1 controller yer actual Charlotte Moore said of the series: 'It's great to welcome back Dominic Savage to BBC1, who will direct all five films which provide a unique opportunity to work with four of Britain's best upcoming writers fresh to television drama.' The Secrets will begin shooting this week in London for five weeks, to be broadcast later this year.

National treasure yer actual Stephen Fry is joining the cast of 24: Live Another Day. The comedian, writer, broadcaster and diarist will play a fictional British Prime Minister, Trevor Davies, in the limited run series. It is, of course, the role that Stephen was born to play. Except for the fact that he's far too intelligent to ever be a prime minister. Davies's relationship with the US President, former 'Secretary of State with a machine gun' James Heller (the very excellent William Devane) reaches a breaking point due to an international crisis, according to Deadline. So, no change there, then. 24: Live Another Day will see armour-plated killing machine Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) as an international fugitive on the run in London. There will be an all-star supporting cast for the tool-stiffeningly violent testosterone-snorting FOX drama, including Tate Donovan, Benjamin Bratt and Yvonne Strahovski. Series veterans Mary Lynn Rajskub and Kim Raver will also be back in the upcoming episodes. 24: Live Another Day opens with a two-hour premiere on 5 May in the US. It will be broadcast on Sky1 in Britain.

Top Gear's track has been added to Google Maps, ahead of the return of the motoring show on 2 February. From The Followthough to Gambon Corner you can work your way around the various sections of the track, alongside professional racer The Stig. Jezza Clarkson usually has a reet good laugh at the celebrities as they do the patented 'Top Gear lean' as they wait to hear their time around the track as the star in a reasonably priced car. While you won't be able to pick up much speed on the Google Map, Top Gear's Commercial Director, Duncan Grey, joked that The Stig had to be told to 'slow down', as the Google Car struggled to keep up with him when filming the footage around the 1.75m track. Top Gear returns for series twenty one on Sunday 2 February with Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville taking to the track. Which is excellent news for fans and, also, for middle-class Communist lice at the Gruniad Morning Star and jackbooted bullyboy thugs at the Daily Scum Mail since it will give them something to whinge about on Monday 3 February.
And so to the next batch of yer actual Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 1 February
Armed with a composite sketch of the shady perpetrator, Saga and Martin finally believe they are about to bring their suspect to justice in episode nine of The Bridge - 9:00 BBC4. However, one final mystery remains, and as a chain of leads takes the duo to Kastrup Airport, they begin to realise they might be too late. Then, an hour later, the Danish and Swedish police forces bring their investigation to a close, but it soon becomes clear that the case has not yet reached its conclusion. As a race to prevent another disaster gets under way, Martin makes a crucial decision, and Saga is forced to make a difficult choice that could change everything. Scandinavian crime drama, starring Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia. Last in the current series.

There's a feature-length episode of NCIS - 8:30 Channel Five. A military aircraft transporting the bodies of US marines back home crashes before reaching its destination, and Gibbs and the team are called in to help identify human remains at the site of the wreckage. However, a DNA discrepancy turns a routine investigation into a search for a missing person. Important US crime drama, starring Mark Harmon.

Drama's repeat run of the award-winning series four of Waking The Dead continues - 9:00 - with another terrific feature-length episode, Anger Management. A recently released convict comes under suspicion when a warden at his parole hostel is murdered, but when Peter Boyd's cold case squad becomes involved, it transpires that the former prisoner may have been the intended target rather than the perpetrator, and that this killing may be connected to a number of previously unsolved crimes. The great Nigel Terry, TP McKenna and Kerry Fox (terrific as Boyd's dry-as-dust analyst) guest star.
Sunday 2 February
Guess who just got back today, them wild eyed boys that've been away. As noted, Top Gear returns for another batch of road tests, challenges and hot laps by celebrity guests. And, more whinging from pricks with a sick agenda. Jezza Clarkson, Richard Hammond and Mister Slowly immerse themselves in nostalgia and try to prove that hot hatches from their younger days (last century) are better than today's equivalents. Jezza grabs the keys to a Volkswagen Golf GTI, The Hamster takes the wheel of a Vauxhall Nova SRi and James May opts for the Ford Fiesta XR2i and the trio set off on a road trip which includes a hill climb and a visit to a supermarket. However, their adventure concludes at an army training ground in Wales, where they and their steeds must face the heavily armed Top Gear Police Department. Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville blasts the Reasonably Priced Car around the test track.
McGarrett's team are puzzled by the murder of a wealthy couple and a missing artefact linked to the Royal League, a long-forgotten secret society in Hawaii Five-0 - 9:00 Sky1. A conspiracy theorist (played by the excellent Jorge Garcia from Lost) thinks he knows what's going on, but should he be trusted? Meanwhile, Catherine has her last day with the Navy. Alex O'Loughlin, Scott Caan, Michelle Borth and Daniel Dae Kim star.

The soldiers are sent to arrest a flamboyant merchant trader so he can appear before the King for breaking France's trade treat in the latest episode of The Musketeers - 9:00 BBC1. It should be a straightforward mission, but they soon realise the man's enemies are much more deadly than his friends - and as if that weren't bad enough, Athos is forced to confront his past, which is threatening to engulf him. Swashbuckling adventure, starring Tom Burke, Luke Pasqualino, Howard Charles and Santiago Cabrera.
Monday 3 February
Jeremy Paxman continues his history of the First World War with a look at the crisis the country faced as it became clear Britain was unprepared to fight a modern industrial conflict in Britain's Great War - 9:00 BBC1. As a result, the entire adult population was enlisted to turn the country into a war machine - from the women who filled the factories to make bombs and bullets to the men sent to the frontline. Not everyone agreed with the war, but any conscientious objectors who refused to fight were threatened with the firing squad, while striking shipbuilders were sent to jail. And with resources in short supply, even the nation's beer was watered down on government orders.

The crime drama DCI Banks starring Stephen Tompkinson his very self - 9:00 ITV - returns with the first of a two-part story. A man and woman claiming to be social workers visit a mother and tell her they need to take her son away. However, when they fail to bring him back, it transpires that the pair are not known by the authorities. Banks is drawn into a full-scale search for the missing boy, but new evidence and inconsistent witness statements cause the detective to question the truth of what he has been told. Co-starring Andrea Lowe, Caroline Catz, Christine Bottomley and John Lightbody.
A repeat, but a really good one, is The Town - 9:00 ITV3. In the aftermath of a family tragedy, thirty-year-old Mark Nicholas returns to the town where he grew up, but after a decade away, coming home is more difficult than he could ever have imagined. An influential mayor is now in charge and there's a claustrophobic sense that everyone knows everyone else's business. As Mark starts to be drawn back into the life he left behind, catching up with school friends and his first love, he must decide whether to stay permanently. Slow, but involving drama, starring Andrew Scott, Martin Clunes, Charlotte Riley, Julia McKenzie and Gerard Kearns.
Tuesday 4 February
An air stewardess makes her last flight when she is poisoned during her crew's overnight stay on the island in Death In Paradise - 9:00 BBC1. Humphrey and his team are called to the victim's hotel and begin by questioning her colleagues, but with so many suspects and so little to go on, they are left scratching their heads trying to work out which of her colleagues wanted her dead - so Dwayne goes rogue to pursue his own line of inquiry. Kris Marshall, Sara Martins and Danny John-Jules star in the light-hearted Caribbean crime drama with a guest cast that includes Waking The Dead's Felicite Du Jeu.
Bob hopes to defend his title of toupee wearer of the year, but the house rat runs off with his wig on the day of the awards and he offers a golden ticket to the person who can retrieve the hairpiece in time for the celebrations in House Of Fools - 10:00 BBC2. Just as all seems lost, Bob realises the secret to finding it is hidden in an unexpected place. Mad as toast - and, genuinely, hilarious - slapstick comedy with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Cowboy Builders presenter Dominic Littlewood appears as himself.

Births, Deaths and Marriages - 9:00 ITV - is the first of a two-part documentary following people recording landmark moments of love and loss at Britain's most famous register office, Marylebone Town Hall in central London. The team deals with a significant new arrival in the Borough of Westminster - royal baby Prince George - and a desperate hunt for witnesses for a wedding leads to a very unusual bridal party.

Wednesday 5 February
Royal Cousins At War - 9:00 BBC2 - is the opening episode of a really rather good looking two-part documentary examining what impact the relationships between cousins Nicholas II of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and George V had on the outbreak of the First World War. And, a very useful and timely reminder that, for all the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove wittering on about what a rilly glorious thing it all was, the 1914-18 war was, essentially, a small family tiff gone massively tits-up. This episode focuses on the story of the emerging divisions and rivalries between the inter-related royal houses of Europe during the Nineteenth Century. Featuring contributions by historians Karina Urbach, Miranda Carter and Piers Brendon. Tamsin Greig narrates. Concludes tomorrow.
Brennan and Booth go undercover at a couples' retreat after a body is discovered, and their suspicions are aroused by a pair of lovers who seem too perfect to be true in Bones - 9:00 Sky Living. Meanwhile, Cam is arrested for credit card fraud and Sweets contemplates a leave of absence to reassess his career. Guest starring John Ratzenberger and Millicent Martin in a terrific double act as a duplicitous pair of pensioners.
Inside Number Nine - 10:00 BBC2 - is an anthology of darkly comic tales written by and starring Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, with each exploring what is going on behind the door of a different residence. The guests arrive for Rebecca and Jeremy's engagement party, but one of the bedrooms - the one with all their old baggage in it - has been left unlocked. With Katherine Parkinson, Timothy West, Anne Reid, Anna Chancellor and Julian Rhind-Tutt.

Thursday 6 February
After last year's one-off pilot as part of Sky Arts' Playhouse Presents strand, tonight sees the beginning of the first series proper of Nixon's The One - 9:00. The president has a meeting with chief of staff Bob Haldeman, chief domestic adviser John Ehrlichman and attorney general John Mitchell to discuss potential successors to FBI director J Edgar Hoover. Nixon also talks to Haldeman about the type of people who make the best spies, and chats to treasury secretary John Connally about the antics of his predecessor Lyndon Johnson. Comedy drama created by and starring Harry Shearer.
Big Ballet - 9:00 Channel Four - is a documentary following plus-size amateur dancers as they attempt to realise their dreams of performing scenes from Swan Lake on stage. Under the guidance of choreographer Wayne Sleep and prima ballerina Monica Loughman, the troupe sets out to ruffle feathers and break one of the biggest taboos in the ballet world - weight. In the first episode, more than two hundred auditionees are whittled down to just eighteen. Narrated by Olivia Colman.

Inspector George Gently returns - 9:00 BBC1. Which is nice as yer actual his very self is something of a fan. It's 1969 and six months since the shootings in Durham Cathedral. While Gently is almost back to full fitness, John Bacchus has lost his confidence and tenders his resignation. George is determined to help his sergeant through the tough times, so he gets him involved in one last case, the death in custody of a man arrested during a street protest - an investigation that leaves both detectives questioning what it means to be a police officer at a time when attitudes to the force are changing. Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby star, with Lisa McGrillis, Steve Evets and Ruth Gemmell.
Kid Jensen hosts an edition of Top Of The Pops from 8 February 1979. This includes performances from Mick Jackson, The Jacksons (no relation), Doctor Feelgood (tragically, post-Wilco), The Shadows, Darts, Rockin' Rod Stewart (during his disco phase, admittedly), Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Leif Garrett (whatever happened to him?), Judas Priest (in their silly leather pants together they can take on all the world) and yer actual Blondie. Plus, dance sequences from Legs & Co.

Friday 7 February
Alan Davies: Apres Ski - 10:00 BBC2 - is a new series of three in which the comedian and Qi regular and a selection of guests from the worlds of comedy, entertainment and sport take 'an irreverent look' at all the news and action from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, celebrating what makes the games special. That sounds original.
Rather typically, Alan Davies: Apres Ski is on opposite the very programme that, more than anything, inspired its creation, The Last Leg - 10:00 Channel Four. Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are joined by celebrity guests for a comic review of the significant moments of the past seven days. They also look at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and follow Alex's quest to participate in the Rio Paralympics in 2016.
Or, you could do a lot worse than check out Oasis Live At The City Of Manchester Stadium - 9:00 Sky Arts 1, a repeat of the band's 2005 homecoming concert. Shortly before the inevitable happened and Liam and Noel stopped talking to each other.

Which brings us, neatly, to the news:
Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks sought 'the personal approval' of James Murdoch the Small for the Sun editorial comment which marked the paper's switch from New Labour to Conservative before the last general erection, an Old Bailey jury has heard. The phone-hacking trial was given detailed evidence of the contents of two laptop computers and an iPad which were, it is claimed, 'found hidden behind a rubbish bin' on the day after police extremely arrested well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks in July 2011. An Apple laptop contained four News International documents, including one headed 'Draft editorial for approval of JRM.' The court heard that 'JRM' was a reference to James Murdoch the Small who - at that time - was the chief executive of News International parent company News Corp for Europe and Asia, and that the draft editorial had then appeared in the Sun during the Labour party's annual conference, on 30 September 2009, under the headline Labour's Lost It. Detective Sergeant Hayley Broom told the court that the laptop had also contained a 'three-year budget plan' for News International newspapers, headed Durability and Growth, a summary of various stocks held by well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks and the text of a speech which she made to women in the advertising and communications industry in February 2010 in which she said: 'I have always felt that journalists should be read, not heard, though the opposite has not done my friend Piers Morgan any harm.' Whether charges on 'being friendly with oily twat Piers Morgan' will be added to those well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks currently faces is not, at this time, known. Counsel for both well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah and her husband, millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks, suggested that the three computers had been 'for the sole use of Charlie Brooks.' Apart from the four News International documents, the court heard, the Apple laptop also contained chapters from a novel being written by millionaire Old Etonian Brooks and apps relating to football and racing. Neil Saunders, for millionaire Old Etonian Brooks, told the jury that a Sony Vaio laptop contained about eight thousand e-mails, none of which had been sent by his wife. He also told the court that it contained 'approximately twenty five images of female nudity including images of breasts, female genitalia, female masturbation and images of a sexual nature portraying penetration with other females.' An Apple iPad had contained more apps involving football and racing as well as the Angry Birds game. Jonathan Laidlaw QC, for well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks, told the jury: 'Mrs Brooks' case is that they were not laptops used by her.' Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks, millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks and their security adviser, Mark Hanna, all deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice by concealing computers from police.

Meanwhile, the court heard that up to ten mobile phones and iPads linked to well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks have 'disappeared' and 'remain unaccounted for.' Police evidence showed there were seven phones attributed to well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, including three iPhones, three BlackBerries and an HTC handset between 2007 and 2011, a period spanning her editorship of the Sun and her time as the publisher's chief executive. Also on the master list, shown to the phone-hacking trial jury on Friday, were two iPads and an 'unknown device' which has subsequently been identified as belonging to Sir Charles Dunstone, the founder of Carphone Warehouse. A detective on the Operation Weeting team, DC Philip Stead, told the jury in the phone-hacking trial that when he asked News International what had happened to the devices in question, they replied: 'No record of return, assume still with user.' Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's legal team in cross-examination suggested that several of the phones were 'old handsets' and that the reason there was no call data for some of them was because they were 'no longer in use.' Stead's evidence showed that at least seven of the ten devices were unaccounted for. The whereabouts of the remaining three were also unknown but there may have been an explanation for their disappearance, the jury heard. Stead confirmed that two of the iPhones, listed as number one and number eight on the NI master list could, in fact, be the same phone. News International does not have the iPhone related to item number one, but does have the Apple box, opening the possibility that item eight is the phone that came from that package, the jury heard. The second of the three items not totally unaccounted for was identified as a device linked to well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks because data obtained by the police showed that it had connected to a router in or near well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's Oxfordshire home, Jubilee Barn, in 2011. It was identified as logging in to the router as 'Charless iPad' and it recently came to light that this, in fact, belonged to the Carphone Warehouse boss. 'Sir Charles Dunstone says it is his machine,' prosecutor Andrew Edis told the jury and 'further inquiries' were currently being made by police. Jonathan Laidlaw QC, counsel for well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, told the court: 'If the police are satisfied if it is Mr Dunstone's he is a friend of the Brookses and has been in their home. It would be consistent with [him being] at some point being in their home and he would have used the Internet and been provided with the password.' The final item on the master list, identified as an iPad, may have been one that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks reported missing in April 2011. The Metropolitan police's Operation Weeting obtained an e-mail from well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks dated 1 April 2011 to her husband, millionaire Old Etonian Charlie, and copied into her secretary, Cheryl Carter: 'Lost iPad2.' He replied: 'Back of car last night? Restaurant? Doesn't seem to be here.' All of the mobile phones were disconnected by News International on 27 September 2011, two months after well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks resigned as chief executive and was arrested in connection with the phone-hacking scandal which had led to the closure, in shame and ignominy, of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World. All had different connection dates. DC Stead confirmed that one of her three BlackBerries had been connected to the phone network on 4 October 2007 when well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was editor of the Sun. Paul Cheesbrough, the former chief information officer for News International, confirmed in a witness statement that 'News UK was not in possession of these devices.' Laidlaw put it to Stead that the missing list 'did not provide an accurate picture.' He suggested that three BlackBerries, the HTC phone and one of the iPhones could have been old handsets. In addition, he said, one of the three iPads belonged to Dunstone, another appeared to have been lost and one of the remaining two iPhones may have been listed twice on the list. 'Assume News International's practice is when executives' phones are broken, fail to work or when new BlackBerry [models] arrive, the practice was to provide a new phone in other words the number was kept but handset changed,' he said, asking Stead if he could decipher a changeover of devices from the data the police had obtained. Stead replied: 'I don't think we can tell,' adding that investigators didn't have the International Mobile Station Equipment Identity numbers which are unique to each phone. Laidlaw told the court that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks had used the same number 'for years and years.' Stead confirmed that a BlackBerry she used had been confiscated when she was arrested in July 2011. The trial continues.
Self-confessed 'hairy cornflake' Dave Lee Travis, after he was pinched by the bobbies, claimed to the poliss that groping behaviour was 'the norm' during the 1970s but denied committing any sexual offences, a court has heard. Prosecutor Teresa Hay said that Travis told police that 'if he had touched someone's breasts he would admit it.' He said that he 'would have been insane' to grope anyone in a BBC studio, a claim made in court by a previous witness. Travis denies thirteen counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault. During a series of police interviews after Travis's arrest in November 2012, he described the various allegations against him as 'absurd and ridiculous.' Reading extracts from the interviews, Hay told the court: 'He said if he had touched someone's breasts he would admit it as it was considered to be "a bit flirtatious at the time" and "no-one thought that much about it." He said the allegations "did not happen." If any of it had been true he would apologise and accept that "this was the norm in that period." He said his reputation was everything to him - if it had happened he would, happily, own up.' On Thursday, a woman told the court that Travis had indecently assaulted her in a BBC studio while presenting his Radio 1 show in the mid-1970s. Referring to that claim, Hay told the court: 'He said the allegation was "unbelievable" and he was "shocked" that people in his industry were such targets. He said he would have had to be "a moron" to do anything in the studio when people could see in from outside.' Asked by officers about the similarities between some of the women's accounts, the defendant said: 'Two people who are not connected are both telling porkies.' The court heard that Travis described allegations that he groped a teenage girl in the audience of Top Of The Pops in 1978 as 'ridiculous and stupid. There were cameras on him from all angles and the show goes out to twenty million people,' Hay said. Travis also told police that he would have 'reported' fellow BBC broadcaster and dirty old scallywag and rotten rotter Jimmy Savile if he had known the Savile was a filthy disgusting paedophile. Asked about his relations with dirty old scallywag and rotten rotter Savile - who died in 2011 - Travis told officers conducting Operation Yewtree that he knew Savile 'only as a colleague' and 'someone to say "hello" to' if they passed in a corridor. Hay said Travis had told police: 'Like most people at the BBC, I did not know him.' She added: 'He described Jimmy as "having a verbal wall." No-one got any sense out of him. [Travis] felt like he could not get through. He said he knew [Savile] liked young girls but, when all of this came out, most of them sat back in horror. He said he thought "good luck to him."' Travis also said that he did not think the girls were 'under the age of consent' and 'would have reported him if he'd known he had been a paedophile', the prosecutor said. Hay said Travis described the allegations against him as 'degrading' and said he felt he was considered 'fair game' because of his z-list celebrity status. 'He was in the firing line and anyone could take a shot. He said he was "no angel" but he thought it was just not on.' The court heard that Ravis told officers he thought it 'incredible that people were coming out of the woodwork' after forty years, and said he expected it was because they 'wanted to sell their stories' due to the 'money grabbing culture' of parasitic tabloid scum. Travis, who said he had been 'happily married' since 1971, described himself as 'a tactile person' who would usually kiss and or hug men and women when meeting them but said he would never grope them. Presumably that includes men as well as women. He 'understood the line between being "naturally huggy" and making people feel uncomfortable', Hay said. 'He accepted that he had opportunities but if you live in a sweet shop you do not eat the sweets.' Jurors were told that after being arrested and questioned, Travis was interviewed by police on three further occasions in March, August and September last year. The trial was adjourned until Monday when jurors will hear more about the police interviews.
The BBC's former technology chief John Linwood was extremely sacked in July over the failed one hundred million quid Digital Media Initiative the corporation has confirmed. John Linwood was suspended in May over the abandonment of the project to move the BBC away from using video tape. A BBC spokesman confirmed that Linwood did not receive a pay-off after the termination of his contract. Next month a Commons committee is due to hear evidence on DMI from former BBC boss Mark Thompson. The news of the termination of Linwood's employment has been delayed for several months 'due to legal reasons.' The DMI project was set up in 2008 but halted five years later having never become fully operational. It was intended to transform the way staff developed, used and shared video and audio material. Director general Lord Hall said last May, when the project was scrapped, that it had 'wasted a huge amount of tax payers' money.' He also expressed 'serious concerns' about how it had been managed. James Purnell, the BBC's director of strategy and digital, admitted that the BBC had 'messed up.' A report published in December said the BBC should have realised the scheme was set to fail two years before it was finally abandoned. It said 'a failure of governance and management oversight' was to blame, noting senior executives did not have 'a sufficient grasp' of the technology to sufficiently monitor its progress.
Earlier this week, Justin Bieber - he is 'a pop singer', m'lud - was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana and resisting arrest after racing a Lamborghini through downtown Miami. The small teenage singer was earlier stopped by Miami police after apparently drag racing where he was clocked in a rented Lamborghini doing around sixty mph in a thirty zone. Bieber admitted that he had been drinking, smoking marijuana and taking prescription medication, the police said. Bieber failed a sobriety test during his arrest, authorities claimed, and he swore at officers when he was stopped, according to a copy of the arrest report. An officer claimed the Canadian singer 'had bloodshot eyes' and added that he could smell alcohol on Bieber's breath. Speaking at a press conference, Miami Beach Chief of Police Raymond Martinez said that the singer had 'resisted arrest' although he had done so 'without violence.' Martinez added that the nineteen-year-old Canadian had been 'belligerent' and had used 'some choice words' when he was arrested. Miami Dade state attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told Sky News: 'We take cases like this very seriously. It could have been the recipe for a tragedy.' A first conviction for such an offence could bring a fine of between two hundred and fifty and one thousand dollars, depending on the level of alcohol, as well as community service and, possibly, up to six months in the slammer if the judge decides to make an example of him as a discouragement to millions of teenage girls to smoke pot and go driving fast cars whilst pissed and buzzing off yer tits. One imagines that a short, sharp spell in Dade County Jail might but something that young Justin isn't, exactly, looking forward to with keen anticipation. Bieber's arrest comes just a week after the singer's California home was raided by police over claims he pelted his neighbour's house with eggs, 'causing thousands of dollars of damage.' In that case, authorities arrested one member of Bieber's entourage, the rapper Lil Za (no, me neither), on suspicion of drug possession.
Some sad news now. The actor Jerome Willis, who played the memorable Doctor Who villain Stevens in the 1973 six-parter The Green Death opposite Jon Pertwee has died at the age of eighty five. One of those terrific character actors which Britain regularly produces who seems to have been in pretty much everything, Jerome notched up well over one hundred screen credits during his six decade-long career, often cast as authority figures or heavies, including the leading role of Matthew Peele in the ITV espionage drama The Sandbaggers and as Oliver Cromwell in the 1973 BBC drama Woodstock. Other notable series Willis appeared in included: Z-Cars, Within These Walls, Casualty, Wish Me Luck, The Freewheelers, The Avengers, Danger Man, The Spread of The Eagle, The Plane Makers, An Age Of Kings, Adam Adamant Lives!, The Troubleshooters, Redcap, Callan, Doomwatch, The New Statesman, Bergerac, Tender Is The Night, Kessler, Manhunt, Scotch On The Rocks, The Caesars, It's Dark Outside, Poirot, Coronation Street and the SF drama Space Precinct. An accomplished stage actor, Jerome was a member of the RSC and, in 2002, wrote a piece for the Gruniad describing the differences he encountered between the present day and the 1950s when he first appeared with the company. Films that he appeared in included: Siege Of The Saxons, The Magus, A Jolly Bad Fellow, Foxhole In Cairo, Lifeforce and Winstanley. The DVD of The Green Death - first released in 2004 as a one-disc version and, since last August, available as a two-disc special edition - saw Willis reprise the role of Stevens in the spoof documentary Global Conspiracy?, which was included as one of the extras. An announcement of his death - on 11 January - was published in the Gruniad on 17 January. Jeromne is survived by wife Dilys, their daughters Sarah, Megan, Grania and Kate, his sisters Nuala and Fiona and six granddaughters

The Killing's Sofie Gråbøl will make her British drama début in the Arctic circle thriller Fortitude, part of a high-calibre cast featuring Michael Gambon, Stanley Tucci and Christopher Eccleston. Gråbøl built a cult following in the UK playing Detective Inspector Sarah Lund in three series of The Killing on BBC4. She will leave her police badge behind for her role as the governor of a remote town in the Sky Atlantic drama, dubbed 'Broadchurch in the Arctic', a twelve-part series that began filming this week in Iceland and the UK. Gråbøl will also make her British theatre debut at this year's Edinburgh international festival in August, playing Queen Margaret in the third part of Rona Munro's new trilogy, The James Plays, which will later transfer to London's Olivier theatre. Fortitude will also feature Hollywood star Tucci, Oscar nominated for his role in The Lovely Bones, in only his second British TV role (after the 2001 co-production Conspiracy). Tucci's character is a detective who flies into the titular Icelandic town to join a local sheriff, played by Game of Thrones' Richard Dormer, to investigate its first-ever murder. Gråbøl's governor wants to transform Fortitude from a mining town into a tourist destination, but her plan is somewhat derailed by the murder. Gambon stars as a dying wildlife photographer, with Eccleston as an English scientist who heads up the biology department at the town's Arctic research centre. Fortitude's cast also includes Call The Midwife's Jessica Raine playing the wife of the town's search-and-rescue pilot. With a murder that unravels the town's frosty idyll and unearths its darkest secret, Fortitude is likely to prompt comparisons not just to Nordic crime dramas such as The Killing and The Bridge but another drama in which an unexplained death revealed a town's rotten core, David Lynch's Twin Peaks. And, to last year's New Zealand-set Jane Campion thriller Top Of The Lake. Written by Simon Donald, whose credits include the Channel Four drama Low Winter Sun, adapted for the US last year, Fortitude is being made by the independent producer Tiger Aspect through its Fifty Fathoms arm. Sky, which pledged in 2011 to increase the amount of money it spends on home grown comedy and drama by fifty per cent to six hundred million smackers by the end of this year, described it as its most ambitious production to date. Stuart Murphy, director, Sky entertainment channels, said the aim was for Fortitude to be 'cinematic drama on a grand scale.' Sky's head of drama Anne Mensah said: 'It has the same pressure cooker feel of Twin Peaks, but that was much more extreme. This is a very grounded world, about what happens to an ordinary group of people when something really unexpected and unfathomable arrives in their midst. It's about love, anger, and the secrets that are buried underneath a very beautiful facade. There's a lot of humour as well. It's so much more than a crime show, it's an ensemble piece about a whole community with Fortitude a character in the drama. It was like no other show that has ever been pitched to me.' The cast also includes Luke Treadaway, who appeared in the recent big screen remake of Clash Of The Titans, Top Boy's Nicholas Pinnock, and Johnny Harris, who played the part of Mick in the cult This Is England series. Other Sky dramas include The Tunnel, its remake of another Scandinavian drama, The Bridge, which finished on Sky Atlantic last month, Dracula and Fleming, its biopic of the James Bond creator starring Dominic Cooper. Originally planned as a co-production with US cable channel Starz, Fortitude is now being fully funded by Sky.

The BBC1 daytime drama Father Brown - starring Mark Williams as the eponymous crime-solving priest - has been recommissioned for a third series. Made by BBC Birmingham Drama Village, it is based on the GK Chesterton stories. The new run of fifteen forty five-minute episodes will begin shooting around the Cotswolds later this year. Damian Kavanagh, the controller of BBC Daytime, said: 'I'm extremely proud that Father Brown has become an appointment-to-view programme on BBC1 afternoons. The production team and Mark Williams have done a fantastic job bringing Father Brown to life and I'm delighted that our viewers share my enthusiasm for the series.'

The League Of Gentlemen cast turned down an offer to reform for a new TV series according to the Digital Spy website. Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton - promoting their new BBC2 series Inside Number Nine - told the popular website that the BBC made the comedy troupe an offer last year after they reunited for a charity gig. 'Conspicuously on the back of the interest in the fact that we were doing those charity sketches together, the BBC asked us, "Would you like to do some more League Of Gentlemen?"' Shearsmith said. 'We said no - not that way round. Not if the only reason is that you [now] think people might be interested.' However, Shearsmith added that he, Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and writer Jeremy Dyson would 'love to do some more' League Of Gentlemen in the future. 'Maybe not Royston Vasey - that would be the thing,' he added. 'I think it would be a new thing by me, Mark, Steve and Jeremy - still The League Of Gentlemen, but it wouldn't be those characters. It would be a new project, under the banner of us.' Shearsmith earmarked 2019 - twenty years on from The League of Gentlemen's original transmission - as a possible reunion date, though Pemberton voiced concerns about producing 'a fifth-rate version of The League Of Gentlemen.' 'That's the danger now, isn't it?' agreed Shearsmith. 'People like it now - they have a fond memory of it. You don't want to spoil it by wandering on, decrepit, trying to do Pam Doove!'

Jason Flemyng - who guest-starred as the baddie Vadim opposite Peter Capaldi's Cardinal Richelieu in The Musketeers this week - believes Peter will be 'amazing' as The Doctor. Flemyng - the son of Gordon Flemyng who directed the two Dalek films in the 1960s - has a pedigree of appearing with forthcoming Doctors: 'One minute I was working with Peter playing the Cardinal and the next, I was working with [The Doctor]. That was quite surprising when he got the Doctor Who gig while we were in the middle of [filming The Musketeers]. When I did The Quatermass Experiment, David Tennant came in one morning and was [The Doctor] as well so it seems to be something strange, like I'm a lucky [charm). Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.' He added that Peter would 'smash it. He's going to be amazing. He's so talented.' Flemyng - whose own family SF drama, Primeval was extremely cancelled due to lack of interest - was less favourably disposed towards the Daleks, though. 'Until they stop the Daleks flying and put them back in the spaceship, which is where they're meant to land, then I shall be keeping away from Doctor Who. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Much as I love the show, suddenly the Daleks start flying and I thought, "That's silly,"' he said.
Randy Andy Gray's return to the TV commentary box for the first time since extremely getting the old tin-tacked from Sky after making off-camera sexist comments in 2011 earned BT Sport a rather mixed reception. Gray, who has worked alongside former colleague hairy-handed disgrace Richard Keys on TalkSport and in Doha since the row, made a one-off appearance at Stevenage – prompting some viewers to threaten to cancel their subscriptions over BT's apparent endorsement of sexist views. And, most people not to care since there were only about five people watching the damned thing.

Which brings us to today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And, it's time for Poetry Corner, dear blog reader: Here's one of Shelley's finest.

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