Thursday, January 16, 2014

Where Are Those Happy Days, They Seem So Hard To Find?

Yer actual Benny Cumberbatch has suggested that Peter Capaldi his very self will be totally effing fantastic as the new Time Lord begins filming Doctor Who. Sherlock and Doctor Who are, of course, both produced by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat - you knew that already, right? - whilst Benny and Peter starred together in the recent spectacular flop The Fifth Estate. Yer man Cumberbatch told The Big Issue that he is 'looking forward' to Capaldi's first full series as The Doctor. '[It's] great news. I'm very excited to see him in Doctor Who,' he said. The actor added of Capaldi: 'He is a class act, Peter, and a great actor.' No shit, Sherlock?
Meanwhile, Peter his very self can be seen filming some of his first Doctor Who scenes in a series of new on-set pictures released by the BBC over the last couple of days.
Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) has insisted that the major twist at the end of in His Last Vow was not 'a last-minute whim.' Jim Moriarty, played by yer actual Andrew Scott, appeared to return, as it were, from beyond the dead in Sherlock's third series finale, with Moffat telling Empire magazine that the villain's resurrection is 'more complex' than viewers might suspect. 'We've had certain aspects of what we're going to do mapped out for quite a while,' said the writer. 'We can't say much more than that, but it is not a last-minute whim.' Moffat added that he and Mark Gatiss had discussed Moriarty's reappearance with Andrew Scott 'ages ago. You'd have painted yourself into the most ludicrous corner [if you hadn't planned it in advance],' he said.
Martin Freeman has said that he is 'unsure' when Sherlock will return for its fourth series. There have been various tabloid reports - based, it appears, on little more than wishful thinking - suggesting that the BBC would like to fast-track Sherlock's fourth series. Co-creator Steven Moffat has said in the past that he wants the show to be back 'as quickly as possible.' Freeman was recently asked by Access Hollywood if there is any truth to rumours of Sherlock returning sooner than expected. Whatever 'sooner than expected' means. Rather depends on ones expectations, surely? 'That's news to me,' Marty answered. 'People have told me that today. If journalists are saying it, it must be true. I don't know.' The actor went on to say: 'I've not read any new scripts.' Presumably, because they haven't, actually, been written yet. 'All I know is we all like the show, we all want to keep doing it for as long as we want to do it and as long as we enjoy it.'
Martin also said that he 'loved' working with real-life partner Amanda Abbington on Sherlock's third series. Mind you, one imagines he might have been getting in the the neck at home if he'd said 'no, it was miserable'! Speaking to Access Hollywood, Marty said that it was 'enjoyable' to have Mandy on the Sherlock set. 'I've done it a few times with Amanda before, but nothing as sustained as this,' he explained. The actor went on to say: 'She's great. It made the day go even quicker. It made it even more enjoyable. We have a natural kind of rhythm and chemistry together that I love. I really appreciate that part of my day. It made it easier.' Marty and Mandy began dating in 2000 after meeting on the set of the movie Men Only.

BBC Worldwide's site has released an exclusive clip from the forthcoming DVD of the 1967 Patrick Troughton serial The Moonbase. Episodes two and four of this story remain in the BBC archives but episodes one and three are, missing presumed wiped and have, therefore, been animated to the original soundtrack for this DVD release. The clip, from the animated episode three, shows Cybermen marching across the surface of the Moon in preparation for their attack on the eponymous moonbase.
The Fall will reportedly shoot six new episodes in Belfast from late February. An early 2014 start date for the second series shoot was first confirmed in October last year. Series two of the crime drama - starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan - will run one episode longer than the five-part first series, claims the Belfast Telegraph. Dornan has recently been filming the big-screen adaptation of y, in which he plays sadomasochistic billionaire Christian Grey. From The North favourite Gillian, meanwhile, has also been shooting a leading role in forthcoming US drama, Crisis, and a recurring part on the returning Hannibal. The Fall actors Bronagh Waugh, Gerard McCarthy, Niamh McGrady, Archie Panjabi and Emmett Scanlan are all expected to return for series two. 'Without giving anything away, [series two] sounds fantastic,' Scanlan told the Digital Spy website. 'There's a high expectation now after the huge success of the first season, but I'm sure it's one that everyone is relishing.' BBC2 first announced that The Fall would return for a second series in May 2013 just as the acclaimed first series was ending.

The Great Sport Relief Bake Off topped a broadly quiet Wednesday evening for overnight ratings, outside of the soaps. BBC2's celebrity charity show attracted 4.31 million punters at 8pm. Earlier, Nature's Weirdest Events was seen by 1.49m at 7pm, while Wild Brazil brought in 2.03m at 9pm. On BBC1, Live At The Apollo attracted 2.15m at 9.30pm. A Question of Sport was watched by 2.11m at 10.35pm. ITV's coverage of Sheikh Yer Man City's 5-0 FA Cup thrashing of Blackburn Vindaloos scored 3.27m at 8pm. On Channel Four, Restoration Man brought in 1.66m at 8pm, followed by Twenty Four Hours in A&E with 2.33m at 9pm and Finding Mum & Dad with 1.43m at 10pm. Channel Five's Bigger Big Body Squad entertained seven hundred and twenty one thousand at 8pm. The latest Celebrity Big Brother gathered 2.31m at 9pm. Sky1's premiere of The Kumars appealed to three hundred and sixty eight thousand at 9pm. E4's The Tomorrow People had an audience of seven hundred and fifty three thousand at 9pm.

Jeremy Paxman has accused the lack of education secretary, the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove, of 'wilfully misquoting' a Cambridge University professor in a row about the first world war and its portrayal in Blackadder Goes Forth. The Newsnight presenter, speaking at a preview of his new BBC1 series, Britain's Great War, on Tuesday, said that he had 'no problem' with the classic 1980s sitcom being used to encourage schoolchildren to talk about the war, 'as long as it was not taught as fact. It's not fact. It was a brilliant comedy.' The rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike - and twat - Gove caused controversy earlier this month when he attacked the Cambridge historian Professor Sir Richard Evans as 'a left-wing academic' who was 'happy to feed the myth' perpetuated by programmes such as Blackadder, that the war was 'a misbegotten shambles [and] series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite.' Evans later said that the attack showed the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove's 'ignorance of history.' 'I think he wilfully misquoted Richard Evans, the Cambridge historian, and rather unfairly I think,' said Paxman. Paxo, whose four-part series largely investigates the impact of the war on people living at home, and how it changed Britain, said the 'received wisdom' of the war was that 'this whole thing was a disaster foisted upon people by a governing class which had no instinctive understanding of the plight of ordinary people. I do not believe that to be the case,' he said. 'If you read the accounts of ordinary soldiers, it seems to me in the early stages of the war there was a conviction that the war was a justified enterprise. Michael Gove uses this phrase a "just war." I don't really want to get into the theology of a just war because I don't really understand it, I'm not sure it's a really helpful phrase. But, an understandable war, yes.' Asked what he would have asked General Sir Douglas Haig, the British commander on the western front for most of the war, Paxon said: 'I would have asked him why he was so bloody stupid of course. I don't quite know what he would have answered.' Had he been alive when war broke out, Paxo said: 'Personally, I think I probably would have gone [to war] and I wouldn't be here, I suspect.' Paxman said he hoped that people would use the series to 'look again at the war' without 'one hundred years of post-facto wisdom. We know it wasn't the war to end all wars, but that knowledge wasn't available to people in 1914. I hope we can get back to a more sympathetic appreciation of what it must have been like at the time.' The programme features Lord Snooty, the Downton Abbey creator, whose wife is Joy Kitchener, the great-great-niece of Lord Kitchener, and an eye-witness account of the German attack on Hartlepool by one hundred and five-year-old Violet Muers, who died just before Christmas. Paxo said that he did not subscribe to the 'lions led by donkeys' description of the British infantry in the first world war which was the source of much of rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove's anger. The irony, of course, being that this perception largely comes, not from left-wing academics but from the future Conservative cabinet minister Alan Clark's book, The Donkeys which, in turn, was an inspiration for the 1969 move Oh! What A Lovely War. The rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove - who really is a total bell-end and a waste of breath - wrote in the Daily Scum Mail on 2 January: 'The conflict has, for many, been seen through the fictional prism of dramas such as Oh! What a Lovely War, The Monocled Mutineer and Blackadder, as a misbegotten shambles – a series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite. Even to this day there are left-wing academics all too happy to feed those myths.' Paxman said: 'The series was made before Michael Gove made his comments. Doubtless they will be co-opted by one side or the other. I find it a slightly artificial debate. A few moments thought will convince you that the "lions led by donkeys" argument is a really pretty silly analysis. To suggest that generals deliberately set out to throw away the lives of men in order they would be more likely to lose the battles in which they were engaged, that doesn't make a great deal of sense. The generals were like everyone else – confronted by something they had never seen before. That they repeatedly made the same mistakes just betrays their ignorance. There were battle plans, they were just ineffective.' Paxman said Blackadder Goes Forth, which was set in the first world war, was 'brilliant comedy, I really enjoyed it, but it was comedy.' The BBC has said it has 'no plans' to repeat the show as part of a year-long season about the war comprising one hundred and thirty programmes across TV and radio. Paxman added: 'To me the great mystery of the war, and I still can't answer this properly, was why people kept faith with this enterprise. I was really struck by how people kept with it, they endured. It is something we have never had to endure and can't really imagine enduring, and certainly wouldn't be countenanced now because of social changes.' Adrian Van Klaveren, the BBC's controller of the Great War Centenary, said that it was the biggest and 'most ambitious season of programmes the BBC has ever mounted. There will be many highly charged debates over the next four years. Our job as the BBC is to give people the facts, and different opinions, and let them make up their own minds.'

Former vice presidential candidate Michael Palin will take his first leading role in a TV drama for more than twenty years in BBC1's supernatural thriller Remember Me. Palin, who will reunite with the rest of his Monty Python's Flying Circus mates later this year, plays a mysterious care home resident who is the only witness to a violent death in the three-part series, which began filming in Yorkshire this week. The actor, writer and broadcaster's last leading role in a small screen drama was as a headteacher in Channel Four's acclaimed Alan Bleasdale series GBH, co-starring Robert Lindsay, in 1991. 'This is my first lead role in a TV drama series since GBH. It's also a return to Yorkshire, where I was born, brought up and learned my acting in amateur dramatics,' said Michael. 'I was attracted to Remember Me not only by the Northern setting, but also by a good, strong, challenging role, something I could really get what remains of my teeth into. I've always loved ghost stories, so playing the lead in one is a very exciting prospect.' Palin, who returned to the small screen last year in a supporting role in Ian Hislop's first world war black comedy drama, The Wipers Times, will play Tom Parfitt, a frail Yorkshireman whose admittance to a nursing home triggers a series of inexplicable events and a journey into an 'eerie and dangerous world of lost love and betrayal.' Made by Mammoth Screen, whose credits include BBC2's Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall drama Parade's End and ITV's Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour, Palin will star opposite The Full Monty's Mark Addy as a detective and Jodie Comer, who appeared in E4's My Mad Fat Diary, as a care assistant. Damien Timmer, joint managing director of Mammoth Screen, said: 'Michael is always top of our wish list. We have offered him so many parts over the years but he is always busy travelling the world, doing lecture tours or writing books. This is such a great part, and Tom goes to such unexpected places, that we thought it was worth one last attempt. It is not necessarily a part you would expect Michael to play but when we did the read through, as soon as he opened his mouth, it was just perfect. We all know he's a great dramatic actor, but he's one of our best.' Remember Me is written by Gwyneth Hughes, who wrote the BBC1 thriller Five Days, Miss Austen Regrets, also for BBC1, and the 2012 TV movie The Girl, about Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hendren, starring Sienna Miller and Toby Jones. Remember Me, which is being filmed in Huddersfield and Scarborough, will co-star Julia Sawalha and Mina Anwar. Palin, who was one of the guest editors of Radio 4's Today over the Christmas and New Year period, was last seen on TV on BBC2 documentary Wyeth's World last month, in which he explored the life and work of the American artist Andrew Wyeth. With a third volume of his diaries due out soon, Palin will reunite with the other surviving Monty Python's Flying Circus team for a string of sold-out live shows at London's O2 arena in July this year. The BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said: 'It's a real coup for us that Michael Palin has chosen to make his return to a leading role for the first time in over twenty years on BBC1, and a testament to Gwyneth Hughes's hauntingly brilliant script.'

Z-List Celebrity Drowning contestant Penny Mordaunt MP has defended her decision to take part in the abanl and ludicrous ITV reality competition. Mordaunt told the Digital Spy website that she 'took some time' before agreeing to sign up. 'I thought long and hard about it because obviously, given the efforts of some of my colleagues and things they've done in the past, I could obviously see it was a risky thing to do,' she claimed. 'But one of the projects in my community is a dilapidated lido that we're bringing back into use, and I thought, "Hang on, there's a great fit here between trying to raise a bit of money for them and give them a bit of oomph."' Mordaunt added that Tom Daley's cousin had won a competition to redesign the lido's diving boards, saying: 'I just thought, "This is serendipity." So I went and spoke to the programme and said, "Look, I'm interested, but I would like to be able to do it so that my fee goes to this charity and that we could do a whole raft of fundraising around it." And then I spoke to my whips, and they thought, "Good idea", and the rest is history.' However, Mordaunt explained that she was 'very conscious' of the perception that she was spending time training for a television show instead of working in her constituency or Westminster, explaining that all of her sessions have been 'timed outside' of working hours. 'I've done lots of sporting challenges for charities in the past - Great South Run, abseiling down buildings - and people don't bat an eyelid when you're training for those sort of things,' she claimed. 'The programme has been brilliant in providing me with training sessions that fit round my parliamentary work and my constituency work, so I haven't had to do what Nadine [Dorries] did [on 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)] and basically be away or take time off, which is why my whips are completely comfortable with it. It's been quite challenging doing that - I've had a lot of early starts. All contestants have had about twenty hours of dive training, and I've probably spent a lot more time than that training for a half marathon or other sporting events. I think the proof of the pudding's in the eating, which is my constituents have got behind me. I've had so much support on Twitter, on e-mail - this weekend I've had loads of cards that have come to my office. It's been absolutely brilliant. So I definitely think it's been the right thing to do.' Mordaunt also dismissed the image of MPs 'just sat on the green benches', claiming that they also 'do a lot of community action' and fundraising. 'In my time I have worn pink bunny ears, I've been dunked by my local football club and their charity - you do all sorts of crazy and wacky things,' she said. 'The money we've raised already from my participation in the show is going to pay for an entire summer's swimming for my constituents, so it's the best twenty hours I've probably spent.'

And, in wholly unrelated news, BBC political editor Nick Robinson was forced to act quickly on BBC2's Daily Politics when the Queen song 'Fat Bottomed Girls' started blasting out of his iPad. MPs Caroline Flint and Shailesh Vara looked not particularly amused as the dreadful single by the long-haired pomp rockers interrupted their argument about bankers' bonuses, while the host, Andrew Neil, coolly asked Robinson: 'Is that you or me?' Robinson said: 'I'm going to turn it off before the really embarrassing lyrics start.' They're all embarrassing, Nick so the damage was already done. Flint and Vara sadly declined his request to name that tune.

The BBC has defended a recent broadcast of The ONE Show, which received a series of whinges concerning the programme's approach to comments made by guest Paul O'Grady. Some viewers felt that the fifty eight-year-old's views on benefit reform when discussing Benefits Street on 14 January were 'not adequately challenged.' However, the broadcaster argued that a variety of opinions were heard from all sides of the debate. During the show, O'Grady - a well-known Labour supporter - was asked how he would reduce the benefits bill in a standard ONE Show discussion with the presenters. 'Paul's views were forthright, and on reflection more could have been done to put them into context, but it is important to note that balance can be achieved across a number of programmes,' the BBC explained. 'This is a subject that the ONE Show has covered before and hopes to revisit again in the future.'
Outnumbered will return this month for what has been confirmed as its fifth and final series. The award-winning sitcom will have a six-episode run starting on Wednesday 29 January at 9pm. Creators Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin have decided to end the sitcom after this series although both they and the cast have expressed the desire to reunite for occasional one-off specials in the future. Outnumbered series five stars Hugh Dennis, Claire Skinner, Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche and Ramona Marquez, along with Samantha Bond, Rebecca Front and Harry Shearer. The final series of the show will see Dennis's character 'besieged by unreliable technologies' whilst his wife has a new office job, Jake wears a new tattoo and learns to drive, Ben is cast in his school's musical version of Spartacus and Karen starts secondary school. Drew-Honey told the Digital Spy website in 2012 of the fifth run: 'This series is the last series. Never say never, but the directors and writers have said that they don't want to do another. Some [shows] do go on too long and some of them are just making [more] series for the sake of it.'
Michael McIntyre is to host a new BBC1 chat show in the spring, it has been announced. The BBC has commissioned six episodes, each of which will see McIntyre interviewing three , alleged, 'celebrity' guests. McIntyre said: 'From my very first conversation I remember thinking, "This should be televised!" Well now the British Broadcasting Corporation has made my dream a reality.' BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said that she was 'thrilled.' McIntyre added that he was 'overwhelmingly excited about meeting and having fun with my favourite celebrated people.' McIntyre has previously hosted his own BBC1 programme, Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and was a judge on Britain's Got Toilets in 2011. His tour in 2012, during which he played to over seven hundred thousand people in seventy one venues, including ten nights at London's O2 arena, reportedly earned the comic twenty one million smackers.

John Humphrys, presenter of Radio 4's Today, has said the that BBC is too big, but is still 'a profound force for good.' Humphrys added that he thought the licence fee would be renewed in upcoming negotiations with the government, but does not expect a 'generous settlement.' However, echoing comments made by another veteran BBC presenter, David Dimbleby, he said further cost cutting was required to reduce the BBC's size. 'I think the licence fee will continue. But questions will be asked. I profoundly hope it will continue. I still think the BBC is a profound force for good,' Humphrys told a Media Society event in London on Wednesday evening. 'A generous settlement, I suspect not. I think they are making the right steps cutting costs. But it is far too big.' Humphrys suggested the BBC should make further cuts to management, saying there were still too many executives. 'Ask how many meetings there are. Ring up someone, and they are in a meeting,' he said. 'Reporters matter above all others. The reporters on the road that report. You can do without almost everyone else.' He added that he is worried that the BBC's Reithian values and mission – to inform, educate and entertain – were being affected by intense competition, and 'entertainment was being pushed up too far' on the agenda. There was also a concern about news programmes responding immediately to 'self-serving groups with an axe to grind' on Twitter and social media sites. Revealing that he did not tweet, Humphrys added: 'We have to be terribly nervous about the whole social media [area].' He said that he switches off all his phones at 6.30pm the day before he presents Today, to relax and read fiction, and does not specifically prepare for the 8.10am interviews until he arrives in the studio at about four in the morning, unless it is the prime minister or chancellor. He said that he does not write out questions, adding that the key was to hold viewers' attention at breakfast time, and ask the questions they would like answered. 'They have to think they are listening to a conversation, spontaneous, anything can happen.' Humphrys added that he believed nothing should be off-limits in an interview. He said that he had respect for politicians, but avoided meeting them socially. 'I don't believe they are all venal. We need them, they are part of the process.' He is anxious about the future of journalism – which offered him a route out of a poor working class family background in Cardiff aged fifteen, when he went to work for the Penarth Times – and the lack of entry points for the next generation. 'I worry about the demise of local newspapers. My advice is, don't be a journalist, unless not being one will make you profoundly unhappy for the rest of your life. If you are a teacher, architect, engineer, doctor you have to have qualifications,' he said. 'They prove you can do the job. You can never qualify as a journalist, you only as good as someone thinks you are.' He said career advancement depended heavily on being lucky, and getting breaks, and not everyone did. He confided that the person he would most like to interview would be the Queen, and that he had requested one after he was invited to a private lunch at Buckingham Palace. 'She said "No. What's more, if one were to do an interview it would not be with you."'

Doug Naylor is writing a new series of Red Dwarf, Danny John-Jules has claimed. But the actor, who plays The Cat in the cult SF comedy, admits that even talking about it is likely to upset Naylor, as it fuels anticipation from fans. The sitcom returned to TV in 2012 thanks to cable channel Dave commissioning a full series on the back of a tentative return three years earlier. And the decision paid off, bringing the station record ratings. John-Jules said: 'Doug Naylor is writing as we speak. He told me off for ringing him up the other day and asked about it. He said I was interfering with his writing.' He added: 'It happens all the time with Red Dwarf. We say something about the new series and we get Doug on the phone saying, "What the hell did you say that for?" So you can understand why we're quite shy in talking about these things.'

The creators of the US sitcom How I Met Your Mother have apologised after accusations the show had been racist. Slapsgiving III: Slappointment in Slapmarra, the episode in question, was partly set in China and shown on CBS in the US on Monday 13 January. Three of the cast had make-up, costumes and accents which some viewers claimed were inappropriate and disrespectful. The writers said that they 'now realised' that 'along the way we offended people.' In the episode Jason Segal's character, Marshall, travelled to China, where he met with characters from Kung fu films, played by three of the regular cast. Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan were accused of using 'yellowface' - the practice of using make-up to make white actors appear more East Asian. An organisation whose aims include improving the representation of Asian Americans in the media - and whinging - Eighteen Million Rising, said: 'The thing about this [is] a whole lot of people had to not just say "okay", but agree this was a good idea.' Carter Bays, one of the show's writers, tweeted an apology and explanation. 'With Monday's episode, we set out to make a silly and unabashedly immature homage to Kung Fu movies, a genre we've always loved,' he wrote. 'But along the way we offended people. We're deeply sorry, and we're grateful to everyone who spoke up to make us aware of it.' The writer added: 'We try to make a show that's universal, that anyone can watch and enjoy. We fell short of that this week, and feel terrible about it. To everyone we offended, I hope we can regain your friendship, and end this series on a note of goodwill.'
The current Celebrity Big Brother series will - if you've got an ounce of common sense in your skull - have slipped under your radar. But that won't be the case for any readers of the Daily Lies. They have been treated to increasingly hysterical hype about the show ... which, of course, just happens to be broadcast on Channel Five, owned by the paper's publisher, the soft-core pornographer Richard Desmond. Day-after-day, especially this week, the Lies has not spared ink and paper in its mission to boost the programme and bore its readers shitless with tales of its doings. It is impossible to say whether this has been responsible for the show's steady ratings success, after all, the producers have gone out of their way to coax the participants into taking part in salacious scenarios specifically aimed at attracting viewers. The Lies, exhibiting shameless cross-media promotion, has responded with laughably titillating editorial coverage. On Monday, it splashed on the previous night's episode having been 'the most X-rated show ever!' - as though, that's something to be proud of - and carried an inside spread full of raunchy pictures. That was hardly a surprise because the housemates had been provided with a room resembling a nightclub, scanty black PVC outfits and told to perform what the Lies uncharacteristically coyly called 'adult-style entertainment.' Soft-core porn, in other words. You know, the kind of this Desmond made his million flogging. This nonsense was duly reported - as 'news' - by the Lies as if it was a terribly shocking display: 'Celebrity Big Brother bosses were forced to censor their filthiest-ever sex scenes last night. Producers went into meltdown as the gang's X-rated antics were too shocking to broadcast even after the 9pm watershed. What happened cannot be described in detail in a family newspaper.' They gave it a damned good try, however. And, not for nothing, but you've really got to admire that 'family newspaper' bit. Anyway, on and on it has dribbled through the week, with front page coverage every day and pictures of barely dressed women accompanied by barely literate articles gasping with faux outrage about the antics of the housemates and their various doings. From the moment Desmond acquired Channel Five in 2010 the Lies has been its greatest cheerleader. Now, as this week has proved, it is little more than a daily marketing pamphlet for the TV outlet. One would imagines that the Lies editor must be concerned about the possibility of Desmond selling off Channel Five. However unlikely, if it does go, she may well have sleepless nights wondering what to fill her paper with. Presumably, they'll go back to printing shite made-up stories about Lady Gaga appearing in Doctor Who and the like.

Everyone, it seems, has a view on the BBC - usually filtered through a sick layer of agenda. British Naturism, which represents the '3.7 million self-professed naturists', is one of the more surprising organisations to decide to, if you will, bare all in a submission to the Commons culture, media and sport select committee inquiry into the future of the corporation. As well as a bit of unabashed self-promotion ('There is good objective evidence that the attitudes associated with naturism provide significant societal benefits, particularly for children and young people') the organisation takes a right pop at poor old Andrew Marr to show that the current BBC royal charter has 'proved inadequate to ensure honest programme making.' Apparently, Marr's History Of The World was an 'excellent series', totally (ahem) 'marred' by 'at least six scenes' where the costumes were 'complete fiction.'
While the BN does not say specifically whether the actors should have been in the naughty nekked nuddy, it does refer to 'censorship' in the programme leading to 'no consideration of the social harm done by prudery.' Although, one imagines, a bunch of chaps showing off their big hairy cocks on BBC1 during primetime might have attracted the attention of a few scummishly agenda-soaked self-interest groups with far louder voices than those of the nice people at British Naturism. BN fell short of offering a view on whether the BBC Trust should be stripped of its responsibilities.
A junior radio journalist was 'gutted and confused' after, allegedly, being groped by Dave Lee Travis, his trial has heard claimed. The woman, who was working at Chiltern Radio, said she had initially seen Travis as 'a friendly grandad-type.' But her eyes 'filled up with tears' after the ex-BBC Radio 1 DJ put his hand below her belly button and on her breast, she told Southwark Crown Court. Travis denies indecently assaulting eleven victims between 1976 and 2008. The woman told the court on the third day of the trial that Travis was 'very tactile' with her but she saw him as a 'friendly grandad-type.' She claimed that he was 'very nice to her' but that on one occasion: 'He came in and came up behind me and hugged me from behind and blew a raspberry on my face. It was just a bit too close. But then his hand was on that bit of your tummy below your belly button. No-one ever touches you there, it is quite personal. When he did that I kind of went to shrug him off.' The witness said that as Travis went to move his hands away, he did so 'deliberately and brushed over my breast.' She said she went to a toilet where her eyes filled up with tears: 'I felt really weird. I was confused because I knew it felt horrible,' she said. The woman, who was in her twenties when she worked at Chiltern Radio in the same building as Classic Radio DJ Travis, said that her opinion of him 'changed' after the incident. She said: 'I knew who he was because my dad was a big fan. That's why I knew who he was. I pretty much avoided him after that.' But she said that she did not complain about what had happened to her at the time because she found it 'very embarrassing' and was young and 'enjoyed' her job. 'I think you're always not sure if something is bad or not,' she said, adding: 'It didn't feel like an accident.' The witness also said that she could remember another incident when a female colleague - who gave evidence on Wednesday - had shouted at Travis after he allegedly put his hand up her skirt. Wednesday's witness told the court the woman had 'absolutely snapped' and a manager had had to pull them apart, with Travis becoming 'very aggressive' when she shouted that he was 'a pervert.' She told the court that she and Thursday's witness were 'close friends' who had 'pledged to support each other.' But Thursday's witness denied suggestions from Travis's barrister, Stephen Vullo, that she had 'merged' her police statement and account of the alleged skirt incident. She claimed that her account was 'honest' and said that she had 'not spoken' to the other woman since the police case had started. Chiltern Radio employee Simon Cliffe told the court he was 'aware' one of the alleged victims who worked at the station felt 'uncomfortable' being around Travis, but said that he knew of only one formal complaint. Asked by Vullo whether the complaint was because his client had been 'overly tactile', the man said: 'It was probably stronger than that. Maybe an invasion of privacy or an invasion of space.' Travis's former managing director at Classic Gold, Colin Wilshire, said he was also 'aware' of a single complaint about the DJ by a female member of staff. Wilshire told the court a woman had complained that Travis had 'touched her on the legs.' He said Travis was told to 'stay away' from the woman and her office, and a complaint was raised at a board meeting, but no 'mark' was left on his HR file. Wilshire said Travis had maintained he 'didn't intend to upset her' and that it 'wasn't his intention' - but added that the DJ immediately dismissed orders not to enter the alleged victim's office. 'I hauled [Travis] back into my office and said: "I need to talk to you about this,"' Wilshire said. 'I wanted to make sure he understood what was going on. He had clearly not listened to what I wanted him to do. He was flustered, he was very angry.' The trial is expected to last up to six weeks.

Meanwhile, this was Tuesday's Metro front page. I'll bet that's a headline you never thought you'd see in a million years.
William Roache wrote to a fourteen-year-old girl whom he had, allegedly, indecently assaulted saying 'write to me when you start school again', a court was told. Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court, the woman, now sixty three, claimed that her contact with the Coronation Street actor felt 'like a relationship.' Roache, eighty one, from Wilmslow in Cheshire, denies two counts of raping a fifteen-year-old girl in East Lancashire 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. The complainant told the court that Roache forced her to perform a sex act on him in the gents' toilets at Granada Studios in Manchester in the summer of 1965. She had visited the studios with a friend to take part in a children's talent show, the jury was told. The woman said that following her performance she and her friend 'went exploring' within the building. She said that she had spotted a Coronation Street actor and later ended up in Roache's dressing room. At one point she and Roache left the dressing room, she said, and he pulled her 'roughly' by the arm in the direction of a men's toilet. She told the court that Roache took her hand and indecently assaulted her. The complainant said: 'I was shocked and I didn't really understand what was going on, but the one thing I thoroughly understood was that I should not have been in the gents.' The complainant said that a few weeks after the assault she received the letter, which read: 'Thank you for your marvellous letter and the nice things you said in it. I am enclosing a photo which I hope you like. I am away for three weeks now but I would like a letter from you waiting for me when I get back. Write to me when you start school again and tell me more. Love Bill.' Asked how the letter made her feel, the woman said: 'I suppose I was flattered at the attention. I didn't understand some of it. I had not written a letter. I left a note as well as my address. The "tell me more" didn't make sense. I don't know what it referred to.' The woman said that after receiving the letter she returned to the studios later in the year. She told the court Roache had instructed her to wait outside and that he would pick her up in his car. Louise Blackwell QC, defending Roache, suggested the pick-up arrangement was 'odd.' 'No', the complainant said, 'because at that stage I thought we were having some sort of clandestine relationship, however tenuous.' The jury heard that he later parked near a railway embankment in Stockport and Roache asked her age. She told the court a conversation took place about oral sex, during which he said: 'I won't do it properly until you're sixteen.' The woman said at the time that she would not have understood what he had said. A second complainant was sixteen when she said she was approached by Roache in the ladies' toilets at Granada. 'As I went in I suddenly was aware of somebody behind me and I turned round and he was right in my face, absolutely right in front of me. I could not move,' she said. She claimed that he 'more or less pinned me against the back of the wall' and put his hand underneath her jumper and squeezed her breast. The woman confided in her husband twenty years ago as they were watching an episode of Coronation Street. The trial continues.

Roger Lloyd-Pack, familiar to millions as the slow-witted road-sweeper Trigger in the BBC sitcom Only Fools And Horses, has died aged sixty nine. Well-known for his malleable face and lugubrious delivery, Roger also appeared as Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley and as the creator of The Cybermen, John Lumic, in two episodes of Doctor Who. Born in Islington in 1944, Roger was the son of the character actor Charles Lloyd-Pack and the father of actress Emily Lloyd. His agent confirmed he died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday night. Sir David Jason spoke of his sadness at the news, calling his co-star 'a very quiet, kind and unassuming actor who was a pleasure to work with. Although he played the simple soul of Trigger in Only Fools And Horses, he was a very intelligent man and a very fine actor capable of many roles. I shall remember him with fondness and for all the good times we had together.' A versatile character actor who was at home with both comedy and drama, Roger studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before making his stage début in Northampton. After walk-on appearances in The Avengers and other TV shows, his big screen début came in 1968 when he played a small part in The Magus. His CV also includes Virgin Of The Secret ServiceSpyder's Web, Jason King, The Protectors, Special Branch, Within These Walls, Churchill's People, Softly Softly: Taskforce, The Naked Civil Servant, Dixon Of Docks Green, Survivors (he was the only actor to appear in both in 1970s original and the 2008 remake), The Professionals, Private Schultz, Byker Grove, MovingSelling Hitler (magnificently cast against type and the right-wing historian and convicted Holocaust denier, David Irving), Stay Lucky, 2point4 children, Dalziel And Pascoe, New Tricks and Inspector George Gently. He also appeared in movies includes The Go-Between, Fright, Prick Up Your Ears, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, Interview With The Vampire, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire and, most recently, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. His breakthrough came in 1981 when he was cast as Trigger Ball, the amiable-but-dim road-sweeper and friend of the Trotters who always mistakenly called Nicholas Lyndhurst's Rodney character 'Dave.' As in the memorable line concerning Del-Boy's child-to-be: 'If it's a girl they're calling her Sigourney after an actress. If it's a boy they're naming him Rodney. After Dave.' It's the little pause between 'Rodney' and 'after Dave' that turn a funny line into genius, dear blog reader. Roger was the only actor, apart from Lyndhurst and Jason, to appear in both the first and last episode of the much-loved sitcom. Its success would lead the actor to describe his role as 'both a blessing and a curse.' He sometimes express bemusement about his popularity with audiences. 'It's extraordinary to me as an actor to find oneself in a sitcom that's been successful and goes on being successful,' he said. 'I can't go anywhere without anyone going on about it.' His last appearance as Trigger came in the show's 2003 Christmas special. The BBC had hoped that he would make an appearance in a planned Only Fools And Horses sketch later this year for Sport Relief, but he was too unwell to take part. In recent years Roger was seen at Shakespeare's Globe, appearing alongside Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry in its productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night. A committed Socialist, he campaigned for nuclear disarmament and was a supporter of Left Unity, a recently formed 'radical political party of the left.' Father Ted creator Graham Linehan was among those to pay tribute, saying it was 'very sad news. Trigger was an ancestor to Father Dougal and I'm glad I once had a chance to tell him so,' Graham said on Twitter. Shane Allen, the BBC's controller of comedy commissioning, said: 'The nation bids a fond and sad farewell to one of the most popular television sitcom actors of his generation.' Roger's death was also marked by CND, who posted a picture of the actor campaigning against Trident on their website. Lloyd-Pack was married twice; first to Sheila Ball, from whom he was divorced in 1972 and secondly to the poet and dramatist Jehane Markham (the daughter of David Markham), whom he married in 2000. He has one daughter, Emily by his first marriage, and three sons, Spencer, Hartley and Louis by his second.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a twenty four-carat pop masterpiece from yer actual ABBA.

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