Friday, February 07, 2014

E Is For Evidence

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has explained just exactly what the smeg the Sherlock series three finale's post-credits scene was all about. Following the apparent return of Andrew Scott's Jim Moriarty in video footage during the final moments of the Moffat-written His Last Vow, the character appeared one final time speaking directly to the camera. The moment left some viewers wondering whether it had been intended as confirmation that Moriarty was, genuinely, alive while others took it as an Easter Egg for fans. 'That was [decided] in the cutting room,' yer Moffat revealed. 'It was Mark [Gatiss]'s idea to get one more little blip of him, and we shot the live action shot which we hadn't done for the actual show and put that in after the credits. It was just a final little treat, really, to wind people up.' Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) went on to joke that he was 'as surprised as anyone' when Moriarty returned. 'He was definitely dead! You can't fake shooting yourself in the face - part of his head came off,' The Moff said. Moffat has also insisted that there is 'no end in sight' for Sherlock. He told Assignment X that whilst he will, eventually, give up his showrunner role on Doctor Who - although, tragically, for various loud-mouthed whinging arseholes of no consequence amongst The Special People, that won't be any time soon, either. So, tough luck there, whingers - he has no such plans for the BBC's hit detective drama. 'Eventually, I'll stop doing Doctor Who because it stops me doing anything else,' Steven said. 'But Sherlock doesn't swamp my schedule. I could imagine we'll come back and do Sherlock fairly often for many years, rather than very often for a few years.'

Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch has said that he will continue starring in Sherlock as long as the title character is 'developing.' Benny told USA Today that he has 'high hopes' for the future of the show, following the conclusion of series three. 'I'll keep doing it as long as I feel he's developing and there's stuff we're all being challenged by and that it's being loyal to the original stories as well,' he said. Benny also credited the popularity of Sherlock with granting him many of the exciting career opportunities that he is now receiving. '[The show has] done a lot,' he explained. 'I won't say it's changed my life, because I had a huge break at the same time as this role first came to fruition.' The actor continued: 'It was a sort of perfect storm of all mediums coming together at the same time, television, film and theatre, even some radio.'

A scene set in a gay bar was cut from Sherlock's third series. During an Apple Store Q&A session, Marty Freeman and Benny Cumberbatch recalled shooting the sequence for the series's second episode The Sign Of Three, as part of John Watson's drunken stag night. 'I regret there was one bit of that drunk stuff that was missing,' Martin revealed. 'That was the gay club scene. When we were absolutely mullered in the gay club! 'There were lots of topless men going past, and [Sherlock and John] are just, like, "Why are we here?"' Benny went on to expand on Sherlock's reaction to the club-goers, remembering: '[Sherlock] had no idea why they didn't have their clothes on, and eventually it dawned on me, and my grounding shook.' Asked why the scene had been cut, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat explained that the original stag night sequence had been far too long. 'The first cut of that drunk scene was interminable, it would have killed you,' he said. 'It went on and on and on.'
The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine looks back on Matt Smith's four years as The Doctor.Get it now at all good retailers (and, some bad ones).
Outnumbered rose by nearly one hundred thousand overnight viewers week-on-week on Wednesday, according to the latest data. The BBC1 sitcom was watched by 4.84 million at 9pm, while a repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys attracted 4.42m at 9.30pm. On BBC2, the final of The Great Interior Design Challenge was watched by 1.57m at 7pm, followed by Restaurant Man with 1.53m at 8pm. Royal Cousins At War interested 1.98m at 9pm, while the new comedy series Inside Number Nine brought in 1.06m at 10pm. ITV's Midsomer Murders topped the overnight ratings outside of soaps with 5.20m at 8pm. On Channel Four, Restoration Man continued with 1.72m at 8pm. Twenty Four Hours in A&E gathered 1.82m at 9pm. The documentary Hunted was seen by seven hundred thousand viewers at 10pm. Channel Five's Ultimate Emergency Bikers appealed to 1.11m at 8pm, followed by NCIS with 1.19m at 9pm. On E4, The Tomorrow People continued with five hundred and six thousand punters at 9pm.

Some proper-good ratings news, now dear blog reader. Stinking, odious risible pile of steaming rotten shat Birds Of A Feather missed out on its being the top-rated overnight show on Thursday, for the first time this series. Which was cause for some celebration, frankly. The wretched, horrible, nasty ITV sitcom continued to shed viewers, week-on-week, being watched by 5.33 million at 8.30pm. Benidorm pulled in 4.88m at 9pm. On BBC1, Pound Shop Wars was top overall, with an audience of 5.42m at 8pm, followed by a new series of Inspector George Gently with 5.34m at 8.30pm. BBC2's Restoration Home continued with 1.77m at 8pm, while the second part of Royal Cousins at War had 1.85m at 9pm. Charlie Brooker's final regular Weekly Wipe climbed to 1.32m at 10pm. On Channel Four, Supersize vs Superskinny was seen by 1.34m at 8pm, followed by new documentary series Big Ballet with nine hundred and one thousand punters at 9pm and Bodyshockers with 1.38m at 10pm. Channel Five's Snowtrapped attracted seven hundred and nine thousand at 8pm, while The Hotel Inspector was seen by 1.04m at 9pm.

Tom Hiddleston is the latest driver to compete in Top Gear's Star In A Reasonably Priced Car challenge. The actor becomes the newest celebrity to take advice from The Sig before trying out the Top Gear test track on Sunday's episode.
The BBC is adapting Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel Anansi Boys into a TV mini-series. Nice. The adaptation, which will be produced by Red - the company behind Last Tango in Halifax - follows the lives of the two sons of African spider-god Anansi. Gaiman, whose 2001 novel American Gods, is also currently being developed for US television, said he was 'thrilled.' Confirming the news on his blog, Gaiman said that he hoped Red would 'make an absolutely brilliant faithful version.' Gaiman is the creator of the celebrated Sandman comic series and the author of best-selling titles such as Coraline and The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping still, regularly, dines out on having once shared a convention panel with Neil about a decade ago. And then pestered the poor chap into signing a handful of random issues of Sandman that yer actual Keith Telly Topping 'just happened' to have brought several thousand miles with him from Newcastle to Minneapolis American Gods, which was previously in development with HBO 'for several years' has been picked up by Freemantle Media after three different script versions were all rejected by HBO and the option eventually expired. 'As to where you will be able to see it, who is going to be in it, who will be writing or show-running, none of these things have yet been settled,' wrote Neil, announcing the project's move to Fremantle. 'But it already looks like it's going to be a smoother run developing it than it had at HBO, so I am very pleased.' He claims that Fremantle will have 'a more difficult task' adapting American Gods 'as they are going to have to open [it] up into something bigger than the book.' Neil his very self will executive produce the series. Red, whose hits have included Scott & Bailey and Queer As Folk told some middle-class hippy Communist of no consequence at the Gruniad Morning Star they were 'very excited', but stressed that Anansi Boys remained in 'very early development.'

Yer actual Eddie Izzard, Dynamo his very self and Ellie Goulding will be among those taking part in the new series of Sir Michael Parkinson's Masterclass. The iconic TV interviewer's Sky Arts series allows the interviewees to present an insight into their lives, careers and works and gives Parky something else to do other than give away pens to pensioners on afternoon telly. Filmed in front of a studio audience, the seven-part series is described as 'an exciting and eclectic who's who of the great and the good in their respective artistic fields.' 'Masterclass is an innovative series and it is the set of interviews I've always wanted to do because you never know what you might discover about an artist and their craft,' said Parky (adding that you don't get 'a free Parker pen' just for watching). 'Their work is spellbinding and I hope the studio audience and Sky Arts viewers will find the demonstrations of their artistic talents as inspiring and thought-provoking as I do.' Other guests lined-up for the new series include the actor Simon Russell Beale, dancer Akram Khan, percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and classical guitarist Miloš Karadagli.

Odious grumpy sour-faced greed-bucket, horrorshow (and drag) Adrian Chiles's big mouth has got him in trouble yet again after he promised five quid to viewers who were watching a boring FA Cup tie. The ITV presenter was covering ITV4's coverage of a replay between Fulham and Sheffield United, which resulted in a snooze-fest 0-0 draw. At half-time in extra-time, Chiles said that any viewers who hadn't fallen asleep should write in and he would, personally, send them a fiver. The Blades went on to win the match 1-0 with a late goal, and several viewers tweeted to request their cash. One viewer wrote: 'Adrian Chiles said if anyone was watching they'd get five pounds sent out to them. How do I go about claiming this?' Another added: 'Adrian Chiles promises everyone still watching ITV4 five pounds. There are four of us watching here.' Another went even further: 'Adrian Chiles owes me five pounds for sticking with this game as promised then. I'll also claim £4.38 for having to listen to Clarke Carlisle.' One Peter Hyam even went as far as e-mailing ITV: 'I'm currently watching Fulham v Sheffield United on ITV4. It's an awful game. Possibly the worst I've ever seen. But I'm still persisting. At half-time in extra-time Adrian Chiles said 'if you're still watching, write in and we'll send you a fiver each.' This is obviously a stupid thing for any presenter to say – and I doubt it was on the cue cards. However, I'd like my fiver please. If not then I shall formally complain about your dreadful presenter lying to the one viewer. I'd prefer it in cash or cheque. Alternatively a signed photo of Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield would do.' Time for odious greed-bucket, horrorshow (and drag) Chiles to put his money where his mouth is?

ITV crime drama Broadchurch has received more recognition, winning two prizes including best drama series at this year's Broadcast Awards. It beat competition from The Fall, Last Tango In Halifax and Top Of The Lake to win the award, after last week taking best TV drama at the South Bank Awards. Channel Four's Gogglebox was another double winner, taking best original programme and best popular factual programme. The show films real people watching and discussing TV in their living rooms. After a triumphant night at last month's National Television Awards, presenting duo Ant and/or Dec won best entertainment programme for their show Saturday Night Takeaway. Coronation Street picked up the award for best soap, while Channel Four's Educating Yorkshire was awarded best documentary series. Both were also winners at the NTAs. 'Broadchurch breathed new life into the whodunit, Educating Yorkshire was funny and moving and Gogglebox was a genuine word-of-mouth smash,' said Broadcast editor Chris Curtis. 'All three have the potential to be big international successes, and prove the power of British TV.' With a US version in production, Broadchurch's second award was for best international sales, beating two of the BBC's biggest exports Doctor Who and The Great British Bake Off. ITV was, laughably, named channel of the year - which proves that Broadcast doesn't know shit about anything, frankly. The awards, handed out during a ceremony in London, were judged by 'a panel of industry executives' and journalists from Broadcast. Best comedy went to A Touch of Cloth II: Undercover Cloth, made by Zeppotron for Sky1. There were also prizes for Sky Arts drama A Young Doctor's Notebook, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm; Alfred Hitchcock drama The Girl and the BBC's Glastonbury coverage, which won best music programme. For younger viewers Mr Stink, based on David Walliams' book of the same name, won best children's programme and Rastamouse won best pre-school programme.

So, watching television is bad for your health, is it? Well not according to doctors in Germany who saved a man's life thanks to Huge Laurie's massively popular US series House. The i - you know, the paper that, according to those drivellingly smug-as-fuck adverts doesn't have 'no celeb-gossip-nonsense, just "intelligent stuff"' - reports that Marburg University clinic runs a series of lectures titled Doctor House Revisited – would we have saved the patient at Marburg as well? in which episodes featuring the good doc are shown. When a patient came in suffering from heart failure, medics were initially perplexed as to what was causing the condition – until they remembered an episode of the show titled Family Practice in which a character displayed almost exactly the same symptoms. Diagnosing the condition as cobalt intoxication (just as in the show), the patient was sent for treatment and has since recovered completely. God, is there anything Huge Laurie can't do?

The Guess List is a new Saturday night comedy entertainment series fronted by Rob Brydon. Each show sees two contestants compete for a prize which has been 'specially selected for them.' Helping the contestants find the answers are five 'famous faces' from the worlds of sport, music, TV or film. Z-listers desperate to get their boat on TV, in other words. Along the way, Rob ensures that those 'famous faces' take on 'one or two unexpected questions' of their own. Like' why the hell are you prostituting your talent by appearing on this crap?' perhaps. The series is a six-parter and will be produced by ITV Studios owned independent, Twelve Yard Productions. Rob said: 'I loved making the pilot for The Guess List and can't wait to get started on the first series.' Charlotte Moore, the Controller of BBC1 added: 'More Rob on BBC1 can only be a good thing. It's a really funny show and an exciting addition to Saturday nights.'

Sue Turton is a presenter and senior correspondent with Al-Jazeera English. She has been indicted in her absence by the Egyptian authorities on a charge of aiding terrorists. Sue and a colleague, Dominic Kane, were among twenty people accused of 'spreading false news', bringing Egypt into disrepute and conspiring with terrorists. At least, unlike five other imprisoned Al-Jazeera staff, she is outside Egypt and, therefore, they can't get their hands on her. She is, therefore, able to write about the situation inside the country and about the arrests of three Al-Jazeera English colleagues. Here is her story, as told to the Gruniad.
Leonard Nimoy has revealed that is suffering from lung disease. The eighty two-year-old acting legend wrote on Twitter that despite stopping smoking thirty years ago he had developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He urged his eight hundred thousand followers to 'quit now.' Leonard last appeared on screen in 2013 in Star Trek Into Darkness, reprising his most famous role as Mr Spock, the Vulcan character he has played Star Trek began in since 1966. The actor has also been a great supporter of director JJ Abrams' rebooted vision for the new films. As well as starring as Spock in the original Star Trek series, Len also directed two of the franchise's films: Search for Spock - which wasn't very good - and The Voyage Home - which was. He also made a number of guest appearances in science fiction series Fringe, which ran until 2012. Nimoy was recently photographed being pushed in a wheelchair at a New York hospital, attached to breathing apparatus. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an umbrella term for a number of illnesses including emphysema and chronic bronchitis and affects millions of people around the world. It damages air-sacs and passages to the lungs, and can make breathing a struggle. The majority of cases are caused by cigarette smoke.

American Idol is 'winding down,' the president of Twenty First Century FOX said on Thursday as the media giant admitted costs from launching new shows and other expenses would weigh on profits this year. Speaking after the company announced its latest quarterly results, Chase Carey said advertising revenue in the company's TV unit has been hurt by weak ratings at The X Factor as well as American Idol. Lower political advertising revenues this year after 2013's election also hurt the unit's results, the company said. American Idol was once FOX's most-watched show. Its season finales ranked number one for an unprecedented eight years in a row between 2003 and 2011. Thirty-six million people watched the finale in 2006 and more than thirty one million people watched in 2008 – but last year's attracted just 14.4 million. In a conference call with analysts, Carey said the show was 'in a transition. We know American Idol is winding down,' said Carey, adding that ratings have 'fallen faster than we hoped.' Twenty First Century FOX was formed at the end of June after News Corporation, the media and entertainment giant controlled by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch, spun off its newspaper and publishing assets. On Thursday, the company reported profits of $1.21bn, down roughly fifty per cent from a year ago and before the split. The company's broadcast television unit reported an eleven per cent drop in operating income before depreciation and 'amortisation.' Whatever that is. FOX announced in January that it was scrapping the traditional pilot season, a move Carey said should benefit the company. 'We can't be bound by rules established in a three-network world,' he said. Revenue at the company's film division increased seven per cent on better TV production results that stemmed from the syndication of the comedy series Modern Family and higher revenue from the drama Homeland. But the division wasn't as profitable as it was a year ago, when its results were boosted by the theatrical and home viewing releases of popular movies. The division also suffered from a lacklustre response to movies including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Counselor and Walking With Dinosaurs. Revenue at the group overall rose to $8.16bn from $7.11bn, helped by its acquisition of a controlling stake in German satellite TV operator Sky Deutschland in January 2013. As a result of that acquisition, revenue at the company's satellite TV division jumped sixty six per cent to $1.52bn.

And that's, presumably, why Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads is to return as a judge on ITV's The X Factor for the first time in four years in a bid to reverse the show's falling ratings. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads, who signed a new three-year deal with ITV worth up to one hundred and fifty million smackers last year, last appeared as a judge in 2010 before quitting to launch a US version of the show on the FOX network. But he has failed to hit his own targets for the American version of the talent show, the future of which is unclear, and the ratings for its original UK incarnation have dwindled in his absence despite successive revamps. Ratings for The X Factor have been in decline ever since Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads last appeared as a judge four years ago.

Lord Sugar-Sweetie has criticised the 'scum media' after underage girls were, allegedly, sent to Apprentice winner Dr Leah Totton's cosmetics clinics in what Sugar-Sweetie claimed was 'an attempted sting.' The really very angry indeed sixty six-year-old 'hit out' at the 'pathetic tactics' allegedly used by an unnamed newspaper to try and 'disgrace' Totton and her newly opened London business, which he invested two hundred and fifty grand into at the end of the 2013 series, despite fears over whether it could operate ethically. 'You cant believe the level scum newspapers will stoop,' Sugar-Sweetie tweeted. 'They sent in [a] fourteen year old with a fake mum to Leah Totton to see if she would treat her. They were refused. A sad world we live in when scum newspapers not satisfied with phone tapping revert to undercover tricks to try to disgrace a new business.' Sadly, Sugar-Sweetie chose not to reveal which scum newspaper was behind the alleged incident. Though it's not as if there aren't plenty to chose from.

Wor Brendan Foster has always seemed a rather good bloke to this blogger – a regional legend in the North East (and a Toon supporter, at that), quite apart from his achievements on the track during the 1970s, his athletics commentaries for the BBC always have an enthusiasm and inclusive warmth that one associates with a, generally, decent chap. There were few more memorable moments at the 2012 Olympics that Bren commentating on his friend Mo Farah's two wins in the five and ten thousand metres. And, the former Olympic medallist himself has won plenty of friends in the world of athletics and - far - beyond since founding the Great North Run in the early 1980s. So one kind of sits up and takes notice when the former three thousand metres world record holder accuses someone of 'demonising' running. However, when that vitriol is reserved for the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove, then the surprise Bren's angry outburst begins to dissipate, somewhat. The lack of education secretary (and smear), has come under consistent criticism whilst in office - for being a risible, ludicrous and very nasty cocksplash, essentially. Almost all of the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove's methods have come under increasing scrutiny – with his recent assertion that he wanted 'standards so high all round that you should not be able to tell [the difference between] a state sector or a fee-paying independent school' drawing wide consternation inside and outside of the political arena. Such are his perceived failings to his critics (and there are many), the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove has come in for serious political criticism whlist, simultaneously, becoming a national figure of fun. Or, at least, he would be except for that fact that this dangerous loathsome filth is, actually, in charge of the very important job of educating the nation's youth. However, it was during the same speech last week where he posited that running – among other more traditional forms of punishment, such as writing lines, clearing graffiti (or, one imagines, his preferred choice, a damned good, pants-down caning) – could be used as 'an adequate sanction' for bad behaviour in the classroom. While some members of society may appreciate a return to more traditional forms of discipline, the decision to include running amongst the other conventional punishments is at odds with his own party's manifesto, which pledges to create 'a thriving arts, heritage and sport sector.' Bren has criticised the claim that running could be used as a punishment as 'a disgrace. It's a step back,' he told the Daily Mirra. 'For years we've told people running is enjoyable and beneficial to health. Now Mr Gove has sent a message [that] it's bad – a punishment on a par with picking up litter or doing one hundred lines.' Or, indeed, taking a  jolly good sixer across yer bare bum, Bren. That's the real underlying agenda to all this toot, clearly. 'It demonises running. Extra physical activity in schools is rewarding,' Bren continued. Such was his bemused exasperation, that Brendan goes on to. perhaps a touch facetiously, suggest that he would make the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove run around a school field before adding the caveat: 'if I can find one. He has been selling them off.' While said in semi-jest, Foster may very well have touched on something very important there. The rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove - who, we can only presume, when he was at Robert Gordon's School in Edinburgh was forced to do cross-country and suffered from getting pelted with mud-balls from some pure dead hard kids playing truant from the local comprehensive - and his department have been selling of playing fields. Over fifty since the coalition government came to power. This has been regularly packaged up as an austere necessity. However, has the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove's suggestion that running should be seen as a sanction rather than an important part of the curriculum revealed an underlying distaste for sport? Is that dislike at the heart of the unnecessary pillage of school playing fields? It would, of course, be impossible to prove such an assertion, but the sale of fifty playing fields in three years - during a period when the government had been making pledges about their support of sport left, right and centre - is nothing short of an national outrage; particularly given that the coalition promised - time and again - to keep them safe. And all the more so given that the Olympic Games were held on these shores during that time, making a completely mockery of the supposed 'sporting legacy' of the Games. A Boris Johnson speech at the Olympic parade made reference to Britain's Olympic successes, stating: 'You showed every child in this country that success is not just about talent and luck but about grit and guts and hard work and coming back, and you showed fantastic grace in victory and amazing courage in defeat.' While Johnson was making this triumphant comments, his own party were, it appears, simultaneously selling off the facilities that could - and should - have been central to the development of future Olympic stars. If the government were expecting the sporting community to show 'amazing courage in defeat' as their facilities were sold at such an alarming rate then they may have sorely miscalculated.
And, speaking of particularly ugly Tory politicians with particularly ugly views check out this, spectacularly ignorant, piece in the good old Torygraph - so, no obviously sick agenda smeared all over it, an inch thick - about how balding waste-of-space and pond scum Christopher Grayling believes that BBC dramas are, allegedly, 'left-leaning.' If they are, mate, then good. I'm glad, because it'll really annoy slapheed pricks the likes of you.
Oy, knobcheese. Your big shiny bald heed's causing blindness to From The North's dear blog readers. And you talk risible bollocks, as well.
Coronation Street actor William Roache has been cleared of rape and indecent assault charges by a jury. Roache, of Wilmslow, was found not guilty of two rapes and four indecent assaults after a trial at Preston Crown Court. Five women had claimed Roache assaulted them when they were aged sixteen or under between 1965 and 1971. Outside court, Roache said: 'In these situations there are no winners ... we should be much kinder to ourselves.' He added: 'If you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work.' Members of his family, who had accompanied him to court throughout the trial, cried with relief as the verdicts were read out. Roache was previously cleared of a fifth indecent assault charge after the judge said there was a lack of evidence. During the three-week trial, Roache denied knowing any of his accusers and said that he had never had a sexual interest in under-age girls. The women, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had claimed that he indecently assaulted them in the toilets and dressing rooms at Granada Studios in Manchester, as well as in his car. One woman alleged that he raped her twice at his homes in Haslingden on separate occasions. The jury, seemingly, did not believe them. The prosecution had accused Roache of 'using his fame and popularity' to exploit the girls and said that, if the actor was telling the truth, he was the victim of a 'huge, distorted and perverse witch-hunt.' But Louise Blackwell QC, defending, said that the women's evidence 'lacked sense and credibility.' Which is a slightly different way of calling them all liars. In court, the woman making the rape claims changed her mind about how old she was at the time of the alleged incidents. Another woman initially told police that she was 'warned' about Roache by the actor Johnny Briggs, but when it was discovered he was not in the show at the time of the alleged incident, she claimed that the warning had, instead, come from a different actor. A fifth indecent assault charge was dropped due to insufficient evidence after the woman, who accused him of abusing her in his car, told the court that she had 'no actual memory' of the episode. The jury, of eight women and four men, heard Roache had been 'astounded' and 'horrified' when he was first arrested at his home on 1 May last year. Roache is the longest-serving TV soap actor, having portrayed Ken Barlow since Coronation Street began in December 1960. Several of the soap's cast were called as character witnesses during his three-week trial. Anne Kirkbride, who plays Roache's on-screen wife Deirdre, described him as 'lovely', Chris Gascoyne - who plays the character's son - said Roache was 'decent and kind', while Helen Worth, who plays neighbour Gail McIntyre, said he was 'caring.' Speaking after the verdicts, Roache's colleague Michael Le Vell - who was, himself, recently cleared of sex abuse charges - said: 'I'm delighted.' Former colleague Ken Farrington, who played Billy Walker in the 1960s and 70s, said that Roache 'treated women with respect.' He added: 'It's a mystery where this has come from.' ITV said that it would be 'discussing' the actor's future in Coronation Street shortly. In a statement, the broadcaster said: 'We look forward to talking to Bill soon about his return to work.'

The jury in the trial of Dave Lee Travis must 'ignore' the cases of other celebrities charged with bad naughty ways, the judge has said. Judge Anthony Leonard said jurors must not be 'influenced' by the acquittal of William Roache or 'other celebrity cases.' Summing up, he said 'the verdicts of the jury in the Bill Roache trial are all irrelevant to your consideration.' Travis denies thirteen counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault. The judge told jurors there is 'no such thing as guilty or innocence by association.' He said: 'You won't be unaware that the Jimmy Savile inquiry has spawned a number of inquiries into various people who were well known in the 1970s and beyond. During the course of this trial, alone, Rolf Harris has appeared here and, of course, Bill Roache has been tried elsewhere. The verdicts of the jury in the Bill Roache trial are all irrelevant to your consideration of this case.' Travis's barrister, Stephen Vullo, told Southwark Crown Court that during the former Radio 1 DJ's career there was 'not one whisper out there of what he is now being accused of.' Referring to three of the sixty eight-year-old's former personal assistants who appeared as witnesses, Vullo said: 'These three witnessed his behaviour on a daily basis, in all of the venues that you are being said or told he committed offences. They were with him throughout all these periods of time, witnessed his behaviour, and they missed it - totally missed that they were working with a sexual predator. Or he wasn't and has never been a sexual predator, that's the other possibility.' Vullo said the prosecution had 'thrown a lot of mud' at Travis, but that 'mud-throwing is not evidence.' Earlier this week, Pan's People dancer Dee Dee Wilde told the court that Travis was a 'pussycat' with whom she felt 'very safe.' The sixty seven-year-old said that Travis was 'a big bear of a man' who would often give her 'cuddles.' She said that she never witnessed any inappropriate behaviour from Travis. The former dancer said that, unlike the 'very creepy' naughty old scallywag and really rotten rotter Jimmy Savile, Travis was 'a big pussycat.' Wilde said that dancers were 'used' to men 'being over-familiar' but said that she had 'no trouble' from Travis. However, she claimed that some of his colleagues did make her feel uncomfortable, including alleged kiddie-fiddler and rascal Savile who would 'lick her hand' as he kissed it. Dirty old horrorshow (and drag) Savile was a 'sleazy' character but Travis was 'touchy-feely in a nice sense' and 'warm' to people 'because he was Northern,' she said. Presumably, he still is. Northern, that is. Wilde, a founding member of the dance troupe in 1966, was a regular on Top Of The Pops for some of the period when Travis was presenting. Giving evidence, she said: 'When I first met Dave I thought "what a lovely man he is." The thing about Dave is, he is a big bear of a man. If he came up and gave you a cuddle you felt very safe with him, unlike other DJs. He was a pussycat. He was a consummate professional, totally together. For a DJ, the profile of being on Top Of The Pops was very important so you did your best on it. I think Dave was one of the most gentlemanly and nicest DJs who appeared.' When asked if she had witnessed any inappropriate behaviour by Travis, she replied: 'Absolutely never. Because we were there fifty two weeks of the year, we were on the premises so frequently, if something had gone on we would have heard about it. There were a couple of DJs and a producer - who I won't name - who were always mentioned. If something had gone on it spread like wildfire, but never once did I hear anyone say Dave had behaved in an inappropriate manner.' Wilde said Travis's behaviour was 'in stark contrast' to Savile's. 'I didn't like him at all, he was creepy,' she said. 'As a woman, I didn't feel like comfortable in his presence. He would pick up your hand and kiss it and lick it at the same time, quite revolting. As a young dancer you just got on with it. It was very different in those days. Things that were acceptable then are not acceptable now.' Hand-licking, for one.

A US music collector has uncovered the 1964 passport of Motown legend Marvin Gaye after it fell out of the sleeve of an LP he bought at an estate sale. The Detroit man shared his find, which was valued at twenty thousand dollars, on an edition of the US version of Antiques Roadshow. He said that he paid fifty cents for the LP from the sale of possessions belonging to a late musician in the city. Programme expert Laura Woolley said how exactly Gaye's passport ended up in a record sleeve would never be known. She added that the LP belonged to another musician, so it could be assumed that he had worked with Gaye at some point. Woolley noted that Gaye's surname already had an 'e' added to it, which happened after the singer was signed to Motown as a solo artist in 1961. She also said that the document, a highly personal item, contained Gaye's signature, adding to its worth. It also contains evidence that he was travelling abroad as his career began to take off. The owner of the document, when told of how much he would need to insure it for, said: 'Are you kidding me? I never would have thought. I mean, I'm just shocked. I mean... wow.' Gosh, don't you just love how articulate Americans are. Woolley replied that Gaye memorabilia rarely comes onto the market. Marv, whose hits include 'Stubborn Kind of Fellow' 'Hitch Hike' 'Pride and Joy', 'Can I Get A Witness', 'Baby Don't You Do It', 'How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)', 'I'll Be Doggone', 'Ain't That Peculiar', 'It Takes Two' (with Kim Weston), 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough', 'Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing' and'The Onion Song' (with Tammi Terrell), 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine', 'Too Busy Thinking About My Baby', 'What's Going On?', 'Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)', 'Let's Get It On', 'Got to Give It Up' and 'Sexual Healing' was shot dead by his father in 1984..
A NASA spacecraft in orbit around Mars has spied a fresh impact crater on the Martian surface. The hole is about thirty metres in diameter and surrounded by a blast zone of debris punched out of the ground by the meteorite impact. The explosion that generated this crater tossed out debris as far as ten miles. The image was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRise camera, one of six instruments on the probe. Researchers used HiRise to examine this site because the orbiter's Context Camera had revealed a change in appearance in this Martian region between observations in July 2010 and May 2012. Scientists have carried before-and-after imaging to bracket the appearance dates of fresh craters on Mars. These studies indicate that impacts producing holes at least 3.9m in diameter occur at a rate exceeding two hundred per year across the planet.
For the latest Keith Telly Topping's A To Z Of Groovy Tunes, dear blog reader. E is for 808 State. Oh, yes it is. Tune.

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