Sunday, February 23, 2014

Week Ten: J Is For Justice

Seditious and sinister rumours are currently 'doing the rounds' on Twitter - you know, The Sole Arbiter Of The Worth Of All Things ... at least, according to some lice of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star - that yer actual Peter Capaldi has had 'a major bust-up' with the Doctor Who production team. And, as a consequence, will be leaving the role of The Doctor after the year for which he is already contracted. Now, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has absolutely no idea whether these stories are true, partly true, slightly true or completely made up (although, yer actual Keith Telly Topping does know what he thinks). Contrary to popular belief, this blogger doesn't have a hot line to The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat's innermost thoughts. But here's just a couple of random thoughts on the subject which, dear blog reader, you can chew over before you all start running around your gaff with yer knickers on yer head doing jazz-hands and screaming 'Ohmigod, the sky has fallen!' Or, you know, whatever turns you on. Firstly, any statement which starts off with the word 'apparently' has to be treated with some necessary scepticism. Secondly, this rumour appears to have come from Twitter. Oh well, it's obviously true then. Because, everything that anyone says on Twitter is always gospel, isn't it? (There is some current suggestion that the rumour actually originated from one poster misunderstanding an innocuous, semi-serious, comment on the Gallifrey Base web forum and that everything has snowballed from there. Which, wouldn't be the first time.) My first question to those spreading this rumour or others like it is broadly the same as my mate Steve Roberts' first question to anyone spreading the omni-rumour regarding the alleged recovery of missing Doctor Who episodes. You say you've heard something to this effect? Okay. From whom? Where did they get it from? Follow the trail back further and you normally find that rumours such as these are, actually, repeats of rumours of repeats of rumours all of which started from somebody - perhaps, although not always, with an agenda - claiming to know something that they don't. You know what fandom is like, dear blog reader? Everybody wants to appear as though they do have a hot line to production office. So, we ask the obvious questions: Were the people making these claims present in the room when this alleged disagreement allegedly happened? That's the point at which, usually, these sort of things start to fall to pieces in ones hand like so much wet cardboard. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping was talking to Phil Ford at Gally over the weekend, whose episode for the new series is being filmed as we speak. I certainly didn't get any impression from Phil that there was any problem either with or from Peter - quite the opposite, in fact. So, who knows? As the excellent Mitch Benn points out, variations on this rumour also went around fandom like a bush-fire in July during the early days of shooting on Chris, David and Smudger's début seasons. In David's case the rumour was that his early performances were being 'disastrously received' by BBC management and that Jimmy Nesbitt was 'being prepped' to replace him mid-season; the same rumour turned up, pretty much word-for-word, during Matt's first weeks on the job except in that instance it was supposed to be Robert Carlyle taking over. As with every missing episode rumour that crawls out from under a stone into the harsh naked light of scrutiny, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's advice remains 'treat everything with as many pinches of salt as you feel are appropriate until someone who actually knows what they're talking about comments.' That's always the best way to avoid madness and sweaty palms, I've found. Here endeth the lesson.
And, speaking of yer man Capaldi, according to the - usually very unreliable - Daily Mirra, he'll be facing The Daleks in his first batch of episodes. And, for what it's worth, that claim has just a shade more credence than the one mentioned above. Next ...
The British Board of Film Classification has cleared a number of extras for a future DVD release entitled Doctor Who: Fiftieth Anniversary Collector's Edition. The special edition version of the anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor will include the two introductions shown to cinema viewers, one lasting three minutes and fourteen seconds and one lasting three minutes and fifty seven seconds. Also listed is a deleted scene of thirty three seconds duration (presumably the one which had already been unveiled on the official BBC Doctor Who website). So, if you held off buying the rush-released version, like yer actual Keith Telly Topping, seems you made a wise choice dear blog reader. Also cleared recently were the fiftieth anniversary specials Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide, the two-hour documentary on the series which was first shown on BBC3 and The Science Of Doctor Who, where yer actual Professor Brian Cox takes an invited audience on a journey into the universe of The Doctor and includes contributions from Matt Smith his very self.
Oft-rumoured to have been considered to play The Doctor, Paterson Joseph has confirmed in an interview that he did have an audition when the search was on for an actor to take over from David Tennant in Doctor Who in 2009. 'I was in South Africa at the time, and I think if I'd been in England I probably would have suffered some sort of trauma,' Paterson his very self noted. 'But I'll be very honest with you, I was overjoyed. Not that I thought I had been considered, because I hadn't been - they hadn't approached my agent at that point - but I was [still] overjoyed.' He added that after the audition: 'I came back [home] and I think I pretty much knew that I hadn't got it. And, weirdly I wasn't disappointed.'

Meanwhile, a new art portrait of yer actual Lord Tom Baker his very self has been released to celebrate the grand old actor's recent eightieth birthday. The print, by the acclaimed photographer Oliver McNeil, is for sale as a high quality art print. It joins the range of exclusive portraits of Lord Tom.
Incidentally, dear blog reader, it was exactly fifty years ago this weekend that the fourth Doctor Who serial, Marco Polo began its seven week run on the BBC. An acclaimed historical travelogue, written by John Lucarotti (author of the equally magnificent The Aztecs a couple of months later), the story is a well-remembered one by 'fans of a certain age' but has been missing from the BBC's archives since the early 1970s. However, it has been the subject of many recent rumours concerning its possible recovery - perhaps in Nigeria amongst the huge cache of old film stock found by Philip Morris. As noted in a previous blog, yer actual Keith Telly Topping - along with people far more expert in the area of the search for missing episodes than he - has absolutely no idea whether any of these rumours or suggestions have any basis of truth in them. But, for once, fingers crossed and all that ...
Karen Gillan is to star in a new ABC comedy pilot. The ex-Doctor Who actress has joined Selfie, which is about 'a self-obsessed twenty-something who enlists the help of a marketing expert after an embarrassing video goes viral.' It all sounds about as funny as a drawing pin in the foot, frankly. But, hey, we'll give a chance when - or, if - it eventually shows up, it's got Karen Gillan in it after all. Kazza her very self will play the lead role of a character called Eliza Dooley. Suburgatory creator Emily Kapnek is the author behind the half-hour single-camera comedy. Kazza, of course, also has roles in two upcoming films, Oculus and Guardians Of The Galaxy. The horror movie, Oculus will see Karen starring alongside Brenton Thwaites, as a couple who find themselves tormented by supernatural forces coming through a mirror in their childhood home. Marvel Studios' Guardians Of The Galaxy, which saw Kazza infamously go aal slapheed on us for her role as the alien super -villain Nebula, is due to be released on 1 August.
Kazza's former on-screen husband, yer actual Arthur Darvill - whom Keith Telly Topping his very self was amiably chatting with at the Gallifrey One Convention last week, and what a jolly nice chap Arthur is, by the way - is to star in the musical Once in London from 17 March. Arty will play Guy in the show, which is directed by John Tiffany and is currently running at the Phoenix Theatre, according to The Stage magazine. Arthur has recently appeared in the show on Broadway. His West End credits include Our Boys at the Duchess Theatre and Swimming with Sharks at the Vaudeville Theatre. He has also appeared at Shakespeare’s Globe in Doctor Faustus. On television he has appeared, of course, in Doctor Who, Braodchurch, The Paradise and The White Queen. Once is written by Enda Walsh and has music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping finally caught up with this week's The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern on Thursday evening after The Record Player. I'm not sure what was more disturbing about the second episode of this gloriously daft little spoof, in you will, rockumenatry, hearing a bit of 'Doctor In Distress' again (and on the BBC, at that) or watching open-mouthed as Noel Edmonds said 'fucking disgusting'! This blogger loves the way The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern parodies the conventions of all those - usually excellent, but sometimes rather 'worthy' - BBC4 rock documentaries, mercilessly. But, it does so with a genuine sense of affection so that it's impossible not to like it. As in, for example, the way that dear old Rick Wakeman keeps on popping up saying 'I played piano on that' like a catch-phrase, because that's what he does in BBC4 rock documentaries! Plus, it's got Simon Day being utterly fantastic as the up-his-own-arse Peter Gabriel-like titular character. Michael Kitchen is just brilliant as his money-first-art-later manager and, then you've got lovely Nigel Havers saying the - extremely naughty - word 'cunt'. I mean, that's worth the TV licence fee alone, surely?
So, on Thursday, as yer actual Keith Telly Topping attempted to get his shit back into gear and return to something approaching normality after his LA sojourn (or, as normal as my life ever gets, anyway), he attended the first of Uncle Scunthorpe's Record Player of the new season. Which was Automatic For The People, if you're taking notes, dear blog reader. And, if you are, stop it. Not yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourite R.E.M. LP (I'd've gone for Out Of Time, personally), but still a fine piece of work and, actually, as Keith Telly Topping's mate Geoff noted, it's very much a night-time LP so it worked really well in the circumstances. And, of course, it was proper lovely to see all The Gang again - or, at least, most of them - after a couple of months away (two get-togethers in the Bacchus a few weeks ago, notwithstanding). And, yer actual Keith Telly Topping say that not only because - along with his close chums Christian and Vicky - he won five of yer actual English pounds in the quiz. Which was nice. This was a public service announcement, dear blog reader. With guitars. Or, in Peter Buck's case in 1991, with mandolins, actually.

Live Six Nations Rugby Union was Friday's highest-rated overnight programme outside of soaps. An average of 4.57 million viewers tuned in to watch Wales take on France at 7.55pm on BBC1. The match peaked with 4.83 million viewers during the second half. The rugby outperformed ITV's Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages, which was seen by 4.32 million at 8pm. New comedy-drama Edge Of Heaven was ITV's next second performer of the night, securing 2.56m viewers from 9pm. The Graham Norton Show, which featured guests Dominic Cooper and Lily Allen, entertained 3.97 million on BBC1 at 10.35pm. 3.82 million tuned in to watch The ONE Show at 7pm, while an average audience of 3.68m saw Room 101 immediately afterwards. BBC2's evening kicked off with Winter Olympics: Today at the Games at 7pm. Approximately 1.88 million watched highlights of Britain picking up a silver medal in the men's curling final. This was followed by 1.95m for Mastermind at 8pm, while An Island Parish had an audience of 1.72m punters at 8.30pm. Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown was Channel Four's highest-rated show of the evening on overnights, picking up 1.83 million at 9pm. Viewing figures dropped to 1.03 million for The Last Leg at 10pm. After a dip in viewers for last week's episode, Ben Fogle: New Lives In The Wild was seen by 1.47m at 9pm on Channel Five. Earlier in the evening, Ice Road Truckers scored ratings of 1.05 million at 8pm. BBC3's movie of the evening, Meet the Fockers was among the highest-rated multichannel programmes. The movie sequel was seen by six hundred and fifty one thousand punters at 9pm.

Inspector George Gently stayed top of Thursday's ratings outside of soaps on BBC1, overnight data reveals. The period crime drama attracted 5.44 million at 8.30pm, dipping slightly in its overnight audience from the previous week. Later, Question Time appealed to 2.58m at 10.35pm. On BBC2, the continued Winter Olympics coverage scored 2.60m at 7pm, followed by The Hairy Bikers' Asian Adventure with 2.71m at 8pm. Bible Hunters garnered 1.31m at 9pm, while a repeat of Qi was watched by 1.29m at 10pm. ITV's Europa League coverage of Swansea City's game against Napoli brought in 2.44m at 7.45pm. On Channel Four, Supersize vs Superskinny was watched by 1.29m sick voyeurs at 8pm. Big Ballet continued with a fraction under a million punters at 9pm, followed by Bodyshockers with 1.40m at 10pm. Channel Five's documentary Henry & Anne: The Lovers Who Changed History interested nine hundred and thirty one thousand viewers at 8pm. The Hotel Inspector attracted 1.47m at 9pm. On BBC3, Reggie Yates's Extreme South Africa was seen by five hundred and ninety seven thousand punters at 9pm, followed by Ja'mie: Private School Girl with three hundred and thirty thousand at 10pm. E4's How I Met Your Mother was watched by eight hundred and twenty five thousand at 8.30pm, followed by Brooklyn Nine-Nine with four hundred and eighty nine thousand at 9pm.

The 2014 Brit Awards slumped to one of its lowest-rated broadcasts on ITV on Wednesday night, according to overnight data. The average rating dropped by over 2.5 million viewers from last year's ten-year high, attracting 4.20m from 8pm. The drop in viewers may be due to the live Champions League coverage of The Arse's loss to Bayern Munich, which scored eight hundred and thirty thousand punters on Sky1 and 1.06m on Sky Sports 1. Or, more likely, it was because very few people in this country can, actually, stand odious irksome unfunny lard-bucket James Corden. Just a wild stab in the dark. On BBC1, Pound Shop Wars attracted 3.75m at 7.30pm. Outnumbered dipped to 3.85m at 9pm, followed by a Mrs Brown's Boys repeat with 3.83m at 9.30pm. BBC2's Restaurant Man gathered 1.45m at 8pm. Line Of Duty continued with 2.21m at 9pm, followed by Inside Number Nine with a million viewers at 10pm. On Channel Four, Restoration Man attracted 1.53m at 8pm. Twenty Four Hours In A&E continued with 1.78m at 9pm, while First Dates appealed to eight hundred and seventy thousand viewers at 10pm. Channel Five's Ultimate Emergency Bikers interested eight hundred and eighty one thousand at 8pm, followed by NCIS with 1.01m at 9pm. On BBC3, The Truth About Web Cam Girls had an audience of five hundred and ten thousand at 10pm. BBC4's Infested! with Michael Mosley was watched by five hundred and ninety nine thousand at 9pm.

The Brits, as noted, pulled in its lowest TV figures for years and, judging by the Twitter-storm, many of those that did bother watching weren't all that impressed by the antics of odious, irksome unfunny glake James Corden. The Daily Lies reports that complaints 'flooded the Twittersphere' (possibly not the most sensitive of descriptors given the current under-six-foot-of-water state of large chunks of Britain) over pre-watershed drugs references, jokes about what Justin Bieber can expect from his cellmates in prison and implying what Harry Styles might be up to when he had to nip to the loo. And, that was just the good bits. Always constructive in their criticism, twatterers' comments ranged from claiming that Corden had make them physically sick to one saying that if the host managed to divert a meteor heading for Earth and cured cancer, he would still hate him. Which proves that, like a broken clock, even Twitter is, occasionally, right.

Once again, Saturday's overnight ratings were dominated by the BBC's The Voice which was, by a distance, the most viewed show of the evening across all channels, pulling an average audience of 7.23 million punters and a peak of 9.24 million. That beat its direct opposition, the return to ITV for an eleventh series of Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Takeaway which had an overnight of 6.05 million punters and a peak of 7.42 million. The Beeb must be blessing the virry day that they managed to persuade yer actual Kylie her very self to join The Voice's judging team. The girl has done the seemingly impossible and turned an averagely okay audience profile into a bona fide hit. Kylie, Kylie, sweet and smiley, sing us a song in a tub-a-dub style(e). It was a good day all round for BBC1 with the England versus Ireland Six Nations Rugby game at Twickenham peaking with an audience of 7.11 million at 5.40pm. The full programme averaged 5.15 million across the two hours. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping isn't the world's biggest egg-chasing fan it should be noted, although he does, normally, watch the Six Nations. But Saturday's game was a real cracker in anyone's book and thoroughly deserved its bumper audience. They'll be a fuller report on Saturday's ratings in the next blog update.

The Fall, Broadchurch and Top Of The Lake lead the nominations for this year's Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. All three crime series are up for four prizes, including best drama. Broadchurch's David Tennant and Olivia Colman are nominated in the acting categories, along with Top Of The Lake's Elisabeth Moss and Peter Mullan and The Fall's Gillian Anderson. Following his BAFTA win last Sunday, Chiwetel Ejiofor is also nominated for his performance in Dancing On The Edge. The best actor category is completed by Rory Kinnear for Channel Four's Southcliffe, while The Village star Maxine Peake is also up for best actress. The top dramas also do battle in the best writer category, with Jane Campion, Chris Chibnall and Allan Cubitt all in the running alongside Sally Wainwright (for Last Tango In Halifax). The awards, now in their fortieth year, are voted for by BPG members - journalists who write about TV and radio including correspondents, critics and previewers. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 28 March. The Fall's Jamie Dornan - soon to be seen in the film adaptation of EL James's best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey - is nominated for this year's breakthrough award. Given to people or organisations who achieved a new level of success last year, he is up against My Mad Fat Diary lead Sharon Rooney and new channel BT Sport. Channel Four series Gogglebox is in the running for two prizes including best factual entertainment show, where it will vie against The Great British Bake Off and ITV's Paul O'Grady: For The Love of Dogs. Gogglebox's unique format - filming people watching and discussing television in their own homes - has also seen the show nominated for this year's innovation award. It will compete against Netflix, nominated for its 'programming and distribution innovation', and Sky Television, nominated for 'twenty five years of innovation.' Channel Four programmes have the most nominations this year, its ten citations including all four nominees in the best single documentary category. The nominations for Dogging Tales, The Murder Trial, Richard III: The King In The Car Park and Syria: Across The Lines guarantee the channel will walk away triumphant. BBC2 lags just behind with nine nominations, including those for The Fall and Top Of The Lake and Simon Schama's The Story Of The Jews in the documentary series category. The latter programme is nominated against BBC3's The Call Centre and Educating Yorkshire, previously recognised at this year's Broadcast and National Television Awards. Strictly Come Dancing and Fresh Meat go head to head in a combined 'entertainment and comedy' category. Other nominated programmes include the Be Right Back episode of Black Mirror, Burton & Taylor, Yonderland and The Tunnel. The shortlists for radio broadcaster and radio programme of the year will be announced next week.

She may be playing the real-life Moneypenny in Sky Atlantic's Fleming, but Anna Chancellor has revealed she doesn't even like James Bond. The Sun reports that the The Hour and A Touch Of Cloth actress said: 'I can't say I've seen all the films. I have no interest in them.' She added: 'It'a a boy's fantasy. I'm bored by Sean Connery. He doesn't do it for me.' However, she said of the Sky drama: 'I like the drama itself. Ian Fleming's interesting, the era's interesting.' Anna is joining the cast of ITV's Downton Abbey for its upcoming fifth season.
Which brings us to your next batch of Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 1 March
Tonight sees the return of the BAFTA-winning Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle - 10:00 BBC2 - in which Stewart Lee explores different themes in stand-up routines filmed at the Mildmay Club in Stoke Newington. The performances are interspersed with clips of script editor Chris Morris grilling the comedian about his ideas, and each episode ends with a short film.

Knowing he was the intended victim of the car bomb that killed his wife, scruffy anti-hero Paul follows the only lead he has, which takes him to Karin Rasenberg - who, now reconciled with her husband, prepares for his swearing in as Minister of the Interior in the latest double bill of Salamander - 9:00 BBC4. Following that Wolfs, the dirty rotten scoundrel behind the original Jonkhere bank raid, instructs Klaus to send the envelopes containing lots of naughty incriminating evidence to more members of the Salamander group. This, perhaps inevitably, leads to resignations, disappearances and a suicide, all of which threatens the stability of the country. Wghich would be really serious if the country involved wasn't, you know, Belgium. Rather decent imported Euuo-thriller, starring Filip Peeters, Mike Verdrengh and Koen de Bouw, in Flemish and French with English subtitles.

The hunt continues for the murderer of Dora Lange in True Detective - 9:00 Sky Atlantic - but the detectives are feeling the pressure from above as the powers-that-be put the squeeze on for results. Cohle gets a lead that takes him and Hart to a trailer-park brothel, where they get their hands on Lange's diary and an evangelical advertisement for a backwater church she was attending prior to her disappearance. US crime drama - one of the best they've produced in a while on the strength of the opening episodes - starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Sunday 2 March
Small but perfectly formed Richard Hammond visits Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit to drive the Porsche 918 Spyder, a four-wheel-drive hybrid hypercar capable of astonishing speeds thanks to the eight hundred and eighty six horsepower which it can generate from its screaming V8 petrol engine and electric motors in this week's Top Gear - 8:00 BBC2. Whilst The Hamster is doing that - and, presumably, not crashing, cos if he had we'd probably have heard about it by now - Jezza Clarkson and James May join forces to create a public information film to promote safer cycling, with their efforts presented to a panel of experts including members of Westminster Council and Olympic gold medal-winning rider Chris Boardman. What could possibly go wrong? Meanwhile, Jeremy - who has promised to change his name by deed poll to Jennifer if the Porsche is faster around the test track than his beloved McLaren P1 driven by The Stig earlier in this series - compares the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI to BMW's critically acclaimed M135i. Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul fires up the Reasonably Priced Car to see what lap time he can achieve. And, lo, there was much snarling and gnashing of teeth from the direction of the Gruniad Morning Star.

In Timewatch: Captain Cook The Man Behind The Legend - 9:00 BBC4 - Vanessa Collingridge profiles the famous navigator and chart-maker, who is regarded in some quarters as the greatest explorer in the history of jolly sailors, and in others as a ruthless conqueror who got what he deserved in the end. Following in his footsteps, Vanessa sets out to uncover the forces which drove him to success - and ultimately to his own - rather ghastly - death.
Aramis and d'Artagnan are thwarted in their attempt to transport a young woman from a village to the palace when armed men abduct her baby in The Musketeers - 9:00 BBC1. The swordsmen are, fairly obviously, god damn pissed off by this occurrence but have little time to ponder on their anger as they must find out who she is and why anyone would go to such lengths to kidnap the child. Meanwhile, the King's royal hunting party is disrupted by the sudden appearance of his banished mother, Marie de Medici, seeking royal protection from an unknown assassin. Guest starring Amy Nuttall and Tara Fitzgerald.

Or, if you don't fancy any of that there's near enough a whole night of Qi XL episode on Dave - from 6pm - mostly from the 'H' series.
Monday 3 March
Martha defends a professional footballer accused of assaulting another player in the latest episode of Silk - 9:00 BBC1. But, because the incident was witnessed by thousands of spectators in the stadium (s0, he obviously doesn't play for Sunderland, then), it seems an impossible task. No defence? Possibly he does play for Sunderland. Anyway, with her client reluctant to co-operate, she must gain his trust to discover a secret that he's determined to keep hidden. Up against Clive in court, can the barrister convince the sportsman to help himself? Meanwhile, a resignation sends shock waves through the chambers and Billy takes steps to ensure the future of Shoe Lane - with or without him.
While much of the UK still struggles after the financial crash, London is reported to be thriving as more money, companies and people pour into the city like never before. In Mind The Gap: London Versus The Rest - 9:00 BBC2 - the first of a two-part programme examining the economic forces polarising Britain, Evan Davis meets a man who commutes from Stockport to London most weeks and talks to mental old clown Boris Johnson, the chef behind a global restaurant empire and a property developer selling a house in Mayfair for forty million smackers.

When the detective's old neighbour tells him she has found a gun in her teenage daughter's bedroom, his first instinct is to quietly retrieve the weapon in the first of a two-part DCI Banks - 9:00 ITV. However, Morton persuades him to do things by the book and leads a firearms unit to take possession of it. And, of course, it all goes tits-up and an innocent man is critically injured in the process. Soon after, an internal investigation threatens to break up Banks's team when Cabbot is ordered to scrutinise Helen's role in the operation.
Tuesday 4 March
Humphrey Goodman is called in to investigate the death of former surgeon Emma Redding at a retirement home in this week's episode of Death In Paradise - 9:00 BBC1. With an empty packet of sleeping pills beside her body and her room locked from the inside, it looks like an open-and-shut case of suicide. However, of course, it isn't. That would be a very short episode. The team discovers that everything is not as it seems and mounting evidence suggests that the victim may, in fact, have been poisoned. Then, a blast from Humphrey's past arrives unexpectedly on the island and looks set to distract him from solving the case. Guest starring Rupert Vansittart, Joanna David, Phil Davis and Michele Dotrice. Last in the current series.
Laura finds it difficult living with her dad, especially when he begins dating someone her age in the under-rated Pramface - 10:00 BBC3. Jamie takes on casual work as a painter and decorator but is horrified to discover that his new boss has an ulterior motive for his employment. Meanwhile, Keith and Sandra (the excellent Ben Crompton and Bronagh Gallagher) have a tough time trying to sell a batch of frozen lobsters.

In the latest Elementary - 9:00 Sky1 - the abduction of a wealthy man and his daughter grabs Sherlock Holmes's attention, with the voice issuing the ransom demand sounding suspiciously familiar. A hunch says that his ex-lover, Moriarty is involved (stop sniggering at the back), despite her being locked up in a high-security prison. Despite Joan Watson's protestations, Sherlock needs her help to find the hostages. But is the completely mad temptress a friend or is she leading the investigation astray? God on, guess. Guest starring Natalie Dormer from Game of Thrones and The Tudors.
Wednesday 5 March
The successful West End actor Tony Warner's tour-de-force performance in the lead of Macbeth is the toast of the Duke of Cambridge Theatre. But, his overbearing personality makes life hell for his fellow thespians as we discover in this week's Inside Number Nine - 10:00 BBC2. It would be very bad luck indeed if he was suddenly indisposed in some way - although not for Jim, his ever-hopeful understudy. Starring Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, Lyndsey Marshal and Julia Davis.

A visiting American academic delivers a controversial speech, with many audience members worried his ideas could be used to target ethnic minorities in a repeat of one of the best episodes of Lewis - 8:00 ITV3. So when he is found extremely hanged the next morning and Doctor Hobson quickly discounts suicide, Robbie Lewis and James Hathaway realise that they have many suspects to get through; from the local anti-racism activist who was first in voicing her disgust at the professor's beliefs to the women who had bombarded him with threatening e-mails. But then, another body turns up (as they tend to do in Oxford) and the case takes on a new dimension. Yer actual David Soul and Patrick Baladi guest star. If you haven't seen this one before, it's really good.
Crazed mass-murderer Peter Sutcliffe is one of the most notorious British serial killers of all time, murdering thirteen women and attempting to kill at least eight more during a five-year reign of terror in the North of England. The documentary Left For Dead By The Yorkshire Ripper - 8:00 Channel Five - tells his story through the experiences of women who survived attacks by him, revealing that the police's failure to take notice of them may have had a negative impact on the investigation. A grim subject matter but, quite possibly fascinating. But, I'd advise all dear blog readers to give it a miss as a message to Channel Five to stop frigging about with these odious over-the-top tabloid titles.

Thursday 6 March
Angela Rippon, Helen Skelton and Joe Crowley return with advice for holiday-makers whose trips haven't lived up to their promise in Holiday Hit Squad - 8:00 BBC1. Angela hears from a man who fell from a hotel balcony in Thailand, Joe calls in expert help to investigate conditions at a much-criticised hotel in Cyprus, and Helen joins Dr Chris van Tulleken at a pop-up beach surgery, helping tourists with common ailments, as well as more unusual ones.

Thirty Seven Days - 9:00 BBC2 - is a three-part political thriller charting the behind-the-scenes events in the corridors of power in the days leading up to the outbreak of the First World War. In August 1914, the British Foreign Office, led by Sir Edward Grey, receives news of an assassination in the Balkans, while in Berlin Kaiser Wilhelm thinks he can exploit the situation to his own advantage. Starring Ian McDiarmid and Rainer Sellien. Continues tomorrow 9pm.
David Jensen presents an edition of Top Of The Pops - 7:30 BBC4 - from 9 March 1979. Includes performances by Inner Circle, Elvis Costello & His Attractions, Buzzcocks, Dennis Brown (aw, yeah!), The Late Show, The Real Thing, Cliff Richard, The Dooleys, Motorhead and The Leyton Buzzards. Plus, dance sequences by Legs & Co.
In a flashback episode of the cult legal drama Suits - 9:00 Dave - Harvey quits the DA's office and joins Jessica, while Mike is accepted by Harvard but then finds himself kicked out of college. Starring Gabriel Macht, Patrick J Adams and Sarah Rafferty.
Friday 7 March
In the second of three new episodes of Jonathan Creek - 9:00 BBC1 - as the illusionist detective settles into rural life with Polly, they find their apparently serene country village is home to all manner of strange and disturbing undercurrents and all that shenanigans. A sordid sex scandal is about to break at the community centre, a humpbacked beast has been seen prowling around the vicarage and the prospect of a plague of deadly Japanese knotweed threatens to trigger wide scale panic. The horror. Jonathan then decides to visit a retired psychic - who inadvertently makes the most baffling prediction of his career. Cult detective drama with Alan Davies and Sarah Alexander.
War in Europe is becoming a real possibility and under pressure from the cabinet, British foreign secretary Edward Grey tries to unravel a tangled web of intrigue between Austria, Germany, Russia and France in the second episode of Thirty Seven Days - 9:00 BBC2. Meanwhile, Germany's military commanders conspire to force the kaiser's hand.

Actress and director Kathy Burke, Kumars host Sanjeev Bhaskar and A Touch Of Cloth star John Hannah join Lee Mack for the latest Duck Quacks Don't Echo - 9:00 Sky1 - the comedy panel game about amazing facts and random trivia. Items under discussion include whether people act drunk if they only think they've consumed alcohol, how much sweat the average human produces each day and do eyeballs pop out if a person sneezes with their eyes open?
Which brings us, nicely, to the news.

David Tennant has described working on the Broadchurch remake as 'a very peculiar experience.' Tennant played Alec Hardy in the hit ITV crime drama and will also front American remake, Gracepoint. Which, yer actual Keith Telly Topping confidently predicts, will be shit. 'There is no precedent for this,' the actor told Entertainment Weekly. 'It's so familiar, yet completely new. It's a very peculiar experience. I'm playing scenes in a different location with different people [so] it's going to be different; you just have to be open to where that goes.' FOX boss Kevin Reilly previously revealed that Gracepoint will divert from the original Broadchurch plot. 'Certainly the pilot episode sticks very closely to the original,' Tennant said. '[But] as the story goes on it eases out a bit, there's extra twists and turns, some characters are more developed.'
EastEnders character Lucy Beale is to be killed off this Easter, the BBC has confirmed. The character - played by Hetti Bywater - will be murdered in a storyline set to 'leave viewers guessing' the identity of the killer. The culprit will not be revealed until next February when the soap celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. Bywater is the fourth actress to play the character since her birth in 1993. She has been on the BBC1 soap in her current incarnation since 2012, replacing Melissa Suffield who starred as Lucy from 2004 to 2010. Casey Anne Rothery and Eva Brittin-Snell also played Beale in her younger years. The soap's executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, said last year that the Beale family would 'become embroiled in a major plot.' He added that Lucy's death would give actor Adam Woodyatt - who plays the soap's only remaining original character, her on-screen father Ian Beale - 'a chance to shine.' Beale will be 'left questioning how much he knew' about his daughter as he discovers 'various secrets' following her grisly demise. EastEnders' last 'whodunit' was in 2009 when Archie Mitchell, played by Larry Lamb, was 'orribly murdered by an unseen assailant on Christmas Day. The killer was eventually revealed to be Stacey Branning during a live episode broadcast in February 2010 to mark the soap's twenty fifth anniversary. Audiences were also hooked in 2001 when Phil Mitchell was shot outside his Walford home. Some twenty two million viewers subsequently tuned in to find out that his ex-girlfriend, Lisa, was the shooter with the shooter.

Sky1 is reported to be developing a TV series based on the Italian comic Diabolik. Created by sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani in 1962, the title character is an expert thief and master-of-disguise, using his skills to steal from criminals. Sky is working with sister companies Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland on the international series, Broadcast claims. The ten-part hour-long drama will focus on the exploits of Diabolik and his lover, Eva Kant, in the fictional European town of Clerville. The Diabolik comic series has previously inspired film and video game adaptations, as well as an animated series. Sky1 also has medical drama, Critical, in the works from Line Of Duty writer Jed Mercurio and starring Lennie James.
Mr Selfridge is to return for a third series. The period drama, fronted by Jeremy Piven, has been recommissioned by ITV, according Radio Times. A second series is currently airing on Sunday nights at 9pm opposite BBC1's The Musketeers which, itself, has also been picked up for another series.
That waste-of-space Myleene Klass woman has reportedly signed up to host CNN International's coverage of Paris Fashion Week. Klass will be the face of Fashion Season: Paris, which will be broadcast daily throughout the week and in a thirty-minute special. So, there you go, you've had plenty of warning, avoid it like the plague.
Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks has claimed that she 'never heard' of a private investigator who has since been jailed for phone-hacking while she was editor of the Scum of the World. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks alleged that, during her leadership of the paper, she had no contact whatsoever with private investigator and self-confessed hacker Glenn Mulcaire and didn't even hear his name mentioned. Earlier, she was formally cleared of one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, one of seven defendants currently on trial, denies four other charges. On her first day of giving evidence at the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey, she was asked if Mulcaire's involvement in accessing voicemail messages was ever brought to her attention between May 2000 and January 2003. She replied: 'No, not at all.' Asked by her barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QC if she had heard Mulcaire's name mentioned during that time, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks claimed: 'No.' Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks told the court that there were private detectives working at the Scum of the World and added that this was 'a common practice in Fleet Street.' Mulcaire was extremely jailed in 2007, along with the Scum of the World's then-royal editor Clive Goodman, after admitting intercepting voicemails. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks denied that the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World's investigations unit was the 'dark arts department' and was involved with alleged illegal activity. She added: 'The investigations unit, I think, did some great stuff while I was there. I don't recognise that description.' Asked by her barrister if the unit, which came to an end in 2001, had been set up specifically to hack phones, she replied: 'It's just not correct.' Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks claimed that she 'would not have known' where every story in the newspaper had come from. 'It's impossible for an editor to know every source for every story,' she told the court. 'Of course it's impossible, with the sheer volume that's coming in to the paper.' The jury heard details of major stories that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks had worked on. She said while she was features editor at the Scum of the World in 1995, she had agreed a one hundred thousand dollar deal with the prostitute Divine Brown after Hugh Grant was caught with his pants down and her sucking his cock. But, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks said that the newspaper ended up spending far more than this - about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in total - flying Brown and her family 'to the desert', possibly Nevada, to keep Brown away from rival newspapers. At the time well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's weekly spending limit was supposed to be fifty to sixty thousand quid. 'It was probably one of the biggest expenses that I had ever dealt with,' she said. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks claimed there was 'fierce competition' between the news and features departments at the Scum of the World, as well as with other News International papers. There was 'probably a bit of old-school misogyny' towards her, she alleged, but competition between the two desks was 'ingrained into the News of the World's history.' Despite being in the same building, each publication was accessed by swipe card. When a route to a Scum of the World canteen was planned that went past the offices of the Sun, the daily newspaper had its windows frosted, she said. At the beginning of her evidence well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks spoke about her career in journalism. In April 1989, she got a job as a features researcher at the Scum of the World's Sunday magazine, before being promoted to feature writer in September that year. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks told the court that she moved to the Scum of the World's features department in 1992, and became features editor in 1994. She said that, at the time, the features department was known as 'the pink parlour' because there were more women than men working there. Although the Scum of the World had a female editor then, the newsroom was male dominated, added well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks. In 1995, she became acting deputy editor of the Scum of the World at the age of twenty seven. On Wednesday the court saw an e-mail from well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks in which she claimed that the former Prime Minister Tony Blair had offered to be 'an unofficial adviser' to senior News International figures when the hacking story first broke. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks said that she met Blair, along with the rest of 'the original New Labour crew', in 1996. The Sun and the Scum of the World both switched to support New Labour in 1997. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was not on trial 'because she was a tabloid editor' or worked for billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch (whom no one is scared of any more), the Old Bailey was told as she began giving evidence. Opening well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's defence on the sixty second day of the phone-hacking trial on Thursday her counsel, Jonathan Laidlaw QC, told the jury it was for the prosecution to prove their case and not for her to prove her defence. In a half-hour opening speech, he told them: 'She is not being tried because she was the editor of a tabloid newspaper. Views, we all understand, differ of the tabloid press. Neither is she on trial for having worked for Rupert Murdoch's company or for having worked her way up through the organisation. She's not being tried for News International's strategy, its policies, its influences or its corporate values. Neither is Mrs Brooks on trial for any political views she made hold. Nor is she to be judged for the support her newspapers gave to one party or another.' Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, wearing a cream cardigan and a royal blue dress, appeared nervous in the witness box, answering softly to the line of early questions by Laidlaw. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks spoke about her 'car crash' personal life. She told the Old Bailey that she'd had a 'dysfunctional' affair with ex-Scum of the World editor Andy Coulson - also on trial - during her marriage to the actor Ross Kemp. She also claimed that she did not know about the Scum of the World's ninety two grand a year contract with the phone-hacker Glenn Mulcaire whilst she was editor. Mr Justice Saunders earlier directed the jury to acquit well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks of a charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, saying there was 'no case to answer.' On that count, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks had been accused of authorising a Sun reporter to pay a serving member of the armed forces four thousand smackers for a picture of Prince William dressed in a bikini at a fancy dress party at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks still faces two charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, one of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and one of conspiracy to hack voicemail messages - all of which she denies. All seven defendants deny the various charges against them.

Next year's General Election will be David Dimbleby's ninth and last, as the BBC announced this week that the veteran broadcaster would share presenting duties on the 2015 election night coverage with Huw Edwards. The 2015 General Election will be a two-handed affair, with Dimbleby hosting the night of the poll, 10pm to 7am and Edwards taking over as lead presenter on the Friday morning and hosting coverage until 10pm that night. With a second successive hung parliament a distinct possibility, Edwards's role is likely to be central, putting him in the BBC presenting chair for any moves to form a new coalition government on the day after the election. However, Dimbleby will be back on-air on the Friday night, presenting a special post-election edition of Question Time, discussing the vote and the prospects for the next government. Dimbleby will also present the local and European election results in May this year. Edwards, the regular presenter of BBC1's 10pm news bulletin, will become the corporation's sole lead anchor for its General Election night coverage after 2015, and will also take charge of the its coverage of the Scottish referendum in September of this year. The announcement, on Thursday, follows speculation that Dimbleby, who has led the BBC's coverage of every General Election since 1979, would be replaced next year. The BBC's director of news, James Harding, said: 'This election is likely to be one of the most complex and closely fought in recent times and we are delighted to have such an experienced team to lead our coverage.'

Presenter Graham Norton has described the Irish broadcaster RTE's decision to pay opponents of gay marriage an eighty five thousand Euros settlement as 'absolutely moronic.' It came after a Catholic lobby group The Iona Institute and two prominent Irish journalists threatened legal action after being described as homophobic on an episode of The Saturday Night Show. Norton told the Irish magazine Hot Press that he was 'furious' about RTE's decision. He also said that gay marriage opponents were 'out of touch' with the new Ireland. 'I'm not registered to vote in Ireland but I do pay the licence fee there,' said Norton, adding that he was 'furious that some of my money has gone to these idiots. RTE settling wasn't gutless, it was absolutely moronic,' he added. Irish female impersonator Panti Bliss had singled out four members of the right-wing group The Iona Institute and two Irish newspaper columnists during a programme last month, claiming that they were 'horrible and mean about gays.' The Iona officials and journalists John Waters and Breda O'Brien, who are all vocally opposed to gay marriage - and would, therefore, appear to be shit-scum of the worst kind even if they are not homophobic, per se - claimed they had been 'defamed' and threatened to sue the broadcaster. The broadcaster - showing a lack of backbone that they've obviously picked up from the BBC, instead of telling these individuals that Ireland is democracy in which freedom of speech is a given, instead crumbled like wet cardboard and them paid off. They have since defended the decision to settle out of court. In his Hot Press interview Norton said that he was 'disappointed' the journalists had decided to take legal action instead of examining why they might have been accused of homophobia in the first place. Although he said that he has 'no desire' to get married himself, Norton added: 'I want to ask these people, "Why are you so scared and intimidated by the idea of gay marriage?"' Graham suggested that attitudes have changed a lot since he was growing up gay in West Cork and, noted that spending his summers there in recent years, he has found it was 'such a different place. It takes pride in accepting all types of people. There's more than forty shades of green,' said Graham. He added: 'This tiny minority can yell all they want, but it's over. It's all done. The Iona Institute and people like that, are like rats trapped in the corner of a barn. They know the jig is up. That's why they're screaming so loud.' However, he added that he was glad gay marriage opponents existed as 'they drag everyone towards the centre. You hear their opinions and suddenly you're a little bit more tolerant - because you don't want to be like them.' Norton also took to Twitter this week after reports of his comments appeared in the Irish press. He wrote: 'Various Irish papers quoting me as saying RTE payout was gutless. I actually said the opposite. Not gutless. It was moronic.'

Channel Four News has been named daily news programme of the year at the Royal Television Society Awards. But hosts Jon Snow and Krishnan Guru-Murthy lost out to ITV's Mark Austin for national presenter award. The BBC's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen won television news reporter of the year at the gala in Central London. BBC News cameraman Darren Conway won for the second year running and was called 'outstanding' in his field by the awards judges. Conway, who has worked in Syria, was praised for being 'unerring in his ability to take stunning pictures under the most intense pressure.' Bowen was singled out for his work in Egypt during the prolonged unrest in the country and hailed for his ability to deliver the news after he had been injured by shotgun pellets. He was also nominated in the specialist journalist of the year category, but lost out to Channel Four News's Michael Crick. ITV News picked up two honours for their coverage of the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, including 'scoop of the year' for broadcasting the first pictures of the attack, taken on a mobile phone by a witness. The BBC performed strongly in regional news, with wins for current affairs news programme, news event and best presenter for Look East's veteran host Stewart White. BBC journalist Peter Taylor was given a lifetime achievement award for his forty five-year career, which has included an analysis of the rise of Islamic terrorism since the 9/11 attacks and programmes on the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The film-makers behind the Oscar-nominated George Clooney movie Gravity have released a trailer for Channel Four's ground-breaking Live From Space season. British VFX company Framestore, which is nominated for a visual effects Oscar for its work on Alfonso Cuarón's SF space thriller, worked on the conceptual marketing campaign, which has the slogan, 'Go to space with Channel Four.' The TV trail launched this week before Twenty Four Hours in A&E. It was also broadcast during the Brit Awards coverage on ITV. 'We wanted to remind people how being an astronaut is the most dangerous, insane, rock 'n' roll job on the planet,' said 4Creative heads Chris Bovill and John Allison. Presumably, they didn't say it at the same time, like some sort of gestalt entity because that would just be weird. Live From Space is being fronted by The X Factor's Dermot O'Dreary and will feature three shows with unprecedented access to NASA and astronauts. The main event - Live From Space: Lap Of The Planet - is a live two-hour broadcast from the International Space Station and Mission Control in Houston as the ISS completes an entire orbit of the Earth. Speaking about the project, O'Dreary said: 'It's a big deal for me to be asked to host the Live From Space season. When they first told me about the show I had to try hard not to revert back to being the eight-year-old kid and the excitement I felt watching the first space shuttle take off in 1981. Since then, like most of my Star Wars/Trekkie generation, space has always held a fascination. It's already been an education to research this project and so I can't wait to join the viewers in finding out both the spectacular (and what the astronauts would consider mundane, but most of us will find fascinating) workings of the ISS. I simply can't wait.' Alongside the live special, Channel Four will also broadcast two sixty-minute documentaries Astronauts: Living In Space and Astronauts: Houston We Have A Problem.

A twenty nine-year-old man has been charged after one of the stars of American sitcom Modern Family was, allegedly, assaulted during a trip to Australia. Sarah Hyland, who plays the oldest sibling Haley Dunphy in the popular comedy series, was posing for a photograph with a fan outside a hotel in Sydney when the man, allegedly, groped her bosom. Blimey, that's a bit forward. The, unnamed, bloke was charged with assault and with an act of indecency. He was freed on bail and is set to appear in a Sydney court on 14 March. Following the incident, Hyland tweeted: 'Sorry to all the fans outside that I didn't get to say "hi" to but I had to leave due to an inappropriate touch of a fan.' The twenty three-year-old actress and the other Modern Family cast members are currently in Australia filming an episode of the show. As well as Sydney, the show is also set to include scenes filmed at the Great Barrier Reef.

To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee has settled legal action against a museum in her Alabama home town, which was using her name on souvenirs without permission. Court documents filed by Lee's lawyer said that she had reached an undisclosed agreement with The Monroe County Heritage Museum in Monroeville. The Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel was adapted into a film in 1962, starring Gregory Peck. The museum is located in the former courthouse which inspired the book. Legal papers accused the gift shop of taking advantage of Lee's trademarks to sell book-related souvenirs including clothing and drinks coasters. The museum had also used the book title as a website address without compensating the author financially. The eighty seven-year-old's only published novel tells the story of small-town lawyer, Atticus Finch's battle against racial prejudice as he defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge. It is considered to be a twenty four carat modern classic and is taught in schools in the UK and the US. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping read it for O level in 1980 and it remains, to this day, one of his favourite books (the movie version ain't bad either). Court documents show the agreement was reached just days after a judge refused to dismiss the case. No details of the settlement were provided and a lawyer for the museum, Matthew Goforth, has declined to comment. Lee is one of twenty eight thousand residents of Monroeville, having previously split her time between the town where she grew up and New York. The town had been divided by the merits of the legal battle according to reports when the action was filed last year. The museum claimed souvenir sales were 'vital' to its survival and opposed Lee's application for a federal trademark for her book title on clothing. Legal papers showed that the museum, which runs To Kill a Mockingbird tours and puts on a play of the book in the town courtroom each year, took more than five hundred thousand dollars in 2012 with over twenty eight thousand dollars coming from souvenir sales. A post on its website advertises that it has now changed its web address from to It said the gift shop offers 'dozens of custom items available only in Monroeville' along with 'a great selection of books and memorabilia about Harper Lee' and In Cold Blood author the late Truman Capote, a childhood friend of Lee who also lived there.

Coldplay will reportedly headline on the opening night of the iTunes festival, taking place in the US for the first time next month. Probably one very good reason not to go, then.

The Australian television personality and presenter, Charlotte Dawson, has been found dead at her home in Sydney. Police say that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the forty seven-year-old, who had a long history of depression. Dawson, a former model from New Zealand, was also a high-profile victim of cyber bullying. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said that he was 'shocked and saddened' by news of her death. Dawson was best known for hosting the reality TV show The Contender Australia, and for her role as a judge on Australia's Next Top Model. In 2012, Dawson was admitted to hospital after being targeted by cyber bullies on Twitter. She went on to become an outspoken campaigner against Internet trolls. Dawson, who left her native New Zealand at the age of sixteen to pursue a modelling career, has been described by her friends as outrageous, outspoken and fragile. In a statement posted on the Facebook page of Australia's Next Top Model, the show's broadcaster Foxtel said: 'This is tragic news and deeply sad. Everyone at Foxtel is devastated. Our sympathies are with Charlotte's family and friends.'

BBC drama Luther is to be remade for Russian television. The adaptation - retitled Klim - will be made by production company Sreda. '[John] Luther is such a complex, smart character who always wins out with his intuition, provocative questioning and scientific methods,' said Alexander Tsekalo, co-owner of Sreda. 'Russian audiences will love it – everyone's looking for the next Sherlock, and we think Klim, our version of Luther, will be it!' Klim - set in St Petersburg - has been picked up for eight one-hour episodes and will enter production in August for broadcast in 2015. Sreda previously reworked Life On Mars for Russian audiences, with Dark Side Of The Moon achieving critical acclaim and being re-commission for a second series. The original Luther - which starred Iris Elba as maverick eponymous detective - was broadcast of three series (two of them really very good indeed) between 2010 and 2013. A feature film spin-off is currently in the planning stages.

Comedy, writer and Carry On star Kenneth Williams has been honoured with a blue plaque in Central London on what would have been his eighty eighth birthday. The English Heritage plaque was installed on the block in Farley Court on Marylebone Road, where Kenny lived for seven years in the 1960s. Unveiling the plaque, his Carry On co-star Babs Windsor said: 'Kenny was a one-off, a true original.' In his diaries - which are an entertaining if, occasionally, terrifying and often sad read - the actor had said how 'elated' he was to move into the flat. Williams lived in Flat Sixty Two between 1963 and 1970 when movies such as Carry On Cleo ('infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me!'), Carry On Screaming ('frying tonight!'), Carry On Up The Khyber ('rank stupidity!') and Carry On Camping ('Oh, Matron. Take them away!') were filmed. This was also the period when Kenny was a regular on the hit radio comedy series Round The Horne. Kenny wrote in his diary about the excitement of moving into the flat, noting: 'My bedroom looks out over Regent's Park. The trees are turning now and the sight is beautiful. I can see all the traffic twinkling down the Marylebone Road - it's all so marvellous, I could cry.' Windsor said that she was 'absolutely chuffed that English Heritage is celebrating him with a blue plaque.' English Heritage's blue plaque historian Howard Spencer said: 'Kenneth Williams was a unique comic talent, who as both an actor and a storyteller won the nation's affections. That legacy is now recognised by one of our blue plaques in London, the city in which he lived all his life.' Williams died from a barbiturate overdose in 1988.

Watching the Winter Olympics over the last few weeks inevitably recalls one of sport's most memorable moments: That occurred when British bobsledder Gillian Cooke's skin-tight Lycra suit - tragically - split as she bent over before boarding her sleigh at a 2010 World Championships at St Moritz. The video of the incident, showing Gill, if you will, trying to crack her way into bobsleighing history, subsequently racked up over one-and-a-half million views on YouTube and made Gill an overnight Internet sensation.
And, speaking of arseholes, the former Radio 1 DJ - and odious irksome buffoon - Chris Moyles has said that he has 'learnt [sic] a valuable lesson' after a court found he had taken part in a failed attempt to avoid paying up to a million smackers in tax. He, seemingly, hasn't learnt that it's 'learned' not 'learnt'. Jesus, and this bloke was on the radio. Moyles - whom this blogger has always regarded as something of a full-of-his-own-importance gobshite with very few redeeming features - once described himself as 'the saviour of Radio 1.' He claimed to have run up one million quid of losses selling three thousand seven hundred and thirty one knicker worth of used cars and tried to offset the claimed loss in the 2007-08 financial year against tax he owed on his other income. This including an estimated seven hundred thousand smacker salary from the BBC, which was funded by licence fee payers. You know, those annoying little people like me and you dear blog reader. A tribunal heard Moyles claimed to be a second-hand car dealer 'to try to save money.' He and two other men were accused of taking part in a scheme called 'working wheels' between 2006 and 2008. Moyles later tweeted: 'I take full responsibility and have learnt [sic] a valuable lesson.' The scheme worked by allowing its members, said to include 'other celebrities and high-earners' (although no names were specified), to say that they had incurred large fees while working in the second-hand car trade. They could then claim monies back against their tax bill. A published judgment from the Tax Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal focussed on the former DJ's self-assessment tax return for the financial year ending on 5 April, 2008. At the time he was presenting the Radio 1 Breakfast Show but documents showed him as 'engaged in self-employment as a used car trader.' In a series of tweets, the thirty nine-year-old said: 'Upon advice, I signed up to a scheme which I was assured was legal. Despite this, my knowledge of the dealings of the scheme were naive.' Moyles himself did not give evidence to the tribunal but instead submitted a witness statement. The tribunal, under Judge Colin Bishopp, described that evidence as 'very brief and rather uninformative.' He added: 'It is, however, quite clear from the statement that [Moyles], too, entered the scheme for no purpose other than to achieve a tax saving, and that he took no interest in the trade.' The written judgment went on to say that Moyles was 'anxious to be reassured that the scheme was lawful, and that he would not have to undertake any trading himself.' After the judgment, Moyles, who left the BBC in September 2012, tweeted: 'I'm not a tax expert and acted on advice I was given. This was a mistake and I accept the ruling without reservation.' Which is big of him although, to be honest, he had very little alternative choice. In a statement, the BBC said: 'The BBC is not a party involved in this tribunal, and we understand that Chris Moyles has taken full responsibility for his tax arrangements, which are of course a matter for him and the HMRC.'

Screen and stage actor Malcolm Tierney, who had roles in Braveheart and Lovejoy, has died at the age of seventy five. Tierney, who performed a range of character roles on TV and film from the 1960s, played Tommy McArdle in the soap opera Brookside from 1983 to 1987. He was also noted for his theatre work with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1970s. In 2012, Tierney appeared as Sorin in Chekhov's The Seagull at London's Southwark Playhouse. Writing on Twitter, the theatre praised him as 'a magnificent actor' who was 'so brilliant' in the production. Tierney took a significant role in BBC show Lovejoy, playing the rogueish antique dealer's rival in three series of drama. The Manchester-born actor also appeared in the Doctor Who serial The Trial of a Time Lord in 1986, and had a role in the original Star Wars movie in 1977. Cinema audiences will also recognise him from the Mel Gibson movie Braveheart, in which he played the villainous magistrate who executes William Wallace's wife before meeting a similar end at the hands of the Scottish rebel. Other notable roles on the small screen included in A Bit Of A Do, a - not particularly good - sitcom based on books by Reggie Perrin creator David Nobbs and the 1990 political thriller House Of Cards as well as Dalziel and Pascoe, The Bill, Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Hanney, Room At The Bottom, Bergerac, C.A.T.S Eyes, The Spoils Of War, Strangers, Lillie, Poldark, The Sweeney, Z Cars, The Main Chance, Out Of The Unknown, Public Eye, The Plane Makers and The Human Jungle. He also appeared in the movies All Neat In Black Stockings, Last of The Long-Haired Boys, The Meduas Touch, McVicar, In The Name of The Father and LA Without A Map. His final screen appearance occurred in 2008 in Wallander. Actors who worked with Tierney during his extensive career also paid tribute to him via social media. Samuel West, who appeared in a radio dramatisation of Life and Fate with Tierney, called him 'a wickedly good actor in every medium, and such a clever and funny man.' Brookside actor Peter Doran said he 'always had a wicked sense of humour in the green room.'

For today's Keith Telly Topping's A to Z of Groovy Tunes, dear blog reader, J is for james.
And, indeed, for one on the other side.

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