Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week Fourteen: V Is For Voluminous, Vest And Victory

It may not - quite - be the biggest unofficial Doctor Who convention in the world but it is, certainly, the best as evidenced by the fact that all three thousand two hundred tickets for the next - twenty sixth - Gallifrey One convention to be held in Los Angeles in February 2015 sold out in just over an hour on Friday. As the convention's website notes: 'As expected, the 2015 Gallifrey One convention is sold out. As not expected (and startling to even those of us who run it), it sold out in seventy five minutes purely on the strength of its reputation, with not a single guest announced. This is not usual for Doctor Who conventions so we think we must have been doing something right.' That, of course, was a queue for much faintly pathetic whinging from some of those who missed out on obtaining a ticket on Twitter and elsewhere. As previously noted, dear blog reader, for some Doctor Who fans life just wouldn't be life if they didn't have something to whinge, loudly, about.

Meanwhile, dear blog readers, psst, wanna see another couple of on location shots featuring yer actual Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman her very self? Of course y'do ...
The Voice topped the overnight ratings for its first live show of the current series. An average of 6.21 million viewers tuned in to the quarter-finals of the BBC singing competition from 6.45pm. After a short break for The National Lottery Draw, The Voice returned to announce the results of the public vote at 8.50pm, with 5.89m watching as four contestants were eliminated. Afterwards on BBC1, Casualty's latest episode brought in 5.61m at 9.25pm, its highest of the year so far. Match Of The Day also pulled in a bumper audience of 4.21m at 10:25pm. On BBC2, an umpteenth showing of Don't Panic! The Dad's Army Story attracted 1.43m at 6.40pm, followed by an episode of the wartime sitcom at 7.30pm which had an audience of 1.75m. The Perfect Morecambe & Wise continued with 1.39m at 8pm, while the historical documentary The Plantagenets interested 1.16m at 8.30pm - including yer actual Keith Telly Topping as it happens. Rather good, it was. On ITV, Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway continued with 6.17m at 7pm.The Cube was watched by 3.92m at 8.25pm, while The Americans brought in but eight hundred and seventy four thousand, dropping almost three hundred thousand punters from last week's season two premiere. Channel Four's Marvel's Agents of SHIELD had four hundred and seventy thousand at 7.05pm, followed by another US drama The Hostages which was watched by five hundred and fifty thousand at 8pm. A showing of the movie Rush Hour 3 pulled in nine hundred and thirty thousand at 9pm. On Channel Five, new series Longmire started with seven hundred and forty one thousand at 6.50pm, followed by an NCIS double bill which attracted six hundred and twenty three thousand and seven hundred and twenty eight thousand at 7.40pm and 8.35pm respectively. ITV3's Doc Martin repeat topped the multichannel ratings, with eight hundred and twenty four thousand tuning in at 8pm. Seven hundred and ninety thousand watched Endeavour at 9pm. BBC4's new import series Inspector De Luca pulled in seven hundred and twenty three thousand at 9pm. On BBC3, a repeat of last week's Top Gear was watched by five hundred and sixty six thousand.

Davina McCall's Sport Relief documentary attracted 3.65 overnight million on Thursday evening. BBC1's Beyond Breaking Point achieved an audience share of seventeen per cent at 9pm on a generally quiet Thursday night. Just how quiet is probably best evidenced by the fact that The ONE Sho was the most-watched programme outside of news and soaps with 4.44m at 7pm. Later, Holiday Hit Squad brought in 3.10m, and Question Time was seen by 2.35m at 10.35pm. On BBC2, The Hairy Bikers' Asian Adventure cooked with 2.14m at 8pm, while the second part of The Worricker Trilogy - Turks & Caicos - starring Bill Nighy appealed to 2.29m at 9pm. On ITV, Ade Edmondson's risibly trivial and piss-poor new series Ade At Sea bored the tits off 2.63m punters at 8.30pm, followed by the documentary Dangerous Dogs - not presented by Paul O'Grady - with 1.97m at 9pm. Channel Four's Hoarder Next Door pulled in 1.47m at 8pm. Inside Rolls-Royce gathered 2.13m at 9pm and Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown gathered nine hundred and eighty two thousand at 10pm. On Channel Five, It Takes A Thief To Catch A Thief was watched by nine hundred and seventy two thousand at 8pm, followed by The Hotel Inspector with 1.20m at 9pm and Botched Up Bodies with seven hundred and twenty nine thousand at 10pm.

Sport Relief dominated Friday's overnight primetime ratings, securing an average audience of 7.8 million viewers from 7 to 10pm on BBC1. The annual charity event peaked with 9.53 million punters for the return of Del Boy and Rodney in an Only Fools and Horses sketch between 9.30 and 9.45pm. Sport Relief's return after the Ten O'Clock News at 10.35pm was seen by an average of 2.84 million. Highlights included Andy Murray on Mock The Week, a Mastermind footballer special and yer actual Kylie Minogue her very self performing 'I Should Be So Lucky'. By contrast, Student Nurses: Bedpans And Bandages was ITV's biggest ratings success outside of soaps, scoring improved viewing figures of 3.12 million at 8pm. At 9pm, the penultimate episode of this year's most spectacular flop, Edge Of Heaven, was seen by a mere 1.13 million which, I think I'm right in saying is the lowest ratings in living memory for a 9pm weekday drama on either of the two main channels. So, the chances of that one getting recommissioned for a second series ... not so much, I'd've thought. BBC2 kicked off the evening with 1.39 million for the Antiques Road Trip at 7pm. It was followed by 1.94 million for Mastermind at 8pm, while Gardener's World had and audience of 1.68 million immediately afterwards. An average of 3.85 million switched over from BBC1 for yet more Sport Relief malarkey at 10pm. With an average of 1.76 million viewers, Gogglebox was, once again, Channel Four's highest-rated show of the evening. Earlier, Marvel: Agents of SHIELD's overnight ratings dropped to nine hundred and twenty thousand. The Disappearance of Flight MH370 was Channel Five's biggest draw, securing ratings of 1.02 million at 9pm. Ice Road Truckers was viewed by seven hundred and eighty six thousand at 8pm, while NCIS: Los Angeles entertained was watched by six hundred and forty three thousand at 10pm. The BBC3 documentary Life On Death Row was the biggest multichannel show of the evening, with six hundred and two thousand at 10pm.

Sport Relief raised fifty one million two hundred and forty two thousand one hundred and eighty six smackers at the end of its six-hour TV appeal in the early hours of Saturday morning, beating the previous highest on-the-night total of just over fifty million in 2012. David Beckham starring in an Only Fools And Horses sketch, Kylie Minogue performing with Jason Donovan and a Sebastian Coe versus John Bishop rhythmic gymnastics competition all featured during the charity telethon. Other malarkey featured - because, frankly, the word 'highlights' doesn't really apply to any of these - included David Walliams hosting a footballers edition of Mastermind and Coldplay performing their new single 'Magic'. Which it most certainly wasn't. In fact, it was just like every other Coldplay single, insipid, lightweight toss. Gary Lineker, who helped present the telethon, said: 'We have to thank the British public for their generosity and to everyone who has given their time to make it the best Sport Relief yet. It's simply wonderful that Sport Relief continues to grow. The money raised will help change tens of thousands of lives at home and overseas.' Celebrities began their fundraising activities in the days leading up to the broadcast, with Jo Whiley completing a twenty six-hour stint on a treadmill and Nick Grimshaw doing a twelve-hour 'everybody look at me, me, me, me, me, me, me' bike ride. Davina McCall raised more than two million quid by running, cycling and almost drowning from Edinburgh to London in seven days, and Alan Shearer beat ex-footballer Robbie Savage in a race to sit on all ninety thousand seats inside Wembley Stadium. Then, he elbowed him in the face. Probably.

Endeavour's Shaun Evans is to play one of the leads in the forthcoming Amazon comedy pilot Cosmopolitan. Devised by filmmaker Whit Stillman, Cosmopolitan will star Evans as Hal, an American struggling to come to terms with his recent divorce. Hal travels to Paris with a pair of his best friends - though those two roles are yet to be cast, Deadline reports. Liverpool-born actor Evans is best known for playing a young Endeavour Morse in the ITV drama Endeavour - which returns to UK screens for a second series on 30 March. The thirty four-year-old's other TV credits include roles in Silk, Whitechapel and Teachers. It is currently unclear how Evans's potential commitments to Cosmopolitan, should it go to a full series, could affect any potential future series of Endeavour.

In the new BBC, if you will, mockumentary W1A he is known as 'his Tonyship, Lord Director General' and is as elusive as The Scarlet Pimpernel his very self. But the BBC Director General, Tony Hall, may be ready to make an appearance in the next series of the follow-up to Olympics spoof Twenty Twelve. According to the Gruniad Morning Star, 'it is understood' that Hall has been asked about a role in the show and the BBC has 'not ruled it out', with a spokesman saying only: 'You'll have to wait and see.' Hall would be in good company as Sebastian Coe proved he was game for a laugh by making a cameo appearance in the second series of Twenty Twelve. After the critical success of the first episode of W1A – which featured BBC presenter Clare Balding and creative director Alan Yentob sending themselves up and drew an impressive 1.6 million viewers when it premiered on BBC2 on Wednesday night – members of the media establishment are now said to be 'queuing up' to take part in the show. The programme launched with around half a million more viewers than BBC2 usually gets in the 10pm slot, so the corporation is keen to make a second series next year. Alleged 'sources' allegedly told the Gruniad - tragically, that's not alleged, it definitely exists - that among those who have said they would like to appear are John Whittingdale, chair of the Commons culture, media and sport committee. W1A star Hugh Bonneville, who plays the BBC's new 'head of values' Ian Fletcher, is believed to have provisionally set aside time in his filming schedule early next year for more episodes if the success of this run continues. Although just one of the four episodes has been aired, W1A has already been held up by the media as a prime example of life imitating art. As in Twenty Twelve, those working within the institution being put under writer John Morton's microscope say that many of the situations featured in the show are 'not a million miles away' from reality. As one alleged BBC 'insider' allegedly snitched to some louse of no importance at the Gruniad: 'Truth is stranger than fiction.' Which sounds like a made up quote, frankly. In a nod to what the comedian David Mitchell once said was the BBC's reputation for its chiefs 'basically saying sorry all the time', a forthcoming W1A episode is said to deal with the fallout from Tony Hall and Lord Patten apologising to President Assad's wife after the BBC News Channel accidentally used a picture of Trudie Styler instead of her. After a Tory MP complains that the BBC is 'cravenly appeasing the Syrian regime' the corporation subsequently has to 'apologise for apologising.' In real-life, one of the most high-profile cases of mistaken identity on the BBC's rolling news channel was in 2006 when a minicab driver, Guy Goma, rather than computer expert Guy Kewney was interviewed about a high court ruling about The Beatles' Apple Corps versus Apple Computer. Both the BBC and presenter Simon McCoy subsequently apologised to both men and to viewers for the fiasco. W1A also focuses on Fletcher trying to deal with the vagaries of the open-plan New BH, which include 'hot-desking.' The Gruniad claim, without actually naming any names that 'staff working in the building, including one channel controller, complain they often find it hard to find desks. Some lament the fact that due to the policy they do not have landline numbers so have to use their mobiles. However in some parts of the building they cannot get a mobile signal.' Another feature of New BH and BBC's new Northern headquarters in Salford are unusual chairs including giant, brightly-coloured circular ones that the BBC calls 'thought wheels.' W1A features executives discussing a crisis while balanced on giant orange see-saws. In W1A the casting of fictional show Britain's Tastiest Village does down to the wire, with Alan Titchmarsh, Balding and Carol Vorderman all in the frame. An - again nameless and, therefore, almost certainly fictitious - 'former BBC employee' is quoted in the Gruniad as 'recalling' a similar situation involving Strictly Come Dancing when one of the judges asked for more money. They had still not agreed terms on the day of the press conference announcing the line-up so another judge was 'on standby' and ready to be unveiled when the original judge finally signed up at the eleventh hour. On another occasion, this probably fictitious 'former BBC employee' claims, the BBC was all ready to announce that Peter Kay was standing in for an ill Bruce Forsyth, but was 'not able' to secure him and at the last minute Ronnie Corbett stepped into Brucie's shoes instead. And promptly tripped down the stairs.

Arthur Darvill has taken over the role of Guy in the West End production of Once The Musical. Arty took over the role on Monday when the production celebrated its first birthday in London's Phoenix Theatre. He previously played the role on Broadway - to much acclaim - and will stay with the London production until 10 May. Once The Musical is based on the 2006 film of the same name, written by Enda Walsh. It includes many of the songs, including the Academy Award-winning 'Falling Slowly' performed by Arty in the play. It tells the story of an Irish busker and a Czech girl who meet through a shared love of music. The original production won eight Tony Awards in 2012 and the London one has been nominated for six Olivier Awards.

As Australian forces were busy searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines aeroplane, their sensitive compatriots at the TV channel 7mate on Tuesday thoughtfully decided broadcast an episode of Family Guy which centred on an air crash, Airport '07. 'As if the world wasn't scary enough, it seems you can't even get on a plane safely these days,' says newsreader Tom Tucker in the episode as it shows several recreations of a plane crash. One imagines, someone is probably going to get the tin-tack of that bit of rank daftness.
And, on a somewhat-related theme, Friday's Rolling Stones Night on BBC4 was, according to the continuity announcer 'postponed in light of recent events.' And, genuinely, for a couple of seconds this blogger was desperately trying to think if The Stones had ever done a song about a missing plane. Then, obviously, he realised exactly why.
And so to the latest Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 29 March
In the latest episode of the best TV show in the world just at the moment, True Detective - 9:00 Sky Atlantic - in 2002, seven years after the Dora Lange murder was supposedly wrapped up, Rust Cohle begins investigating old missing persons cases and visits the preacher Joel Theriot for further information about the Tuttle schools. Meanwhile, Marty Hart has a chance encounter with Beth, one of the girls from the trailer-park brothel which they visited when they looked for connections to the victim. Meanwhile, in 2012, Papania and Gilbough interview Maggie, who denies her divorce from Marty had anything to do with her ex-husband's former partner. But, of course, she's lying,. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star.
A surgeon explains how he inadvertently gave himself an operation while using power tools and a skydiver offers an account of his nasty surprise in Is That A Nail In Your Head? - 10:00 on Really. Honestly, dear blog reader, I'm not making this up. Words fail me.
In the summer of 1940, Nazi Germany was poised to seize the entire French fleet, making Hitler's threat to invade Britain a real possibility, a story told in Churchill's Darkest Decision - 9:00 More4. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was faced with a difficult choice - either rely on the crumbling French government to withhold the ships from the enemy, or destroy to them himself. Given the choice, and because he was British, he chose to blow the fuckers up. Well, why not, it was virtually a national sport for us for four hundred years. This documentary explores the events which influenced the Prime Minister's decision to sink the French fleet and the consequences of his actions.

Sunday 30 March
In the last episode of the opening series of The Musketeers - 9:00 BBC1 - a drunken Athos takes a woman hostage in the town square and his friends are shocked to discover it is none other than Milady. But, when it turns out that d'Artagnan also knows her, a rift develops between The Musketeers that threatens to tear them apart, giving the Cardinal and his spy the ammunition they need to finally wreak their deadly revenge against the King's soldiers. But as Milady revisits her dark past, she puts Constance in danger - can The Musketeers re-band in time to bring Milady and the villainous Richelieu to justice? Yes, of course they can. Because, they need to find a plausible excuse to get Peter Capaldi out of the stuttering but, occasionally fun, drama since he's required elsewhere to save the universe.
Yer actual Shaun Evans returns as the young Inspector Morse in the first of four feature-length episodes of Endeavour - 8:00 ITV. Which is welcome as the first series was really rather decent. A baffling suicide, an anguished father searching for his missing daughter and the smash-and-grab robbery of medieval artefacts throw the detective in at the deep end as he resumes his role with Oxford City Police following a four-month absence from duty. As the locals go to the polls in a closely fought by-election and a beauty contest builds to its conclusion, Endeavour Morse must navigate the choppy waters of both worlds as his investigation shakes the highest pillars of Oxford society. Co-starring the terrific Roger Allam, Anton Lesser, James Bradshaw, Jack Laskey and Sean Rigby.
Tim Kendall reveals the story of the First World War soldier and poet who joined the Army in the hope that it would ease his mental health condition in Timeshift: The Poet Who Loved The War - 9:00 BBC4. Ivor Gurney was eventually shot and gassed and lived the last fifteen years of his life in an asylum, where he wrote powerful works capturing the experiences of an ordinary soldier on the front line.

The Yukon at the turn of the Twentieth Century was the site of the last great gold rush - a time when men were men, women were ... well,a gun-toting Abby Cornish in leather pants, basically. What's not to love? The nights were cold, sheep were nervous and people would give a monologue about the American dream at the drop of a pickaxe. If your idea of a gold prospector is a crusty bearded old man clicking his heels and hollering 'nuggets as big as your head in theme there hills,' the carefully-stubbled cast of Klondike - 9:00 Discovery - including Richard Madden, Tim Roth and Sam Shepard, will be a welcome surprise. Madden (Robb Stark, The Beheaded King Of The North in Game Of Thrones) looks especially at home bounding up mountains whilst Roth - one of this blogger's favourite actors over many years is his usual terrific, sarky self. The characters struggle to be more than ciphers, but there's an energy to the story of young men seeking their fortune: 'One of the most potent and foolish forces in the world,' says one of them. This is Discovery's first ever scripted series but it's still solidly educational. 'Oh yes, I've been reading about this in the papers,' a character remarks, before dropping a historical factoid, Downton Abbey-style. For most of the first episode Klondike feels like an expensive classroom aid, produced by Ridley Scott. Yet it ends with the suggestion of a rich seam of drama lurking beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered. Plus, as noted, a gun-toting Abby Cornish in leather pants. It's a winner.

Monday 31 March
Adam is put on the spot when two of his friends ask him to carry out their marriage ceremony - the one problem being the Church of England's position on gay marriage in the latest episode of Rev - 10:00 BBC2. He also signs up for a course in the hope of finding out how to rescue St Saviour's from the axe, but struggles with leader Roland Wise's approach to ministry. Guest starring Hugh Bonneville, Patrick Baladi and Joseph Kennedy alongside regulars Tom Hollander, Olivia Colman and Miles Jupp.
Detective Sergeant Henry raids Malcolm's home after hearing that he's embezzling funds at an angling club and finds stolen laptops as well as an unlicensed firearm - but 'legal technicalities' result in the case being dropped in the third episode of The Widower - 9:00 ITV. The detective (John Hannah at his most dark and serious) then discovers that Malcolm and Simone are planning a transatlantic trip and fears the killer could use this opportunity to murder his latest fiancée. Will he be able to warn her before it's too late? Fact-based drama, starring Reece Shearsmith and Archie Panjabi.
Martha becomes increasingly isolated as she struggles to build a defence for ex-boyfriend Sean in the face of overwhelming evidence and isn't helped by an angry Clive, who is busy pointing out the holes in her client's story in the final episode of Silk - 9:00 BBC1. Eventually, the downtrodden QC realises that she will have to rely on an old enemy if she has any hope of clearing Sean's name. Meanwhile, as Chambers staff begin to worry about their star member's emotional stability, Martha's campaign to lead Shoe Lane into a new future begins to suffer and Billy's harassment tribunal comes to a head. Maxine Peake, Rupert Penry-Jones and Neil Stuke star for one last time in the legal drama. Penry-Jones, in particular, must be Goddman pissed off, this is the second series he's had cancelled on him in just a matter of months. He's starting to look as box-office toxic as Christine Bleakley, and that's never a good thing.

Tuesday 1 April
New Worlds - 9:00 Channel Four - is a drama set in the turbulent 1680s, following four young idealists who commit their lives to an adventurous future. The story begins in Hadley, Massachusetts, where Ned Hawkins is warning the townsfolk to keep up with the rents owed to his father's company, when they are interrupted by a Native American attack. Ned fights alongside Hope Russell, the daughter of the town's pastor, but it's only when Colonel William Goffe arrives that Hadley is saved. Goffe is a fugitive - one of the last remaining men who signed the death warrant of Charles I. Led by Ned and Hope he flees into the wilderness. A follow-up to the acclaimed 2008 series The Devil's Whore, this time starring Joe Dempsie, Jamie Dornan, Freya Mavor and Alice Englert, with Eve Best, James Cosmo, Patrick Malahide and Jeremy Northam.
The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door - 8:00 Channel Five - is a documentary using eyewitness testimony and footage from camcorders, CCTV and phones to examine traumatic, shocking, humorous and occasionally bizarre experiences of people who have become involved in disputes with neighbours. The programme also reveals how long-fought battles results in Asbos, evictions and sometimes violence with kids gettin' sparked an aal-sorts with the blood and punching and heeds-gettin' kicked in and that. This is, sad to report, exactly the sort of programme you'd expect from a channel ran by a soft-core pornographer.

The discovery of John Henderson's body leads Detective Inspector Perez to wonder if this second killing is linked to the death of his journalist friend Jerry, a theory given greater weight by forensic investigator Willow Reeves' finds in Shetland - 9:00 BBC1. But then, the case takes another surprising turn with the arrival of Jerry's fiancée, carrying a USB memory stick which he gave to her for safekeeping several weeks earlier. Crime drama, starring Douglas Henshall, with Nina Sosanya, Julie Graham, David Hayman and Alex Norton.
Wednesday 2 April
John Torode and Gregg Wallace present the second heat of this year's MasterChef - 8:00 BBC2. The six hopefuls begin by dishing up their so-called Calling Card, a single plate of food which represents who they are, followed by the Invention Test, in which they rustle up a dish in one hour from a choice of two surprise sets of ingredients. After two cooks are sent home, things get serious, with the rest preparing dinner for three discerning guests - 2010 MasterChef winner Dhruv Baker, and Chris Gates and Hannah Miles, finalists from 2009 and 2007 respectively. It's then up to John and Gregg to decide which two will advance to Friday's quarter-final.

In the first of the two-part Kim Philby: His Most Intimate Betrayal - 9:00 BBC2 - the author Ben Macintyre tries to discover the man behind the myth as he examines the life of the Soviet double agent Kim Philby, arguing that the key to his success lay in his friendship with MI6 colleague Nicholas Elliott. Macintyre reveals an extraordinary story of espionage, murder and betrayal and visits locations including London, Istanbul, Washington DC, Beirut and Moscow. Featuring dramatic reconstructions of key events. Concludes tomorrow at 9pm.
When human remains are served up in a school cafeteria stew, Temperance believes that someone has gone to great lengths to cover up a murder in the latest episode of Bones - 9:00 Sky Living. Ironically, the pieces belong to a pioneering food scientist with an invention due to take the industry by storm - so with millions of dollars at stake, it turns out there are plenty of people who would have liked to make mincemeat of him. Crime drama, starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz.

In Birmingham, sisters Sharon and Tracy are at a loss to explain their expanding midriffs. Puzzled at the rate they are piling on the pounds, the pair agree to surveillance cameras being placed inside their home to record what they're consuming as you can see in Secret Eaters - 8:00 Channel Four. Lunchtime eating behaviour at a busy sales agency is also monitored and in the Secret Science segment, Christy Ferguson visits a salsa class to test the theory that if people take their time eating food they're less likely to overeat. So, more thin fascism and encouraging viewers to laugh at fatties, then. Hateful, dear blog reader, utterly hateful.
Thursday 3 April
In Alexander Armstrong's Real Ripping Yarns - 9:00 BBC4 - Armstrong explores the literature which inspired Michael Palin and Terry Jones's Ripping Yarns, a 1970s TV show that - brilliantly - parodied stories of heroism and the books and magazines of their childhoods. Featuring archive clips and interviews with Palin and Jones, who share their memories of the series.
Yer actual Tony Blackburn presents an edition of Top Of The Pops from 5 April 1979 - 7:30 BBC4. Includes performances by M, Squeeze, Generation X, Chic, The Members, The Jacksons, Milk and Honey and Gail Atari and The Jam. Plus, dance sequences by Legs & Co.
Tonight sees a repeat of the first episode of Foyle's War - 8:00 ITV3 - starring the always terrific Michael Kitchen as the jaded police superintendent who would rather be fighting the enemy in France than crime on the South Coast as the Second World War gathers pace. However, when a local magistrate's German wife is murdered amid a growing cloud of uncertainty and anti-Nazi feeling, the ensuing investigation is anything but routine. Edward Fox, Robert Hardy, David Horovitch, Anthony Howell and Honeysuckle Weeks co-star.
That's followed by another terrific crime drama repeat, Wire In The Blood - 10:00 ITV3. Chris Collins admits that he concealed a relationship with the killer's latest victim and is therefore a potential target himself. As Tony Hill delves into the sordid world of Bradfield's sadomasochism scene, he realises that he must protect Alex from the full horror of the crimes and, when his temporary assistant goes missing, he is left to battle it out with the elusive enemy alone. Drama, starring Wor Geet Canny Robson Green - from the days when he used to be an actor rather than a fisherman - with Simone Lahbib and Cristian Solimeno. Doctor Who fans keep your eyes open for an interesting cameo by the late Mary Tamm whilst dear blog readers who are, actually, from the North should be prepared for a bit of choice location spotting as it was all filmed in and around Newcastle.
Friday 4 April
Jennifer Saunders is in the host's chair for the return of the comedy news quiz Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1 - poking fun at the week's headlines along with regulars Paul Merton and Ian Hislop. Their guests on the first show include Pointless co-presenter Richard Osman.

The Trip To Italy - 10:)00 BBC2 - is the long-awaited sequel to improvised comedy The Trip, with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon once again playing 'versions of themselves.' The two comedy actors are asked to embark on another round of restaurant reviews for a Sunday newspaper, this time to Italy. Steve is on hiatus from his American TV series and isn't drinking whilst Rob is looking to unwind with his time away from his young family. They begin their trip in Piedmont at the Trattoria Della Posta before stopping at the poet Lord Byron's former house in Genoa on their way to the Cenobio dei Dogi in Camogli. Michael Winterbottom directs.
In Martin Clunes & a Lion Called Mugie - 9:00 ITV - the Doc Martin actor heads to Kenya to meet wildlife conservationist Tony Fitzjohn at the Kora National Reserve, where he is working to release captive and orphaned lions back into the wild. Mugie was found washed up on a riverbank when he was just three weeks old and is the first cub to be brought to the Kora camp for twenty five years. Martin and old friend Tony travel one hundred and forty miles to a private game sanctuary for some of East Africa's most endangered wildlife to collect the animal, and later pay tribute to the work of celebrated conservationist George Adamson, who worked at Kora from 1970 until his death in 1989.
Tonight also sees a welcome repeat of the two-part Arena documentary The Brian Epstein Story - from 9pm BBC4. Anthony Wall's documentary exploring the life of The Beatles' manager, who died of a drug overdose in August 1967. The first programme examines his background as a successful retailer in Liverpool and how he became a pop impresario after meeting the Beatles in 1961. There is also a look at how Epstein's homosexuality - then illegal in Britain - affected his life. Paul McCartney is among the interviewees.

And, so to the news: Kylie Minogue (the more famous of the Minogue sisters) is leaving The Voice after just one series. The singer said that filming of the next series would clash with her upcoming tour. 'I'm touring this year and the timings wouldn't work,' Kylie told the Mirra. 'We started filming in November last year for the show and this year I'm on tour in September, October and November.' The forty five-year-old singer also admitted that the show has taken 'an emotional toll.' She added: 'Being on the show is a huge commitment. I have loved it although there have been parts which have been really difficult, too taxing and emotional. You can't second guess yourself. You deal with a lot of decisions and emotions.' The BBC are reportedly hoping to convince Kylie to return for a new series, and are considering moving filming dates. Asked if she would return to the show if the dates were moved, Kylei replied: 'I would have to think about it really seriously as I did for this season.'

Newsnight's new economics correspondent has admitted to 'a brief and misguided flirtation' with the far right just days after his appointment was seized upon - by sick right-wing scum with an agenda a mile thick - as evidence of an alleged left-wing bias at the BBC. Duncan Weldon, a former adviser to Harriet Harman and a former economist at the TUC, has revealed that he once dabbled with the ideas expounded by Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists. 'An unusually geeky, politically-interested sixteen-year-old, I had a brief and misguided flirtation with the ideas of the far right. It began when I read Robert Skidelsky's biography of Oswald Mosley and found myself feeling some sympathy with the "early Mosley", the idea of a politician who seemed to grasp the need to tackle unemployment where other politicians did not,' he said. In a blog published on Friday afternoon entitled My Teenage Mistakes, Weldon said his year-long flirtation would have remained the embarrassing stuff of his youth had he not a few years later done what he described as 'a dumb thing' and boasted about his past in an Oxford student newspaper. The story I Was A Fascist appeared under a pseudonym in Cherwell as what Weldon describes now as 'a cringe-making headline.' He said on Friday that he had written how he had believed as a teenager that it was 'possible to hold extreme right-wing views, such as a commitment to destroying the trade union movement, without being a racist or a homophobe.' Weldon's appointment as Newsnight's economics editor was announced last Friday, prompting deafening howls of protests from the Tories, one of whom, Angie Bray, claimed that it was 'evidence' of the 'one way street between the left-wing and the BBC.' One - anonymous - senior Tory 'source', quoted in the Gruniad Morning Star, said that they regarded the appointment of such a left-winger as 'a grade-A BBC stitch up.' Even though they were, seemingly, too cowardly to put their name to such comments. Tory backbencher Andrew Bridgen - a thoroughly odious and risible gobshite with an opinion on pretty much everything, mostly stuff that's got nothing to do with him - seizing an opportunity to indulge in the one of the Conservative party's favourite pastimes, has written to BBC News director James Harding to accuse the corporation of 'endemic' left-wing bias. It is to be hoped that Harding for once shows a bit of backbone and tells Bridgen to go fuck himself and horse he rode in one. Of course, he won't, because the BBC never do. Sadly. Weldon was an adviser to Harman, the deputy Labour leader, and was a Labour council candidate in 2010. He was nineteen when he wrote the article for Cherwell newspaper and in his blog now claims that he accepted the invitation to write it because he was 'keen to impress.' He had 'gilded the lily to make my far right adventure sound more dramatic than it had been.' He said it took him a year to realise that the far right was wrong and by the time he was eighteen he had joined the Labour party 'horrified by the racism, homophobia and anti-semitism' he had encountered. Weldon said that he was picked to be a Labour Club candidate for the student union, but before the election he pulled out because he decided he didn't want to take the necessary sabbatical. The blog, which was published on Friday afternoon, appears to be a pre-emptive strike against a Sunday newspaper exposé. Weldon said that he was asked about his decision not to run for office in the student union, which 'had nothing to do with my teenage political fumblings.' He also said he is 'not looking for sympathy' but that the chapter in his teenage life was 'witless and intensely embarrassing' and hopes that his record as an adult working in the Bank of England as well as the TUC and the Labour party would stand him in greater stead.

Radio 1 DJ Greg James has branded Noel Edmonds's reported - and mental - plan to buy the BBC as 'ludicrous.' And, in today's other news, apparently the Pope is Catholic. Next ...
The phone-hacking trial was adjourned on Friday after former Scum of the World royal editor Clive Goodman was taken ill as he was about to enter the witness box for a fifth day. Goodman arrived at the Old Bailey to be cross-examined for a second day by former Scum of the World editor Andy Coulson's defence barrister, but shortly before 11am the judge sent the jury home telling them that Goodman had been 'feeling unwell' and was seen by the court's matron and sent by ambulance to hospital for a check up. Mr Justice Saunders told them they should expect the trial to resume on Monday, subject to further medical checks. The court has heard that Goodman pleaded extremely guilty to phone-hacking in 2006 along with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. Goodman now faces charges of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, which he denies. Giving evidence earlier this week, he claimed that the Prime Minister's former, if you will, 'chum' Coulson and others at the defunct Sunday newspaper knew all about hacking and that it was happening on 'an industrial scale.' Coulson and all the other defendants in the case - including well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks - deny the charges against them. The trial will resume at noon on Monday when Goodman is expected to continue giving evidence under cross-examination.

It was, apparently, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson who tipped off the Scum Of The World that the comedian Aaron Barschak had stormed Prince William’s twenty first birthday party dressed as Osama Bin Laden, the phone-hacking trial heard earlier this week. It was claimed that Palmer-Tompkinson, described in court as 'a socialite' - which is another way of saying 'somebody with lots of mummy and daddy's cash who's never actually had a real job in their entire life' - was said to be 'a regular source of stories' which she grassed to the now-defunct, disgraced and disgraceful tabloid. For, once presumes, mucho disgusting wonga, and that.

The Rolling Stones gigs in Australia and New Zealand, cancelled following the tragic death of Sir Mick Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott, are to be rescheduled for later in the year it has been announced. A statement from Frontier Touring said 'every effort' was being made to move the gigs to October and November. Fans have been told that if any new dates are not suitable, a full refund will be offered. Sir Mick is believed to have travelled to the US ahead of Scott's funeral. The fashion designer's death has been ruled as suicide, New York City authorities have said. Her body was discovered in her flat by her assistant on Monday. In a statement following the news, Sir Mick said he failed 'to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way.' The Stones cancelled the tour on Wednesday, thanking fans for their support. They said that they were 'deeply sorry and disappointed' to postpone of the rest of their On Fire tour. It had been due to start in Perth that same evening. Guitarist Rockin' Ronnie Wood said: 'As a band we are one big family and we've all come together to support Mick, and will do everything we can to help him.' It is understood the rest of the band have flown to the US along with their singer. While still in Australia, drummer Charlie Watts performed with the band's saxophone player Tim Ries in a last-minute gig at the Ellington Jazz Club in Perth.

They're making a real habit of leaving it late these days. Yer actual Papiss Demba Cissé headed in a dramatic last-minute goal as yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle snatched victory at home against relegation-haunted Crystal Palace. The Magpies dominated for large periods but struggled to find a way past an inspired Julian Speroni in the Palace goal. The Palace keeper kept out the hosts time and time again, saving Cheick Tioté's low effort, while Cisse missed several chances. Yannick Bolasie hit the bar for Palace but Cissé stole the points in added time, heading in substitute Hatem Ben Arfa's floating cross. It was a heartbreaking defeat for Palace, who had looked like escaping with a valuable point as they battle against relegation and, especially for their sour manager, Tony Pulis, who stood like a teapot with a gurning beetroot-purple face at the end of the game. Ooo, pure dead vexed, so he was. Whinging like a big girl about all manner of discombobulation. Which, admittedly, was really funny. Palace remain one place and three points above the bottom three. Newcastle, meanwhile, move up to eighth ahead of Southampton and, while a top-five finish looks beyond them this season, the win will come as more relief for home fans following a run of four successive defeats in all competitions at St James' Park earlier this year. They had won their last fixture there, with Loic Remy's goal enough to beat Aston Villa, but the French international has since suffered a calf injury and Newcastle's reliance on Remy was laid bare when they failed to trouble Fulham in their previous Premier League fixture last week. Despite having rarely threatened the Cottagers' defence in that game, Newcastle assistant John Carver - in the dugout as Alan Pardew served the second of his three-match stadium ban - kept faith with Cissé and Luuk de Jong in attack. The pair had managed just one goal between them in the league all season, (Cissé scoring a penalty in a 5-1 win of Stoke in December) but the decision to start with them again was almost vindicated early on. Cissé opened up space for himself inside the area with a smart turn and struck a powerful shot straight at Speroni, who then parried the ball into the path of De Jong but the Dutchman headed over. Palace were evidently more focused on nullifying Newcastle than attacking themselves as they, largely, kept nine men behind the ball, wasted time at every opportunity and failed to force Magpies keeper Tim Krul into a single meaningful save in the first half. Instead, it was Newcastle who came closest to opening the scoring before the break as Cissé smashed a first-time volley straight at Speroni from Moussa Sissoko's cross. The visitors emerged positively for the second half and only the woodwork denied them as the lively Bolasie wriggled his way into the area before curling in a shot that clipped the top of the crossbar. That chance was enough to convince Carver to make a change as Ben Arfa - back in the squad after a month out with injury - replaced De Jong. It had the desired effect as the Frenchman's determined and direct running allowed Newcastle to regain control. Tioté strode through but shot tamely at Speroni before Cissé powered a header just over the bar from Ben Arfa's cross. Palace responded by again packing their defence and it looked like they had done enough to frustrate the hosts but their resistance was broken when Ben Arfa curled a teasing cross behind the defence and Cissé headed in.

In Keith Telly Topping's A To Z Of Groovy Tunes we reach V. V, dear blog reader, is for The Very Things.

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