Monday, April 07, 2014

You Play Russian Roulette This Way

Even the most devoted of Doctor Who fans – those of us who deal with all the timey-wimey complexity on a weekly basis, basically – can occasionally be left confused by one of The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat's plot-lines. The most recent one to have fans scratching their heads, however, is just how Matt Smith's Doctor could have prevented his death in Christmas special The Time Of The Doctor when viewers clearly saw his grave in the series seven finale The Name Of The Doctor. Well, after being asked that very question in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) decided to clear it up - with a little help from a friend. 'I've often wondered about that,' The Moffinator writes. 'Fortunately, late one night, The Doctor turned up in person and explained it to me: "Changing time is tricky. It;s a bit like a detective story; so as long there isn't an actual body, you've got a certain amount of wiggle room – for instance, if the body has, rather conveniently, been burned on a boat in Utah. Here's the thing: I can change the future so long as the future has not already been established as part of my own past. I can't rescue Amy and Rory because I already know that I didn't. But what do I know about Trenzalore? There's a big monument that looks very like my TARDIS. There's a temporal fissure leading to my timeline. Maybe it's my grave. Maybe, one day, it's my burial ground. Maybe it is something else entirely, and we got it all wrong. Don't know. Don't plan to find out for as long as possible. The main thing is, Clara still jumped into my time stream and ended up helping me through all of my life. All that is established, unchanged – but there's wiggle room!" So, that's that cleared up then. Next, world peace.

Mind you, the question here is do you actually trust The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat. Many people don't and not without reason. Oh no. They say that he keeps Jenna Coleman imprisoned in a metal bin in his living room only letting her out so that she can film new episodes with Peter Capaldi and that, some evenings, whilst she's in the bin, he will hit the bin, really hard, with a large stick. For a laugh. That's what they reckon, anyway. On Tumblr. Probably.
Good news, everyone. The new series of Doctor Who may not be due on TV until later this year, but that doesn't mean we can't be teased with shards of casting information as they are fed to a rabid and ravenous fandom. Following the announcement that Keeley Hawes will face-off against Peter Capaldi as rogue banker Ms Delphox in episode five of the new series, it has now been confirmed that the properly terrific Ben Miller will also guest star as a villain, in episode six - written by Mark Gatiss his very self. According to The Lord Thy God Steven Moffatt, his very Benship will play 'a storming villain.' Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) added: 'With Capaldi in the TARDIS, we knew we needed somebody special to send everybody behind the sofa. And quite frankly, it's about time Ben Miller was in Doctor Who.' Well, indeed. Ben, who first made his name as one half of a comedy duo with Alexander Armstrong (who has also been in Doctor Who of late), recently bowed out of BBC1's Caribbean crime thriller Death In Paradise after two series in the lead role. His other acting credits include the ITV drama Primeval, the BBC1 sitcom The Worst Week Of My Life and a stint on the West End stage in Ladykillers (in which he also starred opposite yer man Capaldi). On joining the cast, Ben said: 'As a committed Whovian I cannot believe my luck in joining the Twelfth Doctor for one of his inaugural adventures. My only worry is that they will make me leave the set when I'm not filming.' No, Ben, mate. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. 'Whovian'! Jesus. The only people who use that perfectly hateful word are numskull glakes and Americans. Better start working out which you are. Think I'd sooner be a numskull glake, personally. Anyway, Miller's casting is the second major Doctor Who casting announcement in a week after it was revealed that Da Vinci's Demons' Tom Riley will appear also in an episode written by Gatiss. Possibly the same one as Ben although that hasn't been confirmed yet.

It has now been officially confirmed that yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch will play Richard III in the BBC's second series of Shakespeare's History Plays. The BBC2 production comes from the same team as the award-winning The Hollow Crown series and will be directed by Dominic Cooke. Benny his very self said that he 'can't wait to bring this complex, funny and dangerous character to life for the BBC.' His Sherlock co-star, Martin Freeman his very self, is set to play the same role in London's West End later this year. Marty will take to the stage at Trafalgar Studios in the play, directed by Jamie Lloyd. Lloyd directed the theatre's acclaimed production of Macbeth last year, starring James McAvoy. BBC2's new adaptation of the Shakespeare play will also mark the TV debut of director Cooke - a former artistic director of the Royal Court theatre. Executive producer, Pippa Harris, said: 'Neal Street Productions worked with Benedict on both Stuart: A Life Backwards for the BBC and the film Starter For Ten. His range and dexterity as an actor make him the perfect choice to bring one of Shakespeare's towering characters to television.' Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC Drama, described Cumberbatch as 'one of the world's most brilliant and in-demand actors.' The thirty seven-year-old will also play the title role in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet at London's Barbican Theatre in August next year.

ITV's new drama Undeniable topped the overnight ratings outside of soaps with 5.8 million at 9pm on Monday. Rather good it was, too. Where the hell has Claire Goose been in the five years since she left Waking The Dead, anyway? She was proper good in this. I Never Knew That About Britain was watched by 2.7m at 8pm. On BBC1, Bang Goes the Theory was also seen by 2.7m at 7.30pm, while Panorama interested 2.4m at 8.30pm. New series Treasure Hunters brought in 2.7m at 9pm, and The Michael McIntyre Chat Show climbed by a further three hundred thousand punters from last week's audience to 2.2m at 10.35pm. BBC2's University Challenge final had an audience of 3.2m at 8pm to watch Trinity College Cambridge win the trophy, followed by the last Mary Berry Cooks with 2.6m at 8.30pm. Business Boomers gathered 1.4m at 9pm, followed by the latest Rev with 1.2m at 10pm. On Channel Four, Shop Secrets attracted 1.2m at 8.30pm, while One Born Every Minute was seen by 1.8m at 9pm. Eight Out Of Ten Cats attracted nine hundred and twenty six thousand at 10pm. Channel Five' Police Interceptors was seen by eight hundred and seventy thousand at 8pm, followed by Shops & Robbers with nine hundred and thirty three thousand at 9pm and Law & Disorder with seven hundred and fourteen thousand at 10pm. On Sky1, the second regular slot airing of Game Of Thrones' season four opener was watched by six hundred and twenty nine thousand at 9pm.

Sky Atlantic's 2am simulcast of the Game Of Thrones series four premiere for hardcore fans (and insomniacs) averaged nine thousand viewers, while more than one million watched the episode in the UK across two broadcasts or via Sky+ recording on Monday. In the US, the premiere attracted HBO's biggest audience since The Sopranos finale in 2007, with 6.6 million for the initial 9pm transmission, and another 1.6 million for an 11pm repeat.

The Crimson Field won the battle of the primetime dramas on Sunday night for BBC1, according to overnight data. The period drama starring Oona Chalpin, Suranne Jones, Hermione Norris and Kerry Fox attracted 6.1 million viewers at 9pm for its first episode. Earlier, Countryfile topped the ratings overall with 7.1m at 7pm. It was a proper geet cush night for BBC1 with Antiques Roadshow pulling in 5.7m at 8pm, while Match of the Day 2 scored 2.4m at 10.35pm. It was a good night for drama generally as, on ITV, Endeavour rose by around seven hundred thousand punters from last week to 5.1m at 8pm. Excellent episode too, see below. Earlier, Catchphrase was watched by 3.7m crushed victims of society at 6.45pm and Off Their Rockers returned with 2.4m at 7.30pm. And, was shite, as usual. BBC2's Border Country garnered nine hundred and eighty nine thousand at 8pm, followed by the finale of Louis Theroux's LA Stories with 1.6m at 9pm. Coverage from the F1 Grand Prix in Bahrain attracted 2.4m at 10pm. Channel Four's Secret History documentary appealed to 1.4m at 8pm, followed by the Liam Neeson film The Grey with 1.2m at 9pm. On Channel Five, the movie Ladder 49 was watched by five hundred and ninety eight thousand from 8pm.

Blimey, but Sunday night's Endeavour was a bit pure dead mental was it not, dear blog reader? A straight - conceptual - cross between Picnic At Hanging Rock, The Legend Of Hell House, Heavenly Creatures, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and a bit of the 1966 World Cup thrown in for good measure. There's a sentence this blogger never thought he'd ever find himself writing!
So anyway, here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Two programmes for week-ending Sunday 30 March 2014:-
1 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 9.11m
2 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 8.12m
3 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 7.25m
4 The Widower - Mon ITV - 6.88m
5 Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - Sat ITV - 6.80
6 The Voice - Sat BBC1 - 6.67m
7 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 6.38m
8 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 6.13m
9 Endeavour - Sun ITV - 5.76m*
10 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.73m
11 Shetland - Tues BBC1 - 5.56m
12 MasterChef - Thurs ITV - 5.36m
13 The Musketeers - Sun BBC1 - 5.27m
14 Silk - Mon BBC1 - 5.06m
15 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.04m
16 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.85m
17 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.85m
18 Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.83m
19 The ONE News - Mon BBC1 - 4.62m
20 The National Lottery: Saturday Draws - Sat BBC - 4.45m
21 Law & Order: UK - Wed ITV - 4.29m*
22 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 4.25m
ITV programmes marked '*' do not include HD figures. BBC2's top-rated show of the week was The Great British Sewing Bee (3.25m), followed by University Challenge (3.19m) and Mary Berry Cooks (3.10m). Channel Four's highest-rated show was Googlebox with3.26m. The Mentalist was Channel Five's best performer with 1.57m.

Meanwhile, in today's main news, the vile and odious rascal Miller still hasn't been sacked. Yet.
If you happen to read hideous, hateful and thoroughly odious right-wing newspapers like the Daily Torpgraph and the Daily Scum Mail, with their sick anti-BBC agendas, dear blog reader, then you might have stumbled across a story about the crew of Lambing Live spending lots of licence fee payers money staying in a luxury hotel whilst filming the series. Congratulations, therefore, to Tom Phillips at the Buzzfeed website for his magnificently sarky deconstruction of this entire risible pack of shit-scum lies in a piece entitled No, The BBC Didn't Put Up Its Staff In A Two Hundred And Seventy Nine Pound-A-Night Hotel For Lambing Live which this blogger urges you all to read: 'Those headlines would suggest that the BBC paid two hundred and seventy nine pounds a night, right? Because that's what "two hundred and seventy nine pounds a night" usually means. Let's see what a BBC spokesperson has to say: "The crew stayed at the Dalmahoy Marriott, paying a rate of fifty eight pounds a night. This was the closest hotel to the filming location that was able to accommodate this number and is located on a main road, which is necessary in case of bad weather. This was an economic and practical option which was within BBC policy guidelines." But, wait. Fifty eight pounds is less than two hundred and seventy nine pounds isn't it? The Telegraph article asks why the BBC didn't book into "cheaper and more local B&Bs" instead, quoting the owner of the Meadows B&B in nearby West Linton as saying: "I would have loved to have people staying at my B&B, but I am probably not as exclusive as the Dalmahoy." The Meadows has three rooms, two of which start from sixty five pounds per night. For those of you keeping score, fifty eight pounds is also less than sixty five pounds.' Tom also notes that the Torygraph did, subsequently, change their online headline to remove the two hundred and seventy nine quid bit. One wonders why? Oh yes, because it was crap.
Conservative Christians are, apparently, really quite cross about the reboot of the legendary science series Cosmos, fronted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Oh, pure dead vexed, so they are. Hopping mad, one might almost suggest. Their complaint, it would seem, is that a Bronze Age myth about the creation invented by some cave-dwelling Hebrews six thousand years ago is not being included in a show which is designed to teach science. Christian conservatives have been taking to the airwaves complaining about this non-inclusion, with Danny Faulkner of Answers In Genesis (no, me neither) whinging, 'Creationists aren't even on the radar screen for them.' Err ... no. Correct, they're not. And, neither - interestingly - are those who would like to see Ancient Greek, Roman or Egyptian creation myths included in Cosmos either. 'cept, they're a bit quieter about the fact than you, pal. One Elizabeth Mitchell of the same - frankly daft - organisation also had a go at Cosmos for having 'blind faith in evolution.' It's rather hard to argue with people how have that sort of blinkered world-view but, here's something for Christians (of all stripes) to think about. It's remarkable how few Christians seem to have actually read, let alone digested the meaning of, the Gospel according to Matthew. Specifically, chapter seven verses one to twelve. I'm sure you've got it on your bookshelves, guys and girls, so do us all a favour, have a look at it and then, try bloody practising it. Oh, and according to Exodus, if you're wearing a garment woven from two different cloths then you should be stoned to death. So, you might want to have a look at the label on your shirt or blouse to see if it's polyester and cotton or not.

Line Of Duty is to return for two more series on BBC2. The acclaimed police thriller starring Martin Compston and Vicky McClure will broadcast a third and fourth series, comprising six episodes each. The second series, which starred Keeley Hawes as conflicted officer Lindsay Denton, attracted an average of 3.4m viewers across February and March. Creator and writer Jed Mercurio said: 'We're profoundly grateful to the fans who not only watched Line Of Duty but also made it such a talking point, and to BBC2 for this rare and immensely flattering opportunity. For series three and four, I can promise two explosive new cases for AC-12, new guest stars as police officers are investigated for corruption, further twists and turns from the loose ends of series two, and maybe even some surprise reappearances.' Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama, added: 'Line Of Duty shows what the reinvestment of money in drama on BBC2 has achieved - unique, powerful and gripping drama that gets the nation talking. Bringing it back for two more years is the easiest decision I have made. The only thing to expect from the show is the unexpected so I'm excited to see where the next twists and turns take the series.'

Paul Whitehouse is to front a new TV comedy on BBC2. The Fast Show comic actor will star in an adaptation of his BBC Radio 4 sitcom Nurse, according to Radio Times. The radio series stars Esther Coles as a community psychiatric nurse, with Whitehouse taking on multiple roles as her patients. Coles, Whitehouse and other members of the radio cast - including Rosie Cavaliero and Whitehouse's former Fast Show colleague Simon Day - are expected to reprise their roles for the TV remake. Shane Allen - BBC controller of comedy commissioning - said: 'Nurse has gone down a storm on radio and we are very excited about the TV version.' Whitehouse's last regular TV project was the sketch show Harry & Paul.

24: Live Another Day's premiere will be simulcast in the UK and US, it has been announced. The opening double bill of the new twelve-part limited series will be shown at 1am on Sky1 in the early hours of Tuesday 6 May - the same time that it will be shown in the US on FOX. The drama will subsequently be shown in a regular Wednesday night slot at 9pm from 7 May onwards, at which point the episodes will be available to catch up On Demand. Armour-plated killing machine Jack Bauer's latest tool-stiffeningly violent adventure, set and filmed in yer actual London, sees Kiefer Sutherland's now fugitive Bauer working to thwart a drone attack on the visiting president of the United States. Sutherland will be joined by fellow 24 veterans Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kim Raver and William Devane. New cast additions include Tamer Hassan, Stephen Fry (as the Prime Minister. Oh, if only wishing made it so), Yvonne Strahovski and Colin Salmon. Sky1 boss Adam MacDonald said: 'I'm delighted that Jack and the team at 24 are returning exclusively to Sky1 HD. The scale, ambition and fast-paced energy of the series epitomise everything we look for in a drama for the channel. I can't wait to bring it back to our customers.' It follows Sky's simulcast of the opening episode of Game Of Thrones' fourth season this weekend.

Channel Five will reportedly attempt to catch criminals live in a new programme being broadcast as part of the channel's Crime Week. well, let's face it they can hardly do a worse job than the pollis these days.

Hannibal season two has been given a UK start date. Sky Living has announced that the horror drama - starring Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter - will return to screens on 6 May. Series two of the NBC show premiered in February in the US, with showrunner Bryan Fuller promising that this run will 'strike new territory.' Fuller commented that the second season would have 'a completely different flavour and structure and style of storytelling' than its first run. 'We shift everything so dramatically that it keeps the audience on their toes because they now don't know what to expect,' he added. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping has seen preview copies of the first five episodes of series two and can confirm that the drama is still hitting most of the right notes. Eddie Izzard - who starred as the psychopathic killer Abel Gideon in two episodes of the show's first series - confirmed last year that he would return for season two, while Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon will also appear in a recurring role. Meanwhile, it was announced in February that plans are under way to release a Hannibal fragrance after NBC Universal and Gaumont International Television partnered with licensing and global brand management firm Evolution.

One of the most highly anticipated series openers of all time got off to a rocky start as the first episode of Game Of Thrones season four crashed on HBO Go. 'Overwhelming demand' meant that many viewers were unable to catch the premiere of George RR Martin's latest offering, although the service was restored some hours later, the company said. 'HBO GO did experience issues due to overwhelming demand around the premiere of Game Of Thrones,' they said, seemingly surprised that possibly the most anticipated worldwide TV event since the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary had, actually, had people who wanted to watch it. What were the chances? The service returned to several platforms approximately ninety minutes after the episode ended. 'We are working hard towards full recovery, which we expect soon,' HBO said. In a triumph of Internet conspiracy theorising, some people with beards speculated that HBO purposely allowed its streaming platform to get overwhelmed to stop subscribers from sharing their login information with non-paying users.
Vice Media has launched its latest online video venture, a channel called Munchies which, it claims, aims to 'disrupt the cosy world of TV cookery shows.' The channel, which went live this week, is a joint venture with FremantleMedia, with plans for more than one hundred hours of shortform clips, half-hour and hour-long shows in its initial phase. The two companies showed off five of the shows at the MIPTV conference in Cannes, and said they have already fielded an offer from a US cable network to produce an 'exclusive edition' of one of the series for its viewers. 'People ask us all the time why we don;t do more with food, because there's not a lot of programming for Gen-Y, which is the cohort that goes out and spends the most on food,' said chief executive Shane Smith, speaking at the channel's launch. Smith said that Vice's existing food videos have already generated fifty million views online - which is almost as many as that piano-playing cat - and claimed that his ambitions are high for the new channel. 'We expect viewership to be in the hundreds of millions this year.' Vice is positioning Munchies as an alternative to the studio-based 'cook-off' formats which have dominated food programming on traditional TV networks - shows that its promo video calls 'dull, bland and flat-out boring to the group that matters most in food: young people.' Munchies' initial slate of shows includes Fresh Off The Boat, Being Frank, Girl Eats Food, Chef's Night Out and Fuck, That's Delicious – the latter of which stars Action Bronson (who is, apparently, 'a rapper', m'lud, and who has a parallel career as a chef). 'These are big personalities: funny people, interesting people, but people who all have a real passion for food, and take it to different ends,' said Eddy Moretti, Vice's chief creative officer. 'The site is going to have a whole selection of formats. Some of these are going to be short, some of them are actually bundled and packaged into half-hour shows, and we’re doing hour-long documentaries on some of the most interesting chefs.'

In bringing the front page of the Daily Torygraph into its story, the sitcom W1A made its first departure from plausibility (the majority of the internal BBC stuff appears patently credible). In last week's episode the Torygraph's 'bombshell' front page story revealing Ian Fletcher's salary was supposedly written by the paper's 'media editor'; but, apparently, since 2010 the Torygraph avoided calling anyone that. Probably because Torygraph types have always suspected 'the media' of being a trendy lefty fantasy, infuriatingly linking decent types who do real, important work – like stitching up the vile and odious rascal Miller, for instance – with the odious dream merchants of television, advertising and PR. That's, as the Lambing Live story above proves, because they're mostly a bunch lying twats. Next ...

Whenever that risible auld slapheed Greg Dyke opens his mouth in public these days, whether it's about football or television, you can be fairly certain that someone's reputation will suffer – usually his. The Dyke's contribution to Tuesday's BBC2 look back at the eighties breakfast TV wars, The Battle For Britain's Breakfast (in which Frank Bough resurfaced, but Selina Scott - possibly sensibly - stayed away), was no exception. 'The Saviour of TV-am' - that's Dyke, just in case you were wondering - was typically blunt on the puppeteer behind irreverent loudmouth Roland Rat, his main asset as he struggled to reduce the BBC's significant ratings lead. 'He was the most boring person,' Dyke recalls. 'Unless he had his hand up a rat's arse.' Ho. And, indeed, ho.
John Lydon is reported to be playing King Herod in a US touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Well, makes sense i suppose, he did write 'Religion' after all. The PiL singer will be joined on stage by Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child as Mary Magdalene and JC Chasez of 'N Sync as Pontius Pilate. 'I don't do nothing easy, right?' said Johnny at a press launch for the show. 'I do it because I believe in this and I think we can make this work in a much more different way.' As well as the all-star supporting cast, the production will feature ITV talent show winner Ben Forster as Jesus his very self. This news, incidentally, was announced by the BBC News website on 7 April not 1 April, just in case you were wondering.
Some extremely sad news now. The TV presenter and celebrity Peaches Geldof, the daughter of Bob Geldof and the late Paula Yates, has died at the age of just twenty five. Which is, obviously, horrible - the death of someone so young and, particularly, the mother of two young children, is a tragedy and should be deplored. Police in Kent have said that the death was 'being treated as unexplained and sudden' at this stage. This presumably means a second series of Geldof's ITV2 series OMG! is looking a bit unlikely as well. That's two tragedies for the price of one. There's a very interesting piece by the Gruniad Morning Star's Roy Greenslade on the media coverage of Geldof's death which you can read here. The basic thrust of which is 'mostly tasteful (with one or two notable exceptions) but, it's something of a sad indictment of our society's obsession with the cult of celebrity that his poor woman's untimely demise became the top item on national TV news and occupies the front page of near enough every newspaper ahead of the situation in Ukraine, Maria Miller, the Oscar Pistorius trial and, even, the death of Mickey Rooney.' As Greenslade himself concludes: 'Inevitably, we are bound to ask why a twenty five-year-old woman should engender so much coverage. What is it about our 2014 news values that dictated such a response? Yes, celebrity, is at its heart. It is also the case that when people die young and unexpectedly the uniqueness of the event affects the coverage. But when we stand back from this in, say, a year's time, it is highly likely that we journalists will reflect on whether the media response was over the top.'
Ten years on from its launch on BBC1, Strictly Come Dancing is celebrating being sold as a format to a fiftieth country. Slovenia is the latest nation to order a series of Dancing With The Stars - the international version of the BBC format.

Channel Four's comedy series The IT Crowd and crime drama Southcliffe are both leading this year's BAFTA TV nominations with four nods each. ITV police drama Broadchurch is up for three BAFTAs, along with BBC1 period drama The Village. Olivia Colman, who won two BAFTAs last year, has been nominated for her leading role in Broadchurch. BAFTA said Channel Four had a total of twenty seven nominations - the most of any single channel this year. The ceremony will be hosted by Graham Norton, who is also up for best entertainment performance for his BBC1 chat show. The IT Crowd's Richard Ayoade and Chris O'Dowd are each nominated for best male performance in a comedy. Their co-star Katherine Parkinson has been nominated for best female in a comedy and the show's final episode is nominated in the best sitcom category. Four-part crime drama Southcliffe has been shortlisted for best mini-drama and its star Sean Harris is up for best leading actor while his co-stars Rory Kinnear and Shirley Henderson have been recognised in the best supporting actor and actress categories. Colman won a best supporting actress BAFTA last year for Accused and another for best female in a comedy programme for Twenty Twelve. The Village's Maxine Peake and Nico Mirallegro are in the running for leading actress and supporting actor in the series, which is also nominated for best drama. Broadchurch also has nods for David Bradley for best supporting actor and for best drama. Other nominees in the best actor category include first-time nominees Jamie Doran for The Fall and Luke Newberry for In the Flesh, plus Dominic West - who played Richard Burton in Burton & Taylor. West's co-star Helena Bonham Carter is nominated for best actress for her role as Elizabeth Taylor in the BBC4 biopic drama and is up against Kerrie Hayes in Channel Four's The Mill. Norton is competing in the best entertainment performance with Sarah Millican for The Sarah Millican Television Programme, Charlie Brooker for Ten O'Clock Live and Anthony McPartlin and/or Declan Donnelly for Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. The international category has pitted crime drama Breaking Bad against the political dramas House Of Cards and Borgen and the French supernatural drama The Returned. This is the first year that programmes shown exclusively online in the UK have been allowed to compete, which meant Breaking Bad and House Of Cards were eligible. Strictly Come Dancing has received its first BAFTA nomination in six years for best entertainment programme, alongside Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Derren Brown: The Great Art Robbery and Dynamo: Magician Impossible. Strictly is also receiving this year's Special Award at the Television Craft Awards ceremony on 27 April. The Great British Bake Off has been nominated in the best feature category alongside The Choir: Sing While You Work, Grand Designs and Long Lost Family. Bake Off has won the BAFTA in that category for the last two years running. Best situation comedy will see Count Arthur Strong - which wasn't particularly funny and very few people watched - battle it out with Him & Her: The Wedding - which was quite funny but still very few people watched - and Toast Of London. Which nobody watched. The shows competing for best single drama are Mark Gatiss's An Adventure in Space and Time, Black Mirror: Be Right Back, Complicit and The Wipers Times, while the programmes in the specialist factual category are David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive, Martin Luther King and the March on Washington, Richard III: The King in the Car Park and Story Of The Jews. Voting opens on Monday for the publicly-voted Radio Times Audience Award with a choice of Breaking Bad, Broadchurch, Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor, Educating Yorkshire, Gogglebox and The Great British Bake Off. So, get voting. This year's ceremony will be held on Sunday 18 May.

The news that BBC3 is to go online only as part of Tony Hall's plans to save money at the BBC brought a wave of protest (well, a few tweets from self-interested planks who are very popular with students, anyway). But Michael Buerk wasn't one of them. The Daily Mirra says that the former newsreader has labelled the youth channel's output as being at the 'embarrassing end of drivel.' Although he admitted there had been a few comedy successes, shows such as Snog, Marry, Avoid? were dismissed as 'cutting-edge tripe.' Buerk continued his charm offensive by turning his sights on fellow screen talent, saying: 'If you got a presenting job mainly because you look nice, I can't see why you should keep it when you don't.' Which probably explains why Buerk himself is not an TV much these days.

BBC Radio 4 is to recreate lost episodes of the classic 1950s radio sitcom Hancock's Half Hour, with a new cast including Pirates of the Caribbean actor Kevin McNally in the title role originally taken by the late Tony Hancock. The Missing Hancocks will consist of five of the twenty episodes missing from the BBC archives. They are to be broadcast in November to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the show's first transmission. Hancock's Half Hour was the first major hit for the writing partnership of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, who went on to create Steptoe and Son. The pair have chosen the five Hancock's Half Hour radio scripts that will be re-recorded by a cast which also includes Simon Greenall, Kevin Eldon and Robin Sebastian. The series begins recording on Tuesday evening in front of an audience at the BBC Radio Theatre in Central London. Hancock's Half Hour, based on a fictionalised version of Tony Hancock's life as a struggling comic and actor, was originally broadcast on the BBC Home Service between 1954 and 1959, with one hundred and three episodes recorded. An, even more successful, TV version began in 1956, running for five years and more than sixty episodes. Bill Kerr co-starred in the radio version as Hancock's dim-witted Australian lodger while Sid James played Hancock's friend, a cunning businessman, who often succeeded in conning Hancock. Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Williams and Moira Lister were among other comedy actors who featured regularly. The series is widely regarded as the first British sitcom, focusing on characters and situations over a single half-hour sketch, rather than stand-up comedy or variety which was then dominant in British radio. Series co-producer the actor Neil Pearson said that the idea came about when he was researching some original Hancock scripts for a rare book catalogue and realised many had been 'lost' from the BBC archive. 'We will be re-creating as closely as possible the experience you would have had listening to your radio all those years ago. The scripts are perfect and timeless,' Pearson said. 'We will be recording the programmes in front of a live audience at BBC Radio Theatre and, rather thrillingly, the BBC Concert Orchestra will be re-recording the theme tune for the new series.'

The bailiff and 'star' of the BBC reality show The Enforcers has failed in a high court bid to stop a John Sweeney Panorama investigation into debt recovery being broadcast. Jamie Waller's JBW Group tried to get an injunction against the BBC programme, which had been due to be broadcast on Monday night, after it learned of undercover filming of staff working for the company. Monday night's Panorama goes undercover to expose the bailiffs who seize cars and demand huge fees in what has become a multi-million pound business chasing unpaid parking tickets. A BBC spokesman confirmed on Monday the attempt to block the programme and said the company had argued in its application that it should be granted the injunction of the grounds of defamation. It was denied the application by a high court judge, Mr Justice Tugendhat, on Friday. JBW said in a statement that it had 'no option' but to apply for an injunction 'to protect the position of its clients and the business', after the independent production company making the Panorama film, Snapper, sent a letter alleging that the company had 'breached relevant regulation, guidelines and committed unlawful acts by its agents.' The company said that it had 'provided a detailed response' to the letter 'comprehensively dealing with all points and allegations made by Snapper.'
Millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks who is extremely accused of trying to pervert the course of justice along with his wife, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks, once drank a bottle of Fairy Liquid to try and cure a hangover, the Old Bailey heard on Monday. An alleged 'friend' called as a character witness for millionaire Old Etonian Brooks's defence said that millionaire Old Etonian Brooks was 'capable of being completely daft.' In a statement read to court, the jury heard that Sara Bradstock, the daughter of the now deceased former jockey and BBC commentator Lord Oaksey, is 'a good friend' of millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks, who was the best man at her wedding. 'I once found him frothing at the mouth looking close to death one morning, only to discover that he had not been bitten by a rabid dog, but had drunk a pint of Fairy Liquid to try and rid himself of the excesses of the night before,' she said. Bradstock said of the allegation against millionaire Old Etonian Brooks that it was 'out of character that he is capable of perverting the course of justice in the cold, dishonest and calculating way that he is being accused of.' Bradstock described millionaire Old Etonian Brooks 'as great fun to have around' and 'capable of impetuously throwing himself into ventures.' She recalled one 'young lady who had a crush on him' who said that she had 'never met anyone so worldly and innocent at the same time.' What any of this tittle-tattle and nonsense has to do with whether millionaire Old Etonian did or didn't hide evidence from the police is, one could argue, a mystery. Millionaire Old Etonian Brooks has been accused of stashing computers and documents (not to mention loads of porn) behind a bin at the underground car park at his Chelsea home the day his wife was arrested. He denies the charge of perverting the course of justice. On Monday his barrister, Neil Saunders, read five character references to the court, including one from his business partner, with whom he buys, trains and sells racehorses. 'He is a man of great integrity. He is honest to the point of losing money if there is any danger of either of us losing money,' said Lacey. He added that the trial had put 'an obvious strain' on millionaire Old Etonian Brooks but that his priority throughout has been his wife. Also testifying for him was the racing editor of the Daily Torygraph, Kevin Perry, who said the 'allegations seem to be out of character for the Charlie Brooks I have come to know.' Perry said that he 'sincerely hoped' millionaire Old Etonian Brooks would return to writing once the trial was over. Sir Mark Prescott, a veteran trainer at Newmarket, who has known millionaire Old Etonian Brooks for thirty five years, said that millionaire Old Etonian Brooks might have 'a cavalier exterior' but that he was 'thoughtful' and 'a clear thinker.' He added that millionaire Old Etonian Brooks was 'a man of integrity' who would not be 'lulled' into any of the many opportunities for 'nefarious' dealings in the industry and was 'a giver' and 'not a sponger.' Earlier the trial heard from Pizza Hut's restaurant excellence analyst, who confirmed that one pizza and garlic bread had been ordered on the evening that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks was extremely arrested. The jury has heard this was delivered to her husband and that the prosecution's case is the pizza delivery was concocted as 'a cover' for the return of computers and other belongings that millionaire Old Etonian Brooks had had removed from the Chelsea Harbour underground car park earlier in the day. Both millionaire Old Etonian Charlie and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks and other defendants deny all charges against them. Mr Justice Saunders told the jury on Monday that Clive Goodman, the Scum of the World's former royal editor, was still not well enough to continue cross-examination by the prime Minister's former, if you will, 'chum' Andy Coulson's counsel. Stuart Kuttner, the Scum of the World's former managing editor, will start in the witness box on Tuesday, he said. The trial extremely continues.

Kumar Sangakkara guided Sri Lanka to a six-wicket victory over India to win the World Twenty/20 trophy in Mirpur on Sunday and end a run of four defeats in global finals. Sangakkara, playing his final Twenty/20 international, scored fifty two not out as Sri Lanka chased down one hundred and thirty one runs in 17.5 overs. Some tight Sri Lankan bowling had earlier limited India to one hundred and thirty for four despite Virat Kohli's sublime seventy seven off fifty eight balls. Sri Lanka were beaten in both the 2007 and 2011 World Cup finals and also lost the 2009 and 2012 World Twenty/20 finals. Sangakkara, and his veteran team-mate Mahela Jayawardene were involved in all four of those disappointments and this was a fitting way for both - hugely popular and talented - players to bow out of international Twenty/20 cricket. The victory was particularly sweet for Sangakkara, who had only scored nineteen runs in his previous five innings in the tournament, but oversaw a patient run chase that was finished off in style when Thisara Perera clubbed Ravichandran Ashwin for his third six. Victory would have made World Cup and Champions Trophy winners India the first team to hold all three world one-day titles at the same time. But their quest was undermined by an underwhelming batting performance which stalled badly after Rohit Sharma drove to short extra cover in the eleventh over for twenty nine to break a partnership of sixty with Kohli. Yuvraj Singh, so often a destructive batsman in the shorter forms of the game, looked horribly out of touch as he scratched around for eleven runs off twenty one balls. With Kohli starved of the strike, the innings lost all momentum and even India's captain Mahendra Dhoni could only add four from seven balls after Yuvraj's tame lob to long off finally brought him to the crease in the penultimate over. The final four overs, in which Kohli only faced eight balls, yielded just nineteen runs before the tournament's leading scorer was run out trying to force a second from the final ball of the innings. There was a wicket apiece for Nuwan Kulasekara, Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath as not one of Sri Lanka's five bowlers conceded more than twenty nine runs from four overs. India took wickets with enough regularity to keep the match alive and evoke memories of the 2012 final, when Sri Lanka were bowled out for one hundred and one in pursuit of West Indies' modest one hundred and thirty seven for six. Kusal Perera sliced Mohit Sharma to mid-off in the second over and Tillakaratne Dilshan holed out to Kohli at deep square leg for eighteen. Jayawardene swiped Suresh Raina to midwicket to depart for twenty four and, when Lahiru Thirimanne nicked Amit Mishra to wicket-keeper Dhoni, Sri Lanka were wobbling on seventy eight for four. But Perera announced his intent by hitting Mishra over long-on for a huge six and followed up with another maximum in the leg-spinner's next over. Sangakkara thrashed consecutive fours off Ashwin to reach his half-century and take Sri Lanka to within four runs of the title. Perera danced down the track to apply the perfect finish and spark jubilant scenes among the Sri Lanka players and fans. Speaking of Test Match Special Vic Marks noted: 'India had been flawless throughout the tournament but they mucked it up today. Sri Lanka - almost everyone's second favourite team - bring joy to almost everyone at the end of what has been a great tournament. The players have enjoyed what is a brilliant format.' Well, except for England, obviously, we were crap, as usual.

Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in a thrillingly close battle at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. In a league of their own, the battle devolved to a ten-lap sprint after a late safety car period, which wiped out Hamilton's previous ten-second advantage. On the faster soft tyre, Rosberg had the advantage, but Hamilton held him off to the end with aggressive defence. A frantic battle for third place was won by Force India's Sergio Perez, from Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian was able to pass Perez's team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, struggling with energy harvesting problems in his Mercedes power-unit, with four laps to go and close in on Perez, who did just enough to hold off the Red Bull. Hulkenberg held off a train of cars including Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull, the Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas and the Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, who took the final points positions. It was a sobering day for the Italian team and not just in terms of the results, as their world champion driver pairing were literally powerless to beat drivers in teams with far fewer resources but powered by the dominant Mercedes engine. Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo had before the race criticised the new efficiency-based F1 for being like 'taxi driving.' Those claims were made to look, frankly, ridiculous by a thrilling Grand Prix that featured breathless action from start to finish throughout the field. Mercedes were true to their word to let their drivers race for victory untroubled by team orders. Rosberg started from pole, but Hamilton made a better start and took the lead at the first corner. Rosberg tracked him in the early stages, keeping within 1.5 seconds, and then closed up as they approached their first pit stops. The German dived for the inside at the start of lap eighteen and was briefly past Hamilton, only to run wide and see his team-mate chop back across his nose to reclaim the lead. 'Warn him that was not on,' Rosberg said to his team over the radio. He tried again the following lap, but again Hamilton held him off, this time by edging him wide as Rosberg attempted to go around the outside of Turn Four. Hamilton stopped for fresh tyres the next time around and Rosberg chose to adopt a different strategy when he made his own first stop two laps later, switching to the slower 'medium' tyre for the middle stint of the race. Hamilton, who fitted another set of the 'soft' tyres, decided to save his 'mediums' until the final stint and he set about building up a substantial lead. Hamilton was nine and a half seconds in front by lap forty, when the safety car was triggered by a dangerous collision between the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez and Lotus' Pastor Maldonado. Gutierrez was coming out of the pits and turning when Maldonado smashed into the side of the Swiss car, sending it into a barrel-roll. As the field prepared for the race to be restarted on lap forty seven, Mercedes co-team boss Paddy Lowe got on the radio to both of his drivers to warn them to 'make sure you bring both cars home.' Rosberg appeared determined to reclaim the lead and tried several times to pass his team-mate into Turn One and through Turn Four, each time being repelled by firm but fair defence from Hamilton. Finally, with four laps to go, as the edge went off Rosberg's tyres, Hamilton began to build a margin and was able to secure his second victory within a week. It closes his deficit to Rosberg in the championship to eleven points, following the Englishman's retirement from the opening race of the season in Australia which Rosberg won. 'Nico drove fantastically well throughout' said Hamilton. 'He was very fast on the option tyres at the end. I was on a knife edge throughout but it was great fun.' 'I strongly dislike finishing second to Lewis but on the other hand it was the most exciting race I have ever had in my whole career,' said Rosberg. 'Today was a day for the sport. I hope you all had a lot of fun. The team played it as fair as they possibly could today. Let us race flat out. I don't think you need any more evidence that we are here to race and there is no team orders.' The action was just as thrilling behind as Perez beat Ricciardo by just 0.4 seconds and four seconds behind them Hulkenberg held off a train of cars running nose-to-tail all the way down to Raikkonen in tenth place. It was a spectacular event on Bahrain's tenth anniversary as an F1 venue and on the occasion of the first night race in the Gulf state. And it should lay to bed any criticisms that there is no racing in the new F1. However, the day turned into something of horrorshow for poor old Jenson Button who, like several drivers, was on a two stop strategy. He was well-placed and apparently cruising in fifth position just before the Maldonado/Gutierrez crash which caused the safety car to be deployed. On resumption - possibly because he was on medium tyres as opposed to soft - he was passed by a number of cars, dropped out of the top ten and ended up not even finishing the race, coming in two laps from the end with engine trouble in his MacLaren.

Oxford beat Cambridge in the one hundred and sixtieth Boat Race to secure their fifth win in seven years on Sunday. As usual, no one else was placed.

For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's twelve inches of throbbing black plastic with the hole in the middle. Bomb The Bass. Tune.

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