Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hot Sexy Action!

Yer actual Mark Gatiss his very self has suggested that Peter Capaldi's Doctor has 'madness in his eyes.' Although, treatment is available on the NHS if it gets too bad. The new Doctor has 'a sort of Alastair Sim quality', Gatiss said at Sunday night's BAFTA Television Awards. I'm guessing he doesn't mean a penchant for cross-dressing as in the St Trinian's movies. Although, of course, a nod towards the Transgender community would not be the worst thing in the world for the fourteenth Doctor. 'He's a wonderful man and one of our best character actors,' Mark said. 'I knew immediately - from watching other things - there was going to be a certain level of twinkly Scottish intensity to him. There's madness in his eyes! He's just an amazing dramatic actor and a very funny actor - which is exactly what you want for The Doctor.' Mark is believed to be writing two episodes for Doctor Who's next series, with the first featuring guest stars Tom Riley and Ben Miller. However, he refused to confirm - or deny - rumours that his script is based on the Robin Hood myths, saying: 'The pictures are all over the Internet if you want to look!' Indeed. Many of them have already appeared on this blog!

Mark also dismissed rumours that the next Sherlock into production could be a one-off special. In April, yer actual Marty Freeman sort of implied that the popular drama could be back for a single film, ahead of a fourth series. But, it seems he was ... how can we put this delicately, talking crap, despite the story having subsequently been picked up by it would seem the entire world's media. Just goes to show you should never believe an actor, under any circumstances. Mark revealed at the BAFTAs that a fourth series is 'still the plan. There was talk [of a single film] amongst people who have nothing to do with Sherlock, I'm afraid,' he said. Which would seem to include one of its lead actors, apparently. Mark added that the Sherlock team are 'moving closer to agreeing dates. Benedict and Martin's schedules, Steven's schedule, my schedule, everybody's schedule - it's like a jigsaw puzzle,' he said. 'But both [Marty and Benny] are really very keen to carry on and as I say, we have made progress.'

Chris Chibnall has defended the decision to remake Broadchurch for American audiences. Gracepoint will be broadcast on the US network FOX this fall, with original series star David Tennant again playing the male lead. And, it will still be shite, by the way. The Chibs - speaking at the BAFTAs - explained that the British series 'didn't air to a large number of people at all in America. I come from theatre and you have different productions of a text in theatre,' he said. 'It's not unusual - I find it surprising that people find it surprising. The offer was there [to make a US version] and it seemed like an interesting thing to do.' Chibnall - who also wrote the pilot script for Gracepoint - insisted that the American series is in the hands of 'great showrunners. My main focus is on Broadchurch 2 to be honest,' he added. Further international versions of Broadchurch are also a possibility, Chibnall revealed, with a French remake 'in the works.' Broadchurch was named best drama series at Sunday night's awards, while Olivia Colman and David Bradley also triumphed in their respective categories of leading actress and supporting actor.

Yer actual Game Of Thrones attracted nine hundred thousand viewers on Monday, according to overnight figures. The fantasy drama attracted nine hundred and six thousand punters at 9pm on Sky Atlantic, its second-highest rating this season. On BBC1, coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show was seen by 3.7m at 7.30pm. It continued on BBC2 with 2.9m at 8pm. Later, DIY SOS appealed to 3.7m at 9pm. The BBC2 documentary The Battle To Beat Polio had an audience of 1.1m at 9pm. On ITV, Gino's Italian Escape repeat interested 2.5m at 8pm, followed by new It'll Be Alright On The Night with 3.1m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Britain's Most Extreme Weather brought in nine hundred and fifty six thousand at 8pm. Bear Grylls's The Island climbed for a third week running to 2.2m at 9pm. Man Vs Weird gathered nine hundred and sixty thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's DIY Dummies was watched by six hundred and thirteen thousand at 8pm, followed by D-Day's Sunken Secrets with eight hundred and eighty five thousand at 9pm. On BBC4, the latest episode of Only Connect was seen by five hundred and ninety four thousand at 8.30pm, followed by the apocalyptic final episode of the thoroughly excellent (if grim as hell) Hinterland with six hundred and two thousand at 9pm. Hope there's going to be a second series of that, there;'s nothing this blogger enjoys that four weeks of sustained ennui each year.

Vanessa Redgrave, who narrates the BBC1 series Call The Midwife, is to appear as 'a mature Jennifer Worth' on screen for the first time. Redgrave will appear in this year's Christmas special of the popular period drama, which has just begun filming along with an eight-episode fourth series due next year. Set in London's East End, the latest series is set in 1960, as the area undergoes big changes. Redgrave will also continue as the off-camera narrator. Screenwriter and executive producer Heidi Thomas used a trilogy of accounts by the late midwife and writer Jennifer Worth for the first two series. Thomas received Worth's blessing to continue into series three and beyond, even though the memoirs had run out of material by the end of series two. Lark Rise To Candleford actress Linda Bassett and Fresh Meat's Charlotte Ritchie are also joining the cast for the fourth series as Nurse Phyllis Crane and Nurse Barbara Gilbert respectively. 'We're delighted to be welcoming Vanessa Redgrave on screen, having hugely enjoyed her narration of the series to date,' said Pippa Harris, executive producer for Neal Street Productions, which makes the series. Jessica Raine - who played the young Jennifer - left at the end of series three. The show has been a huge success for the BBC since launching in 2012, winning two BAFTA Craft awards and the TV and Radio Industries Club drama programme of the year.

Ant and/or Dec have revealed that they once tried to buy the Byker Grove youth club. The Saturday Night Takeaway presenters spoke to journalists at the BAFTAS, saying that they 'had plans' for the building in the West end of Newcastle but had their bid rejected. The duo wanted to turn the Victorian building into a performing arts centre, where workshops would be on offer for young people. Ant McPartlin told Bang Showbiz: 'A few years ago, I don't know whether I should say this, but why not? We tried to buy the building that Byker Grove was made in and turn it into a performing arts centre but we didn't get it.' Declan Donnelly added that the pair would still like to help children accomplish their dreams, explaining: 'We've talked about [helping young kids] but we haven't kind of finalised any details yet. Hopefully we'll be able to facilitate other kids, like us from the same background, to hopefully get into the industry in some way. But also in Scotland and Wales. Just because they're not from London doesn't mean they can't do it.'

During a discussion on Facebook the other day, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's good mate the author - and all-round top chap - Danny Blythe made a very interesting point in a discussion which had shifted in the direction of the curious subject of targeted TV demographics: 'I often wondered why Dave doesn't have a sister channel - say, "Michelle". But I read an article about it recently which claims that women watch male-branded stuff anyway and men won't watch female-branded stuff, so it makes sense for Dave to "brand male."' In reply, Keith Telly Topping noted: 'Certainly the demographics for what a lot of people consider to be male dominated shows are often far more widespread than you might imagine. Top Gear, for instance, almost the classic example of "chap TV" had, on the last demographic breakdown I saw - 2012, I believe - a forty three per cent female audience (mostly lasses who fancy Richard or want to mother James, I'm guessing!) As for the other [British shows on Dave], comedy panel shows are, almost exclusively a more or less fifty-fifty split - with Qi,  Would I Lie To You? and Only Connect actually, marginally female-orientated. Mock The Week is, probably, the one exception to this. But, I really do like the idea of a Tracy channel full of repeats of Loose Women, Location, Location, Location and The Great British Bake Off. I'd ... avoid it like the plague but I'd support its endeavour. Repeats of Endeavour, incidentally, will still be on ITV3, though that's now being remaned Brian.' Daniel responded: 'It would be funny if all TV channels had Dave-type names. BBC4 would be Victoria. Or maybe Lucy. ITV3 would be Samantha. The Yesterday channel might be Geoffrey, or Mavis.' To which Keith Telly Topping his very self could only add: 'ITV2 would be Cheryl. BBC3 would be Chardonnay.'

Michelle Keegan has expressed a desire to work with Ricky Gervais in the future. The Coronation Street actress told Best magazine (no, me neither) that she 'intends to try something completely different' to soap acting. Unemployment, perhaps? Whether Gervais his very self has any interest in working with Keegan is not, at this time, known. But, we can probably guess.

Poor, skint Gabby Logan is the latest household name to admit being part of the tax avoidance scheme used by the disgraceful Gary Barlow and Colin Jackson. The sports presenter 'invested thousands' into Icebreaker, a company which purported to support young musicians. However, a recent court ruling said that the firm was 'understood by all concerned to be a tax avoidance scheme.' Logan claims that she invested in the scheme in 'good faith' - and, one or two people even believe her - and vowed 'to pay any tax' that she owes. Which is good of her since, if she didn't she'd probably have to go to jail. She added that she pulled out of the scheme in 2012. Which, one presumes, was intended to make everyone say 'oh, so that's all right, then.' Logan issued a statement on her website, following press speculation about her involvement in the scheme. 'I was advised about a business opportunity six years ago (2008) and I invested in good faith. It was explained to me as a way of funding new acts in the music industry. Because of information which came to light in 2012, I decided the investment was not right for me. With new professional help and advisors, I have for some time been working to resolve the issue and I fully intend to pay any tax which should have been paid, had I not entered the business.' The presenter claimed that she had been 'completely open and honest' with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), adding: 'I have never hidden anything.' All of this, of course, has left Gabby her very self so hard-up and on her uppers that she now can't even afford to wear clothes and is forced to swan about in her undies, as you can see from this photographic evidence, dear blog reader. Poor lass. The odious Barlow - along with band-mates Howard Donald and Mark Owen, and Take That's manager Jonathan Wild - were among about a thousand people who reportedly put money into the Icebreaker scheme. Since March 2010, the four men have been directors of Larkdale LLP - one of fifty partnerships that Icebreaker arranged to harness tax relief which the government had intended would support those in creative industries. The tribunal found that shortly after money was put in to Larkdale LLP, it reported huge losses of more than twenty five million smackers. Those losses could then be offset against tax, reducing the mens' tax bills. In total, around fifty partnerships with hundreds of members invested in Icebreaker, which claimed total losses of three hundred and thirty six million notes. Last week, former Olympic hurdler and broadcaster Colin Jackson admitted to being in one such partnership, Sparkdale LLP, along with a number of dentists and lawyers. Jakcson defended his decision to invest in the loss-making scheme, telling the BBC that he was 'proud' to have supported struggling musicians. 'If it means you have to take a hit then I'll happily take a hit,' he said. Which he,seemingly, will. 'People have invested in me in the past to help me get to the top of my game. I'll still invest in people to help them get to the top of their game.' HMRC pursued Icebreaker through the courts after The Times first exposed the scheme in 2012. Its members have until 2 July to decide whether they want to appeal. HMRC said it would be seeking payment of the tax in the meantime.

The BBC will ask viewers to choose between six of the toughest scientific challenges of our time to become the focus of the ten million knicker Longitude research prize. BBC2's Horizon programme, marking its fiftieth birthday this year, will kick off a month-long poll on Thursday asking viewers which issue the prize, developed and run by Nesta, the UK's innovation foundation, should aim to tackle. They include dementia, antibiotics resistance, paralysis, sustainable food and clean water. Viewers will also be able to vote for research into paralysis and eco-friendly flight. The ten million quid prize, marking the three hundredth anniversary of The Longitude Act which sought to tackle the great scientific and navigational challenge of the time of pinpointing a ship's position at sea, was launched by David Cameron last year. Yer actual Professor Brian Cox (no, the other one), the particle physicist who has become the face of much of the BBC's science programming of late (and a very nice face it is, too), said that the corporation had 'a key role' in 'democratising' science. 'In order to democratise science and bring the public into making decisions about the direction of research you have to first educate them and that is one of the key achievements of Horizon and BBC science in general,' Foxy Coxy said at the launch at the BBC's Broadcasting House on Monday. The shortlist of six topics was drawn up by Nesta and the Astronomer Royal and chair of the Longitude committee, Lord Rees, who drew on the advice of more than one hundred experts in their respective fields. Lord Rees said that the ten million quid prize fund was 'less than a thousandth of what the UK spends on research and development every year. It maybe won't change the world but it could have disproportionate impact, a higher bang for our buck.' He added that the aim was to 'stimulate innovation rather than what's been done already and boost up and coming talent. Unlike Nobel and similar prizes which routinely go to geriatrics for work done decades earlier. There is no manifest number one problem as there was in the Eighteenth Century,' he said. 'There are many broad societal problems demanding fresh thinking and a pressing need for the UK to channel more brain power into innovation to jump start new technologies and enthuse young people.' The result of the public vote will be unveiled on BBC1's The ONE Show on 25 June. Which is an odd place for it, frankly, since at least one of the presenters has difficulty walking in a straight line and talking at the same time. Mentioning no names, of course. But it's not Matt Baker. The expert group will then decide what format the prize should take and what challenges will be set. Rees said: 'Success must require genuine breakthroughs but be credibly achieved within five years.' The BBC's Director General Tony Hall said the idea was to 'take something that is three hundred years old and making it relevant today. It has one big bold question at its heart - if you had ten million pounds to change the world today, what would you do?' Personally, this blogger would buy a big fuck-off house ... made of gold. It wouldn't change the world, much, but it'd be a sight to see, dear blog reader. And, it'd certainly change yer actual Keith Telly Topping's world and that's a fact.
Senior executives at the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World, including well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks and the Prime Minister's former, if you will, 'chum' Andy Coulson, did 'not lift a finger' to stop hacking at the paper after Milly Dowler's phone messages were intercepted in 2002, the phone-hacking trial has heard. The interception of Dowler's voicemails is 'an extremely important' part of the prosecution case against well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, Coulson and the paper's then managing editor, Stuart Kuttner, that 'fixes' them to 'knowledge of phone-hacking', jurors were told. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was editor of the paper at the time, but Coulson, her deputy, was at the helm when the paper dispatched a squad of reporters to Telford to follow a lead that the thirteen-year-old was going for a job in a computer factory. In his closing speech, prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said that the Dowler hacking was 'no secret' at the paper because 'bosses' believed it was 'in the public interest.' He reminded jurors that they had heard Kuttner had told police about it and that the readers would also have known of the hack because the message was mentioned in the first edition of the story. 'The only explanation [for it not being a secret] is because the phone-hacking was being used to try and find Milly Dowler, nobody would mind,' said Edis. 'Even if that's wrong, from April 2002, the three defendants who are charged with count one on this indictment all knew about phone-hacking and what is common ground is that none of them lifted a finger to stop it. Nobody got told off or sacked, the police were not called, despite the fact that at this stage everyone knew that a phone hack had been done by News of the World,' said Edis. He added that the 'tragic disappearance' of Milly, in March 2002, 'was an enormous tragedy and it was therefore of great and proper interest to the newspaper. There was nothing wrong with them taking an interest in that story and they certainly did.' Edis told the jury that Coulson and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks would have discussed the Dowler story as it could have replaced an interview with EastEnders actor Michael Greco on the front page. 'Both editors accepted in their evidence that if they had found her, that would have been the front-page story that week,' he said. 'We say that is an extremely important part of the case, that fixes Mrs Brooks, Mr Coulson and Mr Kuttner with knowledge of phone-hacking at the very latest April 2002.' Edis argued that Coulson's account of his knowledge of the hacking of David Blunkett's voicemails two years later was 'falsified.' The Prime Minister's former, if you will,' chum' Coulson had claimed that he was 'very angry' when his reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, told him of the messages which suggested that Blunkett was having an affair with a married woman. The reality, Edis claimed, was different. 'It was "carry on hacking at the News of the World", wasn't it?' The prosecution also asked the jury to 'take a view' on the veracity of Kuttner's claim that he 'couldn't remember' events. Edis said that Kuttner said his memory was 'impaired by illness', including a brain stem stroke, and that he 'had it tested in 2013' but that expert analysis was 'not entered as evidence' in the trial. 'So you only have his word that there's anything the matter with his brain at all,' said Edis. He also asked the jury to remember that when Kuttner was giving evidence, 'he remembered [things] when he thought it would help him', such as the case of David Shayler, the former MI5 whistleblower. 'Whether or not there is anything the matter with Mr Kuttner's memory, you are going to have to decide – because that is actually his case, he can't remember,' said Edis, rather pithily. Closing the prosecution's case, Edis told the jury that they should listen to the defence speeches which would follow with the 'same sceptical care to which you listened to me.' He told them: 'We are here to set out our cases – none of us can tell you what to do … if you approach that in a dispassionate and fair way, then nobody in this court can complain. Because that is your job. Nobody pretends that you have an an easy task,' he said. Kuttner, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks and the Prime Minister's former, if you will, 'chum' Coulson have all been charged with conspiring to hack phones. They deny all charges against them. Beginning the defence's closing arguments, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks' barrister stated that there is 'no smoking gun' to link Brooks to phone-hacking. Jonathan Laidlaw QC told the Old Bailey on day one hundred and eighteen of the post-apocalyptic zombie nightmare of a trial which has had a gestation period longer than the making of Heaven's Gate (and will probably end up being just as expensive) that the prosecution case was 'entirely circumstantial.' Laidlaw claimed that no edition of the paper well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks edited had contained a story obtained via phone-hacking. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks denies four charges including conspiracy to hack phones. She is one of seven defendants, who all deny numerous allegations linked to phone-hacking, illegal payments to public officials and attempts to hide potential evidence. Laidlaw suggested the, in fact, prosecution had been able to point to only one story 'sourced to hacking' in well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks time as editor of the paper. He said that instance was in relation to Milly Dowler and was 'published when [well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks] was thousands of miles away, on holiday in Dubai.' Laidlaw also criticised the strategy of the police and prosecution, telling the court that they had constructed their case against well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks on the basis of 'theory first and evidence later.' The jurors were also urged to 'ignore' the 'downright cruelty and vitriol' surrounding the case when considering their verdicts. Laidlaw invited the jury to 'imagine' viewing the trial 'as a loved one in the public gallery.' He said: 'From up there you would worry about the possible impact on the jury. Can anybody be independent enough, strong enough, to avoid being influenced? Your fear would be whatever is done and achieved for her from the courtroom, she is starting at a disadvantage some yards behind the starting line and cannot win. Worse still, as you watch this trial unfold you have seen the prosecution construct a case not on direct evidence but around inference.' The trial extremely continues.
Rolf Harris allegedly told a girl that he wanted to be the first person to give her 'a tongue kiss' when she was eleven or twelve years old, a jury has heard claimed. A woman from Darwin, Australia, told Southwark Crown Court that she had been 'repulsed' when Rolf then gave her 'a gentle hug' and kissed her. The incident was said to have happened in 1969. The woman is a prosecution witness but her allegation does not form part of the charges against Rolf, who denies twelve counts of indecent assault and being unable to keep his didgeridoo to himself. as it were. Rolf, from Bray in Berkshire, is accused of assaults on four girls in the UK between 1968 and 1986, when they were aged between seven or eight and nineteen. He has, and continues to, vigorously deny all the charges. Giving evidence, the woman said that the childhood incident took place when she was staying with family friends because she was off school, ill. She had come downstairs from her sick bed to find Rolf 'polishing a piece of wood' under the house. She told the court that he started talking to her, asking her how old she was. The woman claimed to the court when she told Rolf her age, 'he said "good, I want to be the first one to introduce you to a tongue kiss."' After the alleged abuse the entertainer 'just stopped and then he just went and said "have a look at what I've been doing"', and showed her his polishing work. The court heard that the woman told 'a couple of friends' about her claims, without being taken seriously, but also, subsequently, each of her three husbands, because she was 'uncomfortable' about being kissed in that way. She told the jury: 'It's just this thing I have left over from when I met Mr Harris.' Her current husband persuaded her to go to the police about the claim, in the wake of media reports about the entertainer. The woman was also said to have been assaulted by her cousin when she was seventeen. However, she rejected a suggestion by defence barrister Sonia Woodley QC that she had 'confused' that incident with her claim against Rolf. Another prosecution witness told the court that Rolf had 'groped' her as they danced at a party in New Zealand in 1970. The jury was told she was sixteen or seventeen at the time and was working for a wine company when she met the entertainer. 'He was a celebrity from television. I was quite honoured to see him coming through the door,' she told the court. He was 'very friendly and very relaxed' and 'being stupid' as he posed for photographs. But, she claimed that when she agreed to Rolf's offer to dance 'in a flash, in a moment I saw the dark side of a man who I thought could be trusted.' She claimed that Rolf put his hand under her dress and tried to place it between her legs. 'I pulled away, I was totally shocked, and immediately turned and left him on the dance floor on his own,' she added. The women contacted Scotland Yard after reading about Rolf's arrest in the UK last year. Rolf's defence barrister pointed out that the woman had not said the entertainer had tried to put his hand between her legs in her statement to police. Questioned by Woodley, the woman claimed it was 'incorrect' to suggest 'his hand wandered down, maybe innocently, and he did not put his hand up your dress.' A third women was called by the prosecution to give evidence about an alleged indecent assault by Rolf in Malta when she was eighteen and on holiday in 1970. She allegedly met him on a beach after her boyfriend had been injured while swimming and the entertainer had told them where to find a doctor. The woman told the jury that the incident had taken place in a room in a bar where Rolf said he would show her some of his art. She claimed that, instead of showing her his etchings, Rolf kissed her, touched her breast and put his hand into her underwear, before he 'just stopped whatever he was doing and just cuddled me.' The woman told the court she was 'just in shock really, happy - that was it. I thought I was going to be raped. I don't know what I thought, really.' She subsequently told her boyfriend that Rolf had, allegedly, kissed her but 'nothing else' because she was embarrassed, the jury heard. Questioned in court, the woman denied that she had 'fabricated' the entire story. The trial was adjourned.

The former X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos hit a chap in the eye during last year's V Festival, a court has heard alleged. 'Celebrity blogger' - whatever the hell that means - Savvas Morgan claimed that his 'eye swelled' after the alleged altercation in the early hours of 18 August. The twenty eight-year-old former N-Dubz singer denied 'assault by beating' at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court. Her assistant Gareth Varey, is also accused of threatening behaviour, which he also denies. The court heard Contostavlos and Varey were in a VIP area of the festival when the alleged assault allegedly took place. Prosecutor Matthew McNiff said that Tulisa accused Morgan of stalking her and swore at him. He added: 'She saw the opportunity to hit him and hit him in the eye.' The court also heard from Morgan himself, who said Contostavlos, of Friern Barnet in North London, raised her fist in the air and was swinging her arms. He said: 'Everyone was jumping around trying to get at me, there was a lot going on.' But Contostavlos's arms were closest to him, the court was told. The blogger was escorted away by security following the alleged attack. Morgan said that he was told by a guard: 'There's one of you and fifteen of them and we don't want to see you get hurt.' The trial continues.

The jailed publicist, Max Clifford, and his wife, Jo, are getting divorced after a marriage lasting four years. They were granted a decree nisi by a judge at the Central Family Court in London. Neither attended the hearing, which lasted less than two minutes. Mind you, it would have been a bit difficult to Clifford to have since he's in pris at the moment and, as a consequence, probably rather busy slopping out. Or something. The convicted sex offender Clifford was extremely jailed for eight years this month after being convicted of a series of indecent assaults. According to the divorce papers, Mrs Clifford filed for divorce on the grounds of 'unreasonable behaviour.' She said that her husband's behaviour had affected her health, writing: 'I suffered from stress and had heart palpitation and saw a specialist.' And, we're supposed to, what, feel sorry for her? You married him, darlin'. The petition was signed on 14 August 2013. The date of the 'final incident' referred to in the divorce papers was 18 August 2012, which was nearly four months before Clifford was extremely arrested on suspicion of committing sex offences. Mrs Clifford's lawyer, Raymond Tooth, said: 'Everything has been settled amicably.' Lucy Sparks, who represented the disgraced publicist, declined to comment.

Caroline Thomson, the BBC's former chief operating officer, will not be called as a witness in John Linwood's unfair dismissal claim over the Digital Media Initiative technology fiasco because she would 'give the game away', the BBC's lawyer claimed on Tuesday. Thomson had been expected to be called as a witness in the claim brought by Linwood, the BBC's former chief technology officer, after he was extremely sacked in the wake of the scrapping of the one hundred million quid DMI debacle last year. But the employment tribunal in Central London was told on Tuesday that Thomson, who controversially picked up a six hundred thousand smackers plus pay-off when she left the BBC in 2012, would not be called by Linwood's legal team to give evidence. Daniel Stilitz QC, representing the BBC, told the tribunal that Thomson's written evidence should be 'discounted' because she had not been called as a witness and therefore could not be cross-examined. Stuart Ritchie QC, representing Linwood, claimed the statement should still be 'considered' by the tribunal and said that Thomson 'stands by its content' and 'believes it to be true.' He claimed that Thomson was available to give evidence but 'a decision had been made not to call her.' Stilitz responded: 'Our submission is that is the worst possible reason. They simply acknowledge that if she was called and subjected to cross examination, she would give the game away. If she's available, she could have come and been subjected to the scrutiny of cross examination.' Linwood ran the DMI project before it was very scrapped by Tony Hall last year. The BBC sank one hundred and twenty five million knicker into the project, of which nearly one hundred million quid was written off. Both legal teams are due to give their closing submissions on Tuesday afternoon. Thomson is now executive director of the English National Ballet and chairman of Digital UK, the body which champions Freeview.

The chief executive of Bloomsbury has hailed 'chefs as rock stars' after a surge in sales of titles from Heston Blumenthal, Raymond Blanc and MasterChef helped cook up bumper results for the publisher. Bloomsbury was also buoyed by the continuing boom in digital sales, which rose twenty one per cent in the year to 28 February, although e-books still account for just twelve per cent of total sales. Nigel Newton, the Bloomsbury chief executive, hailed a 'spectacular year' for its adult division that saw revenues climb to a smidgen under fifty million smackers. Newton praised the 'phenomenal success' of Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food, as well as reliable big names such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Raymond Blanc and MasterChef.

Authorities in America say that The Shield actor Michael Jace has been arrested on suspicion of murder after his wife was found shot dead at their home in Los Angeles. Officer Chris No said that police arrived at the couple's home on Monday evening after a report of shots being fired. Officials say forty-year-old April Jace was found dead inside. Michael Jace was then taken into custody and booked on suspicion of homicide. He is being held on one million dollars bail. Lieutenant John Jenal from the Los Angeles Police Department said that two children were at the single-family home at the time of the shooting. They were in protective custody on Tuesday morning, he told LA's City News Service. Celebrity website TMZ claims that the actor called police himself to report the shooting. Jace played Detective Julien Lowe in the acclaimed FX drama The Shield - a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping, that one - and also played a police officer in Southland. He also had roles in movies like Forrest Gump, State Of Play, Boogie Nights and Planet Of The Apes. The actor and his wife were married for nine years while Jace has another child from a previous relationship. He was previously married to Jennifer Bitterman but they divorced in 2002. The Shield ran for seven series from 2002 to 2008 and won a Golden Globe for best television drama series in 2002.

Sir Paul McCartney MBE his very self has had to cancel the rest of his tour of Japan due to illness, organisers have said. The seventy one-year-old former Be-Atle is believed to have contracted a virus. He is still scheduled to perform a concert in Seoul in South Korea, on 28 May followed by nineteen performances in the United States. A message on his website said that his doctors have ordered him to have 'a complete rest' and that he 'hates to let people down.' The announcement means that Sir Paul will not play the remaining two gigs of his Out There Japan tour. Fans will now not get to see him perform at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo, which is where The Be-Atles performed - one spectacularly, painfuly awful and one actually not so bad set - during their first and only Japanese tour in 1966. The next time Macca was back in the country, he ended up in stir for a couple of weeks. But it was all sorted out in the end. Organiser Kyodo Tokyo said in a statement that Sir Paul 'will regrettably have to cancel the remaining Japanese shows. Paul is still not feeling better and this cancellation is unavoidable.' A quote from the singer on his website said: 'Thank you so much for your kind messages of support. I'm so very touched. Unfortunately my condition has not improved overnight. I was really hoping that I'd be feeling better today. I'm so disappointed and sorry to be letting my fans down.' Sir Paul had already cancelled Saturday's appearance and later his Sunday show, both due to have taken place at Tokyo's National Stadium, saying that the decision was 'in his doctor's hands.' He also told fans: 'Thank you for such a beautiful and warm welcome to your country.' The shows were the latest leg of the Out There tour, which started back in May 2013, and followed a series of Japan dates last November. Sir Paul and his band recently completed a tour of Latin America which included shows in Peru and Uruguay. The forthcoming South Korea date will be the first time he has played in the country. It will be followed by a series of US concerts in places including New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, Fargo and Kansas City between June and August.

Meanwhile, an electric guitar played by Macca's old band-mate yer actual George Harrison has sold for six hundred and fifty seven thousand bucks at an auction in New York. George played the - really tasty - 1962 Rickenbacker 425 on British TV shows like Ready Steady Go! in 1963, prior to the band's US breakthrough in February 1964. The Be-Atle, who died in 2001, also used the instrument during the recording of 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and 'This Boy'. According to Andy Babiuk's handsome book on The Be-Atles various instruments, Beatles Gear (1996) George bought the guitar in Mount Vernon, Illinois, during a visit to his sister, Louise, who had moved to the US, in September 1963 when The Be-Atles were completely unknown in the country. It had been on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for some years. Its pre-sale estimate was up to six hundred thousand bucks said auction house Julien's. It topped the previous sale of a VOX guitar played by both George and well-known alcoholic wife-beating scouse junkie Lennon in May last year which fetched just under two hundred and seventy grand. But, it fell far short of the record nine hundred and sixty five thousand dollars set by a Bob Dylan Fender in December. The auction also included a handwritten placard with doodles signed by Lennon and Yoko Ono from their 1969 anti-war protest in Montreal, which fetched over one hundred thousand smackers. A Hofner bass rented by Sir Paul McCartney MBE in the mid-1960s sold for seventy four grand. A white jumpsuit worn by Elvis Presley during a 1971 concert fetched almost two hundred thousand dollars.

One of the original Humpty toys made for the BBC children's TV programme Play School has sold at auction in Oxford for six thousand two hundred and fifty quid. So, not as much as George Harrison's old Ricky although, for a certain age-group of forty-and-fifty-something Britons, it's an equally memorable icon of their formative years. The fifty three centimetre-high soft toy is one of several made for the show which ran for more than twenty years from the mid-1960s which also featured characters such as rag doll Jemima, the utterly terrifying plastic doll Hamble and Big Ted and Little Ted. Based on Humpty Dumpty from the nursery rhyme, Humpty first appeared on Play School in April 1964 and was then in nearly every programme thereafter. Bonhams had valued the doll at twelve hundred knicker. The auction house called Humpty 'an important member of the Play School cast, taking part in almost every single episode and even receiving his very own fan mail.' The large egg-shaped soft toy, which is dark green with checked trousers, was sold to a private bidder. It is thought as many as twenty Humpties were made during the time the show ran, but this is believed to have been the first time an original Humpty has come on to the open market. Play School's long list of presenters included Brian Cant, Johnny Ball and Floella Benjamin, with the show running each weekday morning.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, one of the greatest records ever made. Here's Dave Lovering, Joey Santiago, Black Francis and the divine Goddess that is Kim Deal and a song that existed long before the cheap tat it's now being used to plug in adverts near you, dear blog reader. A big, big glove, probably.

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