Sunday, May 11, 2014

Week Twenty One: Finally Facing My Waterloo

The BBC is said to be collectively 'delighted' and 'thrilled' with the first episodes of Doctor Who featuring yer actual Peter Capaldi. Around five or six episode are understood to have been fully completed to date and an alleged - though, suspiciously anonymous and, therefore, almost certainly fictitious - 'source' on the show has allegedly said that The Capaldi looks on course to be 'one of the best Doctors ever.' The alleged 'source' allegedly told the Radio Times that the stories have started 'from the bottom up' with Capaldi's Doctor having 'a clean slate' of storylines with little reference to his predecessors. 'He is his own man – very distinctive,' the alleged 'source' allegedly continued in that curious alleged way of speaking that real people usually don't. The further good news for Doctor Who fans is that the chemistry between Peter and Jenna Coleman her very self is said to be 'sizzling.' Albeit, said to be sizzling by this anonymous - and possibly fictitious - 'source' so, you know, believe it if you want. 'He is the oldest Doctor and there is a sense he is more distanced from his assistant, more of a mystery,' the alleged 'source' allegedly said. 'He is perhaps less a mate, and more someone she looks up to. She has to try and gauge him – but dramatically it's very satisfying and on-screen they work very well together,' the anonymous alleged 'source' allegedly continued. Peter's performance is also thought to have echoes of previous Doctors, especially Jon Pertwee's third incarnation, whom Capaldi's look most closely resembles. But he is also a Doctor for 'a modern age', said the alleged 'source'. 'There is a real buzz about this Doctor. And, of course, the monsters are great.' Peter will, as previously announced, be wearing a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, dark blue trousers, a white shirt as well as stylish black Doctor Marten boots that make him look like he's just stepped out of the front row on a Specials gig from 1979. Which is all right by this blogger. The look was created by Doctor Who costume designer Howard Burden and is understood to have been in collaboration with Peter himself, as well as 'key Doctor Who executives' including The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat and the controller of BBC drama commissioning Ben Stephenson. Capaldi his very self has already said of his costume: 'He's woven the future from the cloth of the past. Simple, stark, and back to basics. No frills, no scarf, no messing, just one hundred per cent Rebel Time Lord.' Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) added: 'New Doctor, new era, and of course new clothes. Monsters of the universe, the vacation is over – Capaldi is suited and booted and coming to get you!' Filming for episode one of series eight of Doctor Who began in January, after a final and consolidated audience of 11.14 million punters saw the Christmas Day episode in which Peter first appeared.

From promotional photos, many Doctor Who fans instantly spotted a certain similarity between yer actual Peter Capaldi's costume and that of the third Doctor, yer actual Jon Pertwee. Recently, yer man Pertwee's son, the actor Sean Pertwee his very self, revealed that the two were, actually, friends. Sean, who played the villain Sarazin in BBC1's The Musketeers alongside Peter as Cardinal Richelieu, talked about his friendship with the actor and how close Peter is to the Pertwee family. 'My father was very fond of Peter and Peter is an extremely lovely gentleman,' Sean he told the Press Association. 'He was very kind to my family when my father passed away, he was big fan of my dad's. So personally the Pertwee household were absolutely delighted when he got the role of The Doctor.' Sean also gave his thoughts on how the fifty five year-old Scot will fare after the fresh-faced tenure of yer actual Matt Smith. 'I think he's going to bring some real gravitas and weight, which only comes with age. Taking nothing away from Matt, who I thought was great, I just think [Peter] is going to stupendous. He's going to have a completely different look. He's such a phenomenal actor anyway I think he'll be absolutely brilliant. I'm delighted he's doing it.'

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has been discussing Christopher Eccleston's absence from The Day Of The Doctor, admitting that the Doctor Who production team could have added Big Ecc's face to John Hurt's regeneration scene but that they concluded it would have been 'untoward' to do so. The fiftieth anniversary special saw previous Doctors David Tennant and Matt Smith combine with The War Doctor, John Hurt. It soon became apparent that Eccleston wouldn't be returning to the TARDIS for the celebration, however Moffat has admitted that Ecc was 'interested' in reprising his incarnation of the beloved character. 'Not taking part in the fiftieth was a difficult decision for Chris,' Moffat explained to Doctor Who Magazine. '[It was] taken after a lot of thought and with great courtesy.' Because of this, Moffat admitted that it could have seem offensive if he had implied that Eccleston had turned up for filming after he'd made the hard choice not to do so. 'It was one thing to include [him] among all the other archive Doctors, as they flew in to save the day,' Moffat noted while discussing the episode's conclusion. 'In fact, it would have been disgraceful to have left anyone out - but placing him in that scene might have given the impression he'd actually turned up for filming, which would have been crossing the line. Not respecting his wishes would have been grossly unprofessional and disrespectful to a good man and a great Doctor,' Moffat continued. 'Number nine may not have turned up for the celebrations, but there would have been no party without him.'
Karen Gillan is reported to be 'on the brink of becoming a huge star in the US.' well, by the Daily Record if not anyone you'd actually take notice of. An ABC pilot of an American sit-com, in which Kazza plays the lead role, has been picked up for a full series. Karen, who played The Doctor's companion Amy Pond, now plans to move to the US for riches beyond the dreams of avarice. Or something. She said: 'I have been in America for a long time now so I think I would really love it. But I miss Scotland. I miss my family and my friends and the gloomy weather and the humour. Scotland's a thing of its own.' Well, not yet it isn't, but if this referendum goes in that direction, it could be. Karen's big break in America came when she landed the role of Eliza Dooley in Selfie. In the show, which also stars John Cho from Star Trek and Homeland's David Harewood, Eliza is obsessed with her online persona. Karen, said: 'I'm really excited about it because this is a totally different character. She is a social media-obsessed girl with no friends and she tries to rebrand herself as a more likeable person.'

NBC is putting more Hannibal on the menu. The network has given a third-season pick-up to the series, from Bryan Fuller and Gaumont International Television. Based on Thomas Harris' Red Dragon characters, the psychological thriller focuses on the budding relationship between FBI special investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Doctor Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). The pre-upfront renewal is a nice change for the show, which was left hanging last year until after the series had concluded before getting a second-season commission. Hannibal has done reasonably in the Friday 10pm slot as part of NBC's genre block. So far this season, it is averaging around 3.6 million viewers per episode. The series is made under a curious financial model, which allows the producers to make it for a seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars license fee from NBC, a fraction of what a high-end drama of the type usually costs.
Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch and his mum Wanda Ventham will help launch BBC2's coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show later this month with a rare television appearance together. Benny and Wanda will chat to presenters Monty Don and Joe Swift about their favourite Chelsea moments in a programme showing at 8pm on Monday 19 May – the first episode in BBC2's broadcasts from the event. The pair were last seen on-screen in January when Wanda made a cameo as Sherlock's mother in the BBC1 detective drama alongside Benny's father, Timothy Carlton, for their somewhat reluctant Christmas celebrations. Capturing Benny is a serious coup for the show given his status as a Hollywood hot property with an increasingly busy schedule. In 2013 the actor appeared in films including Star Trek: Into Darkness, Twelve Years A Slave, the flop The Fifth Estate and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, and filmed series three of Sherlock. This year, he has the third part of The Hobbit trilogy coming out, along with The Imitation Game – in which he plays the wartime codebreaker Alan Turing – as well as numerous other projects on the go. Meanwhile, Sherlock fans are still awaiting definitive news of when Benny, his equally busy co-star Martin Freeman and writers yer actual Mark Gatiss and The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat will be able to come together to film series four of the detective drama. But, it's not going to be any time soon so, you know, don't hold yer breath.

The Eurovision Song Contest had an overnight audience of 8.79m on BBC1 on Saturday evening over a million viewers more than last year's broadcast and the highest audience for a Eurovision in the UK since 2011. The audience peak came at 11pm, when 10.60m punters were watching (fifty five per cent of the available audience). The Austrian drag act Conchita Wurst won the fifty ninth annual contest held in Denmark's capital, Copenhagen. The bearded singer - whose real name is Tom Neuwirth - won with the song 'Rise Like a Phoenix', collecting two hundred and ninety points. The Netherlands finished second with two hundred and thirty eight points, with Sweden in third place with two hundred and eighteen points. The UK's Molly Smitten-Downes came a truly risible seventeen, with a mere forty points for her wretched tuneless dirge 'Children of the Universe'. It was the first time that Austria has won the contest since 1966 and only the second time the country has competed in the final in the past ten years as it either did not participate or failed to qualify. Wurst had been the second favourite to win behind Sweden going in to the competition, though many commentators predicted that the act could be 'too divisive' among more Conservative voters, particularly in Eastern Europe where they often take a dim view of that sort of malarkey. However she ended as the clear winner, with her victory being announced after thirty four of the thirty seven countries had submitted their scores. Smitten-Downes, who closed the performances, had been tipped to score highly with British bookmakers placing her in the top five. But there were wrong. In the event, she received points from only nine countries - San Marino, Denmark, Malta, Iceland, Norway, Ireland, Spain, Belgium and Georgia. Her result was only a fraction better than the UK's entry last year, when Bonnie Tyler finished nineteenth. France, with their attempt at a 'wacky' entry, 'Moustache' by Twin Twin, finished dead last with but deux point (one from Finland, another from Sweden). Which was very funny. The evening's events were somewhat overshadowed by the current events in Ukraine, with Russia's entry - The Tolmachevy Sisters - receiving boos and jeers from the audience during the results when countries, including Azerbaijan, awarded them the highest number of points. When Russia's delegate appeared on screen to announce its votes - seven points of which were for Ukraine - more booing could be heard. Ukraine gave four points to Russia in return. Russia ended the night in seventh place with eighty nine points, behind Ukraine with one hundred and thirteen. The contest featured the usual mix of pop tunes, ballads and some frankly weird shit, accompanied by spectacular stage performances. Ukraine kicked off the show with a man in a giant hamster wheel, while Greece included a trampolinist and Poland offered a number of busty performers who suggestively churned butter and washed laundry on stage. Tragically, there was to be no repeat of Moldova's 2011 entry, a faux-naïf heavy metal band in very silly hats with a girl on a unicycle playing the trumpet. That's entertainment, dear blog reader. Some twenty six countries performed at the B&W Hallerne arena - where the co-hosts was one of Denmark's most famous actors, Borgen's Pilou Asbaek - for an expected television audience of more than one hundred and twenty million fans.

Elsewhere on Saturday, on ITV, Britain's Got Toilets continued with 8.68m punters from 7pm. Meanwhile, Amazing Greys continued to shed viewers faster that a big shedding thing, attracting a laughably piss-poor 2.05m in the 8pm hour. On BBC2, Flog It! and Dad's Army managed 1.02m and 1.45m respectively. They were followed by a really jolly interesting Culture Show special from 8.30pm (three hundred and fifty two thousand) and Generation War: Our Mothers, Our Fathers at 9.30pm (eight hundred and ten thousand). Channel Four showed The Day the Earth Stood Still from 7.05pm (seven hundred and twenty thousand) and Man On A Ledge from 9pm (1.31m). Channel Five's showing of the classic The Battle of Britain averaged eight hundred and forty seven thousand. On the multichannels, ITV3's Doc Martin was watched by eight hundred thousand punters from 8pm, while a showing of Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl entertained nine hundred and forty fouer thousand on BBC3.

Coronation Street was Friday's top-rated soap overnight figures show. A fraction over seven million viewers tuned in at 7.30pm on ITV as Izzy struggled with her guilt over the stolen charity money, but the audience dipped to 6.3m at 8.30pm for the second episode of the evening. EastEnders beat the second Corrie episode, bringing in 6.68m at 8pm on BBC1 as Dot realised that Charlie Cotton may be a fraud. Emmerdale interested 5.41m at 7pm on ITV. BBC1 had their usual strong Friday evening line-up starting with The One Show at 7pm with 3.32m. A Question Of Sport attracted 2.99m whilst, after EastEnders the Friday night episode of Masterchef was watched by 4.57m as the final five in the popular cookery competition where whittled down to the final four - Angela, Jack, Luke and Ping. Masterchef was Friday evening's highest-rated show outside of soaps. Have I Got News For You, at 9pm, had an overnight audience of 4.54m whilst a repeat of Outnumbered drew 2.89m and The Graham Norton Show 2.97m. On ITV, a repeat of Lewis was the channel's highest-rated show outside of soaps for the second week running, attracting 2.74 million viewers at 9pm. It narrowly edged out this week's episode of Weekend Escapes With Warwick Davis, which was watched by an average of 2.55 million viewers at 8pm. After last week's seemingly endless bloody snooker, BBC2 returned to its regularly scheduled programming, starting with 1.58 million for Great British Menu at 7.30pm. It was followed by 1.67 million for The Minster at 8pm, 1.19 million for Gardener's World at 8.30pm and 1.19 million for Natural World between 9pm and 10pm. The Trip To Italy and Newsnight ended the evening with respective viewers of nine hundred and ten thousand and four hundred and ten thousand. Gogglebox once again proved a ratings success for Channel Four, attracting 2.72 million at 9pm, followed by 1.45m for Alan Carr: Chatty Man at 10pm. Elsewhere, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD had an audience of audience of 1.03 million at 8pm. Channel Five's highest-rated show was NCIS with 1.18 million at 9pm. It was preceded by nine hundred and sixty two thousand for Ice Road Trucker at 8pm and was followed by seven hundred and fifteen thousand for NCIS: Los Angeles at 10pm.

As usual, the TV comedy line of the week came from Have I Got News For You. It occurred during a piece in which host David Mitchell was describing a Google scanning technology error which, when turning books into e-books, seemingly can't differentiate between the words 'arms' and 'anus' or 'burn' and 'bum' in certain typefaces. 'God, Scotland. What happens? It's Bums Night,' noted Ian Hislop. 'Where they all join anuses and sing 'Auld Lang Syne'' added Andy Hamilton.
MasterChef remained on top of Thursday's overnight ratings. BBC1's popular cookery series gained back around six hundred thousand viewers week-on-week, attracting five million punters at 8pm. Later, Parking Mad brought in 3.8m at 9pm, while Question Time interested 2.7m at 10.35pm. On BBC2, coverage of the England Women football team's win against Ukraine scored nine hundred and sixty one thousand at 7pm. Blurred Lines: New Battle Of The Sexes appealed to six hundred and fourteen thousand at 9.30pm. ITV's repeat of Paul O'Grady's For The Love Of Dogs attracted 2.7m at 8.30pm, followed by Wanted: A Family Of My Own with 2.2m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Posh Pawn brought in 1.5m at 8pm. Heston's Great British Food was seen by 1.1m at 9pm. Channel Five's OAP Killer documentary interested nine hundred and seventy three thousand viewers at 9pm, followed by the latest Person Of Interest with seven hundred and sixty six thousand at 10pm. On BBC3, the second Eurovision Song Contest semi-final was watched by six hundred and sixty thousand at 8pm, while Jonah From Tonga debuted with four hundred and eight thousand at 10pm. On BBC4 Lucy Worsley's First Georgians documentary series continued with nine hundred and seventy two thousand) at 9pm. On E4, The Big Bang Theory had an audience of 1.32m at 8pm, followed by How I Met Your Mother with seven hundred and ninety five thousand at 8.30pm.

24: Live Another Day launched to impressive ratings for Sky1 on Wednesday, according to overnight figures. Five hundred and eighty eight thousand viewers watched the opening part at 9pm, while a second episode immediately afterwards attracted four hundred and five thousand at 10pm. BBC1's MasterChef topped the ratings overall, attracting 4.9 million at 8pm. Vertigo Road Trip appealed to two million viewers at 9pm, while Match Of The Day 2 scored 2.3m at 10.35pm. On BBC2, Great British Menu was watched by 1.4m at 7.30pm, followed by Under Offer with 1.5m at 8pm. Birth Of An Empire attracted an audience of 1.4m at 9pm. ITV's wretched Big Star's Little Star had 3.3m cretins glued to the screen at 8pm, while Billy Connolly's Big Send Off documentary was seen by three million viewers at 9pm. On Channel Four, The Supervet brought in 1.5m at 8pm, followed by Twenty Four Hours in A&E with 2.3m at 9pm. Derek continued with nine hundred and seventy two thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's NCIS attracted 1.3m at 9pm. Castle appealed to six hundred and twenty four thousand at 10pm. On BBC3, Orphan Black's latest episode was seen by two hundred and twenty four thousand at 10pm.

Damian Lewis will play Henry VIII in the forthcoming BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall, based on the first of Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning novels. Lewis, who became a household name in TV series Homeland, will star opposite Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell. The series charts Cromwell's meteoric rise from blacksmith's son to the king's closest adviser. The six-part mini-series, to be broadcast next year, also includes Mark Gatiss and Jonathan Pryce in the cast. Pryce will play Cromwell's early mentor and protector, Cardinal Wolsey, while Gatiss will play Stephen Gardiner, Secretary to the King. Anne Boleyn - whose marriage to Henry VIII Cromwell is implicit in securing - will be played by Little Dorrit star Claire Foy, while the ousted Katherine of Aragon will be played by Joanne Whalley. Rylance praised director Peter Kosminsky on his choice of actors: 'I feel he has cast Wolf Hall with a superb eye for character and all the nuanced humanity Ms Mantel's masterpieces deserve.' Jessica Raine, Richard Dillane and Saskia Reeves are also set to appear in the drama. A stage adaptation of Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up The Bodies are currently playing in London after a successful opening at Stratford Upon Avon. Ben Miles and Nathaniel Parker play Cromwell and Henry VIII respectively in the acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation. Mantel is currently writing the third instalment in her Cromwell trilogy, to be entitled Mirror And The Light.

The increasing popularity in the art of taxidermy will be the subject of a new one-off Channel Four documentary with the working title Get Stuffed! This will according to early publicity reports examine the 'renaissance' in the pastime and enter the world of taxidermy practitioners, its collectors and its businesses. It was previously associated with Victorian times, but taxidermy is now considered 'in vogue', apparently, and the documentary will meet everyone from hobbyists attempting to preserve a dead mouse, to modern artists using it to create a flying helicopter cat. From the more experimental taxidermy professionals to members of the public who are buying taxidermy kits and going to beginners classes the programme will delve into 'the weird and wonderful world of stuffing.' Channel Four's Emma Cooper commissioning editor said: 'Taxidermy as a pastime is having something of a renaissance around the world at the moment. This revealing one-off documentary will cast an eye on the characters behind the craftwork and the ways in which some people are making a living from the dead.' Producers Mentorn Media added: 'Director Matt Rudge's film offers a jaw dropping look at the new world of taxidermy, its huge surge in popularity and how different people deal with death. One contributor has stuffed his pet cat and turned it into a helicopter - taxidermy has come a long way from mounted animals in glass cabinets.'

Claudia Winkleman is to become the permanent host of Strictly Come Dancing, replacing Sir Bruce Forsyth, the BBC has confirmed. She will team up with regular presenter Tess Daly on the BBC1 entertainment show when it returns in the autumn. Winkleman has stepped in for Sir Bruce on a number of previous occasions and already co-hosts the Sunday night results show. Sir Bruce announced that he was leaving Strictly earlier this year, after facing criticism about his age. He also said at the age of eighty six he increasingly found live television 'very strenuous.' He had already quit the results show in 2010, which is recorded immediately after the live show on Saturdays, meaning a filming schedule that often stretches beyond 11pm. Daly will step into Sir Bruce's role of introducing the acts and taking the judges' votes, while Winkleman will be chatting to the celebrities and dancers after their performances. 'I have loved Strictly since the second it appeared on our screens and I am honoured and thrilled to now be part of the Saturday night team,' said Winkleman. 'Working alongside Tess is always fantastic and I can't wait to spend the weekends with her, our amazing dancers and the greatest judging panel on the planet. Sir Bruce is a living legend and we'll all miss him very much.' BBC entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba said that, although Winkleman's appointment was 'not a huge surprise', it marked 'a hugely significant step' for the BBC. 'The new Strictly line-up is a clear demonstration of the BBC's determination to feature more women, particularly in its primetime output,' he said. Winkleman has been involved with Strictly Come Dancing since it launched in 2004, presenting the BBC2 spin-off show It Takes Two until 2011. She also presents the Great British Sewing Bee and Film 2014, as well as The Arts Show on Radio 2. Speaking about her new presenting partner, Daly said: 'I'm so pleased that I'll be working with Claudia - she's long been part of the Strictly family and I've loved doing the Sunday show with her. It's really exciting having two women host the show, and we are great mates so there'll be lots of fun to be had on and off the dance floor.' Sir Bruce will return to Strictly for the programmes annual Children In Need and Christmas specials.

And so to your next batch of Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 17 May
Tonight sees the return of the Swedish crime drama Wallander - 9:00 BBC4- for a final series. Kurt Wallander attends a family meal at the home of his daughter Linda, and he is intrigued when Hakan von Enke, his son-in-law's father, is called away by an urgent phone call. When Hakan disappears, Wallander's investigations uncover a case of international espionage and all manner on shenanigans and malarkey into the bargain. Starring Krister Henriksson, Charlotta Jonsson and Leonard Terfelt.

Alan and Julia go against Hatake's advice and pursue Doctorr Adrian when he flees the base with a sample of the deadly virus Narvik in the latest episode of Helix - 10:00 on 5*. Meanwhile, Sarah has tests to see how far her tumour has advanced as she begins to experience hallucinations. SF thriller, starring Billy Campbell and Kyra Zagorsky.

Stuntman Paul Lowe explores the problems facing short men in today's world, from buying clothes to getting jobs and even attracting women in Fuck Off, I'm Small - 10:00 Really. Snappy title. He investigates the dangerous measures that some men take to in a bid to become taller, travels to Serbia to meet a Canadian who spent five thousand quid on painful surgery to lengthen his legs, and sets out to disprove the myths and stereotypes surrounding size.

Sunday 18 May
Graham Norton hosts the annual British Academy Television Awards ceremony celebrating the best of British TV, held at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London - 8:00 BBC1. Shows battling for recognition include Southcliffe, The Fall, Broadchurch, The IT Crowd, The Village, Ab Adventure In Space And Time, House Of Cards, Borgen and Gogglebox, while the entertainment performance category sees Graham himself competing against Ant and/or Dec, Sarah Millican and Charlie Brooker. Julie Walters will be awarded the BAFTA Fellowship, marking a TV career that has taken in everything from Shakespeare to Acorn Antiques. Both Doctor Who and Broadchurch are up for the audience award along with shows like Breaking Bad and Educating Yorkshire.

Tom Hollander stars Dylan Thomas: A Poet In New York - 9:00 BBC2 - charting the Welsh poet's final days. In 1953 Dylan Thomas went to New York for the last time, his marriage a wreck and his drinking out of control. He was on his way to meet Stravinsky and to bask in New York acclaim - but what was he escaping and how did the intended triumph become a requiem? Essie Davis, Phoebe Fox, Ewen Bremner, Demetri Goritsas, Samantha Coughlan, Naomi Everson, Sharon Morgan, Lucinda O'Donnell and Aimee-Ffion Edwards co-star.

In the last episode of the current series of Vera - 8:00 ITV - the detective investigates the mysterious death of businessman John Shearwood, found floating in the Tyne under the Gatesheed Millennium Bridge when he was supposed to be on a golfing trip to Ireland. The man's wife, Stella, and brother, Luke, are baffled to discover he was working as an informant for HM Revenue and Customs. Chief Revenue investigator Owen Preece (guest star Hustle's Robert Glenister) reveals that Shearwood's business manager, Mark Donovan, has been running an alcohol scam through their haulage firm and the deceased had agreed to offer information in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Was his cover blown? Owen doesn't think so, and Mark has an alibi - unlike John's wife. Starring Brenda Blethyn and David Leon.
Alan Yentob presents another run of Imagine arts documentaries - 10:30 BBC1. Brazil is less than a month away from hosting the football World Cup and in 2016 the Olympic Games will come to Rio De Janeiro. As the eyes of the world prepare to focus on the city, documentary film-maker Julien Temple explores its cultural history, which is one of extremes. While many see it as a tropical paradise, it remains divided by class and ravaged by poverty, enduring an ongoing fight between police and the drug lords from the slums. The film - Rio Fifty Degrees - Carry On Carioca is soundtracked with the exhilarating samba music that has both reflected and influenced the decades of social change in the city.

Monday 19 May
The body of a young woman in a striking red dress is found in Borth marshes - but the killer has arranged the corpse very carefully in the final episode of the impressive Hinterland - 9:00 BBC4. Tom Mathias is determined to get the culprit, but the case pushes him to the edge on both a personal and professional level. Celtic noir detective drama from Welsh Wales, starring Richard Harrington, Mali Harries, Alex Harries and Hannah Daniel with Rhodri Evan, Nia Roberts, Geraint Morgan, Victoria Pugh and Lowri Walton.

In the latest episode of Drama's repeat run of Jonathan Creek - 9:00 - the unconventional hero investigates the puzzling murder of a policewoman, with the only clue to her bizarre death being reports of a stranger in a coonskin hat at the scene of the crime. Hired by a ruthless TV producer to locate the culprit, Jonathan discovers the mysterious man is not all he seems - but is soon distracted by the intervention of old acquaintance Carla Borrego. David Renwick's offbeat detective drama, starring Alan Davies, Julia Sawalha and Adrian Edmondson.

As expert witnesses give evidence in court they are supposed to act in the interests of justice and not just help their clients. Daniel Foggo presents an undercover investigation for Panorama - 8:30 BBC1 - suggesting that some experts in the fields of handwriting, CCTV analysis and animal behaviour have been 'prepared' to hide the truth, in breach of their professional obligations. The rotten rotters.

In the latest episode of Game Of Thrones - 9:00 Sky Atlantic - Tyrion enlists an unlikely ally, while Daario entreats Daenerys to allow him to do what he does best. Jon's warnings about the Wall's vulnerability fall on deaf ears, while Brienne follows a new lead as she continues her mission with Pod to track down the Stark girls. Fantasy drama, starring Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke.
Tuesday 20 May
As Sally Wainwright's drama Happy Valley continues - 9:00 BBC1 - Catherine is still deeply troubled by her colleague's death - and even more shocked to learn the killer ran over the victim numerous times. Who could commit such a cold-blooded act? Desperate to find Tommy, she visits his mother Lynn, an addict who appears to be in a state of confusion. But then the woman takes the sergeant by surprise, asking a question about her grandson Ryan - something she couldn't possibly have known. James Norton and Caroline O'Neill co-star.

As Will's trial begins in the latest episode of Hannibal - 10:00 Sky Living - his colleagues at the FBI are forced to decide whether they think he's guilty, and Jack Crawford refuses to entertain his star pupil's theory that Hannibal Lecter had a hand in the murders. The case then takes a chilling turn when someone suddenly starts recreating the crimes Will is accused of. How far will the copycat have to go for the court to sit up and take notice? Crawford puts his job at risk by testifying that he may have pushed Will too far by keeping him on the investigative team, though the admission allows him some relief. Graham's lawyer receives a severed ear in the mail, cut from a corpse within the previous forty-eight hours, causing doubts to stir among those who believe in Graham's guilt. Katz, Price, and Zeller determine that the ear was severed using the same knife that cut off Abigail Hobbs' ear, which was signed out of the courthouse evidence room by the bailiff in Graham's trial, Andrew Sykes. A large fire is triggered when the FBI raid his apartment, but it does not destroy a key piece of evidence: Sykes' body mounted on a stag's head, missing an ear, face cut into a Glasgow smile and set on fire: all of the things that Will supposedly did to his victims. Lecter presents the forensics report to Graham, who deduces that Sykes was killed in too different a manner from the others to be the same killer. Hannibal agrees, but urges Will to lie about who he thinks killed Sykes in order to exonerate himself, much to Alana's distress and she's still pushing the insanity defence. The prosecution picks up on the dissimilarities as well, and succeeds in having the bailiff's murder deemed inadmissible.
In England's Top - 9:00 Dave - yer actual Jason Manford narrates a series of key moments from international football tournaments - including Gary Lineker's goals, Stuart Pearce's tackles, David Beckham's free kicks and memorable incidents featuring Paul Gascoigne. But, probably nothing from Neil Webb. Or Carlton Palmer.

Penny Dreadful - 9:00 Sky Atlantic - is a new imported psychological thriller set in Victorian London that weaves together the origin stories of some of the most frightening characters from horror fiction. In the opening episode, the police investigate a series of gruesome murders, but renowned explorer Sir Malcolm Murray and clairvoyant Vanessa Ives know there's something darker at play. In search of someone close to them who has been lost, they recruit American sharpshooter Ethan Chandler and Doctor Victor Frankenstein to help them. Starring Josh Hartnett, Eva Green and Timothy Dalton.
Wednesday 21 May
In Coast Australia - 9:00 BBC2 - the team explores Sydney, with Scottish Neil Oliver (and his lovely hair) discovering how close the city came to being captured by the Japanese in the Second World War. Xanthe Mallett learns about ingenious colonial DIY techniques for making building-mortar out of oyster shells, and Tim Flannery reveals the geological secrets of the vast and sprawling harbour. Brendan Moar examines the Sydney Harbour Bridge, while Emma Johnston hunts for tropical fish in the temperate and diverse water.

The CIA are hot on Jack Bauer's tail as he searches for information inside the US Embassy, but loose cannon Kate takes matters into her own hands in 24 - 9:00 Sky1. Mark urges President Heller to sanction an attack to kill the former CTU agent and armour-plated killer machine, while an embittered Margot asserts her authority. A series of tool-stiffeningly violent incidents follow. So, no change there, then. Kiefer Sutherland stars, with Mary Lynn Rajskub, Yvonne Strahovski, Tate Donovan, William Devane and Michelle Fairley.
Quite possibly the worst TV programme of this - or indeed any other - year is likely to be Fearne And ... McBusted - 9:00 ITV2. I could tell you that this is the first of a two-part programme in which odious, risible, thin-skinned, full-of-her-own-importance Cotton - who really thinks she's it, dear blog reader - meets the pop group McBusted as they prepare for a sell-out, forty one-date arena tour of the UK and Ireland. I could note that daft waste-of-space plank Cotton takes 'a behind-the-scenes look' at the band's gigs and discusses each member's life away from the music scene. As if anybody with more than three brain-cells to rub together gives a steaming pile of diarrhoea about any of that nonsense. I could also tell you that they invite the wretched famous-for-nothing Cotton to take part in what is described as their favourite game - 'tattoo roulette' - which will see the loser add to their tattoo collection. But, I'm not going to, dear blog reader. If you even consider, for a second, watching this trivial, banal, frig-awful exercise in celebrity-by-non-entity drivel which demonstrates everything - and I mean every single Goddamn thing - that is wrong with television, and indeed society, in the Twenty First Century, then you have no business reading this blog (or, for that matter, breathing). And I'd very much like you to go as far away from this blogger as possible. Thanks awfully for your kind cooperation in this regard. And, if you happen to be the person that commissioned Fearne And ... in the first place, I trust that your mother is very proud of you.

The master of Gresham College, amateur astronomer Andrew Crompton, is found dead at the Oxford University observatory, and Robbie Lewis finds there are numerous suspects, from senior academics to college scouts in Dark Matter, a repeat of one of the more memorable episodes of Lewis - 9:00 ITV3. Laura Hobson's involvement with a local orchestra helps her give the detective inside information on the complex relationships within the close-knit community, and Hathaway's sharp mind cracks an astronomical conundrum as the team slowly unravels the riddle of the victim's death. Guest starring Sophie Ward, Diana Quick and Robert Hardy alongside Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman and Rebecca Front.

Thursday 22 May
Philip Glenister stars in From There To Here - 9:00 BBC1 - a new drama about a man whose life changes for ever after he is caught up in the 1996 IRA bomb blast which rocked Manchester. Escaping serious injury, Daniel comes to the rescue of a single mother and helps her home, realising she lives in the working-class neighbourhood where he grew up, before he was adopted and went on to live a more opulent life. Now he has it all - wife, kids, his own business - but he is feeling restless after his near-death experience. Saskia Reeves and Bernard Hill co-star.
To celebrate Horizon's fiftieth anniversary, a special programme invites viewers to play a role in tackling the greatest challenges facing science today - 9:00 BBC2. Doctor Alice Roberts is at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich to launch a public vote for the Longitude Prize 2014, with Michael Mosley, Liz Bonnin, Iain Stewart, Helen Czerski, Kevin Fong and Saleyha Ahsan each examining one of the six nominated challenges that are in the running for the ten million knicker award.

In A Little Bit Of Fry and Waddell - 8:30 Sky Sports 1 - darts fan and national treasure Stephen Fry pays tribute to the late Sid Waddell, discussing their time together in the commentary box and interviewing Phil Taylor and Wor Sid's son, Dan.
In the first of a new series of The South Bank Show - 9:30 Sky Arts 1 - the arts documentary strand returns, with Melvyn Bragg talking to producer and comedy writer John Lloyd, who has been involved with programmes including Not The Nine O'Clock News, Spitting Image, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy radio series, Blackadder and Qi. Featuring contributions by Stephen Fry (second time on telly tonight for the Fryster - so, that'll give the Daily Scum Mail something to whinge about), Rowan Atkinson and the team of researchers for Qi.
Yer actual David Jensen his very self presents an edition of Top Of The Pops - 7:30 BBC4 - first broadcast 24 May 1979. Includes performances by The Skids, Roxy Music, The Electric Light Orchestra, Tubeway Army (I think I'm right in saying this could well have been Gary Numan's telly début), Liner, The Damned, Dollar, The Grand Dame David Bowie her very self, The Shadows, Blondie and Elvis Costello & The Attractions. Plus, dance sequences by Legs & Co. Cor.

Friday 23 May
Crimewatch presenter Kirsty Young takes charge for another half-hour of laughs pulled from the news, in the latest Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1. With Cramlington funny chap Ross Noble joining regular team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton to take pot-shots at the week's headlines and other stories.

Amanda Vickery's exploration of the story of female creativity reaches the Eighteenth Century, with the focus turning to the industrial powerhouse of Britain and the glittering French court in the second episode of The Story Of Women And Art - 9:00 BBC2. Despite being regarded as second-class citizens and denied equal training, some ingenious women seized opportunities to stamp their creativity on the age - from a designer who would revitalise the British silk industry to a painter who would immortalise the ruling class of pre-revolutionary France.

Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Arabella Weir, Simon Day, John Thomson and Caroline Aherne - but, tragically, not Mark Williams - reunite to mark both The Fast Show's twentieth anniversary and fifty years of BBC2, with a host of comedy sketches featuring characters old and new - 10:00 BBC2. Ted and Ralph investigate Twitter, Rowley Birkin QC talks about something or other (whilst being very, very drunk) and a veteran crooner with memory problems appears on Jazz Club. Nice. Plus, in a spoof of Downton Abbey, a new butler arrives.
Bowel-shattering panic grips Bradfield as a murderer targets the most vulnerable members of the community - hospital patients - in Sharp Compassion, another classic repeated episode of Wire In The Blood - 10:00 ITV3. While Tony Hill ponders possible motives, Carol Jordan's investigation is hampered by an intrusive MI5 officer breathing down her neck and by the indifference of her colleagues who seem more concerned with their promotion chances than catching the naughty killer. Wor Geet Canny Robson Green, Hermione Norris, Tom Chadbon, Alan Stocks, Mark Letheren and Emma Handy star in this always impressive dark crime drama series.
As the 1960s draws to a close, good-natured yet hapless Jeremy Sloane has been sacked from his job as an accountant and his brash best friend Ross has just been awarded the promotion he'd always dreamed of. If that wasn't bad enough, his wife, Janet, has dumped him and a failed suicide attempt has left his house in urgent need of repair. That's the set up for the opening episode of Mr Sloane - 9:00 Sky Atlantic. But with a collection of self-help tapes, a new job as a substitute teacher and a chance meeting with an American woman in the local ironmonger's, Jeremy has a number of reasons to be optimistic about the future. Comedy directed and co-written by Robert B Weide, and starring Nick Frost, Olivia Colman, Peter Serafinowicz and Ophelia Lovibond.

To the news; The BBC has finally diagnosed what alleged 'sources' say was 'a perfect storm' responsible for the sound problems on the drama Jamaica Inn – and has vowed that lessons have been learned according to the Radio Times. It is understood that a mixture of 'technical problems' and 'issues around mumbling actors' have been identified following 'a thorough investigation.' The BBC 'could not comment' on the specifics of the findings but a spokeswoman told Radio Times: 'We have thoroughly looked into what caused the sound problems but there isn't one explanation to single out alone. However, it has highlighted a range of problems that can occur with sound in drama and we would like to reassure audiences that we will learn from this to ensure it doesn't happen again.' The magazine claims that 'a perfect storm' of issues was the problem, quoting unspecified, anonymous and probably fictitious 'sources', with five areas of major concern. These were technical in nature, but the intelligibility of some of the acting was also flagged as an issue. The alleged 'source' allegedly added that one of the 'potential solutions' would be to diminish the levels of incidental music on future dramas, which can obscure the intelligibility of speech, while playing the dialogue track higher up in the sound mixing process. An estimated two thousand viewers complained to the BBC over the audio issues. Initially, the BBC blamed 'issues with sound levels' on the master tape, and scriptwriter Emma Frost said at the time there was 'a problem with transmission.' However since the BBC launched an investigation a whole host of issues are understood to have arisen. Some viewers were said to have 'singled out' Sean Harris, who played the landlord of Jamaica Inn and wicked uncle of Mary Yellan, for particular criticism. Harris was also criticised by Daphne du Maurier's son Kits Browning. 'Thank God Sean Harris' character gets killed,' Browning told Radio Times, adding that the sound problems were 'a real shame. I blame the director and the sound man – and an actor who just mumbled. If anyone else feels the same way I just suggest you go and read the book. In the end I had to resort to subtitles because I wanted to see [scriptwriter] Emma Frost's wonderful words. I feel so sorry for Emma – she did a wonderful adaptation.'

Channel Four has reported a loss of fifteen million knicker in 2013, as the broadcaster's main channel sunk to a record audience low and top executives had payouts cut after missing targets. The broadcaster reduced its loss by almost half compared with 2012, which came in at twenty nine million quid, but expects to break even this year. David Abraham, the Channel Four chief executive, said that 2013 was the second 'planned deficit' as part of a strategy to increase investment in programming and its digital operation. The broadcaster's total pay and bonus bill hit £2.2m for its five top executives, who include Abraham, chief creative officer Jay Hunt and sales head Jonathan Allan. The payout is down on the £2.6m in 2012, when three of the top five executives took home six-figure bonuses thanks to the success of the London 2012 Paralympics. Bonus pay more than halved last year, from four hundred and eighty thousand to two hundred and twenty one thousand, for its top executives. This is because the broadcaster failed to hit a range of performance-based targets, such as for audience levels, resulting in a payout of just 13.5 per cent of the basic pay of each top executive. If the broadcaster had achieved all targets the maximum payout would have been thirty per cent of base pay. Abraham received a basic salary of over half a million smackers last year, with a seventy three grand bonus, down from the one hundred thousand notes he pocketed in 2012. His total remuneration was seven hundred and thirty nine grand, down only slightly from the piles of wonga he pocketed in 2012. Hunt received a basic salary of three hundred and ninety six thousand quid, a bonus of fifty four thousand notes and total remuneration of just under five hundred grand. This is well down on 2012's five hundred and forty two thousand smackers, when she received a total bonus of one hundred and sixteen thousand knicker – including a controversial forty grand payout to 'recognise her outstanding contribution' in the London Paralympics year. The broadcaster's total share of the audience across all its channels slipped slightly, to eleven per cent from 11.5 per cent in 2011, with the core Channel Four network down to 6.1 per cent, from 6.6 per cent the precious year. This means that the main Channel Four has lost almost a percentage point of share in just two years, although the broadcaster claims that its core audience, sixteen-to-thirty four-year-olds and the upmarket ABC1 demographic, has 'remained stable.' The broadcaster's viewing figures were in part impacted by strong viewing of the London 2012 Paralympics the year before and a shift of low-rating children's TV from BBC1 daytime, which was replaced with higher-rating shows. 'With strong performance in our key audience demographics revenue is stable and we are on track to break even by the end of the year,' claimed Abraham, defending the performance. '2013 was a year of creative highs on Channel Four, from Educating Yorkshire and Gogglebox to Toast Of London and the award-winning [if smug as smug can be] Channel Four News.' Despite failing to hit many of its performance targets the broadcaster's top executives have been awarded an average rise in base pay of two and a half per cent. Channel Four invested four hundred and twenty nine million quid in original programming last year, down slightly on 2012's record four hundred and thirty four million, on shows including drama Southcliffe and Benefits Street. Total programming spend was five hundred and ninety seven million smackers. TV advertising and sponsorship revenues across Channel 4's own portfolio – including More4, E4 and Film4 – fell by eight million pounds year-on-year. The channel portfolio, referred to as 4Broadcast, made an operating loss of thirty six million notes last year, an improvement over the fifty two million knicker deficit in 2012. However, digital continued to be a huge growth area with strong growth in 'non-linear' revenues, which includes the 40D on-demand TV service, up fifteen per cent to sixty one million quid. Including income from Channel Four's third-party airtime sales contracts, which include UKTV's pay-TV portfolio such as Dave and Gold as well as BT's sport channels, total advertising sales and sponsorship revenue topped a billion smackers. 'Channel Four must consistently balance creative and commercial objectives, delivering to its remits whilst ensuring financial stability,' said the Channel Four chairman, Lord Burns.

BBC Breakfast and Radio 5Live temporarily went off air on Friday morning following a fire alarm. The BBC's buildings in Salford were briefly evacuated around 07:55, with BBC Manchester also affected. BBC1 abruptly cut from a report on the Giro D'Italia to BBC World footage of a reporter swimming with crocodiles. Sports presenter Mike Bushell later tweeted that the alarm had apparently been triggered by 'a steam cleaner', adding: 'It wasn't me ironing my shirts.' On 5Live, listeners briefly heard an announcement telling staff to leave the building, after which a pre-recorded Ricky Gervais interview was played. Presenter Nicky Campbell took a photo as he joined staff gathering outside in the car park. The station's controller Jonathan Wall also took to Twitter, saying: 'Ricky Gervais seems to have been a big hit! Rarely has the emergency tape prompted so much conversation.' In response to a listener, he added that the tape was updated 'every few weeks. We need to put something on there that is relatively timeless, so [we] avoid news tape that can date.' BBC Radio Manchester's breakfast presenter Allan Beswick was interrupted by a high-pitched alarm during a football phone-in on his show. While a voice advised him to 'use the nearest available exit', he wondered aloud whether or not to leave the studio. 'As you can hear, there is a minor problem,' he said. 'This is almost certainly not an emergency.' He played music during the evacuation and, on his return, joked: 'I hope they don't cut my money for being off for a while. You know the BBC - anything could happen.' Normal service was restored on all stations after twelve minutes, during which BBC1 had screened news reports from its BBC World channel. 'Apologies for the short interlude,' said Charlie Stayt, as BBC Breakfast resumed. On Twitter, the show posted a picture of the red evacuation light that had been triggered in the gallery. 'Well that was exciting,' it said. 'Turns out this tiny flashing light means there's a fire alarm.' The BBC said it was 'looking into the incident in more detail.'
Drifters has been renewed for a second series. The broadcaster's chief creative officer Jay Hunt announced at this year's annual report presentation that the sitcom was part of the channel's aim to 'foreground female voices.' Albeit, not particularly funny ones which is a bit of a drawback in a sitcom. Chief executive David Abraham also named the comedy as one of his 'standout moments' of 2013. Which merely proves that he's got very low standards. Jessica Knappett's show debuted in October last year, attracting around five hundred thousand viewers on average. Lydia Rose Bewley and Lauren O'Rourke also starred in the alleged comedy. Channel Four's head of comedy Phil Clarke said of Knappett: 'Her writing gets stronger and stronger, and she was a different writer at the end of that series than she had been at the beginning.' Knappett previously confirmed that she was writing a second series of Drifters back in January. She said: 'I'm tempting fate a bit, but I've started writing it just in case. It's looking good and I want to be ahead of the game if it happens.' Earlier this year, the British actress joined the pilot for David Schwimmer's ABC comedy Irreversible.
Despite struggling in the ratings, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD has been renewed for a second series. ABC also ordered a new spin-off show, Marvel's Agent Carter, based on Hayley Atwell's Captain America character. Both series tie into the Marvel film series, which includes star-studded titles like The Avengers and Thor. They add background to events on the big screen, providing an overarching story to the so-called Marvel Universe. Agents Of SHIELD was created by Joss Whedon, who directed the Avengers Assemble movie, and previously created Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse. The drama resurrected the character of Agent Coulson, who was killed in Avengers Assemble, with his character's miraculous recovery the central mystery of the opening episodes. Played by Clark Gregg, the character took charge of a team of law-enforcement agents, tasked with investigating super-human individuals and unusual events. Eventually, the plot of the series overlapped with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which the SHIELD organisation was brought down from within. When the series debuted in the US in September 2013, it attracted over twelve million viewers, marking the biggest network drama debut in four years. Audience figures fell by nearly four million between the first and second episode, while figures for recent episodes average around five and a half million. In the UK, where it is shown on Channel Four, the show's audience has also declined - from 4.5 million in September 2013 to 1.1 million for the most recent episode last week. However, the series plays well with a much sought-after demographic with advertisers - young blokes with disposable income - and its ratings tend to recover once time-delayed viewing is taken into account. Agent Carter, which follows the story of secret agent Peggy Carter, is being described as 'a bridge show', which will be screened during Agents Of SHIELD's mid-series hiatus. Meanwhile, Marvel comics is preparing another four series - Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage - via its partnership with Netflix.

Russell Brand has accepted what has been described as 'substantial' libel damages at London's High Court over a Sun on Sunday article which falsely claimed that he cheated on his girlfriend, Jemima Khan. The thirty eight-year-old sued the newspaper in January after it carried the story across pages one, four and five on 17 November 2013. Brand has said that he will be donating the unspecified damages to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

Former BBC editorial director Roger Mosey has called on the next chairman of the BBC Trust to 'abolish the role.' Which is a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas but, stranger things have happened. Not since the Fourteen Century, admittedly. Writing in a letter published in the Evening Standard, Mosey claimed that the Trust 'simply hasn't worked as a regulatory body.' Mosey, who masterminded the BBC's Olympic coverage in 2012, stepped down from the corporation last year. In response, a BBC Trust spokeswoman said it had 'an important role safeguarding the BBC's independence.' And my isn't it doing a bang-up job of that since it seems that every time a politician or a newspaper with an agenda shouts loud enough, the BBC collectively shit in the own pants and run a mile. Earlier this week, current BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten stepped down with immediate effect on health grounds. Lord Patten - who has been in the role since 2011 - said 'it would not be fair to the BBC and those it serves not to be able to give that commitment which the role demands.' Mosey - whose jobs at the BBC included head of TV news and controller of BBC Radio 5Live before leaving the organisation at the end of August 2013 to become master of Selwyn College - argued that the chairman 'should be unmistakably within the BBC, not sitting in splendid isolation in a different building. He or she should be alongside the Director General when it matters, fighting for the BBC's independence and not playing politics. Much of the red-tape associated with the Trust can be scrapped, and its perfectly possible for content regulation to be done by Ofcom or the like,' Mosey wrote. 'After the failures of recent years, the best chair would be someone who promises to abolish the role as it currently exists, saving us millions into the bargain.' Responding to the criticisms, a BBC Trust spokeswoman said: 'Roger Mosey is entitled to his opinion, but under the Charter the Trust has an important role in representing the interests of licence fee payers and safeguarding the BBC's independence.'
Unfunny Cockney plank Micky Flanagan is to front a new travel series on Sky1. The four-part series Micky Flanagan Hits The Road will see the unfunny comic cycle around France, taking in champagne vineyards, taste Belgian beers and visit the Eiffel Tower among other sites. Is it really too much to hope they he finds somewhere he likes so much he decides to stay there?
Geordie Shore-type person Vicky Pattison has unveiled her autobiography. The reality TV regular, famous for absolutely nothing of any worth, is set to release Nothing But The Truth: My Story on 17 July. It is thought likely to be one of Poundland's big sellers this Christmas.
Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks would have had to have been 'a complete fool' not to have known requests for payments for a reporter's 'number one military contact' was a public official, it was claimed at the phone-hacking trial. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks has been charged with approving illegal cash payments when she was editor of the Sun to the reporter's source, who was described in e-mails as his 'number one military contact' or 'ace military contact.' Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC, told the jury at the Old Bailey that 'in order to be acquitted of this account' well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks is going to have to have been 'in a state of mind, that she may have been a complete fool. But', Edis added, 'she isn't, is she?" Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks has been charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in public office. She has pleaded not guilty, denying that she ever knew the identity of the 'source' who was, in reality, a ministry of defence official. She has also claimed that the phrase could have referred to any number of 'sources' who were not public officials. The source of stories about the army and navy stories, including one revealing Prince William's former Sandhurst commander being killed in Afghanistan, was paid eighty thousand smackers over a five-year period by the Sun. In his closing speech, Edis told jurors of well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks: 'Ultimately her case here has to be it never occurred to me that this person might be a public official. Well what sort of an idiot would you have to be in that state of mind over that period of time?' The barrister claimed that Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks had to deny knowledge, because if she did know the source was a public official, she would have had to investigate because 'that would be her job' as editor of the paper. Edis said that even if the reporter was being 'secretive' about the source and didn't give his boss 'a straight answer to a straight question', she would have been able to find out the source's name. This was because sources would have to provide identification for Thomas Cook through which the Sun had a system of paying cash. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was 'not naive', Edis said. He challenged 'her suggestion that there has to be an overriding public interest in the story before it is right to pay a public official. I'm not saying it is wrong, but it is a slightly odd thing for a person to say in a criminal trial,' Edis said. He also suggested that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's PA had given the former News International chief executive a false alibi for the day her notebooks were removed and hidden from police, prosecutors have claimed at the phone-hacking trial. Edis accused Cheryl Carter of 'deliberately lying to police' when asked about the withdrawal of seven boxes from the News International archive. In the second day of his closing speech at the Old Bailey, Edis reminded the jury that Carter claimed in her police interview that her boss had been 'out of the office' at 'a fitness boot camp' on 8 July 2011. Phone records showed that this was a complete fiction and that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was at the office that day. She had also been addressing staff at a 'town hall' meeting with Scum of the World staff, which had been recorded. During her evidence, Carter apologised to the court for suggesting that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks had been at a boot camp, claiming she had made 'a genuine mistake.' But Edis said: 'It doesn't support her general credibility as a witness that she said things like that. It is not an easy position to find yourself, having been tasked to do her boss's dirty work, and finding yourself in the witness box trying to explain yourself away. That was a lie, but it wasn't a particularly clever one. Once you know it was 8 July, Mrs Brooks was quite clearly not at a boot camp – she was among other things addressing a town hall meeting to people about to lose their jobs.' Edis also challenged Carter's claim that the seven boxes contained her notepads of cuttings of her beauty columns. The Crown's case is that the boxes contained well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's notepads and were retrieved by Carter after her boss instructed her on 8 July 2011. Edis told jurors they had to consider if well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks wanted the notepads 'tucked out of sight. Do you accept that or do you think perhaps they were thirty notebooks belonging to Mrs Carter?' he asked. Carter and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks have been charged with a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, which they deny. Addressing a separate count faced by well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks and her husband millionaire Old Etonian Charlie, Edis told jurors that the former News International chief executive had been 'treated pretty well' by police ahead of her arrest. She was given a choice of police stations to go to for a prearranged interview and had been given time to consult with her lawyers when other people are 'simply arrested, dawn raid, arrest you, cart you off, get you a duty solicitor.' He put it to the jury that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks had 'rewarded' this by 'taking the opportunity' to set in train a series of events which resulted in black bin bags containing her husband's computers and other material such as pornographic DVDs, being found behind a bin in the underground car park in their Chelsea Harbour home. Edis said there was 'nothing wrong' with millionaire Old Etonian Brooks having pornography but 'why arrange for it to be sent to the premises of his wife's former employers?' Edis said he thought others might be 'more inclined to throw it in the Thames.' He also said there were 'inconsistencies' in the defendants' accounts relating to the two bags – one a brown satchel, the other a black briefcase – and how they got to be in the bin liners behind the rubbish skip on the day of millionaire Old Etonian Brooks's arrest. He pointed out the differences in the testimony of millionaire Old Etonian Brooks and the News International head of security Mark Hanna, who said he had not seen the black briefcase before the trial. Edis put it to the jury that the only reasons the computers, documents and jiffy bag with this porn - and other material - were put into into black bin liners was to hide them. 'They are probably in bin bags to protect and conceal them,' he said, adding that if the briefcase and satchel had just been left behind the bins in Chelsea Harbour, they may have been noticed by passers by. Edis said 'the only thing that makes sense' was the Crown's version of events. He also dismissed millionaire Old Etonian Brooks's explanation that one of the reasons he had hidden the Sony Vaio laptop was to keep 'a precious draft' of his new novel from the police. The prosecutor described this as a smokescreen. 'Only a complete idiot has only one copy of something terribly important like this,' Edis said. 'If you have something, you back it up.' The jury were also reminded of missing devices, including Blackberrys and iPhones, that were linked to well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks. 'We are talking about seven expensive pieces of electronic equipment,' said Edis. He told the jury that the business records of News International for four of these devices will all show 'no record of return – assume still with user.' Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks, millionaire Old Etonian Charlie Brooks and Hanna all deny the charges against them. The trial extremely continues.
Rolf Harris groomed and molested a friend of his daughter from the age of thirteen onwards, a court has heard. The entertainer is accused of indecently assaulting her and three other girls between 1968 and 1986. Rolf denies all twelve charges. Outlining its case at Southwark Crown Court, the prosecution described him as 'a Jekyll and Hyde character.' His alleged victims were aged between seven or eight and nineteen when the offences are claimed to have taken place. Seven of the twelve counts are alleged to have been carried out on one victim - a friend of Rolf's daughter - who lived near the Harris family in South London in the 1960s. The court heard how the alleged victim was allegedly abused while on holiday with the Harris family. The court was read a letter Rolf is said to have written to the victim's father in 1997 asking for his forgiveness. He was said to have written that the woman had confronted him about the alleged abuse. '[She] told me she had been terrified of me,' he is said to have written. 'I said why didn't you just say no? She said to me: "How could I say no to the great television star Rolf Harris?"' The letter says: 'I fondly imagined that everything that had taken place had progressed from a feeling of love and friendship - there was no rape, no physical forcing, brutality or beating that took place.' It continues: 'When I see the misery I have caused [the alleged victim] I am sickened by myself. You can't go back and change things that you have done in this life - I wish to God I could. I know that what I did was wrong but we are, all of us, fallible and oh how I deluded myself. Please forgive me, love Rolf.' Prosecuting, Sasha Wass QC claimed that the girl had been groomed like 'a young puppy who had been trained to obey.' Wass told the court the assaults continued 'when the opportunity arose' and by the time she was fourteen the girl was 'relying on drink' to cope. The jury was shown a school report which said that the alleged victim had become 'prone to tears and has been weeping about private/home matters.' Wass said that, on arrest, Rolf 'categorically' denied having sexual contact with the girl while she was under sixteen, and said his letter to her father expressed regret because they had an affair later and he was 'a married man.' Wass told the court: 'The prosecution does not, for a minute, suggest that there is not a good, talented and kind side to Mr Harris. But concealed behind this charming and amicable children's entertainer lay a man who exploited the very children who were drawn to him.' She added there was 'a side of him which is sexually attracted to children and under-age girls' and that while working on television in Australia he was known as 'The Octopus' because of the way he would put his hands on children. Telling the jury about other alleged victims, Wass said one was seven or eight years old when she queued to get an autograph from Rolf at a community centre in Portsmouth. She claimed that he signed an autograph for her then touched her inappropriately, leaving her 'in shock.' In other alleged incidents, Wass claimed that Rolf 'started rubbing himself' against a fifteen-year-old girl at a pub in London, and touched a twenty four-year-old make-up artist in Australia, both in 1986. Completing her opening statement, Wass claimed the evidence showed 'a persistent pattern of sexual offending' and demonstrated Rolf 'had a tendency to touch up females as if he was entitled.' Wass said his fame meant that 'no-one suspected or challenged his behaviour. Harris was too famous, too powerful and his reputation made him untouchable,' she added. Harris's daughter, Bindi, and his wife, Alwen Hughes, were at his side as he arrived at court. He entered a not guilty plea at a hearing in January. Earlier, one of the jurors was dismissed. The Australian found fame in 1953 on BBC children's TV, a year after arriving in the UK and has remained a well-known and very popular entertainer, musician and artist ever since. He had success with a string of novelty pop hits and children's TV and variety shows as well as series about animals and art. He painted a portrait of the Queen in 2005.

A woman who claims that the ex-broadcaster and convicted kiddie fiddler Stuart Hall repeatedly raped her has told a court she is not 'a gold-digger' wanting compensation. The woman sought twenty thousand quid in a civil claim as 'a full and final settlement' for the alleged abuse in Hall's BBC dressing room, jurors heard. She said that she was giving evidence against Hall at Preston Crown Court because she wanted 'justice.' Hall denies twenty charges of rape and indecent assault between 1976 to 1981. The charges involve two girls who had sex with the former It's a Knockout presenter on 'numerous occasions' while under the age sixteen. One told the court that the broadcaster took her to a flat in Sale, 'many, many times' to be raped, before he went to report on football matches in the late 1970s. Hall's barrister said that under the law at the time of the alleged offences he would have been charged with unlawful sex with a girl under sixteen rather than rape. On Tuesday, Hall admitted one count of indecent assault. During cross-examination, Hall's barrister Crispin Aylett QC said to one of Hall's accusers: 'That is what you have been after all along. Compensation.' The woman, only identified as Girl A, replied: 'If I was purely after compensation do you really, honestly believe I would have put myself through this yesterday and today, and now knowing that it is all out in the open? You are making me sound like a bit of a gold-digger. Well, there are easier ways of making money.' Last year, Hall was extremely jailed for fifteen months for fourteen offences of indecent assault against thirteen girls. His sentence was later extended to thirty months, at the Court of Appeal. When asked why she had come to court to give evidence against Hall, Girl A referred to that jail term, saying: 'Because, this is no disrespect to the system, I just feel it was not long enough for what he did. I felt for those girls because I know and I understand what it's like and I just felt it was an insult to them. I don't want to be here, I'm not going to lie about that. But I want justice, I suppose,' the woman added. On Wednesday, Girl A told the court that she was raped at the BBC studios at Oxford Road and also at BBC premises at Piccadilly, both in Manchester. The witness was asked to explain a remark she made in a statement saying Hall 'didn't tie me down and rape me.' She replied: 'When I think rape, I think somebody who's been attacked, grabbed in an alley. There's different forms of rape. It's quite a strong word rape, isn't it? Even though I didn't put up a fight, he knew I was in a very, very vulnerable position. He took full advantage of it.' The second complainant, known only as Girl B, told the court that she was first attacked by Hall when she was twelve in the mid-1970s. She said: 'I think absolutely it's wrong. It is someone you have trusted. I didn't want my father to be ashamed of me. I felt incredibly dirty, ashamed and confused and very frightened and I chose to bury it because I didn't want to appear dirty in front of anybody, but I didn't want anybody to be disappointed in me, particularly my father.' Girl B said Hall went on to rape her when she was aged fourteen or fifteen in his dressing rooms at Piccadilly and Oxford Road. She said Hall used to lock her in the dressing room at the Oxford Road studios. Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, asked her: 'Did he ever ask you whether you wanted to have sexual intercourse?' She replied: 'It was never a question. It was expected.' The woman told the court that Hall was 'very remorseless' and said: 'As long as you don't say anything I will be all right.' Hall spoke to Girl B after his initial arrest over a series of indecent assaults on other women, but before she accused him herself. Girl B said: 'Stuart told me "What on Earth were these girls saying? How could they remember so long ago?" I said "Stuart, you can't tell me you know nothing, you can't remember. I know that it happened, you know that it happened to me and I remember a lot,"' she told the court. 'He said it was a manic phase he was going through at the time.' Hall, who was first arrested in December 2012, asked the woman to provide a character statement which she refused to do, the jury heard. The prosecutor asked the woman why she contacted police after thirty six years. She said: 'I want to be able to close the door and move on with my life and tell the truth.' The case was adjourned. The trial is expected to last seven days.

Around one thousand wealthy investors including Take That's Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen could face hefty tax bills after a tax tribunal on Friday ruled that a partnership in which they invested was a tax avoidance scheme. Barlow's Larkdale LLP is just one of fifty one so-called 'Icebreaker partnerships', affected by the decision of Judge Colin Bishopp in a landmark victory for HM Revenue and Customs. Investors could now face substantial tax bills as a result of the decision. Bishopp ruled: 'The underlying, and fundamental, conclusion we have reached is that the Icebreaker scheme is, and was known and understood by all concerned to be, a tax avoidance scheme.' He accepted the partnerships were carrying on the trade of the exploitation of intellectual property rights, often in the creative industries, but said that their main aim was to secure tax relief for members. Icebreaker partnership investments included aspiring pop acts, publishing ventures and the sale of 'personal alarms.' In evidence, some unnamed Icebreaker partners had earlier told Bishopp they had 'a genuine interest' in the exploitation of rights, that they took an active role in the partnerships and that they were aiming to make a profit from these ventures. They claimed: 'Tax advantages were incidental to and not the principal reason for their having decided to join a partnership.' The judge did not agree. 'We are, indeed, quite satisfied that no serious and even moderately sophisticated investor, or one with a competent adviser, genuinely seeking a profit, even one willing to engage in a high-risk venture, but twenty unmindful of any possible tax advantage, would rationally have chosen an Icebreaker partnership.' Through the partnerships, wealthy investors were claiming lucrative tax losses. In some cases Icebreaker scheme partners were attempting to claim tax relief on losses of up to five times more than they invested in the partnerships. Take That manager Jonathan Wild was also a member of the Larkdale partnership. Other band members, Jason Orange and Robbie Williams, were not investors. Details of the scheme emerged in 2012 in a Times investigation. At the time Take That's lawyers insisted the bandmates believed the investments were 'legitimate enterprises' and not schemes designed to avoid tax, and that all four named paid 'significant tax.' There has been no suggestion of any illegality. The HMRC said: 'We have put in place generous reliefs to support genuine business investment and our tax reliefs for the creative industries work well, enabling the UK's world-class film, television and video production companies to compete on the global stage. But we will not tolerate abuse of the system by people trying to dodge their tax obligations.' It is not clear whether the judgment will be appealed.
The early life of former Smiths singer Morrissey is being turned into a film by the team behind Oscar-nominated short The Voorman Problem. The biopic, provisionally entitled Steven, will focus on the singer's life 'pre-Smiths', growing up in Manchester. 'It's as much a film for non-Morrissey fans as it is for die-hard devotees,' claimed director Mark Gill 'But I can't deny that this is a love letter to Steven Patrick Morrissey and the dark satanic mills of Manchester.' Gill, whose dark comedy The Voorman Problem starred Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander, said his project would be 'more of a portrait than a conventional biopic.' The director will co-write the script with William Thacker. Shooting is scheduled to begin at the end of the year. It is not known whether Morrissey his very self has given his blessing to the project although one wouldn't imagine so. The singer wrote extensively about his childhood in his recent memoirs, which were published last year. He also used his autobiography to criticise the UK legal system and the music business. And lots of other things as well. The fifty four-year-old is due to perform alongside Sir Tom Jones and Missouri singer Kristeen Young this Saturday in Los Angeles. It follows the cancellation of forty US dates during his tour last year, which was curtailed due to illness. Sir Cliff Richard will join him at a concert in New York on 21 June.

Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day and, for Eurovision weekend, one of the few previous winners of the competition that yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self can stand.

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