Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Gonna Fry Surf City With A Neutron Bomb

Here is the latest on-location photo from Doctor Who eighth series featuring yer actual peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman her very self, dear blog reader. Needless to say, this one has caused plenty of online speculation about what the plot of the episode is concerned with.
The BBC's World Cup 2014 coverage topped the Sunday ratings, according to overnight figures. At 7.30pm, the match between France and Honduras scored an average 7.6 million punters, while Argentina's clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina was seen by 3.8m at 10.30pm. Countryfile's earlier broadcast appealed to 4.6m at 6.30pm. On BBC2, Sea City gathered 1.4m at 7.30pm, followed by I Bought A Rainforest with 1.3m at 8pm and Wildfires 2014 with 1.2m at 9pm. A classic Bottom episode was watched by one million punters at 10.30pm as a tribute to the late Rik Mayall. A repeat of Mock The Week drew 1.1m at 10pm. ITV's repeat of The Cube had an audience of 2.5m at 7.30pm, followed by a rerun of The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher with 2.1m at 8.30pm. On Channel Four, Born In The Wild was watched by eight hundred and fourteen thousand viewers at 8pm, while the latest Fargo brought in nine hundred and forty six thousand at 9pm. Channel Five's Illegal Immigrant And Proud brought in six hundred and forty seven thousand at 8pm, followed by Big Brother: Power Trip with 1.1m at 9pm.

Game Of Thrones' fourth season finale rose to over a million viewers on Monday, overnight data reveals. The Sky Atlantic series jumped to 1.1 million at 9pm for the episode The Children. BBC1's World Cup coverage of Iran's arse-numbingly dull 0-0 draw with a very disappointing Nigeria was seen by five million from 7.30pm. The, much better, game between Ghana and the USA scored 3.2m at 10.35pm. On BBC2, Tigers About The House entertained 2.3m at 8pm, followed by A Very British Airline with 2.2m at 9pm. Odious, unfunny, worthless lanky streak of piss and waste-of-oxygen Jack Whitehall's Backchat World Cup 'special' (and this blogger uses that word quite wrongly) spectacularly failed to amuse seven hundred and ninety five thousand at 10pm. ITV's new series The Dentists appealed to 1.6m at 9pm making it the least watched of all five terrestrial channels during that hour. On Channel Four, Twenty Four Hours in A&E interested 1.7m at 9pm, followed by CCTV: Caught on Camera with nine hundred and eighty two thousand viewers at 10pm. Channel Five's Benefits Britain garnered 2.1m at 9pm, while Big Brother: Power Trip had 1.3m (7.6%) at 10pm.

BBC1's World Cup coverage easily topped the Tuesday overnight ratings. Host Brazil's really rather good 0-0 draw with an excellent Mexico side was seen by 8.5 million at 7.30pm. South Korea's - much less attractive - game against Russia scored 2.5m at 10.35pm. On BBC2, Tigers About The House continued with 1.9m at 8pm, followed by Horizon with 2.4m at 9pm. Again, due to their lack of a primetime football match, it was a rotten night for ITv with their repeat of Endeavour drawing 2.1m at 8pm. On Channel Four, Location, Location, Location interested 1.3m at 8pm, followed by Auction House with 1.4m at 9pm and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares with 1.1m at 10pm. Channel Five's Dog Rescuers brought in eight hundred and fifty one thousand at 8pm. The latest CSI episode had an audience of nine hundred and four thousand at 9pm, while Big Brother: Power Trip attracted 1.1m sick gawping Victorian freak-show voyeurs at 10pm. On Sky Atlantic, Penny Dreadful continued with two hundred and twenty one thousand at 9pm.

Which brings us to the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty programmes, week-ending Sunday 8 June 2014:-
1 Britain's Got Toilets - Sat ITV - 11.53m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 9.24m
3 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 8.18m
4 Happy Valley - Tues BBC1 - 7.78m
5 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.63m
6 England Friendlies: England Versus Ecuador - Wed ITV - 6.39m
7 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.82m
8 Formula One: The Canadian Grand Prix - Sun BBC1 - 4.67m
9 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 4.57m
10 Six O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.31m
11 BBC News - Mon BBC1 - 4.15m
12 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.03m
13 From There To Here - Thurs BBc1 - 3.94m
14 Secret Life Of ... Cats - Mon ITV - 3.91m*
15 Crimewatch UK - Sun BBC1 - 3.79m
16 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.78m
17 Quirke - Sun BBC1 - 3.73m
18 Watchdog - Wed BBC1 - 3.54m
19 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 3.46m
20 Soccer Aid - Sun ITV - 3.32m*
ITV programmes marked '*' do not include any HD figures. BBC2's top-rated programme of the week was A Very British Airline with 2.81m viewers, followed by Springwatch (2587m). Channel Four's highest-rated show was The Island With Bear Grylls with 2.48m. Big Brother was Channel Five's best performer with 2.27m.

Alex Kingston and Noel Clarke have featured in the first trailer for ITV's really rather good-looking Chasing Shadows. Reece Shearsmith also stars in the upcoming four-part drama, which will be broadcast on the channel later this year.
The animated superhero Danger Mouse is to return to children's TV, more than two decades since the popular show ended. The new series, featuring the fearless white rodent secret agent and his trusty sidekick, Penfold, is due to be broadcast on CBBC in 2015. The show originally ran from 1981 to 1992. The Danger Mouse character was voiced by Sir David Jason. CBBC controller Cheryl Taylor said the new show would 'win over a whole new generation of fans.' Danger Mouse's producers and animators will be FremantleMedia along with Boulder Media. Taylor said: 'Danger Mouse is the last word in debonair and delightfully eccentric heroics,' adding, 'CBBC is thrilled to be kick-starting their adventures afresh.' In the original show, each ten-minute episode saw Danger Mouse, who sported an eye patch and the letters DM on his chest, tackle a new mystery against enemies such as the notorious Duckula and the evil frog Baron Greenback. Some of these characters will be returning for the new series along with new gadgets, locations, villains and vehicles. Hapless hamster Penfold - who was originally voiced by the comedian Terry Scott - will also return. Danger Mouse's eye patch will be replaced by an 'i-patch' with multiple technological functions and his headquarters too will be kitted out with 'state-of-the-art wizardry' according to Freemantle. The voice actors for Danger Mouse and Penfold have not yet been announced. Fremantle's Rick Glanker said: 'The thrills, spills and comedy of this landmark international animated series are all still here but this rebooted version will be brought up-to-date for today's tech-savvy and content-hungry kids. In this new Twenty First-Century version the laughs are set to be even louder as the world's smallest secret agent faces mightier missions, voracious villains and knee-trembling threats.' Danger Mouse was also a big hit outside the UK, including the US, Australia, France, Poland, Germany and Sweden.

Some more properly terrific news now. ITV's Amazing Greys featuring loathsome, unfunny gurning professional Northern berk Paddy McGuinness has been extremely axed after just one series. Because it was shite and no one was watching it, basically. That's usually why cancelled shows get cancelled in he first place.

Countdown's Dictionary Corner is going digital. The printed Oxford dictionary used by the show's lexicographer Susie Dent is being swapped for its online counterpart, reports Radio Times. Suzie will no longer need to flick through pages of the dictionary during the programme and also won't need to use the pen cam to show words onscreen when the changes are introduced on Monday 30 June. She said: 'I'm excited that we will now be able to reflect the very latest changes to English by using an online dictionary that's updated every three months. The principles of Dictionary Corner will remain exactly the same - it's simply the technology that is changing.' The traditional printed dictionary has been used on Countdown since the show started over thirty years ago. Countdown is Channel Four's longest-running show, and is currently presented by Nick Hewer and Rachel Riley.
Media watchdog Ofcom - a politically appointed quango, elected by no one - has launched an investigation into whether the BBC breached broadcasting standards after a Conservative MP swore during a live TV show. The investigation into a possible breach 'of content standards' comes after former police minister Nick Herbert used the term 'fuckwit' while appearing as one of the guests on BBC2's The Daily Politics. He later defended his actions and pointed out that he used the term 'disapprovingly' while quoting from a disparaging alleged comment made by a fellow guest, former police officer Peter Kirkham, in reference to the Home Secretary Theresa May. Presenter Jo Coburn interrupted Herbert, telling him 'we won't have any more of that' and cautioning him to speak 'without repeating any of those expletives.' At the end of the programme – which was broadcast on BBC2 at noon – Coburn offered viewers a full apology for the outburst, saying it was 'unacceptable' and would not be repeated. Although quite why Jo, or the BBC as a collective, needed to apologise for the actions of a foul-mouthed member of parliament is a question that Ofcom would probably be better served in addressing. Attempting to excuse his actions on Twitter following the broadcast, Herbert said: 'Shame on the former police officer on the prog [sic] who used the word to describe the home sec [sic] and who I was quoting, disapprovingly.' During the programme Herbert was asked whether the police would react badly to a speech given by May and he replied: 'I'm afraid there have been a minority who've been outspoken and they are very active on Twitter and so on. Peter himself just a day ago described the Home Secretary as "a fuckwit" in his own Twitter line.' After being warned about his language, Herbert said: 'Indeed we should not have any more of it, from either police officers or former police officers, this kind of infantile discussion that goes on.' Kirkham later appeared to dispute having used the term, posting a message which said: 'Genuinely don't recall doing so "a couple of days ago."' Ofcom has an obligation under the broadcasting code to investigate cases which 'might' cause potential harm or offence if there is a complaint made. An investigation does not necessarily mean the broadcaster involved has done anything wrong - which the BBC, clearly, hadn't, and not all investigations result in breaches of the broadcasting code.
John Barrowman and Julie Gardner, Doctor Who's former Executive Producer, have both been made MBEs in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours list. Julie was a key member of the team responsible for bringing back Doctor Who to the BBC in 2005 and relaunching the series for a whole new generation. She was brought into the project in 2003 to work with Russell Davies on developing the show. Together they were responsible for turning Doctor Who into one of the BBC's most successful and profitable shows and was responsible for sixty episodes of the BBC's popular family SF drama. She was involved in casting two Doctors, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, and the creating of two spin-offs, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. She now works in California as Senior Vice President of scripted projects at BBC Worldwide America. Julie, who was born in Neath, near Swansea, has been awarded the honour for 'services to the Economic Development of the Television Industry in Wales.' She said she was honoured to accept the award. Barrowman, who is currently in Australia promoting his drama series Arrow, said receiving the award was the proudest day in his life.

Doctor Who, meanwhile, has won two awards at the thirty fifth Banff World Media Festival which took place in Canada over the weekend. The series was awarded the Rockie Award for Best Science Fiction, Action, and Fantasy series as well as also the prize as Best Scripted Programme, beating The Big Bang Theory.

The BBC's head of television has said British drama is being unfairly compared to US box-sets. Domestic dramas like Downton Abbey and the BBC's own Sherlock are 'just as good' as Mad Men or The Wire, according to Danny Cohen. He said that British shows were being maligned by 'box-set consumers who have a larger voice in Britain's cultural dialogue than the average family.' Or, middle-class hippy Communist Gruniad Morning Star readers, in other words. But, their perceptions were 'skewed' because 'only the very best' American shows come to the UK, he wrote on a BBC blog. While admitting the BBC had sometimes produced shows that 'fall short of expectations', he said the corporation had 'a hit rate' that 'any network in the world would be very proud of.' He cited recent successes such as crime thriller Happy Valley, 1950s drama Call The Midwife and detective series Luther - while also praising ITV's drama output, which includes shows like Broadchurch and Downton Abbey. 'In Britain, we are not very good at celebrating our success,' said Cohen. 'We somehow find it embarrassing. I believe we should more confidently raise the flag for British drama which - beyond these shores - has huge respect and kudos.' British drama has been lauded in the US, with shows like Downton, Sherlock, Top Of The Lake and The Hour all nominated for Golden Globe or Emmy awards last year. Earlier this year. the BBC's Director General, Tony Hall, said drama output on BBC1 would get a thirty million pound cash injection from the closure of BBC3 as an on-air channel. Lord Hall said he was 'not prepared to compromise on the quality of what I think is at the heart of the BBC, and that is drama.'

Jeremy Paxman is understood to be considering working for Channel Four following what is expected to be a low-key final Newsnight shift on Wednesday after twenty five years on the BBC2 programme. Channel Four chief creative officer Jay Hunt is said, by the Gruniad if not anybody more reliable, to have 'been in' contact with Paxo since it was announced in late April he was stepping down from Newsnight about the possibility of working with Channel Four. There are 'no plans' for Paxman to work for Channel Four News, which is made by ITN, and already has a number of star presenters including Jon Snow, according to alleged 'sources'. However, the Gruniad cliams that Paxo 'may' become a presenter for other areas of Channel Four output, although no specific projects are under discussion as yet. It is believed he is interested in hybrid programmes that mix news and comedy. Paxman is airing his comic talents later this summer in a standup show in Edinburgh. However, his versatility and documentary-making and interrogatory skills mean he has had no shortage of suitors offering him series.

TLC has grovelling apologised after airing a pre-watershed episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo that contained multiple naughty swear words. The episode, which was shown at 8pm, contained five instances of the words 'fuck' and 'fucking', eleven scenes where someone said 'shit' and one use of the word 'bitch'. Which, isn't actually a swear word or anything even remotely like it, but it's still funny when it comes out of the mouth of a ten year old. A lone complainant - who, seemingly, didn't have anything better to do with their time - 'alerted Ofcom to offensive language in this programme when their six-year old child was watching,' Ofcom said in its report. According to the same report, Discovery Communications told the regulator that the post-watershed version of the programme had been 'incorrectly labelled' as being suitable for pre-watershed. Ofcom concluded that 'Discovery accepted immediately that this programme breached rules, apologised and took various steps after the broadcast to ensure it was not shown again before it was re-edited and to improve compliance going forward.'

According to the Metro's Neil Sean, Tom Daley was 'stunned' at the hilariously low ratings for his ITV2 travel show Tom Daley Goes Global. 'Maybe it was shown at the wrong time,' Sean quotes Daley as whinging in relation to apparent viewer apathy. Maybe. Or, maybe it was just rubbish and young Mister Daley, genuinely nice lad that he is, isn't anywhere near as popular with the general public as both ITV and, indeed, himself seem to think he is. Just a thought. See also Pro-Celebrity Drowning. Boy, did that turd get really old really fast.
Meteorologist Danielle Dozier reacted with total professionalism when a, really rather big, earthquake hit Oklahoma City whilst she was doing her live broadcast on KOCO5 This Morning show. Danielle was, needless to say, a little bit shaken up when the quake hit, but she managed to finish the segment like a professional without swearing or shitting in her own pants as, I think, most of us might have done in similar circumstances. You go, girl!
Promoting his new show on Dave, As Yet Untitled with an interview in Metro, yer actual Alan Davies has clarified his view on the BBC's 'no more male-only panel shows' policy: 'It's unfortunate they announced it as if it's a great thing they're doing. There's nothing wrong with having all men on the show but the trouble was you'd never see all women and only rarely saw more than one at the same time. In the first ten years of Qi we only once had two women on at the same time and that was for a show about gender. We've made an effort more recently. The policy is well intentioned but it's a bit clumsy that it's been announced like that because now, if you are the one woman on a panel show, the audience think you're only there because of a quota, which is quite offensive - I'd want to go home.' Alan was also asked why Qi is so popular in Australia. He replied: 'You wouldn't think it would work. Stephen is such an old-fashioned, posh English bloke and, generally speaking, they don't like that over there but that's a mark of his appeal. The basis of the show is all the research that goes on before the comedians turn up and wreck it all, so it just works wherever it goes. It's popular in New Zealand too.'

The BBC has, reportedly, received four hundred and forty five complaints from viewers - seemingly, with nothing better to do with their time - about Phil Neville's commentary on England's World Cup match against Italy. Neville, the former The Scum, Everton and England defender, was criticised by these, no doubt perfect specimens of society for his 'lack of emotion' and 'monotone' style. In response, Neville told BBC Radio 5Live that the TV role was 'a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.' Despite the complaints, the BBC said the footballer would continue to play 'a key role throughout the tournament.' A spokesperson added Neville - who is currently a coach for The Scum and has received broadcast training - was 'an important, well-respected member of our team.' Neville told sports presenter Mark Chapman that he 'welcomed' the feedback on his performance: 'In terms of the content I got out, I thought [it] was quite good. But the feedback is that I need to show a bit more excitement, so I think you'll see that more on Thursday night in the highlights show. I will get better - it was my first live gig and I'm just glad I helped everyone get to sleep back home!' The broadcaster Danny Baker was among his critics but said that the BBC should share the blame. 'Phil Neville has acknowledged he wasn't great during England commentary - but what were the BBC doing giving him that game to "learn his craft?"' he said.
Good old mad as toast Mario Balotelli has shared his vision of an Italian all-star World Cup team, filling up the squad's pages in this year's Panini sticker album with nothing but images of himself. The striker, who headed in the Azzurri's winning goal in Saturday's 2-1 victory over England and is, of course, no stranger to self-referential humour, placed the stickers on each of his team-mates' spaces in the book before posting the result on his official Facebook page on Monday, accompanied by his now-familiar meme: 'Why always me?' His splurge will come as a particular blow to avid collectors seeking sticker number three hundred and thirty five to complete their set: judging by the boxes and discarded stickers of other players, strewn around the album on his photograph, it took no small amount of effort to acquire the fourteen stickers necessary to complete a team of Balotellis.
A civil servant who posted grossly offensive comments about the Hillsborough disaster on Wikipedia while at work has been extremely sacked. The man, believed to be Merseyside-based, used the website to mock the victims of the tragedy at the 1989 Liverpool versus Nottingham Forest FA Cup semi-final in which ninety six people died. An inquiry was launched in April when it emerged Whitehall computers were used to make the disparaging comments. The edits included the phrase 'Blame Liverpool fans.' The twenty four-year-old junior administrator, who was born in London but is based in Liverpool, has been fired for gross misconduct. He hasn't been named, presumably because there's a very real risk that, if he was, he'd likely suffer a damned good kicking. Which, of course, would be wrong. The man altered the Wikipedia page for Hillsborough in 2012. One entry parodied the Liverpool fans' anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' by changing it to 'You'll Never Walk Again'. Oh, fun-knee. The BBC says it understands the Cabinet Office is likely to drop its probe into other abusive edits made to the online encyclopaedia from the secure government intranet, owing to a lack of leads. The department described the posts as 'sickening' but had feared the length of time since the edits, which were made in 2009 and 2012, would make it difficult to identify those responsible. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude is expected to make a statement in the House of Commons about the investigation.

Eamon Dunphy has issued an apology after swearing twice during Irish broadcaster RTE's discussion about Brazil's World Cup performance, having not realised that he was on-air at the time. The always outspoken pundit was responding to presenter Bill O'Herlihy's question about the level of expectation on the Brazil players and referred back to Neymar's second goal from the penalty spot against Croatia. After muttering 'the pitch is a fucking bog', he added: 'When Neymar was shaping up to take that penalty, I thought he was fucking dreading it.' Meanwhile fellow panelist, the former Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann, was playing with his mobile phone. O'Herlihy, who began covering the World Cup for RTE in 1978 and is set to retire after the tournament, gasped, then immediately informed Dunphy that he was on-air before saying: 'I apologise for that, obviously that was an inexactitude.' Following an advert break, O'Herily addressed viewers and said: 'Now before the game you might have heard an unfortunate word so I'll hand you over to Eamon.' A marginally contrite Dunphy said: 'I'd just like to apologise to anybody. I thought we were on an ad break and I used a four-letter word. I'm very, very sorry for the offence I'm sure I caused some people. It won't happen again.' Dunphy later told the Irish Daily Star that 'tiredness' was to blame for the mistake, saying: 'It's the first time in thirty six years that I have said a swear word on the air. I was very tired because we had been six hours in the studio, it was a long day.'

Brazilian officials say that they confiscated almost forty kilos of a caramel spread from Uruguay's football team as it arrived in Brazil for the World Cup. Total post-apocalyptic zombie nightmare, and that. The spread, called dulce de leche, is reportedly extremely popular in Uruguay but the Brazilian authorities said that as it was made with milk, it needed sanitary documentation which was lacking. Some fans are apparently blaming Uruguay's shock 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica on the lack of dulce de leche.
Premier League champions Sheikh Yer Manchester City will start their 2014-15 Premier League campaign at yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though still unsellable) Newcastle. The opening weekend of 16 August also sees promoted Burnley face Moscow Chelski FC. Louis van Gaal's The Scum host Swansea and Ronald Koeman's Southampton visit Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws. Stottingtot Hotshot will begin life under new boss Mauricio Pochettino with a local derby at The Hamsters, while the Premier League's other new manager, Alan Irvine, sends his West Bromwich Albinos side into action at home to Blunderland. Last season's Championship winners Leicester will look forward to a meeting with Everton and Queens Park Strangers's Championship play-off triumph has earned them an opening day fixture with Hull Pussycats at Loftus Road. The Arse, who ended their nine-year wait for a trophy at Wembley in the FA Cup final last month, entertain Crystal Palace.

And finally, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has discovered the perfect way to enjoy ITV's coverage of the World Cup. First, turn the sound down, then play The Jesus and Mary Chain at extreme volume and then simply imagine Adrian Chiles as a character in a really bloody slasher movie being pursued through the woods by a homicidal maniac with a chainsaw. It works, trust me.
And, on that blood-soaked bombshell, here's the proof.

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