Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Don't Believe Anyone And Most Of All Don't Believe Me

Filming on Doctor Who's series eight finale continued on Monday in Cardiff city centre with a couple of returning characters, an important new character and a very familiar enemy. They were all spotted alongside yer actual Peter Capaldi his very self. Beware however, there are serious spoilers ahead so, if you don't want to know the score, look away now ...
No, seriously, there's some big fek-off spoilers coming here.
Okay, you were warned.

Fans were treated with a glimpse of an old terror as Cardiff was overrun by yer actual Cybermen. The Friary, which is located just off Queen Street in the city centre, was full of the terrifying cyborgs from the planet Mondas as Capaldi, along with newcomer Michelle Gomez (see below), plus returning favourites Jemma Redgrave and Ingrid Oliver played out a very close escape from their foes. Jenna Louise Colman did not appear to be involved in the location shoot. So, UNIT are back it would seem, dear blog reader, and Osgood now appears to be wearing a bow tie! Nice.
Anyway, Michelle Gomez was also seen during the Cardiff location shoot. The actress, who has previously starred in Green Wing and Bad Education, will play a character called The Gatekeeper Of The Nethersphere. Gomez said: 'Well of course Peter Capaldi is our next Doctor, which makes complete sense. I'm thrilled to join him.' Showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat added: 'I've known Michelle for years and I'm thrilled to welcome her to Doctor Who. She's everything we need - brilliant, Scottish, and a tiny bit Satanic.' Gomez joins a host of other guest stars who have been confirmed to appear in the upcoming series, including Ben Miller, Frank Skinner, Hermione Norris and Keeley Hawes.
Yer actual Martin Freeman has claimed that Sherlock could return for a Christmas special in 2015. The actor told the Torygraph that the BBC drama will resume filming 'at some point' next year. 'If that's going to be [for] a special - I'm speaking off-message here; if this was New Labour I'd get fired - I think that might be for next Christmas,' he said. 'A Christmas special - that's what I understand.' Marty also suggested that his off-screen partner Amanda Abbington her very self will remain on the show as John Watson's wife, Mary, 'for the foreseeable future. While we play fast and loose with the original stories, we generally follow the trajectory of what Conan Doyle did,' Marty added. 'So [John] gets married, and then Mary dies - so at some point, presumably, she'll die.' Martin first raised the possibility of a Sherlock special in April, though yer actual Mark Gatiss later told the Digital Spy website that a full fourth series was 'still the plan.'
Meanwhile, Sherlock's Rupert Graves has joined the cast of Last Tango In Halifax. Rupert will appear in the BBC1 drama's third series as a character named Gary Jackson, his official website has announced. The popular fifty one-year-old actor will begin shooting on 7 July, joining Last Tango regulars Anne Reid, Derek Jacobi, Sarah Lancashire and Nicola Walker. Probably best known for his role as Greg Lestrade on Sherlock, Rupert's other recent credits include roles on Doctor Who, The White Queen, Inspector Morse, [spooks], Ashes To Ashes, Waking The Dead, Lewis, new Tricks, Scott & Bailey, Death in Paradise and The Crimson Field. Among others. A third series of Last Tango In Halifax was announced by the BBC on 24 December, ahead of the show's 2013 Christmas special being broadcast that evening.

ITV's Monday night coverage of Germany versus Algeria at the World Cup averaged 6.37m viewers from 8.30pm, peaking at 8.7 million around 10.30pm as the match was nearing the end of normal time. On BBC1, Mrs Brown's Boys took 3.22m from 9.30pm. Coverage of more bloody boring tennis from Wimbledon on BBC2 averaged 1.85m between 11.30am and 9.30pm. Police Under Pressure followed with seven hundred and sixty thousand punters. Meanwhile, Channel Four broadcast Dispatches at 8pm (1.04m), Jamie's Worthless Money-Saving Meals Designed To Make Jamie Lots & Lots Of Filthy Lucre at 8.30pm (1.14m) and The World's Best Diet at 9pm (1.63m). Channel Five's Angry Brits: Caught On Camera grabbed 1.08m from 8pm. Afterwards, Benefits Britain: Life On The Dole took 1.92m. The latest episode of Big Brother attracted 1.04m from 10pm. On the multichannels, Midsomer Murders was seen by 1.02m on ITV3 from 8pm. Dave's Storage Hunters appealed to five hundred and five thousand people whose idea of fun is watching a group of American glakes bellowing gormlessly at each other from 8.30pm.

BBC2's coverage of the final day at Glastonbury from 10pm averaged six hundred and twenty three thousand overnight punters on Sunday evening, peaking at the start of Kasabian's headline set with 1.1m. Elsewhere, ITV's coverage of the World Cup match between Costa Rica and Greece, which the plucky Costa Ricans won on penalties despite being down to ten men averaged 5.22m from 8.30pm. Celebrity Catchphrase preceded it with 3.68m. On BBC1, Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow were watched by 5.27m and 5.75m respectively. Besides Glastonbury, BBC2's primetime programming included Tropic Of Cancer (1.17m), Scottish Neil Oliver (and his lovely hair) in The Quest for Bannockburn (1.18m) and A Cabbie Abroad (1.62m). Born In The Wild appealed to six hundred and seventy one thousand viewers for Channel Four in the 8pm hour, before The King's Speech had 1.05m from 9pm. On Channel Five, Big Brother took 1.03m at 9pm. It was followed by Bikini Body? The Truth About Diets (six hundred and seventy eight thousand). Ellie Goulding's set at Glastonbury attracted the biggest multichannel numbers of the night, according to overnight figures. The singer drew an audience of nine hundred and forty thousand on BBC3 from 9pm, after earlier sets from Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith from 7pm (seven hundred and eighty two thousand) and Bombay Bicycle Club and The Black Keys from 8pm (six hundred and sixty two thousand).

More than 11.5 million people tuned in for the climax of the Brazil versus Chile match on BBC1 on Saturday, according to overnight figures. The World Cup second round game enjoyed a peak of 11.53m during the penalty shootout at around 7.45pm, which the home nation won 3-2. Coverage of the match, which finished 1-1 after extra time, averaged 7.7m from 4.30pm. Later on BBC1, 3.86m watched the post-apocalyptic zombie nightmare that was A Question Of Sport: Super Saturday, hosted by Jason Manford. BBC2's Wimbledon coverage averaged 1.53m between 4.30pm and 9pm, before Mock The Week entertained nine hundred and sixty seven thousand. On ITV, 2.07m The Cube from 7.30pm, before coverage of Colombia versus Uruguay, which Colombia won 2-0 thanks to a James Rodriguez brace, attracted 4.71m. On Channel Four, a terrestrial broadcast of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen was watched by 1.17m from 7.15pm. The latest Big Brother had an audience of nine hundred and thirty three thousand on Channel Five. Preceding it was The Twelve-Year-Old Shopaholic & Other Big-Spending Kids (seven hundred and forty three thousand). On the multichannels, five hundred and nineteen thousand tuned in to watch Lana Del Rey and Jack White perform at Glastonbury on BBC3 from 8pm. At the same time, a rather bedraggled-looking Robert Plant had an audience of four hundred and fifty nine thousand on BBC4. On ITV3, Doc Martin was seen by seven hundred and forty nine thousand from 8pm and Foyle's War followed with seven hundred and sixty four thousand.

Now, here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twelve programmes, week-ending Sunday 22 June 2014:-
1 World Cup Live: England Versus Uruguay - Thurs ITV - 13.87m
2 World Cup 2014: Brazil Versus Mexico - Tues BBC1 - 9.62m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.48m
4 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 6.65m
5 Emmerdale - Tues ITV - 7.66m
6 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 6.14m
7= Casualty - Sun BBC1 - 5.20m
7= Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.20m
9 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.01m
10 The Graham Norton Show - Sat BBC1 - 4.96m
11 BBC News - Sat BBC1 - 4.92m
12 Celebrity MasterChef - Fri BBC1 - 4.51m
BBC2's top-rated programme of the week was Tiger About The House with 2.68m viewers, followed by Horizon (2.64m) and the channel's highlights of the Austrian Grand Prix (2.56m). Channel Four's highest-rated show was the movie The Hunger Games with 2.72m. Benefits Britain: Life On The Dole was Channel Five's best performer with 2.54m, higher than any episode of Big Brother the best performing of which - Monday's episode - attracted 1.67m. The final episode of Game Of Thrones on Sky Atlantic was the highest rated multichannel show of the week - 1.85m. The BBC's post-match show after Spain's defeat to Chile on Wednesday was watched by 9.62m whilst the game itself attracted a slightly lower average - 9.16m. On BBC4 the final Wallander was watched by seven hundred and sixty five thousand whilst Only Connect attracted five hundred and ninety seven thousand.
The popular veteran all round entertainer Rolf Harris has been found guilty of indecently assaulting four girls. The eighty four-year-old was convicted of twelve such attacks between 1968 and 1986. And, today, a little piece of childhood innocence for generations of, now middle-aged Britons and Australians, has just had a thick dose of shite smeared all over it. We trusted this man, dear blog reader. We trusted him like our favourite uncle and, all the while, he was fiddling with kids. The fucking bastard. Even before the verdict, the court case had shattered Rolf Harris's public persona as a cuddly family entertainer and national treasure, one maintained over six decades. Harris admitted having sexual relations with the best friend of his daughter Bindi Nicholls – a girl thirty five years his junior whom he had known since she was two, beginning when she was staying at his family home. Harris insisted this began when the friend was eighteen, not thirteen as she claimed. Another victim was aged seven or eight at the time of the assault. During his seven-week trial, prosecutors portrayed Harris as 'a Jekyll and Hyde' character, who had a dark side to his personality. Pressed by the prosecution during a long and crucial cross-examination, Harris conceded that the long affair, which lasted until the woman was in her late twenties, showed he had 'a dark side' that he was adept at concealing from others. He also suffered a key reverse when his insistence he could not have groped one alleged victim in Cambridge in the 1970s as he had not visited the city until many years later was demolished after a member of the public sent in video footage of Harris taking part in a TV show filmed there in 1978. He will be sentenced on Friday. The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, said that a custodial term was 'uppermost in the court's mind.' The central allegation concerned a friend of Harris's daughter, whom the court heard he groomed and molested from the age of thirteen until she was nineteen. The other victims told the court they were touched or groped by Harris, sometimes at his public appearances. The Southwark Crown Court jury deliberated for over thirty seven hours before reaching their unanimous verdicts. Harris was found guilty of all twelve charges he was prosecuted on. They were: A woman said Harris touched her inappropriately when she was seven or eight while he was signing autographs in Hampshire in the late 1960s; Harris was accused of groping a teenage waitress's bottom at a charity event in Cambridge in the 1970s; a childhood friend of Harris' daughter said that he had repeatedly indecently assaulted her between the ages of thirteen and nineteen, including once when his daughter was asleep in the same room. He had admitted to a relationship with the woman, but said it began after she turned eighteen; Australian woman Tonya Lee, who has waived her right to anonymity, said that he fondled her three times on one day while she was on a theatre group trip to the UK at the age of fifteen. While the evidence presented in court covered a full ten alleged victims, what the jury was not told was that seven more complainants alleged Harris groped or assaulted them, claims covering almost thirty years and involving women and girls aged from fourteen upwards. These accounts were given in pre-trial hearings, but were not pursued in the main trial for legal reasons. One woman said she was fourteen in 1977 when Harris, on a visit to Sydney, grabbed her bottom and pursued her into another room, saying, 'Rolfie deserves a cuddle.' Other alleged assaults took place at a fête in Harris's home village of Bray – a woman said she was aged thirteen or fourteen when Harris said he liked her jumper and 'wanted to see what was underneath it' – and at a party in a pub for the broadcaster Michael Parkinson, where a woman working at the bar said Harris kissed her neck. Another witness, a well-known British celebrity who, like the other complainants, cannot be named for legal reasons, said that Harris played with her underwear as she recorded a TV interview with him in the mid-1990s. Making an unsuccessful application for the woman's evidence to be included in the trial, the prosecution said that the incident took place in 'a very public place. The indecent assault took place with the defendant's hands going under her clothing and up her thigh, and higher still when she abruptly drew the interview to a halt. She said that the defendant's hands cupped her buttocks and she described what she felt was groping.' Additionally, new complainants came forward in Australia during the trial, among them a radio host and a TV newsreader. Harris was a mainstay of family entertainment in Britain and his native Australia for more than fifty years. A talented teenage swimmer, he arrived in London from his native Perth in 1952, going on to become a fixture on TV screens as a children's entertainer, comedian, singer and songwriter. Over the decades he hosted a number of prime-time entertainment shows, had a series of novelty pop hits and presented cartoon programmes and animal shows as well as fronting a long-running campaign to encourage children to learn to swim. Harris was also an accomplished artist and painted a portrait of the Queen to mark her eightieth birthday in 2006. Bet that'll be worth all of four pence to the royal coffers now. During his career he was made an OBE, MBE and CBE. He was also awarded a BAFTA fellowship two years ago though the academy has announced it will strip him of the honour ago in light of the conviction. In his evidence, Harris reminded the jury of his career, how he had invented the wobble board instrument by accident and popularised the didgeridoo. Sadly, for everyone involved, Rolf couldn't keep his didgeridoo to himself.

Editorial: Much will, no doubt, be written over the coming days and weeks about Rolf Harris and the truly shocking crimes of which he has been convicted and, like as not, From The North will probably end up reporting these at some stage. But not today, dear blog reader. Today, this blogger, genuinely, feels sick to the pit of his stomach and sodding betrayed by someone whom yer actual Keith Telly Topping respected and liked. Firstly, of course, it is important to note that Harris has utterly ruined the lives of the women (then young and impressionable girls) with whom he interfered and that fact, above all else, should be at the forefront of every reaction to the conclusion of this court case. Beyond that, however, this blogger's main emotion is one of - possibly selfish - anger, frankly. I'm angry that a bunch of much-loved and much-played records which the small Keith Telly Topping was given as birthday presents as a seven or eight year old ('Sun Arise', 'Six White Boomers', 'English Country Garden', 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport' et al) will now probably never be played in public again due to their association with a convicted child molester. Angry that happy childhood memories of watching Rolf On Saturday, Ok? whilst sitting by the fire in my old family home with my late mum and dad have been tainted by the fact that the - seemingly - nice, kindly, gentle Australian man who presented that and other, similar, shows was, at the same time, committing indecent assaults on little girls. 'Sun Arise' is one of this blogger's ... maybe ten favourite records of all time, ever since he was given the single as a birthday present in around 1970. Seriously, if Keith Telly Topping had ever been invited onto Desert Island Discs (chance'd be a fine thing) that would have been on there with him. George Martin and Geoff Emerick prefacing the sound of Revolver by five years. And now, it's been rendered, effectively, worthless. I fully realise that's a dreadfully selfish personal reaction to what is a, genuine, human tragedy for all of those concerned but, like I say, this blogger - and million of others - have just had diarrhoea smeared all over our childhood innocence. And, it makes this blogger disgusted with Harris, disgusted with himself and disgusted with ever having trusted anyone, ever. A little piece what we all believed to be the goodness in life died on Tuesday in Southwick Crown Court and we will never get it back again. It's horrifying, it's sickening, it's upsetting and it's sad in all possible senses of that word. As noted earlier, it's like finding out your favourite funny uncle - the one that you always really looked forward to seeing at family get togethers - was, in reality, the sort of person whom your parents warned you to avoid. Can you tell what it is yet? Yes, it's the sound of millions of people's happy childhood memories being shattered to fragments. and stamped on. Sometimes, dear blog reader, it's really hard not to conclude that the world is just rotten to the core and we'd be better off having as little as possible to do with it.
The Liberal MP Cyril Smith wrote to the BBC in 1976 criticising its investigations into 'the private lives of certain MPs.' The politician - who died in 2010 and has subsequently been accused of being en evil fat wicked bully who abuse children - expressed 'deep concern' about an inquiry into an alleged South African campaign to discredit members of parliament. According to letters in The National Archives, Smith told the then Director General Sir Charles Curran: 'I have reason to believe that you are employing a team (maybe two) to investigate the private lives of certain prominent MPs. So far as I am aware I am not one of them, and hence I write without personal involvement.' Smith said: 'You are asking, I understand, for increased licence fees, and I think some of us, certainly me, would like to be assured that your expenditure is careful, wise and useful.' In another letter, Smith urged the then Home Secretary, Merlyn Rees, to 'ensure' the BBC was not using public money for 'muck-raking.' Former children's minister Tim Loughton told the BBC that the former Rochdale MP's letters were 'bully-boy tactics. It was an abuse of position that somebody as an MP was saying: "You shouldn't look at us, we're above the law."'
Ex-Scum of the World editor Andy Coulson and its former royal editor Clive Goodman are to face a retrial on a charge of buying royal telephone directories from police officers. An Old Bailey jury failed to reach a verdict on the charges last week. Coulson, was found extremely guilty last week of conspiracy to hack phones and faces a maximum of two years in prison. He is due to be sentenced later this week for plotting to hack phones at the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World between 2000 and 2006. Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said: 'The CPS has taken the position to proceed with the retrial.' He also described the list of phone-hacking victims as reading 'like a Who's Who to Britain for the first five years of the Century', adding that 'what occurred was the routine invasion of privacy and that has the capacity to do serious harm.' Justice Saunders agreed with Edis that the public should be told how two years is the maximum term that the convicted men can be sentenced to serve in prison, so that public expectations around their sentencing would be 'based on what is lawful.' Coulson and three former newsdesk executives 'utterly corrupted' the Scum of the World and turned it into 'a thoroughly criminal enterprise', the judge was told. Edis said that the phone-hacking victims of the now-defunct Sunday tabloid 'read like a Who's Who of Britain in the first five years of this Century.' He added that the 'full extent of hacking will never be known' but that it included 'politicians, actors, footballers, suspected criminals, actual criminals, indeed almost anyone who appeared in the newspaper appeared on that list.' Edis said the court will be seeking to recover seven hundred and fifty thousand smackers in costs from Coulson and his former colleagues. The barrister said that it was 'not clear' whether News International, now known as News UK, was bound to indemnify Coulson for his portion of those costs, which 'will be substantial.' Coulson appeared at the Old Bailey as the sentencing process began and sat in the dock alongside three former colleagues. Former Scum of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, news editor Greg Miskiw and reporter James Weatherup, have all admitted their part in what the court heard was 'systemic misconduct.' Private detective Glenn Mulcaire also appeared in court, for his part in the hacking plot. Former Scum of the World reporter Dan Evans, who has also admitted phone-hacking, will be sentenced separately in late July. Edis also told the court on Monday that the Crown would make an application for costs against Miskiw, Thurlbeck and Weatherup as well as Coulson. Those four men had 'utterly corrupted' the Scum of the World, which 'became at the very highest level a criminal enterprise.' The court also heard that Miskiw was 'the most heavily implicated' in phone-hacking, making some fifteen hundred requests to Mulcaire between 1999 and 2006, even after he had left the Scum of the World. In July 2004 he asked Mulcaire to target Spectator publisher Kimberly Quinn because of her involvement with former Home Secretary David Blunkett. And he and Thurlbeck were also responsible for instructing Mulcaire over the hacking of voicemails on a mobile phone belonging to the murdered Surrey teenager Milly Dowler in 2002. Edis said that Coulson 'participated in the criminal enterprise', describing the hacking as part of 'systemic misconduct approved and practised in by the editor himself.' He said that there was 'routine invasion in search of stories' at the paper which had 'the obvious capability to do serious harm to the victims.' Edis used the case of the hacking of Simon Hoggart, the recently deceased Gruniad journalist, as an example of 'the great distress' the newspaper caused. He told Mr Justice Saunders that Hoggart was hacked because the paper found out he'd had an affair with Kimberly Fortier, as she was then known, at the time the publisher of the Spectator magazine. 'There does not seem to be any public interest at all whether or not [the story about Hoggart] had been obtained by phone-hacking but it was and that inevitably caused great distress to the family of the late Mister Hoggart and to Mister Quinn [Fortier's husband].' He said that the hacking of Fortier's phone led to the front-page exclusive in relation to Hoggart, but that he was just a 'by-product' of the paper's real reason for hacking her phone, which was an investigation into a suspected affair she was having with the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett. The Blunkett story, also a Scum of the World splash in 2004, was one of three stories that led to the tabloid being awarded the newspaper of the year award the following year. 'Plainly that award in the newspaper industry which was the subject of considerably pride both to the newspaper generally and to the journalist in particular arose in part from phone-hacking,' said Edis. 'This whole series of events caused Mister Blunkett a great deal of distress,' he added. Edis said it was known that the paper had hacked employees of the royal family when Mulcaire was extremely convicted of hacking in 2006 but it is now known that it went much wider and included the direct hacking of Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton in 2005 and 2006. Mr Justice Saunders said that it was not within his remit to assess why the crown did not decide to reveal Prince William and Prince Harry were hacked as part of the first case against Mulcaire in 2006 and that this had been raised during The Leveson Inquiry. Agreeing, Edis said that Leveson had found that the decision to 'ringfence' the princes from the adverse publicity this would have unleashed was 'justified at the time' and taken out of the 'desirable respect for the privacy of the royal family in so far as possible.' Mulcaire's barrister, Gavin Millar QC, said that his client had already been jailed in 2006 for hacking the phones of three royal aides and other public figures and had hoped to 'put the past behind him' when he was released. Millar said that police had been in a position to charge Mulcaire with more offences but chose not to. It was not up to him to prosecute himself, Millar said. He urged the judge to recognise 'all of that happened' when he passes sentence but said that Mulcaire 'acknowledged' that the charges he now faces cover a conspiracy of his involvement before 2006 - including the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone. The Scum of the World was closed in shame and ignominy by its parent company, News International, in July 2011 after the incident involving Milly Dowler's phone emerged along with a series of other revelations involving the relatives of crime victims and murdered soldiers. Meanwhile, Thurlbeck's barrister, Hugh Davies QC, told the Old Bailey that the Scum of the World's managing editor Stuart Kuttner approved the use of phone-hacking - despite Kuttner's acquittal last week on a charge of conspiring to hack voicemails. Davies also named two other former senior Scum of the World executives whom Thurlbeck claimed 'had knowledge' of the practice. They cannot be identified for legal reasons - both have been questioned by police but not charged. Police say that thousands of people's phones were also targeted by the newspaper's hackers. After leaving the Scum of the World, Coulson, of Charing in Kent, later became director of communications for David Cameron. Clive Goodman, of Addlestone, Surrey, is the newspaper's former royal editor and pleaded guilty to phone-hacking in 2006. Coulson was the Scum of the World editor from 2003 to 2007, then worked for the Conservative Party from 2007 and became the PM's director of communications - and, if you will, 'chum' - after the 2010 election. Following Coulson's conviction Cameron apologised for hiring him and said it had been 'the wrong decision,' comments which the trial judge criticised as having, potentially prejudiced the jury who were still considering outstanding charges.

Ofcom is to investigate whether ITV breached the broadcasting code by paying for a group of students to get drunk in a programme on binge drinking. The programme, a Tonight investigation titled Britain's Young Drinkers, was heavily criticised by alcohol awareness groups after it emerged that the producers has paid the bar bill of the four young students filmed on a big night out in Liverpool. Ofcom has received two complaints about the programme, with one specifically about the tactics used to make the show. The programme, which was made by ITV Studios' factual arm Shiver, inferred that the heavy drinking students were on a typical night out. One complainant alleged that the programme did not made clear that the night was anything but normal, with the producers paying the bar bill and that this was misleading. Tonight: Britain's Young Drinkers was broadcast on 17 April and was watched by an overnight audience of 2.8 million. The documentary included interviews with a parent of a young man who had died following a drinking game and a survey showing how many young people drank alcohol for the sole purpose of getting drunk. ITV carried out an internal investigation following a complaint from a family member of the one of the participants. Tonight's producer, David Warren, resigned last month, according to Broadcast magazine. ITV declined to say whether his departure was related to the Britain's Young Drinkers investigations and Warren himself declined to comment.

Channel Four's controversial documentary Benefits Street has been cleared by Ofcom. The show picked up large amounts of complaints from viewers: eight hundred and eighty seven people claimed the show 'misrepresented and vilified benefits claimants', forty that it 'demonstrated criminal techniques' including how to shoplift and twenty three viewers were concerned about the treatment of minors in the show - though none of these were from the children themselves or their parents. Ofcom decided not to investigate the claims of 'negative and offensive portrayal' of benefit claimants, suggesting that the context made it clear that the show was only about the 'experiences of one community' and that Channel Four 'ensured there was sufficient context over the course of the series to justify the offence and that it applied generally accepted standards.' Similarly, Ofcom did not investigate the complaints about the portrayal of criminal techniques after speaking to Channel Four, explaining: 'Ofcom was satisfied that certain essential details were not broadcast which may have enabled the successful commission of a crime, and that there was a sufficient editorial justification for including the material broadcast.' However, Ofcom did look into complaints regarding the children and young people in the show - including allegations that the children were exposed to verbal, emotional and physical abuse that should not have been broadcast 'for the purposes of entertainment'; that one child was in danger after being shown by an adult how to make a flame thrower out of a deodorant can; that two young children faced 'neglect' and the use of a 'punishment porch' and that the children could suffer from bullying and stigmatisation after featuring in the series. Ofcom looked into whether the show had breached Rule 1.28 - that 'due care must be taken over the physical and emotional welfare and dignity of people under eighteen' regardless of the context of the show - and Rule 1.29, that people under eighteen must not be 'caused unnecessary distress or anxiety' by their involvement in or the broadcast of programmes. Channel Four was asked to outline the steps they took to ensure the welfare of the children involved before, during and after filming, and responded with a raft of measures used, pointing out that the show was not 'principally about under eighteens' but that 'thought and care was given from the start' to them. Before production, Channel Four ensured that the production company had experience of filming with children; used guidelines from Ofcom, the production company and Channel Four and gave consideration to the families' suitability for filming 'in terms of their robustness as individuals as a family, their support networks, any particular vulnerabilities arising from their individual histories/personal circumstances and of course their ability to understand fully what was involved, including the positive and negative consequences of being involved in a nationally televised series.' The broadcaster also gave families 'a fair and accurate description of what the series would be about'; allowed participants to view programmes before they were aired - and occasionally changed the content after concerns were raised, even at the last minute; asked for information about previous convictions, medical and psychological health and involvement with agencies like social services and appointed a psychologist to advise on welfare issues and offer support to the participants throughout filming. Channel Four also claimed that there was no filming of children without consent - and that the children were told they didn't have to be filmed and could ask for the cameras to be switched off - and that only one under-eighteen, a fifteen-year-old girl, was filmed alone without a parent present. Elsewhere, the broadcaster warned parents about possible bullying and negative comments in the media and online, advised them to inform their children's schools about the show and told a local headteacher which students would appear in each episode. A Channel Four press officer also talked through everything with the participants, gave them a guide to dealing with social media, and offered practical advice about privacy settings and how to block or complain about abuse online. A member of the production team was also sent to Birmingham when the show exploded in the media. Channel Four also defended its broadcast of specific issues such as the flame thrower deodorant and the 'punishment porch', insisting that there was 'nothing pre-arranged' and that the show was 'an honest reflection of what happened over a year of filming.' The child with the deodorant can was told about the dangers of fire, while the parents using the 'punishment porch' were informally advised to begin parenting classes, which were shown to be having 'a positive influence' on the family. In its decision, Ofcom agreed that the under-eighteens were not the main focus of the show, and that they weren't involved in a format that had the potential to generate conflict or crisis other than that which they would experience in their everyday lives. Ofcom also agreed that the appropriate level of due care was applied for an observational documentary. However, Ofcom acknowledged that more due care may be needed after production, but noted all of the steps Channel Four made to ensure this happened. 'Ofcom therefore concluded that in this case Channel Four took due care over the welfare and dignity of the under-eighteens and there was no breach of Rule 1.28,' the regulator said. The regulator also decided there was no breach of Rule 1.29, explaining that the show simply recorded real life experiences and that Channel Four took appropriate steps to ensure due care of the young participants to minimise distress. 'When a format seeks to reflect the everyday life of children living in a deprived area, it is likely that some viewers may feel uncomfortable viewing the experience,' the regulator said. 'However, Ofcom was of the view that Channel Four sought to reflect the lives of the young people concerned, rather than place the children in any distressing situations.' In fact, Ofcom said that 'in many respects, the due care provided by Channel Four in this case demonstrated best practice and the fact that the children's welfare was at the heart of the production. [Ofcom's role is] not to judge whether it is appropriate to reflect a child's life in a certain way, even if it is uncomfortable to some viewers to see children living in certain environments,' the regulator concluded. 'Our duty is, rather, to ensure that the broadcaster took due care of the children in terms of their physical and emotional well-being while they were participating in each stage of the production and following transmission. In this case Ofcom was satisfied that, particularly given Channel Four's remit to make challenging and difficult programming, this series illustrated important issues facing some children living in contemporary Britain while ensuring that due care was applied to protect their interests throughout the production process.'

BBC2 will broadcast a brand new series all about sweets. Sweets Made Simple will be hosted by Kitty Hope and Mark Greenwood, who run an award-winning confectionery business together, Broadcast reports. The four-part series will see the duo travelling across the UK as they search for ingredients, have a go at making classic sweets and introduce viewers to new recipes. Among the sweeties thought to be involved in the show is gin and lime truffles, gingerbread latte fudge and salted seashell caramels. BBC2's Kim Shillinglaw said: 'From Lorraine Pascale to Tom Kerridge, BBC2 has a strong track record of introducing innovative new culinary talent.' Sweets Made Simple is expected to shown in August.

France reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup as Paul Pogba's header and Joseph Yobo's own goal saw then brush past Nigeria in Brasilia. Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike had a first-half goal ruled out for offside before Vincent Enyeama saved Pogba's volley. Victor Moses cleared Karim Benzema's shot off the line after the break whilst Yohan Cabaye volleyed against the bar. Pogba headed home after Enyeama's misjudgement before Yobo diverted Mathieu Valbuena's cross into the net. France will play Germany in the quarter-finals at the Maracana on Friday. The final scoreline was a touch harsh on Nigeria, who dominated for large parts of the second half, but late mistakes from their tiring players ensured they will have to wait for their first ever quarter-final appearance in a World Cup. France have pedigree in the knockout rounds having reached at least the semi-finals on the last five occasions they have progressed past the first round at the World Cup. Nigeria's last-sixteen preparations had been disrupted by a row over bonuses and, with their group victory over Bosnia-Hercegovina their only World Cup win in eleven matches, this tie was always going to prove a big ask. But, attacking with pace down the wings through both Moses and Ahmed Musa, The Super Eagles looked threatening early on. Only a flag for offside denied the powerful Emenike the opener, when he tapped home Musa's cross. Nigeria's goalkeeper Enyeama made the most saves of any goalkeeper in the group phase and had to be alert again to keep out Pogba's fierce close-range volley as the play swept from end to end in a first half that saw both sides look vulnerable defensively. Juventus's Pogba was being afforded a lot of space but, as was the case all over the pitch, the final ball was all too often wasteful with Mathieu Debuchy's shot wide the only other notable attempt in a half that promised more than it delivered. France, the 2006 runners-up, did not make it past the group stage in South Africa four years ago when they were a huge disappointment but they appear to be much more united as a squad in this tournament. That togetherness was needed as Nigeria controlled the opening stages of the second half and only a sharp stop from Hugo Lloris prevented Peter Odemwingie's low shot from giving the Africans the lead. Against the run of play Benzema almost gave France the lead. The Real Madrid striker played a neat one-two with Antoine Griezmann before seeing his shot partially blocked by Enyeama and then hacked off the line by Moses. The introduction of Griezmann for Olivier Giroud saw France emerge more as an attacking force, with Benzema playing more centrally and the breakthrough came when Pogba headed into an empty net after Enyeama had misjudged Valbuena's corner. And, as Nigeria pushed for a leveller, Joseph Yobo flicked Valbuena's low cross into his own net on the day he surpassed Jay-Jay Okocha's record of nine World Cup matches for The Super Eagles.

Germany survived a huge test of their World Cup title credentials to see off underdogs Algeria in extra time. The three-time champions lacked urgency throughout the ninety minutes and frequently looked rattled as an enterprising Algeria side wasted a succession of chances in an open, exciting encounter, before André Schürrle finished from close range early in the first additional period. Mesut Özil drilled in to double their lead and although Abdelmoumene Djabou volleyed home to ensure a frantic end, a relieved Germany held on and will take on the French in Rio on Friday. The result looked inevitable once a hugely impressive Algeria side began to tire, but Joachim Löw's men will have to improve dramatically if they are to secure a first World Cup since 1990. Germany are into the last eight for the seventeenth time in eighteen World Cup appearances, but they lacked the fluency and cutting edge that has seen them installed among the tournament favourites. This blogger can't remember the last time he watched a German side that gave the ball away anywhere near as much and looked so defensively nervous. There were times in the match when, genuinely, they looked like a group of players who barely knew each other rather than a team which included seven men from the same club side. Algeria could not mark their first experience of the knockout stage with a win, meaning Africa's representation in Brazil is over, but they depart with immense credit for a superb campaign. The build-up was dominated by talk of them seeking revenge for 1982, when West Germany's convenient 1-0 win against Austria saw them both reach the second round at Algeria's expense. With a five-one-three-one formation and five changes to their starting line-up that saw playmaker Yacine Brahimi drop to the bench, The Desert Foxes appeared to be set up defensively. But after an early spell of German pressure, they went in search of a shock lead and almost found it. Manuel Neuer made a vital challenge on Islam Slimani after Faouzi Ghoulam's ball up the left wing eluded Per Mertesacker, and it subsequently took an important tackle from The Arse centre-half to deny the same man. Sofiane Feghouli then sliced through the Germany back line only to miscue his cross from a brilliant position, Slimani's diving header was correctly disallowed for offside and Ghoulam steamed through on the left but lashed his finish across goal and wide. Germany eventually managed to exert an influence - Özil's misdirected cross was tipped over the bar, Thomas Müller headed wide and keeper Rais Mbolhi spilled an Özil drive - but Algeria refused to sit back and Mehdi Mostefa was the latest to come close with a strike that was deflected wide. Mbolhi made a magnificent double save from Toni Kroos and Mario Götze as Germany finished the half well, but it was no surprise when Götze was replaced by Schürrle at the break. The big question was whether Algeria would maintain their intensity or be punished for their missed chances and the answer nearly arrived when Schürrle's first effort was deflected narrowly off target, before Shkodran Mustafi headed at Mbolhi and the goalkeeper pulled off a fine save from Philipp Lahm's shot. Algeria responded by tightening up at the back and attempting to pounce on the counter-attack. Neuer was forced to operate as an auxiliary sweeper as Slimani escaped the German centre-backs, while Feghouli drilled wide and then Slimani lashed powerfully at Neuer. At the other end, Mbolhi made another stunning stop from Müller's header while Esseid Belkalem and Ghoulam cleared off the line from Schurrle and Benedikt Höwedes respectively. Algeria were visibly tiring and after Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger threatened a winner late in the ninety minutes, Schürrle finally broke the deadlock in the opening moments of extra time. Müller crossed low from the left for the Moscow Chelski forward to dispatch with an improvised finish. It was the fourteenth of Germany's last twenty four World Cup goals that Müller has been directly involved it. Özil rammed in a second before substitute Djabou converted from Feghouli's cross, but there was no time to find another goal for the plucky North Africans.

Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws striker Luis Suarez has - finally - apologised to Giorgio Chiellini for the bite that earned him a nine-match and four-month ban from football. The Uruguayan was suspended from all football for biting Italy's Chiellini. 'The truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me,' said Suarez in a statement. Suarez had previously claimed that he lost his balance and did not bite Chiellini. So, that appears to have been nothing but a lie, then. It is his third career ban for biting after incidents with Moscow Chelski's Branislav Ivanovic while at Liverpool in April 2013, and PSV's Otman Bakkal while at Ajax in 2010. 'I deeply regret what occurred,' added Suarez. 'I apologise to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family. I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like this.' Chiellini had himself called the ban 'excessive', while, in his written submission to FIFA, Suarez had claimed: 'I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent.' Suarez will miss the first nine games of the Premier League season and return to football on 26 October. He will have missed a total of thirty nine matches because of biting offences by the time he serves his latest suspension, having been banned for ten games after the Ivanovic incident. Despite the incident in Brazil, Barcelona remain keen to sign the forward. Uruguay's President Jose Mujica has called football's world governing body FIFA 'a bunch of old sons of bitches' over Suarez's four-month ban. The seventy nine-year-old described the punishment as 'a fascist ban.' The president covered his mouth to feign shock at what he had said, but told journalists to 'publish it' when asked if he wanted to rectify his remarks. Mujica admitted that Suarez deserved to be disciplined, but said that his suspension was too harsh. 'They could have punished him, but not given him this fascist ban,' he said.

Cameroon officials are to investigate claims that seven of their players were involved in match-fixing at the World Cup. The ethics committee of the African country's football federation will look at allegations of 'fraud' by 'seven bad apples' in their three group games. The allegations have been made in a German newspaper by a convicted match fixer from Singapore. Cameroon lost all their Group A games, including a 4-0 defeat by Croatia.

An England supporter reportedly had a piece of his ear bitten off by another England fan at the World Cup in Brazil. The alleged assault happened during England's match against Uruguay in Sao Paulo on 19 June, British police deployed to the tournament have said. Local officers started an investigation after the fan made a complaint but the assailant has not been identified. Confirmation of the incident came after radio pundit Stan Collymore tweeted that he had seen footage of 'a fan attacked.' Six British police officers have travelled to Brazil for the tournament. Their role is to offer support and advice to Brazilian police and local authorities as well as overseeing the thousands of England fans who travelled to the country. The Association of Chief Police Officers issued a statement following Collymore's tweet. Chief Supt Rachel Barber said that her officers were made aware during the match 'that an incident had taken place which resulted in an England fan having a portion of his ear bitten off by another England fan.' She added: 'In the immediate aftermath, we managed to make contact with the victim and offered advice and support. The day after the attack, the victim chose to make a formal complaint to the local police and they opened an investigation. During the course of our pursuit of the assailant, we located and interviewed several witnesses. They were very helpful in giving their version of events, but, unfortunately they were unable to give us a name for the alleged attacker.' She said that officers observed supporters at England's final match against Costa Rica on 24 June in Belo Horizonte 'but it appears he did not travel to that game. Efforts are ongoing to identify the suspect and bring him to justice either in the UK or, if possible, back in Brazil where the offence occurred,' she added. A Foreign Office spokesman said: 'We are aware of an incident in Sao Paulo on 19 June involving a British national and we provided consular assistance.'

There was much excitement when BBC director general Tony Hall touted the idea of remaking Kenneth Clark’s acclaimed 1969 series Civilisation – although it's more like exasperation where whinging old misery guts David Starkey is concerned. The TV historian who wrote Channel Four series The Churchills believes rebooting classic series show a lack of imagination at the Corporation, that good old defender of the Beeb the Daily Scum Mail reports with absolutely no agenda whatsoever. 'I believe that for the BBC to go back and remake Civilisation is a bad and lazy idea,' harrumphed Starkey. 'Civilisation was something new. Remakes are not the golden age of anything, they are the silver and bronze. What the BBC needs to come up with is something new.' Not suprisingly, Starkey has ruled himself out of the running for the presenter's job.

Sir Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts have filmed a sketch to help promote the Monty Python's Flying Circus team's reunion shows at London's O2 Arena. In the sketch, shown to journalists on Monday and now available on YouTube, Sir Mick - sitting watching the World Cup - jokingly suggests that 'we've seen it all before.' The Pythons, he suggests, are 'a bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money' adding that 'the best one died years ago.' Monty Python Live (Mostly) runs for ten nights at the O2 from Tuesday. 'Monty Python? Are they still going? Who wants to see that again?' Sir Mick asks as Watts sits silently beside him. The singer goes on to dictate a Rolling Stones set list to an assistant, full of the rock band's most well-known standards (including The Dead Parrot Sketch). Wow, Mick Jagger has a sense of humour, who'd've though it? The five surviving members of the British comedy troupe - John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - appeared in central London earlier to reveal details about their upcoming shows. They include the news that astrophysicists Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox (no, the other one) will feature in filmed sketches and that comedian (well, sort of) David Walliams will conduct red carpet interviews on 20 July, the final concert date. Idle said that Hawking is 'a big Python fan so he was asked if he would' take part. The final night, he continued, would be 'like the Last Night of the Proms' and 'a crazy party.' The performance will be broadcast live on Gold and in cinemas in more than one hundred countries. According to Cleese, the show - which includes recreations of the Pythons' most famous sketches as well as elaborate song and dance numbers - cost four and a half million quid to produce.
The Who have announced a fiftieth anniversary UK tour which is likely to be their last. Mind you, they've said that before. And, this blogger has seen them on, near enough, every tour since 1979 on the assumption that each time would, really, be the last chance. The greatest rock and roll band in the history of rock and roll, bare none, announced The Who Hits Fifty tour would include songs from across their career. 'This is the beginning of the long goodbye,' said yer actual Roger Daltrey. Pete Townshend added: 'We are what we are, and extremely good at it, but we're lucky to be alive and still touring. If I had enough hairs to split I would say that for thirteen years since 1964 The Who didn't really exist, so we are really only thirty seven.' Townshend said the show would include 'hits, picks, mixes and misses.' Daltrey and Townshend revealed the tour dates at a launch event at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London, at which they played a short acoustic set. The Who have sold more than one hundred million records since forming, as The Detours, in 1962. Their best-known LPs include My Generation, The Who Sell Out - a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping that one, the huge-selling Who's Next and the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. The original line-up included drummer Keith Moon, who died from an accidental overdose of Heminevrin (a drug intended to curb alcohol abuse) in 1978 and bassist John Entwistle who died from a heart attack - in a Vegas hotel room whilst in bed with a nose full of Charlie, a bottle of brandy and a couple of hookers - in 2002. That's the rock and roll way to go. In 2013, The Who toured the UK with a full-length performance of 1973's Quadrophenia. Daltrey told Rolling Stone last year that The Who were planning a world tour for 2015 which would be their 'last big tour.' He said: 'We aren't finishing after that. We intend to go on doing music until we drop, but we have to be realistic about our age. The touring is incredibly grinding on the body and we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.' The Who Hits Fifty begins at Glasgow SSE Hydro on 30 November and ends at London's The O2 on 17 December.

Anyway, here's today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Which, today of all days, seems really appropriate.

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