Thursday, July 17, 2014

There'll Be Nobody Left By The Time You're Through

Doctor Who fans will get the chance to see the London première of season eight next month. Yer actual Peter Capaldi's full début on the BBC's long-running family SF drama is to be screened at the BFI on London's South Bank on Thursday 7 August at 6.30pm. The screening will take place on the same day as a special lunchtime event at St David's Hall in Cardiff. Peter and other yet-to-be-confirmed cast and crew members will take part in a panel discussion and Q&A session. Tickets for the BFI screening will be balloted, and will cost sixteen knicker. The deadline to apply is 8.30pm on Sunday. Applicants will be informed if they are successful or not by 24 July. The screening is part of the BFI's new series Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder, which was launched this week.
Meanwhile, BBC Worldwide has issued an update concerning the leak of Doctor Who materials last week. The recent leaks of scripts and footage from the new Doctor Who series were due to 'a damaging mistake', according to the BBC's commercial arm. 'We would like to thank Doctor Who fans everywhere for their amazing efforts in helping us contain the recent leaks,' Worldwide note. 'The mistake was damaging and resulted in the exposure of five scripts and the first six unfinished episodes from series eight on a publicly accessible FTP site. While there is still a risk that this leak will result in more of this content emerging, so far the impact has been contained to a limited amount of this material through a combination of fans efforts and the plan that we put in place using new technology and internal manpower to limit any illegal activity. We would particularly like to thank the fansite moderators and Doctor Who devotees who have actively protected the programme. BBC Worldwide has taken this issue extremely seriously and disciplinary action has been implemented as a result of the incident. Our sincere apologies again to Steven Moffat, the cast and production team who toil long hours to make the show in Cardiff, the BBC, and of course the fans who expect so much better.'
Meanwhile, dear blog reader, if ever you want a quite nuanced and complex media story reduced to crass clichés, tabloid soundbites and not a little bit of sneering then Metro is, usually, on the case. 'BBC staff on Doctor Who face being exterminated over a mistake that led to scripts appearing online.' Except that they don't - no BBC employee actually working on Doctor Who either within the production team or elsewhere was involved in this malarkey at all. Jeez, sometimes it's not hard to appreciate how Steven Moffat must feel on a daily basis towards morons.
24: Live Another Day reclaimed some of its lost audience for its finale on Sky1 according to overnight figures. The US drama climbed by over two hundred thousand viewers from the previous week's episode to four hundred and sixty one thousand at 9pm. On BBC1, Talk To The Animals appealed to 2.31 million at 8pm, followed by the second part of Nick & Margaret: Too Many Immigrants? with 2.67m at 9pm. BBC2's Operation Cloud Lab brought in 1.37m at 8pm, while The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway was seen by 2.48m at 9pm. Odious Unfunny Worthless Lanky Streak Of Stale Piss Jack Whitehall's Backchat picked up eight hundred and thirty three thousand at 10pm. On ITV, All-Star Mr & Mrs topped the ratings outside soaps with 3.33m at 8pm, followed by Testing Britain's Worst Drivers with 2.33m at 9pm. Channel Four's This Old Thing appealed to nine hundred and sixty eight thousand at 8pm, followed by One Born Every Minute with 1.44m at 9pm. The Mimic returned for a new series with four hundred and fifty two thousand at 10pm. On Channel Five, Angry Brits: Caught On Camera attracted 1.11m at 8pm. The Hotel Inspector Returns intrigued 1.16m at 9pm, while Big Brother was gawped at by 1.26m glakes at 10pm. On 5USA, the premiere of Chicago PD brought in four hundred and sixty four thousand at 9pm.

Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford's latest BBC special topped a quiet Tuesday outside soaps, overnight data reveals. Too Many Immigrants? intrigued 3.45 million at 9pm. Summer's Supermarket Secrets was seen by 1.86m at 10.35pm. On BBC2, Mary Berry Cooks appealed to 1.15m, followed by Hive Alive with 1.47m at 8pm and Coast with 1.77m at 9pm. ITV's Love Your Garden attracted 2.22m at 8pm. A repeat of Fifty Six Up brought in 1.68m at 9pm. On Channel Four's Kirstie's Fill Your House For Free interested 1.21m at 8pm. Undercover Boss returned for a new series with 1.46m at 9pm, while Utopia continued with four hundred and seventeen thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Dog Rescuers was seen by 1.11m at 8pm, followed by the latest CSI with 1.39m at 9pm and Big Brother with 1.20m at 10pm. BBC3 musical drama Glasgow Girls had an audience of six hundred and twenty two thousand at 10pm.

Long Lost Family topped the overnight ratings on Monday evening. Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell's ITV show was seen by 4.65 million at 9pm. Earlier, Countrywise gathered 2.84m at 8pm. On BBC1, Panorama interested 2.13m at 8.30pm, followed by John Bishop's Australia with 3.22m at 9pm and Rio Ferdinand's Rio documentary with 1.40m at 10.35pm. BBC2's Mary Berry Cooks was watched by to 1.07m at 7.30pm, while University Challenge's latest episode was seen by 2.42m at 8pm. Food and Drink gathered 1.41m at 8.30pm. This World attracted 1.34m at 9pm, and a Qi repeat had 1.20m at 10pm. On Channel Four, Food Unwrapped brought in 1.16m at 8.30pm, followed by new series Royal Marines Commando School with 2.10m at 9pm. Utopia returned with four hundred and ninety three thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Police Interceptors drew nine hundred and ninety one thousand at 8pm, followed by Benefits Britain with 1.33m at 9pm. The latest Big Brother eviction garnered 1.55m sad crushed victims of society at 10pm.

Here are the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Fifteen programmes, week-ending Sunday 6 July 2014:-
1 World Cup Live: The Netherlands Versus Costa Rica - Sat BBC1 - 8.38m
2 World Cup 2014: Brazil Versus Colombia - Fri ITV - 7.50m
3 Coronation Street - Wed ITV - 7.50m
4 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 6.99m
5 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 6.79m
6 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 6.30m
7 Emmerdale - Thurs ITV - 6.09m
8 Casualty - Sun BBC1 - 5.91m
9 Wimbledon 2014 - Sun BBC1 - 5.25m
10 Common - Sun BBC1 - 5.10m
11 Six O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.97m
12 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.59m
13 Celebrity MasterChef - Wed BBC1 - 4.37m
14 Watchdog - Wed BBC1 - 4.0om
15 Holby City - Mon BBC1 - 3.78m
Elsewhere at the World Cup, BBC1's coverage of Belgium versus the USA attracted in 7.77m punters whilst Algeria versus Germany was watched by 6.62m on ITV. BBC2's top-rated programme of the week was the drama The Honourable Woman with 3.21m viewers, followed by coverage of The British Grand Prix (2.89m) and Mock The Week (2.06m). Channel Four's highest-rated show was One Born Every Minute with 2.03m. Benefits Britain: Life On The Dole was Channel Five's best performer with 2.43m, followed by CSI (1.91m). Once again, let's all have a good laugh that E4's The Big Bang Theory (1.85m) attracted a higher audience than any episode of Big Brother (Wednesday's 1.51m was the long-running Victorian freak show's highest rated episode).

BBC1 should take 'more creative risks' and not rely on a handful of familiar and long-running titles and personalities, the BBC Trust has said. It also reported that fans of shows like Sherlock were 'disappointed' by limited runs of their favourite programmes. The BBC1 detective drama, starring yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman his very self, began in 2010 but so far only nine ninety-minute films have been made. In its annual service review of the main BBC channels, the Trust found that some viewers 'do not find BBC1 sufficiently distinctive in some important ways' and that the channel needed to take more risks. The Trust has called for a report from Corporation bosses to be delivered in six months time setting out how it will 'increase the distinctiveness of programmes and schedules, with a focus on BBC1.' The report identified 'a broad perception' that the BBC failed to 'take risks' and said many 'lighter' viewers of the channel – ie, non-regular viewers but those who do watch it occasionally – believed that 'BBC1 predominantly shows long-running programmes (eg, EastEnders, Casualty, Antiques Roadshow) and sticks to established formats, talent and scheduling.' The good news for the channel was the thumbs up given in the BBC’s audience research into drama series 'which were perceived to be different in production and tone', with shows Sherlock and fellow crime drama Luther cited as prime examples. The Trust also reported the concerns of viewers who wanted more of their favourite dramas like Sherlock. 'There was some disappointment regarding the frequency and length of BBC1 drama series favourites such as Sherlock,' the report stated. 'This was particularly evident among sixteen to thirty fours who made comparisons with their experiences of US drama, which have much longer and typically more frequent seasons.' David Liddiment of the Trust says that BBC1 should try and meet the desire of viewers who want to to see more episodes of top quality dramas. While admitting the logistical difficulties of having a drama like Sherlock on more often – not least the problem of aligning the busy schedules of Benny and Marty - Liddiment, who co-wrote the review into the BBC's services, said it would not be impossible. Well, no - not if they paid the sort of money that US TV does. One imagines that Martin Freeman earned more for a single episode of Fargo than he would for a twelve episode run of Sherlock. 'It is hard for audiences to understand why there is something as good as Sherlock and it is on for only three weeks, why can't we have more of it?' he replied in answer to a question from the Radio Times. He said the 'benefits to the BBC would be great' if a show like Sherlock could 'sit in the schedule for twelve weeks' but admitted the difficulties involved. 'We have seen extraordinarily ambitious pieces of television come out of America and Scandinavia, in particular shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad which are on twelve hours a year. They are very very ambitious and a modern audience, when it likes something, they want more of it. We are in a kind of demand society and it's not impossible is what I am saying and when you get it absolutely spot on it is a bolster to do more of that.' BBC1’s comedy output was broadly praised but the Trust said there needed to be 'a greater range' and more sitcoms that the whole family could watch. Liddiment said: 'For BBC1 in particular, we share Tony Hall's ambition that it has to be not only the nation's favourite channel but also its bravest, building on the very best programmes in its schedules, that not only entertain and delight audiences, but also frequently challenge and surprise them.' The verdict on other BBC channels was also varied. The report said that viewer perceptions of BBC3 – which Hall plans to turn into an online-only channel – were 'mixed', with its factual output singled out for praise by viewers, while it was said not to have a strong reputation for its arts and culture coverage beyond music. The report also noted that BBC2's audience reach has declined, with just over fifty per cent of people watching each week. Sherlock co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat recently announced that a one-off special and a fourth three-part series will begin filming in January 2015, a year after season three aired. The show's producers have often referred to the difficulty of coordinating filming time with Cumberbatch and Freeman, as well as Gatiss, who also stars and Moffat, who divides his time between Sherlock and his role as showrunner on Doctor Who.

BBC2 has débuted the first trailer for The Fall's second series. The acclaimed crime drama - which stars Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan - will return with six new episodes in the autumn.

BBC2's Daily Politics has been cleared by the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom after a Conservative MP swore during a live edition of the daytime programme. Five viewers whinged to the regulator after the former police minister Nick Herbert used a bad naughty swear word while - allegedly - quoting something another guest had said on social media. He was interrupted by the host, the truly fearsome when she's riled Jo Coburn, who offered a full apology to viewers at the end of the show in May. Quite why Jo felt the need to do this when neither she nor anyone else at the BBC had done anything even remotely wrong in this instance is another matter entirely. As, indeed, is what the frig the five bell-end morons who complained thought they were likely to achieve by snitching up the BBC to Ofcom like a bunch of odious Copper's Narks over such utter trivial nonsense. Let us, once again, simply stand up and salute, dear blog reader, the absolute diarrhoea that some people chose to care about. Ofcom, who for once seemed to be genuinely pissed off at having to investigate this matter, said that it was was 'satisfied' there were unlikely to be any younger viewers watching - hell, it was the Daily Politics, dear blog reader, there were unlikely to be anyone other than the five people that whinged watching - and Coburn had intervened promptly and threatened to give Herbert a jolly good hard smacked bottom for such potty-mouthed behaviour. Or something. Sadly, they didn't chose to criticise the five professional offence-takers who created all this work for them, though they certainly should have. They did use the case as a reminder to all broadcasters to 'consider carefully' their processes for briefing guests appearing on live programmes. Including politicians. The BBC said that it had not briefed Herbert ahead of his appearance and that this was 'common practice' as it was 'reasonably assumed that figures in political life are aware of the need to avoid using offensive language.' Or, in other words, he's a member of parliament he should know how to conduct himself in public. The watchdog also considered that Herbert was, he claimed, 'quoting directly' from the online comment of another guest. During the programme, Herbert had been asked whether police would react badly to a recent speech made by the Home Secretary Teresa May. In his response, he quoted a disparaging remark which he claimed fellow guest and former policeman Peter Kirkham had made on Twitter about May. Coburn interrupted the politician, telling him 'we won't have any more of that' and cautioned him to speak 'without repeating any of those expletives.' Herbert later attempted to defend his actions, saying that he had used the term 'disapprovingly.' In addition to the presenter's on-air apology, the BBC also issued a formal apology saying: 'Daily Politics is a live programme and, as with any live broadcast, occasionally slip-ups may happen. We apologised to viewers for any offence caused.'
Flies can be annoying little buggers at the best of times, dear blog reader, let alone when you're trying to do a post-apocalyptic live piece to camera. Sky News' political editor Adam Boulton was attempting to deliver important details to viewers about the cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, when a fly suddenly decided to lay down its life for a momentary share of the spotlight as it flew right into Adam's massive gob. God it was funny. Presenter Dermot Murnaghan urgently asked his, by now bright red-faced colleague if he needed a break, as Boulton started to choke up and pull bizarre facial expressions. 'No I'm fine, I swallowed a fly but I've recovered now,' Boulton gasped while tugging at his tie and attempting to move on from the subject.
The vile and odious Jeremy Kyle was reportedly pepper-sprayed in the face by a bouncer at a club in Magaluf this week. So, one sincerely hopes that this incident was filmed and that someone, somewhere shows it every Christmas.
A Time Team campaign for a one-off special in memory of the late Mick Aston has now attracted over five thousand signatures. Supporters of Lee Brady's petition have asked Channel Four to commission the one-off special as tribute to Aston, who died last June at the age of sixty six. Aston's close friend and colleague, yer actual Tony Robinson previously said of the campaign: 'I think it would be a wonderful thing to do. Mick, as most of you will know, left Time Team in a bit of a grump - he left every organisation he ever worked for in a bit of a grump - so it's quite extraordinary he spent twenty years with us before he did. I would love to see one final Time Team conducted in the very best way it possibly could be, and let's hope the Time Team campaign succeeds.' The petition notes: 'Mick Aston sadly passed away on 24 June 2013. He featured in nineteen out of twenty series of the popular programme Time Team. We think it would be really nice and fitting to pay respect to the late Mick Aston via doing a special 'one-off' dig in memory of him at a location Mick would have loved!'
The presenter line-up for BBC Breakfast has been cemented, with Naga Munchetty confirmed as a co-host alongside Charlie Stayt. Munchetty, who has already appeared regularly on the show, will present with Stayt from Thursday to Saturday. Bill Turnbull and Louise Minchin anchor the programme from the BBC's Salford studios from Monday to Wednesday. The Breakfast team underwent a major change when Susanna Reid left to join ITV's latest spectacular breakfast flop, Good Morning Britain in March. And, my, hasn't that worked out well for her? Reid had been a regular presenter on Breakfast for more than ten years before she pissed off for mucho disgraceful wonga. Other regular occupants on the Breakfast sofa include sport presenters Sally Nugent and Mike Bushell, with Steph McGovern continuing in her role as business host. Carol Kirkwood will also remain in her role as weather forecaster for the early morning programme. Munchetty, who is also a regular presence on BBC World News, was called 'a fantastic addition' to the presenting team by Breakfast editor Adam Bullimore. 'She's already a familiar face to our viewers and very popular with the team. She has bags of journalistic experience and personality,' he added. James Harding, director of BBC News, said: 'Naga brings a depth of journalistic experience and a smart curiosity to Britain's most successful breakfast programme. She's a terrific broadcaster and I'm sure that she will swiftly establish herself as a key part of the exceptional talented team who draw seven million viewers every morning.'

Carol Kirkwood's seaside weather report for BBC Breakfast descended into chaos on Thursday morning as a shitting dog caused something of a scene. It may have been the warmest day of the year so far, but it wasn't the sun that got the show's team all hot and bothered. Connie the dog, owned by the show's producer, posed innocently with Kirkwood in the build up to the report, all the while plotting its dirty protest. Still, at least Louise Minchen thought it was funny.
The satellite TV channel Investigation Discovery has been fined one hundred thousand smackers by Ofcom for showing a crime series about female killers before the nine o'clock watershed. Ofcom ruled that the repeated broadcast of Deadly Women 'resulted in serious breaches of the Broadcasting Code.' The shows, it said, contained 'graphic and disturbing reconstructions of torture, mutilation and murder.' Such sequences, it went on, 'were highly likely to have caused distress to any children in the audience.' According to Ofcom, Investigation Discovery broadcast eight episodes of Deadly Women at various times during the morning and afternoon on 16, 18 and 20 August 2013. It criticised the satellite channel for showing the programmes 'during the school holidays when there was a significant likelihood that children would be available to view.' Though, what on earth any child might have been doing watching one of the various Discovery-style channels where there is always a significant danger that they might, actually learn something is an issue which Ofcom - who are, let's remember, a politically appointed quango, elected by no one - chose not to address. Deadly Women, it said, featured 'attacks on individuals with hammers and knives, electrocutions and whippings and the dismemberment of a corpse with a circular saw.' Blimey. Sounds just like the average Saturday night round Stately Telly Topping Manor, dear blog reader. True story. One of the programmes, broadcast at 07:50 in the morning, included a segment about Elizabeth Brownrigg, an Eighteenth Century woman who was hanged for torturing orphans in her care. Discovery Communications Europe, which owns Investigation Discovery as well as the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC, accepted that it had breached the code and apologised 'unreservedly' for broadcasting the programmes in 'an entirely inappropriate time-slot. It was a genuine error and all previous series were correctly classified and shown post-watershed only,' it said in a statement. 'We have put in place additional procedures to prevent a recurrence of this issue.'

Bill Bailey has signed up to host ITV's reboot of Name That Tune. The comedian - one of the finest this country has ever produced - filmed a pilot of the game show in London yesterday, the Chortle website reports. Bill, mate, are things really that tough? Bailey, a talented musician in his own right of course, previously appeared as a team captain on musical panel show Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Reports that ITV was working on a revamped version of the quiz show emerged last month. Name That Tune, an American format, was originally broadcast in the UK in 1956, before being revived for twelve years in 1976 and then returning for two series on Channel Five in 1997. ITV has recently given new life to a number of old quiz shows, such as Catchphrase and Through The Keyhole, while its new Warwick Davis-fronted version of Celebrity Squares will premiere next month. Because, seemingly, no one at ITV is able to come up with any new ideas.
The critically-acclaimed TV detective series Hinterland has been praised for pulling in EU funding. The Aberystwyth-set drama, which has been sold to more than twelve countries, has been singled out by Welsh assembly members for praise. The Welsh government estimated filming the series in Ceredigion was worth £4.2m to the economy, as well as raising the profile of Wales abroad. Producers say that EU funding was 'crucial' to the series getting off the ground. The assembly enterprise and business committee said Hinterland was an example of how Wales 'can benefit from Brussels.' The committee wants a more joined up approach to applying for funding by councils and Welsh government, as happens in Scotland and Ireland, and suggested appointing a 'EU funding champion'. It said an 'overemphasis' in Wales on structural funding meant 'significant opportunities' such as those which the drama had taken advantage of had been missed out on. The committee report looking into EU funding says Wales can learn from the creative industries and universities in how to tap in to the wider range of grants available from a thirty three billion quid pot over the next seven years. Fiction Factory, which produces Hinterland for BBC Wales and S4C, received development funding of around five hundred thousand Euros under the EU's MEDIA programme towards the actual production of the first series. This amounted to about fifteen per cent of the overall cost. 'The ambition of the series was greater than the money that was available from the local broadcasters, from S4C and BBC Wales,' the company told the committee. 'Therefore, it was crucial for the project that we received that European funding, and it will be crucial for future projects.' It got the money because it could prove that around a dozen EU nations would buy the series. A major distributor had picked up the rights to the series and gambled on selling it. Shot in both Welsh and English, so far, Hinterland has been sold to twelve countries including Denmark, thirty territories and to Netflix in the US and Canada. An application for funding for the second series - also backed by the distributor - has recently gone in. Filming will begin in September, with the core cast led by Richard Harrington as Tom Mathias. Series producer Gethin Scourfield said: 'There's a lot of competition for this money, which is a finite amount, but we couldn't have done it without it. The paperwork is hard, and it doesn't get better for the second series, you have to put the work in. But we had help from Judy Wasdell of MEDIA Antenna Wales [with the application], who knows the ins and outs.' The committee's report also praises Cardiff University for its use of the Erasmus programme, which pays for students to exchange with others in the EU. Cardiff has now a target of sending seventeen per cent of its students abroad at some stage to study, geared to improving employment prospects.

Programmes like Strictly Come Dancing will not be filmed at London's Television Centre again until 2017 - two years later than initially planned. BBC Studios and Post Production (has delayed the start of its fifteen-year lease of the revamped Studios one, two and three, which were to re-open next year. S&PP will remain for the time being at Elstree, its home since moving out of TVC in 2013. Anna Mallett, CEO of the BBC subsidiary, said it was 'in everyone's interests' to wait for the extra two years. 'We are a twenty four/seven operation and it's absolutely vital to us that our customers have an excellent experience in our studios,' she told Ariel, the BBC's in-house publication. The delay, she said, would avoid possible noise or access issues affecting programmes at TVC, affectionately known as 'the doughnut', while construction work is completed. Although studio refurbishment work is on track, the developer's broader plans for the Wood Lane site have evolved and its construction programme has been extended as a result. Former studios four to eight will not be part of the redevelopment by property developers Stanhope, which bought Television Centre from the BBC in 2012. Last month S&PP extended its deal with Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, from which it hires two large stages and the George Lucas production gallery space. The Voice, Children In Need and Sky's wretched A League Of Their Own are among other programmes to have made use of the recently upgraded facilities.

Another series of 24 is currently not in the works, executive producer Jon Cassar has claimed. 24: Live Another Day aired its conclusion this week, but Cassar explained to TVLine that producers plan on taking a break before considering how to proceed with the franchise. 'Right now, I think it's safe to say there isn't a next instalment,' he said. 'I mean, not that there won't be, but there isn't anything planned. We need to just get away for a month so we can all just catch our breath again and be human beings again, because you're just in such a heightened state when you shoot the show. And then we can start talking about if there's going to be another 24.' Cassar also hinted that should 24 return, it could deal with Jack Bauer's advancing years. 'As far as age, I think we'll just start playing that,' he explained. 'Kiefer and I have even talked about it. If Jack Bauer comes back, you just start playing the fact that he is getting older and he is not as fast as he was. And maybe that's part of the new story, that he isn't the machine that he used to be and he has to start dealing with that. Because that would be interesting, too. I mean, I would like to see that Jack Bauer.'

A leading TV anchor with China's state broadcaster has suddenly vanished from the screen after being arrested faster than you can say 'off to the correctional facility with you, young man'. Viewers watching an economics programme on China Central Television on Friday saw only an empty chair with an unused microphone where Rui Chenggang normally sits. Instead, the show was hosted by his fellow presenter. Rui, who is regarded as something of a celebrity journalist in China, appears to have been detained by prosecutors investigating allegations of corruption at China's predominant state television broadcaster, which is one of the Communist party's primary propaganda outlets. Two months ago, CCTV's financial news director Guo Zhenxi was detained over bribery allegations, and Rui is thought to be close to Guo. Rui is a polished TV performer who has interviewed heads of state and many major business executives. He is enormously popular in China with more than ten million microblog followers. In 2007, he became famous for protesting at the presence of a Starbucks outlet in Beijing's Forbidden City. He fomented a campaign which led to Starbucks pulling out. According to a report in the South China Morning Post, a PR company once owned by Rui, called Pegasus, has business ties with CCTV. It is said to have won several contracts for programmes on CCTV's finance channel. Its deputy director, Li Yong, and a producer, Qian Xi, were also arrested on Friday, according to a Chinese news portal, Caixin Online. Qian, who has worked closely with Rui for more ten years, once compared Rui to CNN's former chat show host Larry King.

An actress from Texas has pleaded extremely guilty to posting ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Shannon Richardson, thirty five, faces up to eighteen years hard time in the The Big House for her daft and dangerous crimes. Before her arrest in June, she had accused her estranged husband Nathaniel of sending the three poisoned letters in an apparent attempt to frame him. Richardson has played small roles in The Vampire Diaries and The Walking Dead, according to IMDB. Richardson appeared in a federal court in Texarkana on Tuesday, pleading very guilty to possessing and producing a biological toxin, which could have carried a sentence of life without parole. Under the plea deal with federal prosecutors, however, she faces a maximum of eighteen years. She will be formally sentenced at a later date. Richardson's lawyer, Tonda Curry, said that Richardson was 'eager' to 'admit her role in ordering the components to make the ricin, her role in the letters that contained the ricin, and to tell the government who else was involved in those offences.' Officials say that Richardson contacted the FBI on 30 May to implicate her estranged third husband, from whom she was in the process of getting a divorce, in the letters. According to a federal indictment, one letter to Obama read: 'What's in this letter is nothing compared to what ive [sic] got in store for you, Mr President.' Another letter received by Bloomberg, a gun control advocate, contained a threat to 'shoot in the face' anyone who came for the sender's guns. A third ricin-laced letter was opened by Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun control advocacy group founded by Bloomberg. A lawyer for Nathaniel Richardson, a military mechanic at a Texarkana Army depot, previously said that the couple were in the process of divorcing during the time the letters were sent. The couple were expecting their first child together. Richardson has five other children from previous relationships. Officials investigating Shannon Richardson's story found a number of inconsistencies and she later failed a lie-detector test, according to an FBI affidavit. During a subsequent interview with authorities, Richardson reportedly cough to posting the letters, knowing that they contained ricin. But she claimed that her husband had typed them before making her post them. No charges have been filed against Mr Richardson.

Tulisa Contostavlos helped to supply cocaine to an undercover reporter after he promised that he could help her break into the movie business, a court has heard claimed. The Sun on Sunday reporter Mazher Mahmood posed as a film producer and told Contostavlos that she could get a part in a film starring Leonardo Di Caprio. Her rapper friend Mike GLC supplied the drug at London's Dorchester Hotel. Contostavlos denies helping to broker the drug deal. Southwark Crown Court heard Mahmood, posing as 'a big shot' film producer called Samir Khan, first met the singer in Las Vegas in March 2013 and again at the Metropolitan hotel in London's Mayfair in May. Prosecutor Tim Cray said: 'She thought he could get her a part in a big movie that was coming up and it seems that she was keen to be in his good books and be friendly with him. During the talk at the Metropolitan Hotel, the defendant said she used cannabis to help get to sleep and that she had connections to naughty drug dealers. She then went on to say that one of her ex-boyfriends was a major cocaine dealer and that, back in her young days, she had been part of a gang that sold crack cocaine.' Mahmood told the singer about his plans for a night out at a strip bar later in May and the singer called him to arrange it and talk turned to drugs, it was said. The prosecutor said: 'When the topic of drugs was raised, the defendant, Miss Contostavlos, said that she could definitely sort that out - that is, supplying cocaine to Samir Khan.' The former N-Dubz singer, from Friern Barnet, also allegedly sent him a text saying that she could 'sort him out' and put him in touch with Coombs, the court was told. Michael Coombs, also known as Mike GLC, met the reporter at the Dorchester Hotel on 23 May and handed him the cocaine, saying that he had only gone to such trouble because he was 'good friends' with the former X-Factor judge, the prosecutor said. The deal was taped and exposed in the newspaper. Cray added: 'Therefore, although the defendant had not negotiated the price or amount, the crown's case is she had done all she could to make a supply of cocaine happen and the charge reflects her involvement in the supply of the drug.' On Monday, Coombs, of Enfield, pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine to the undercover reporter. Contostavlos pleaded not guilty to being 'concerned with the supply of 13.9 grams of cocaine' for eight hundred and sixty knicker, between 20 May and 24 May 2013. The trial extremely continues.

EastEnders actress Charlie Brooks will guest star in Channel Five's Suspects. The network's original, not very good, crime drama - which stars Fay Ripley, Damien Molony and Clare-Hope Ashitey - will return to screens with two hour-long 'specials' (and, I use that word quite wrongly) in the autumn. Emmerdale's Dominic Power, who played serial killer Cameron Murray, will also guest star in the new episodes.

The controversial puppets used in advertising by payday lender Wonga are being axed a part of a 'clean-up operation' by its newly appointed chairman to improve the firm's reputation. Which, given that it's reputation is, currently, lower than rattlesnakes piss, is going to be an interesting exercise, one dares to speculate. Andy Haste, a former executive of blue-chip insurance companies, started his five hundred thousand smackers-a-year job as Wonga chairman on Monday of this week with a blunt message that the company needed to change. 'Wonga has understandably faced criticism and we know we need to repair our reputation and regain our right to be an accepted part of the financial service sector,' he said. As well as eye-watering interest rates that can be equivalent to an annual five thousand eight hundred per cent Wonga has been accused of using cute puppets and catchy tunes in adverts broadcast during primetime children's TV. 'The puppets are going and I think that is right,' said Haste. 'I am very aware of the criticism there has been of our advertising and marketing, which is one of my priorities to review.' Insisting it was 'not just about the puppets', he said: 'We will be reviewing how we go to market across the piste, not just on TV.' Haste, a city veteran who has led the centuries-old RSA insurance company as well as its rival AXA Sunlife, was a surprise choice for Wonga, founded in 2006 to offer short-term credit at sky-high interest rates. The UK's biggest payday lender has been without a permanent chief executive or chairman since its co-founder, Errol Damelin, quit as chairman in June last month. Damelin's departure, seven months after he stood down as chief executive, came just before the financial regulator ordered the payday lender to pay £2.6m in compensation for misleading customers by issuing letters to struggling borrowers under the name of fake legal firms. The Financial Conduct Authority said that Wonga had been guilty of 'unfair and misleading debt collection practices' after it emerged the lender had made up the companies to threaten legal action against customers. The Law Society has called for a criminal investigation into the company but Haste said that Wonga had not been contacted by police. 'As of today we are not under criminal investigation and our whole focus is working with our regulator to pay compensation to customers in a timely manner.' Wonga has also been attacked for 'legal loan-sharking', uniting MP Stella Creasy and the Archbishop of Canterbury in condemnation of the high cost of its loans. Last week the Church of England announced that it had ended its indirect investment in Wonga, a holding that had 'embarrassed' and 'irritated' the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who had said he wanted to 'compete Wonga out of existence' by boosting credit unions. Asked whether Wonga could ever become a firm the Church would choose to invest in, Haste said: 'I would be absolutely very happy to meet with the archbishop or anyone on his team to discuss those issues, to hear their concerns, to outline the programme of change we have at Wonga and where appropriate make changes as a result.' Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: 'Cartoon characters promoting payday lending send the wrong message to borrowers. Years of debt are not cuddly or jovial, but instead are tough and distressing. It is good that one of the biggest payday lenders has come to its senses.' The company declined to confirm whether it will end its sponsorship of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle United. A spokesman said: 'I don't want to prejudge the chairman. It is day one and we continue to be a proud sponsor of Newcastle United.' Wonga has never disclosed how much it paid to have its name embarrassingly emblazoned on Newcastle's shirts, but the four-year deal that began in the 2013-14 season is 'thought to be worth eight million quid' according to the Gruniad Morning Star. Though where, exactly, they got that figure from or whether they just made it up like so much else the odious shitehawk middle-class hippie Communist bell-ends report as 'news' is another question entirely. Haste expects Wonga's business and profits to shrink when a new cap on the industry's charges – announced this Tuesday – comes into force. 'It is inevitable and understandable and accepted by our shareholders that in the near term we will likely be a smaller and less profitable business.' The expected restrictions on overall charges, including interest rates and fees, are part of a wider clampdown on payday lenders that began this month with restrictions on the number of times loans can be rolled over or extended and rules preventing firms making more than two unsuccessful attempts to take cash directly from customer's bank accounts. Many smaller payday lenders have already been forced out of the market because tougher regulation has made it harder and more expensive to operate. Haste said the company's priorities included a review of customers to ensure it is only lending to people 'who can reasonably afford to repay their loans' and ensuring transparent lending, which he said would 'lead to a tightening of Wonga's lending criteria'. He said Wonga, which operates in nine countries with four million debtors, could increase its profits in the medium term by repairing its reputation.

How to conduct an humiliating about-face without anyone noticing, Daily Scum Mail-style. On Wednesday of last week, just a day before it made its grovelling not-really-an-apology apology to George Clooney, the odious right-wing paper's splash and an inside spread used stills from alleged footage of the actress Angelina Jolie allegedly taken by her alleged drug dealer (fifteen years ago, although the headlines implied by omission that it was more recent) – a baffling decision in visual terms alone, as the scruffy, candidly shot image apparently showing a misbehaving celebrity made the Scum Mail's front look like one a red-tops. Since then and since the Clooney grovel, Jolie has seemingly become the Scum Mail's most favouritist person in all the land that am: A visit to the Scum Mail Online earlier this week the unsuspecting reader could find several Jolie-related offerings on their 'sidebar of shame' including the trailer for Jolie's new film, Unbroken, a piece publicising Unbroken, a very un-Scum Mail-like article in which 'Angelina Jolie opens up to friend Marianne Pearl about the camaraderie she feels with fellow activists' and a lengthy Friday dispatch in which Jolie's wild past became part of a redemptive narrative – 'How Angelina went from heroin to heroine'. The video, meanwhile, didn't entirely disappear but was sheepishly re-headlined as Jolie 'during her "dark days" in the 1990s'. The fact that Angelina is, reportedly, suing the arse off the rancid excuse for a paper may, perhaps, have had something to do with this sudden flip-flop into gushing supportiveness from, as Clooney described them 'the worst kind of tabloid'.
An allegedly 'high-ranking friend' of the late MP, alleged dirty rotten paedophile and big fat bully Cyril Smith tried to 'warn off' police investigating claims Smith he had been sexually abusing boys, a report has revealed. A senior detective investigating the claims against Smith said that a magistrate made 'veiled threats' to officers. The detective's 1970 report to the Chief Constable of Lancashire said that there was 'prima facie evidence' of the MP's rotten guilt. The Director of Public Prosecution later advised against prosecuting. The fourteen-page report by the detective superintendent, which has been redacted, has been seen by the BBC. It alleged that Smith would have been 'at the mercy of a competent counsel', but also reported that the MP's magistrate 'buddy' had warned of 'unfortunate repercussions for the police force and the town of Rochdale' should Smith be prosecuted. The officer, whose name has been redacted from the report, was investigating allegations of sexual abuse by eight young boys, six of whom who had been at the privately-run Cambridge House care home in Rochdale. The home closed in 1965, prior to Smith's election as a MP for Rochdale. Police and Rochdale Council are already investigating allegations that the Liberal MP sexually abused boys at Knowl View residential school. The residential school for vulnerable boys in Rochdale closed in 1992. Smith was interviewed by the detective superintendent, who reported to former Chief Constable William Palfrey that 'it seems impossible to excuse [Smith's] conduct. Over a considerable period of time, while sheltering beneath a veneer of responsibility, he has used his unique position to indulge in a series of indecent episodes with young boys towards whom he had a special responsibility,' the detective wrote. He said Smith was 'most unimpressive during my interview with him.' The officer said: 'He had difficulty in articulating and even the stock replies he proffered could only be obtained after repeated promptings from his solicitor. Were he ever to be placed in the witness box, he would be at the mercy of any competent counsel. Prima facie, he appears guilty of numerous offences of indecent assault.' The officer reported that he interviewed the magistrate who told him in his 'personal opinion' he 'sincerely hoped that this matter is not prosecuted before the court. In my opinion, as a Justice of the Peace, it is not court-worthy,' he told the officer. 'The prosecution can do no good at all and the backlash will have unfortunate repercussions for the police force and the town of Rochdale.' He also told the officer it was 'no secret' that he and Smith were 'buddies, and not only politically.' The name of the magistrate has been redacted from the report. The police officer commented: 'Those observations were recorded at the time in Detective Chief Inspector _______'s official duty diary. The veiled threats and innuendos contained therein reflect ______ general attitude to this enquiry.' Two years ago the Crown Prosecution Service released documents from Sir Norman Skelhorn, Director of Public Prosecutions in 1970. He concluded: 'I have considered your file and I observe that eight young men, whose ages range from eighteen to twenty four years, allege that between 1961 and 1966 Smith subjected them to various forms of indecency and I also observe that Smith denies their allegations.' Sir Norman said that any charges of indecent assault founded on their allegations would be 'somewhat stale' and, in his view, 'completely without corroboration.' He also said that the characters of some of the young men 'would be likely to render their evidence suspect. In the circumstances, I do not consider that if proceedings for indecent assault were to be taken against Smith, there would be a reasonable prospect of a conviction. I do not, therefore, advise his prosecution,' he concluded. Smith's family has claimed that Smith always denied such accusations and said they were 'saddened' that the allegations were now being made when he could no longer defend himself. Meanwhile, a former detective has said that three investigations into Cyril Smith sex abuse allegations were stopped. Retired Detective Sergeant Jack Tasker, who served with Lancashire Police, carried out the third investigation, following two by the former Rochdale Borough force. He claimed that senior officers ordered him to hand over notes and warned he would be 'in serious trouble' if he continued the investigation. He believes 'someone high up' made sure the case never got to court. Tasker claimed he was asked in 1969 to investigate the allegations by officers from Rochdale, whose own inquiries into abuse at the privately-run Cambridge House care home in the town had been halted. 'They had twice investigated Cyril Smith for paedophilia and each time the Chief Constable of Rochdale [the late Patrick Ross] had taken the file away and told them to stop,' he said. 'They suggested that myself and [my partner] could get into Rochdale and get around these people without anyone getting to know. They gave us the names of the boys and we interviewed them and eventually, with a solicitor, we interviewed Cyril Smith at the police station.'

The former lack of education secretary the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove has been handed 'one of the most important jobs' in government, David Cameron has claimed. Very unconvincingly. The rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove was made chief whip - in charge of party discipline - in the biggest ministerial shake-up of the oily Cameron's premiership on Tuesday. He was replaced at the Department of Education by former Treasury Minister Nicky Morgan, as the PM promoted a few women into top jobs in a belated attempt to show off his 'rilly great equal opportunity credentials'. Which impressed precisely no one. Downing Street claimed that it was 'quite wrong' to call the move a 'demotion' for the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove. Despite the fact that this is, clearly, exactly what it is after the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove spent four years pissing off just about everybody in the country with his smug attitude towards teachers. The Sun - big fans of the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove, a former Murdoch journalist, deride the Prime Minister's claim that it wasn't a demotion, noting: 'It beggars belief that a man considered so toxic to the electorate will genuinely be the Tories' frontman on TV, as the Prime Minister claims. Instead, as chief whip, he'll have to hold his tongue – as he did yesterday despite his obvious anger.' William Hague has stepped down as Foreign Secretary to be replaced by Philip Hammond in a day of dramatic ministerial movements across government. With just a handful of junior roles still to be confirmed, Cameron said that he was 'proud' to lead 'a fresh team with the idea, the energy and the ability to take this country forward.' Asked if the change represented a 'punishment' for the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove's recent highly public spat with Home Secretary Theresa May, Cameron said: 'I can tell you, if you are Prime Minister, the chief whip is one of the most important jobs in government. I wanted one of my big hitters, one of my real stars, one of my great brains, someone who has done extraordinary things for education in this country, to do that job, to deliver the government's programme, to help secure the future for our country. I am pleased that he is doing that job. He will do it brilliantly.'
In further, hilarious, rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove news, the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove allegedly got stuck in the toilet on his first full day as Chief Whip, according to Labour's Shadow Leader of the Commons, Angela Eagle. Snitchy Eagle, the school sneak (as she shall, from henceforth, be known) told MPs that the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove had not had the 'most auspicious of starts.' She said that on Wednesday the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove 'managed to get stuck in the toilet in the wrong lobby and he nearly broke his own whip.' And, members on all sides had a right good laugh at that. The new Leader of the Commons, William Hague, offered a light-hearted defence of the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove, saying that 'knowledge of who is in the toilets in whatever lobby is a very important piece of information for any chief whip and I take this as evidence that he was carrying out his duties very assiduously.'

FIFA president, the horrid Sepp Blatter was 'surprised' that Argentina's Lionel Messi won the World Cup Golden Ball award. Barcelona forward Messi was named as the tournament's best player after his side lost 1-0 to Germany in Sunday's final in Rio de Janeiro. Blatter said: 'I was a little bit surprised when I saw Messi coming up to collect the best player of the competition.' Argentina legend Diego Maradona went further and called the decision 'unfair'. The fifty three-year-old, who was named the best player when Argentina won the World Cup in 1986, said that 'marketing people' had chosen the wrong man. Speaking on his television programme, De Zurda, Maradona said Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez should have received the award. The Golden Ball and other individual prizes, such as the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper, are decided by world governing body FIFA's Technical Study Group, a panel including former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier. Blatter believes that Messi was given the award on the strength of his four goals during the group stage. 'If you compare the beginning of the tournament and why the Argentina team got into the final, they were decisive,' he claimed, unconvincingly. Messi set up his side's winner against Switzerland in the last sixteen but was only a sporadic threat in the semi-final against Netherlands, which Argentina won on penalties after a goalless draw. He then missed a clear chance in the final, when put through on goal by Lucas Biglia. Messi told Spanish newspaper AS: 'Right now I don't care about the prize. I wanted to take Argentina to the World Cup for all the people.' Rodriguez finished as the competition's top scorer, with six goals from five games as Colombia reached the quarter-finals, where they lost on penalties to hosts Brazil. FIFA's Technical Study Group awarded the Silver Ball - for the tournament's second-best player - to German forward Thomas Müller, with the Netherlands' winger Arjen Robben winning the Bronze Ball. Müller reportedly told FIFA that it could 'stick' the Golden Boot award 'up their arse' during a televised interview for Eurosport soon after the final. The midfielder scored five goals in seven matches as he helped propel his country to a thoroughly deserved World Cup wim but was pipped to the Golden Boot trophy by Rodriguez. Meanwhile, video footage has emerged online showing the twenty four-year-old, who also recorded three assists at the tournament, was not in the slightest bit bothered about missing out on the award. Standing alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger, Müller did not hold back when he was asked how he felt about being so close to picking up the award. 'I don't care about this bullshit. We are world champions, we have the cup. And that fucking Golden Boot? I invited you to stick it up your arse,' Müller alleged says. Albeit, he said it in German, obviously. So, you know: 'So einen Schwachsinn interessiert mich nicht. Wir sind Weltmeister, wir haben den Pokal. Und das verdammt Goldenen Schuh? Ich lud Sie müssen es in den Arsch stecken', or something similar. He then hastily departed the interview, leaving a giggling Schweinsteiger to continue. Good on ya, Tommy!

Fifteen reporters covering the final protest against the World Cup in Brazil were injured by police, according to the journalists' union in Rio de Janeiro, reports the Latin American Herald. Among them were three foreign correspondents - Peru's Boris Mercado, who was also arrested, the Italian Luigi Spera and Canadian documentary filmmaker Jason O'Hara, who required hospital treatment. Several demonstrators were also injured during the three-hour police cordon near Maracana stadium on Sunday, where Germany had just defeated Argentina. Ana Carolina Fernandes, who works for the Reuters news agency, said that police ripped off her gas mask and shot pepper spray in her face. Union leader Paula Marian criticised police aggression towards reporters and demanded 'a change in the model of public security, which, in the name of keeping order, resorts to brutal violence.' Rio de Janeiro's police issued a communique in which it said it understands 'the importance of journalists' work" and will deal with officers accused of brutality.'

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle United have signed Monaco forward Emmanuel Riviere on a 'long-term contract.' The twenty four-year-old former French under-twenty one international arrives for an undisclosed fee, reported by the BBC to be 'about' five million quid. He becomes Newcastle's fifth signing of the summer after Remy Cabella, Ayoze Perez, Jack Colback and Siem de Jong. Manager Alan Pardew said: 'This is an important signing because the striking area is one we had to improve. We know he will score goals.' Martinique-born Riviere, who has scored forty goals in one hundred and sixty one league appearances, had been under contract at Monaco until 2017. Confirmation that another long-term Toon target, Feyenoord's Dutch international right back Daryl Janmaat has also joined the Tynesiders has also appeared.

The arrest on obscenity allegations of a woman who makes art based on her vagina has sparked a debate in Japan. Tokyo-based artist Megumi Igarashi was arrested on Saturday for sending data which could be used to create 3D models of her Hole of Delights. She had sent it to people who had donated money for a project to make a vagina-shaped kayak using a 3D printer. The arrest made headlines in the Japanese national media and triggered discussion on Japan's strict obscenity laws and its attitude towards the subject of The Twinkle Cave. Igarashi also goes by the moniker Rokudenashiko, which means 'good-for-nothing girl' in Japanese. A police spokesman told the AFP news agency that she had 'distributed' data which could 'create an obscene shape.' Or, in other words, create a shape out of which babies come and without which no Japanese person (or, indeed, anyone else for that matter) would be here today. On her website, Igarashi says that she has made 'several pieces of art' based on her genitals using a silicone mould, saying that she wants to make vaginas 'more casual and pop.' Trust this blogger, ladies, if your vagina should ever go 'pop' you really need to get it checked out by your GP as soon as possible. The vagina 'has been such a taboo in Japanese society [it] has been thought to be obscene', while penises are regarded as 'part of pop culture', she claimed. According to Japan's Asahi newspaper, Igarashi told police that she rejected the charges. 'I cannot agree with the police's decision to label the data as obscene,' she reportedly said. 'To me, my vagina is like my arms and legs. It's nothing obscene.' Igarashi said about ten police officers had arrived at her house on Saturday and initially, she thought they were only interested in confiscating work she has said is meant as 'a pop-art exploration of the manko, vulgar Japanese slang for vagina.' Japan's obscenity laws ban the depiction of genitalia, which are blurred in broadcast media and images. Igarashi's arrest comes a month after legislators voted to ban the possession of child pornography. Japan was previously the only country in the thirty four-strong Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development without such a prohibition. However the law does not apply to anime, or manga comic art. Igatashi is currently being held in police custody whilst they work out if her vagina is illegal or not.

The veteran rock singer, Neil Young, has cancelled a concert in Israel amid fears that it could be targeted by Palestinian militants. Hundreds of rockets have been fired into Israel from neighbouring Gaza in the last week with Israel carrying out a number of air strikes. Tel Aviv police said that the cancellation was because of 'the security risks.' A spokesman for the Canadian singer said that the show was pulled 'with heavy hearts and deep sadness.' In a statement on music website Pitchfork, Young's spokesman said the concert could not go ahead 'due to tensions which have rendered the event unsafe at this time.' It added that Young would miss the opportunity to play for his fans and looked forward 'to playing in Israel and Palestine in peace.' About thirty thousand tickets had been sold for the concert, which was scheduled to go ahead on 17 July in a Tel Aviv park. It would have been the first time Young, and his legendary band, Crazy Horse, have performed in Israel since the 1990s. Palestinian officials say one hundred and seventy two people in Gaza have been killed since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Palestinian militants last Tuesday. Israel says nearly one thousand rockets have been fired from Gaza in that time. Young himself issued a statement saying he would 'be making donations to both the Louise & Tillie Alpert Youth Music Centre of Israel, and Heartbeat, two organizations that teach music to Palestinian and Israeli youth simultaneously by enabling them to play music together.'

For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, have a bit of twenty four carat weirdness from yer actual Carl Douglas.

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