Sunday, July 27, 2014

Week Thirty Two: Perge Scelus Mihi Diem Perficias

BBC Worldwide has announced that the first episode of the forthcoming eighth series of Doctor Who - yer actual Steven Moffat's Deep Breath - will be screened in cinemas around the world from 23 August 2014. This year's screenings follow the astounding pan-continental success of the global cinema release of Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary episode The Day Of The Doctor which was screened in over fifteen hundred cinemas around the world last November. The feature-length première episode of series eight, starring the new Doctor Peter Capaldi his very self, is directed by the acclaimed Ben Wheatley. The story, detailing the beginning of the twelfth-that's-really-fourteenth Doctor's era features yer actual Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald and sees the return of fan favourites Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart) and Strax (Dan Starkey) – in what's described as 'a pulse-racing adventure through Victorian London.' The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat comments: 'Last November The Doctor didn't just conquer the world on television, he did it in the cinemas too. And like the show-off he is, he can't resist another go - one taste of the silver screen is never enough. On 23 August the new Doctor will begin his new adventures on BBC1 and in cinemas all over the world. Movie-land beware - Capaldi is coming to get you!' Doctor Who: Deep Breath will be screened in participating cinemas. More information on the locations will be released by BBC Worldwide and the participating cinema chains over the coming weeks.

Doctor Who fans arriving in Cardiff for the world première screening of Deep Breath will get an opportunity to see the new Doctor on the red carpet, ahead of the event on 7 August. Yer actual Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman her very self, will be 'meeting the public' as they walk up the red carpet outside Cardiff Central Library, from 11am, en route to the sell-out screening at St David’s Hall. Joining them will be various Cybermen and Daleks. Whether they'll be doing a 'meet and greet' as well is not, at this time, known.
Meanwhile, the latest Doctor Who trailer introducing the new Doctor was broadcast on BBC1 just before the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on Wednesday at 8:00pm whilst another teaser trailer - Listen! - was broadcast on BBC1 before the 5:25pm early evening news on Saturday.
A peak audience of more than nine million viewers watched the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on BBC1 - complete with Rod Stewart, Big John Barrowman, Scottie dogs and dancing Tunnock's teacakes. You had to be there. The opening spectacle had an average of 7.59 million viewers between 8pm and 11.40pm on Wednesday with a five-minute high of 9.31 million at 9.30pm. This topped the peak of 8.9 million viewers who tuned into the opening ceremony the last time the games were held in the UK, in Manchester in 2002. Time differences meant the Glasgow opener was way ahead of the last two Commonwealth Games, held in Delhi in 2010, when the opening ceremony was watched by an average of three million viewers and a peak of 3.8 million and Melbourne in 2006, which had an average of 1.3 million and peak of 2.2 million. The Commonwealth Games, which will dominate BBC1 (and BBC3) for the next eleven days, predictably beat a dreadfully cobbled together ITV line-up which included All Star Mr & Mrs, watched by 2.65 million numskulls between 8pm and 9pm and the documentary repeat of Inside Death Row with Trevor McDonald, with 1.56 million viewers between 9pm and 10pm. BBC1 had a thirty one per cent share of the available audience across the entire day, more than double ITV’s 14.8 per cent. On BBC2, Operation Cloud Lab attracted six hundred and twenty three thousand punters at 8pm, followed The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway with 1.50m at 9pm and Odious Unfunny Lanky Streak Of Piss Jack Whitehall's Worthless & Wretched Backchat with five hundred and twenty thousand at 10pm. On Channel Four, This Old Thing appealed to six hundred and twenty thousand at 8pm. One Born Every Minute gathered 1.10m at 9pm and The Mimic dragged in three hundred and twenty one thousand viewers with nothing better to do with their time. Channel Five's Emergency Bikers interested six hundred and twenty six thousand at 8pm, followed by Caught On Camera with six hundred and thirty nine thousand at 9pm. Big Brother continued with 1.10m at 10pm.

BBC1's Commonwealth Games coverage easily topped Thursday's ratings outside soaps, overnight data reveals. The first evening of action brought in an average of 3.63 million from 7pm, peaking at 4.34m at 9pm. Highlights included Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee's battle in the triathlon. On BBC2, Natural World appealed to 1.25m at 8pm, followed by The Honourable Woman with 1.49m at 9pm. ITV's Harbour Lives was seen by 2.16m at 8.30pm, while Diamond Geezers & Gold Dealers attracted 2.36m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Amazing Spaces: Shed Of The Year picked up 1.62m at 8pm. Embarrassing Bodies gathered 1.06m at 9pm. Channel Five's new definition of sick, Autopsy: The Last Hours Of Michael Hutchence brought in 1.15m tasteless voyeurs at 9pm.

BBC1's live Commonwealth Games coverage was the most popular show outside of soaps on Friday, attracting an average audience of 3.17 million. The evening's entertainment peaked with an audience of 3.73 million at 9pm. An average of 1.49 million watched the highlights show Tonight At The Games at 10.45pm. ITV's showing of The Cruise Ship attracted 2.62 million at 8pm. The 9pm repeat of Doc Martin was viewed by 2.09 million after the final visit to Coronation Street. One-hour special The Secret History Of Our Streets was BBC Two's highest-rated show with 1.61 million, narrowly beating Gardener's World with 1.54 million. After seven hundred and ninety thousand punters tuned in to watch Flog It! Trade Secrets at 7pm , the evening continued with 1.11 million for The RHS Flower Show. With an audience of 1.2 million, Alan Carr: Chatty Man was Channel Four's highest-rated show, beating Friday Night Dinner with nine hundred and ninety thousand and The Million Pound Drop with six hundred and forty thousand. Over on Channel Five, the latest Big Brother live eviction was seen by 1.2 million.

Current and former members of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop gave channel-surfing Doctor Who fans an unexpected bonus when they performed live on BBC3 as part of the BBC At The Quay event on Friday evening. The live entertainment festival is being held alongside the Commonwealth Games, from a site directly outside BBC Scotland's headquarters building at Pacific Quay. It featured a huge variety of live and recorded radio and TV programmes and special events including live music. The Radiophonics team performed music from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and, of course, Doctor Who. Those taking part included Mark Ayers, Paddy Kingsland, Peter Howell, Dick Mills, Roger Limb and drummer Kieron Pepper. And, a quick note to Dan Walker - and, indeed, everyone else at the BBC - will you please, for the love of God, stop using that bastard hateful phrase 'Whovians'! Nobody who isn't thirteen, a total bloody numskull glake, or an American (or, indeed, all three) uses it and it is really starting to get right on this particular blogger's tit-end.
BBC1's primetime coverage of the Commonwealth Games averaged more than three million overnight viewers on Saturday night. The coverage appealed to 3.06m between 7pm and 10.10pm. On BBC2, Proms Extra was watched by four hundred and fifty six thousand punters from 8.25pm, with The Men Who Made Us Spend taking five hundred and sixty two thousand from 9.10pm. ITV risibly dreadful game show Tipping Point drew 2.6m sad, crushed victims of society. It was followed by Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, which had an audience of 1.36m. Channel Four showed the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movie Paul, which was watched by 1.3m from 9pm. Earlier, Grand Designs was seen by seven hundred and twenty five thousand. The latest Big Brother on Channel Five had eight hundred and twelve thousand in the 9pm hour. Autopsy: The Last Hours Of ... had five hundred and six thousand. On the multichannels, Foyle's War was watched by nine hundred and nineteen thousand on ITV3 from 9pm.

And now, dear blog reader, because yer actual Keith Telly Topping knows how much you enjoy such a conceit, here's the latest Karen Gillan Story Of The Day.
Yer actual Karen Gillan her very self has revealed that she would have liked to have worked with Peter Capaldi on Doctor Who. Speaking to the Digital Spy website at the Guardians Of The Galaxy première in Leicester Square on Thursday, Kazza expressed her admiration for yer man Capaldi. 'That would have been amazing,' she said. 'I love him as an actor, he's a fellow Scot, but unfortunately I didn't get to do any scenes with him.' Karen added that she is still 'really good friends' with her former Doctor Who co-star Matt Smith and plans to meet up with Smudger soon in Los Angeles. The actress also spoke about her role as the villainous intergalactic pirate Nebula in Guardians Of The Galaxy. 'I was covered in bruises consistently the whole time,' she said. 'It was a challenge for me because I've never done anything so physical before. I can throw a mean punch now. I've never played a baddie before, and she's just a total sadist that has men in headlocks, and that's always fun.'
The official Doctor Who Twitter feed has reached the figure of one million followers - and to mark the milestone a special thank-you message has been released. In the brief video, the character of Osgood - as played by Ingrid Oliver - delivers the message, which incorporates three clips from the series featuring The Doctor expressing his gratitude.
A plaque honouring the first producer of Doctor Who, Verity Lambert, has been unveiled at London's Riverside studios, by the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. The plaque, which marks the achievements of Verity as a Film and Television producer, will be on display at Riverside Studios until the venue closes for development in the autumn, when it will be placed into storage and then permanently mounted at the new Riverside media centre when completed. Verity was, of course, Doctor Who's first producer and the first female drama producer at BBC Television. She oversaw Doctor Who from her appointment in June 1963 until the autumn of 1965, guiding the series to a successful launch and laying down the framework of the series which still running today. After she left Doctor Who her reputation continued to rise and she became one of the best known players in the industry. She oversaw such iconic productions as Adam Adamant Lives!, Budgie, The Naked Civil Servant, Rock Follies, Rumpole Of The Bailey, Edward & Mrs Simpson, Reilly: Ace of Spies, Minder, GBH and Jonathan Creek. The plaque honouring Verity was unveiled by Doctor Who's first director Waris Hussein, in a ceremony attended by the two surviving members of the original TARDIS team, William Russell and Carole Ann Ford. The event included a screening of the drama based on the creation of Doctor Who, An Adventure In Space & Time and a compilation of interview material, some previously unseen. Riverside studios in Hammersmith, were used by the BBC from 1954 until 1974. Although the first Doctor Who stories were recorded at the nearby Lime Grove complex, the series used Riverside Studio One for a number of stories between 1964 and 1969. Verity Lambert produced stories recorded at the site include The Dalek Invasion Of Earth, The Rescue, The Romans, The Web Planet, The Crusade and The Chase.

Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch says that he knows the secret behind the reappearance of Jim Moriarty in Sherlock. The villain seemingly returned from the dead in the final episode of series three. Describing it as 'a very good idea', Benny told MTV that he is now 'trying to forget' the twist in order to retain an element of surprise. 'I casually choose to forget in order to rediscover it again a little bit,' he explained. 'But, it's a very good idea, I do remember that detail. I'm just trying not to remember it so I don't blurt it out. I like casually forgetting, not least because there's a lot of other traffic between then and now but also because it's more fun because it's slightly more fresh,' he added. The actor also said that he was looking forward to the new series and its associated special, explaining that the pitch for the upcoming series is 'so exciting.'

Sir Bruce Forsyth will return to screens as part of a one-off post-apocalyptic variety show later this year, it has been announced. Bruce Forsyth's Hall Of Fame will give comedians, singers and actors the opportunity to 'emulate their heroes' in front of a live theatre audience. The BBC1 variety show will be made by former Strictly Come Dancing commissioner Jane Lush and her new company Kalooki Pictures.

Yer actual Gary Lineker, John Bishop and Mad Frankie Boyle his very self will be among the speakers at the 2014 Edinburgh Television Festival, its organisers have announced. Lineker will take part in a celebration of Match Of The Day's fiftieth anniversary, whilst big-toothed Scouse comic Bishop will host a prize-giving evening. Controversial comedian Mad Frankie will close the celebrations with a talk on the state of the television industry. That should be worth listening to. The festival, as usual sponsored by those middle-class hippie Communist shits at the Gruniad Morning Star, runs from 21 to 23 August. Other participants include DJ Sara Cox and Pointless host Richard Osman, who will be taking part in a live version of Through the Keyhole hosted by Leigh Francis. Why? Why for the love of God, why? Tessa Ross, outgoing head of Film4, will be interviewed by Newsnight's Kirsty Wark about her time as Channel Four's controller of film and drama. Attendees will also have an opportunity to see the first episode of the new Doctor Who series two days before its BBC1 broadcast. As previously announced, this year's MacTaggart lecture will be delivered by Channel Four chief executive David Abraham. Actor Kevin Spacey, Jezza Paxman and the late Dennis Potter are among those who have previously given the festival's keynote address. James Murdoch the small also did it in a hilarious 'greed is good' style speech that, in the light of various misfortunes to have befallen News International in the years since just gets funnier and funnier with each passing day.

Twenty four carat TV comedy moment of the week, undoubtedly came during the BBC's coverage of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday. After sulky, sour-faced child Lewis Hamilton's car had spontaneously burst into flames, there was a shot of him walking way, miserably, looking for all the world, in the words of David Coulthard, 'like my five year old after I've said he can't have any more biscuits!'
Yer actual Stephen Fry and Kiefer Sutherland his very self will reunite in a new one-off drama for Sky Arts. The duo, who recently appeared together in 24: Live Another Day, have been confirmed for Playhouse Presents drama Marked. Marked sees Sutherland's debt-ridden character, James, agree to perform a murder for his neighbour in order to make some money. According to Sky, as Sutherland's character passes the point of no return, he is confronted by Fry's character, who is 'the last person he expects to see.' The play will be written and directed by Greg Ellis, with Fry also serving as executive producer alongside Gina Carter and Jo McClellan. Stephen recently made a guest appearance in Monty Python Live and has just completed filming the latest series of Qi which will be broadcast in the autumn. Sutherland, meanwhile, will next be seen opposite his father Donald in upcoming western Forsaken.

Which brings us to the next batch of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's Top Telly Tips. And that:-

Saturday 2 August
Hazel Irvine and Gary Lineker introduce live coverage of the concluding athletics session of the Commonwealth Games - BBC1 7:00. Nine finals will take place this evening, and there is no doubt that Usain Bolt will be the star attraction, as he competes for Jamaica in the men's four by one hundred metres relay. Somewhat surprisingly, Bolt has never won a Commonwealth Games medal, but he will expect to put that right with his world record-holding team and add gold to his outstanding collection, which includes six Olympic and eight world championship triumphs. The schedule also features the finals of the men's four by four hundred metres relay, the fifteen hundred metres, the triple jump and the javelin, both the women's relays, the five thousand metres - sadly minus the injured Mo Farah - and pole vault. Plus, updates from the final of the men's ten metres platform discipline at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, which is expected to feature Tom Daley. Lets hope this provides more entertainment than the last TV show he was involved in. Although, to be fair, young Tom dropping his trunks and shitting in the pool would've been more entertaining than Pro-Celebrity Drowning. Meanwhile, over on BBC3 Dan Walker presents further medals from The Hydro, where the boxing programme reaches a conclusion with six finals, in the men's welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight, and women's middleweight categories. And, from the Glasgow National Hockey Centre hosts the final and bronze-medal match in the women's hockey tournament.

A professor is found dead on Hallow'een with a stake through her heart and a garlic bulb stuffed in her mouth. No, this isn't Sunnydale, dear blog reader, it's just another ordinary working day in Oxford you might think. But, hang on, Laura Hobson soon reveals that she actually shared a house with the victim, Ligeia Willard, during their university days in another classic Lewis - Falling Darkness - 7:00 ITV3. Meanwhile, a medium visits Robbie Lewis claiming to have foreseen the tragedy during a séance. Not only that, but ghostly messages from beyond the grave start to appear, spelled out in fridge magnet letters, in a house occupied by four students which was where Laura and her schoolgirl chums lived back in the day. As the sceptical detective - and his equally sceptical oppo, James Hathaway - struggle with the possibility that their friend is somehow implicated in the grisly crime, a tale of jealousy and revenge begins to unfold. It's a case which conjures up ghosts from the past and could deliver the fatal blow to the close-nit team. Yer actual Rupert Graves, John Sessions and Niamh Cusack guest star along with Kevin Whatley, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman and Rebecca Front.

Melvyn Bragg's Radical Lives - 9:00 BBC2 - is a two-part programme in which the veteran broadcaster examines the lives, work and legacies of two men whose ideas have resonated with people both in their own time and down the centuries. The first edition focuses on Fourteenth-Century priest John Ball, who was persecuted by the Church authorities he despised and in 1381 joined forces with yer actual Wat Tyler in Kent to lead the uprising that became known as The Peasants' Revolt. Bragg explores how the words of Ball have helped shape rebellions and political thought for more than six hundred years.

Selina prepares to reveal she will be running for president, but on the day of her official announcement she is faced with a series of challenges in the latest episode of Veep - 9:35 Sky Atlantic. A Saturday Night Live sketch mocking her privileged upbringing has gone viral, Dan is struggling to finish the speech and her daughter Catherine has turned up wearing the same dress. To top it all, Senator Doyle advises Selina to pull the plug on supporting universal childcare, so a reluctant Mike is forced to tell a campaigner she must leave the event and ends up insulting her in the ensuing argument. Comedy, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Maverick British rifleman sergeant Richard Sharpe is promoted to officer status after saving the life of General Arthur Wellesley - the future Duke of Wellington - and, for his first assignment is sent behind enemy lines to rally Spanish support in the opening episode of Sharpe - 10:40 Drama. Surrounded by the hatred French, Sharpe and his small band of Chosen Men manage to pull off an inspiring propaganda coup in the small town of Torrecastro. Swashbuckling adventure based on the novels of Bernard Cornwall, featuring Downton Abbey creator Lord Snooty in a guest role and starring yer actual Sean Bean his very self, Dara O'Malley, David Troughton and Brian Cox (no, the other one). Trivia fans should note that this pilot episode of what would become a long-running and much-loved series - a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping - was originally planned to feature Paul McGann in the title role. However, shortly into filming, in the Crimea, Paul injured his ligaments whilst playing in a charity football kick-about necessitating a halt in production and the recasting of Bean in the role that would, quickly, make his name. How different the world could have been had McGann not played that game of football. For a start, Sean could have been (s'cuse the pun) cast, instead of Paul, in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie. 'Ey, Graycie. Lowk at t'size of t'Cybermen!' I'd've watched it, dear blog reader.

Sunday 3 August
Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Hazel Irvine present live coverage from Hampden Park as the Twentieth Commonwealth Games are, officially, brought to a close after eleven days of competition. The ceremony promises to 'celebrate Scotland's way of life', see you Jimmy, hoots mon, can y'lend us a fiver till Friday, and gives the athletes 'the chance to unwind after a hectic schedule', with the baton handed over to Gold Coast City, host of the 2018 Games. The games have been the largest multi-sport event ever held in Scotland, featuring seventeen sports and competitors from seventy one territories and they will all have a chance to enjoy their moment in the spotlight this evening. Subsequent programmes subject to change if the event overruns. Which it will.

News of Red's systematic manhunt prompts Anslo Garrick, a man whose name is on the blacklist, to try to infiltrate the FBI to capture the former international man of mystery and intrigue in a classic repeat of The Blacklist - 9:00 Sky Living. Meanwhile, Don Ressler is ordered to guard the informant when Liz Keen goes missing. Crime drama, guest starring Ritchie Coster, with James Spader and Megan Boone.
The Beach Boys: Live at Knebworth - 9:00 Sky Arts 1 - features a performance from the June 1980 Knebworth Festival featuring all six of The Beach Boys - Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston - who provide a set comprising many of their most memorable hits including 'Good Vibrations', 'Wouldn't It Be Nice?', 'Darlin', 'California Girls', 'I Get Around' and 'Surfin' USA'. Pretty damn good it is, too, although as usual it hard to watch The Beach Boys without wanting to punch Mike Love, really hard, in the mush on general principle. Small trivia note, part two, dear blog reader. That same weekend in 1980, yer actual Keith Telly Topping had travelled with some friends up Loch Lomand on the back of a Vespa to watch The Jam headlining at another festival. As usually happens in such circumstances, it proceeded to piss down like The Flood and yer actual Keith Telly Topping along with everybody else, got thoroughly soaked through to their vests by the middle of the afternoon. The entire crowd was feeling miserable and had already turned on The Tourists during their set, pelting Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox with mud (not undeservedly, it must be said), when Stiff Little Fingers hit the stage. Through the drizzle, Jake Burns attempted to lighten the mood. 'Hello Knebworth, we're The Beach Boys!' he yelled. What's truly remarkable is, it worked. Everybody laughed and The Stiffies proceeded to play a properly storming set climaxing with their brilliant version of Bob Marley's 'Johnny Was' and by the time that Paul, Bruce and Rick came on an hour later, it had even stopped raining. Ah, the wonders of pop music, is there anything it can't achieve?

As the Chartist rally at Kersal Moor approaches, Daniel does his best to inspire the workers despite a lacklustre response in the latest episode of The Mill - 8:00 Channel Four. Esther deals with Patience and her escalating abuse of young girls in the apprentice house, while Miriam grows closer to Peter when she offers to teach him to read - causing a stir in the pub. Susannah becomes increasingly bored and frustrated with domestic life.

Monday 4 August
Huw Edwards in London and Sophie Raworth in Belgium introduce live coverage of a commemorative event marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in World War One Remembered - 6:30 BBC2. One wonders how long it will be before some hapless glake - probably wriitng in a national newspaper - describes these programmes as being part of a 'celebration' of the anniversary of the outbreak of the war which was supposed to end all wars. But, didn't. Historian Dan Snow hosts from St Symphorien military cemetery near the town of Mons, where British, Commonwealth and German soldiers fight, died and are buried side by side. Gareth Malone leads a children's choir singing their own specially written song, and actor Eddie Redmayne and serving British and German soldiers read poems and testimonies. There is also a recording of a collaboration between the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of conductor Simon Rattle, performing the last movement of Brahms's German Requiem and Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad. Later, at Westminster Abbey, there will be a candlelit service to mark the moment the First World War began one hundred years ago, with the Abbey descending gradually into darkness until the only light comes from a single candle at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. The flame will be extinguished at 11pm - the exact time that Great Britain declared war on Germany. Four years of apocalyptic horror followed as young men from across Europe, the Commonwealth and (late for everything, as usual) America fought for a bunch of causes that they cared not a sodding thing about because they were told to by their supposed 'betters'. The rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove might regard the First World World as some kind of glorious slaughter. But, as someone whose grandfather - one of the 'lions led by donkeys' who survived the blood-and-mud carnage of Passchendaele and whose brother, this blogger's great-uncle Bob, didn't survive the first battle of Ypres - allow this blogger a moment of quiet reflection on millions of lives needlessly lost in the cause of bog-all. The programme also joins communities across the UK as the nation comes together for an hour of reflection.

Gomorrah - 9:00 Sky Atlantic - is a, rather decent-looking, Italian crime drama based on Roberto Saviano's best-selling novel, painting a portrait of the brutal Neapolitan crime syndicate the Camorra, as seen through the eyes of Ciro Di Marzio, the obedient and self-confident right-hand man of the organisation's godfather, Pietro Savastano. In the opening episode, Ciro and his friend Attilio set fire to the home of rival Salvatore Conte as they attempt to stop him from encroaching on their boss's turf, but their target escapes and retaliates viciously against the Savastanos. Starring Marco D'Amore and Fortunato Cerlino. In Italian with English subtitles. Nice to see Sky getting in on the BBC4 obsession with European-noir.

There's a night of Qi XL on Dave from 9pm beginning with that terrific episode from the H series guest starring three of the great comedy broadcasting wits of our - or, indeed, any other - generation, Bill Bailey, Eddie Izzard and Danny Baker. Alongside another, the host Stephen Fry. And Alan Davies. 'I'm not advocating for the ghost party,' notes Danny at one point in a round about haunted houses. 'Yeah, cos all the other parties, they're just scaremongering!' replies Bill with brilliant comic timing. GOLD also have an evening drawn from the John Lloyd stable, in this case three episodes of Blackadder The Third - from 9pm. Presumably, they've avoided the temptation to run Blackadder Goes Forth on the anniversary of the beginning of the First World War out of pure cowardice over what some pondscum louse of no importance at the Daily Scum Mail might say.

The growing phenomenon of newspaper-voucher holidays is highlighted in My £9.50 Holiday - 10:40 BBC1 - revealing how British families from all walks of life are taking advantage of such breaks at rock-bottom prices. This one-off film follows four groups who have paid just under a tenner to stay on caravan sites in Skegness and Great Yarmouth. In these cash-stapped times, will they think their bargain break is worth it? Narrated by Katherine Kelly.

Tuesday 5 August
In The Club - 9:00 BBC1 - is a new drama from Kay Mellor, who created The Syndicate, Playing The Field and Fat Friends. It follows six pregnant women from a variety of backgrounds and ages who are brought together when they attend an antenatal class with their partners. They include Diane and her husband Rick, who struggled to conceive, and fifteen-year-old schoolgirl Rosie, who is attempting to hide her pregnancy from everyone around her - even the baby's father. The only person she can confide in is fellow mum-to-be Kim, a teaching assistant who writes a pregnancy blog. Katherine Parkinson, Hermione Norris, Jill Halfpenny, Will Mellor and Hannah Midgley star. Despite a genuinely quality cast, the trailers look extremely 'paint-by-numbers' although, to be fair, this blogger is, clearly, not the intended audience. Keith Telly Topping not having a functioning uterus, for one thing.

Finlay goes missing in the latest episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - 9:00 Channel Five. Sara and Morgan tell their colleagues - in a series of extended flashbacks - how the three of them were on their way to Reno for a 'girls' spa weekend' (and if the thought of Elisabeth Harnois in a spa doesn't do something for you, dear blog reader, then you're probably clinically dead). However, they were forced to stop in the small, shit-kicking hick town of Larkston when their car broke down. After spending the evening in a bar, Finlay decided to go off - for a night of hot sweaty umbongo sex action, one speculates - with a big sweaty mechanic that she was attracted to - and, hey, haven't we all? But, having had a sudden change of mind, the man then attempted to rape her and she fought him off and stabbed him, twice. Really hard. Finlay discovered her attacker was involved in the abduction of several women and went off the radar while following up a lead. With Elisabeth Shue, Jorja Fox and Elisabeth Harnois getting the majority of the limelight in this particular episode.

In the final part of Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War - 9:00 BBC4 - Janina Ramirez really has her work cut out sustaining our interest for the final leg of the story. That she manages it, easily, is further proof that if I'd've had her as a history teacher, this blogger would've gotten better than a D at A Level history. And, probably, lots of detention. Anyway, covering 1415 to 1453, Doctor Ramirez charts Henry V's progress across France, seizing provinces and eventually the capital, inspiring the carnage of Agincourt before his death from dysentery at the age of just thirty five. His pious young heir Henry VI would be happier building his chapel at King's College, Cambridge than fighting the French. Janita examines six hundred-year-old contracts, pores over stained glass and, just as the story show signs of getting bogged down in the intricacies of court intrigue, the crafty Dauphin produces his secret weapon, a figurehead sent by God – Joan of Arc. Last in the series.

Kids Behind Bars - 9:00 ITV - is, as the rather stupidly tabloid-style title might suggest, a documentary meeting some of America's most dangerous young offenders. The Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Indiana is home to forty teenagers serving terms of up to sixty five years for a range of serious crimes. This programme follows those spending their first night in the maximum-security prison and others preparing to move up to adult jail. They include Blake Layman, seventeen, sentenced to fifty five years for murder and Ireland MacKean, sixteen, who says that he wants to stay out of trouble behind bars as he starts a ten-year term for robbery. Narrated by David Morrissey.

Wednesday 6 August
ITV really seem to have a thing about prisons at the moment - what does that say about their audience? Secrets From The Clink - 9:00 - is the first of a two-part programme in which 'celebrities' embark on an emotional journey to discover how their ancestors coped with serving time in Victorian prisons. Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman is shocked to learn his great-great-grandfather was assaulted by his own son, who was convicted and subjected to hard labour building docks and quarrying for stone. Comedian Johnny Vegas finds out how one of his forebears spent time behind bars for stealing and that the man's alcoholic wife was something of a persistent offender. Broadcaster Mariella Frostrup (who, as Half Man Half Biscuit once noted ' does lots of voice-overs and nothing much else but she seems to get by') hears the story of her great-great-grandfather, an entrepreneur who resorted to fraud when the economy crashed in the 1870s.

Tonight sees a new series of Sarah Beeny's Double Your House for Half the Money - 8:00 Channel Four. The property developer returns to show people - well, let's be accurate, here, middle-class annoying people because she as shite you'll never see a sheet metal worker from Gateshead on this type of show - how to make their existing homes bigger and better for a fraction of the cost of moving. In the first edition, The Beeny visits Great Baddow in Essex, where Ian and Claire hope to double the size of their four-bedroom house and make it 'a multi-generational home' with separate floors for their parents, children and themselves. Sarah also meets Paul and Mimi, who relocated from London after the riots of summer 2011. They are now settled in Great Bowden, Leicestershire, and hope to extend and rework the original layout of their 1960s home.

Broadcaster Clare Balding and vet Steve Leonard travel the world to watch vets perform innovative life-saving operations on a variety of wild animals in Operation Wild - 9:00 BBC1. Because, obviously, Rolf Harris isn't currently available for any more animal series and wont be for the foreseeable future. This first edition features a baby panda called Zhu Xia in South-West China that needs an MRI scan and the rescued gorilla Shufai in Cameroon, who was shot by poachers when he was a baby. Plus, a manta ray on the Japanese island of Okinawa that needs an ultra-sound scan to determine if it's pregnant, and a four-ton elephant in Laos with a gunshot wound.

The recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow appears to have been a resounding success but, the event doesn't always get such massive support from the general public. Boycotts And Broken Dream: The Story Of The 1986 Commonwealth Games - 8:00 BBC4 - is a documentary taking a look back at the last time Scotland hosted the event. Back then Edinburgh had the honour, but the games achieved infamy when more than thirty countries boycotted them due to Margaret Thatcher's refusal to implement economic sanctions on South Africa's vile apartheid regime. As a result, the event suffered huge financial difficulties. Andrew Neil recalls how he broke the story at the time and swimmer Annette Cowley reveals how the political fallout made her ineligible to compete. But it wasn't all bad - ten thousand metre runner Liz McColgan took gold in front of a home crowd and Steve Cram won the fifteen hundred metres in record-breaking time.

Thursday 7 August
BAFTA-winning actress Julie Walters, of Educating Rita fame and Mamma Mia! infamy, traces her roots back to County Mayo in Western Ireland, where her great-grandfather Anthony Clark was one of the first members of the Land League in the opening episode of a new series of Who Do You Think You Are? - 9:00 BBC1. The organisation was formed in 1879 and campaigned for more than forty years for the rights of tenant farmers to own their own land.
Lily is a wild black bear whose life has been documented online since the day of her birth by biologist Doctor Lynn Rogers, who has a unique relationship with all the bears in his study, feeding them by hand and walking with them in the woods of north Minnesota. Their story is told in the latest Natural World - A Bear With A Bounty - 8:00 BBC2. However, Lynn's methods have divided opinion and Lily's fame has resulted in her becoming a prime target when the six-week bear hunting season begins. This film follows possibly the most challenging chapter in Lily's remarkable life. Tamsin Greig narrates.

Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) is enlisted as the police representative on the Victory Day Celebrations Committee, alongside his old friend John Kiefer representing the American forces stationed at Hastings in what was, at the time it was filmed, potentially the last episode of Foyle's War - 9:00 ITV3. Of course, in the event it wasn't, and, indeed, still isn't, but that's another story entirely. Anyway, back to the plot, a murder of one of their number puts paid to the preparations when evidence points to the guilt of another member, and investigations uncover truths the Allies would rather remain hidden. Anthony Howell and Honeysuckle Weeks co-star, with guest Jay Benedict.
Our World War - 9:00 BBC3 - is a drama based on the experiences of British soldiers during the First World War. In August 1914, eighty thousand troops arrive in Southern Belgium, including the Fourth Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. Lieutenant Maurice Dease and his friend Fred Steele command two companies of riflemen who find themselves camping overnight at the Nimy Bridge, near Mons. However, they receive information that reveals the Germans may be closer than expected. Starring Dominic Thorburn and Jefferson Hall.

Friday 8 August
Walter - 9:00 BBC1 - is a one-off comedy drama, starring Adrian Dunbar as world-weary detective inspector Walter Gambon, whose workload increases when he is handed the cases of an officer who recently committed suicide - and ends up trying to track down yet another fellow officer who has gone so far undercover, nobody knows where he is. Helping Gambon is young, slightly clumsy and more than 'a little bit stupid' detective constable Anne Hopkins (Utopia's Alexandra Roach). Together they track down the cop in question to a hardened drugs gang. Co-starring Kayvan Novak.
In Edinburgh Nights With Sue Perkins - 10:00 BBC2 - the comedienne presents highlights from the city's annual arts and cultural festivals and introduces a selection of music, cabaret performances and stand-up. She is joined on the first show by Frank Skinner, who is performing at the festival for the first time in seven years and by writer and actress Pamela Stephenson, who is appearing at the Fringe in dance drama Brazouka.

Two successful career women are found raped and strangled in imitation of similar murders years earlier in continental Europe in The Names Of Angels the latest repeat episode of Wire In The Blood - 10:00 ITV3. Tony picks up the links with Bradfield's own business community, but his investigations are interrupted by the unexpected arrival of teenage killer Jack Norton, who is on the run from his social workers because he cannot cope with life 'released under licence'. With Wor Geet Canny Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Mark Letheren and Emma Handy.
Award-winning husband-and-wife confectioners Mark Greenwood and Kitty Hope demonstrate how to make all kinds of sweets at home, from childhood favourites to exotic treats, sourcing the best ingredients from around the UK along the way in Sweets Made Simple - 8:00 BBC2. In the first episode, Kitty and Mark make treats that are perfect to enjoy after dark, including gin and lime truffles and salted seashell caramels, while a spectacular raspberry marshmallow makes a perfect dinner party finale.
The former editor of the Scum of the World - and the Prime Minister's former, if you will, 'chum' - Andy Coulson, is reportedly 'facing questions' over the whereabouts of his personal wealth as prosecutors seek seven hundred and fifty grand in costs following his phone-hacking conviction. Lawyers for the Crown have applied to the court for Coulson, to pay what the Gruniad Morning Star describe as 'potentially crippling costs' following the eight-month long trial which ended him being extremely jailed for eighteen months. 'We want to investigate where the money has gone,' said Andrew Edis QC for the prosecution during a costs hearing on Friday. Coulson, the Gruniad suggest, 'is hoping that an indemnity contract with his former employer, News UK, will cover the costs if they are ordered against him', but whether that will happen is 'in dispute.' The Crown wants to know what has happened to the money Coulson has earned since he resigned from the Scum of the World in 2007. Coulson has provided an affidavit about his assets, but the prosecution wants him to 'provide more information' and said that it was 'not uncommon' for people in Coulson's situation to 'move' money. 'A lot of money has passed through Mr Coulson's hands over the past few years,' said Edis. 'There doesn't seem to be very much left. In a situation such as this when someone anticipates they might be convicted having been charged in 2012, it is not at all uncommon for transfers of money to take place whereby they are not in his ownership, but may still be accessible to him later on if the need arises.' He added: 'The basic question we want answering is, if a costs order is made against Mr Coulson, who will pay it?' Coulson is believed to have earned at least two hundred and seventy five thousand smackers a year while working for the Conservative party in opposition and one hundred and forty thousand knicker a year while in Downing Street as David Cameron's chief communications adviser - and, if you will, 'chum' - until he resigned in January 2011. He sold his one-and-a-half-million quid, five-bedroom Victorian home in Forest Hill shortly after he was charged and downsized to a six hundred thousand quid house in Kent according to the Gruniad who, suddenly, appear to have acquired the Daily Scum Mail's fascination with house prices. Mr Justice Saunders asked Timothy Langdale QC for the disgraced former editor to provide a statement from Coulson about what has happened to the money he earned since 2007, including 'the realised equity on the house.' He wanted to know if Coulson claims that he is entitled to a refund of his costs under the indemnity agreement with News UK and he raised the question of whether billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's news organisation would feel 'a moral responsibility' to pay the costs of the prosecution 'out of the goodness of their hearts' and suggested they 'may think' that they 'profited from the phone-hacking stories. Sorry, this blogger just has to stop for a moment because, genuinely, that's the first time I have ever written a story in which the words 'billionaire Rupert tyrant' and 'out of the goodness of their hearts' have both appeared. This blogger doesn't expect it'll happen again in my lifetime. Anyway, Edis said: 'They may be overtaken by a tenderness to the costs of the prosecution given their employees caused all this mess in the first place.' Well, quite. The overall cost to the taxpayer for the hacking trial was at least £1.74m, the Crown Prosecution Service has said. Coulson remains at the maximum security Belmarsh clink awaiting a retrial on further charges of conspiring to cause misconduct in public office in relation to the alleged purchase of confidential royal phone directories in 2005 from a palace police officer. The judge said that he would write to the prison governor next week, potentially paving the way for Coulson's transfer to an open prison. 'I am sorry to hear that Mr Coulson is remaining at Belmarsh because of the possibility of the retrial taking place,' said Mr Justice Saunders. 'I think the governor should be informed that any retrial if there were to be one would be somewhere down the line.'

Meanwhile, someone who won't be joining his former boss Coulson in the morning ritual of slopping out is ex-Scum of the World journalist Dan Evans who has been given a ten-month jail sentence suspended for a year at the Old Bailey. He pleaded extremely guilty in September 2013 to two counts of phone-hacking as well as making illegal payments to officials and perverting the course of justice. He was a prosecution witness against his former editor Coulson and others at the hacking trial. The judge said that he had reduced Evans's sentence as a result of him turning Copper's Nark and singing like a canary. Evans is thought to be the first journalist to be convicted of making illegal payments to public officials. Last year, he admitted accessing the voicemails of two hundred celebrities, politicians and sports people and listening to more than one thousand voicemails while he worked at the Scum of the World. Evans also admitted to hacking phones while he worked for the Sunday Mirra. Evans, of Kilburn, pleaded very guilty to one count of hacking at the Sunday Mirra, where he worked from 2003 to 2005 and one at the Scum of the World, where he worked from 2004 until it was shut in shame and ignominy in 2010. Mr Justice Saunders also ordered Evans to carry out two hundred hours of unpaid work in the community. Shovelling shit, or some such, one imagines. Passing sentence, the judge said that he had taken into account the guilty pleas and Evans's agreement to turn supergrass and give evidence in the hacking trial and possibly other future trials. 'In the circumstances of this case, and in particular the co-operation that Mr Evans has given and has agreed to give the police and the prosecution in the future as compared with the lack of co-operation from others, I do feel able to suspend the sentence for a period of twelve months,' the judge added. 'I would not have done that had Mr Evans not made a clean breast of his involvement in these offences.' He indicated that Evans would have faced a sentence of two years extreme imprisonment, had he not pleaded guilty and agreed to give evidence. Mr Justice Saunders imposed suspended terms of four months for the phone-hacking, four months for perverting the course of justice and two months for misconduct in public office, all to run consecutively. He said that if Evans had been convicted by a jury after a trial, he would have imposed a nine-month sentence for phone-hacking, nine months for perverting the course of justice and six months for misconduct in public office. Saunders said that Evans was one of 'the only people who have been prepared to give evidence of their knowledge and involvement in phone-hacking at the News of the World.' This was despite 'undisputed evidence' of 'a great deal of hacking' at the paper from 2004 to 2006, the judge added. 'Why so few people have been prepared to give evidence in court about what went on is not for me to say but it makes Mr Evans's position unique.'

BSkyB is paying £4.9bn to take over billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's pay TV companies in Germany and Italy. The move was announced along with the company's annual results earlier this week, which show pre-tax profits fell slightly to £1.2bn from last year's £1.26bn. BSkyB also reported revenues rose by seven per cent, with strong demand 'across the board' for its services. It said Sky Sports viewing share was at a seven-year high, boosted by the open race for the Premier League title. Part of BSkyB - thirty nine per cent - is owned by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's Twenty First Century FOX. That company owns one hundred per cent of Sky Italia and fifty seven per cent of Sky Germany. Billionaire tyrant Murdoch wants to sell these to BSkyB to free up cash for Twenty First Century FOX, which is trying to buy media giant Time Warner, the company which owns HBO and news business channel CNN. BSkyB broadcasts to ten million homes in the UK. A combined Sky Europe would have twenty million customers. The company hopes the new structure will save it two hundred million knicker by the end of the second financial year with further savings to come. BSkyB shares fell almost four per cent on the news, as it means higher debt levels and a stop to its current practice of buying back shares.
Former Radio 1 DJ and self-confessed 'hairy cornflake' Dave Lee Travis will go on trial in September over sexual abuse allegations, a judge has ruled. Travis faces a retrial on two charges - of indecent assault and sexual assault - and a new count of indecent assault. The sixty nine-year-old, who denies the three charges, was cleared of twelve counts of indecent assault in February. Speaking after a hearing at Southwark Crown Court, he said he felt 'very bitter' about what had happened to him. In February, jurors were unable to reach verdicts on one charge of indecent assault dating back to the early 1990s and one of sexual assault in 2008. He has pleaded not guilty to one additional count of indecent assault on a woman aged over sixteen, alleged to have taken place on 17 January 1995. The judge, Anthony Leonard QC, adjourned the case to a trial starting on 1 September. In a nine-minute statement outside court, that the former DJ said was being delivered 'against the advice of his legal team', Travis told journalists he had 'lost respect' for those in the justice system - apart from the judge and the jury at his first trial. He said that there was 'no such thing' as innocent until proven guilty and accused the Crown Prosecution Service of 'over compensating' for its 'failings' in the Jimmy Savile fiasco, amid 'hysteria' over the affair. Travis claimed that the case had 'done a lot of damage' to his reputation - damage that might be 'irreparable' he claimed, albeit, not quite as irreparable as it would be if he were to be found guilty of any of the three charges he faces; charges which, it is important to note, he strenuously denies. He also claimed that the past twenty months since he was first arrested about these matters had been 'very stressful.' But he added: 'I'm okay - I'm not about to top myself.'

Tulisa Contostavlos has been found extremely guilty of assault. The singer and former X Factor judge assaulted the 'celebrity blogger' Savvas Morgan - also known as Vas J Morgan, apparently - during 'an altercation' at The V Festival last year. She has been fined two hundred quid and ordered to pay a twenty smackers victim surcharge, one hundred notes compensation and two thousand seven hundred knicker costs. Her personal assistant Gareth Varey, was cleared of threatening behaviour at Stratford Magistrates' Court. Contostavlos and Varey had both denied the charges against them. Earlier this week, Contostavlos's drug trial collapsed at Southwark Crown Court after the judge said that he had 'strong grounds to believe' former Scum of the World undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood had lied at a pre-trial hearing. At that case, Contostavlos had pleaded not guilty to a charge of being concerned with the supply of class A drugs.

This certainly one way to stick a middle fingers up at turning forty four. Celebrating ageing in considerable style, yer actual Charisma Carpenter caused something of a stir on Twitter after posting a totally nekked picture posing against a window. The former Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel actress uploaded the snap on the eve of her big day, adding: 'Yes, my bday suit for my bday.' And, very nice it is too.
And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Here's a twenty four carat pop classic from Nick Lowe & His Rockpilers.

1 comment:

fatoldtart said...

A stupendous choice of 45. Playing as I type.