Friday, July 04, 2014

You Can Live Your Life In Expectant Fear, Sure Some Day You'll Be Made To Pay

The creators of Sherlock have confirmed that the hit BBC1 drama will be back for a special in 2015, followed by a fourth series of three episodes. Starring yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman his very self, the special will start filming in January with the fourth series being shot later in 2015. The award-winning drama is, of course co-created by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. You knew that, right? The last series saw Sherlock Holmes's life change a lot - he returned from the dead, his best friend John Watson married Mary Morstan and he rather met his match in Charles Augustus Magnussen. After the briefest of exiles, however, Sherlock was called back to England to solve one of his biggest mysteries yet. Why was Jim Moriarty's face being broadcast on every television in the land? Mark Gatiss promised that the new series would take Sherlock and John 'into deeper and darker water.' The announcement follows recent comments from Freeman earlier this week. He appeared to let slip in an interview that the show would return for a one-off special, informing the Torygraph: 'I'm speaking off-message here; if this was New Labour I'd get fired - I think that might be for next Christmas. A Christmas special. That's what I understand.' Marty also confirmed his real-life partner, the very excellent Amanda Abbington, would return to her role, as John's wife Mary, for the special. The last series kicked off with Sherlock returning from the dead, however the BBC said that series four would be 'the most shocking and surprising series of Sherlock yet.' 'Of course, it's far too early to say what's coming, but we're reasonably confident that the very next thing to happen to Sherlock and John, is the very last thing you'd expect,' said Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He). Gatiss added that the team were 'terrifically excited' about returning, adding: 'At last! It's always special to return to Sherlock but this time it's even more special as we're doing ... a special!' The popularity of Sherlock's lead actors and writers have made it difficult for them to commit to filming more episodes until now. BBC1's controller Charlotte Moore said it was 'no mean feat pinning down some of this country's most brilliant and in demand actors and writers' for shooting. Yer man Benny will soon star as the codebreaker Alan Turing in the film The Imitation Game, while Marty recently appeared on our screens as the star of US TV drama Fargo. And, of course, both Moffat and Gatiss are a bit busy with Doctor Who for much of their time. You might have noticed. 'It's taken a little while to get the dates sorted as none of the boys are exactly sitting back twiddling their thumbs,' said producer Sue Vertue. 'But there was unanimous goodwill to make this work so we're thrilled that 221b is going to be inhabited again.' Ben Stephenson, the Controller of BBC Drama, says: 'Steven and Mark are ready to unleash the most shocking and surprising series of Sherlock yet. The only thing to expect is the unexpected.' The return of the drama promises an even bigger surprise, with a Twitter campaign suggesting the special could feature the return of Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott.
The UK government organised a screening of Sherlock in North Korea in the hope of 'encouraging change' in the country, it has been revealed. The programme was shown in 2012 at a film festival in the capital Pyongyang. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was 'one of the things we have done to encourage North Korea to be more open to the outside world.' The screening was revealed in a document detailing the FCO's activities in the normally insular country. The document, which was published in response to a Freedom of Information request, showed that the FCO paid £287.33 for 'rights to BBC Sherlock Holmes Series.' The reason given was: 'Encouraging change.' Jeez, is there nothing that The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat can't achieve? World peace! What's next? It was listed among thirty four 'educational, diplomatic and humanitarian initiatives.' An FCO spokesperson said: 'Most North Koreans have never seen anything other than domestic, Soviet or Chinese films. Participating in the film festival in 2012 was a small part of a cultural exchange programme we have with North Korea to show a different perspective of the outside world than they are normally shown.' The Pyongyang International Film Festival is held every two years and is a rare opportunity for North Korean audiences to watch carefully selected Western titles. Other films screened at the 2012 event included British romantic comedy The Decoy Bride, starring David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald, Jet Li's martial arts film Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate and the French comedy The Women On The Sixth Floor. The FCO document did not specify whether a single Sherlock episode was included or a whole series. Sherlock has, of course, been a big hit all around the world. In China, it is among the most popular TV imports and yer actual Benny Cumberbatch has been nicknamed Curly Fu. For reasons that probably make sense to somebody.

BBC Worldwide has confirmed a release date for Doctor Who series eight on DVD and Blu-ray. Peter Capaldi's first twelve-episode run will be available on home media formats from 17 November. Both DVD and Blu-ray sets are now available to pre-order via the BBC Shop. Further details about the content of the set - including special features - will be announced closer to release.
Frank Cottrell Boyce has revealed that he is writing for the new series of Doctor Who. The Twenty Four Hour Party People screenwriter told the Liverpool Echo that the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama is 'a great thing to be involved with. I grew up loving Doctor Who and my teenage son was a big fan of it too,' he said. 'It's a pleasure to write it and I'm looking forward to seeing Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor.' Cottrell Boyce is well-known for his work in children's fiction and for his collaborations with film director Michael Winterbottom, including 2002's Twenty Four Hour Party People and 2005's A Cock and Bull Story. He also worked closely with Danny Boyle in scripting the well-received Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Cottrell Boyce appears to be the final confirmed writer for Doctor Who's eighth series and is expected to take the one remaining vacant slot - episode ten of the twelve-part series. The episode will feature a number of child actors including Harley Bird, the voice of Peppa Pig, alongside Abigail Eames, Ashley Foster and Jaydon Harris-Wallace. It will be directed by Sheree Folkson. Other writers confirmed for the eighth series are yer actual Mark Gatiss, Phil Ford, Gareth Roberts, Peter Harness, Steve Thompson and Jamie Mathieson as well as The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat his very self.
BBC1's coverage of the final World Cup second round tie - between Belgium and the USA peaked - at more than 8.4 million overnight punters on Tuesday. The match had 8.42m viewers towards the end of the first half after 9.30pm. The game, which Belgium won 2-1 after extra time despite Tim Howard's heroic goalkeeping performance, averaged 7.13m across the entire programme. BBC2's Wimbledon coverage, which began at 11.30am, enjoyed an average audience of 1.28m, peaking at around 7pm with 3.15m during the climax of the match between Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios. Shopgirls: The True Story Of Life Behind the Counter followed the tennis with 1.26m. On ITV, Love Your Garden took a mere 2.32m and You've Been Framed! had an even less impressive 1.31m. A repeated episode of Benidorm - which included a very unfortunate Rolf Harris joke (see below) - from 9pm drew but 1.41m. Channel Four broadcast Location, Location, Location (1.09m) and The Auction House (1.44m). Big Brother continued with 1.01m on Channel Five. Preceding the reality show were The Dog Rescuers (1.36m) and CSI (1.15m). On the multichannels, Midsomer Murders was watched by 1.16m on ITV3 from 8pm. New Girl had three hundred and eighteen thousand viewers on E4 from 9pm and Hannibal attracted seventy four thousand on Sky Living in the 10pm hour.

Andy Murray's early Wimbledon exit deprived BBC1 of a ratings bonanza with a mere 2.5 million viewers watching the defending champion’s quarter-final exit. Murray's straight sets defeat by Grigor Dimitrov peaked with two-and-a-half million punters on Wednesday afternoon. The BBC can still expect a substantial audience for the men's final on Sunday but it will likely be nothing to match the peal of seventeen million viewers who watched Murray's win last year, the first Briton to win the Wimbledon men's title since Fred Perry in 1936. The previous year’s final, in which Murray was beaten by Roger Federer in 2012, had a peak of 16.9 million. BBC1's coverage of the tennis averaged 2.2 million viewers between 1.45pm and 6pm, while on BBC2 it had 1.2 million viewers between 1pm and 8pm. Elsewhere on Wednesday, on BBC1 Watchdog drew 3.85m from 8pm. It was followed by Celebrity MasterChef,with 3.84m. BBC2's Coast Australia finished its eight-part run with 1.6 million viewers between 9.10pm and 10pm. It was followed by the penultimate episode of Episodes, which could only manage six hundred and eighty one thousand viewers between 10pm and 10.30pm. ITV's All Star Mr & Mrs had 3.09m in the 8pm hour, and The Betrayers was seen by 1.91m afterwards. Channel Four's One Born Every Minute attracted 1.8 million viewers. Channel Five's Big Brother continued with 1.2 million between 10pm and 11pm. Channel Four's repeat of last Friday's Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown was watched by nine hundred and twenty eight thousand in the same slot. BBC1's 7/7 documentary The White Widow: Searching For Samantha was watched by 2.1 million viewers between 10.35pm and 11.30pm. At the same time on BBC2, Newsnight had five hundred and seventy one thousand between 10.30pm and 11.20pm. Another day in the life of Jack Bauer is nearly over. The tenth episode of 24: Live Another Day had four hundred and sixty four thousand on Sky1 between 9pm and 10pm.

The Honourable Woman premiered to an audience of more than two million overnight viewers on Thursday. The espionage thriller starring Maggie Gyllenhaal attracted 2.13m in the 9pm hour. And, rather good it was too. Mock The Week followed with 1.72m, before Newsnight had five hundred and eighteen thousand viewers. On BBC1, Celebrity MasterChef served up 3.57m from 9pm. In the same timeslot, ITV's Inside Asprey: Luxury By Royal Appointment took 2.52m. On Channel Four, George Clarke's Amazing Spaces drew 1.3m and Embarrassing Bodies was watched by a million punters. Big Brother managed nine hundred and twenty four thousand on Channel Five from 9pm. Earlier, Child Soldiers Of WW2 was seen by six hundred and fifty nine thousand from 8pm. On the multichannels, The Big Bang Theory entertained 1.08m (5.4%) on E4 from 8pm. Glee returned to Sky1 with but one hundred and fourteen thousand from 9pm.

The BBC is hoping for some good old fashioned Cockney geezer larks and that with a new period comedy drama called Cradle To Grave, based on the broadcaster Danny Baker's - extremely funny - memoirs. The eight-part BBC2 series is being written by Baker and comedy scriptwriter Jeff Pope and is based on Baker's successful autobiography Going To Sea In A Sieve and a follow-up book which is due out later this year. The 'upbeat comedy' will bring Danny's tall tales of his early years in Bermondsey to life, according to alleged 'sources' quoted by the Radio Times. It also promises some of the 'vinegary edge and energy' of Only Fools And Horses, according to 'a production source', while at the same time meeting BBC TV boss Danny Cohen's long-standing call for more working-class comedies on the BBC. When he took on his former role as boss of BBC1 three years ago, Cohen said that he was keen to have more 'blue collar' comedies on the channel. Oh ... this could go one of two ways! As yet no actors have been assigned to Cradle to Grave but in the only clue about who will star in it Baker told Radio Times that 'we have some extraordinary casting choices' which are currently under consideration. Going To Sea In A Sieve was first published in 2012. Born in 1957 in Deptford, Danny's first job after dropping out of school at the age of fifteen was in One Stop Records, a record shop in London's West End, frequented by the likes of Elton John, Mick Jagger and Marc Bolan. Dan's career in print journalism began in 1976 when he co-founded the fanzine Sniffin' Glue with Mark Perry leading to an offer from the New Musical Express, where his first job was as a receptionist. Soon after, Baker was contributing regular articles, reviews and later interviews to the publication. Danny then began making thirty-minute documentaries at LWT for the cult series Twentieth Century Box. His career on the radio began on BBC GLR in 1989, then moved to (as it was then) BBC Radio 5 where he presented sports shows including the groundbreaking Six-0-Six. His current Saturday morning show on 5Live is well worth a couple of hours of your time, dear blog reader. Dan The Man is, of course, a familiar face to TV viewers having appeared as a guest on shows including Have I Got News For You and Qi and as the presenter of various game shows. He revealed in 2010 that he had been diagnosed with throat cancer. In June 2011 he announced his treatment was successful and he had been given the all clear.

John Barrowman has not ruled out a Torchwood return. The Doctor Who spin-off saw Barrowman play Captain Jack Harkness and ran from 2006 to 2011, moving from BBC3 to BBC1 during its time on air. Speaking to Terry Wogan on his BBC Radio 2 show, Barrowman said: 'It ran for quite a long time, I think four seasons, which is good for the BBC - we had a great run and then that was it, really. But who knows what the future holds?'

ITV has grovellingly apologised after an episode of Benidorm referencing convicted kiddie fiddler Rolf Harris was repeated on the day after Harris was extremely convicted of indecent assault. The episode ended with Tim Healy's character, Les, singing 'Two Little Boys', which was a hit for Harris in 1969. The repeat was followed by the ITV News, which included the latest update about Harris' sick and sordid offences. An ITV statement said: 'This was a repeat episode of Benidorm and we wish to apologise for this oversight.' The episode was originally broadcast in 2012. After the 'oversight' was spotted, the repeat was pulled from timeshift channel ITV+1. In one scene, Jacqueline, played by Janine Duvitski, talked about a rock star and asked: 'Didn't his wife have an affair with Rolf Harris?' Writing on Twitter in posts which have since been deleted, the show's writer and creator Derren Litten said: 'Extremely unfortunate timing of a Benidorm repeat tonight. Apologies to anyone who was offended.' He also said: 'An apology was appropriate as ITV went from a song made famous by Rolf Harris straight into the news with that headline.' Les' karaoke rendition of 'Two Little Boys' was introduced as 'a classic Rolf Harris number.' Litten did add: 'Also that song was not written by Harris. It was written in 1902 about the American civil war. First made popular by Harry Lauder.' Which is true. And which brings us to ...
Shamed and disgraced rotten scoundrel and convicted kiddie fiddler Rolf Harris has been sentenced to five year and nine months in stir. He will be eligible for release after serving roughly half of that sentence. The judge told Harris that he had been a truly terrible and wicked man, had abused the trust of both his victims and of the public who liked and admired him and that he had no one to blame but himself for his apocalyptic plummet from grace. Mr Justice Sweeney said that Harris had shown 'no remorse' for his crimes and told him: 'You have no-one to blame but yourself.' The judge added that Harris 'took advantage of the trust placed in you because of your celebrity status.' He didn't add, 'now get out on my sight, you horrible man, I shall never be able to listen to 'Jake The Peg (And His Extra Leg)' again without wincing.' Though, perhaps he should have. Victim statements were read out concerning Harris and his sick and sordid crimes ahead of the sentencing of Harris who was convicted of all twelve indecent assault charges he faced. In a statement read to Southwark Crown Court, one of the women whom Harris so vilely abused said that she had 'carried' what Harris did to her - when she was aged seven or eight - 'for most of my life.' She was indecently assaulted at a community centre in Hampshire in 1968 or 1969 as she queued to get an autograph and said she later became 'an angry child' who was 'unable to trust men' as a result of the abuse. Another victim, Australian Tonya Lee who has waived her right to anonymity, said that Harris had taken her 'ability to feel safe', adding in her statement that she remained in 'a constant state of anxiety.' She said Harris had abused her three times on one day while she was on a theatre group trip to the UK at the age of fifteen. A statement from another victim, who was a childhood friend of Harris's daughter Bindi, said that the continued abuse she suffered between the ages of thirteen and nineteen 'had a detrimental effect on my life.' She said the assaults made her feel 'dirty, grubby and disgusting', saying Harris had 'used and abused me to such a degree that it made me feel worthless. As a young girl I had aspirations to have a career, settle down and have a family,' she said. 'However, as a direct result of his actions, this has never materialised. The knowledge of what he had done to me haunted me.' Harris earlier arrived at court with his daughter though his wife, Alwen, did not accompany him due to illness. During his trial, which ended on Monday, the court heard how Harris used his 'status and position' to abuse his victims and that the former television presenter had a dark side to his personality. One victim, who was assaulted by Harris in 1977, has told the BBC that Harris was 'a fraud' who 'hurt women'. Karen Gardner, who gave evidence at Harris's trial and has also waived her right to anonymity, said that the entertainer had put his arm round her and touched her breast while in Cambridge. 'I was shocked, I was very surprised. This was the man who sang 'Two Little Boys' and painted lovely paintings,' she said. She told the BBC News website that Harris was not 'the man he pretended to be.' Judge Mr Justice Sweeney said that he would take into account Harris's breach of trust as a celebrity when sentencing. Prosecutors meanwhile have said that Harris will not stand trial over allegations he downloaded sexual images of children. They claimed Harris had indecent images of children - as part of a larger collection of adult pornography - but decided it was not in the public interest to prosecute him.

And still, regrettably, on the subject of convicted kiddie fiddler and jailed criminal Rolf Harris, one of his highest profile works of art was his portrait of the Queen. But where, exactly, is the painting now? Questions have been asked about the work amid speculation about Harris facing compensation claims after being convicted of a series of sex attacks. Harris's oil painting was undertaken as part of a BBC television documentary to mark the Queen's eightieth birthday. The monarch sat twice for Harris to paint her over the summer of 2005. After it was unveiled in December if that year, the portrait, which took Harris two months to complete, initially went on public display at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace. But that was merely a six-month display. A Royal Collection spokeswoman says: 'It was only loaned to us, briefly.' She said that she did not know where the painting, which is not part of the Royal Collection, ended up. The BBC, which originally approached Buckingham Palace asking whether the Queen would be willing to sit for the painting, said that it was not in its possession either. 'We've been asked about this before and the position hasn't changed. The BBC does not have this painting in its collection,' a spokeswoman said. She could not address the issue of the painting's ownership. Harris offered the painting to the National Portrait Gallery in 2006, but it was turned down. The work appears to have been most recently displayed by Liverpool's Walker Gallery, which said that it had been part of Harris's private collection. It was on show in 2012 as part of an exhibition of his work, all of which came from private owners. A Walker Gallery spokeswoman said that after the exhibition finished in August 2012, the painting was returned to Whitewall Galleries, which is understood to have had a commercial relationship with Harris in the past.
Former Scum of the World editor and the Prime Minister's former, if you will, 'chum' Andy Coulson has been extremely jailed for eighteen months for his involvement in a conspiracy to hack phones. The forty six-year-old, who went on to become director of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron after resigning from the Scum of the World, was found very guilty at the Old Bailey last week. Former chief reporter at the tabloid Neville Thurlbeck and ex-news editor Greg Miskiw were both jailed for six months. Glenn Mulcaire, the former private investigator tasked with doing the actual hacking, was given a six-month suspended sentence. Two years' imprisonment was the maximum term for the offence, Coulson receiving a discount for 'previous good character.' But Mr Justice Saunders also told the court that the evidence heard in the trial was that there was 'a great deal' of phone-hacking while Andy Coulson was editor at the disgraced and disgraceful scum tabloid. Sentencing the men Saunders said that it was not his job to pass judgement on the relationship between the police, press and the government. What was relevant, he said, was the amount of hacking and the period over which it occurred. Hacking had picked up 'intensely personal' messages, the judge said, causing 'serious distress to the subjects.' He referred specifically to the hacking of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone, saying the Scum of the World's delay in telling police about voicemails had been 'unforgiveable.' Those working on the paper, the judge said, 'were using their resources to try to find Milly Dowler.' He added: 'The fact that they delayed telling the police of the contents of the voicemail demonstrates that their true motivation was not to act in the best interests of the child but to get credit for finding her and thereby sell the maximum number of newspapers.' The judge said he was 'in no doubt'that Coulson had been 'under considerable pressure' in the job of editor, and that he 'clearly thought it was necessary' to use hacking to maintain the paper's competitive edge. Coulson had to take 'the major share of the blame for the phone-hacking' at the Scum of the World. Coulson was taken from court to HM Belmarsh prison near Woolwich at lunchtime where he will be assessed and banged up to start his sentence before being transferred to an open prison in a few days time. Coulson's defence team had earlier this week attempted to use the quite extraordinary excuse that Coulson did not know phone-hacking was illegal when he was involved in it. As though, that made it all right. 'No one at the News of the World or the newspaper industry at large realised that interception of voicemail messages was illegal, in the sense of criminal,' Coulson's lawyer Timothy Langdale claimed, pleading for a light sentence for his client. One trusts that this is now a defence which can be relied upon by any number of criminals facing sentence on a variety of different charges. 'Don't send me to pris, guv, I never knew breaking and entering was against the law.' Et cetera. Coulson's lawyer had also described Coulson as 'a thoroughly decent man', caught up in 'a media furore' fueled by 'people with political axes to grind.' Rather than, as in reality, a convicted criminal and thorough bad'un who will now be spending his early mornings slopping out at Her Majesty's for the next year or so. During the trial, Coulson constantly denied being party to hacking or to having had knowledge that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked by Mulcaire. The jury, seemingly, did not believe him or his lies. However, he did admit to listening to hacked messages which the then Home Secretary David Blunkett left on a married woman's phone, an admission which is likely to have been central to the jury's decision to find Coulson very guilty. Saunders rejected the argument offered by Mulcaire's lawyers in migitation for his crimes that he thought he was 'helping the police' by hacking Milly Dowler's phone. Mulcaire was handed an six month sentence that was suspended for twelve months, with the trial judge saying 'Mr Mulcaire you are truly the lucky one' because his previous jail term had been 'too short' due to a flawed police investigation. Saunders also said that 'all the journalists in the dock are distinguished. There was no need for hacking. Their achievements now count for nothing.' Responding to Coulson's jailing, Cameron said: 'What it says is that it's right that justice should be done and that no one is above the law - as I've always said.' Under sentencing rules, Coulson can probably expect to be released on licence after as little as nine months of his sentence. Should he reoffend, he would be recalled to prison. The fifth man in the dock, James Weatherup, who joined the paper in 2004 and admitted tasking Mulcaire to hack phones received a four month suspended sentence. Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that it was considering whether to charge eight people in connection with a second investigation into phone-hacking. The Metropolitan Police has passed a file to the CPS under Operation Pinetree, which focuses on the Scum of the World's features department. This is separate to the recent hacking trial, which centred on the now-defunct tabloid's news desk.
It is not only David Cameron and billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch who are caught in the sticky web of the phone-hacking scandal. Scotland Yard too remains tangled in troubling questions revived by evidence disclosed in the Old Bailey trial that ended this week. The questions remain unanswered because while the Yard's leadership has run a sprawling inquiry into allegations of crime by journalists and public officials, it has opted not to commission any kind of investigation into what went wrong under its own roof. All the questions revolve around Scotland Yard's five years of failure to deal with allegations of crime in billionaire tyrant Murdoch's newsrooms before a new inquiry, Operation Weeting, finally took on the job. The scale of the Yard's failure to investigate or to disclose what was known was writ large in the evidence Weeting supplied to the Old Bailey trial. While the original inquiry named only eight victims of Glenn Mulcaire's hacking, Weeting found Mulcaire's own handwritten notes suggested he had targeted six thousand three hundred and forty nine people either to intercept their voicemail or to 'blag' their confidential data. The original inquiry led to just two arrests. Weeting and its offshoots have arrested or interviewed under caution some two hundred and ten people. The central question is whether that failure was in any way connected to the Yard's links with billionaire tyrant Murdoch's UK company, then known as News International; or to any personal links between Yard officers and Murdoch employees. Fragments of new evidence from the trial and from inquiries made by the Gruniad raise even more questions. They fall into two timeframes. The first covers the period from January 2006 to January 2007 when the Yard ran Operation Caryatid, the original inquiry into a complaint from Buckingham Palace that somebody was listening to the voicemail messages of members of the royal household. On 8 August 2006, Caryatid arrested the Scum of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman, and the paper's 'specialist phone-hacker', Glenn Mulcaire. At the Old Bailey trial, Goodman told the jury that within forty eight hours of his arrest, he saw the start of a campaign to persuade him to say he was 'a lone wolf' - the infamous 'single rouge reporter' - who had hacked the royal phones without the knowledge of anybody else at the paper and that nobody else from the paper was involved in any other hacking. No siree, Bob. This 'single rogue reporter' theory was a damned lie and any people in positions of authority at News International knew full well, as the trial exposed in painful detail. It would also have been a pointless lie in the event of any risk that Scotland Yard would arrest other journalists. But, no other journalists were arrested by Caryatid. During the trial, Goodman claimed that, following his arrest, the Prime Minister's former, if you will, 'chum' Andy Coulson - then the editor of the Scum of the World - on several occasions suggested that he was, directly or indirectly, 'in contact' with an alleged 'source' who knew what the police were doing and who was suggesting that the police did not want to 'go any deeper than me and nobody wanted it to end up in a jail sentence.' Coulson denied in court ever saying this. Even if he did, it is possible that he was misleading Goodman in an attempt to persuade him to plead guilty. The question is whether there really was a 'source' who enabled Coulson to know what the police were planning. Six weeks later, on 15 September 2006, a News International lawyer e-mailed Coulson with a summary of information that he said had been 'provided' to well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks by 'the cops.' It's comforting to know that, even in internal e-mails, people connected to the Scum of the World only use words of one syllable, just as they did in the disgraced and disgraceful tabloid itself. The e-mail – disclosed in unredacted form at the trial – included an apparently accurate account of some of the evidence collected by Caryatid and the suggestion that the police were 'not widening the case to include other News of the World people but would do so if they got direct evidence.' The e-mail added that, so far, the only evidence found against journalists other than Goodman was circumstantial. The trial heard that this message was written as a result of a meeting at the RAC Club in London between well-known Crystal Tippps lookalike Brooks and a Caryatid officer, Detective Chief Inspector Keith Surtees, who had been tasked to tell her that her phone had been hacked by Mulcaire and to invite her to make a statement for the prosecution. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks declined to do so. The question of whether Surtees was 'instructed' not simply to ask for her cooperation but also to give her a briefing about Caryatid's progress and intentions has been raised by the Gruniad. The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigated this and found that Surtees had done nothing wrong. At around the same time, according to evidence at The Leveson Inquiry, the Yard decided to close down Caryatid. The precise timing and justification for this decision are not known: it appears not to have been recorded in writing. The effect of this was that there was no further inquiry into evidence gathered by Caryatid that appeared to implicate other Scum of the World journalists; a breach of the Yard's undertaking to the Crown Prosecution Service that officers would ensure 'all potential victims' were informed and a failure to follow evidence which suggested the Scum of the World may have been involved in making corrupt payments to police officers including some involved in the security of the royal family and of the Witness Protection Programme. In November 2006, Goodman and Mulcaire pleaded extremely guilty without implicating anybody else at the newspaper and were sentenced to do jail. After examining this history in detail, Lord Justice Leveson concluded that the Caryatid team had 'made mistakes' in handling victims of the hacking and had 'failed to follow leads' to other perpetrators but had 'acted in good faith', primarily because officers had to deal with far more serious crime involving terrorist plots to commit mass murder. That conclusion is clearly well-founded. Specifically, there is no evidence that any Caryatid officer showed any fear or favour towards News International. However, the objective fact is that Scotland Yard's conduct enabled News International's cover-up to succeed for nearly four years. Therefor, there are two key questions to be asked. Why was the hacking inquiry not passed to another squad to be completed? And, was that decision in any way influenced by a desire to placate billionaire tyrant Murdoch's company? 'Scotland Yard has opted not to try to answer any of these questions', notes the Gruniad tersely. The second timeframe runs from 9 July 2009, when the Gruniad published its first story about the true scale of the hacking, to July 2011, when it disclosed that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked. During that time, Scotland Yard presented press, public and parliament with a version of events which has proved to be entirely false. This included repeated denials that the Yard held any evidence that Mulcaire had targeted the then Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott; repeated claims that detectives had approached all potential victims of Mulcaire's hacking and claims they had pursued all available leads. All of these statements proved to be false. The Yard also failed to disclose that Caryatid had been closed down without completing the original investigation and that News International had obstructed officers' work. The Old Bailey trial disclosed a new fragment of evidence which remains unexplained and unexplored. This involved the celebrity public relations person - and convicted child molester - Max Clifford, who was one of the eight hacking victims and was named at the sentencing of Goodman and Mulcaire in January 2007. Soon after the Gruniad's first story, in July 2009, Clifford sued the Scum of the World on the basis that 'somebody at the paper' must have conspired with Mulcaire to intercept his voicemail. On 14 September 2009, a deputy master in the High Court ordered Scotland Yard to disclose relevant evidence, including the notes Mulcaire had made as he targeted Clifford. The Yard said it would do so by 23 November. On 5 November, the Assistant Commissioner who had inherited responsibility for the hacking case, Champagne John Yates, dined at the Ivy with the then editor of the Scum of the World, Colin Myler. It's unclear exactly what was discussed at that dinner, but the Yard missed the deadline for disclosing Mulcaire's notes and, when they finally did so, on 7 December, the name of the Scum of the World journalist who had tasked Mulcaire to hack Clifford had been blacked out, as had much of the rest of the notes. The fragment of evidence disclosed at the Old Bailey trial concerned a meeting held at the Scum of the World's East London office on 20 January 2010 to discuss the Clifford case. The jury were shown a record of the meeting. This noted that when the police disclosed their evidence on Clifford's lawyers, 'there was nothing there'. The record then continued with a remark attributed to Myler: 'CM said that Andy Hayman and John Yates had indicated to him previously that this was probably going to be the case.' The first question the Gruniad asks, not unreasonably you might think, is whether that record is an accurate account of the meeting. It may not be. Andy Hayman was the Assistant Commissioner during the first timeframe. He was responsible for Operation Caryatid although he had no day-to-day role in its conduct. But, he had left Scotland Yard in December 2007. An investigation might establish whether Hayman had any means of discovering how the Yard was planning to respond to the order to disclose Mulcaire's notes about Clifford. Beyond the question of its accuracy, the record of that meeting raises other questions. Why did Scotland Yard choose to redact Mulcaire's notes so heavily? The High Court ordered a less redacted version, although the case was then aborted when Clifford accepted an offer from News International of guaranteed income of six hundred grand plus his legal costs. Six hundred thousand smackers which, obviously, he can't spend now as he's currently banged up at Her Majesty's Pleasure for his filthy doings. Did Hayman, Yates or anybody else at the Yard provided information about their handling of the case to Myler, the Gruniad asks? Hayman and Yates haven apparently, declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper, as has Myler but 'Yates's friends' - whoever they are - say that he would 'not have had access to the detail of the case' and 'would not have disclosed anything improper.' As The Leveson Inquiry heard, both Hayman and Yates were 'in the habit' of sharing drinks and meals with journalists, including some from the Scum of the World. Coulson himself previously has said that he was on 'not unfriendly terms' with Hayman. Yates counted another senior journalist from the paper as a personal friend. The evidence of the social contact was disclosed at The Leveson Inquiry. Leveson found that it had had 'no impact on decisions' which they made and that, although the two men had 'made mistakes', they had acted 'with integrity'. Both Hayman and Yates have also been criticised for public comments which they made about the extent of the hacking at the Scum of the World. This began as a reaction to the Grunaid's first story, on Thursday 9 July, when Yates held a press conference outside Scotland Yard. He said that he had been asked 'to establish the facts' and went on to read a statement which challenged the core of the Gruniad's account and has since proved to be misleading. He said that no further investigation was required. Two years later, when the scandal reached its climax, Yates apologised for his approach, saying that he 'should have done more' and that his decision not to reopen the investigation was 'pretty crap'. In the background, after resigning from Scotland Yard, Hayman had gone to work for News International as a columnist for The Times, which bought the serial rights to his memoirs. Two days after Yates's statement, on 11 July, Hayman published a Times column in which he said that Caryatid 'had left no stone unturned'. He did not say that the investigation had been closed down without completing the job. He went on to say that Caryatid would have pursued 'the slightest hint that others were involved'. The Old Bailey trial disclosed that Caryatid had rather done the opposite, for example opting not to pursue evidence of the possible involvement of the journalists Greg Miskiw and Neville Thurlbeck, who have since pleaded extremely guilty to conspiring to intercept voicemail. Hayman told The Leveson Inquiry that he had written his column 'from memory' without having access to any of the original paperwork. The following week, on 15 July, Hayman went to a leaving party for a senior Scum of the World journalist at The Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue. One - anonymous - guest has claimed to the Gruniad that Hayman approached Tim Toulmin, then director of the Press Complaints Commission, who was standing by the bar, and said words to the effect that: 'I can't believe this Guardian thing. Such a lot of fuss about it. I have seen the file. There is nothing in there, just a handful of names.' In November, a PCC report accepted that Goodman and Mulcaire were the only culprits and added that 'the Guardian's stories did not quite live up to the dramatic billing they were initially given.' Over the two-year timeframe, Yates repeated his misleading version of events to two Commons select committees and visited the Gruniad to complain to its editor, specky little oiyk Alan Runtbudgie, about the paper's coverage. Later, he threatened to sue the Gruniad for publishing claims that he had misled parliament. Yates and Hayman specifically denied that John Prescott had been a victim even though Caryatid in August 2006 had found evidence that Mulcaire had been intercepting his voicemail from the phone of his special adviser, Joan Hammell. The Home Affairs Select Committee criticised Hayman for his 'cavalier attitude' towards his social contact with News International staff being investigated by his detectives and suggested this had 'risked seriously undermining confidence in the impartiality of the police.' They also accused him of 'deliberate prevarication in order to mislead the committee.' Leveson found that Yates had adopted an 'inappropriately dismissive and close-minded attitude' to the scandal and had been 'dogmatic and defensive' in his comments. Neither the select committee nor Leveson concluded that Hayman, Yates or anybody else at Scotland Yard had let their judgment be influenced by contact with or fear of News International. Leveson concluded that although there had been 'a series of poor decisions, poorly executed', there was 'no evidence to challenge the integrity of the senior police officers concerned.' On the specific questions raised by the new information from the Old Bailey trial, there is no evidence at all – no phone records, no diaries, no internal memos, no expenses records, no interviews with the key players – because Scotland Yard has failed to commission the inquiry which might have found it. The questions hang there, looking for an answer.

A new play satirising the phone-hacking scandal and other dubious and naughty practices within the press, police and politics is to transfer to London's West End. The news of Great Britain's transfer comes less than two days after it opened at the National Theatre. The play, which stars Billie Piper as an ambitious tabloid news editor, was prepared in secret while the phone hacking trial was taking place. It will move to the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 10 September. The play also stars Dermot crowley and Robert Glenister. In a four-star review, the Gruniad's Michael Billington said it was 'written with real verve' by playwright Richard Bean and was 'blessedly funny', while the Daily Torygraph's Dominic Cavendish praised it as a 'bold, topical' work.
'Who'd have thought forty years ago that we'd all be sitting here, doing Monty Python?' opines Eric Idle at the start of The Four Yorkshiremen sketch. What's more, who would have thought they would be playing to a packed arena on the shores of the River Thames in the Twenty First Century, with punters shouting 'Albatross!' at unsuspecting ice-cream sellers and audience members dressed as lumberjacks? Oh you did, did you? The surviving members of Monty Python Flying's Circus received mixed but, broadly positive, reviews after the first of their live comeback shows at London's O2 Arena on Tuesday. The Daily Scum Express called the reunion of John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam 'comedy history in the making', giving it five stars. However, someone of absolutely no importance at the Independent - is that still going? - gave the 'desperately lazy production' but two stars and whinged like a big whinging whiner. Monty Python Live (Mostly) featured classic sketches such as The Spanish Inquisition and The Lumberjack Song. The show, the first of ten performances at the venue, which holds twenty thousand punters, ended with a sing-a-long of 'Always Look On The Bright Side of Life'. 'Not a great deal of effort has gone into updating the script,' wrote the Gruniad Morning Star's Peter Bradshaw in his rather grudgeful three-star critique, adding that the jokes 'have dated.' Not quite as much as the Gruniad's depressingly banal middle-class hippie Communist twattery, however. Having declared himself a fan, however, Bradshaw added, 'you'd have to have a heart of stone not to enjoy hearing them again just a bit. If ABBA re-formed, nobody would expect them to avoid 'Dancing Queen' in favour of new compositions and songs that didn't pass muster at the time.' Other famous sketches in the reunion show WHICH received rapturous approval from the audience - you know, the people that actually paid for their ticket instead of getting in on a freebie - included The Fish-Slapping Dance. Some of the biggest cheers of the night came when archive footage of Graham Chapman, who died in 1989, was played. In a three-star review the Daily Scum Mail's resident arsehole Quentin Letts said: 'Once they were the sharpest thing in satire. Last night, quite often, they looked and sounded like a dodgy tribute band.' He added: 'But the show finally reached something worthy of the hype and the high prices (some tickets on the black market were going for close to two hundred pounds) when they gave us such old favourites as The Spam Sketch [sic], The Dead Parrot Sketch and, best of all, I Want An Argument.' The reunion also featured a cameo appearance from Stephen Fry, who took part in a sketch - roughly based on Blackmail!, in which Michael Palin's slimy game show host blackmails misbehaving celebrities. Tremendously topical this week of all weeks. Professor Brian Cox (no, the other one) and professor Stephen Hawking both featured in pre-recorded inserts elsewhere in the performance. The Pythons have said their show on 20 July will be their last ever.
Plasticine TV star Morph lost his head during an appearance on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday morning. Presenter Charlie Stayt accidentally trod on a model of the famous character. In the interests of BBC impartiality, he did own up to what he'd done live on air. If only dirty old scallywag and rotten rotter Jimmy savile had done the same thing, how different the world might have been. Styat explained: 'I did accidentally stepped on Morph a little earlier on. He was behind the desk here and I stepped on him. He lost his head and it's down here,' he said, as he stuck Morph's head back onto his body. 'For everybody at home, it's not the real Morph,' co-host Louise Minchin assured viewers. The presenters had been creating their own Morph models to celebrate the show's return to screens, over thirty years after it was created by Peter Lord.
Yer actual Russell Davies has suggested that British soaps may not survive the next decade. The former Doctor Who writer - who began his own TV scriptwriting career as a writer on Coronation Street said that he thinks soaps are 'in trouble', because of the significant decrease in ratings since the 1980s. Whereas EastEnders and Corrie attracted viewers in excess of twenty million viewers in the 1980s, the average for all soaps is now well below ten million during an average week - mind you, that's something which has affected all telly in this multichannel age so it's hardly unique to soaps. Big Rusty told Attitude: 'I think the soaps are in trouble and need to be careful. You can see a television landscape in ten years' time where they won't exist or will be reduced.' He also expressed concern for the representation of the gay community on television if soaps die out, saying: 'Without the soaps, gay visibility on TV will plummet.' Davies his very self is currently working on a trio of new gay-themed series for Channel Four, which will be shown in 2015.

Google has come under fire for its 'clumsy' approach to obeying Europe's new 'right to be forgotten' law, after it began blocking some name-based searches to articles on the websites of UK news organisations. The Gruniad Morning Star, Daily Scum Mail and the BBC all complained about the search engine implementing a ruling made in May by Europe's highest court, the European court of justice, by starting to remove links to some pages when searches are made against particular names. Almost certainly the only time in history that those three organs of the media have ever agreed about anything, ever. Google 'sources' - quoted by the Gruniad - admit it may be suffering 'teething problems' as it struggles to implement the system, under which it reviews then rejects or allows the removal of links. The original pages on publishers' sites are untouched, and can be found via US based search engines, or by using search criteria that leave out the particular name. Publishers suggested Google was being 'too hasty' in allowing removal of searches against specific names for information that was not 'inaccurate, irrelevant or outdated' the key tests under the ECJ ruling. The ECJ also said removal requests from people 'in public life' could be ignored. Google deals with more than ninety per cent of Europe's online searches. It said it had received more than seventy thousand requests to remove links to more than two hundred and seventy six thousand web pages from Europeans, with most coming from France, Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy respectively. It said that it was now receiving about one thousand requests daily, from a high of more than twelve thousand soon after the ruling. On Wednesday Google removed links via searches on an unspecified name to pages from 2010 and 2011 on the Gruniad and Daily Scum Mail. The stories covered a football referee in Scotland, Dougie McDonald, who admitted to lying about awarding a penalty in a Scottish FA Cup tie. The links have since been reinstated and can be found on searches for McDonald's name. The removal and rapid reversal have thrown a spotlight on those newly-hired by Google to vet requests. It is understood that a supervised team of 'paralegals' – who are not professional lawyers – have been given the legal task of examining every request and making a decision on whether to approve it. The BBC's economics editor, Robert Pestinfestation, complained that Google had 'cast me into oblivion' after the corporation received a notification that a blogpost he wrote in 2007 had been excluded from a search, though the name against which the search was excluded was not specified. Ryan Heath, the spokesman for the European commission's vice-president, said he couldn't see how the right to be forgotten ruling was in the public interest adding that it should not allow people to 'photoshop their lives.' The Gruniad claims that it was not the content of Pestinfestation's piece, on former Merrill Lynch boss Stan O'Neal, but comments on the post made by readers that were targeted. Searches on O'Neal still return the article. A Gruniad News & Media spokesperson said: 'We are always concerned about any attempts to block access to our content. The recent ECJ judgment requires Google to deal with these requests on a case-by-case basis, so their current approach appears to be an overly broad interpretation. If the purpose of the judgment is not to enable censorship of publishers by the back door, then we'd encourage Google to be transparent about the criteria it is using to make these decisions, and how publishers can challenge them.' Scum Mail Online's publisher, Martin Clarke, told Associated Press that the link removal was 'the equivalent of going into libraries and burning books you don't like.' Jimmy Wales, one of the members of a committee formed by Google to examine how to implement the ECJ ruling, commented on Twitter about Peston's experience: 'This is what I have been saying. Censoring Google is censoring the press.' However Julia Powles, a law researcher at Cambridge University, said: 'The way that the ruling is currently being implemented adds strength to those who take an absolutist position in favour of free speech and free enterprise. The situation is much more subtle, just as it is much more subtle than the unhelpful catchphrase of the "right to be forgotten." There is a risk that an all-or-nothing approach and the highlighting of dubious cases to prominent news outlets and journalists will preclude legitimate claims from being fairly treated. We need much more information from Google about how it is prioritising complaints, as well as how its internal decision-makers are trained and what principles they are applying.' A Google spokesperson said: 'We have recently started taking action on the removals requests we've received after the European court of justice decision. This is a new and evolving process for us. We'll continue to listen to feedback and will also work with data protection authorities and others as we comply with the ruling.' Google last week began including a disclaimer around name-based searches in Europe to say that 'some results may have been removed' and on Wednesday began contacting news organisations telling them about specific articles. The ECJ ruling in May followed a dispute between a Spanish lawyer and a newspaper and Google there. The lawyer, Mario Costeja González, complained that a March 1998 judgment against him published on the newspaper's website appeared high in Google Spain's search rankings. He argued that under Europe's data protection directive, 'outdated, irrelevant or incorrect' information should be removed.

Given the number of 'right to be forgotten' requests to Google there are bound to be plenty of publishers pointing out that they have received 'notice of removal' e-mails from the search engine - one imagines it won't be too long before this blogger receives one, several or lots. Price of freeedom of speech, I guess. But that doesn't mean that we should let them pass. One deletion, for example, as highlighted by the Gruniad's Roy Greenslade involves the Oxford Mail. It has, apparently, been informed by Google that a story about Robert Daniels-Dwyer, who was convicted of trying to steal two hundred smackers worth of Christmas presents from Boots in Oxford in 2006, has been deleted from its searches. In writing about the Google notice, the Mail's editor, Simon O'Neill, argued that it is 'an assault on the public's right to know perfectly legitimate information.' Calling it 'a right to censorship', O'Neill continued: 'It is an attempt to re-write history. We often get complaints from convicted criminals that publishing stories about them invades their privacy or is unfair but the simple fact is if they didn't go out committing crime and appearing in court then there would not be a story.' The paper reported that Daniels-Dwyer had previously attempted to have the story removed from the Mail's websites via a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. He demanded that owners Newsquest 'should purge the article from all databases, internally and externally available, and from any news databases to which it provides content.' Two factual amendments were made to the article, but the PCC dismissed his case. If Daniels-Dwyer was the complainant to Google - which he may well not have been - then it would seem to have rebounded on him badly because the 2006 story has got renewed and extra, publicity - a direct consequence of all such complaints about online coverage. 'The right to be forgotten', as Greenslade notes, 'could well turn out to be the right to be remembered.'

Wor geet canny Mark Benton will host a new BBC1 daytime quiz show which is all about brains and balls. The Edge - which features no obvious connection that we can see to the guitarist about of The U2 Group - will feature four contestants in each episode, battling it out in a knock-out for the right to roll balls down cash lanes. I'm genuinely not making this up, dear blog reader. The hopefuls will answer questions at the podiums to attempt to select the best runway, before rolling for cash - and the nearer the ball gets to The Edge, the more money they win. However, if the balls roll over The Edge, they could be eliminated. Only one contestant will be left standing in the final round, as the more questions they get right, the bigger The Edge grows. They will then be given the chance to roll a ball onto The Edge to take home all their winnings - or can choose to roll for half with two balls, or a quarter with three balls. 'I'm thrilled to be hosting The Edge,' wor geet canny Mark said. 'It's a battle of brains and balls! What could be more exciting?' Err ... do you want a list, Mark? Cos, it'll be quite long, I have to clue you up on that. Meanwhile, the BBC's Pam Cavannagh claimed that BBC Daytime is 'very excited' about the show, adding: 'It combines questions with bowling in a new and very compelling way.' Well, that sounds post-apocalypticly dreadful in a very definite post-apocalyptic style(e). A broadcast date has not yet been set for the new twenty five-part series.
Clare Balding has signed up to host a new BBC1 show about cutting edge veterinary surgery. Since, obviously, Rolf Harris isn't going to be doing any more animal hospital-type shows for the foreseeable future. Balding and her co-host, Steve Leonard - who launched his career after appearing in Vet School - will travel around the world to find out about the latest operations, which have never been seen on television before. The procedures are often adapted from human medicine and include keyhole brain surgery for a moon bear in Laos called Champa and a skin graft for white rhino Thandi, who was attacked for her horn and is now being treated by a plastic surgeon who usually operates on people. Elsewhere, vets will give dolphin Fuji a prosthetic tail after it was destroyed by an infection and a giant panda from China will be given an MRI scan to find out why she is behaving oddly. 'Being an animal lover, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this new series, and it was fascinating to see the new ways in which extremely talented vets are saving these precious animals,' Balding said. Meanwhile, Leonard said that he 'loved' being part of the show, adding: 'The vets we meet in this series are truly brilliant, using pioneering techniques which are so important for the animals and which, hopefully, will set a precedent and be used again.' The three-part series will be shown on BBC1 but a date has not yet been set.

This Morning is never afraid of shocking its viewers with outrageous guests, but Billy-Tom O'Conner might just have taken the biscuit. Appearing on Tuesday's show, O'Connor revealed that he wasn't satisfied with having a considerable well-endowed penis at ten inches and that he had undergone penoplasty surgery to increase his already considerable girth. O'Connor, who appeared on the show along with his surgeon, admitted that women had turned down sex with him because of his, ahem, massive maleness and that he got the surgery because he wanted 'a monster.' Speaking to a rather alarmed-looking Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, he said: 'I always had a big one and I wanted an absolute monster. I wanted a monster so I got one.' After a lengthy warning to viewers that they shouldn't try this at home, Schofield revealed photos of the flaccid penis before and after the surgery and then used a bottle of hairspray to demonstrate the size of it when erect. When Willoughby challenged O'Connor on whether bigger was really better, he replied: 'Most girls absolutely loved it.' He added: 'When I first saw it, I said, "Wow, that's the best money I've ever spent." It's something I would have done ten times over.'
Vic Reeves, David Mitchell and Sue Perkins are to feature in the new series of Dave's Crackanory. The second series of the adult story-telling series could also feature a story told by the late Rik Mayall, who recorded an episode before he died last month. Dave executives previously explained that they were 'carefully considering' when to schedule the episode in question, with general manager Steve North calling it 'a complete privilege' to have worked with Rik. The new run of episodes will also include appearances from the likes of Katherine Parkinson, Meera Syal, Warwick Davies, Ben Miller, Johnny Vegas, Emilia Fox and Simon Callow.

Lord Brittan allegedly passed concerns raised by an MP about alleged paedophiles at Westminster to the director of public prosecutions, it has been claimed. The former Home Secretary asked officials in the 1980s to 'look carefully' at a dossier handed to him by the late MP Geoffrey Dickens. The Home Office claims an internal review last year concluded that the matter had 'been dealt with properly.' But it said the actual dossier itself was 'not retained.' Labour MP Simon Danczuk has been calling on Lord Brittan to say what he knows about the contents of the dossier, which he says may contain evidence that would identify historic sex abusers. The executive summary of the independent review was published by the Home Office last August. It included a letter from Leon Brittan to Dickens, dated March 1984, in which he said: 'In general terms, the view of the director of public prosecutions is that two of the letters you forwarded could form the basis for inquiries by the police and they are now being passed to the appropriate authorities. In other cases, there either seems to be inadequate evidence to pursue prosecution, for example the lady who wrote about [Paedophile Information Exchange] advertising but did not secure any example of the material complained of, or they have already been dealt with in some way by the courts or the police.' The review noted that it had 'found no evidence of Mr Dickens expressing dissatisfaction about the action taken in respect of the information he had passed on.' Danczuk told the BBC News website he 'wasn't aware that the Home Office had carried out a review into these issues', adding: 'They must have published the review with little fanfare and people will ask why that would be the case. Is the review adequate? I suspect it isn't and we are now told that the dossier that had been presented about networks of paedophiles by Geoffrey Dickens to the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan has been lost or destroyed. That raises questions.' He called on the Home Office to reveal the outcome of any police investigations that may have resulted from the information in the dossier. He added: 'Why would you destroy such an important document? What action was taken? Were any prosecutions forthcoming? We need to know this. It's raising more questions than it is answers.' Danczuk, who helped expose the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith as a child sex abuser, has called for a national overarching 'Hillsborough-style' inquiry into allegations of child sex abuse. On Tuesday, he urged Lord Brittan to 'share his knowledge of the allegations' contained in Dickens' report.
The Radio Times has been criticised by the advertising watchdog for running a raunchy advert for a Russian bride service on its website. The advert, which promoted the - extremely naughty - russianbrides.com website, featured a scantily-clad woman showing off her cleavage and pouting at readers. The text read 'Sexy Russian sensations' with an interactive button saying 'flirt now'. The Advertising Standards Authority received a single complaint that the advert was offensive, overtly sexual and irresponsibly placed on a mass-market TV listings site used by children. Immediate Media, the parent company of the Radio Times, said that the advert was served directly onto the website by a network trading partner and, therefore, nowt to do with them. The publisher said it did not have direct control over the adverts served to radiotimes.com but that it did have 'comprehensive' block lists in place. However, despite a supposed automatic block on adverts of an adult, provocative or suggestive nature, the Russian brides advert had, nevertheless, sneaked through. The publisher said it had received but three complaints about the advert and had placed an additional block on dating adverts to stop any repeat of this malarkey. 'Because the ad was overtly sexual and appeared on untargeted medium, which could also be seen by children, we concluded that it was irresponsible and likely to cause serious or widespread offence,' the ASA ruled. 'The ad must not appear again in its current form in untargeted media.'

Tuesday saw yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle United complete their third signing of the summer, with Ajax midfielder Siem De Jong having a medical at St James Park to conclude the formalities of his transfer. The twenty five year-old - whose brother, Luuk spent a very unproductive couple of months on loan at United last season - travelled from the Dutch side's training camp in Austria to put pen to paper for an undisclosed fee which has been estimated in the media to be anywhere between three and six million quid. Unlike previous summer arrivals Jack Colback and Ayoze Perez, the duration of De Jong's deal has been confirmed - six years.

Joseph Chipolina scored the first goal by a Gibraltar club in a European club competition as Lincoln Red Imps drew their opening Champions League match on Wednesday. Yes, I know the World Cup's still going on but the 2014-15 season has, officially kicked-off in Europe. The champions of Gibraltar for the past twelve seasons were held 1-1 at home by Faroe Islands club HB Torshavn in the first qualifying round first leg. Chipolina put the home side ahead from the penalty spot before Levi Hanssen equalised in the second half. The winner over the two legs will play Serbian giants Partizan Belgrade in the second qualifying round. Gibraltar is the newest and smallest member of UEFA, European football's governing body, after being accepted for full membership in May last year. The British overseas territory beat Malta 1-0 last month in a friendly in Portugal - their first international victory as UEFA members after two draws and two defeats.

So, anyway, for the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, let's have a bit of New Model Army. Not for any particular reason, obviously. Oh no. Very hot water.

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