Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week Thirty Five: These Vagabond Shoes, Are Longing To Stray

The Doctor Who World Tour has reached North America, with yer actual Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman her very self - both looking, it must be said, as effortlessly cool as fuck - alongside The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat, meeting fans and attending a Question and Answer session at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan (which, as it happens, was attended by several of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's stateside mates. The lucky bastards!) Fans reportedly camped out for up to ten hours to see Peter and Jenna emerge from a New York taxi as they attended the special screening of this year's season opener Deep Breath. Peter told the crowd he had been watching Doctor Who since he was five. 'Actors who played Doctor Who – Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker – those were the people I was watching. More than Laurence Olivier. I turned up on set and saw the TARDIS. I remember touching it, the police box, and I got a little bit teary. I was just so thrilled to be there.'
Yer actual Peter Capaldi knew he was in New York the minute he stepped out of a yellow cab which drove him and Jenna Coleman her very self to the North American première of Doctor Who. 'Someone just shouted at me from the crowd, "The first Italian Doctor"' he noted. The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat said that he was not concerned younger viewers would be turned off by the elder Time Lord. 'Is that why Santa Claus never worked as an old man and kids didn't like him?' he replied when asked this utterly arsehole stupid question for what seemed like the fifty seven thousandth time. 'Look, I hate to tell you this, but to kids, Matt Smith was ancient, right? I mean we're all ancient to them so [I'm] not remotely [worried].' The Moffat is also not dwelling on the recent, highly publicised, online leak of scripts for several upcoming episodes. 'There's nothing we can do about it. We were a bit depressed about it, especially me - but what can you do?' he said. Doctor Who has gradually built a major following in the US as a modern TV phenomenon, with a sustained push from BBC America since it took over screening the series from the Syfy channel in 2009. From a virtually unknown TV character in the US outside of the series' PBS-drawn cult fandom, The Doctor has now evolved into one that can carry the cover of major entertainment magazines and draw audiences consistently in the millions as the BBC America show with the highest ratings. Last year, BBC America enjoyed a record audience of almost five million when it screened a fiftieth anniversary Doctor Who special.
The tour now moves into its final few days with events in Mexico City on Sunday and Rio de Janeiro on Monday. The team then return to the UK in time for a special event at the Odeon Leicester Square on Saturday to launch the series around the world.
Meanwhile, citing an anonymous - and, therefore, almost certainly fictitious - alleged 'source', the Daily Mirra are reporting that Jenna Coleman will be leaving the TARDIS in this year's Christmas special. As to whether this allegation is true or not ... If the Mirra told me that black was a darker shade than white I'd want a second opinion. I'm not saying it's not true, but this blogger's advice is to wait for somebody who actually knows what they're talking about to confirm or deny such a story - without restoring to unattributed alleged quotes from anonymous alleged 'sources' - before trusting it as far as he can spit.

The title sequence for Doctor Who's new series has been 'inspired' by a fan-made clip widely seen on YouTube. Billy Hanshaw, a motion graphics designer from yer actual Leeds, put together his own version of a title sequence for the new Peter Capaldi-starring series which received over seven hundred thousand views and, eventually, found its way to Doctor Who showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat. The Moffat his very self said: '[Billy] created this title sequence, put it up on YouTube. I happened to cross it and it was the only new title idea I'd seen since 1963. We got in touch with him, and said, "okay, we're going to do that one."' The new Doctor Who title sequence will be unveiled on the series eight opener Deep Breath next week.
Meanwhile, half a world away ...
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has suggested that Peter Capaldi's regeneration leads to a 'frightening' and, indeed, post-apocalyptic zombie nightmare of a new dynamic between The Doctor and Clara. The Moffat offered a preview of upcoming episodes to TV Line and said that Capaldi's Doctor will defy expectations from his first moment on screen. 'What would it be like if you were Matt Smith one moment and Peter Capaldi the next?' Moffat said. 'It must be frightening - especially when you look at your best friend in the whole world, the person upon who you're anchored - and they don't see you. They literally look right through you and see someone else.' The Moffat added that Capaldi's 'unique approach' to playing the Time Lord included him defying the show's penchant for having The Doctor 'dance or be running around the console' while solving problems. 'He'd say, "Actually, no, I'm just going to stand here,"' the writer said. 'Instead of coming to the room, he let the room come to him. He was really bold and brave and made those changes. That was Peter finding his own path.'
The BBC has released the official synopsis for the second episode of Doctor Who series eight. Into The Dalek is written by Phil Ford and will be the second consecutive episode directed by Kill List film-maker Ben Wheatley. The plot synopsis reads: 'A Dalek fleet surrounds a lone rebel ship and only The Doctor can help them now. With The Doctor facing his greatest enemy, he needs Clara by his side. Confronted with a decision that could change The Daleks forever, he is forced to examine his conscience. Will he find the answer to the question, "am I a good man?"' Luther, Spaced and Wire In The Blood actor Michael Smiley, Ideal's Ben Crompton and Fresh Meat's Zawe Ashton are among the guest cast for Into The Dalek. The episode will be broadcast on BBC1 on Saturday 30 August.
Big shouty Brian Blessed's episode of BBC1's Who Do You Think You Are? was watched by 4.56m overnight viewers on Thursday evening. Earlier, The Sheriffs Are Coming had an audience of 3.1m. The penultimate episode of BBC2's The Honourable Woman took 1.51m in the 9pm hour. On ITV, Harbour Lives had an audience of to 2.2m and Kids With Cameras: Diary Of A Children's Ward was watched by 1.31m. Channel Four's Location, Location, Location appealed to 1.37m. It was followed by Embarrassing Bodies (1.09m) and First Time Farmers (five hundred and eight thousand). The last highlights episode of this year's Big Brother was watched by 1.22m on Channel Five from 10pm. Preceding Big Brother were The Body In The Freezer: Countdown to Murder (nine hundred and twenty seven thousand) and The Last Secrets Of 9/11 (1.05m).

The Big Brother final was viewed by an average of 1.53 million on Channel Five on Friday. The live finale, which was won by Helen Wood, apparently, attracted a peak audience of 1.62 million. BBC1's Boomers was the evening's highest-rated show outside of soaps, pulling in an average of 4.45 million at 9pm. The new comedy series, which stars Philip Jackson, Alison Steadman and Russ Abbot, peaked with 4.47 million. BBC1's evening started with 2.27 million for The ONE Show at 7pm, followed by 2.10 million for A Question of Sport and 2.35 million for Scrappers at 8.30pm. Later in the evening, Room 101 and Would I Lie to You? The Unseen Bits were watched by 2.08 million and 1.47 million respectively. After a bumper evening of athletics, BBC2's night kicked off with 2.02 million for The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice at 9pm, followed by 1.82 million for Sweets Made Simple at 9.30pm. With an average audience of but 2.27 million, The Dales was ITV's highest-rated show outside of soaps, narrowly beating a Doc Martin repeat with 2.12 million. Over on Channel Four, The Million Pound Drop was seen by eight hundred thousand, The Singer Takes It All was watched by seven hundred and eighty thousand, while The Last Leg was watched by nine hundred and eighty thousand. Family Guy was among the highest-rated multichannel shows, peaking with eight hundred and three thousand on BBC3.

The former Coronation Street set is to be demolished following the soap's move to a new site. The set on the old Granada TV lot in Central Manchester was turned into a visitor attraction after filming moved to Trafford in January. But, developer Allied London, which bought the Quay Street site for twenty six million knicker last year, is reported to be planning to build flats, shops and offices in its place. Because, of course, Manchester hasn't got enough of all of those already. The set had been used since 1982 but was refused a listed status in 2012. English Heritage said that the complex was 'not sufficiently historic or architecturally significant' to be listed. The set has attracted more than two hundred thousand visitors since opening as a temporary tourist attraction in April. The attraction is due to close on 4 October, although it could be extended until demolition work begins. But not beyond. Obviously. The redevelopment of the area is due to start sometime next year. An ITV spokesperson said: 'Coronation Street's new home is at MediaCityUK and the tour at Quay Street was always for a limited time. Although we can't confirm the official closure date - once the tour has closed, ITV will return the site to Allied London with the Coronation Street lot removed.' Glenda Young, editor of the Coronation Street Blog, said that it was 'bad for fans' and urged the developers to retain something from the street. 'It seems a shame,' she said. 'Even if there's just a bit of the old cobbles left, or Maxine's bench, or something that we know, it would be ideal. Make it a place for people to go and sit and be a focal point for that piece of Coronation Street history and culture. Once that's gone, there's nowhere else for fans to go. The Hacienda [nightclub] has been turned into flats, but people still turn up and have a look to see a bit of the old Hacienda.' But, she admitted that a full tourist attraction would probably not be viable in the long term. 'I think something like that's got a shelf life, and now that we all know they film on a different set anyway, the novelty would wear off,' she said.

Sheridan Smith will star in new ITV drama Black Work. The actress will play Jo Gillespie in the 'riveting thriller' (it says here) from writer Matt Charman. The three-part story follows Smith's character as she sets out to discover who murdered her husband Ryan, an undercover policeman who was shot dead in mysterious circumstances. Jo, who also works as a police officer, must 'face the difficult truth' about her marriage as she continues with her investigation. She is wracked with guilt following her attachment to one of Ryan's colleagues. The drama will also explore Jo's strained relationships with her daughter and stepson in the wake of Ryan's death. Charman said: 'Sheridan Smith is a dream to write for because as an actress there's really nothing she can't do. And Black Work is a story that pushes her to the limit - it makes her character Jo Gillespie doubt herself, her family, her friends, everything she's always taken for granted in her search for her husband's killer.' Black Work will be produced by Mammoth Screen and was commissioned for ITV by Director of Drama Commissioning Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea. Filming will commence this autumn in Leeds, with Michael Samuels slated to direct.

A new documentary about the clashes between mods and rockers will be broadcast on BBC1 later this month. Mods and Rockers Rebooted will be shown on Friday 22 August at 7.30pm to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the seafront fights between the two subcultures. The mods and rocker clashes inspired The Who's 1973 LP Quadrophenia and Franc Roddam's 1979 film of the same name, which marks its thirty fifth birthday this month. Mods and Rockers Rebooted asks how much truth there was in the news reports of the time and how much Roddam's film reflected reality. 'To seek answers, and separate fact from fiction, the BBC documentary, narrated by Quadrophenia star Phil Daniels, goes back to each location piecing together the events of 1964 in chronological order,' said the BBC. 'It will reveal the real people behind the hard-hitting headlines, including interviews with mods and rockers who were there in 1964 (now in their sixties and seventies) taking them back to the seaside scenes of their crimes: Clacton, Margate, Brighton and Hastings.' Stanley Cohen's enduring 1972 study Folk Devils and Moral Panics was written in the wake of fights between mods and rockers between March and August of 1964 and their depiction in the media. It was recently announced that The Who their very selves are working with director Simon West on a television drama about the 1960s music scene with the working title Mods and Rockers.

And so to the next batch of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 23 August
'A giant dinosaur from the distant past has just vomited a blue box from outer space - this is not a day for jumping to conclusions.' And so we come to the TV event of the year so far, the opening episode of series eight of Doctor Who - 7:50 BBC1. Assuming you haven't already watched an illegally downloaded copy of Deep Breath (or, indeed, read the script). Having briefly appeared at the end of last year's Christmas special, yer actual Peter Capaldi goes on his first adventure on board the TARDIS, taking over the controls from Matt Smith his very self. When The Doctor (and an extremely discombobulated Clara) arrive in Victorian London, they find a dinosaur causing havoc in the Thames, as well as a spate of deadly spontaneous combustions. Will Clara's friendship forged with the previous Doctor survive as they embark on a terrifying mission with their friends Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax into the heart of an alien conspiracy the threatens the virry fabric of existence itself and that? The long-awaited return of the popular family SF drama, co-starring Jenna Coleman, Neve McIntosh, Dan Starkey, Catrin Stewart, Peter Ferdinando and Paul Hickey. Keep your eyes peeled for a tiny cameo by Ideal creator Graham Duff. Written by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat, directed by Ben Wheatley.

An American female bishop visiting St Gerard's College is found dead after drinking poisoned wine and, when another two killings occur, both mirroring macabre murders from Jacobean revenge tragedy, it appears that the culprit is targeting candidates in the election to become vice-regent in Lewis - 7:00 ITV3. Good luck spotting the murderer in this episode, Wild Justice, from series five: any one of a slew of guest stars could, theoretically, be responsible for the poisoning of the bishop. There's the lecturer in revenge tragedy with her own, hidden, past (Amelia Bullmore), the retired copper seen sniffing around the scene of the crime (Christopher Timothy), the creepy friar (Ronald Pickup), the wealthy old dame (Sian Phillips), the nervy servant (Daniel Ryan), the twinkly professor (Sorcha Cusack) and so on. To add to the atmosphere, the college is full of friars in black hoods, any one of whom could pass for The Grim Reaper. The plot teases the viewer cleverly through a web of motives, secrets and intrigue including a completely unexpected curve-ball involving the past of three of the characters in the final half-hour. However, when Jean Innocent learns that one of the suspects is hiding a deep, dark, troubling secret, Robbie Lewis and James Hathaway realise the motive is much more twisted. With Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Rebecca front and Clae Holman.

In 2002, seven years after the Dora Lange murder was supposedly wrapped up, Cohle begins investigating old missing persons cases and visits preacher Joel Theriot for information about the Tuttle schools in True Detective - 9:00 Sky Styalntic. Meanwhile, Marty has a chance encounter with Beth, one of the girls from the trailer-park brothel they visited when they looked for connections to the victim. So, this wee it's the, long-awaited Rust and Marty meltdown. True Detective is, as has been noted elsewhere, the latest in a long line of quasi-operatic American TV dramas to dig, rather remorselessly, into the troubled souls of confused, self-destructive men of conscience. Woody Harrelson has made Marty a caged monster almost to rival Tony Soprano or Don Draper in terms of his capacity for explosive violence. The sight of him grimly punishing the young men who dared to have sex with his daughter – Marty hurts and degrades all of the women in his life without a second thought, but nobody else is allowed to, it seems – is a fearsome start to a sequence of events in which his weaknesses finally threatens to destroy him. But the real genius of the show is in the choice of antagonist: Rust Cohle, a cleverer, prettier man (hell, this is Matthew McConaughey after all), whose ongoing magnificent battle with grief gives him a proper excuse for leaving the rails. Which, of course, he does. Spectacularly. As Rust's cold stubbornness brings him down, the two men's differences turn into contempt – and another episode where every scene is a perfectly poised, awful fable explodes. And thus we leap forward to 2012, and Papania and Gilbough interview Maggie, who denies her divorce had anything to do with her ex-husband's former partner. If you missed the best new TV drama for 2014 first time around, it's about time you caught up.

Zoe is feeling the pressure of reaching her fortieth birthday and finds unexpected support in the form of an ex- patient in Casualty - 9:10 BBC1. Cal steals Ethan's proposal idea, but Lily is determined to reveal the truth to Connie. Meanwhile, the competitive duo treat a man who has struck by a falling crate, and when a routine CT-scan picks up a pre-existing condition and his son suffers an allergic reaction, alarm bells are sounded. Meanwhile, a building site accident brings a warring father and son closer together as an illness is revealed, Mac convinces Jeff he's being followed by Tamzin's boyfriend Dave, and Rita's behaviour starts to worry both staff and patients when her drinking becomes impossible to conceal.

Sunday 24 August
Polling day draws closer in the village, resulting in an even deeper rift between Grace and John as she becomes increasingly impressed by Bill Gibby's left-wing ideas, which leads to John banning her from voting in The Village - 9:00 BBC1. Elsewhere, John is finally making a success of the dairy farm after he installs a mobile-milking machine and takes over the village's provision of milk when Rutter's herd get TB. Clem is also happy - she has found the perfect match for Edmund - Lord Kilmartin's daughter Harriet. Meanwhile, Bert asks Eyre for advice about Martha and Phoebe, and is it a case of too little, too late for Gilbert and Agnes? Period drama, starring Maxine Peake, John Simm and Derek Riddell.

In James May's Cars Of The People - 9:00 BBC2 - James concludes his examination of the social significance of cars by exploring how aspiration and new wealth were behind the development of some of the greatest models ever made. He tries to make sense of the baffling world of company car hierarchy by holding a travelling salesman race-off and indulges his 1980s urges with the twin delights of a Lamborghini and a Porsche. He also unveils his choice of the ultimate people's car - a vehicle that can lay claim to being the greatest in history.

'Ten million for your bugged-eyed monsters! What do I know!' If you've ever wondered what makes Doctor Who so very special to so many of us then look no further than Mark Gatiss's beautifully judged and handsomely mounted poignant love letter to its past An Adventure In Space & Time, which is repeated tonight - 10:00 BBC2. A splendid cast (Brian Cox, Sacha Dhawan and the terrific Jessica Raine) pay homage to the three outsider visionaries - Sydney Newman, Waris Hussain and Vverity Lambert - who, fifty years ago, shook up the stuffy old BBC and launched the TARIDS on its maiden voyage. Eventually. In early 1963, the BBC's brash new Head of Drama the Canadian auteur Sydney Newman puts a young, first-time producer Verity Lambert in charge of developing his idea for an SF drama series for all the family and character actor William Hartnell (David Bradley in the performance of a lifetime) is persuaded to take on the lead role of a mysterious time-traveller known only as The Doctor.

Hughie Green: Most Sincerely - 11:00 Yesterday - is a supern docu-drama from 2009 revealing the tumultuous personal life of the late Hughie Green, a former child star who rose to become a leading TV personality of the 1950s through to the 1970s. His rivalry with Jess Yates and serial womanising led to a shocking revelation after his death, when it was discovered he was the real father of The Tube presenter Paula Yates. Trevor Eve plays Green with a mixture of staggering ego and occasionally charm. With Mark Benton and Kim Thomson.
Monday 25 August
The UCoS team re-examines the murder of a junior doctor strangled in 2010 in the latest episode of New Tricks - 9:00 BBC1. Interviewing her relatives, who are all doctors, staff at her hospital and a surgeon who had been the young woman's tutor, officers hope to identify a lead that was missed during the original investigation. Depressed at the thought of his daughter Holly leaving home for university, Danny finds himself being cheered by his colleagues as they hire a pedibus for a ride through Central London. Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Denis Lawson and Dennis Waterman star.

Michael Sheen gives an award-winning - and, in places, properly scary - performance in the lead role in Fantabulosa! - 11:00 Yesterday - the drama based on Kenneth Williams' astonishingly frank and candid diaries first shown on BBC4. The film charts the comic actor's professional successes, which included the Carry On series, radio programmes such as Round the Horne and numerous TV appearances. It also delves behind the laughter to explore the actor's problems, insecurity and self-doubt, his complex sexuality, his fractious relationship with his mother, Lou, his friendships with Babs Windsor, Joe Orton and Ken Halliwell and Tony Hancock and his hatred of Sid James. Bona.

If you thought he was brilliant in Doctor Who on Saturday - and, if you didn't then, you know, here's tuppence so you can buy yourself some taste - you might want to check out a classic from yer actual Peter Capaldi's past, The Cricklewood Greats - 11:10 BBC4. The hilarious spoof documentary presented by Capaldi tells the (entirely fictitious) story of Cricklewood Film Studios, a British movie company that could be Rank, Hammer or any number of other, real, studios. Peter - channelling Barry Norman at his most effortlessly pretentious - charts Cricklewood's significant contributions to cinematic history, ranging from silent comedies to horror movies and recalls the often turbulent lives of some of its biggest stars. For all lovers of movie history with a sense of humour.
It's 1889 and the filthy, scum-ridden streets of Whitechapel in East London are in tumult; though Jack the Ripper seems to have stopped carving a bloody swathe through the area's whores, the local population remains febrile and terrified of shadows. Into this maelstrom of repression, sexual tension and extreme violence comes Whitechapel police's H Division and the decent, clever and level-headed Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) in Ripper Street 10:00 Drama. They have grown somewhat used to the hysteria, so when a woman is found extremely dead and savagely mutilated, they are prepared for the worst. Is Saucy Jack back and up to his old ripping tricks again, and all that? Reid recruits a dissolute American friend, a former Pinkerton detective (Adam Rothenberg), to help himself and his redoubtable sergeant (Jerome Flynn who, frankly, steals the entire show with his caustically understated performance) in the hunt for the killer. Richard Warlow's full-of blood and snots script, in the first of an eight-part series, and the excellent production design pull us straight into Ripper Street. You can almost smell the stench of a capital groping its way to prosperity after the Industrial Revolution. It's a strange, occasionally infuriating drama, a highly stylised oddity, frequently anachronistic (who can forget the episode featuring a reference to 'reverse engineering' a hundred years before the term was invented) and, exceptionally kinky. So, definitely one to watch with a few mates, a bottle of wine and takeaway curry, then.

Tuesday 26 August
The CSIs are called to the scene of a car crash and dental records identify the dead driver as reporter John Merchiston, whose lawyer reveals he was working on an investigative piece about a domestic intelligence-gathering operation headed by air force general Robert Lansdale in the latest episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - 9:00 Channel Five. However, DB Russell (Ted Danson) is shocked - shocked, I say - and stunned - very stunned - when Merchiston only goes and turns up, rather alive and relatively well and explains that it was his assistant what was actually behind the wheel of the car. Not only that, but Julie Finlay has agreed to shelter him. Guest starring the terrific James Callis from Battlestar Galactica and John de Lancie.

Captain Sam Quinn finds himself in the middle of a dispute as he delivers much-needed supplies to remote Papuan tribes people in the second episode of Worst Place To Be A Pilot - 9:00 Channel 4. Which might be the second most annoying thing on television at the moment after those really sodding drippy Hotel Trivago commercials. When bows and arrows are drawn, he makes a swift exit, as you do. And, then he's struck down with malaria back at base, which could end his flying career. Captain Guy Richardson receives VIP treatment at the opening of a remote island runway, while new recruit Nick Holmes takes an assessment to decide whether he's finally allowed to get behind the controls of a plane.

John Barnaby arrives in Midsomer to replace his cousin as the bloke what had to deal with the biggest murder rate in Western Europe in a repeated episode of Midsomer Murders - 8:00 ITV. The headmistress of an upmarket girls' boarding school wastes no time in asking Barnaby to patrol a forthcoming classic-car show. However, when the local DJ who was set to judge the vehicles is crushed to death, the detective is soon investigating his first murder case since replacing cousin Tom - and as the death toll rises, he finds himself in a perilous situation. Drama, guest starring David Warner and Samantha Bond, with Neil Dudgeon and Jason Hughes.

Live from Los Angeles, Sky Living presents two and a half hours of highlights from The Sixty Sixth Annual Primetime EMMY Awards - 8:30. Hosted by the comedian Seth Meyers, the EMMYs honour the best in primetime television programming in the US. Game Of Thrones leads the way with nineteen nominations, while Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) faces stiff competition from the True Detective duo Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as he looks for his fourth win as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Netflix favourite Orange Is The New Black is up for twelve awards, Kerry Washington is nominated for Scandal, and Great Britain is well-represented, too, with nods for Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Luther and Dancing On The Edge.

Wednesday 27 August
The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai is one of India's oldest and most famous hotels and is where the super-rich go to be treated like the maharajahs of the country's past. The documentary Hotel India - 8:00 BBC2 - was filmed over the course of six months and goes behind the scenes with the fifteen hundred-strong staff as they respond to every whim and demand of the guests. In the first episode, general manager Gaurav and executive housekeeper Indrani spend days making countless checks ahead of VIP visits to the luxurious Tata suite, while oil trader Captain Bhasin hosts a cocktail party in his rooms.

Adorably cute kittens, excitable puppies and all manner of other professional pets - the advertising industry wants them all. Inspired by the popularity of humorous online videos and Internet celebrities like Grumpy Cat, who has loaned her sour face to a range of products including calendars, mugs and T-shirts, pets are now big business. The Cutting Edge documentary Star Paws: The Rise of Superstar Pets - 9:00 Channel Four tells the story of the animal agents and owners whose job it is to supply a new wave of four-legged stars to appear in some of the world's favourite adverts.

In the one-off documentary Addicts' Symphony - 11:00 Channel Four - the composer James McConnel brings together ten classical musicians all of whose lives have been blighted by various types of addiction and forms an ensemble for a performance with the London Symphony Orchestra. Each of them is trying to break free from addiction - some have been sober for years, others only a few months. As a recovering alcoholic himself, James has found that music played a significant role in his personal journey and wants to share this with others in a similar position.

Thursday 28 August
The Irish comedian Brendan O'Carroll, best known as his alter ego Mrs Brown and star of the BBC sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys, tries to find out the truth about his grandfather's murder and attempts to uncover the identities of the men responsible in the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? - 9:00 BBC1. Shopkeeper Peter O'Carroll was killed in October 1920 at the height of the Irish War of Independence and the Dublin-born actor begins his journey of discovery with only a newspaper article from the time and the words 'shot during the curfew' from Peter's gravestone.

As a boy, you know back in the last century, frogs were just about the first animals that yer actual David Attenborough kept and today he is still every bit as passionate about them and their wily ways. In the Natural World film Attenborough's Fabulous Frogs - 9:00 BBC2 - the veteran naturalist and broadcaster takes viewers into the weird and wonderful world of the amphibian, shedding new light on the charismatic, colourful and frequently bizarre creatures, and examining their anatomy, extraordinary behaviour and ability to survive in some of the most extreme places on the planet. Last in the current series.

American-style proms have become an essential rite of passage for many UK teenagers, who set their sights on designer outfits, makeovers and luxurious transport as they approach the end-of-year event. The daft planks. With access to schools in Essex and Sussex, the documentary Prom Crazy: Frocks And Ferraris - 9:00 ITV - follows four youngsters preparing for their 'big night.' Ben is in danger of missing out entirely if he fails to improve his attendance record, while Chanelle has her heart set on a dress she can't afford. Callum is planning an extravagant proposal to ask a girl to the dance, and Matt is determined to arrive in style.

The suspected leader of the paedophile ring is murdered and the hunt is on to find the killer in the final episode of the current series of Suspects - 9:00 Channel Five. Charlie finds a USB stick among the victim's effects containing footage of him and several other men raping a boy called Andre Gatting. However, the hunt to find the youngster and his abusers runs into complications when his mother talks to the press - a move that could put her son's life in danger. Crime drama, guest starring Gillian Kearney and Carley Stenson, with Fay Ripley, Damien Molony and Clare-Hope Ashitey.

Friday 29 August
Tonight sees the - baffling - return of Big School - 9:30 BBC1 - the not even remotely funny classroom comedy, starring David Walliams. When Miss Postern sets up a careers workshop, it seems her slogan 'Which Way Now?' applies as much to her as it does to the pupils, not least because the guest speaker is her old teacher-training colleague - and now best-selling children's author - Fenella Forbes (played by Morgana Robinson). Meanwhile, her relationship with Mister Church has taken a downward turn after a misunderstanding over a date. On the upside, the future is looking bright for one member of staff, as Mister Martin prepares to launch his pop career. With Catherine Tate, Daniel Rigby, Philip Glenister, Frances de la Tour - how can so many good actors appear in something so utterly shite is something you're likely to be asking yourself before it's finished - and with a guest appearance by Cheryl Fergison.

Blondie's New York And The Making Of Parallel Lines - 9:00 BBC4 - tells the story behind the rock band's third LP - a record that is said to capture the spirit of 1970s New York at a time of poverty, crime and artistic endeavour. As well as being, of course, one of the greatest slabs of vinyl ever released. The seven individuals who wrote, produced and performed its songs discuss their aim to create a game-changing LP full of sure-fire hits. Including commentary from lead singer Debbie Harry who talks about writing music, the media's focus on her appearance and the lyrical content inspired by ex-boyfriends. That's followed at 10:00 by highlights of the band's properly triumphant appearance at this years Glastonbury Festival introduced by yer actual Mark Radcliffe.

In Fifty Ways To Kill Your Mammy 10:00 Sky 1 - Irish daredevil presenter Baz Ashmawy and his seventy one-year-old mother Nancy embark on the trip of a lifetime and attempt to complete every item on an extreme bucket list he has created for her. You've probably seen the - really annoying - trailers being shown about every five minutes on a Sky channel for the last month. Their first stop in Las Vegas sees Nancy challenged to drive a classic muscle car, before they receive weapons training and head out on the road with some real-life bounty hunters looking for a fugitive. Later, the duo visit a casino where Baz challenges his mother to bet a week's pension on a roulette table. They then move back to LA for a lesson in stunt driving, before celebrating Nancy's birthday with a skydive.

Which brings us to the news.
Police say 'a number of people' have 'provided information' after a Berkshire property belonging to Sir Cliff Richard was searched in relation to an alleged historical sex offence. South Yorkshire Police, which carried out the search in Sunningdale on Thursday, did not say what this information related to or whom the people who provided it were. Police said that the allegation involved a boy under sixteen. Sir Cliff his very self has said that the allegation is 'completely false.' In a statement issued on Thursday, he said: 'For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online. The allegations are completely false. Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen.' He said that he would 'co-operate fully' if the police wanted to speak to him. Which is big of him since, one imagines, if the poliss do want to speak to him, he'll have no choice but to co-operate. The BBC News website say that it 'understands' the allegation relates to an alleged assault at an event featuring US preacher Billy Graham at Bramall Lane in Sheffield in 1985. In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said it that had not alerted the media to the search in advance. It said: 'When a media outlet contacted SYP with information about an investigation, we took the decision to work with them in order to protect the integrity of that investigation. Since the search took place, a number of people have contacted the police to provide information and we must acknowledge that the media played a part in that, for which we are grateful.; In his statement, Sir Cliff said the police had searched his home 'without notice, except it would appear to the press.' Earlier, Jonathan Munro, the BBC's head of newsgathering, wrote on Twitter that South Yorkshire Police had not been the source of the story. Which of course, begs the next obvious question, if the fuzz didn't snitch Cliff up to the tabloids like a dirty, stinking Copper's Nark then who, exactly, did? And why? Meanwhile, here's how the Daily Telegraph reported Cliff Richard's statement after the police raid on his gaff.
Which, it should be noted in the interests of accurate reportage is not what Cliff actually said or, indeed, anything even remotely like it.

Yer actual Sir Paul McCartney has played to a crowd of fifty five thousand punters at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. Behind him was projected an image of The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might have heard of them) playing at the same venue in 1966 at what proved to be their final concert to paying punters. Candlestick Park - former home of the San Francisco 49ers - has been earmarked for demotion later this year.
For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self is still in something of a Northern Soul mood this week - recalling more than a few jolly, pilled-up all-night parties in the 1980-81 period. So, here's a twenty four carat stomper from yer actual Dobie Grey.

1 comment:

Mark said...

That picture of Sheridan Smith you use to announce her new series, you naughty naughty man Keith