Sunday, August 10, 2014

Week Thirty Four: It's All The Subtle Changes In Landscape And Business Reminds You Of Your Limited Time

Yer actual Peter Capaldi has promised that his Doctor will be 'less user-friendly' as the BBC unveiled his first full-length episode of Doctor Who on Thursday. 'I was keen he be a little darker,' yer man Capaldi told Lizo Mzimba in an interview for BBC Breakfast. 'He's struggling with himself and who he is.' The fifty six-year-old is the oldest actor to have played the iconic TV time-traveller. Yet, Peter joked that, if anything, he is actually too young to play the role. 'I don't feel elderly at all, and I don't think The Doctor's elderly, apart from the fact he's two-and-a-half thousand years old. There's a magic about him which is not about being in your twenties and thirties,' continued Peter, whose immediate predecessors - yer actual David Tennant and Matt Smith his very self - were thirty four and twenty seven respectively when they first appeared in the show. 'We don't consider The Wizard Of Oz or Father Christmas to be too old. They're still magical characters, and the fact they've been around the block only adds to their magic,' Peter said. Deep Breath, the first episode of the new series, had its première screening in Cardiff at lunchtime on Thursday and had a second airing at the BFI Southbank in London later that evening. After the London screening, Capaldi described his Doctor as 'funny, joyful, passionate, emphatic and fearless. The Doctor is closer to me than Malcolm Tucker was,' he said. He also revealed that he had met his predecessors Smudger and David to discuss the role.
Peter revealed that one of the reasons for choosing his Doctor Who costume was that he wanted an outfit which was 'easy and cheap to imitate for kids.' Capaldi, who was, infamously a member of Doctor Who fandom as a child, said that he wanted younger fans to be able to dress up as the time travelling hero easily. Speaking at the première of the new series in Cardiff, he told fans: 'I wanted to wear something that people could emulate without going to any great expense.' Talking about outfits which were rejected, he added: 'We went round with lots of scarves and velvet jackets and floppy hats; everybody wants you in a floppy hat. I wanted it to be starker than that, sharper. But really it's just a matter of trying stuff on until you feel like The Doctor. I always thought of Doctor Who as being in dark colours, I guess because I grew up seeing the show in black and white.'

Capaldi also spoke for the first time about the post-apocalyptic themes and characterisation of his Doctor at the world première in Cardiff, revealing that the character remains haunted. 'Having had the life he's had, The Doctor is always going to be haunted by his past,' said Capaldi. 'This series, there are themes of ego and personality. You see The Doctor struggle with who he is, and whether the life he leads is an accurate expression of his spirit.' Speaking about the dynamic between The Doctor and Clara, which he has previously insisted will never become romantic, he commented: 'I think there's a deeper well of love in the show now, that was only touched upon in the earlier shows. I think The Doctor loves Clara in a very deep way that is not just about romance, so it goes into deeper territory of affection.' Jenna Coleman said that her character would 'struggle' with the new Doctor, but claimed that the pair were 'bound together. Clara's going to struggle to make The Doctor dance to her tune, absolutely and I think that's what's really interesting, because this Doctor is someone who doesn't like to dance as much,' she said. Dance, in this particular case, not in any way being a euphemism for, you know, anything. 'He has a kind of mad curiosity that pushes him to different limits and really tests her, so I think it's not easy, but they are bound together still.'

Here's how the Metro covered Thursday's events. This blogger particularly enjoyed the picture of the grumpy-looking guy in a Peter Davison costume, included as far as this blogger can detect, for no obvious reason other than the sneering.
Peter Capaldi is reported to have signed up to play The Doctor for a second series in 2015. According to the Gloucester Citizen, if not any media outlet that's read by more than four people. Though, the Mirra soon picked up on the post-apocalyptic allegation as well. Although the fact that The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has already been speaking openly for a couple of months about his plans for the ninth series of the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama - and that Peter would be appearing in it - it should be noted that this hardly qualifies as 'news', per se.
Peter Capaldi has said that he wanted to steer clear of any 'Papa-Nicole moments' in the new Time Lord's relationship with Clara Oswald. Perhaps it's just as well after Steven Moffat, speaking at the new series launch on Thursday, described the first Doctor, William Hartnell's, occasionally flirting with his companion, Barbara Wright, as 'disgusting'. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping would've gone for 'disturbingly unerotic' personally but, yeah, I kind of know where Moff is coming from. The Moffat said that in recent years there had been 'a lot less romantic tension' between The Doctor and his assistants, certainly since Billie Piper's character left the TARDIS. 'It is interesting how powerful that flirty thing is,' said Moffat. 'David Tennant was a magnificent, brilliant, flirty, sexy Doctor. When Matt came in he decided he would be rubbish at flirting and kisses. Every single time he does it, it is a disaster.' He added: 'Flirting did not begin in 2005. Patrick Troughton in the first episode of The Enemy Of The World is practically climbing over [Debbie Watling]. And, actually, William Hartnell flirting with Barbara is disgusting.'

Coming out of the local pool on Saturday morning and on his way to breakfast, just to have something to read as yer actual Keith Telly Topping waited for his eggs, hash browns and orange juice, he picked up a copy of the free arts review magazine ShortList the latest issue of which which includes an interview with yer actual Peter Capaldi. And, very good it is too, Peter coming over, as you'd expect, as a thoughtful, witty and gregarious chap. Among several revelations, Peter confirms that he was actually 'sounded out' about whether he fancied the role of The Doctor by yer actual Mark Gatiss his very self after Peter had been invited to the set of An Adventure In Space And Time early last year. He also reveals that his audition - which he felt didn't go well - had been held at The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat's gaff due to 'security reasons'(!) and that, after he got the role, Peter invited his predecessor Matt Smith to lunch at which, poor Smudger turned up on crutches. 'What happened to you, mate?' asked yer man Capaldi. 'It's this show!' Smudger replied. The interview begins, however, with one of the great Doctor Who-related quotes: 'Doctor Who was part of my upbringing in the Sixties, with The Beatles and Sunday Night At The London Palladium and school milk and bronchitis. It's part of me. I had a huge collection of books and autographs and pictures, but when you reach the age of seventeen or eighteen, you move on and discover sex and drugs and rock'n'roll. I'm ashamed to say I had a kind of Bonfire Of The Vanities. I was quite a major geek, I had a huge collection of wonderful stuff, but I threw it all away to go and drink lager and eat curries. That was silly, wasn't it?' Peter Capaldi, my kind of Doctor!
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has kept the ultimate geek TV dream alive by revealing that he has, actually, backed the idea of a Doctor Who and Sherlock crossover mini-episode for Comic Relief. Speaking in Cardiff on Thursday, The Moffat appeared to suggest that plans for The Doctor and Sherlock Holmes to meet had been blocked by his co-writers, his wife and the show's stars rather than him. 'Go speak to Cumberbatch, Freeman, Gatiss and Vertue, okay? They're all in the way. I'm not the killjoy, it's that lot,' Steven claimed. He added: 'I'm going to come clean on this: I would.' However, fans of such potential shenanigans shouldn't get too excited because Moffat admitted that he didn't think a crossover episode would ever happen and added that he agreed with his Sherlock co-creator Gatiss that it might end up being a bad idea. 'Mark's got a point when he says that however good you imagine it, it would be better in your imagination than it would be if the two grand old egotists actually met, he told fans during a Q&A session. 'They'd just both go off in opposite corners and sulk.'
And, as a final footnote to the Doctor Who red carpet events of Thursday this blogger was delighted to read some comments by my dear old mucker - and sometime editor - Tom Spilsbury, the editor of Doctor Who Magazine. Tom expressed his genuinely humble astonishment that one person had asked him for an autograph and another if they could pose for a selfie with him. 'It's sometimes rather fun being a z-list Doctor Who celebrity,' Tom said. 'To be fair Tom, you've always been z-list to some of us,' replied yer actual Keith Telly Topping. 'But, it's nice to see other people discovering this!'

He saves the world, he travels in time, he has a sonic screwdriver and now, seemingly he dances. And, that's still not a euphemism for something else, just in case you were wondering. Peter Capaldi has proven he's got some tasty moves whilst appearing on stage on Saturday in Seoul. Funky.
The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice scored impressive overnight audience figures for its debut on Friday. The Jo Brand-hosted companion show to The Great British Bake Off had an opening night audience of 2.05m at 9pm on BBC2. Elsewhere on the channel, the new series of Mastermind opened to 1.46m at 8pm, followed by ratings of 1.44m for Kitty Hope and Mark Greenwood's Sweets Made Simple at 8.30pm. Gardener's World pulled in 1.69m at the later time of 9.30pm. The Great British Bake Off co-host Sue Perkins's opening episode of Edinburgh Nights was seen by five hundred and thirty six thousand punters at 10pm. BBC1's comedy drama Walter was the highest-rated primetime offering outside of soaps, screening to an audience of 2.73m at 9pm. Documentary Scrappers continued with 2.52m at 8.30pm. Big Brother's latest double eviction - in which Winston Showan and Mark Byron departed the show, apparently - was seen by an audience of 1.3m at 9pm on Channel Five. Cricket highlights from the rain interrupted second day's play in the Fourth Test between England and India reached four hundred and eighty nine thousand punters at 7pm. On Channel Four, eight hundred and twenty four thousand watched the latest episode of Million Pound Drop. Episode two of The Singer Takes It All was seen by nine hundred and eighty thousand at 9pm, while The Last Leg entertained nine hundred and fifty two thousand at 10pm. Three hundred and forty nine thousand tuned in for Kevin McHale's Virtually Famous at 10.50pm. On ITV, The Dales had 2.58m at 8pm, while Doc Martin had an audience of 2.16m at 9pm. On the multichannels, a repeat of Taylor Lautner's Cuckoo debut brought three hundred and sixty three thousand to BBC3 at 9pm. On BBC4, another showing of Imagine's Rod Stewart documentary Can't Stop Me Now was seen by five hundred and fifty four thousand at 9.25pm.

Who Do You Think You Are? returned to top the ratings outside soaps on Thursday, overnight data reveals. Julie Walters's episode of the BBC1 ancestry series was around three hundred thousand overnight punters down on last year's opener, attracting 4.6 million viewers at 9pm. Earlier, Scrappers brought in 3.28m at 8.30pm. On BBC2, Natural World was seen by 1.22m at 8pm, followed by The Honourable Woman with 1.49m at 9pm. ITV's Harbour Lives appealed to 2.05m at 8.30pm, while Kids With Cameras was watched by 1.37m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Amazing Spaces attracted 1.31m at 8pm, followed by Embarrassing Bodies with 1.29m at 9pm. Channel Five's Countdown To Murder had an audience of six hundred and ten thousand at 8pm. Autopsy's 'special' (and, this blogger uses that word quite wrongly) on Brittany Murphy was seen by eight hundred and forty three thousand sick, gawping voyeuristic glakes at 9pm and Big Brother continued its odious Victorian freak show with 1.13m at 10pm. On BBC3, the new series of Cuckoo was watched by six hundred and sixty five thousand at 10pm, followed by new comedy Siblings with four hundred and thirty six thousand at 10.30pm.

Rik Mayall's final TV appearance will be broadcast on Dave next month. Crackanory will feature the late comic reading The Weatherman by Tony Way. It will be screened on Wednesday 24 September at 10pm. UKTV bosses had previously stated that the comic's appearance on the adult version of Jackanory would only be broadcast with the consent of his family and agent. His fifteen-minute reading will be shown alongside a story read by Vic Reeves.
And so to the next batch of yer actual Top Telly Tips and that: -

Saturday 16 August
After three series, four Christmas episodes and an anniversary special, Matt Smith his very self finally handed over the key to the TARDIS in The Time Of The Doctor, repeated tonight in all its post-apocalyptic glory on BBC3 at 7pm. But, before yer actual Smudger can regenerate into Peter Capaldi his very self, he has some unfinished business. The Doctor clocks up the eight hundredth episode since his adventures in time, space and, you know, telly began fifty years ago and his deadliest foes have all gathered as his life appears to draw to a close. The man whom we all assumed to be the eleventh incarnation of The Doctor has been, rather abruptly, bumped up to thirteenth - for reasons which are made clear in a scene that requires children everywhere to relearn to count: Now it goes 'one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, war, nine, ten, ten, eleven-that's-really-thirteen.' Simple. As Doctor Who fans are aware, thanks to a throwaway line in Bob Holmes episode from 1976 most Time Lords expire when their thirteenth body fails. One stresses 'most' of course, because The Master overcame that hurdle many years ago. Surely, The Doctor will be just as canny when it comes his time to shuffle off this cosmic coil? Won't he? Well, of course he will - he's that kind of Time Lord. The massed forces of the universe's deadliest alien species have gathered at a quiet backwater planet - Trenzalore - drawn to a mysterious message which echoes out to the stars in a language no one seems to recognise. Among them is The Doctor, who has rescued Clara from a dreary family Christmas dinner to help him discover what this signal means for his own fate and for that of the cosmos. Jenna Coleman co-stars in the 2013 Christmas special with a brief appearance by yer man Capaldi at the end bellowing something about kidneys. What comes next? Well, as it happens next Saturday is just seven days away ...

Vastly annoying Welsh fishwife Alex Jones - with her paint-stripper voice - hosts the second episode of Tumble - 6:30 BBC1 - the gymnastics contest which appears to be the BBC's latest contribution to Lowest Common Denominator television. The ten famous faces - or, as at least one TV critic (from Metro) has more accurately noted: 'One famous face, a few vaguely familiar faces and at least one "who the f*ck are you"? face' - return for the second week of the competition. Five of the z-list celebrities and their professional partners will perform acrobatic floor routines, while the remainder take to the aerial hoop. The two contenders with the total lowest best scores from the first and second week will then face The Vault, where head judge Nadia Comaneci will decide who to eliminate and who to save. Joining the world-renowned Olympic gymnast to offer their expert opinion are Sebastien Stella, Craig Heap and Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith. The programme also includes a showcase performance from multi-medal winning gymnast Beth Tweddle, featuring the UK's best up-and-coming gymnastic talent. And, you thought Pro-Celebrity Drowning was arse?

Racial tensions threaten to erupt in the streets of wartime Hastings when a black GI is suspected of murdering a local woman in the latest repeated episode of Foyle's War - 8:00 ITV3. The victim, an ex-lover of the suspect and the mother of his baby, was staying at a guest house - where Samantha is assistant manager - and had been disowned by her family because of her mixed-race child. As Christopher Foyle investigates, he is not convinced that the soldier could be capable of such a crime, and soon comes up against the might of the US Army as he tries to crack the case. Starring Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Obi Abili and Charlotte Riley.

Gary Lineker presents highlights of the opening Premier League matches of the season in Match Of The Day - BBC1 10:20 - including The Scum versus Swansea City at Old Trafford and The Arse versus Crystal Palace at The Emirates Stadium. Plus, action from Leicester City versus Everton, Queens Park Strangers versus Hull City, Dirty Stoke versus Aston Villains, West Bromwich Albinos versus Blunderland and The Hamsters versus Stottingtot Hotshots. With analysis by Ruud Gullit and Alan Shearer (who will, hopefully, resist the temptation to elbow his former manager in the face on general principle). Few things in life are certain, dear blog reader, but one of those that is dictates that yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies will get their arses thoroughly twanked in their opening game of the season, on Sunday,  against Sheikh Yer Man City. It's The Law.

The windswept byways of Northumberland appear to be wastelands of violent death, à la Midsomer, as yet another blameless citizen - Dan Marsden - is shot dead in his own, rather stylish and well furnished, home in Vera - 8:00 ITV Encore. But there's a twist to this brisk and engaging mystery when the victim's two teenage daughters - Mira and Karen - are abducted. Within minutes someone has couriered a framed picture of the girls to their distraught mother. What on earth is going on? Leave it to lugubrious Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope (Brenda Blethyn and her curiously inaccurate accent) to find out as she arrives at the murder scene like a vintage tractor, puffing and huffing as she digs into the sundered family's background. What emerges is a heartbreaking story with its roots in war-torn Baghdad. The audience are also left to ponder what it means to be a father as Vera thinks about her own glum childhood with a chaotic dad. However, the case soon takes a violent and unexpected turn, striking at the heart of the team. Guest starring Luther's Saskia Reeves and Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes regular Dean Andrews, with David Leon and Gareth Farr.

Sunday 17 August
Phoebe, the stationmaster's daughter, provides a source of distraction for Bert from Martha and invites him to go to Hankin's new dance hall, while Grace decides to join the cycling club for a ride out in The Village - 9:00 BBC1. Is there more to her decision than even she or John are aware? Elsewhere, Marie Stopes' caravan arrives in the village, a little too late to be of any help to Agnes, Robin helps Martha escape George and The Big House, and Clem suggests to Edmund that he should marry. Period drama, starring Maxine Peake, John Simm and Tom Varey.

Engaging and under-rated Bradley Walsh ('leave it!') focuses on the quiz show in the second of four programmes Come On Down! The Game Show Story - 7:00 ITV. He hears the intriguing story of Mastermind's creation and sits in the famous black chair himself for an interrogation by presenter John Humphrys. He also meets former London cabbie Fred Housego, who shot to fame after his 1980 win on the programme. Bamber Gascoigne and Nicholas Parsons discuss the evolving role of the quizmaster over the decades and there's a look at how Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? changed the course of TV history when Judith Keppel became its first jackpot winner. Plus there's the now almost forgotten story of a quiz-show scandal in the late 1950s, long before Millionaire's Coughing Major controversy.

Since the discovery of Richard III's remains under a car park in Leicester, scientists have been subjecting the Fifteenth-Century English king's skeleton to intense scrutiny and analysis, allowing them to reassemble his life in detail, a story told in Richard III: The New Evidence - 9:00 Channel Four. Using the latest techniques, experts have been able to define the extent to which his spinal deformity would have affected his ability to be the warrior famed for leading the charge at The Battle of Bosworth. They have also pieced together his diet and revealed his lifestyle in his final years, with surprising results. The scientists have been helped in their investigations by a body double, twenty seven-year-old Dominic Smee, who has the same form of scoliosis as Richard III, and this programme follows their findings.

Mycroft asks his brother to return with him to London as his stint in New York comes to an end in Elementary - 9:00 Sky Living. While pondering the offer, Sherlock looks into the murder of a beautiful young woman with a curious link to a billionaire CEO, but as new evidence moves the investigation in a surprising direction, he and Watson become entangled in a messy marital dispute. Guest starring Rhys Ifans, William Sadler and Margaret Colin, with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.

Monday 18 August
Tonight sees the welcome return for an eleventh series of New Tricks - 9:00 BBC1 - the popular crime drama following the work of veteran detectives tackling unsolved cases. Back home in Bermondsey for his youngest daughter's wedding, Gerry is visited by Ralph Paxton, an old 'friend' recently released from prison who wants him investigate the murder of his grandson. Meanwhile, a newly divorced Sasha is forced to work with ex-husband Ned Hancock, Danny puts the body language skills he has acquired on an FBI course to the test and Gerry's daughter, Caitlin, gets upset when her father interrogates her fiance about his, ahem, credentials. Starring Dennis Waterman (who also sings the theme song, obviously), Tamzin Outhwaite, Denis Lawson and Nicholas Lyndhurst, with a guest appearance by David Hayman.

Tonight's Horizon - 9:00 BBC2 - is called Should I Eat Meat? The Big Health Dilemma. Yes, of course you should, it's really nice. There's nothing like over egging the Yorkshire Pudding, is there? In the first of two programmes this week investigating the 'truth' about meat, the very excellent Michael Mosley asks if those summer barbecue favourites of burgers and sausages are as bad for you as some people think. He puts the latest scientific findings to the test on a high-meat diet to discover whether eating beef and bacon every day will, actually, do him any harm.

The sick waste-of-braincells fly-on-the-wall Victorian freak show that is Celebrity Big Brother begins once more - 9:05 Channel Five - as Emma Willis invites a fresh group of z-list horrorshows (and drags) desperate to get their boat-race on TV to move in together and have their every word and move recorded for the enjoyment of obsessive, numskull voyeurs. The house has been given 'a glamorous makeover', it says here, but the (alleged) 'celebrities' would be foolish to expect their usual VIP treatment and should be prepared for countless twists, turns and tough tasks guaranteed to cause drama and tension from day one. If you even consider watching this diarrhoea, dear blog reader, then could you kindly take your lack of intellect and shallow, worthless love of crass 'celebrity' culture elsewhere. Thanks in advance.

The kidnap of almost three hundred schoolgirls by Nigeria's hardline Islamist terrorists Boko Haram in Chibok in April caused international outrage. It sparked a global campaign demanding their return and pledges of increased military support to Nigeria from the UK, the US and other nations. However, as the girls languish in guerrilla camps with no sign of rescue, Dispatches reporter Evan Williams investigates - 11:05 Channel Four - another side to Nigeria's war on Islamist terror - claims of a violent campaign by its security forces against ordinary civilians.

Tuesday 19 August
In Super Senses: The Secret Power Of Animals - 9:00 BBC2 - the biologist Patrick Aryee and physicist Helen Czerski explore the world of animal senses to reveal how they detect things beyond the limits of human perception, conducting experiments and demonstrations featuring a variety of species. They begin by investigating sight and reveal how caribou - wild reindeer of Alaska - use ultraviolet light to avoid their predators. They also discover how the dragonfly's ability to view things in slow motion allows it to make a kill, and show how a snake can see in the pitch dark without using its eyes.

The CSIs are called in when the body of Janet Riggins is found on the road just outside the airport, with the victim having been beaten and thrown from a vehicle onto the tarmac in the latest episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - 9:00 Channel Five. The team discovers she had only recently landed in Las Vegas and that several of the passengers on her flight had valuables stolen from them on the plane, and one of them had confronted Janet about taking his watch. With Ted Danson, Elisabeth Shue, George Eads, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, Wallace Langham, Jon Wellner, David Berman, Paul Guilfoyle and Elisabeth Harnois.

In Everyday Miracles: The Genius Of Sofas, Stockings And Scanners - 9:00 BBC4 - Professor Mark Miodownik provides an insight into the genius design techniques that contributed to the invention and production of everyday objects often taken for granted. He begins by focusing on items found in the home, including razor blades, tights, plywood and foam rubber.

The team explores how winter affects the coastline in the latest episode of Coast - 9:00 BBC2 - as Nick Crane visits Cornwall to reflect on the Penlee lifeboat disaster of December 1981, in which sixteen people died. However, he also discovers that wild seas bring surprising benefits for farmers. Scottish Neil Oliver (and his lovely hair) goes behind the scenes of the Viking Fire Festival on Shetland and on St Kilda off the West coast of Scotland, Andy Torbet finds out why a feral flock of sheep battles to the death during the cold months. Mark Horton investigates the devastating impact of storms on small communities, and wildlife cameraman Richard Taylor-Jones captures a portrait of the creatures that make the Kent town of Margate their home for winter. Last in the current series.

Wednesday 20 August
Tonight sees the return of The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door - 8:00 Channel Five - the documentary using eyewitness testimony and footage from camcorders, CCTV and phones to examine the experiences of people who have become involved in disputes. For 'entertainment.' Yes, dear blog reader, this is Channel Five, the network which broadcasts Big Brother and which, up until very recently, was owned by a soft-core pornographer. Go figure. In Nottingham, the Johnsons reveal how a repair bill for a joint chimney eventually led to them taking their neighbour to court, while Robert Crowley's dream home in Devon turned into a nightmare due to years of conflict with the Kellaway family, whose members occupy three houses on his street.

When psychologist Reuben Beatty is murdered while moonlighting as a psychic, Robbie Lewis and James Hathaway struggle to unravel the victim's baffling double life in Down Among The Fearful, the latest repeat episode of Lewis - ITV3 8:00. Dark forces appear to be at work, and not just in the afterlife. Sanjeev Bhaskar guest stars, with Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman and Rebecca Front.

In Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds: A Tale Of Three Cities - 9:00 BBC4 - Doctor James Fox tells the stories of three cities whose artists, thinkers, writers and musicians set the world on a new course. This opening episode focuses on Vienna in 1908, which was the year Gustav Klimt painted his masterpiece The Kiss, Sigmund Freud revealed the Oedipus complex, Egon Schiele produced startling pictures of humanity stripped to the bare essentials and both music and architecture took a bold step in a radical new direction. However, it was also the year a struggling young artist named Adolf Hitler (who only had one) arrived in the city, thus putting Europe on the road to apocalyptic destruction. So, that should be a fun story.

We've also got the return of Suspects - 10:00 Channel Five - the crime drama following the work of three detectives, in which the actors devise their own dialogue based on a detailed plot description. In the first of a two-part story, Detective Inspector Martha Bellamy's neighbour, barrister Jonathan Moxton, is discovered at his home with serious head injuries, his wrists bound with a belt and a pair of knickers stuffed in his mouth. Sounds like yer average Saturday night round Stately Telly Topping Manor, frankly. Sergeant Jack Weston guesses that Moxton was involved in a sex game that went badly wrong - no shit! - and suspicion falls on Saul Hammond, the man who found him. Starring Fay Ripley, Damien Molony and Clare-Hope Ashitey and guest-starring Charlie Brooks.

Thursday 21 August
On 17 July 1918, the four daughters of the last Tsar of all the Russias, Nicholas II, along with the rest of the imperial family, were murdered in the bloody climax to the Russian Revolution, a story told in the first of the two-part Russia's Lost Princesses - 8:00 BBC2. Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia were the most photographed princesses of their day, attracting the same frenzied press attention in their day as Diana, Princess of Wales later would, but their public profile masked the reality of their strange and isolated upbringing. In the first of two programmes, interviews with leading historians, archive material and dramatic reconstruction are combined to explore the girls' childhood.

It's the conclusion of the thriller The Honourable Woman - 9:00 BBC2 - which explores the complex personal and political life of Nessa Stein, a businesswoman who used her company to promote projects for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians. In the final episode, MI6's Middle East chief Hugh Hayden-Hoyle realises that Nessa has been manipulated into becoming a martyr - both by Foreign Office tactician Monica Chatwin on behalf of the Americans, and Palestinian businessman Jalal El-Amin. Political thriller written and directed by Hugo Blick, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stephen Rea and Eve Best.

The actress Tamzin Outhwaite is currently starring as Sasha Miller in the BBC crime drama New Tricks, but is best known to audiences for her role as Melanie Owen in EastEnders. Who Do You Think You Are? - 9:00 BBC1 - looks to learn about her Italian roots on the maternal side of her family as a result of her fond childhood memories of big meals with relatives, antipasto and energetic conversations. Her journey begins in the heart of London's East End where her great-grandfather Tony Gonella once ran a cafe. She visits the Isle of Man, Italy and finally Glasgow as she explores her ancestor's life, and also discovers more about her mother's father Remo Santi and his dad Adelmo.

A congresswoman is thrust into the limelight when Mellie's caustic comments about her are accidentally recorded in the latest episode of Scandal - 9:00 Sky Living. As Cyrus handles things for the first lady, he dispatches a White House aide to Montana to dig for dirt in the politician's home town. Olivia goes head to head with David in the courtroom when Pope & Associates takes on a new client - a philandering senator who is accused of murder. Lisa Kudrow begins a recurring guest role. With Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn.

Friday 22 August
Greg James and Jen Long kick off the coverage of this year's Reading Festival by presenting highlights from the Main and NME/Radio 1 stages from their tree house overlooking the whole of the site from 7pm on BBC3. American indie foursome Vampire Weekend perform live on the Main Stage at the festival for the first time since 2009. Plus, Paramore and Queens of the Stone Age.

With her first live dates in over thirty years on the immediate horizon and fans excitedly posting pictures of their tickets to these events all over Facebook - yes, you Danny! - there has never been a better time to be a Kate Bush fan. Except, possibly, around 1985 when Hounds Of Love was parked at number one in the album charts all over the world and she was still having hit singles. Anyway, The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill - 9:00 BBC4 - is, as the title suggests, a documentary exploring the popular singer/songwriter's career and music from her 1978 début single 'Wuthering Heights' to her 2011 CD Fifty Words For Snow. With testimony from a number of high-profile collaborators, fellow artists inspired by her work and various gobshitey 'celebrity' fans. So, a somewhat typical BBC4 Friday night music documentary, in other words. Featuring  contributions from the likes of David Gilmour, the Pink Floyd guitarist who 'discovered' Katie as a precocious teenager, as well as Peter Gabriel (who has, hopefully, recovered from the whole Brian Pern Segway crash experience), Elton John, yer actual Stephen Fry, Outkast's Big Boi and Steve Coogan his very self. Plus Rick Wakeman. Probably. But, did she really write the 1983 Doctor Who four-parter Kinda, that's what the kids really want to know? (The answer's 'no', incidentally.)
Match Of The Day At Fifty - 10:35 BBC1 - celebrates fifty years of the iconic football highlights programme, featuring a look at what has made the show such as success over the years and how it has evolved to stay relevant with current audiences. The likes of George Best, Brian Clough, Sir Bobby Robson, David Coleman and Jimmy Hill feature in archive footage while Jose Mourinho, Ryan Giggs, Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Des Lynam are among a long list of people to reveal why they hold the programme so dear.

To the news, now: The creator of the hit US TV drama True Detective has denied claims that dialogue from its main character has been 'copied' from pre-existing work. Writer Nic Pizzolatto said 'nothing in the show is plagiarised', adding that Rust Cohle's thoughts 'are not unique to any one author.' A blog post contended that some of Pizzolatto's dialogue is 'borrowed' from other authors, particularly Thomas Ligotti. Broadcaster HBO called True Detective 'a work of exceptional originality. The story, plot, characters and dialogue are that of Nic Pizzolatto,' the network's statement continued. 'Philosophical concepts are free for anyone to use, including writers of fiction, and there have been many such examples in the past. We stand by the show, its writing and Nic Pizzolatto entirely,' HBO concluded. Pizzolatto maintains that his talented but troubled chief protagonist, played - brilliantly - by Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, is 'an autodidact pessimist' who 'speaks toward that philosophy with erudition and in his own words. The ideas within this philosophy are certainly not exclusive to any writer,' he added. Blog writer Mike Davis, responding to research carried out by Jon Padgett of the Thomas Ligotti Online website, claimed 'exact quotes' by the cult horror novelist and poet Ligotti had been used in scripts for True Detective. He also claimed that Pizzolatto had only acknowledged the work of Ligotti' when forced to.' Eight episodes of True Detective were aired in the US earlier this year and met with critical acclaim. The drama has been shown on Sky Atlantic in the UK. A second season is in the pipeline and will contain an entirely new cast. Various rumours about new actors lined-up for the new series include Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn and Mad Men actress Elisabeth Moss. In June, McConaughey won a Critics' Choice Award for his portrayal of Louisiana police officer Cohle. He is shortlisted for a best actor in a drama series EMMY along with co-star Woody Harrleson, while Pizzolatto is nominated for outstanding writing in a drama.

The former BBC technology chief, very sacked over the failed one hundred million quid Digital Media Initiative fiasco was unfairly dismissed, an employment tribunal has found. John Linwood claimed that he was made 'a scapegoat' for the failure of the DMI project, which sought to move the BBC away from using video tape. The tribunal said that it was 'astonished' at the BBC's 'cavalier disregard' for the disciplinary process. However, it ruled that Linwood had 'partially contributed' to his dismissal. It also rejected two other complaints that he made against the corporation. The DMI scheme was scrapped in May 2013 by incoming Director General Tony Hall, in one of his first acts after taking up the post. The total cost to the licence fee payer of the failed project was over ninety eight million smackers. The Commons Public Accounts Committee later branded it 'a complete failure' and said that the BBC had been 'far too complacent' over its handling of the scheme. In a statement, the BBC said that the failure of the project had been 'a very difficult set of circumstances' and expressed 'disappointment' over the tribunal's decision. 'We had a major failure of a significant project, and we had lost confidence - as the tribunal acknowledges - in John Linwood. At the time we believed we acted appropriately,' the corporation continued. 'The tribunal has taken a different view. We are disappointed with the outcome, but nevertheless we will learn lessons from the judgment and we're grateful to staff who were involved in dealing with a very difficult case.' The tribunal's findings outline a lengthy series of meetings and e-mails involving three Directors General, numerous BBC executives and Lipgloss Lucy Adams, the BBC's infamous former HR director. It said the BBC's executive board had decided Linwood should be dismissed 'one way or another' at a meeting on 13 May 2013 and several e-mails sent subsequently discussed his dismissal 'as a foregone conclusion.' The BBC, it continued, interviewed replacements for Linwood before the disciplinary procedure began and was in breach of its disciplinary procedures by failing to conduct an investigation before hearings began. It failed to present documents to Linwood in a timely manner and sent him 'thousands of e-mails' on 19 and 21 June 2013 to help prepare for a meeting just a few days later. Linwood asked for a postponement in order to read the documents and because he had already booked family leave. The BBC responded by bringing forward the date of the hearing. They really wanted shot of this bloke, didn't they? In his evidence to the tribunal, Linwood claimed that, after leaving one meeting about his future, he was told by a colleague that the procedure was 'a stitch-up'. The BBC's then acting head of press, Gavin Dawson, told the tribunal that Linwood was 'arguably' depicted a scapegoat in the media. However, he added, that 'is not the way I would characterise it. The newspapers are always going to be after someone,' he added. In its own representations, the BBC claimed that Linwood had been fairly dismissed after 'a full and even-handed disciplinary procedure.' E-mails from senior managers about how to present the calamity to the press by leaving Linwood 'spinning in the wind' were described as 'extraordinarily unattractive' in tone by the tribunal. Speaking after the judgment, Linwood said: 'Serious allegations of misconduct were made against me out of the blue and without any foundation or prior investigation. I was told to resign or be put through a disciplinary process and face dismissal. I refused to resign because I had not committed any act of misconduct. The employment tribunal has now found that the allegations made against me were "general, vague, broad in nature and non-specific" and "virtually impossible to address in any practical way" and that my summary dismissal was profoundly procedurally and substantively unfair. I believe I was made a scapegoat by the BBC. I am profoundly grateful to the employment tribunal for getting to the heart of this whole sorry episode.' His solicitor, Louise Hobbs, of Signet Partners, said: 'The judgment gives an unedifying insight into the inner workings of the BBC at senior management level.' The amount of compensation that will be paid to Linwood, who earned two hundred and ninety thousand knicker a year, will be decided at a later date.
A Sun reporter obtained personal information from a stolen mobile phone belonging to a woman who received 'flirty text messages' from 'a TV personality', a court has heard claimed. Ben Ashford, since suspended by the paper, denies charges of possession of criminal property and unauthorised access to material from an iPhone. He was extremely arrested in a police probe into computer hacking and privacy breaches. The phone's owner and the, unnamed, TV star were not identified in court. On the first day of Ashford's trial the Old Bailey this week heard that in November 2009 he was handed an iPhone which contained pictures and messages sent between a female public relations worker and 'a well-known male TV presenter'. Ashford claimed that he looked at the phone, which was not locked, to verify its owner and then returned it to that person and left her with his business card. But the prosecution contends that he returned it after three days - and only after noting down some of its content. The PR worker said that her phone had been in a handbag which was stolen while she was on a night out at The Circle nightclub in Manchester. The court heard that a woman called Sameena Rashid then phoned the Sun about a potential story based on the contents of the phone, which, she said, was 'handed to her by a friend'. When Ashford met Rashid, he took the phone and gave her a contract which stated that she would receive payment if her 'help' led to the paper publishing a story. Rashid was later cautioned by police. The court heard that Ashford then gave the phone back to its owner via a friend - along with his business card. Two days later, the woman contacted police to report the theft and gave them Ashford's contact details. Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said that the reporter then lied to the police when he was interviewed as a witness to the alleged theft: 'The account he gave to the police officer was, we say, a lie. It was designed to fob the police officer off and to conceal what Ben Ashford had actually done with the phone while it was in his possession.' Ashford was later arrested after his employers handed over internal Sun e-mails to the bobbies. The jury was shown a selection of those e-mails, in which Sun staff discussed in detail the information stored in the phone, plus a draft news story. In one e-mail, Ashford said that the phone contained 'hundreds of texts' which offered 'a clear snapshot on what has gone on with our sexy PR and [the celebrity].' He said that the messages contained 'sexually explicit' text and pictures. In another e-mail he referred to 'a stolen phone' and admitted being 'intentionally woolly' when discussing with police what he had done with it. He wrote in the e-mail that the police were 'not really bothered about this', but also said that there was 'no way' he 'could actually copy the texts on the phone.' Ashford, of Coulsdon in Surrey, is currently on bail. His prosecution is the first brought by the Metropolitan Police under Operation Tuleta, which is investigating illegal methods used by journalists other than phone-hacking. The trial continues.

Birmingham’s City TV has become the first of the vile and odious rascal Hunt’s ambitious network of local TV stations to go bust. Post-apocalyptic zombie nightmare. Probably. Ofcom awarded the local TV licence for the UK's second largest city to local player City TV Broadcasting in November 2012, rejecting high-profile consortia backed by heavyweights including former BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons. The company, also known as BLTV, appointed administrators on Friday to try and find a buyer for the local TV licence. Duff & Phelps has approached a number of other local TV licence holders via email with 'a business opportunity.' According toe the Gruniad Morning Star, the e-mail says: 'The joint administrators are seeking expressions of interest from parties interested in acquiring the licence and who believe that they are likely to obtain the consent of Ofcom for any transfer.' An attached Business Lite Memo states that the business has 'no studio premises or broadcast equipment', despite having had almost two years to get the operation up and running. In its submission to Ofcom, City TV, which is run by former Birmingham City Council PR chief Debra Davis, had promised to be the first of local TV stations to launch with an on-air date of between Easter and June last year. Last month MP Steve McCabe tabled a number of parliamentary questions to try to find out the state of City TV. This prompted rival Made Television, which has secured the most local TV licences, to confirm interest in snapping up the licence if City TV failed to launch by its 6 November deadline. Made TV is chaired by former BSkyB executive and Top Up TV co-founder Ian West and counts former Emap chief executive Tom Moloney as a director. Ofcom has so far awarded thirty licences, with services in Glasgow, Grimsby, Nottingham, Norwich and London on air. Brighton is due to launch later this month. Last month London Live, which is owned by Evgeny Lebedev, applied to Ofcom to slash the amount of local programming it produces just four months after launch. The former lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Hunt's lame-brained plan for a UK-wide network of local TV stations has been widely criticised as not commercially viable and the sort of thing dreamed up by a knobcheese politician who never knew his arse from his elbow. Or something.

Following all that malarkey over the Indians whinging to the ICC about went on a'tween him and Jadeja, Jimmy Anderson had clearly decided to let the ball do the talking at Old Trafford this week. As this picture proves.
On Saturday at Old Trafford, the Cookie Monster and Mini Mouse turned up to watch the third day of the fourth test. Which was almost as funny as India's batting as England cleaned them up in half-a-day and won by an innings and fifty four runs. And all that without Stuart Broad who was nursing a thoroughly smashed penk after, ahem, 'taking one to the helmet' during England's innings.
England stormed to a resounding victory over India inside three days at Old Trafford to take a two-one lead in the test series with one match to play. The hosts took nine wickets in an extraordinary session after tea to bowl India out for one hundred and sixty one. For the second match in a row, spinner Moeen Ali was instrumental in the final push, taking four for thirty nine as England made light of the absence of the injured Stuart Broad. James Anderson claimed two for eighteen and Chris Jordan took the final two wickets in two balls to the delight of a full house at a sun-drenched ground. The hosts had earlier posted three hundred and sixty seven all out, with Joe Root's seventy seven and Jos Buttler's entertaining seventy giving them a lead of two hundred and fifteen runs. Buttler mixed good fortune - he was dropped by Kohli in the gully on thirty four and badly missed by Dhoni when he should have been run out for forty four - with fine stroke play to record successive fifties in his first two test innings. Root was more cautious as he reached fifty off one hundred and three balls, only to be denied a third test century of the summer by Pankaj's unlikely intervention. After England's innings closed, they had sixty one overs left in the day to bowl out India before Sunday's predicted downpours. In the end they needed only forty three of them, completing an extraordinary turnaround by a team which was heavily beaten in the second Test at Lord's to extend their winless run to ten tests. Even more remarkable is the transformation of Moeen, who took only ten wickets at an average of forty five in his first four Tests this summer, but now has twelve victims at fourteen each in his last two. England will hope to carry their winning momentum into the final test at The Oval. As for Saturday's events, they just couldn't believe what was going on out there in the Test Match Special box. 'Pressure has got to India,' thundered an incandescent Geoffrey Boycott. 'They have bottled it. Capitulation. They have given up. There is a pub team near me that don't even practise and they play better shots. I'll just ask my mum if she can get an Indian passport, she could get in the team easily.' Hardly, Geoffrey, she's been dead since 1978. Quote of the day, however, went to Vic Marks who noted: 'There is Moeen picking up wickets like flies in a rotten apple.' Interesting simile there, Victor.

Today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day is, actually, a song that was never released as a single - though it should have been. In fact, it's only available on an impossibly rare compilation CD. Nevertheless, it remains on the best things the brilliant Rilo Kiley ever did. Tell 'em all about it, Jenny.

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