Sunday, August 03, 2014

Week Thirty Three: The Darkness Inside You Can Make You Feel So Small

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has described yer actual Peter Capaldi's Doctor look as total pure-dead mint in the new series of Doctor Who. Skill. In an interview with SFX, the showrunner revealed that yer actual Capaldi had 'a lot' of input into the character's final look. 'He wanted to be quite stark,' The Moffinator said. 'Stark and skinny. A stick-insect sort of thing. Clara actually calls him a grey-haired stick insect at one point. We had some hilarious pictures of Peter just dressing up. It was all coming from him because he's really into his clothes. I didn't feel qualified to go and chat too much about it. Certainly the costume didn't go anywhere until I shut up. The thing I've learned about showrunning is you need to know the bits you're bad at!' However, Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) said that he did need to step in occasionally during the outfit testing: 'I've got certain things that I'll say - I don't want anything in that costume that I have to write into the script. I don't want people saying "But why are you dressed as a circus clown?" I want him to walk into a pub, a restaurant, a space conference, an army base and nobody stares at him.' The showrunner also alluded to other costumes which fans will see Peter wearing in during the show: 'Oddly enough in this series, for whatever reason, he seems to be wearing different outfits far more often than The Doctor normally does. He's got his basic outfit but he's in a spacesuit in one of them and he's a caretaker in another one and then he's all dressed up in a later episode. He does vary it a bit. And he mixes up the basic costume, hugely. We've tended to see the white shirt version in public but actually the one I like best is when he wears the jumper under his coat. I think he looks like a submarine commander, like an old sailor or something. It makes him all rugged and handsome.' According to Moffat, Doctor Who needed a shake-up before its format and tone become stale. 'It was time to change. Certain things we were doing a little reflexively. Some of the humour was getting a bit glib. One of the hardest things to notice is when your new idea has become your old idea and it’s time to get rid of it.'
Meanwhile, yer actual Peter Capaldi his very self has admitted that he initially thought he was too old for the role of The Doctor in Doctor Who. The fifty six-year-old told Entertainment Weekly that he expected Matt Smith to be replaced on the BBC series by another actor of a similar age. 'I wouldn't have thought it would be me - because of my age,' he confessed. 'I would have thought they were automatically heading younger.' However, he added: 'I'm technically too young for the part, because he's over two thousand years old.' In February, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat insisted that casting an older actor as the new Doctor makes 'no difference' to the show. 'It's all the difference in the world - because suddenly he's a man in his fifties with grey hair - and [yet] it's no difference at all,' he said. 'Never mind that, John Hurt's seventy three, and how great was he? And kids love the John Hurt Doctor.'
Some new pictures from Doctor Who's feature-length series eight première Deep Breath have been unveiled by the BBC this week. Like, this one, for instance.
And, just in case you missed the truly post-apocalyptic news, Doctor Who fans will be able to catch the series eight première episode early at this year's Edinburgh TV Festival. The thirty ninth annual Edinburgh International Television Festival sponsored by the middle-class hippy Communist lice at the Gruniad Morning Star will screen Deep Breath on Thursday 21 August, two days before it is scheduled to be shown on BBC1. Meanwhile, tickets for the cinematic outing of Deep Breath went on sale on 1 August in the UK. As well as the episode itself, cinemas will also be showing an exclusive five minute video that features on a future Doctor Who DVD release, plus a ten minute behind-the-scenes film covering the making of the episode (which viewers at home will also be able to see via the BBC Red Button). In addition to cinemas around the country, there will be a 'special' showing at London's Odeon Leicester Square which will also include a live Q&A with a number of as-yet-unnamed guests. BBC America have announced a series of events taking place in the lead-up and aftermath of the series première in the United States. During the week before broadcast, the channel will première new specials relating to the show, including Doctor Who: The Ultimate Companion on the 16 August at 9:00pm, The Real History of Science Fiction: Time at 10:00pm and then Doctor Who: The Ultimate Time Lord on the 18 August at 10:00pm, which forms part of a marathon week of Doctor Who episodes. On the day itself, Doctor Who: Live Pre-Show will be presented by Nerdist presenter Chris Hardwick at 7:30pm before Deep Breath is shown at 8:00pm. Later, there's also Doctor Who: After Who Live at 11:00pm - which aims to feature a host of guests in studio, including yer actual Mark Gatiss, plus behind-the-scenes footage. The day afterwards is Make Your Own Sunday, featuring the top episodes as voted for by BBC America viewers in an online poll which opens on the 6 August. As with the UK, Deep Breath will also have a cinematic release in the USA, though this will not be simulcast. Instead, BBC America have partnered with Fathom Events to present Deep Breath in screening events taking place in twelve cities from midnight, with full details to be announced on the 5 August. This will be followed by a wider cinematic release on the 25 August, with over five hundred and fifty cinemas showing the episode at 7:00pm and 9:30pm, accompanied by the prequel and behind-the-scenes material as seen in the UK. With broadcaster ABC yet to confirm when Deep Breath will be shown in Australia, it seems likely that cinema-goers will get to see it first, as national theatres such as Event Cinemas and Palace Cinemas, and local theatres such as Melbourne's Cinema Nova launch a number of presentations of the episode on the big screen, many from 10:00am on the 24 August. The programme duration also suggests that the Australian audience will also get to see the 'prequel' and behind-the-scenes features that will be enjoyed in Britain and America. Fans in Canada will be able to watch Deep Breath on the big screen in participating cinemas across the country via Cineplex. The new Doctor's first adventure (and its associated cinema extras) will be shown twice during the week after its première on television, with presentations on Monday 25 August at 7:30pm and on Saturday 30 August at 12:55pm. So, that's nice.
Doctor Who is preparing to take to the stage with live music and a cast of one hundred actors and singers ... and a few Daleks. More than a hundred actors and singers will take part in The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular next May, with music performed by The BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The Time Lord's famous adversaries, including Daleks and Cybermen, will also appear. Music composed by BAFTA-winning Murray Gold will also be played. It will be accompanied by a large screen presentation of iconic Doctor Who moments from the past fifty one years. Cities included in the UK tour include Cardiff, London, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow.
BBC1's live coverage of the Commonwealth Games topped Friday's ratings, peaking with 6.26 million viewers at 9.45pm. The coverage had an average audience of 4.66 million from 7pm. Approximately 1.85 million watched the highlights on Tonight At The Games at 10.45pm. The Cruise Ship was ITV's highest-rated show outside of soaps, attracting increased viewers of 3.57 million at 8pm. ITV's evening continued with 2.29 million for Doc Martin at 9pm, while late night movie Jaws 2 was seen by seven hundred and eighty one thousand at 10.40pm. BBC2's evening began with 1.15 million for Pembrokeshire: Coastal Lives at 7pm, and continued with 1.16 million for Red Arrows: Inside The Bubble immediately after. Gardeners' World attracted an increased audience of 1.59 million at 8.30pm, while The Secret History Of Our Streets was seen by 1.43 million. An average of 2.19 million turned over for BBC2's Commonwealth Games coverage at 10pm whilst BBC1 broadcast the Ten O'Clock News. Channel Four welcomed two new shows, starting with nine hundred and ninety thousand for Alan Carr's The Singer Takes It All at 9pm, followed by nine hundred thousand for the returning The Last Leg. The Million Pound Drop was watched by eight hundred and sixty thousand punters at 8pm. The latest Big Brother eviction was seen by an average audience of 1.15 million on Channel Five. BBC4's The Kings Of Rock & Roll was one of the most popular multichannel shows, picking up an audience of six hundred and sixty eight thousand at 10.10pm.

BBC1's continued Commonwealth Games coverage topped the overnight ratings again on a quiet Thursday evening across the board. Thursday evening's events scored an average 4.50 million from 7pm. On BBC2, Beavers Behaving Badly intrigued 1.26m at 8pm, followed by The Honourable Woman with 1.32m ) at 9pm. ITV's Harbour Lives appealed to 2.18 million at 8.30pm, while It'll Be Alright On The Night was watched by an audience of but 1.81 million at 9pm. On Channel Four, Amazing Spaces interested 1.28m at 8pm. Embarrassing Bodies gathered 1.14 million viewers at 9pm, whilst the documentary Kids & Guns was seen by five hundred and ninety thousand punters at 10pm. On Channel Five, Born To Kill attracted an audience of eight hundred and fifty nine thousand viewers at 8pm, followed by Autopsy: Karen Carpenter with 1.54m at 9pm and the latest episode of Victorian freak show Big Brother with 1.26m at 10pm.
BBC1's Commonwealth Games coverage topped the overnight ratings for the eighth consecutive evening in a row with an average audience of 3.82m from 7pm on Wednesday - the highlight of the night being yer actual Greg Rutherford's victory for England in the long jump. On BBC2, Britain's Flying Past brought in nine hundred and sixty six thousand punters at 7pm, followed by The Stuarts with 1.31m at 8pm and Fifteen Billion Pound Railway with an excellent 2.17m at 9pm. ITV's All-Star Mr & Mrs totally fail to entertain 3.24m sad crushed victims of society at 8pm. A repeat of Trevor McDonald's Inside Death Row was watched by 1.71m at 9pm. On Channel Four, This Old Thing appealed to seven hundred and forty eight thousand at 8pm, while One Born Every Minute brought in 1.24m at 9pm. The spectacularly unfunny The Mimic had an audience of four hundred and ten thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Emergency Bikers interested six hundred and sixty five thousand at 8pm, followed by Caught On Camera with nine hundred and forty thousand at 9pm and Big Brother with 1.25m at 10pm.

The BBC's Commonwealth Games coverage comfortably won the ratings outside soaps on Tuesday, overnight data reveals. The latest evening's live coverage averaged 4.11 million from 7pm. On BBC2, Coast interested 1.48m at 7pm, while a repeat of The Sarah Millican Television Programme attracted 1.32m at 9.30pm. ITV's risible, wretched stream of stinking piss Love Your Garden appealed to 2.26m numskulls at 8pm, followed by a repeat of Fifty Six Up with 1.88m at 9pm. Diamond Geezers & Gold Dealers brought in nine hundred and seventy three thousand viewers from 10.45pm. On Channel Four, the latest episode of Kirstie Allsopp's laughably twee and apocalyptically nasty Fill Your House With Loads Of Crap For Free gathered but seven hundred and seventy seven thousand at 8pm, which was funny, followed by Undercover Boss with 1.30m at 9pm. Utopia's latest episode was seen by three hundred and seventy eight thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Dog Rescuers attracted nine hundred and ninety one thousand punters at 8pm. CSI: Crime Scene Investigations had an audience of 1.03m at 9pm.
On Monday evening, BBC1's Commonwealth Games programming again topped the ratings with 4.12 million at 7pm. On BBC2, University Challenge drew an audience of 1.71m at 7.30pm, while Food and Drink gathered 1.18m at 8.30pm. Children Of Syria was seen by five hundred and thirty six thousand at 9pm. ITV's Countrywise appealed to 2.56m at 8pm, followed by the popular - if more than a touch mawkish and manipulative - Long Lost Family with 4.04m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Royal Marines Commando School attracted 1.97m at 9pm. Kitchen Nightmares had an average audience of six hundred and sixteen thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Police Interceptors interested seven hundred and thirty six thousand at 8pm. Blinging Up Baby was watched by 1.11m at 9pm and Big Brother continued with 1.17m at 10pm. On E4, The One Hundred topped the multichannels with eight hundred and twenty nine thousand at 9pm.

BBC1's coverage of the Commonwealth Games also topped a quiet Sunday, according to overnight ratings. The sporting shenanigans from Glasgow averaged 3.5 million punters from 7.15pm, with a peak of 4.25m around 10pm. All things considered it was an excellent night for BBC2 with Dragons' Den attracting 2.35m at 8pm, followed by Red Arrows: Inside The Bubble also with 2.35m at 9pm. ITV's Catchphrase stank the gaff up with 2.54m at 7.15pm, whilst a repeat of Foyle's War brought in 2.32m at 8pm. On Channel Four, the latest episode of The Mill was seen by 1.62m at 8pm. Child Genius appealed to 1.29m at 9pm. Channel Five's Big Brother continued with 1.07m at 9pm.

Here's the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Nineteen programmes, week-ending Sunday 20 July 2014:-
1 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.28m
2 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.54m
3 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.13m
4 Celebrity MasterChef - Fri BBC1 - 5.53m
5 Ten O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 5.35m
6 Long Lost Family - Mon ITV - 4.78m*
7 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 4.77m
8 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 4.75m
9 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.59m
10 The Seven Wonders Of The Commonwealth - Sun BBC1 - 4.36m
11 Six O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 4.14m
12 Live At Edinburgh Castle - Sat BBC1 - 3.80m
13 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 3.74m
14 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.61m
15 Film: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes - Sat Channel Four - 3.41m
16 All Star Mrs & Mrs - Wed ITV - 3.16m*
17 John Bishop's Australia - Mon BBC1 - 3.13m
18 Nic & Margaret: Too Many Immigrants - Tues BBC1 - 3.12m
19 Formula One: The German Grand Prix Highlights - 3.10m
Programmes marked '*' do include include HD figures. Last week, as noted at the time aside from their coverage of the World Cup, and the regular six weekly episodes of Corrie and six episodes of Emmerdale not a single ITV programme drew a final and consolidated audience of more than three million viewers. This week, the return of Long Lost Family and, just, All Star Mr & Mrs upping its audience, the channel had four programmes above three million punters instead of a mere three. Again, for the sake of balance it is worth pointing out that, in the middle of the hottest spell Britain has had in several years, figures generally, remained pretty low across the broad. But still ... BBC2's top-rated programme of the week aside from their Grand Prix coverage was The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway with 2.74m viewers, followed by Dragons' Den (2.63m), University Challenge (2.58m), the latest episode of The Honourable Woman (2.29m) and Coast (1.90m). Channel Four's highest-rated show, apart from their broadcast of the movie Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was Royal Marines Commando School with 2.72m followed by The Mill (2.34m). CSI: Crime Scene Investigations was Channel Five's best performer with 2.02m. On BBC4, The Joy Of The Guitar Riff was watched by seven hundred and thirty eight thousand.

Some very sad news now: Philipp Brammer, the voice of the tenth Doctor to German viewers, has died after suffering a fall on a walking trip earlier this week. The actor and voice artist from Munich was found by police and mountain rescue crew in the Edelweißlahnersteigs area after he had been reported missing by his wife on Monday, having not returned from his planned trip to the Edelweiss Breitlahner. Philipp was a popular voice artist who, as well as portraying David Tennant's Doctor, also provided voices for Gaeta in Battlestar Galactica, Rainbow in Stargate Atlantis and Lex Luthor in Smallville for German audiences. He also dubbed actors including Martin Freeman in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Leonardo di Caprio in Marvin's Room and Jason Priestley in both Beverly Hills 90210 and Tru Calling. As an actor Philipp appeared in German television series such as Die Rosenheim-Cops, SOKO 5113 and most recently The Old Fox, but was perhaps best known for his role as Jan Günzel in the popular series Lindenstraße. He also provided voices for video games such as Lost Horizon.

Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet will begin performances on 5 August 2015. Lyndsey Turner's production of the play will have its official opening night on 25 August 2015, with its limited twelve-week run concluding on 31 October. Performances take place from Monday to Saturday at 7.15pm, with Saturday matinees at 1.30pm. Tickets are priced between thirty knicker and sixty two smackers plus a booking fee, and a limited number of Premium Seats are also available. For quite staggering prices. Don't ask, trust me, it'll make you shite yourself. Priority booking for Barbican Red members began on 1 August. Priority booking opens for Barbican Orange members on Monday 4 August at 10am, and tickets go on public sale - to the 'ordinary people' - on Monday 11 August at 10am. For each performance, there will be one hundred seats available at ten quid positioned throughout the auditorium. These tickets will go on sale at a later date. There will also be four 'education matinees' for schools, higher and further education students that will go on sale via The Barbican in early 2015.
Channel Four has shown the sort of lack of backbone that the BBC usually do when faced with numskull glakes with a sick agenda and grovellingly apologised for broadcasting an unedited bad naughty swear word in an episode The Simpsons. Krusty the Clown was heard using the terrible and atrociously wicked word 'bastard' in an episode which was shown at 6pm on Channel Four in April. I'm not making this up, dear blog reader. Seven waste of space morons with, seemingly, nothing better to do with their time than cause trouble whinged about the use of this incredibly awful bad language before the 9pm watershed. To Ofcom. You know, a politically appointment quango, elected by no one. Channel Four said that the mistake was down to 'human error' and that the human who erred is, currently, presenting in News In Welsh having, previously, had his Jacob's Cream Crackers repeatedly kicked by A Big Bloke wearing geet hard boots. Or something. It has 'implemented tighter controls' to avoid similar mistakes happening again and make sure no bastards will ever appear on Channel Four before nine o'clock ever again. Apart from Jamie Oliver, obviously. Accepting Channel Four's apology and procedural changes, Ofcom has decided not to punish the station. Which is big of them. And, once again, dear blog reader, let us simply stand up and salute the twenty four carat diarrhoea than some people chose to care about.
BBC3's Our War will return with a new feature-length documentary special titled Goodbye Afghanistan. The programme will mark the end of major combat operations for British armed forces troops serving in Afghanistan. The BBC has gained permission from the Ministry of Defence to air footage shot by soldiers throughout the conflict. Viewers will get a first-hand view of a platoon sergeant's gripping recollection of losing one of his soldiers two weeks into their tour, and hear the stories of a surgeon working in a field hospital at Camp Bastion. Our War: Goodbye Afghanistan will also explore a raid on one of the Taliban's top munitions factories, and a tragic friendly fire incident involving a British Apache helicopter. Soldiers will trace their personal journeys in Afghanistan, some dating back over a decade and others spending their late teenage years in the region as combat wound down. The series has won two BAFTA Awards since its premiere in 2011.

Al Murray will narrate a new three-part series about Marston's Brewery. Murray, in the guise of his character The Pub Landlord will be the voice of the series which is scheduled to be shown in September on Channel Five.
Cillian Murphy has featured in a new teaser trailer for series two of Peaky Blinders. The actor returns as gang leader Tommy in the acclaimed BBC2 period drama set in 1920s post-war Birmingham.
Joanna Scanlan and Will Mellor will star in Channel Four's 'anarchic' new police drama No Offence. The eight-part series, from Shameless, Touching Evil and State Of Play writer Paul Abbott, will follow' an unorthodox team of officers' who must hunt down a serial killer. Alexandra Roach, Elaine Cassidy, Colin Salmon and Paul Ritter have also joined the cast. The team is led by 'the unquestionably unhinged' Detective Inspector Vivienne Deering (played by Scanlan), with 'the impulsive' DC Dinah Kowalska (Cassidy) and recently promoted DS Joy Freers (Roach) serving as her 'right-hand women.' Abbott said: 'No Offence is a precinct cop drama. It's also one of the funniest things I've ever been allowed to put together. It doesn't look like anything else. No Offence's cake mix is as bipolar as they get - it lurches from jet black laugh-out-loud, into fragile material on the turn of a sixpence. Writing three strong female leads is one thing. Writing women that men would choose as leaders has been particularly satisfying.' No Offence will begin on Channel Four in 2015 with a seventy five-minute opening episode, followed by seven sixty-minute episodes.

And so to the next batch of yer actual Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 9 August 2014
Shrill, annoying Welsh thing Alex Jones hosts Tumble - 6:30 BBC1 - a celebrity contest in which famous faces perform gymnastics and circus skills for a judging panel including world-renowned Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci and Great Britain's silver medallist Louis Smith. So, in other words, this year's Pro-Celebrity Drowning. Braving the tough training - and the tight spandex costumes - are world super-middleweight boxing champion Carl Froch, singers Sarah Harding and Amelle Berrabah (no, me neither), EastEnders actor John Partridge, former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, ex-Steps singer Ian H Watkins, one-time Dynasty actress Emma Samms, Wolfblood star Bobby Lockwood, Loose Women anchor Andrea McLean and former The Only Way Is Essex type person Lucy Mecklenburgh. So, again, just to clarify, what we have here is lots of z-listers absolutely desperate to get their boat-races on TV to the point where they will risk ridicule and possibly spine-threatening injury for one more sniff at the prime time cake. If this diarrhoea was on ITV, dear blog reader, this blogger would be laughing his knob off at the sheer shiteness of it. The fact that it's on the Beeb just makes me angry. And sad. And, more than a little bit depressed. Anyway, these waste-of-space tumblers and tossers begin their journey with either an acrobatic floor routine or by performing on the aerial hoop and there is an 'extra treat', it says here, as Louis Smith leads a performance with his London 2012 team-mates. Just when you think you've seen the worst that TV can possibly offer, along comes something to dismay you.

The football league season kicks off today and with it comes The Football League Show - 11:30 BBC1. Manish Bhasin presents highlights and all the goals from the fixtures in the Championship, League One and League Two - ie. all of the division that don't have clubs owned by Russian billionaires or the floggers of dodgy sports gear - as the opening weekend of the season continued. The Championship matches included Ipswich Town versus Fulham at Portman Road, as The Cottagers looked to begin their campaign to regain their place in the Premier League in style. if you're wondering, the Premier League starts next week and, of course, Match Of The Day starts with it.

Tonight's Playhouse Presents: Psychobitches episode - 10:00 Sky 1 - is a clip show featuring all the best bits from the comedy sketch show, starring the very excellent Rebecca Front as a psychiatrist who conducts therapy sessions with some of history's most famous women. Patchy but, occasionally, brilliant.
The revelations of the Ministry of Defence's UFO files, including the so-called 'Welsh Roswell', an alleged alien craft crash from which the authorities supposedly removed extraterrestrial bodies are covered in UFO UK: New Evidence - 11:00 National Geographic. Other documents include a letter claiming that Churchill ordered a cover-up of a wartime clash between a UFO and an RAF bomber, and the story of a 1964 Blue Streak missile test film believed to show an unidentified spaceman. Features interviews with the sort of people you normally cross the road to avoid. Absolutely none of whom are, as far as this blogger can tell, completely mental. Obviously.

Sunday 10 August
The Village - 9:00 BBC1 - the epic drama charting the life and times of Peak District villagers returns for a second series and moves into the 1920s, where the arrival of the jazz age has radically changed old perceptions of love, sex and politics. And all that. Life is good for the Allinghams in The Big House, who are throwing a weekend party, and as part of their entertainment Bert takes part in a race - only to be accused of cheating. His father, John, is now a dairy farmer, but is struggling to pay the rent on his barn. However, Bert comes up with a money-making plan when boxer Ghana Jones, who has been barred from fighting professionally because of the colour of his skin, offers all-comers a chance to take him on. But the stakes soon rise. Tom Varey joins the cast as the twenty one-year-old Bert, with Maxine Peake, John Simm and Rupert Evans.

In James May's Cars of the People - 9:00 BBC2 - the Top Gear presenter examines the social significance of cars in the Twentieth Century. He begins by travelling to Germany, Italy and Russia to examine how dictators kick-started the mobilisation of the masses, finding tales of design brilliance, abject failure, war, fraud and double dealing. James also learns about how the British motor industry blew a gift-wrapped chance to rule the world and he gets his own back with a stunt that means bad news for one of the planet's most hated cars.
Jesus Christ, ITV appear to have actually produced something socially relevant - hang out the flags and mark the day in your diary. The Great War: The People's Story - 9:00 - marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with this three-part docudrama in which well-known actors and actresses bring to life the original diaries, letters and memoirs of some of the men and women caught up in the conflict. The always terrific Daniel Mays plays Reg Evans, a cockney geezer who was one of the first to volunteer to fight on the outbreak of war, while Matthew McNulty is Alan Lloyd, an middle-class chap from Birmingham whose notes to his new wife reveal the shock of a generation of soldiers coming to terms with the abject horrors of war. MyAnna Buring takes on the role of Dorothy Lawrence, who set off on her own to the trenches, going undercover as a war correspondent. With Adrian Scarborough as Winston Churchill and contributions by Adam Byron, Lily Loveless and Rosalind March. Well worth an hour of your time.

The concluding part of Charlie Brooker's daft spoof crime thriller A Touch of Cloth - 9:00 Sky 1 - sees maverick cop Jack Cloth continuing the search for his brother's murderer, having being led to a weird retreat where Terry was receiving treatment for his anger issues which were aimed toward his more successful sibling. But, when the body count begins to rise, Cloth realises that the culprit is - to use an old cop-drama cliche - closer to home than he first thought. John Hannah stars, with Suranne Jones, yer actual Karen Gillan, Adrian Dunbar and Daisy Beaumont.
Monday 10 August
Broadcaster and former war correspondent Kate Adie examines the impact of women taking over jobs from men who were fighting abroad during the First World War in the appropriately-titled Kate Adie's Women Of World War One - 9:00 BBC2. Innovations included women police officers and football teams, as well as female surgeons operating on men for the first time. Kate explores whether the changes in women's lives were long-lasting or only for the duration of the conflict.
Tonight sees a welcome repeat of Secret Smile - 10:00 ITV3 - the first in a rather forgotten but pretty decent two-part psychological thriller starring yer actual David Tennant and Kate Ashfield. Miranda Cotton has a passionate fling with self-styled entrepreneur Brendan Block. She abruptly ends the relationship, however, after discovering him reading her private diary in her flat. A month later, she meets her sister Kerry for a lunchtime drink - and is shocked to learn the businessman has wormed his way into her life. With Claire Goose. Well worth your attention if you missed it first time around.

In the fourth of the academic quiz University Challenge's first-round matches - 7:30 BBC2 - four students from St Anne's College, Oxford, pit their wits against a team from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in a bid to reach the second stage of the competition. Jeremy Paxman asks the questions and terrified the living bejesus out of the kids taking part.
Channel Five continues to produce sick voyeuristic telly that no one else with an ounce of taste and dignity would dare to, the latest sick example being Seventy Stone: The Man They Couldn't Save - 10:00. This revisits Keith Martin as he undergoes the bariatric procedure that he was preparing for in last year's documentary Seventy Stone and Almost Dead (snappy title). Surgeon Kesava Reddy Mannur and his team hope to remove most of Keith's stomach and a massive hernia, but when the operation is complete they discover he is losing blood rapidly. And, the documentaries title sort of gives away what happens next. The film features footage of the surgery and interviews with specialists, exploring the case from the point of view of the medical staff as well as Keith himself.

Tuesday 11 August
With Rick on the run from the police after his bungled robbery attempt, Diane struggles to accept the reality of what he has done in the second episode of Kay Mellor's new, rather paint-by-numbers drama In The Club - 9:00 BBC1. She turns to Roanna, the only person she feels she can trust, for some much-needed support - but it looks like the stress of the situation may have brought on her labour as she starts to experience pains that feel much more than Braxton Hicks. Jasmin and Dev have a house guest, Diane's husband Rick, but when the police turn up the newlyweds are shocked to find out what's really going on. Will they cover for him? Teaching assistant Kim is also feeling the pressure in the aftermath of Rosie's dad's accident. When social services get involved her sense of responsibility is tested as she tries to protect the schoolgirl and her baby. Starring Jill Halfpenny, Will Mellor, Hermione Norris and Tara FitzGerald.

In the summer of 1964, the last two men to be hanged in Britain were executed, simultaneously, in Liverpool and Manchester. Fifty years on, the documentary Executed - 9:00 ITV - revisits the stories of those sentenced to death by the state - some guilty, some entirely innocent - hearing from their relatives and people who witnessed the final days of capital punishment. Infamously, in 1950, Timothy Evans of Notting Hill was sent to the gallows for the murder of his wife and baby daughter who had, actually, been killed by their landlord, John Christie. His sister, Maureen Westlake, describes the tragedy of her brother - hanged for a crime he didn't commit. In 1953, Derek Bentley was executed for the murder of a policeman even though he was unarmed and was actually in police custody at the time that his friend, Chris Craig, fired the fatal shot. Craig, of course, being sixteen, was 'too young to hang' and was, instead, sentenced to a jail term. Derek's niece Maria talks about her family's forty five-year fight to prove Derek's innocence. Narrated by Samuel West. ITV somewhat miss a trick by failing to follow this with either of the movie dramatisations of these two shocking and tragic miscarriages of justice (Ten Rillington Place and Let Him Have It respectively) but, nevertheless, they deserve praise for tackling a subject that raises heated debate on all sides of the argument. And, it's not often you can say that about the channel.

Bonham Realty's IT expert Brad Fante is killed while dressed as Santa Claus at his company's Christmas party in the opening scenes of the latest episode of CSI - 9:00 Channel Five. At first, it seems he had been the victim of a tragic accident in which a sleigh ran over his legs and severed his arteries, but the CSI team launches a murder inquiry after finding five stab wounds in his back. A clue which doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to decide that there's foul-play afoot. The six-year-old son of the firm's boss mentions that he saw a reindeer in the hallway, but the detectives dismiss this lead as a figment of the youngster's imagination, until fibre found on the victim suggests the killer may have been dressed in a costume.
The gang is holed up in a disused hospital wing, where Arby is recovering from his wounds, protected by Jessica in the final episode of Utopia - 10:00 Channel Four. As Ian and Becky race to find out who is planning to release the flu, they track down Dobri Gorski (David Calder) in a police cell, where he tells them the names of the three people he trained to do the job. With Milner dead, Wilson's new ruthlessness is unnerving and his trustworthiness is called into question, while Becky is fast running out of Thoraxin and makes a drastic decision.

Wednesday 13 August
In Operation Wild - 9:00 BBC1 - Clare Balding travels to South Africa to join a veterinary team trying to help a rhino called Thandi who was attacked by poachers for her horn. For the first time, a plastic surgeon will attempt a skin graft on the animal to heal the wound. She also visits the rainforest of Borneo to follow the story of an orangutan who needs cataracts removing from her eyes so that she can be released back into the wild. Elsewhere, vet Steve Leonard takes a trip to Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, where the latest technology is being used to help chimpanzees with heart disease. He also visits the South African city of Pretoria, where a Cape Fur seal requires a CT scan to identify the root cause of her illness, and a giraffe urgently needs to be anaesthetised to treat a leg injury.

Having shown they have what it takes to bake a cake or two, the eleven remaining contestants turn their attention to biscuits in The Great British Bake Off - 8:00 BBC1. First, they create signature savoury crackers for cheese, and are encouraged to push the flavour. In the technical challenge, they have to prepare Mary Berry's Florentines, with their chewy caramel sauce and brandy-snap texture, before ending with a showstopper like no other - three-dimensional scenes made entirely from biscuits. For one hopeful, there will be the pride of being crowned Star Baker, while another will be sent home in shame and ignominy as a complete and total failure - well aware that's merely the way, ahem, that the cookie crumbles. Oh, suit yerselves. Hosted, as usual, by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

There are almost two hundred people still driving in Britain today who are over the age of one hundred, and this number is growing, with tens of thousands still behind the wheel in their nineties. The, rather obviously-titled, documentary One Hundred Year Old Drivers - 9:00 ITV - hits the road (not literally, thankfully) with some of the nation's oldest motorists, including one hundred-year-old bomber command veteran Harry Kartz, who drives to the betting shop every day and Ken and Edna Medlock, ninety nine and ninety eight, who still enjoy day trips to the seaside. Plus, Basil Smith, ninety three, who has arranged for an instructor to assess his ability. If he fails the test, he will have much more difficulty visiting his beloved wife in a care home several miles away. Narrated by Felicity Kendal. Who isn't one hundred. Just want to make that absolutely clear.
Historian and film-maker David Olusoga explores how Germany enlisted Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East to join the fight against Britain and its allies during the First World War in the concluding part of The World's War: Forgotten Soldiers Of Empire - 9:00 BBC2. Muslim Prisoners of War and deserters held in special camps in Germany were indoctrinated to see Kaiser Bill as a lover of Islam and a supporter of national independence wherever the British or French flags flew. General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck led an army of east African troops in an insurgency that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of black soldiers.

Thursday 14 August
South Yorkshire-born actor, adventurer and national treasure, big shouty Brian Blessed explores the lives of his ancestors on a journey that takes him to Doncaster, London and Portsmouth in the latest Who Do You Think You Are? - 9:00 BBC1. Seeking to discover the source of his spirit for adventure - he is, after all, the oldest man to have reached the North Magnetic Pole - the veteran performer uncovers the life of his great-great-grandfather Jabez Blessed, who as an orphan lived rough on the streets of London before growing up to father thirteen children.
In First Time Farmers - 10:00 Channel Four - Robbie and his country pals Tom and Will attend a boxing match in London to cheer on fellow farmer 'Count Smackula', while Tom's friend Ed is desperate to take over the family farm with girlfriend Tash, and sets out to impress his father at harvest. Kate leaves her beloved calves at home and heads for some social time at college, but has to rush back when the animals fall ill.

The Last Secrets of 9/11 - 9:00 Channel Five - is, as you might expect, a documentary following the work of a team from New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who identify the victims of the 11 September 2001 attacks from the fragments of human remains found in the debris of the World Trade Center. Elliott McCaffrey's film follows the team as the latest phase of DNA testing draws to a close, with the families of more than eleven hundred victims left to absorb the news that there is no other way to test the outstanding remains. It also hears from those who have the OCME to thank for succeeding in identifying their loved ones, as well as others still anxiously waiting for news.

Realising that Israeli powers only ever wanted to use the Steins for their own political and intelligence affairs, Nessa angrily forges ahead with the data-cabling initiative in partnership with Palestinian businessman Jalal El-Amin, but events take a dark turn during a visit to the West Bank in The Honourable Woman - 9:00 BBC2. Meanwhile, Shlomo and Hayden-Hoyle both discover the CIA was also aware of the Israeli wiretap, with Monica Chatwin helping them to covertly listen in. Political thriller, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Friday 15 August
Boomers - 9:00 BBC1 - is a new comedy following 'the ups and downs of three newly retired couples living in the Norfolk resort of Thurnemouth.' Sounds thigh-slappingly hilarious from that description but, you never know, hope springs eternal that somebody, somewhere is going to write a halfway decent sitcom one of these days. The friends prepare for the funeral of old friend Jean, although Alan seems more interested that her ex-husband, his old friend Mick, is flying over from Spain for the service. John is wary of the visitor, convinced he has had a thing for his wife Maureen ever since a notorious holiday in Weymouth many years ago. Meanwhile, Joyce is preoccupied with the thought of her daughter-in-law giving birth any day now. A top quality cast includes Philip Jackson, Alison Steadman, Russ Abbot, Stephanie Beacham, Paula Wilcox and James Smith, with a guest appearance in this opening episode from Nigel Planer.

The suffocation of an elderly woman proves the prelude to a string of similar killings - and makes Tony Hill wonder whether respected psychologist Jonathan Goode, one of his personal heroes, could be involved in Anything You Can Do, the latest Wire In The Blood repeat - 10:00 ITV3. As events unfold, it begins to seem increasingly likely that Goode not only has feet of clay, but may also be dangerously unbalanced. Michael Maloney makes a memorably eye-rollingly over-the-top guest appearance alongside wor geet canny Robson Green, Simone Lahbib and Emma Handy.

Big Brother - 9:00 Channel Five - is scheduled to end tonight although rumours abound that it's been extended for a few more days as the channel which was, until recently, run by a soft-core pornographer seeks to milk the Victorian freak show format just that little bit drier.
Team captains Seann Walsh and Chris Stark are joined by comedians Chris Ramsey and Bobby Mair, Inbetweeners actress Emily Atack and Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills for Virtually Famous - 10:00 Channel Four - the comedy panel show celebrating the latest viral sensations on the Internet and that. Glee type person Kevin McHale hosts.

To the news now: Channel Four has backed Jon Snow’s unusually direct and emotional online video about the Gaza conflict and revealed that it had prompted one child to write to the Defence Secretary. In the video, published on YouTube on Saturday and the Channel Four News website the following day but not broadcast on TV, Snow speaks directly to camera about how what he saw in Gaza was 'still etched in my mind' and appeals, directly, to viewers to 'take action' to help stop the conflict. A viewer contacted Channel Four to say that after watching Snow's video on the children of Gaza her eight-year-old daughter had written to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to express her concern. 'I think that it is sad that so many people in Gaza are being injured or dying, especially women and children. It's our fault,' she wrote. 'We are killing the people of Gaza by giving Israel weapons. We need to take our part in it and stop giving Israel weapons or who knows how long this is going to go on for. I would appreciate it if you could talk to the government of Israel and try to stop this tragedy.' I think he's doing that anyway, chuck, but the thought it certainly appreciated. The video, filmed in the Channel Four News studio, is understood to have been shot on Friday after Snow returned to London from Gaza via Tel Aviv. Snow spoke of his visit to Gaza's al-Shifa hospital and the wounded children he had seen there, also quoting the official number of child casualties resulting from the conflict. 'That's what makes this something that every one of us has to confront,' he said. 'We have to know that in some way we share some responsibility for those deaths.' Snow added: 'We cannot let it go on ... together we can make a difference.' The video has notched up more than one million views across various platforms, with more than six hundred thousand on the Channel Four News YouTube channel alone. A Channel Four News spokeswoman said: 'As part of our extensive coverage of the ongoing conflict, Jon Snow spent five days on the ground in Gaza witnessing for himself some of the harrowing events and human tragedies. He made this video blog for the Channel Four News website after being deeply affected by what he saw first-hand. The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive and we are extremely proud of the work our reporting teams have done and continue to do in very challenging conditions to cover this conflict.' If the piece had been broadcast in a regular Channel Four News bulletin on TV it may have fallen foul of media regulator Ofcom's broadcasting code rules on due impartiality. An Ofcom spokesman confirmed that the video fell outside its remit, as it had not been broadcast on linear TV.

Work on the eighth series of the US sitcom The Big Bang Theory has failed to start on time, as the principal cast members fight for higher salaries. Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg did not return to work for the first day of production on Wednesday. Negotiations are continuing with studio Warner Brothers Television. The comedy is the most-watched TV show in the US, with an average audience of twenty three million per episode in 2013 to 2014. Earlier this year, The Big Bang Theory was extended for a further three series, meaning the show, which centres on a group of high-functioning science geeks and their female friends, will now be broadcast until at least 2017. In a statement, WBTV said: 'Due to ongoing contract negotiations, production on The Big Bang Theory - which was originally scheduled to begin today - has been postponed.' The move came as a surprise to the studio, which previously said that it expected the eighth series to go ahead without a hitch. The delay affected a 'table read' - in which the cast would have run through the script for the comeback episode. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco currently earn three hundred and twenty five thousand dollars per episode and are seeking up to a million bucks per show. Such a deal would make them the highest paid actors on US television - ahead of Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer from Two And A Half Men, currently understood to be the most rewarded TV actors. Both shows were created by Chuck Lorre, who recently said that he did not expect the contract dispute to be overly disruptive. 'There are people at Warner Bros Television and people representing the actors who have done this before,' he said. 'This will work itself out. I think it's great; I want them all to be crazy wealthy because nobody deserves it more than this cast. It'll work out.' However, salary negotiations on top-rated comedies have turned ugly before. In 2012, several actors on Modern Family took legal action to have their contracts declared void in a dispute over pay. After staging a similar walk-out, FOX relented and doubled their salaries.

Lord Coe has indicated that he has withdrawn from the race to be the next chairman of the BBC Trust. The Tory peer, currently chairman of the British Olympic Association, had been one of the favourites for the role. But he told the Daily Scum Mail that he wanted to stand, instead, for the presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations. He said that 'on reflection' he did not have enough time to do the BBC job and athletics was 'in my DNA.' Lord Coe said: 'I did allow my name to go forward to give myself time to properly analyse whether I had enough time to do the job to the best of my abilities. On reflection, I haven't the capacity and I now want to concentrate on my current commitments and the IAAF election. As everyone knows, athletics is in my DNA.' BBC economics editor Robert Pestifestation had previously suggested that, with the support of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, Lord Coe was 'a virtual shoo-in' to succeed Lord Patten at the BBC Trust. But, as so often in the past, Pestinfestation's drivel has turned out to be total frigging bollocks. So, no change there, then.
It is not surprising that ministers are struggling to appoint a new BBC Trust chairman, two former leaders at the broadcaster have said, because of political intervention and 'a lack of clarity' about the nature of the one hundred and ten grand-a-year job.Following this week's withdrawal of Seb Coe, who had been backed by oily David Cameron and smug George Osborne, the former Director General Greg Dyke said that neither politician should have 'become so involved' in the process in the first place. 'The process should be nothing to do with the Prime Minister or the Chancellor of the Exchequer,' said Dyke. 'The [correct] process is that people apply. A DCMS independent committee vets them and puts forward names to the secretary of state. What is important about the job is that it is a non-political job. You have to defend the independence of the BBC. That is essential.' Meanwhile, former BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons, used slightly more nuanced language to voice similar concerns, amid growing speculation that ministers are struggling to find a high-profile candidate for the post. Lyons, the first Trust chairman, said: 'The process looks untidy and a combination of heightened press speculation and reported views of ministers have made this an unhelpfully public process.' The former chairman added that he believed the process was 'faring worse' than when his successor, Lord Patten, was recruited three years ago. He said: 'I can't remember this level of anxiety when Chris or I were recruited.' Mind you, both of those were crap at the job so, maybe, this 'level of anxiety' is justified. Just saying. The recruitment process is officially handled by the culture department, under the new secretary of state the vile and odious rascal Javid, which in May began canvassing industry opinion on a group of 'the most qualified potential candidates.' But Cameron and, conspicuously, Osborne, are alleged to have been 'involved behind the scenes.' The duo certainly allowed it to become known that their preferred candidate was the former Tory MP, Coe. Embarrassingly, officials had even altered the job description to reduce the specified three-to-four days a week to accommodate Coe. Dyke said that a key difficulty was most observers believed that the BBC Trust would cease to exist, or at least be radically overhauled, as part of the charter renewal in 2016. 'My view is it is a difficult job to fill,' he said. 'No one has said what the job is in two years, after the BBC charter renewal, it won't be a job running the BBC Trust.' One alleged senior industry figure with alleged knowledge of previous BBC Trust chairman searches allegedly snitched to the Gruniad that the appointment was considered to be that of 'a grave digger' and characterised the hunt as 'turning into an embarrassing omnishambles. Fiddling with the job spec to suit one person, the sheer number of leaks that have gone on in this process, these things make good candidates pull out,' the alleged 'source' allegedly weaselled like a dirty stinking rotten Copper's Nark. 'Good people are not going to have their reputation mucked around with by politicos leaking stuff. Serious candidates pull out.' A string of industry big-hitters fancied for the job have ruled themselves out of the process, including Dame Marjorie Scardino, the former chief executive of the Financial Times owner Pearson, former Sony chief and BBC non-executive director Sir Howard Stringer and Sarah Hogg, a crossbencher in the Lords who was once John Major's Downing Street policy chief. 'When candidates at a late stage of the process are seen to withdraw it is usually because taken studied view of prospects,' said Lyons. 'This whole set of events shows that a model where the selection process takes place with confidentiality is critical.' Final interviews are due to take place on Thursday and Friday, with the former Prudential UK chief executive Nick Prettejohn the only known member of a four-or-five strong shortlist of candidates. After a round of interviews, all the 'appointable' candidates will meet the vile and odious rascal Javid, who will then choose a preferred candidate who will appear before the Commons culture, media and sport select committee. The vile and odious rascal Javid does have the power to reopen the search at a later date. However, similar concerns proved unfounded when Patten emerged as a late candidate last time round. The former lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Bradshaw also said that he was 'unimpressed' by the process. Why is fair enough since this blogger is and always has been unimpressed with the vile and odious Bradshaw his very self. 'I'm not sure there has been meddling, but there has been incompetence,' he claimed. Something he certainly knows all about from his time as the lack of culture secretary. 'It is a hugely important appointment at a critical time for the BBC and it has not been handled well. It is absolutely essential that this close to an election that the opposition is consulted. I think given concerns around the appalling handling of this we need an assurance from government that normal procedure on public appoints is followed.'
Two former Scum of the World journalists have been charged with conspiring to hack phones, the Crown Prosecution Service has said. The disgraced and disgraceful scum tabloid's ex-deputy editor Neil Wallis and ex-features editor Jules Stenson are accused of conspiring to listen to voicemails between January 2003 and January 2007. The charges are part of Operation Pinetree into ex-Scum of the World features staff. Both will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on 21 August. Gregor McGill, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said that it had been decided there was 'sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.' He said that the CPS had authorised the Metropolitan Police - which is leading the operation - to charge the pair. Six other journalists who were held as part of the same inquiry have already been told they will face no further action. Separately, the BBC has announced that officers from Operation Pinetree have now warned about thirteen hundred people that they may have been victims of phone-hacking. BBC home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds said that police believed there could be as many as sixteen hundred victims. He added that many were 'likely to be celebrities and people already known to have been targeted' by the Scum of the World news desk before the scum tabloid was shut in shame and ignominy in 2011. However, he said that the number could also include hundreds of people identified for the first time. The list of victims has been drawn up based on data from a PalmPilot digital device seized by police from Dan Evans, the former Scum of the World and Sunday Mirra reporter. Several alleged 'sources' have allegedly told the BBC that the PalmPilot allegedly contained up to eight hundred names, while a separate list of names allegedly given to Evans by 'a senior Scum of the World journalist' contained a further eight hundred names. The revelation is 'the first time a figure has been disclosed estimating the number of potential victims of hacking by Mirror titles.' Evans was last month given a ten-month suspended prison sentence after he pleaded extremely guilty to two counts of phone-hacking as well as making illegal payments to officials and perverting the course of justice. He had admitted one count of hacking at the Sunday Mirra, where he worked from from 2003 to 2005 and one charge from his time at the Scum of the World, where he worked from 2004 to 2010. News International - now News UK - which owned the Scum of the World has admitted liability for phone-hacking. Albeit, only after years of denial and bluster.

Trinity Mirra has made a four million quid provision for the future cost of dealing with allegations of phone-hacking. The publisher, which said that it is now facing seventeen civil claims, gave the legal update as part of a financial report published on Monday. Trinity Mirra, which revealed that it will this year reintroduce a dividend payment for the first time since 2008, said that the final cost of dealing with the allegations is 'not clear'. 'The group continues to co-operate with the police in respect of Operation Elveden (the investigation relating to alleged inappropriate payments to public officials) and Operation Golding (the investigation into alleged phone-hacking),' the company said. 'The group is aware of a number of civil claims from individuals in relation to phone-hacking. In the first half we have provided four million pounds to cover the cost of dealing with and resolving claims. It remains uncertain as to how these matters will progress, whether further allegations or claims will be made, and their financial impact.' Simon Fox, the Trinity Mirra chief executive, said that the cost of dealing with the allegations up until making the four million smackers provision has been in 'the low single-digit' millions. On Thursday Dan Evans, the former freelance news reporter at the Sunday Mirra who admitted listening to hacked voicemail messages, was given a suspended sentence in recognition of his co-operation with police and prosecutors. Trinity Mirra reported a sixty six per cent jump in pre-tax profits to fifty million notes in the first half of the year, boosted by £27.5m from the sale of MeteoGroup by PA Group, in which the publisher is a shareholder.

A report - albeit not by anyone that you'd actually trust as far as you can spit - that Andy Coulson was twice 'attacked and injured' in prison has been flatly denied by alleged 'sources' allegedly close to the former Scum of the World editor. According to the article on the International Business Times website, the forty six-year-old was 'pushed down a flight of metal stairs' by 'a vengeful fellow prisoner' who had 'once featured in the now-defunct tabloid.' This was the second occasion that the International Business Times - citing unnamed, and therefore almost certainly fictitious, alleged 'sources' - had claimed that Coulson had been attacked whilst inside Belmarsh. They had earlier alleged that Coulson had been punched, geet hard, reet in the mush by another disgruntled fellow prisoner on his second day inside. Interestingly, no other media source picked up on that, alleged, incident. 'They are metal stairs, so it can be painful. It's coming to him from all angles' an alleged 'source' allegedly told IBTimes. 'He's not popular at all and there apparently others waiting for him if he gets transferred to a different prison.' However, another alleged but nameless 'source' allegedly close to Coulson told the Torygraph: 'He has had absolutely zero trouble with other inmates.' Which would appear to suggest that the alleged 'source' or 'sources' who are, allegedly, telling the International Business Times all this crap - that's, if they even exist, which is, in and of itself, doubtful - are 'having a laugh.' Allegedly. The former editor is currently serving a one-and-a-half stretch in The Big House for extreme conspiracy to hack voicemails and other nefarious naughty skulduggery. He is also facing a retrial on two counts of conspiring to cause misconduct in public office and is awaiting to hear if he will be charged with perjury in relation to evidence he gave during the Tommy Sheridan trial. The IB Times article also states: 'Winning a transfer to a different part of Belmarsh would have the benefit of also getting Coulson away from his current cell mate, former colleague Neville Thurlbeck, a senior reporter under him at the News of the World. Thurlbeck was sentenced to six months at the same Old Bailey trial as Coulson. According to Private Eye, the pair are "cooped up together in a hot, tiny cell for hours on end", which is bound to be awkward, considering how they condemned one other during the phone-hacking trial. At the Old Bailey, Coulson claimed Thurlbeck carried out the only incident he knew about of phone-hacking at the News of the World and that he halted it. In contrast, Thurlbeck testified that Coulson knew hacking was rife and never lifted a finger to stop the illegal practice. Thurlbeck's lawyer told the court: "No disapproval of the practice was given by Mr Coulson."'

Vital evidence about phone-hacking was withheld from the Press Complaints Commission when it held its inquiries into the Scum of the World's interception of voicemail messages. The PCC was not informed by the Scum Mail newspaper organisation that four of its Scum Mail on Sunday journalists had been told by the police in 2006 that their mobile phones had been hacked. Peter Wright, the then Scum Mail on Sunday editor, was reportedly made aware of the hacking but did not publish the fact at the time, and it remained a secret for eight years until it emerged in evidence at the recent hacking trial. Wright, personally a member of the PCC from May 2008, took over the place held by his boss, the Daily Scum Mail's editor-in-chief the vile and odious ignorant smear Dacre, who had served on the body from 1999 to April 2008. Two reports about hacking issued by the PCC in 2007 and 2009, which reinforced News International's - subsequently discredited - 'lone rogue reporter' defence, were compiled in ignorance of crucial information from the Scum Mail group. Nor was the hacking of the four staff mentioned in evidence to the Leveson inquiry given by Wright and the vile and odious ignorant smear Dacre in 2012. Gruniad Morning Star journalist Nick Davies, in his new book Hack Attack, explores the implications of the long silence, which he maintains was in effect supportive of 'the lies' told by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's organisation. It allowed billionaire tyrant Murdoch executives to get away with their scummish cover-up by pretending that hacking was restricted to just eight victims, who were identified at the original trial of the Scum of the World's royal editor, Clive Goodman, and the paper's contracted private investigator and hacker Glenn Mulcaire. Three of them were royal aides. The other five were the model Elle Macpherson, the publicist - and, now, convicted sex criminal - Max Clifford, the Liberal MP Simon Hughes, the football agent Sky Andrew and Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association. But the Scum Mail on Sunday kept quiet about the four staff who were hacked – investigations editor Dennis Rice, news editor Sebastian Hamilton, deputy news editor David Dillon and feature writer Laura Collins. The paper's managing editor, John Wellington, spoke to Rice and Collins in October 2006 – two months after Goodman and Mulcaire were first arrested – about the police having informed him that their mobile phones had been hacked between April and July 2006. Wellington then told his editor, Wright, what had happened. Rice recalls that he was first called by the police, who told him he had been hacked eighty times, before he discussed it with Wellington. He later discovered that his office computer had also been hacked. Collins, in a 2011 article about the incident, wrote: 'We were advised to change the security settings on our phones. It was a shocking revelation.' But the four were not required to be prosecution witnesses against Mulcaire. Wellington, who remained unaware of the computer hacking, said the police approached the paper so that its staff could change their mobile pin numbers. In his book Davies argues that the Scum Mail's silence 'was particularly weird' because of the vile and odious ignorant smear Dacre's being a PCC member when the commission's first report was compiled. And, Wright was on the commission when the 2009 report was written, a report that was critical of the Gruniad's revelations of widespread hacking and which was later withdrawn when the paper's reports proved to be true. During his evidence to The Leveson Inquiry, Wright said: 'The PCC did ask News International whether it went beyond Clive Goodman. They assured the PCC it didn't. We didn't have really a proper means of testing whether there was any substance to that assurance.' But Wright did not mention the phone-hacking of his own staff, which was itself suggestive that hacking went beyond Goodman, who was interested only in royal stories. In fact, the hacking involved both royal and non-royal stories. The Grunaid reports that Wright 'cannot recall' whether or not he informed the vile and odious ignorant smear Dacre about the hacking at the time. For his part, the vile and odious ignorant smear Dacre reportedly 'cannot recall' whether he knew of it and therefore cannot remember whether or not he spoke about it to his PCC colleagues. Two Scum Mail group executives said they could not understand why the silence was considered to be strange. They both said the fact that five of the people named at the trial of Goodman and Mulcaire were non-royals showed that hacking went wider than Goodman's royal brief. Therefore, the hacking of their own staff was not of special significance. They strenuously denied claims that Wright and the vile and odious ignorant smear Dacre had 'purposely withheld information', arguing that it was 'an inconsequential matter.' The then PCC director, Tim Toulmin, is adamant that he was not informed by the vile and odious ignorant smear Dacre or Wright about the hacking of their staff's phones. He said: 'I am clear that it wasn't mentioned. You telling me is the first I've heard of it.' It is broadly accepted that for the Scum Mail on Sunday to have gone public in 2006 about the hacking by Mulcaire might have prejudiced his trial. But once Mulcaire and Goodman were sentenced to jail in January 2007, the sub judice rules no longer applied and there was no reason for the story not to be published. One alleged former Scum Mail on Sunday staffer, allegedly speaking to the Gruniad 'on a confidential basis', reportedly said that he was 'not greatly surprised' that the paper managed to keep the lid on the truth. He said: 'At the Mail, we were expected to keep quiet about things.'

Thirteen people have been freed from police bail in the first major repercussion from the collapse of the Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial. They were arrested in December following a Sun on Sunday investigation into football spot-fixing by Mazher Mahmood. But the judge's statement when the Contostavlos trial collapsed, that there were 'strong grounds' for believing that Mahmood had 'told lies', has clearly influenced the National Crime Agency. It issued a statement on its website last Friday which said: 'As a result of recent adverse judicial comment during a trial where criminal proceedings were stayed, the NCA has decided to release from bail thirteen subjects arrested in relation to a football match spot fixing investigation so that further enquiries can be undertaken.' This was reported that day by the Gruniad's sports section because six of the arrested people were players with Preston North End. In response to the NCA's statement, the club said that the six were 'no longer under any form of formal arrest procedure.' Among the other seven were two former Premier League players, DJ Campbell and Sam Sodje, and Cristian Montano of Oldham Not Very Athletic, Ian Goodison of Tranmere Rovers, and Sodje's brothers, Akpo - also a Tranmere player - and Stephen, a businessman. The arrests came the day after Mahmood's investigation was published on 8 December 2013 over five pages. Mahmood (also known as The Fake Sheikh) was extremely suspended from the Sun on Sunday following the collapse of the Contostavlos trial while its publisher, News UK, conducts an internal inquiry.
Convicted paedophile Rolf Harris's sentence will not be referred to the Court of Appeal, despite one hundred and fifty complaints over its alleged 'leniency', the attorney general's office has said. The disgraced and disgraceful entertainer was extremely jailed for five years and nine months over twelve indecent assaults on four girls. Complaints were lodged following his sentencing earlier this month. In a statement, the office said that the Attorney General 'understood' the decision would 'cause disappointment'. It said Jeremy Wright would not refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal as 'he did not think they would find it to be unduly lenient and increase it.' The office said the judge had been required to take Harris's age into account. 'The sentencing judge was bound by the maximum sentence in force at the time of the offending,' it added. 'The judge made some of the sentences consecutive to reach the total sentence, but he could not simply add up sentences on individual counts; the overall sentence had to be just and proportionate to the overall offending.' The system for reviewing sentences passed in the Crown Court in England and Wales is an incredibly democratic one in which ordinary people can have an effect on the working of the criminal justice system. Anyone - whether they are connected with the case or not - can complain to the Attorney General's office about a sentence being 'unduly lenient' and one single complaint is sufficient to trigger a review by the Attorney General. Although one might, legitimately, ask if any complaint is received by someone who isn't directly connected to the case then what, exactly, does it have to do with them? The system only applies to the most serious crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, some child sex crimes and child cruelty, serious fraud, some drugs offences and crimes committed because of someone's race or sex. Any complaint must be made and the review carried out by the Attorney General within twenty eight days of a sentence being passed. He has no power to increase the sentence himself, but if he considers it unduly lenient, outside the reasonable range of sentences the sentencing judge had available based on the facts of the case, he can refer the case to the Court of Appeal. It will then decide whether to hear the case and if it does, it will decide if the sentence is unduly lenient and should be increased. Harris, eighty four, was prosecuted in line with legislation in force during the period his offences were committed - when the maximum sentence for indecent assault was two years in prison, or five years for offences committed against victims under thirteen. His offences took place between 1968 and 1986 against four girls aged seven or eight to nineteen. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed that it has received 'a number of allegations' about Harris since his conviction. A spokesman said that these further allegations were 'being considered.' Harris has also applied for permission to appeal against his conviction. The Judicial Office said that his lawyers had lodged papers at the Court of Appeal earlier this week. A judge will now decide if his appeal bid should progress to a full hearing. The Sky News website has also reported the claim that Harris has been spat at whilst in prison. They claim that Harris was 'targeted' during an incident at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire. An alleged 'source' allegedly said that there was an alleged scuffle and Harris was nearby. 'Someone did aim a spit at him, but he was not spat on, and was not physically hurt,' the alleged 'source' allegedly added. Whether this - anonymous and, therefore, almost certainly fictitious - alleged 'source' is the same alleged 'source' who's alleged been telling the International Business Times all that crap about Andy Coulson is not, at this time, known.
A charity set up by dirty old scallywag and disgraceful rotten rotter Jimmy Savile is to challenge a compensation scheme for victims of the sex attacker. The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust will take its case to the Court of Appeal later this year, victims' lawyers have said. It wants to overturn an agreed scheme, under which the Savile estate, which is separate to the trust, the BBC and the NHS are liable to compensate victims. Liz Dux, who represents one hundred and seventy six of the late DJ's victims, said that her clients would be 'angry and disappointed' by the move. The charitable trust controls £3.7m and is a separate entity to the Savile estate. Dux said the estate had its own pot of funds, which is where its share of payouts are to come from. She said that she 'could therefore not understand' why the charity trustees were taking the legal action. 'For one, it's going to mean that more precious funds that should have gone to victims are being spent on legal costs, which is exactly what the settlement scheme was designed to avoid,' she said. 'And secondly, the charitable trust is not even responsible for compensating victims - that is for the estate to do.' Savile is said to have abused more than two hundred people over a sixty-year period. Last month, investigators found that Savile sexually assaulted victims aged five to seventy five in NHS hospitals over decades of unrestricted access. The High Court approved a compensation scheme for victims earlier this year. The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust was granted leave in mid-July by the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling. The appeal is expected to take place between September and January, Dux said. Under the agreed settlement scheme, abuse victims will be able to claim against the BBC, the NHS and the Savile estate. Dux said that all three bodies agreed they would make payouts and that claims to the BBC and the NHS would not deplete the estate's available funds. 'The victims, the Savile estate, the NHS and the BBC are all acting on the same side. We all want and support the approved scheme,' she said. 'The scheme is a pragmatic and sensible solution to what will otherwise be protracted and hugely expensive litigation.' The abuse lawyer added: 'The charitable trust offered no explanation then as to why it objected to the scheme and even now we and the victims remain in the dark. No money can be paid from the charitable trust to compensate victims. The victims deserve redress and closure. They have suffered enough. We urge the Court of Appeal to back the original scheme as previously agreed so this process can move towards a much-desired conclusion.' Dux also claimed that the Savile estate had funds of about £3.2m last year, but had probably been 'haemorrhaging' money in legal fees.

Following London Live's request to Ofcom to reduce the amount of local programming it is required to broadcast, the radio executive and media commentator John Myers took to his own blog to write a piece headlined, This is what failure looks like folks. He writes: 'Local TV is the idea of a political madman and funded by people with too much money. It is vanity over sanity.' Myers runs over his own experience when a board member of Channel M, the TV station which was operated in Manchester by GMG. It failed, he writes, 'because it was ahead of its time and had a poor signal.' But it faced another major problem: 'The public didn't care because they weren't demanding more local TV in the first place. That was then, this is now and believe me, asking for local TV to work in this decade is like asking for the return of Long Wave. The world has moved on, the boat has sailed.' It was the former lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Hunt, who conceived of launching local TV in towns and cities across Britain. Myers writes: 'He had a dream based on something he witnessed in America. Those with an ounce of common sense knew this was never going to work. It was not how good the programmes might be or even about the quality of the people, it was all about how much revenue they could attract. Very little as it happens.' Turning to London Live's specific problems, he argues that 'the business case doesn't stack up' and urges Ofcom to 'take out the shotgun and put the bloody dog down ... as an act of kindness.'

A circus group which was denied a bank account because its showgirl and burlesque acts posed 'a moral problem' has now been offered the account. Yes, this blogger also finds the idea of a bank claiming the moral high ground on pretty much anything to be funny beyond belief too, dear blog reader. Circus Uncertainty co-founder Joshua Morris had applied for a Santander business account in a Bristol branch with the bank's business manager. He later received a call saying that the group could not bank with the company due to 'the nature of its acts.' Morris told BBC News that Santander had now reversed its decision. 'Santander have offered us an account, but we're not sure whether to take it - we've been offered accounts with other banks now,' the performer said. He added that his uncertainty was due to the way in which his business was treated, as well as the lack of communication from Santander to review its decision. 'They wouldn't get in contact with us until we got we went to the papers,' Morris said. The circus performer was given no indication that the account application would be turned down after initially answering questions about the business in branch. However it was denied after it emerged staff that looked at Circus Uncertainty's website, featuring co-founder Lucy Tucker in a showgirl costume, dressed in a bikini and feather bustle. 'They were beating around the bush trying not to say it, but eventually said it was a problem because we sell showgirl and burlesque acts.' A Santander spokeswoman said: 'We are committed to supporting the local business community and we have reviewed this account application following some clarification of the nature of the business. We are now in discussions with the business owner about his application and we hope to reach a positive outcome in the coming days. We are very sorry for any concern or inconvenience that our initial misunderstanding may have caused.' Burlesque and showgirl acts are one of many the circus group perform, along with fire shows, acrobatics, hand balancing, juggling, stilt walkers and trapeze work. The group has performed at Glastonbury as well as festivals in Bristol. The company also runs family friendly workshops and events and had wanted to set up the business bank account to enable it to apply for Arts Council funding to help run a charity programme.

Manager Alan Pardew hopes that yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle United can complete a deal to sign Shakhtar Donetsk striker Facundo Ferreyra on loan. The twenty three-year-old Argentine is one of six Shakhtar players who have opted not to return to Donetsk because of the on-going conflict in Ukraine. Pardew is keen to add another forward to his squad, with six signings already made this summer. 'It's something that is not done, but we're working to see if that can happen,' Pardew told BBC Newcastle. Ferreyra scored six goals in only five starts for Ukrainian league champions Shakhtar last term, following spells at Velez Sarsfield and Banfield in his home country. 'Facundo is a good presence on the pitch, a big guy at six foot two inches, a player who has gone to the Ukraine and has been okay,' Pardew said. 'If we manage to secure him, he would be a player who we'd expect to do a lot better here.' Meanwhile, Pardew played down the likelihood of a deal for Queens Park Strangers striker Loïc Rémy who scored fourteen goals in twenty seven games for the Magpies on loan last season. And looked rather good when he felt like it. Remy was expected to join Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws before the deal collapsed earlier this week and Pardew had confirmed his interest in re-signing the French international when reports came sniffing around looking for quotes. 'We've not really had much contact with Loïc and I don't see that evolving if I'm honest,' added Pardew. 'Whatever happened at Liverpool is irrelevant really, because he's had plenty of chances to come to us. We've made it clear we'd want to have him but it hasn't really happened and therefore you sometimes have to say where is the line drawn. Maybe that one has gone away.'

England's Jimmy Anderson and India's Ravindra Jadeja have both been found not guilty of misconduct charges laid against them. It is a finding which represents a clear, humiliating - though, actually, rather funny - slap in the mush for India and for their captain MS Dhoni, who had initiated proceedings by snitching Anderson up like a stinking Copper's Nark after a 'spat' between the two cricketers at Trent Bridge. The judicial hearing was relayed by video conference to Gordon Lewis, a retired Australian judge who was in Melbourne. It began at 9am on Friday in Southampton's Grand Harbour Hotel and lasted six hours before Lewis took just twenty minutes to form his damning judgment. It is a chastening verdict for cricket's leading power, India, who had already thrown their weight around in the most unattractive manner by appealing against Jadeja's fine under level one, an offence which, in theory at least, has no redress under International Cricket Council protocols. India's players have long thought that Anderson's perceived boorish sledging is unacceptable and their admission of that fact - the BCCI having, apparently 'briefed' a number of journalists to that effect - clearly weakened their case which smacked of opportunism to 'get' the bowler for past misdemeanours. Dhoni's persistence with the charge, after the two cricket boards had previously instructed the players to sort it out like adults, did rather make it appear to be a personal crusade for which Duncan Fletcher, India's coach, in a rare misjudgment, backed his captain. India seemingly hoped to get the player banned (the intended outcome once India had lodged a 'level three' complaint which carried a maximum four match sanction) simply for 'being annoying' and, with no independent witnesses and no video evidence for the alleged altercation in the Trent Bridge pavilion (which India had, previously, claimed to have) Lewis clearly found there was no case to answer and slapped down the charges dismissively. Reaction from India's camp was predictably muted with a senior Board of Control for Cricket in India official telling the Torygraph that they were 'delighted' Jadeja's small fine, handed to him by David Boon, the match referee, had been quashed. As concerns Anderson's reprieve, the official admitted that there was nothing the BCCI could do save to see if Dave Richardson, the ICC's chief executive, felt an injustice had occurred. Which, it clearly hasn't. The cost, with both sides hiring lawyers, are thought to be some fifty grand for the England and Wales Cricket Board and a whopping two hundred thousand smackers for the BCCI, the latter having employed them to initiate the charges, fight Jadeja's case, then appeal against it.

Lawyers acting for a man who claims he was sexually abused by X-Men director Bryan Singer have asked to withdraw from the case. Jeff Herman and Mark Gallagher have filed a court motion saying that they no longer want to represent Michael Egan. The pair claimed that their relationship with Egan had 'broken down completely and cannot be repaired.' Egan accuses Singer of abusing him when he was seventeen, a claim which the film-maker strenuously denies. Egan, a former child model and aspiring actor who is now thirty one, has alleged that he was 'lured' into a sex ring at parties at which Singer was present. He has filed a legal action seeking more than seventy five thousand dollars for each of the four charges, listed as 'battery, assault, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.' Singer's lawyer has dismissed the accusations as 'completely without merit. Bryan and his team will continue to fight to clear his name and intend to pursue charges of malicious prosecution against Egan,' Singer's lawyer Marty Singer said in a statement to the Associated Press. Marty Singer - who is not related to the director - said that Egan wanted to settle out of court for a relatively low amount, demonstrating 'a lack of confidence in their chances for success' in court. Egan has previously filed three similar lawsuits against other Hollywood figures. All have been dismissed. When he first filed the complaint, his then attorney Jeff Herman said: 'Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children.' The US District Court in Honolulu is due to hear a motion to dismiss the case from Bryan Singer on 9 September. The director has said he was not in Hawaii at the time of the alleged abuse and did not have sexual contact with Egan.

The actor Kenny Ireland - best known for his role in TV comedy Benidorm - has died, aged sixty eight, following a battle with cancer. The veteran Scottish actor and director had played swinger Donald Stewart in the ITV show since 2007. He was also part of Victoria Wood's fictional rep company in the BBC series Victoria Wood As Seen On TV. Kenny was director at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre for more than a decade until 2003. More recently, he was director at His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen and was a leading voice in the campaign to establish a National Theatre for Scotland. The actor was written out of the latest series of Benidorm in June so he could concentrate on his cancer treatment. He and co-star Janine Duvitski played a sex-mad couple who holiday at the Solano hotel in the Spanish resort every year. Kenny's other TV credits include Taggart, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, the original UK version of House Of Cards, a memorable role as a sound engineer in Drop The Dead Donkey, New Tricks, Hamish MacBeth, Life Without George and Heartbeat whilst he also appeared in movies like Local Hero, Salome's Last Dance and The Big Man. Benidorm co-star Danny Walters said: 'Very sad news about Kenny Ireland. Thanks for teaching me how to play backgammon.'

The Who are co-producing a television show about music in the 1960s. Director Simon West will work alongside Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey to create Mods and Rockers, which will focus on London's music scene, reports Broadcast. A script is currently being produced for the series with The Who's manager Bill Curbishley co-producing. The Who will handle music included on the show, which is planned to be a series of eight one-hour episodes released internationally. West said: 'We're not remaking Quadrophenia but it's that kind of world. It will also cover the rockers' side of the story and spills out into the wider world of swinging 'sixties London, taking in gangsters, music and fashion. The two tribes will be at the heart of it.' He continued: 'I'd like to replicate the model of those feature directors who shoot all episodes of a series in one go, back to back, then split them up. That way I would get control over the look and essence of the piece from top to bottom.'

The former Radio 1 Breakfast Show DJ Mike Smith has died aged fifty nine. He died on Friday after complications from major heart surgery, his aerial filming company, Flying TV, said. Smith spent six years at Radio 1 between 1982 and 1988 and was also a presenter on Top Of The Pops and hosted some of the BBC's coverage of Live Aid. His wife of twenty five years, the TV presenter Sarah Greene, said that she would like to thank hospital staff for their care and compassion. She asked her family and friends to be allowed to mourn in peace. Smith joined BBC Radio 1 from Capital Radio in 1982. He then graduated to The Breakfast Show, taking over from Mike Read in May 1986. He and Greene hit the headlines in September 1988 when they were both seriously injured in a helicopter crash in Gloucestershire. Smith, who was piloting the aircraft, crashed it into some trees. Both survived but Greene broke both her legs and an arm, while Smith suffered a suffered a broken back and ankle. The couple became engaged soon after the crash and were married a year later. Smith, who was born in Essex, was also well known for his TV appearances in the 1980s on the BBC's Breakfast Time and The Late, Late Breakfast Show alongside Noel Edmonds. He founded his company, which supplies aerial shots for UK broadcasters, in 2003.

The last song written and recorded by the late Bee Gee Robin Gibb is to be released in September. 'Sydney', which was produced by the musician and singer before his death in May 2012, will be the final song on a new CD compiled by Robin's widow and son. The CD will be called Fifty St Catherine's Drive, the address where Robin and his twin brother Maurice were born on the Isle of Man. His widow, Dwina, said that the poignant last composition made her weep when she first listened to it. 'He cried when he wrote it', she added. 'This fragment of song is poignant, wistful, beautiful and unfinished.' Mrs Gibb said that her husband wrote the song late at night and used keyboards in their bedroom and some iPad software. He had intended to produce the song fully in the studio with his older brother, Barry, but ill health prevented him from completing the task. 'He missed his twin brother Maurice who had passed away, but when he closed his eyes, the three young brothers were back in Sydney, Australia, happy together with their dreams and hopes for the future. Their future creations of course affected the world,' said Mrs Gibb. She has put together the seventeen-song CD including song-by-song notes, which is due for release on 29 September. Several of the songs are autobiographical in nature and were mainly written between 2006 and 2008, but never released. Robin died at the age of sixty two following a series of health problems.

Guitars with steel strings are to be allowed in prison again, thanks to Billy Bragg. A campaign spearheaded by the singer-songwriter and other musicians, including former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmore, has helped to reverse a government ban on the instruments which was introduced in November 2013. Inmates will now be permitted to use guitars with steel strings – more traditionally used for rock, pop and folk music – as well as those with nylon, which are more often used for classical and Spanish styles. Bragg said: 'As an incentive to engage in rehabilitation, individual access to steel-strung guitars can really help the atmosphere on a prison wing.' In April, Bragg – who set up the Jail Guitar Doors initiative in 2007 to help prisoners rehabilitate through playing the guitar – and eleven other musicians had an open letter published in the Gruniad Morning Star which highlighted the ban. Prisoners cannot bring in their own guitars but they can buy an acoustic guitar with their own money, depending on the level of privileges they are allowed and subject to each prison governor's discretion. The Ministry of Justice confirmed that the change had been made following 'feedback from prison governors', but added that 'individual risk assessments' would still be carried out on what property certain prisoners would be allowed.

For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's something very special indeed - yer actual Roddy Frame and all his little Aztec Cameras and one of the most perfectly realised cover versions of all time. Sing, Roddy.

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