Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week Forty: Complaints

The X Factor continued with nearly 8.4 million overnight viewers on ITV for its Saturday evening episode. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads' talent competition averaged an overnight audience of 8.36m from 8pm. Earlier on ITV, The Chase: Celebrity Special took 4.06m in the 8pm hour. The risible Through the Keyhole was watched by 3.78m planks from 9.20pm. The latest episode of Doctor Who, Time Heist, drew an overnight of 4.93m punters from 7.30pm, an audience increase of around one hundred and thirty thousand from the previous episode. And, as we say every week, considering that the last four episodes of Doctor Who have posted timeshift figures in excess of two million (not including iPlayer views), a final and consolidated audience of around seven million is likely. Doctor Who - which had an AI score of eighty four, the joint highest of the series so far - was second most watched programme of the day behind The X Factor. Its lead-in, Pointless Celebrities, had 3.9 million viewers, giving Doctor Who a far higher inherited audience than previously this series with the 'lamented-by-nobody' Tumble having now, mercifully, pissed off. Doctor Who was followed by The National Lottery: In It To Win It (3.04m) and Casualty (3.9m). On BBC2, Daniel Craig's World War II drama Defiance managed 1.01m from 9pm. A repeat of Channel Four's Grand Designs appealed to six hundred and ninety thousand in the 8pm hour, before an broadcast of the action-comedy movie The A-Team drew 1.17m. On Channel Five, repeats of The First Great Escape and World War II in Colour were seen by five hundred and ninety five thousand and six hundred and sixty six thousand respectively. ITV3's Midsomer Murders topped the multichannels during primetime with eight hundred and eighty six thousand from 9pm.

The fifth series of Downton Abbey returned with 8.11 million overnight viewers on ITV on Sunday. This represents Lord Snooty's period drama with its lowest series launch since it began and its lowest overnight audience for a Sunday night episode since series one in 2010. Overnight viewing was down more than one million compared to the opening episode of the fourth series. Elsewhere, Sunday Night At The Palladium drew 3.39m from 7pm, and The X Factor continued with 8.33m. BBC1's Our Girl starring Lacey Turner averaged 3.91m in the 9pm hour. Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow took 5.2m and 5.25m earlier. Highlights of Lewis Hamilton's win at the Singapore Grand Prix attracted an audience of 3.72m. The Sky Sports' F1 channel live coverage was seen by nine hundred and sixty one thousand earlier in the day. On BBC2, This World was watched by nine hundred and sixty four thousand viewers from 9pm. Channel Four's Operation Maneater averaged eight hundred and forty nine thousand from 8pm. It was followed by the Denzel Washington action thriller Safe House, which was seen by seven hundred and seventy five thousand. Channel Five screened Rush Hour 2 (seven hundred and eighty two thousand) and In Time (nine hundred and five thousand). ITV3's episode of Lewis was watched by five hundred and thirty four thousand. Live Ford Super Sunday on Sky Sports 1 featuring The Scum's highly amusing 5-3 defeat to Leicester City had the largest audience on multichannels, 1.37 million, whilst Sheikh Yer Man City's draw with Moscow Chelski FC had nine hundred and twenty five thousand.

Cilla remained on top of the overnight ratings on Monday evening. The Sheridan Smith drama dropped around three hundred thousand viewers from the previous week's opening episode to 5.79 million at 9pm. Earlier, The Undriveables was seen by 2.54m (11.9%) at 8pm. On BBC1, Inside Out brought in 3.31m at 7.30pm, while Panorama interested 2.08m at 8.30pm. New Tricks continued with 4.75m at 9pm. BBC2's Celebrity Antiques Road Trip appealed to 1.52m at 7pm. University Challenge drew 2.81m at 8pm, followed by Only Connect with 1.96m at 8.30pm. Traders: Millions By The Minute gathered 1.09m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Jamie's Comfort Food attracted 1.21m at 8pm, followed by Gadget Man with 1.25m at 8.30pm. Dazzling Derren Brown's latest special, Infamous, was watched by 1.36m at 9pm, while Jon Richardson Grows Up had an audience of five hundred and twenty five thousand at 10.30pm. Channel Five's Ultimate Police Interceptors was watched by eight hundred and twenty one thousand at 8pm, followed by Age Gap Love with eight hundred and one thousand at 9pm and Under The Dome with five hundred and nine thousand at 10pm. E4's The One Hundred attracted seven hundred and two thousand at 9pm, while Glue's latest episode was seen by two hundred and sixteen thousand at 10pm. Sky1's Duck Quacks Don't Echo had three hundred and three thousand at 8pm, followed by Fifty Ways To Kill Your Mammy with two hundred and six thousand at 9pm. On BBC3, The Truth About Skank fascinated two hundred and forty four thousand.

BBC1's new series The Driver topped Tuesday's overnight ratings outside soaps. The David Morrissey fronted drama attracted 4.35 million overnight viewers at 9pm, with an audience share of a fraction under twenty one per cent. On BBC2, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip appealed to 1.48m at 7pm, followed by One Hundred Thousand Pound House: Tricks Of The Trade with 1.91m at 8pm and The Motorway: Life in The Fast Lane with 1.88m at 9pm. ITV's Long Lost Family continued to shed viewers, 2.81m watching at 8pm, while I Married The Waiter: Love In The Sun drew an audience of 1.72m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Dogs: Their Secret Lives brought in 1.05m at 8pm, followed by Gordon Ramsay's new series Costa Del Nightmares with 1.11m at 9pm. The Channel Five's documentary James Bulger: Britain's Worst Crimes was seen by 1.04m at 8pm. CSI's latest episode was watched by nine hundred and thirty nine thousand at 9pm, while the new series Secrets & Lies attracted five hundred and twenty seven thousand at 10pm. Sky Atlantic's The Leftovers continued with one hundred and forty eight thousand at 9pm.

The Great British Bake Off dipped in the overnight ratings for the first time in six weeks on Wednesday. The latest episode of the BBC1 series dropped nearly four hundred thousand viewers from the previous week's audience, although it still easily came out on top for the night with an average of 7.95 million viewers at 8pm. Later, the drama Our Zoo rose slightly from last week to 4.03m at 9pm on what is, currently, the channel's best night of the week. BBC2's new documentary series Long Shadow was seen by 1.83m followed by Terror At The Mall with 1.04m at 9pm. At 10pm, The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice continued in a new slot with 1.12m at 10pm. On a rotten night for ITV, soaps aside, risible flop Celebrity Squares spectacularly failed to entertain 2.37m at 8pm. Scott & Bailey rose slightly week-on-week to 3.89m at 9pm. Channel Four's Double Your Home For Half The Money appealed to 1.17m at 8pm, followed by Grand Designs with 2.12m at 9pm and Men With Many Wives with seven hundred and twenty nine thousand at 10pm. On Channel Five, The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door attracted 1.29m at 8pm, while Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away interested 1.43m at 9pm. Wentworth continued with seven hundred and twenty nine thousand punters at 10pm. ITV2's The Job Lot returned for a new series after its relegation from the main ITV channel with four hundred and eighty eight thousand at 10pm. Dave's Crackanory - featuring Rik Mayall's final TV appearance - was watched by three hundred and thirty two thousand at 10pm.

Here are the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Two programmes for week-ending Sunday 14 September 2014:-
1 The Great British Bake Off - Wed BBC1 - 10.13m
2 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 9.71m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.33m
4 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 7.01m
5 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 6.80m
6 New Tricks - Mon BBC1 - 6.25m
7 Emmerdale - Wed ITV - 6.04m
8 In The Club - Tues BBC1 - 5.85m
9 Euro 2016 Qualifier: Switzerland Versus England - Mon ITV - 5.77m
10 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.56m
11 Our Zoo - Wed BBC1 - 5.31m
12= DIY SOS: The Big Build - Thurs BBC1 - 4.95m
12= Scott & Bailey - Wed BBC1 - 4.95m*
14 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 4.78m
15 Who Do You Think You Are? - Thurs BBC1 - 4.75m
16 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.46m
17 The Village - Sun BBC1 - 4.27m
18 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.25m
19 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.20m
20 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.16m
21 The ONE Show - Mon ITV - 4.05m
22 Sunday Night At The London Palladium - Sun ITV - 3.90m*
ITV programmes marked '*' do not include include HD figures. As mentioned above Doctor Who's final figure included a timeshift over the initial 'live' audience of over two million viewers for the fourth week running (the total timeshift was a fraction over 2.2m). Sunday evening's episode of The X Factor had a final rating of 9.08 million viewers. The return of Would I Lie To You? to BBC1 on Friday drew 3.21 million. ITV's current batch of dramas continued to pull in unexpectedly low figures. Scott & Bailey is well down on its last series, whilst the latest episode of Chasing Shadows was watched by 3.20 million and The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher, a disappointing 3.06 million. BBC2's top rated programme of the week was The Motorway: Life In The Fast Lane with 2.68m, followed by The Great British Bake-Off: An Extra Slice (2.54m) and University Challenge (2.52m). Only Connect attracted 2.06m. Channel Four's highest-rated show was Grand Designs with 2.70m, followed by Educating The East End (2.26m) and Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown (two million viewers). Channel Five's best performer was Celebrity Big Brother (2.39 million sad crushed victims of society), followed by CSI: Crime Scene Investigation with 2.16m. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's best performer with 1.045m. Family Guy was BBC3's most watched show with 1.31m. E4's The One Hundred attracted 1.36m.

Despite its booming ratings and critical acclaim, not everybody is happy with the current series of The Great British Bake Off. The BBC's show for mouthy whingers Points of View featured a segment this week, focusing on an unspecified number of viewers who were, they whinged, 'unhappy' with the 'constant smutty' remarks from hosts Sue and Mel. Innuendo has, of course, long been a part of the show's appeal for many fans and the BBC even plays along on Twitter with an 'innuendo bingo' and, such material barely batted an eyelid when the programme was broadcast on BBC2. However, it's clearly not everyone's cup of Joe now it's moved into The Big League. One total and utter bell-end complained: 'Tired of the constant smutty remarks of the two hosts, Sue Perkins (mostly) and Mel Giedroyc (sometimes), please ask them to stop spoiling an otherwise delightful show.' Another - again, nameless - viewer allegedly e-mailed: 'They get smuttier and smuttier, and it's totally unnecessary. Mary Berry looked quite embarrassed on the first programme of this series and so were we as a family.' Well, watch something else then, you whinging plank. Jesus, have everybody taken The Stupid Pill this week, or what? There were also complaints about Jo Brand's spin-off show An Extra Slice. 'It seemed full of innuendos. It was controversial. It was lewd. It was mucky. Why don't we just call it The Jo Brand Show and forget baking?' whinged some smear of no consequence.
And, speaking of whingers, at least two waste-of-space glakes have lodged formal complaints with Ofcom that the Gruniad Morning Star has been given 'an unfair amount of promotion' in Doctor Who. Frankly, the very existence of the Gruniad Morning Star and all of the nasty middle-class hippy Communist twonks that write for it offends yer actual Keith Telly Topping greatly and on a daily basis. But, generally speaking, he doesn't whinge about it. Except here, of course. On a daily basis. It's a fair cop. Anyway, the scene which so incensed these whinging whingers came from the episode Into The Dalek and featured Clara carrying a clearly identifiable Saturday edition of the Gruniad Morning Star. The two planks who felt that this was an issue worthy of making a complaint over claimed that this amounted to 'commercial product placement', a regulatory no-no for the BBC. And, let us once again, simply stand up and salute the utter shite that some people chose to care about. Those who commented on the issue on Twitter seemed more concerned about why Clara would be carrying a Saturday Gruniad on a weekday since she was at school. Well, to be fair, she is a time-traveller. Ofcom decided that the issue did not rupture the space-time continuum and decided against launching an official investigation over such trivia. Sadly, they didn't tell the two glakes who'd whinged in the first place to 'go away, grow the fuck up and get a life'. They didn't do that, of course, because Ofcom are, clearly, far too polite to say any such thing. But, I'm not.
It's also to be hoped that this pair of jokers also complained to Ofcom about Kris Marshall's character in Death In Paradise being seen to be a Daily Torygraph reader, as this blog noted at the time in relation to a thoroughly sneering piece in, of course, the Daily Scum Mail concerning Sherlock having its lead character also being a Gruniad Morning Star reader.
Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour will return for a third series on ITV. Again written by Lewis creator and Inspector Morse writer Russell Lewis, the show will pick up from series two's cliffhanger which saw Endeavour Morse framed for a murder he did not commit and Fred Thursday being very shot in the chest. 'I'm really excited to be revisiting the 1960's as young Morse,' said Shaun Evans. 'The audience reaction to Endeavour has been fantastic and this series promises to be the best we've made so far. It'll be well worth the wait!' Russell Lewis added: 'Endeavour '67. Pepper - Piper - Purple Haze. As "Oxford's finest" encounter friends and foes both old and new, our next quartet of mysteries will take the audience on a psychedelic Summer of Love fairground ride, filled with twists and turns, shrieks and scares. For something wicked this way comes.' Director of Drama Commissioning Steve November said: 'We are delighted to be working with Mammoth Screen on a third series of Endeavour. Russell Lewis has created four more fantastic stories and we're looking forward to seeing Shaun Evans reprise his role as young Morse.' Endeavour launched in January 2012 as a feature-length story to celebrate the twenty fifth anniversary of Inspector Morse and was followed up with a full series in 2013 and a - really rather good - second series in March 2014.

Jimmy Mulville, the producer behind shows including Have I Got News For You and Outnumbered is, according to the Gruniad Morning Star,' understood to have considered an audacious plan to "save" the BBC3 TV channel from closure.' Which is rotten news, frankly, as anything which keeps Russell Kane (very popular with students) off my TV has to be considered a good thing. The corporation is planning to shut BBC3 – the first channel closure in its history – in the autumn of 2015 to save money and reinvent it as an online only service. A handful of former BBC3 shows would be shown on BBC1 and BBC2 whilst some would continue on the online channel. While the details of Mulville's plans are, the Gruniad states, 'not clear', they claim he is 'not the only player to spy a potentially viable future for the BBC3 TV channel, or perhaps just its programming content, which targets a commercially attractive youth audience.' At least one broadcaster is 'understood' to have 'held informal talks' with the BBC about potential plans to 'rescue' the channel or its TV content, the Gruniad allege. 'However, it is understood that the BBC, which says it will save fifty million pounds annually from the closure of the channel, was "not interested" in taking the discussions further,' the article continues. And, again, the problem with that is, exactly? The corporation's plans to shut the TV channel are likely to be discussed at a meeting of the BBC Trust on Thursday. The BBC's formal proposal will be submitted to the Trust in October and must be approved by the corporation's regulatory and governance body. Whether Mulville's plans focus on saving the channel wholesale – the BBC is proposing to replace it with BBC1+1 – looking at launching a new channel altogether, or just focused on gaining the rights to some of its programmes is not known. However, one alleged source quote by the Gruniad, allegedly 'believes' that whatever the case the corporation would not be allowed to enter any venture using the BBC brand due to the constraints of the corporation's royal charter. 'Any commercial plan using the BBC3 brand would be a real issue for the BBC,' one alleged - though nameless - 'legal expert' who frequently works with the BBC allegedly told the Gruniad. 'A joint venture, perhaps through BBC Worldwide to commercially exploit it, would be seen as a slippery slope argument for the wider BBC.'

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

Saturday 27 September
Following Friday night's first live edition of Strictly Come Dancing, in which the first six z-list celebrity wasters made their dance-floor débuts - not counting the group number they all threw themselves into like a bunch of geography teachers at a Sixth Form disco in the launch show earlier this month - yer actual Tess Daly and Claudia Whatsherface her very self introduce the nine celebrities who have been patiently waiting in the wings, ready to show off what they've learned in the rehearsal room - 7:00 BBC1. Or failed to learn, in the case of any potential John Sergeants and Ann Widdecombes among 'em. With no public vote or elimination this weekend, the scores given by judges - Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell - are carried over to next week, when the first couple will leave the competition. And that.

Most of The Doctor's recent companions have lived double lives - one involving their friends and family, usually on Earth, with the other side focusing on travelling through time and space saving the universe with their alien buddy in Doctor Who - 8:30 BBC1. Clara thinks that this arrangement suits her just fine - after all, what could be better than gallivanting about with The Doctor to the end of the universe one minute and then settling down to watch telly with her new boyfriend, Danny The Pink, the next? But when terrifying events threaten Coal Hill School (for the first time since 1963), the last thing she needs is for the gaff to welcome a relief caretaker called John Smith with a mysteriously familiar Scottish accent - especially as it means he may finally come face to face with Danny The Pink his very self. Popular, long-running family SF drama, starring yer actual Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman her very self and Samuel Anderson.
Puck lands a job working for the eccentric Nobel Literature Prize laureate Andreas Hallman, who is charming and genial but also a neurotic tyrant in the latest Crimes Of Passion - 9:00 BBC4. After his daughter-in-law's birthday dinner, Hallman's eldest son dies, and an exquisite tale of poisoning unravels, exposing Puck to a murder attempt. Swedish crime drama, starring Tuva Novotny, Linus Wahlgren and Ola Rapace.
Eve Lockhart gets the Cold Case Unit to investigate a case which originated with the work she with the UN War Crimes investigations in Bosnia in 1996. There she had uncovered the grave of a woman and her son but was unable to identify them in another classic Waking The Dead - 9:00 Drama. In addition to the victims' DNA she also found the DNA of three men on the dead woman's shawl. When she joined Peter Boyd's team, she put this information in the national DNA database and, unexpectedly, they've now had a hit. In present day London, a man who was chasing a purse snatcher was struck by a car but he and his friend inexplicably assaulted the policemen who tried to help them and ran off. The ungrateful sods. The man who was struck by the car definitely matches one of blood samples on the shawl which, potentially, making him an even bigger bastard. The police eventually retrieve the stolen handbag and find traces of heroin in it. So, these chaps are definitely 'of interest' as they say. Meanwhile, poor old Boyd has yet to collect his dead son Luke's remains from the mortuary. Starring Trevor Eve, Tara FitzGerald and Sue Johnston, with guest stars Ron Cook, Anna Madeley and Branka Katic.

Sunday 28 September
A bombshell was dropped in last week's episode of Lord Snooty's Downton Abbey - 9:00 ITV - and it's clear as this latest episode begins that the household, both upstairs and downstairs, is still coming to terms with what has happened. And, it falls on Robert's broad shoulders to make what could be a far-reaching decision about the situation. Of course, if you don't watch the thing, like seven eighths of the country, then all of this is utterly meaningless. Rose, meanwhile, seems more concerned with persuading Robert to buy a wireless than what is happening to those around her - but then again, she's always been trapped in her own self-centred little world. In the kitchen, Mrs Patmore thinks she may have found a way to help Daisy cope with her studies, while Thomas' devious ways look set to scupper Baxter's friendship with Molesley. Gosh, will the drama never cease? Finally, as Lord Merton continues to woo Isobel, Anna is reluctantly drawn into Mary's latest highfalutin, vainglorious scheme. The Upper Classes, eh? They're a right laugh.

Mark Evans travels to the shores of Hudson Bay in Canada, where polar bears are 'causing havoc' in isolated communities in Operation Maneater - 8:00 Channel Four. 'Causing havoc' in this particular case meaning, 'doing what polar bears do naturally.' He arrives in the town of Churchill just hours after an attack has left two people seriously injured and one of the animals very dead. Here, Evans joins an Alert Team transporting a captured bear by helicopter to a designated release site. Next, in the Inuit town of Arviat, he works with wildlife officers to test an aerial drone early warning system, a military-grade loud speaker deterrent and a controversial experiment to place meat out on the tundra to divert these predators away from locals.

For the second year running, Countryfile - 7:00 BBC1 - plays host to One Man And His Dog, the contest showcasing the skills and traditions of sheepdog training and handling. Yes, dear blog reader, this is some people's idea of 'Sunday night entertainment. No, this blogger doesn't know why either. Yer actual Matt Baker and Helen Skelton her very self present 'the action' (if you can call a sheepdog running around a bunch of terrified simple minded creatures ... and some sheep 'action') from Byland Abbey in the North York Moors, as handlers - 'cum by!' - representing England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales compete to become the 2014 champions. And, hopefully, none of the dogs will run amok and viciously attack anything that moves. Obviously. Between rounds, Helen explores the hills around the abbey, whose monks used to be at the heart of Britain's wool trade, and discovers how nearby Ampleforth Abbey is still going strong. But rather than raising sheep, its monks are now selling cider.

Bumble! The David Lloyd Story - 9:00 Sky Sports 1 - is, as you might expect from the title, a profile of the much-loved cricket commentator and wit, looking at his career as a player, coach, umpire and broadcaster. Don't worry, he hasn't died nor nothing. Yer actual is, as it happens, a big fan of Bumble but, nevertheless, Keith Telly Topping is still hoping they play that clip from the 1974-75 Ashes tour when David got hit in the plums by that ball from Jeff Thomson. Cos, you know, it has that marvellous duel purpose of being really funny and, at the same time, making every chap in the gaff's eyes water at the very thought of it happening to them.
Monday 29 September
The arrest of a Turkish girl who has been working illegally leads UCoS to reopen the case of Richard Gibson, a pub landlord who died in a fire in 2009 in the latest New Tricks - 9:00 BBC1. The original investigation concluded that Gibson's death was 'probably suicide' - a wonderfully inconclusive official verdict you might think - due to his dire financial situation. But the veteran detectives have some questions about the pub's live-in barmaid, who disappeared on the night of the blaze and hasn't been seen since. Could widowed landlady Joanna, pub regular Jason, or the dead man's best friend David, who happens to have a sideline in passing off his British-produced sparkling wine as French champagne, supply them with any answers? While the case tests the team's brain power, Sasha is also keen to raise their fitness levels as she signs them up for a five-a-side football competition. So, that's why Waterman's leaving, is it? Niamh Cusack and two of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourite character actors, Phil Davis and Tom Georgeson guest star.

New research suggests that the connections in men's and women's brains follow different patterns, which might explain typical forms of gender-specific behaviour. And many ladies' inability to grasp the intricacies of the offside law. Oh yes. I'm here all week. Anyway, in what looks to be a fascinating Horizon - 9:00 BBC2 - two particular favourites of all of us at From The North, Doctor Michael Mosley and the Goddess of punk archaeology Professor Alice Roberts investigate whether these brain patterns are innate or are shaped by the outside world. They do this by using a team of human guinea pigs and a troop of Barbary monkeys to test the science and challenge many old stereotypes. Like the one this blogger used as a joke in the preceding paragraph, just in case you were wondering. They ask whether this new scientific research will benefit both sexes or drive them even further apart.

It looks like Cilla Black has put that early botched audition and those disappointing record sales for 'Love Of The Loved' behind her as, following the success of 'Anyone Who Had A Heart', her new single 'You're My World' becomes her second number one in the third and final episode of Cilla - 9:00 ITV. However, while she may have conquered the UK charts, can she follow in the footsteps of her old mates The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo, you might've heard of them) and, ahem, 'crack' America? The signs aren't looking good, and just to add to the pressure, her relationship with boyfriend Bobby is becoming increasingly tumultuous. But as her manager Brian Epstein's private life starts to spiral out of control with the drugs and the rent boys and that, it seems there could be an even bigger threat to Cilla's new-found success. The concluding instalment of Jeff Pope's biopic charting Cilla Black's rise to fame, starring Sheridan Smith, Aneurin Barnard and Ed Stoppard.

On the last episode of Only Connect - 8:30 BBC2 - yer actual Victoria Coren Mitchell was up to her sauciest tricks again, opening the episode with the observation that the series was just like The Lord Of The Rings: 'I'm thinking especially of those moments after the show when, remembering the bottle of whisky I've left in my dressing room, I crawl towards it in my pants whispering "precious!"' Anyway, having watched the Qi Elves get a right hiding off the Bibliophiles (and, frankly, it serves them right for not knowing who The Thirteenth Floor Elevators were) this week, a team of coders takes on a trio of video-game enthusiasts in the quiz that tests both general knowledge and lateral thinking. The players must make connections between four things that may, at first, not appear to be linked. In this episode, one set of clues consists of doctor, neighbour, friend and spook. Which is, clearly, the singular version of four titles of popular TV shows when said in the plural. Only, it should really of been [spook] in that case. Next ...
Tuesday 30 September
Doug Adamson is found unconscious in a suburban house and when questioned claims that homeowners the Connors hired him to do odd jobs, but that they left a month ago with their two children and never returned in CSI - 9:00 Channel Five. A car belonging to the couple's son is found with its brakes cut, there is a confusing amount of blood evidence and the body of the family's golden retriever is buried in the back yard. The team gets a break in the case when paperwork is located tying Doug to a storage unit where the team discovers the Connors' missing furniture - and a body. Guest starring Niko Nicotera from Sons of Anarchy.

The crime drama The Driver continues - 9:00 BBC1 - as Vince realises just how far out of his depth he has gotten since agreeing to be the titular driver for the gang leader known as The Horse. Ney, ney and thrice neigh, as it were. Vince nurses a guilty conscience as his thoughts turn to his involvement in the last job and so he sets about trying to make things right - although little does he realise that his actions are going to impact on Col. Meanwhile, Ros is becoming increasingly suspicious of what her husband is getting up to in his spare time, and it looks like Vince's two worlds may be about to collide. Feeling at a loss, he tries to piece his family back together by visiting his son, Tim, and making an emotional plea. David Morrissey, Claudie Blakley, Ian Hart and Lewis Rainer star.

Matt Jamison learns he may lose his church to foreclosure and turns to his sister Nora, who lost her spouse and children in The Departure in The Leftovers - 9:00 Sky Atlantic. He hopes to persuade her to lend him the money, but reveals a devastating secret about her husband when their exchange becomes heated. As desperation mounts, the reverend comes up with a risky plan to generate cash in a last-ditch attempt to stop the Guilty Remnant from taking over his place of worship. Mystery drama, starring yer actual Christopher Eccleston.
Wednesday 1 October
In the latest episode of Scott & Bailey - 9:00 ITV - as Syndicate Nine investigates the discovery of a woman's body in a Manchester hotel room, Gill introduces Rachel to high-flying Sergeant Will Pemberton, unaware they are already acquainted - well acquainted as they've been having a passionate, illicit, big hot and sweaty secret relationship for months. But while the volatile copper can be discreet when it comes to romance, will she be able to hide her feelings when Gill lets slip that she wasn't the first choice for the sergeant's job? Meanwhile, Janet is keen to give her own love life a boost, especially after seeing how happy Ade is with his new partner Eleanor. However, a speed-dating event might not be the best option, as Janet finds herself treating each brief encounter like a police interrogation. Crime drama, starring Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp, Amelia Bullmore, Steve Touissant and Mina Anwar.

The final episode of the three-part documentary series Oh! You Pretty Things: The Story of Music and Fashion - 9:00 BBC4 - focuses on the decade that taste forgot, the 1980s, a decade in which image became everything thanks to the arrival of the music video. Usually featuring some bleach hairs youfs with nice teeth swanning around in some Third World dictatorship on a yacht. Well, it was one way of making lots of money. during the Miners Strike, wasn't it? From yer actual Dexys Midnight Runners in their dungarees to the flamboyant New Romantics of London's Blitz Club and the band with the look that typified much of the decade - Duran Duran. Big hair, flash clothes, no discernible musical talent. Plus, a look at the emerging popularity of urban street wear, led by Jazzie B and Soul II Soul. Narrated by Wor Geet Luscious Lovely Lauren Laverne. Last in the series.

Twenty years on from the Rwandan genocide, Jane Corbin examines evidence that challenges the accepted story of one of the most horrifying events of the late Twentieth Century in Rwanda's Untold Story - 9:00 BBC2. The country's president Paul Kagame has long been portrayed as the man who brought an end to the killing and rescued his country from oblivion, but there are increasing questions about the role of his Rwandan Patriotic Front forces in the dark days of 1994 and in the years since. The film investigates the shooting down of the presidential plane that sparked the killings in 1994, questions Kagame's claims to have ended the genocide and examines allegations of war crimes committed by his forces and their allies in the wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Part of the This World strand.

The Blacklist: Behind The Scenes- 10:00 Sky Living - is, at the title might suggest, a look ahead to the second series of the conspiracy thriller starring the excellent James Spader and Megan Boone which starts on Sky Living on 3 October.
Thursday 2 October
Some great names have featured in the current series of Who Do You Think You Are? - 9:00 BBC1 - but their ancestors' lives haven't always been as intriguing as those of lesser celebrities who've taken part in previous years. At least with this week's famous face - the well known Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly - we're guaranteed more than our fair share of laughs, even if his family history turns out to be rather lacklustre. The episode starts out promisingly in the city of The Big Yen's birth, Glasgow, where he hopes to find out more about his mother's relatives. He believes that they hailed from Ireland, but records concerning his great-great-grandmother only deepen the mystery. Billy also heads to India, where he unearths details of the parts that two of his ancestors played in historical events.

Cillian Murphy returns as Birmingham-based mobster Thomas Shelby in the second run of author Steven Knight's period drama Peaky Blinders - 9:00 BBC2 - which is set to reunite the Irish star with his Dark Knight Rises colleague Tom Hardy. The first series was a huge (and, somewhat unexpected) success for the BBC, winning plaudits not only for its plot and acting, but also for its amazing production design, which helped create an atmosphere of threat and foreboding in the Midlands immediately after the First World War. Now the action moves on to the Roaring Twenties, and Thomas is determined to expand the legal and illegal sides of the Shelby family business by taking on various interests in the south of England. But an enemy from his past looks set to stand in his way.
Dallas Campbell tells the story of the Voyager Space Mission, which saw two unmanned spacecraft leave Earth to explore the farthest reaches of the solar system in Voyager - 9:00 BBC4. The probes were launched in 1977, and became the first man-made objects to visit Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and many of their moons. Having travelled eleven billion miles to date, the pair are now beyond the influence of Earth's sun, bearing a record of human civilisation in case of discovery by other species. It's fitting that the Voyager probes should have launched in 1977, the year of Star Wars. But the findings beamed back from both spacecraft surpassed even George Lucas's wildest imaginings (well all right, maybe not Jar-Jar Binks). Even at an early stage mission spokesman (and genius) Carl Sagan summed up how astronomers and laymen alike became inspired by what they were seeing: 'It's impossible to look at these pictures with only a scientific cast of mind because they are simply exquisite.' Marking thirty five years since Voyagers 1 and 2 blasted off, the story of their dazzling discoveries is retold with passion and joy; from the churning storms of Jupiter and the bulge behind one of its moons, Io, which turned out to be a volcano to the vast nitrogen geysers of Neptune's satellite Triton. But first, Campbell takes us way back to Sputnik and the 'three-body problem' which needed cracking before a single blueprint could be drawn for a visit to the Outer Planets. It's a thrilling tale of machine exploration and human endeavour. If you see nothing else, tune in for the last five minutes as the words of Sagan play out over images of mankind; it's properly spine-tingling.
Mike Read presents an edition of Top Of The Pops - 7:30 BBC4 - from 20 September 1979. One of the few that the BBC can still play. It featuring performances by The Starjets, Kate Bush, Madness, The Jags (who've got your number written on the back of their collective hand, one might suggest), The Bellamy Brothers, The Tourists, The Police (back in the days before Sting disappeared completely up his own arse), Sad Cafe, Rainbow and yer actual Gary Numan. In his car. Plus, dance sequences by Legs & Co.
Friday 3 October
Unreported World returns - 7:30 Channel Four - with a typically bare, hard-hitting look at the reality of a big story. We're in Sierra Leone, where the battle to contain ebola is (or was, when this documentary was shot) at a critical phase. We see the day-to-day operations at a field hospital, as reporter Shaunagh Connaire follows developments over two weeks. That's enough time to see what follows when a despondent woman called Kadiatu is collected from her village with the vfirst signs of the disease. Because so few people who go to the hospital ever return, victims hide in homes, infecting others in their family. And, cruel rumours that ebola is a hoax - a trick by doctors to steal blood - provoke riots in a nearby town.

Rob Brydon hosts the comedy panel show Would I Lie To You? - 8:30 BBC1 - in which two teams headed by David Mitchell and Lee Mack try to hoodwink each other with absurd facts and plausible lies about themselves. Comedian and actor Miles Jupp, celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, the actress Emilia Fox and comedian Ed Byrne are this week's guests.
They always say that no news is good news, but whoever they are, they're obviously not the staff writers for Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1 - a series which would be nothing were it not for the headlines. The show returns for a new run this week and, if we're fortunate, there will have been a wealth of news stories recently giving guest host (and token woman) Jennifer Saunders plenty to go on as she quizzes Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, along with their guest panellists, on recent events. Appearing this week are Scottish satirist, writer, television director and radio producer and all round Top Bloke Armando Iannucci, and the stand-up comedian Sara Pascoe, who has just finished a successful run of shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and who is another particular favourite of this blogger.

Robbie Lewis suspects a connection between the death of a student with secret plans for advancement and the killing of well-known criminal Nicky Turnball, who was in Oxford to speak at the Union in an early episode of Lewis - 9:00 ITV3. As the detective and his oppo, James Hathaway eliminate suspects from a long list of the crook's enemies, the investigation brings him into contact with old flame Diane - who also happens to be Turnball's wife. Kevin Whately stars, with Laurence Fox, Care Holman, Rebecca Front, Owen Teale and Gina McKee.
An eminent scientist on the brink of a major breakthrough in cancer research is found impaled on a razor-sharp samurai sword in his locked study in The House Of Monkeys a memorable episode of Jonathan Creek - 9:00 Drama. Jonathan and Maddie are called in to find out if this is a case of murder or an extremely elaborate suicide. Guest starring Annette Crosbie, with Alan Davies and Caroline Quentin.

Tonight also sees the welcome return of the conspiracy thriller The Blacklist, starring James Spader and Megan Boone - 9:00 Sky Living. A few months on from the total bloody carnage of the first season's final two-parter, caused by Berlin, the one-armed psycho, master criminal and world class sarky bastard Raymond Reddington continues to battle his deadliest enemy, while managing a new threat from an elusive figure known as Lord Baltimore. There's a new addition to the FBI task force, too, with Krysten Ritter (from Breaking Bad) making a guest appearance as data analyst Rowan Mills, and Weeds and The West Wing star Mary-Louise Parker plays Naomi Hyland, a formidable woman with a dark secret who shines a light on Red's past and true character. Mozhan Marno from House Of Cards also joins the cast as an intuitive spy and former Mossad agent. Also starring Diego Klattenhoff and Harry Lennix.

And, so to the news: DCI Banks has been recommissioned for a new six-part series by ITV. The contemporary crime drama, which stars Stephen Tompkinson as Alan Banks, Andrea Lowe as Annie Cabbot and Caroline Catz as Helen Morton, will begin filming for its fourth series in Yorkshire later this month.

Four months until 2015 and we already know what one of the big TV events of next year will be, the return of Broadchurch. Eighteen months ago, Chris Chibnall's drama captured the attention of the telly-viewing public and it is currently filming a second series on the dramatic Dorset coastline, one which will reunite stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman, following the former's secondment to British Colombia to shoot FOX's US remake Gracepoint. Both Gracepoint and the second series of Broadchurch bear the weight of audience expectation after Chibnall's original series but Tennant is used to feeling the pressure thanks to his time in the TARIDS. So, has his four year tenure playing The Doctor served as useful preparation for the roles of Alec Hardy and his American counterpart Emmett Carver? 'I suppose, yes,' he told the Radio Times at this week's premiere of his latest film, What We Did On Our Holiday. 'There aren't many shows that get that national conversation going so it's very nice to be involved in something like Doctor Who and Broadchurch that does that. It's wonderful to see people getting excited by something that you're in. When something captures the national consciousness like that, it's very humbling to be a part of it but it's a real treat – it's why you tell stories, to get people entranced.' And, it turns out the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama helped Tennant out with another handy talent: secret keeping. 'It started with Doctor Who. I now won't discuss anything I'm ever doing, it's a knee-jerk reaction. It's fun to keep secrets.' The actor also expressed his thoughts on the recent Scottish Referendum. 'I'm very happy that Scotland conducted itself with as much democratic dignity as it did. I'm very proud of the homeland.' A place in the Diplomatic Service clearly awaits.

Michelle Keegan and Jason Manford are to star in a new BBC1 drama. Ordinary Lies comes from the creators of Happy Valley and Last Tango In Halifax, RED Production Company and Shameless director Danny Brocklehurst. Max Beesley, Mackenzie Crook, former EastEnders actress Jo Joyner and Rebecca Callard will also star in the ensemble series, which will be broadcast in 2015. Sally Lindsay, Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Shazad Latif, George Bukhari, Cherrelle Skeet, Shaun Dooley and Fisayo Akinade round out the cast of the 'dark thriller with comedic undertones.' It says here. The series will be set on the shop floor of a motor showroom and will focus upon how each character's lies and secrets can lead to life-changing consequences for them and others. Writer and creator Brocklehurst said: 'I'm delighted to have attracted such an amazing cast to Ordinary Lies. This is a show I'm truly passionate about, and it's a dream come true to be making such a bold series for BBC1. RED Production Company has a track record of making brilliant, powerful, life-affirming drama and I hope Ordinary Lies continues that trend.'

Earlier this week, Colin Farrell told an Irish newspaper that he had been cast in the second series of True Detective. Now, HBO has confirmed his co-star will be Vince Vaughn. Eight episodes will be made with Farrell starring as a detective and Vaughn as a criminal.
A graphic designer attempted to kill her mother by putting poison in a drink in a plot inspired by the US series Breaking Bad, a court has heard. Kuntal Patel denies trying to murder her 'controlling and selfish' magistrate mother, Meena, by putting abrin in her Diet Coke. Prosecutors said that Patel was 'angry' that her mother had 'forbade' her from marrying her boyfriend. Southwark Crown Court heard abrin is 'much more poisonous' than ricin. Kuntal Patel has pleaded very guilty to two counts of attempting to acquire a biological agent or toxin last December. She is alleged to have bought the poison from a site on the secretive online world known as The Dark Web, which allows users to be anonymous. She paid for it using the virtual currency bitcoins, jurors heard. It arrived in a wax candle. The graphic designer put the poison in the bottle and watched as her mother, who sits on the bench at Thames Magistrates' Court, drank it at her home in Stratford but, nothing happened. Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said that the poison was one thousand times less toxic if swallowed rather than inhaled or injected. The plot was 'inspired, in part, by the US television series Breaking Bad', he said. 'To the outside world, the Patels must have seemed a highly respectable and happy family' but were actually 'embroiled in bullying and abuse. The evidence will show that, in private, Meena Patel - the magistrate who worked in domestic violence and race relations - was not a nice woman at all. She would regularly use foul and abusive language, including highly racist language. She would, on occasions, be violent. She was highly manipulative and controlling - she would seek to control every aspect of her daughters' lives. And worst of all, she forbade Kuntal from marrying the man she loved - Niraj Kaked. Meena Patel was all of those things - manipulative, controlling and selfish. But she did not deserve to die.' He added: 'When Meena forbade Kuntal from marrying Niraj, rather than bringing shame on the family by trying to marry without her consent - something which Meena would have done her best to sabotage - Kuntal set out in a calculated and pre-meditated fashion to murder her own mother.' The court heard that Meena allegedly locked her daughter in her home, beat her and demanded she stopped seeing Kaked, who lived in the US. In a series of abusive text messages, she called her daughter a 'witch' who 'cannot be my blood'. In an e-mail to a friend which was read out in court, Kuntal Patel wrote: 'I'll never forgive her for what she has done to me. She has stolen my future away from me. I couldn't care less about my life any more. I would prefer to be dead.' Jurors heard that the accused bought the poison for nine hundred smackers over the Internet from an American, Jesse Korff. But, unbeknown to the pair, the website was under surveillance by the FBI after an advert posted on it in September 2013 offered a Breaking Bad-style ricin poison. Jurors were told that Patel was inspired by a plot in the TV show, which is about chemistry teacher, Walter White, who turns to cooking crystal meth with a former student after being diagnosed with cancer. In messages she wrote: 'I've been watching too much Breaking Bad.' It is alleged that Korff sent Kuntal Patel abrin, which is similar to ricin, but more deadly. When her mother survived the poisoning, Patel confessed her plot to the seller, the court heard. She wrote: 'Something had definitely gone wrong somewhere as it is now early Saturday morning and still everything is normal. Yes, target drank all of it. I made sure I watched her drink it all.' Kuntal Patel was arrested in January and told police that she had bought the poison in order to kill herself, but said when the parcel arrived, she became scared and threw it away. Officers found she had searched 'how to murder using poison', 'how to create botulism' and 'how to murder someone without getting caught' on the Interweb. The trial extremely continues.

Jezza Paxman his very self will anchor the 2015 general election coverage on Channel Four. Paxo, the former Newsnight presenter will head up the evening, with further details of the coverage to be announced in the coming months.
The Trinity Mirra Group subsidiary MGN has agreed to pay compensation to four people who had sued the firm for alleged phone-hacking. The firm, which owns the Daily and Sunday MirrA newspapers, said it had admitted liability and apologised to the individuals concerned. 'The amount of that compensation will be assessed by the court if it cannot be agreed,' it said in a statement. It said it had already settled six other phone-hacking claims. After years of denials and double-speak, Trinity Mirra has now been forced to come clean, just as News International, having stuck to their risible 'one rogue reporter' claim until the weight of evidence against them became overwhelming, finally did. Trinity Mirra's announcement of the settlements confirms what it had always denied, that some of its staff were responsible for intercepting voicemail messages. When the phone-hacking scandal first broke it was clear to anybody with half a brain in their skull that the Scum of the World was not the only paper involved in such shady practices. But, Trinity ignored claims that the practice had been common also on the Sunday Mirra. In an extraordinary ostrich-like response to the allegations it even refused to hold an internal investigation. Indeed, when the lawyer Mark Lewis filed four hacking claims against Mirra Group Newspapers in October 2012 the company replied with a hilariously po-faced statement in merely 'noting' the allegations. Its public statements became something of a mantra: 'As we have previously stated, all our journalists work within the criminal law and the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct.' Note that, possibly deliberate, use of the present tense. Trinity Mirra's former chief executive, Sly Bailey did not treat the hacking allegations with anything like the seriousness they deserved. She even told The Leveson Inquiry in January 2012: 'I don't think it's a way to conduct a healthy organisation to go around conducting investigations when there's no evidence that our journalists have been involved in phone-hacking. There was no evidence and we saw no reason to investigate. We have only seen unsubstantiated allegations and I have seen no evidence that phone hacking has ever taken place at Trinity Mirror.' They were, of course, unsubstantiated because she and her executive colleagues didn't make the necessary inquiries. Her successor, Simon Fox, also failed to hold a rigorous investigation when the claims were made. Then there is the matter of Trinity Mirra's legal director, Paul Vickers. Did he not tell the board to treat the allegations seriously? Did he not press for an investigation? If not, why not? And isn't it ironic that Vickers went on to be the architect of the new press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation? Lewis will, rightly, feel vindicated by the outcome of the cases he launched two years ago. All along, he knew his clients - Sven-Goran Eriksson, Shobna Gulati, Garry Flitcroft, and Abbie Gibson - were genuine hacking victims. But they should never have needed to wait so long for justice. In its interim results in July, Trinity Mirra said it had put aside four million smackers to cover the cost of dealing with and resolving phone-hacking claims. At the time, it said it was 'too soon' for a reliable estimate of the financial impact of the 'ongoing historical legal issues.' It was some nine years ago that the Scum of the World published a story about Prince William's treatment for an injury, based on information that it could only have come by because one of its journalists had listened to the prince's voicemails. The ensuing police investigation, which uncovered 'a vast number' of other victims, began the saga that led to the closure of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World in shame and ignominy and moves to change the way newspapers are regulated.

Parts of the Sun newspaper fostered 'a culture of cultivating and paying source', an Old Bailey jury has been told. The prosecutor in the trial of Sun journalist Vince Soodin, who has been charged over an alleged payment to a police officer, said on Wednesday that the transactions were 'sanctioned by others within the organisation' and that 'it was considered fair game'. Soodin has pleaded extremely not guilty to a single charge of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office, brought after police discovered he had allegedly agreed a payment of five hundred smackers to a Sussex police officer for two stories in June and July 2010. The first story concerned a child being bitten by a fox at a children’s party in Brighton, the second centred on a continuing investigation into the serial killer, Peter Tobin. Peter Wright, QC, prosecuting, said 'The fact that no one pointed out that it [the payment] was, in fact, a crime, is not an excuse – it affords the journalist no defence.' Opening the case against Soodin, he said that although the story about the child was 'a relatively minor event', it had 'a corrosive effect' on the public's confidence in the police. 'If the public cannot trust a policeman, who can they trust?' asked Wright, not unreasonably. The stories, which allegedly included information from police sergeant James Bowes, 'ended up deep inside the paper', but this was not the point, the prosecutor said. 'The fact that it involved selling stories of relatively little interest to the public is not, in any way, a defence in terms of this case.' The jury of ten women and two men heard that Bowes, who worked for Sussex police, had already pleaded very guilty to an offence of misconduct in public office and 'has been dealt with by the court'. The jury were told that the evidence they would hear over the course of the trial, showed 'there existed within certain quarters at the Sun a sort of collective myopia, a collective short-sightedness, a culture of cultivating and paying sources for confidential material. That it was sanctioned by others within the organisation, that it was considered fair game, that no one pointed out that it was in fact a crime, is not an excuse – it affords the journalist no defence.' He said the police officer had abused his position in public office. 'Police officers are public officials, they hold what's called public office, they serve the public, they do not serve the press, that really is central, we say, to the issues in this case. The public rely on them to uphold the law, to protect and serve the public good,' said Wright. He added Bowes was prepared 'to act as Soodin’s stooge in return for cash' and 'pass on confidential information as a tipster'. Wright said this amounted to 'a corrupt arrangement'. The jury heard that the Sun story on the fox incident had a detailed account of what had happened at a school playground one Saturday in the summer of 2010. It reported that the child had tried to stroke the fox’s tail and the animal had turned and bitten him. It had the gender of the child, the injuries to the toddler's hands and feet and the location of the school, details the prosecution says, came from a confidential report about the incident. Wright said that 'internal accounting records' showed a contributor payment request by Soodin for five hundred notes to Bowes for a story about the boy bitten by the fox. The prosecutor told jurors that internal Sun e-mails showed Soodin had called in at a later date to say he had got 'an exclusive tip' from a police contact about two houses being excavated in Brighton in relation to the serial killer, Tobin. The jury heard that an alleged clairvoyant had phoned the police with details of a dream which she allegedly had concerning the excavation and that the Sun journalist had subsequently contacted her. In cross-examination, Detective Sergeant Toni-Ann James, a case officer, described Soodin as 'a lower level journalist' on the paper. She agreed with counsel for Soodin that Bowes had 'volunteered' the information to the Sun in an unsolicited e-mail to an address advertised in the paper daily. Referring to the fox story, Soodin's barrister put it to her that the e-mail contained 'information volunteered by Mr Bowes' and 'not requested by the Sun, still less by Mr Soodin'. 'No,' she said, by way of confirmation. She also confirmed that the e-mails were picked up by 'any one of a large number of people who could be manning' the particular desk that monitored the e-mail account. She confirmed that others 'further up the chain' at the Sun had been charged with an allegation of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office at the Sun. There were a number of others including senior management currently awaiting trial. None of these were linked to Soodin's case, however. Soodin, who lived in North London at the time of his arrest, was subjected to a dawn raid involving eight officers, the jury was told. A police witness confirmed that they took three hours to search his one-bedroom flat. The trial, which is expected to last four or five days, continues.
The BBC has apologised for broadcasting an excerpt from a 1971 edition of Top Of The Pops in which the dirty old scallywag and right rotten rotter Jimmy Savile was, briefly, shown. Broadcast on 13 September on BBC2, the footage appeared to show Savile wagging a finger at a female audience member. 'Unfortunately this brief appearance was missed,' said the BBC after an unspecified number of viewers - probably one - complained. 'It was removed from iPlayer as soon as we were made aware and replaced with a re-edited version.' The footage of Savile, who died in 2011, was seen at around 23:15 in an edition of Top Of The Pops 2. In a statement, the BBC said it had 'reviewed references to Jimmy Savile across archive footage, including a number which were brought to our attention. Where the material is likely to cause offence to his victims it is removed. Although all programmes are reviewed before broadcast, unfortunately this brief appearance was missed. We apologise for any distress caused.'
Meanwhile, speaking of very naughty old scoundrels, the former radio DJ and 'personality' Dave Lee Travis has been found extremely guilty of indecently assaulting a researcher working on The Mrs Merton Show in 1995. Quack, quack and, indeed, oops one could venture. A Southwark Crown Court jury convicted the so-called Hairy Cornflake by a majority verdict of ten to two. He was found very not guilty of indecently assaulting a woman while he was appearing on a production of Aladdin with The Chuckle Brothers in 1990. He was also cleared of a further charge of sexually assaulting a journalist after the jury failed to reach a verdict. Travis, who left the court with his wife Marianne after being granted bail, will be sentenced on Friday. The sixty nine-year-old, who was tried under his real name David Griffin, appeared on BBC Radio 1 for more than twenty five years until he resigned, on-air in an infamous stroppy rant, in 1993 and was a regular host of Top Of The Pops. And, you can bet yer last quid that none of those episodes will be cropping up on BBC4 any time soon. Prosecutors described him as an 'opportunist' and said his 'charming and cuddly' persona was 'no defence' for his actions and his filthy groping ways. Sophie Wood, defending, told the judge that she would 'seek to persuade' him that Travis should be given a non-custodial community order sentence. Which, given that Travis has spent the last two years loudly protesting to anyone that would listen his complete and total innocence and describing his victim as a liar, should be an interesting exercise. Judge Anthony Leonard QC was quick to tell Travis: 'You must understand that all my options remain open in relation to sentencing.' Travis replied: 'I understand. Thank you, your honour.' Whether Mister Hairy Cornflake will also face doing considerable Richard III in The Big House for various crimes against music (notably his involvement in Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks) is not, at this time, known. Though he probably should. Travis - who had strenuously and aggressively denied all of the charges against him - had to wait a long time to learn his sorry fate, almost two years since his arrest, eight months since the first trial and four days since this jury began their deliberations. The jury of six men and six women found him extremely guilty of indecently assaulting a woman on 17 January 1995, while she was working on the BBC's comedy chat programme The Mrs Merton Show. She had told the court that she was 'left shaking' after the incident. Giving evidence, the woman - now a well known television personality who cannot be named for legal reasons - said that she was twenty two when Travis approached her as she was smoking a cigarette in a corridor of the BBC studios in Manchester. Travis, a guest on the programme that week, told her she 'shouldn't be smoking' and gave her 'a squeezing grope', she said. 'He started touching the bottom of my rib cage. Without saying anything else he just slid his hands up to and over my breasts and then kind of left them there and started squeezing,' she added. She told the court: 'I absolutely knew he had some weird sexual thrill from this. I felt like I'd been punched, that feeling of being violated.' In court, Travis, of Aylesbury, accused the woman of lying. But, seemingly, the jury did not believe his cock and bull story. Jurors were read a transcript of his police interview when the allegation was put to him. 'I remember the days people used to touch people and you would kick them in the balls,' he had told the officers. 'You didn't take them to bloody court.' But the woman's account of having raised the assault incident with colleagues at the time was backed up by the comedian Dave Gorman, then working as a scriptwriter on the show, and by the producer Peter Kessler, who told the jury they remembered her claims clearly. Travis was cleared of twelve indecent assault allegations at a trial earlier this year. But he was being retried on two charges the jury had been unable to reach verdicts on. He was accused of putting his hands inside the trousers of a woman who was working on the pantomime Aladdin in 1990. The other charge was an allegation that he groped a journalist's chest when she interviewed him at his home in 2008.

Now, let it be noted at this juncture that yer actual Keith Telly Topping is not, usually, the biggest fan of tabloid headline writers. But, just occasionally, one of them will come up with something that, actually, justifies the existence of their curious sub-species. Case in point from Wednesday morning's Metro concerning the convicted groper, Dave Lee Travis.
Durham kept their heads in a tense finish as they beat Warwickshire by three wickets to win the One-Day Cup on Sunday. Bears skipper Varun Chopra made sixty four as Warwickshire, having lost the toss and been put in, were dismissed cheaply in bowler-friendly conditions for one hundred and sixty five. Opener Mark Stoneman's fifty two rescued Durham from twelve for twp before spinner Jeetan Patel took four for twenty five to give the Bears hope. But Ben Stokes (thirty eight) and Gareth Breese (fifteen) restored calm to get home on one hundred and sixty six for seven with more than nine overs in hand. Breese, one of only three survivors from Durham's only previous one-day final appearance (their Friends Provident Trophy win over Hampshire in 2007), struck the winning runs in what was likely to be his final appearance for the county. He had also contributed wonderfully with the ball earlier in the day, taking three for thirty from seven overs of accurate, niggardly off-spin. But man of the match Stokes was even more influential. After returning figures of two for twenty five with the ball, despite two dropped catches, he kept a cool head with the bat in a nail-biting finale that was in marked contrast to his heroic semi-final innings, when he blasted one hundred and sixty four off one hundred and thirteen balls to see off Nottinghamshire. Having lost the toss on an hugely overcast day, when the Lord's lights were on from the outset, the Bears had already avoided a couple of early scares when Will Porterfield edged the first ball of the fifth over to Durham wicket-keeper Phil Mustard, who took a fine low catch. Jonathan Trott laboured for fifteen balls before being trapped leg before in Paul Collingwood's first over to make it twenty nine for two. Collingwood then dropped Tim Ambrose at slip off Stokes on three before making amends without too much damage done when he, himself, had the Bears wicket-keeper caught at slip - a similar sharp chance to his right snapped up by Breese. The fifty came up in the seventeenth over when Chopra guided only the third boundary of the innings through extra cover, but Ambrose's dismissal led to three wickets going down for just five runs in eighteen deliveries. Laurie Evans gloved a lifter from Stokes to the safe hands of Breese at second slip and, although he then had Rikki Clarke dropped one-handed by Mustard in his next over, Stokes soon rearranged the Warwickshire all-rounder's stumps to make it sixty eight for five. Chopra and Woakes helped to make a game of it with a sixth-wicket stand of forty seven in quick time, but a brilliant one-handed catch running back by Calum MacLeod - who spent two seasons on Warwickshire's books in 2008 and 2009 - accounted for Woakes. Shortly after, Rushworth returned to remove Chopra's leg stump and Patel perished at short third man after hitting Breese for six off the previous ball. Breese collected his third wicket when Ollie Hannon-Dolby spooned a catch to mid-on before the innings ended with three overs unused when Boyd Rankin was run out going for a quick second. Warwickshire needed early wickets to stand a chance and Clarke quickly struck twice, hitting Mustard's middle stump before having MacLeod caught at first slip. Skipper Stoneman responded by bludgeoning ten boundaries before becoming one of three LBW decisions for Patel as Durham were sent sliding from sixty for two to eighty six for five. Durham skipper Collingwood and Stokes appeared to have restored calm with a stand of thirty one but, with forty nine needed, Collingwood steered Hannon-Dolby to point and then Gordon Muchall became Patel's fourth victim (all from fast balls from the Pavilion End which kept low) to make it one hundred and thirty for seven. However, Stokes stood firm and when his fortuitous attempted reverse sweep narrowly missed the stumps - and Ambrose - to run away for four in Patel's final over, Durham finally sensed that they had it won. It was left to thirty eight-year-old Jamaican Breese to carve the winning runs to third man and make it two victories out of two for Durham in Lord's finals.

India has successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars, becoming the fourth nation to do so. The Mangalyaan robotic probe, one of the cheapest interplanetary missions ever, will soon begin work studying the Red Planet's atmosphere. A twenty four-minute engine burn slowed the probe down enough to allow it to be captured by Mars' gravity. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country had achieved 'the near impossible.' Speaking at the mission control centre in Bangalore he said: 'The odds were stacked against us. Of fifty one missions attempted in world only twenty one have succeeded. We have prevailed.' Only the US, the European Space agency and Russia have previously sent missions to Mars, but India is the first country to succeed on its first attempt. The latest US satellite, Maven, arrived at Mars on Monday. Modi congratulated the scientists and said: 'Today all of India should celebrate our scientists. Schools, colleges should applaud this. If our cricket team wins a tournament, the nation celebrates. Our scientists' achievement is greater.' The total cost of the Indian mission has been put at 4.5bn rupees ($roughly forty five million quid), which makes it one of the cheapest interplanetary space missions ever. By comparison, NASA's Maven mission cost six hundred and seventy million dollars. NASA congratulated its Indian counterpart, the Indian Space and Research Organization, on Wednesday's success.

Iggy Pop his very self will deliver the fourth annual John Peel Lecture in Salford on Monday 13 October. Which should be a sight to both see and, indeed, hear, one suspects. James Osterberg, the wild man of proto-punk who now rifles through his own record collection for a Sunday afternoon BBC 6Music show, will deliver a lecture titled Free Music In A Capitalist Society, which he described as 'a struggle which never ends.' This year's Radio Academy event will take place in the month of the tenth anniversary of John's death and Iggy said of the revered Radio 1 DJ: 'Here was a person with strong opinions and enthusiasms who wasn't defined by any system, because of that his show became an exciting location, kind of like a shop that's a good hang. So it was a social as well as a musical phenomenon.' He will be the first American to deliver the lecture – in previous years the speakers have been Pete Townsend, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church.

There are many memorable ways to quit your job, but the award for bluntness must go to Charlo Greene, a reporter for Alaska’s KTVA, who resigned live on-air on Sunday (seconds before she was pushed, on suspects from her comments) ostensibly to fight for marijuana legalisation in the state. After fronting a piece on a medical marijuana club, she told viewers: 'I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy for fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalising marijuana here in Alaska. As for this job, not that I have a choice but, fuck it, I quit.' A shocked and stunned colleague, after shatting in her own pants, quickly told viewers: 'We apologise for that … We'll be right back.' The station later apologised to viewers on Twitter.
On a slightly related note, the Western Morning News reports that a Devon gardener sent in a photo of a mystery plant to a BBC radio show for identification, only to be told that it was cannabis. Patricia Hewitson e-mailed photos of the five foot bush – which she said had a 'sickly sweet pong' to the BBC Devon gardening programme The Potting Shed. Fortunately the presenters of the show, Sarah Chesters and Pippa Quelch, told her that she would not face prosecution for possession. Hewitson told the paper: 'Pippa and Sarah also sent on the pictures of the plant to Devon and Cornwall police, although they didn't give them my details. The police got back in touch with Pippa and Sarah, letting them know that it did look like cannabis but that they wouldn't be pressing charges.' A police officer said: 'The lady has committed an offence although there are mitigating circumstances so we would not look to take it further although we would take it away.' The BBC presenters gave Patricia advice on disposing of the plant, which one trusts, did not include incineration.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping woke up on Sunday morning feeling more than a tad rotten, dear blog reader, despite a relatively early night on Saturday. Must've slept in an awkward position, or something. Therefore, because he hadn't been to the pool for a couple of days prior to that, Keith Telly Topping wasn't expecting much from Sunday's visit. Therefore, it is not without some considerable personal hubris that this blogger suggests you all get down on the floor and effing grovel a'fore him considering that his new British, European and Commonwealth PB in lengths is only a bleedin' righteous
Continuing the saga, Keith Telly Topping didn't get to the pool on Monday as Sunday's exertions included him tweaking an intercostal muscle in the ribs which was very painful and hurting like jimbuggery. On Tuesday, however, he was back on the horse (or, back in the pool, if we're being accurate) and managed twenty lengths, a feat repeated on Wednesday. Thence, it was doing the weekly shop at Morrisons. Why Morrisons, I hear you ask, dear blog reader? Well, Keith Telly Topping doesn't shop at Lidl because there isn't one within a ten mile radius of Stately Telly Topping Manor (and, even if there was, he absolutely loathes their pretentious, full-of-their-own-importance adverts). He doesn't shop at Tesco because ... well, they can't count, basically. He doesn't shop at Waitrose because he doesn't want to take out a second mortgage to buy a packet of biscuits and he doesn't shop at Iceland. Because he's not a tramp. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self is now home contemplating the inherently ludicrous nature of existence. So, no change there then.

For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, here's a bit of The Harvey Averne Dozen.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Funny how Mel and Sue's saucy remarks on TGBBO passed by in a blissful controversy free zone when the show was on BBC2?

Here's hoping Victoria Coren-Mitchell's booze and pants themed remarks are not leapt upon now Only Connect has a wider audience too...because that's currently one of my favourite mental images this week!

There's always days old newspapers knocking around staff rooms, so I had no issue at all with Clara reading a Saturday Grauniad, or reading any Grauniad for that matter...but then I make Mac Hulke look Conservative with a small c ;)