Saturday, May 30, 2015

This Chaos Is Killing Me

Yer actual Peter Capaldi is heading to the San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday 9 July with his Doctor Who co-star Jenna Coleman, who will be making her second appearance at the annual event. The pair will be joined by executive producer The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat, producer Brian Minchin and Michelle Gomez at a panel to discuss the show's upcoming ninth series. Capaldi said: 'Tales of San Diego Comic-Con are told in awe on every set around the known fantasy/sci-fi production world. It's become a fabled kingdom. One I am thrilled to find myself heading for. And to appear in the legendary Hall H is a further twist to the cosplay and comic madness I may never recover from.' Doctor Who will return to screens this autumn with a two-part première, The Magician's Apprentice and The Witch's Familiar.
Doctor Who has hired director Justin Molotnikov to take charge of two episodes from the forthcoming series. This won't be the first time Molotnikov has tackled a BBC fantasy series, having been behind the camera on episodes of Merlin and Atlantis. His involvement in the new series of Doctor Who was revealed by his client page on The Agency website. It is currently unclear which two episodes he will direct, with two slots - episodes nine and ten, and episodes eleven and twelve - still thought to be open. Steven Moffat has confirmed that series nine will feature more two-parters, though some pairs of episodes may only be loosely linked. Scottish film-maker Molotnikov directed eight episodes of Merlin between 2011 and 2012, eight episodes of Atlantis between 2013 and 2015 and has also worked on Da Vinci's Demons.
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has claimed that he 'still feels guilty' about changing the outcome of The Time War in Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary special. The Day Of The Doctor rewrote The Time War storyline established by previous lead writer Russell Davies when the show returned in 2005. Which, to be honest, most of the audience didn't really care about but, it gave The Special People something else to whinge, loudly, about to anyone that would listen (and, indeed, anyone that wouldn't). So, that was good. That's always good. Writing in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, The Moffinator admitted: 'The Day Of The Doctor was a success. Record ratings, awards, rave reviews. By any measure, it did all right.' Yeah, all true. Plus, yer actual Keith Telly Topping thought it was great - the ultimate arbiter of The Worth Of All Things. 'But,' Steven continued, 'two years later, I'm still haunted by the guilt. I know some of you, including friends of mine, were upset that we reversed the outcome of The Time War. My defence, however feeble, is that given the chance, The Doctor would do exactly that. And it was his birthday, how could I deny him that chance? What could define him more? This man who always finds another way? And there he is, at every moment of his life, proving to himself – literally – that there is always a better path.'
Britain's Got Toilets dominated the ratings on Bank Holiday Monday, according to overnight figures. The first live semi-final of the 2015 series was seen by 8.56m overnight punters between 7.30pm and 9pm. Later, 6.58m tuned-in to see Cor Glanaethwy and Entity Allstars become the first acts to progress to the final at 9.30pm. The network première of Marvel's Avengers Assemble brought in 3.29m for BBC1 at 8pm. Including yer actual Keith Telly Topping who'd, remarkably, never seen it tell now. Quite enjoyed it, actually. Anyway, on BBC2, A Cook Abroad interested nine hundred and eighty thousand at 7pm, before the first episode of the 2015 series of Springwatch averaged 2.13m at 8pm and Churchill: When Britain Said No gathered 1.36m at 9pm. Episodes followed with seven hundred and sixty thousand at 10pm. Channel Four's Damned Designs was watched by six hundred and eighty thousand at 8pm, while Benefits Street continued to attract strong numbers (although, Christ only knows why) with 1.21m at 9pm and The Night Bus was watched by six hundred and sixty thousand at 10pm. Gotham continued with six hundred and thirty thousand on Channel Five at 9pm, while Big Brother drew an audience of seven hundred and seventy five thousand sad, crushed victims of society at 10pm. The latest episode of Game Of Thrones dipped to its lowest audience of the series so far, eight hundred and forty nine thousand on Sky Atlantic at 9pm.

Britain's Got Toilets continued to dominate the overnight ratings on Tuesday, but its audience dropped by around seven hundred and fifty thousand viewers night-on-night for the second semi-final on ITV. The live show brought in 7.79m punters between 7.30pm and 9pm. Monday's first semi-final attracted an overnight audience of 8.56m. Later, the live results show were seen by 6.57m at 9.30pm. BBC1's Crimewatch averaged 2.79m at 9pm, while Gary Lineker On The Road To FA Cup Glory had an audience of 1.56m at 10.45pm. On BBC2, A Cook Abroad continued with seven hundred and ninety thousand at 7pm, before Springwatch interested 1.89m at 8pm and Joan Of Arc: God's Warrior attracted 1.32m at 9pm. Kirstie & Phil's Love It Or List It continued to prove popular with Channel Four viewers, with 1.18m at 8pm. No Offence followed with 1.07m at 9pm. On Channel Five, Pets Make You Laugh Out Loud was gawped at by six hundred and forty three thousand people with nothing better to do with their time at 9pm while Big Brother's audience rose to nine hundred and fifty one thousand at 10pm. No, the blogger doesn't know why either. Empire continued on E4 with three hundred and ten thousand at 9pm, while the latest episode of Penny Dreadful brought in one hundred and fifty one thousand for Sky Atlantic at 10pm.

And, Britain's Got Toilets was an overnight ratings winner for ITV again on Wednesday. The third live episode was up four hundred thousand viewers night-on-night with an average of 8.2m between 7.30pm and 9pm. The results show - which saw UDI and Jamie Raven win places in the grand final, apparently - was watched by 6.92m at 9.30pm. On BBC1, Traffic Cops had an audience of 2.40m at 8pm, whilst the latest New Tricks repeat attracted 2.06m at 9pm. BBC2's A Cook Abroad interested seven hundred and forty thousand at 7pm, before Springwatch was watched by 1.75m at 8pm and Modern Times brought in seven hundred and forty thousand at 9.30pm. Newsnight followed with six hundred and thirty thousand at 10.30pm. The Supervet averaged six hundred and twenty thousand for Channel Four at 8pm, while Twenty Four Hours In A&E claimed 1.66m at 9pm. Channel Five's Benefits Britain: Me & My Fourteen Kids was seen by nine hundred and forty seven thousand punters at 9pm and Big Brother continued with eight hundred and eighty five thousand at 10pm. E4's US imports Jane The Virgin and Nashville continued with one hundred and fourteen thousand at 9pm and one hundred and thirty four thousand at 10pm respectively.

Britain's Got Toilets blah, blah, blah, Thursday's overnight ratings, blah, blah, blah. The penultimate semi-final blah'd 7.77m between 7.30pm and 9pm on ITV. Later, the live results show - which featured a performance from Olly Murs - brought in 7.27m at 9.30pm. On BBC1, which seems to have pretty much given up trying to schedule anything remotely worthwhile this week, Watchdog bored 2.28m titless at 8pm, while Britain's Secret Terror Deals was seen by 1.31m an hour later. Question Time followed with 2.06m at 10.45pm. BBC2's A Cook Abroad gathered 1.03m at 7pm, before Springwatch's audience dipped slightly to 1.64m at 8pm and The Game continued to shed viewers, being watched by but nine hundred and twenty thousand at 9pm. A repeat of Qi had an audience of eight hundred and ninety thousand at 10pm. Channel Four's Born Naughty? had an audience of seven hundred and ninety thousand at 8pm, while Inside Jaguar: Making A Million Pound Car proved popular for the channel with 1.53m at 9pm. The Hotel Inspector: Abroad was watched by eight hundred and fifty eight thousand at 9pm, while Big Brother drew one million punters at 10pm. The Big Bang Theory continued to be a ratings winner for E4 with seven hundred and ninety seven thousand at 8.30pm. Glee returned to Sky1 for its final series with eighty seven thousand viewers at 9pm.

Big Brother's latest eviction peaked with an overnight audience of 1.36 million sad, crushed victims of society at 10pm on Friday evening. An average audience of 1.04 million watched the episode in its entirety. Unsurprisingly, the fifth and last Britain's Got Toilets semi-final was the highest-rated show of the evening, with 8.02 million viewers from 7.30pm. An average audience of 6.78 million watched the results show at 9.30pm. BBC1's evening kicked off with 3.30 million for The ONE Show at 7pm, Room 101 was seen by 1.93 million at 8pm, followed by 1.72 million for the eighty third millionth repeat of The Vicar Of Dibley at 8.30pm. And, it wasn't even funny the first time. Have I Got News For You - with guest host Gary Lineker, who'd admitted publicly beforehand that he was very nervous but who was really rather good in the episode - was watched by 3.58 million viewers at 8.30pm, while yet another repeat (shhh, don't tell the Daily Scum Mail, they'll be furious), Mrs Brown's Boys attracted an average audience of 2.66 million. With guests such as Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law and Chris Pratt, The Graham Norton Show was seen by 3.06 million from 10.35pm. A Cook Abroad began BBC2's evening with nine hundred and ixty thousand, followed by 1.72 million for Mary Berry's Absolute Favourites and 2.16 million for Gardener's World. Britain's Greatest Generation continued with nine hundred and forty thousand, while The Clare Balding Show rounded the evening off with five hundred and seventy thousand. Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown was Channel Four's highest-rated show with nine hundred and thirty thousand at 9pm. It was sandwiched between Marvel's Agents of SHIELD with six hundred and ten thousand and Alan Carr: Chatty Man with seven hundred and twenty thousand.

As noted, Have I Got News For You was presented this week by yer actual Gary Lineker who got one of the comedy lines of the week just before the Strengthometer Of News round when he slipped effortlessly into Match Of The Day mode: 'Shortly, we'll be seeing Stoke versus Swansea ...'
Almost as good was Gary asking what Eric Pickles had just been given this week and Paul Merton trademark pithy reply 'his own postal code?'
BBC1's coverage of this year's FA Cup final attracted nearly seven-and-a-half million overnight viewers on Saturday. The Arse's four-nil thrashing of The Aston Villains (and their notoriously fickle support) averaged 7.47m from 5.15pm. The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins managed 4.1m later, with Casualty and The John Bishop Show being watched by 4.2m and 3.44m overnight punters respectively. On BBC2, a Dad's Army repeat entertained 1.67m from 8.30pm, before the movie Quartet appealed to 1.12m. ITV's Ninja Warrior closed with 3.8m from 7.30pm. Afterwards, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was watched by 3.13m. On Channel Four, the Daniel Radcliffe movie The Woman In Black averaged seven hundred and fifty two thousand from 9pm. On Channel Five, the latest Big Brother highlights -and, this blogger uses that word quite wrongly - had an audience of seven hundred and forty three thousand in the 9pm hour. The multichannels were topped by ITV3's Foyle's War, which was watched by six hundred and eighty two thousand from 8pm.

Britain's Got Toilets ended on Sunday evening. The live final - which saw Jules O'Dwyer and Matisse The Dog crowned champions - was watched by 11.37m overnight viewers between 7.30pm and 10pm. At its peak, the final was watched by 13.4 million viewers and had an audience share of fifty two per cent. This blogger resigned from the general public in protest but, to be honest, I don't think it did much good. The talent competition enjoyed a ratings boost in comparison to last year's final, which brought in overnight ratings of 10.32m. BBC1's Countryfile was the second most-watched programme of the evening, with 5.80m at 7pm. Later, Antiques Roadshow interested 4.40m at 8pm and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell's audience fell yet again, to 2.17m at 9pm. Oh dear, looks like this one really hasn't caught the public's imagination. Which is a shame because, so far, it's been pretty good. On BBC2, Demolition averaged 1.26m at 8pm, before Armada: Twelve Days To Save England was watched by 1.71m at 9pm and Rev had seven hundred and fifty thousand at 10pm. Channel Four's For The Love Of Cars was seen by nine hundred and twenty thousand at 8pm, while the terrestrial début of Shutter Island drew 1.11m at 9pm. On Channel Five, the latest episode of Big Brother brought in 1.03m at 10pm.

And, finally in our weekly ratings round-up, here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty One programmes for the week-ending Sunday 24 May 2015:-
1 Britain's Got Toilets - Sat ITV - 8.98m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.92m
3 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.64m
4 The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 - Sat BBC1 - 6.78m
5 Inspector George Gently - Wed BBC1 - 6.27m
6 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.17m
7 Countryfile - Sun BBc1 - 5.93m
8 Peter Kay's Car Share - Wed BBC1 - 5.92m
9 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.55m
10 Home Fires - Sun ITV - 5.08m*
11 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.88
12 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.86m
13 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.58m
14 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.31m
15 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 4.25m
16 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.06m
17 The RHS Chelsea Flower Show - Mon BBC1 - 4.00m
18 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 3.93m
19 The British Soap Awards - Thurs ITV - 3.74m*
20 Ninja Warrior UK - Sat ITV - 3.58m*
21 Formula 1: The Monaco Grand Prix Highlights - Sun BBC1 - 3.55m
These figures, as usual, do not include iPlayer or ITV Player viewers. ITV programmes marked '*' do not include HD figures. It's worth highlighting that, aside from the ITV six programmes featured above, not one single programme on ITV besides had a consolidated audience of more than three million across the entire week, Sunday Night At The London Palladium's 2.8 million being the next most watched after BGT, Corrie, Emmerdale, Home Fires, The British Soap Awards and Ninja Warrior. The much-trailed Man & Beast With Martin Clunes only drew 2.28m whilst, and this really will amuse you, with thigh-slapping hilarity Amanda Holden's risible and thoroughly nauseous Give A Pet A Home was watched by but 1.88 million. Never in the field of British telly viewing have so many said 'no thanks' to so few. BBC2's week was dominated by the channel's coverage of The RHS Chelsea Flower Show with the five nightly shows occupying places one, two, three, four and eight in the BBC2 Top Ten. Tuesday night's audience of 3.19m was BBC2's most-watched programme, followed by Mary Berry's Absolute Favourites (2.21m), The Detectives (2.16m), Armada: Twelve Days To Save England (1.98m) and Horizon (1.65m). Channel Four's best-rated shows were The Island With Bear Grylls (2.08m), Benefits Street (2.41m), No Offence (2.09m), Love It Or List It (1.75m) and Born Naughty? (1.67m). Channel Five's top-rated broadcasts were Benefits Britain: Life On The Dole (1.71m), Gotham (1.38m), The Hotel Inspector (1.37m) and Big Brother (also 1.37m). Just as a matter of pure disinterest, can anyone else remember a week in which Big Brother wasn't the highest rated programme on the channel on which it was shown - either Channel Five or previously Channel Four - in a week in which a new episode was broadcast? No, me neither. Anyway, Sky Atlantic's Game Of Thrones was, as usual, the mutichannels most-watched broadcast of the week with 2.02 million viewers, followed by E4's The Big Bang Theory (1.55m). Foyle's War was ITV3's most-watched show with eight hundred and seventy two thousand viewers, ahead of Missomer Murders (seven hundred and sixty three thousand) and Lewis (six hundred and nineteen thousand). BBC4's list was topped by Britain's Deadliest Rail Disaster: Quintinshill (six hundred and twenty four thousand), followed by Eurovision At Sixty five hundred and six thousand), and episodes three and four of the bloody-weird (but, nevertheless, excellent) 1864 (five hundred and thirty thousand and four hundred and ninety five thousand viewers respectively). BBC3's most-watched programme was The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final (eight hundred and fifty three thousand). ITV4's highest-watched broadcast was She & Buried (three hundred and twenty one thousand). 5USA's The Mysteries Of Laura attracted four hundred and twenty two thousand. Sky Living's best-watched programmes were Elementary (eight hundred and sixteen thousand), Criminal Minds (eight hundred and two thousand) and The Blacklist (seven hundred and eighty eight thousand). Sky 1's The Flash brought in 1.05m. On Dave, repeats of all your old favourites Mock The Week, Would I Lie To You?, Have I Got A Bit More News For You and Qi XL were watched by four hundred and forty four thousand, three hundred and eighty six thousand and three hundred and thirty eight thousand and three hundred and nineteen thousand punters respectively. And, then there was Top Gear. Drama's latest New Tricks repeat was watched by four hundred and fifty four thousand. Watch's Grimm had an audience of four hundred and sixty one thousand. FOX's latest episode of NCIS's series twelve was watched by eight hundred and nine thousand. The second episode of the much-hyped Wayward Pines had one hundred and forty three thousand, more or less exactly the same figure as watched the first episode. On Sky Sports News, Gillette Soccer Special on the final day of the Premier League season drew two hundred and fifty four thousand, considerably down on the usual figures that the show attracts on an average Saturday. Presumably at least some of those missing punters were over on Sky Sports 1 watching yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies just about do enough to avoid relegation. On Discovery History, The Rise Of The Nazi Party pulled in twenty five thousand viewers. Time Team Special had twenty three thousand. CI's A Town & Country Murder attracted forty seven thousand viewers whilst ID's Your Worst Nightmare drew fifty seven thousand. National Geographic's Drain The Titanic was watched by one hundred and fifty one thousand.

The BBC Trust has, satisfyingly, rejected a bunch of whinges about Top Gear's Patagonia special, in which a car number plate caused a reet load of kerfuffle with lots of professional offence-takers. Although, tragically, the Trust seemingly stopped short of telling the whinging whingers who whinged about aspects of the episode to grow the fek up and quit whinging. Which, frankly, some might consider to be a useful opportunity missed. The production team, of course, was forced to flee Argentina following sickening - and, allegedly orchestrated - violence over the use of the registration number H982 FKL. Several whingers claimed that they 'doubted' the number plate was randomly allocated, as though that was anything to do with them in the first place. Their whinges, however, were rejected out of hand by the BBC but were passed to the BBC Trust on appeal. The Trust found there was 'no evidence' of 'a deliberate reference' to the war. The initial complaints, received prior to the programme's broadcast, alleged the connection with the Falklands War 'would have been clear' to the producers and the plates should have been changed. Two whingers also wanted the BBC to apologise to Argentina for any offence caused. They whinged that the decision to broadcast the programme as a Christmas special was 'particularly offensive.' Particularly offensive to whom, they didn't elaborate although, on suspects, with professional offence-takers, such minutia doesn't really matter. A response from the BBC Complaints Management and Editorial Standards Adviser included a blog written by the, now former, executive producer of Top Gear Andy Willman, denying allegations that the number plate had been deliberately chosen by the production team. The whinges were subsequently investigated by the Controller of Entertainment Commissioning who said: 'To date, there is nothing that we have seen or read since the team returned which supports the view that the number plates in question were deliberately employed, which is in-keeping with what production staff and the presenters have said.' As such, the whinges were not upheld before being escalated to the BBC Trust, which is the corporation's governing body. Reviewing the whinges, the Trust's Head of Editorial Standards said they 'did not have a reasonable prospect of success' and proposed not to put them before Trustees. This decision was whinged about by the whingers, who asked for a review. Regarding the whinge about the lack of a BBC apology, Trustees said 'in the absence of any evidence that the choice of number plate was deliberate it was a matter for the Executive as to whether they wished to apologise.' The Trust also agreed that the BBC had been 'open' about its investigation into the whinges and that amounted to 'an explanation' of why the BBC would not be apologising. Not that it had anything to apologise for other than being the victims of professional offence-takers both in Argentina and the UK. The Trustees said that they did not consider that it was 'appropriate or proportionate' to take this matter on appeal because the whingers did not raise any 'matters of substance' and, therefore, this was not a matter in which the Trust would get itself involved.
Michael Gambon will star as Winston Churchill in a new drama for ITV. The actor will lead the cast of the channel's feature-length film Churchill's Secret, which will focus on the late Prime Minister's health problems during his second term in 1953. Gambo will be joined in the film by Lindsay Duncan, who will play Winston's wife, Clemmie. The story will be told from the point of view of the Prime Minister's young nurse, Millie Appleyard, who cared for him after he suffered a life-threatening stroke. The drama is based on Jonathan Smith's recently published book The Churchill Secret: KBO, and will be adapted for the screen by Stewart Harcourt. Charles Sturridge (the man behind the camera of the acclaimed The Road To Coronation Street) will direct the one hundred and twenty-minute film, which will also be shown on PBS in America next year. ITV's Director of Drama, Steve November, said: 'Churchill's Secret is the extraordinary and compelling story of how one of our country's most famous political figures battled back from life-threatening illness to hold on to power. We're delighted to commission Churchill's Secret from Daybreak Pictures and to be working with Michael Gambon as Sir Winston Churchill and Lindsay Duncan as his wife Clemmie.' Filming on Churchill's Secret will begin in June in London and at Churchill's family home in Chartwell.

Mock The Week will celebrate its tenth birthday when it returns for a new series next month. The BBC2 topical comedy panel show will come back for six weeks in June and July for its fourteenth series, before returning again in September and October. Dara O'Briain will serve once again as host, along with regular panellists Hugh Dennis and Andy Parsons. Other comics set to appear in the new series include Ed Byrne, Milton Jones, Zoe Lyons, Katherine Ryan, Josh Widdicombe, Rob Beckett, Sara Pascoe, Romesh Ranganathan, James Acaster, Matt Forde and Ellie Taylor. Topics will include the erection aftermath, the royal baby, American presidential candidates and a summer of sport. Mock The Week débuted on BBC2 on 5 June 2005.
Three further episode of Qi's M series have been filmed in London this week. The first, as ye untitled, eighth episode featured guest appearances by Phill Jupitus and first-timers Cariad Lloyd and Dermot O'Dreary (oh, Christ no). Episode nine, Misconceptions, included Chris Addison, Sue Perkins and another first time guest, Sara Cox, whilst Monsters has panellists Phill Jupitus, Sara Pascoe and Josh Widdicombe. Afurther six episodes are due to be filmed over the next fortnight and series is scheduled for broadcast in the autumn.
Meanwhile as two of BBC2's long-running comedy panels shows continue, time has been called on a third, Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Channel controller Kim Shillinglaw and BBC entertainment controller Mark Linsey have confirmed the end of the show, Broadcast reports. A BBC spokeswoman said: 'After twenty eight series we've decided not to bring Never Mind The Buzzcocks back to the BBC. This will create space for new entertainment formats in the future. We'd like to thank the team at Talkback, Rhod Gilbert, all the brilliant hosts over the years and of course Noel and Phill for the years of enjoyment they've given BBC2 viewers.' The pop music panel quiz was first shown in November 1996 and has run for over two hundred and sixty episodes over twenty eight series. It was hosted by Mark Lamarr for its first seventeen series. Guest presenters fronted the eighteenth run, before Simon Amstell took over hosting duties for four series.
Waste-of-space, full-of-her-own-importance rank gobshite and snooty millionaire that awful Klass woman will 'test out her BBQ expertise' in an upcoming ITV summer series. So, that'll be worth avoiding, then. Man V Food star Adam Richman will feature in BBQ Champ, which sees a team of ten contenders competing against each other to become the ultimate master of the skewer.
Hopefully, someone will jam that sausage in her gob, sideways, and maybe that'll shut the awful woman up. We can but dream, dear blog reader. Dreaming, as Blondie once noted, is free.

Caroline Quentin, Peter Firth and Pauline Collins have all been added to the cast of a new drama based on the characters of Charles Dickens. The twenty-episode series for BBC1 has also cast BAFTA-award winner Stephen Rea. Dickensian brings together some of the writer's most iconic characters as their lives interweave in Nineteenth Century London. Characters from a range of Dickens novels will appear in the drama, including Scrooge, Fagin and Miss Havisham. Rea, who plays Inspector Bucket from Bleak House, said: 'Dickensian is the most beautiful re-working of the world of Dickens that you could ever imagine. The characters take on a fresh life, and any actor would be mad not to accept the challenge these great scripts offer.' Collins, who plays Martin Chuzzlewit's Mrs Gamp, added: 'You don't need to know Dickens' novels to fall in love with the stories we're telling. It's going to be a real treat to watch.' Also featured in the cast for the series will be Tuppence Middleton, Sophie Rundle, Omid Djalili, Anton Lesser, Ned Dennehy, Adrian Rawlins and Tom Weston-Jones. BBC is yet to announce a schedule date for Dickensian.
UKTV Gold has ordered three new original comedies. Henry IX, Marley's Ghosts and Bull will be broadcast on the channel in late 2015 and early 2016. Henry IX will be a three-part series set in the fictitious court of King Henry IX, who finds himself trapped in a life he doesn't want. The series comes from the great Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais, the writing team behind Porridge, The Likely Lads, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. So that one should, at least, be watchable. Marley's Ghosts, another three-parter, follows a woman with a rare gift of being able to talk to the dead, but things get a bit awkward when both her husband and her lover are added to that list. With hilarious consequences, obviously. Meanwhile, Bull focuses on a man who runs an antiques shop alongside staff he may regret hiring. The series comes from first-time sitcom writers Gareth Gwynn and John-Luke Roberts. Richard Watsham, UKTV's Director of Commissioning, said: 'The first three of our new commissions for Gold offer a fantastic range of different stories and comic styles. Between them they will start to establish a new tone of voice for our originations. We've deliberately targeted scripts that play to Gold viewers' known love of classic British sitcoms but they're also modern, sharply-written pieces which deliver on our promise of high quality, world class comedy.'

Happy Mondays, Scouting For Girls and ex-Busted singer Charlie Simpson are collaborating with tribes around the world for a new, frankly hideous-sounding,TV format. As part of Watch's new documentary series Singing In The Rainforest - even the title is shat - the three acts will compose music in remote areas. The aim of the show is, apparently, to 'get artists to make music with tribes that embodies elements from both of their cultures.' Happy Mondays will write with Embera Drua people of the Upper Chagres River in Panama. You're twisting my melon, man. Charlie Simpson will collaborate with the San Bushmen in Southern Africa. Elsewhere, Scouting For Girls visit the Huli Wigmen in Papua New Guinea.
Miranda Hart has revealed that she will not be hosting a Generation Game reboot any time soon. While Hart revealed that she had spoken to the BBC about such a format, she said that the story had 'got massively blown out of order.' Goodness, the press blowing potential and speculative TV news out of order, whatever next, Miranda fronting the next series of Top Gear?
Jason Manford is heading to Dave with a new crowd-funding series The Money Pit. In this, Jase will serve as ringmaster as members of the public risk their own money to invest in the ideas of hopeful entrepreneurs. Contestants will be able to invest anything from one hundred quid to twenty thousand smackers in return for a stake in the entrepreneur's new company, in a format uncomfortably similar to the BBC's long-running series Dragon's Den. Has nobody got any original ideas in TV any more? The show promises to be 'a tense watch' as investors are free to withdraw their investment and jump ship to another company right until the end of the episode. Manford said: 'I'm inviting all those people with some spare cash that they're thinking of hiding under the mattress, or sticking on the 3.15pm at Haydock Park to join me in The Money Pit instead. It's their chance to invest in real-life entrepreneurs who could make them serious money. Who knows, if they back the right one they might be able to buy a race horse of their own – or a really big mattress!' Or, a really big turnip, whichever is their choice.
The BBC has defended a new reality show pitting unemployed and low-paid workers against each other for a cash prize, which has been accused of echoing film The Hunger Games, arguing it is 'a serious social experiment.' The show, called Britain's Hardest Grafter, is seeking twenty five of Britain’s poorest workers with applications limited to those who earn or receive benefits totalling less than fifteen grand a year. The five-part BBC2 series will pit contestants against each other in a series of jobs and tasks with the 'least effective workers' asked to leave until one is crowned champion. The winner will receive a cash prize of about fifteen grand, the minimum annual wage for workers outside London. The format has been accused - by, you know, the kind of Gruniad Morning Star-reading chebs who enjoy accusing people of stuff - of trying capitalise on the trend of 'poverty porn', established by controversial series such as Channel Four's Benefits Street, with website Graduate Fog - no, me neither - accusing the show of 'feeling distinctly Hunger Games.' Actually, it doesn't sound like that at all or, indeed, anything even remotely like it. In the Hollywood movie, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, contestants are chosen from the poorest districts of a country and compete in a fight to the death until just one survives in a show televised for the amusement of its wealthiest citizens. Britain's Hardest Grafter is being made by production company Twenty Twenty, whose credits include Channel Four's First Dates, and which was previously responsible for Benefits Britain 1949, in which claimants volunteered to live by the rules of the first year of the welfare state. Twenty Twenty has posted advertisements calling for participants who are willing to 'prove their worth' to 'potentially walk away with a cash prize'. And, lose whatever smidgen of dignity they previously had, it would appear. The BBC originally announced it intended to make the show, also referred to as Britain’s Hardest Worker, in January with promotional material explaining that 'contestants are all there for one reason: to make money.' It explained that contestants would work in jobs that will 'take place both out in the workplace and within the confines of a specially created factory, a warehouse space transformed to cover the UK's largest blue collar sectors.' BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw said at the time that the show would look at 'the low wage economy'. 'Britain's Hardest Grafter is a serious social experiment for BBC2 which investigates just how hard people in the low wage economy work,' said the BBC and Twenty Twenty in a joint statement. 'Each week the contributors – who are all in work or actively looking – will experience a different blue collar role as the series explores the truth about Britain's work ethic. Throughout the series, the contributors are rewarded for the work they do.' The BBC pointed out that the show has not been made as an 'entertainment' format but has come from Clive Edwards, head of commissioning for current affairs. The corporation says that the series will 'tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time' including why British productivity is so low, is the benefits system providing many with a reason not to work, do immigrants work harder and have the young really not got the work ethic of their parents.

'Senior figures in broadcasting' have criticised proposals to introduce counter-extremism powers allowing the vetting of British television programmes before transmission as impractical and unjustified according to some pipsqueak of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star. A 'government plan' to 'strengthen the role of media regulator Ofcom' to take 'tough measures against channels that broadcast extremist content' was outlined in The Queen's Speech last week. That followed an initial suggestion by the Home Secretary, James May's sister, to give Ofcom 'unprecedented powers' to take 'pre-emptive action' against broadcasters - up to and included 'a damned good hiding' - which was subsequently criticised by her cabinet colleague the (former) vile and odious rascal Javid who warned it would turn the regulator 'into a state censor.' Michael Grade, the former chairman of the BBC and chief executive of ITV and Channel Four, and a Tory peer, said: 'I would be very suspicious of ex-ante powers of publication being given to a regulator or anyone. The old Hugh Cudlipp dictum of "publish and be damned" still holds forth. You would have to see the details of any proposal but I think it would be very difficult to justify.' Ofcom already has strict rules forbidding the broadcast of 'harmful extremist material' and 'hate speech'. It takes robust action when rules are broken, from fines to revoking broadcasters' licences. But all of its regulatory powers are post-transmission. James May's sister's plan, revealed in a pre-erection document outlining an extremism strategy for 'a stronger Britain' - and, unlimited rice pudding, probably - would give Ofcom the power to approve programmes before transmission, a fundamental shift. Roger Mosey, the BBC's former editorial director who edited Radio 4's Today, said: 'I think it's completely impractical, unless you are given a list of banned people who aren't allowed on your programme. There are difficulties sometimes in deciding what is extremism and what is not. Hard line religious conservatism is one thing, inciting terrorist violence another. I'm not sure politicians are the best to judge which is which.' An internal BBC seminar a few years ago asked the question whether the media would run, if offered, an interview with Osama Bin Laden, who was then still a live. 'Would you take it? Actually you would,' said Mosey. 'Broadcasters should have the right to do it, as long as it is properly contextualised and challenged. It is in the public interest to find out what extremists think.' It remains to be seen what shape Ofcom's new proposed powers would take and how effective they would be. Oily David Cameron said last week that the government's extremism proposals were 'extremely sensible.' He added: 'Ofcom has got a role to make sure that we don't broadcast extremist messages through our media.' Section three of the regulator's Broadcasting Code says that TV and radio services must not include material 'likely to encourage or incite crime or to lead to disorder.' Whilst there have been a number of breaches in recent years, Ofcom has deemed only a handful serious enough to warrant a sanction. Birmingham-based Noor TV was fined eighty five grand in 2013 after a presenter said that it was a 'duty' for Muslims to murder anyone who insulted the prophet Muhammad. Ofcom signed a memorandum of understanding with the government last year, detailing how it shared information and its responsibilities to identify and investigate extremism. But the most extreme sectarian hate speech comes from broadcasters outside of Ofcom's remit, based in Iraq, Syria or Egypt, without a TV platform in the UK but whose content is easily distributed online. Diane Coyle, the former vice-chair of the BBC Trust, said: 'If there is a problem anywhere it is a problem with social media. The idea a public body like Ofcom should be pre-vetting broadcast material is wrong in principle and wouldn't work in practice. I don't think it is a good idea at all.' James May's sister was critical of BBC2's Newsnight interview with the radical Islamist activist Anjem Choudary following the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich two years ago, saying that the government 'had to look at' the role of Ofcom in relation to 'what is being beamed into people's homes.' So, as you've probably guessed, according to the Tories, it's all the BBC's fault. Why is this blogger not surprised? Pre-vetting has echoes of Margaret Thatcher's 1980s tactic of trying to starve Irish Republicanism of 'the oxygen of publicity' which ended with Gerry Adams and other Sinn Féin spokespeople having their voices dubbed by actors whenever they appeared on TV. A damn silly conceit memorably parodied by Iannucci's The Day Today at the time, with a Sinn Féin spokesman forces of inhale helium under broadcasting rules 'to subtract credibility from his statements.' Stephen Whittle, the former controller of BBC editorial policy and ex-director of Ofcom forerunner the Broadcasting Standards Commission, said: 'Powers to vet or prevent broadcasts went away with the Independent Broadcasting Authority more than twenty five years ago. The proposal to give Ofcom such a power is a step back in time which undermines the commitment to freedom of expression enshrined in the Communications Act and the Human Rights Act. The criminal law already covers incitement to hatred when that freedom is abused. There are certainly challenges that arise from the expression of extremism but they are better dealt with by debate and discussion and the existing law.'

The BBC has been ordered to investigate the system for sending out letters enforcing the TV licence fee, after a viewer who had paid the charge received 'threatening' warnings. Its management was told to 'look into' how TV Licensing, the body responsible for collecting and enforcing the annual fee, sends out the warnings after the BBC Trust upheld a complaint that a member of the public was 'wrongly threatened with referral' to a debt collection agency. The BBC Trust initially rejected the complaint after receiving assurances from TV Licensing that it had made 'recent improvements' to the way it monitors a customers' payment history and that there had been 'significant revisions' to the reminder letters. However, following the initial decision the complainant received yet another letter - and a phone call - from an agent, about a debt collection agency being brought in. 'It was not, in principle, acceptable for a fully licensed member of the public to be sent a letter warning of referral to a debt collection agency,' the BBC Trust's complaints and appeals board said. 'The BBC executive will be asked to investigate how its system may be changed to prevent such warning letters being sent to licensed members of the public.' A spokeswoman for TV Licensing said that there were 'specific circumstances' that resulted in the debt collection letter being sent in error. 'The initial complaint had already been addressed by a review of these letters, which were changed in 2014,' she said. 'The complainant later set up a new licence whilst their previous licence was still valid. When they missed their cash payments, letters advised they might be referred to debt collection. This would only happen in a tiny number of cases. We can confirm we will examine these letters.' The BBC Trust also upheld a complaint from another member of the public who said that they were 'unfairly treated' when trying to prove they were legally exempt from paying the licence fee. The complainant said that TV Licensing had taken an inordinate amount of time to grant what is termed 'no licence needed' status to the property. 'The panel agreed that both the misinformation and the length of time it took to correct were unacceptable,' the BBC Trust said.
A Sun reporter has been given an eighteen-month suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of paying for tip-offs from an anti-terrorism officer. Anthony France, from Watford, was found extremely guilty of aiding and abetting PC Timothy Edwards to commit misconduct in a public office. France had followed 'an accepted procedure' at the Sun of paying for stories, Judge Timothy Pontius said. During the trial, a jury at London's Old Bailey heard how France had a 'corrupt relationship' with Edwards - a Heathrow Airport officer - for more than three years. Edwards sold thirty eight stories and tip-offs to France between March 2008 and July 2011 in exchange for more than twenty two thousand smackers. Judge Pontius sentenced the reporter to eighteen months in prison, suspended for two years, and to two hundred hours of community service. He described France as a journalist of 'hitherto unblemished character' who was 'essentially a decent man of solid integrity.' Judge Pontius said that some of the articles which resulted from payments were 'very much in the public interest', including stories about drunken airline pilots and drug smuggling. However, others were 'plainly chosen and published for their obviously salacious subject matter', he added. Payments by France had followed 'an accepted procedure that doubtless had existed for some time' at the Sun, the judge said. Transactions went through 'an established procedure', he added, saying it was 'not a case' of France handing over a 'grubby envelope' in a dark corner of a pub. 'If there was a wrong culture, as clearly the jury found, it is not one of Mr France's making. It was inevitably created by others for their benefit and sustained by others for their benefit,' Judge Pontius said. France - who denied the charge - told jurors that he had never been 'advised' by anyone at the Sun that speaking to a police officer or a public official might be against the law. Edwards - who pleaded very guilty to misconduct in a public office - was jailed for two years in 2014.

The late Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch has gone up for sale with a price tag of one hundred million dollars, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Santa Barbara development was once home to a zoo, an amusement park and its own fire station. Much of this has gone but there is still a floral clock and a railway. Jackson bought the house in 1987 for nineteen million bucks but struggled to pay for it, until an investment company stepped in to help him save it from auction. The property is now called Sycamore Valley Ranch and has undergone extensive redevelopment since Jackson's death in 2009. The two thousand eight hundred acre site, at 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, is now being sold jointly by Sotheby's and Hilton & Hyland. The estate agents have warned off fans hoping to get a glimpse inside the piece of Jackson history, telling the Wall Street Journal that anyone wanting to view the property would be subject to 'extensive prequalification.' In other words, 'bring a suitcase full of wonga with you, we don't let just anyone in here, you know.' 'We're not going to be giving tours,' said Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby's International Realty. Jackson bought Neverland intending to create 'a fantasy land for children' absolutely none of whom he intended to molest, obviously. Oh no, very hot water. It was named after the island in the Peter Pan, where children never grow up. After he bought it and moved into the property, Jackson built a zoo and fairground but it was closed to the public in 2006 after he failed to pay his staff or maintain proper insurance.

Blur, Liam Gallagher and Years & Years (no, me neither) are some of the guests lined-up for next month's TFI Friday special. The one-off episode to celebrate the show's twenty year anniversary will also feature appearances by yer actual Roger Daltrey, Mani, Ian Broudie, Zak Starkey and Rudimental. The special will include one or two 'blasts from the past' - such as Freak or Unique, Ugly Bloke and Fat Lookalikes - as well as the introduction of new features. 'I can't believe it's been almost twenty years since the first episode of TFI, and I'm thrilled to be bringing the show to a whole new generation who have never experienced the wonders of "Baby Left Baby Right" or "It's Your Letters",' Chris Evans recently said. The original show ran for six series between 1996 and 2000. TFI Friday's live special will be shown on Friday 12 June at 9pm on Channel Four.
Yer actual Pussy Galore hr very self is to be reunited with James Bond in the spy's latest literary outing. Ian Fleming's famous leading lady from Goldfinger is back in Anthony Horowitz's new Bond novel, Trigger Mortis. The bestselling author has revealed his new 007 adventure begins in 1957, two weeks after the end of Fleming's original novel Goldfinger. The book, which is due out on 8 September, is set against the backdrop of the Soviet-American space race. As well as Pussy - famously played by yer actual Honor Blackman in 1964's Goldfinger movie - the novel features a new Bond girl called Jeopardy Lane and Jai Seung Sin, 'a sadistic, scheming Korean adversary.' Trigger Mortis will begin with an original Fleming idea - a motor racing scene written by Fleming for an unmade James Bond TV series. Horowitz said: 'It was always my intention to go back to the true Bond, which is to say, the Bond that Fleming created and it was a fantastic bonus having some original, unseen material from the master to launch my story.' He went on: 'I was so glad that I was allowed to set the book two weeks after my favourite Bond novel, Goldfinger, and I'm delighted that Pussy Galore is back. It was great fun revisiting the most famous Bond girl of all - although she is by no means the only dangerous lady in Trigger Mortis. I hope fans enjoy it. My aim was to make this the most authentic James Bond novel anyone could have written.' William Boyd, Jeffery Deaver and Sebastian Faulks are among the authors in recent years to have written officially-sanctioned books since Fleming's death in 1964. Fleming's niece, the actress Lucy Fleming, said: 'Anthony has written a James Bond book with a nail-biting adventure that could have come from Ian's own typewriter.' Ajay Chowdhury, from the James Bond International Fan Club, said that news of the novel was 'a gift' for fans of 007. 'Bond fans will be excited for a number of reasons,' he said. 'Firstly, the title is evocative of the clever-yet deadly-Fleming play on words. Secondly, with its use of previous Fleming notes and Pussy Galore. The novel promises to be rich in period detail and action and stay true to the original spirit of the classic novels.' Horowitz's prolific output includes the teen spy series, Alex Rider, which has sold more than nineteen million copies. He has written two official Sherlock Holmes novels - The House Of Silk and Moriarty - and as a TV screenwriter he created Midsomer Murders, Foyle's War and Crime Traveller. Though, to be fair, he has served his debt to society for the latter.

As many on social media have been quick to point out, The Simpsons uncannily forecast this week's series of FIFA fiascoes in an episode broadcast in March 2014. Springfield's finest were visited in the episode by a representative from world football's governing body who, shortly before being handcuffed by the FBI, called for Homer - 'a symbol of integrity' - to referee at the World Cup.
The man who, despite everything, is still FIFA's president, Sepp Blatter, has condemned what he described as a 'hate campaign' against football's world governing body by European officials. And, he said that he was 'shocked' and 'stunned' by the comments of US prosecutors following the arrests of FIFA officials under an American anti-corruption warrant. The seventy nine-year-old Teflon-coated Swiss was re-elected on Friday at a FIFA congress in Zurich. After which, as yer actual Gary Lineker noted, he 'sat back and stroked his cat.' European football governing body UEFA's president Michel Platini had urged Blatter to step down ahead of the vote. Blatter's rival, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, forced a second round of voting on Friday but then withdrew. Blatter won one hundred and thirty three votes to Prince Ali's seventy three in the first round, just short of the one hundred and forty votes needed for an outright win. On Wednesday, US prosecutors indicted fourteen FIFA officials and associates, with seven arrested in a dawn raid at an upmarket hotel in Zurich. They are accused of bribery, racketeering and money-laundering involving tens of millions of dollars since 1991. Meanwhile, Swiss authorities have launched a separate criminal investigation into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar. Spelling out details of the US case earlier this week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said: 'They corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and to enrich themselves.' Ahead of Blatter's comments on Saturday, US tax official Richard Weber told the New York Times he was 'fairly confident that we will have another round of indictments' coming soon. But, in an uncompromising interview with Swiss television station RTS, Blatter said that he suspected the arrests were an attempt to 'interfere with the congress' at which he was re-elected. 'I am not certain, but it doesn't smell good,' he said. Which, for someone with a nose for trouble as frequently inactive as Blatter really is saying something. He noted that the US had lost out in the bidding for the 2022 World Cup to Qatar while England, another major critic, had lost out to Russia for the right to hold the 2018 World Cup - and that the US was the 'number-one sponsor' of the state of Jordan, the homeland of defeated challenger for the FIFA presidency. He also condemned the comments made by Lynch and other US prosecutors, one of whom referred to a 'World Cup of fraud.' Blatter said: 'Of course I am shocked. I would never as FIFA president make comments about another organisation without being certain of what has happened.' Blatter was widely supported in Africa and Asia, and his re-election was welcomed by the hosts of the next World Cup, Russia. UEF had backed Prince Ali, with Platini describing his candidacy as 'a movement for change at FIFA.' In an apparent reference to Platini's call for him to resign, Blatter said: 'It is a hate that comes not just from a person at UEFA, it comes from the UEFA organisation that cannot understand that in 1998 I became president.' Asked whether he would forgive Platini for the calling on him to step down, Blatter said: 'I forgive everyone, but I do not forget.' European football associations will meet at next week's Champions League final in Berlin to discuss their next move. 'We have to see how best we can use the European muscle,' Irish FA president John Delaney told RTE News. Europe's seat at the next meeting of FIFA's powerful executive committee is expected to be empty, as newly appointed representative David Gill had said before Friday's vote that he would resign if Blatter was re-elected. England's FA chairman Greg Dyke said that he would consider a boycott of the World Cup if joined by other European nations. 'This is not over by any means. To quote the [US] attorney general this is the beginning of the process not the end,' Dyke said. Meanwhile, Jesper Moller of Denmark's FA told reporters: 'Blatter is too involved in all the allegations of corruption that have taken up much of his time as president. But we must, of course, respect the democratic vote.' A number of FIFA sponsors - Coca-Cola, Kia, Adidas and Visa - have made known their 'concerns' about what is happening at FIFA, with the latter particularly vociferous, warning that unless the global governing body makes 'changes now', it would 'reassess our sponsorship'. And McDonald's said it 'takes matters of ethics and corruption very seriously and the news from the US Department of Justice is extremely concerning. We are in contact with FIFA on this matter. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.' Sony decided not to renew its contract last year - it had been a FIFA partner since 2007.

The Oscar and BAFTA-winning costume designer Julie Harris who designed clothes for The Be-Atles and Sir Roger Moore's James Bond has died in London, aged ninety four. Julie died in hospital after a brief illness from a chest infection, a close friend confirmed. Harris designed clothes worn by The Be-Atles (a popular beat-combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) in the films A Hard Day's Night and Help! and by Sir Roge in his first James Bond film, Live & Let Die. She won an Oscar in 1966 for the Julie Christie film Darling. Her BAFTA came the following year for her work on The Wrong Box. Julie's many other credits included the James Bond spoof Casino Royale, Carry On Cleo and 1981's The Great Muppet Caper. In 1965, after working with The Be-Atles, she said: 'I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked.' Well, apart from their mothers, obviously. 'Julie worked with some of the greatest international stars in the history of the cinema, and for some of its most legendary directors and producers,' said her friend Jo Botting. It was Botting, a senior curator at the British Film Institute National Archive, who confirmed Harris's death at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on Saturday. 'Her outstanding work was constantly nominated for awards,' Botting continued, remembering Julie as 'an amazing woman.' Born in London in 1921, Julie began her career in 1947 at Gainsborough Pictures with Holiday Camp, the forerunner of the Huggett family film series. She worked steadily on feature films throughout the next three decades, hitting her stride in the 1960s, before shifting her attention to television movies until her retirement in 1991. Harris's other BAFTA nominations came for her work on the horror film Psyche Fifty Nine, Help!, Casino Royale and The Slipper & The Rose. Her CV also included work on The Story Of Esther Costello, Good-Time Girl, The Body Said No!, The Greengage Summer, The Chalk Garden, The Whisperers, Deadfall, The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes, Rollerball, The Land That Time Forgot, Dracula and the TV movies The Sign Of Four, The Kingfisher, A Hazard Of Hearts and A Perfect Hero. Speaking in 2010, Julie recalled working with such Hollywood legends as Jayne Mansfield - an actress, she said, who had been blessed with 'quite a figure. She came to a fitting one day in her mink coat with only her underclothes underneath,' she told an audience at the Cinema Museum in London.

Now, one from the files; here's a very nice interview the young Fraser Hines gave to Radio Times circa 1967.
By the way, in case you were wondering, when it says 'Fraser talks to Gay Search', that was the name of a Radio Times journalist of the late 1960s and not an, ahem, 'gentleman's specialist publication.' Obviously.

And, here's a very interesting interview with yer actual Keith Telly Topping's old mucker Paul Cornell and his artist chum Tony Parker about their new comic for Dark Horse, The Damned Band (available from all good comic shops, and some bad ones, now).
Earlier this week, dear blog reader, this blogger received a perfectly extraordinary e-mail - from a dear blog reader in Nigeria - asking that From The North feature 'more pictures of massive tits.' What could yer actual Keith Telly Topping do after such a plea but comply?
At last, dear blog reader, something which the Catholic church and yer actual Keith Telly Topping can agree upon. It's always nice when that happens, isn't it?
If we lived in a parallel universe and Ron and Russell from Sparks presented a programme on FOX News, this blogger might actually watch it.
Now, here's something for all those bores who constantly bang on about how totally mad-brilliant the 1970s were.
Ah, whatever did happen to Colin Crompton after he left N.W.A? Answers on a postcard, dear blog reader. And there's also Duggie Brown! Ah, all those unhappy memories of Take My Wife (with Lis Sladen). Possibly the single worst sitcom in the history of bad ITV sitcoms.

Anyway, for the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, fancy a bit of hot, bangin' electro-pop? Yeah, me too. However, you'll just have to make do with The Grand Dame her very self and The Petties instead. And, why not?

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