Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I'm Vexed, Perplexed, I'm Not The Same As I Was Last Night

A number of names previously associated with Doctor Who have been making appearances at Roath Lock Studios of late and getting their photos taken alongside the TARDIS's current occupant, yer actual Peter Capaldi; these, reportedly, including the series' first director, Waris Hussein, Georgia Moffett and her husband, David Tennant his very self and Big Russell Davies. Why, you may wonder? Well, you know, Peter's a popular guy ...
Issue four hundred and ninety of yer actual Doctor Who Magazine is on sale from Thursday of this week, available from all good newsagents (and, some bad ones as well). In it, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) previews the new series of Doctor Who. 'Why not start with a blockbuster?' asks Steven concerning the two-part opening story, The Magician's Apprentice and The Witch's Familiar. 'Why leave it till the last two weeks? So yes, it's like starting with a finale and having a big, grand, movie-sized story, as opposed to a forty five-minute story.' What does Steven (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) like about the longer format? 'It allows you to play with certain things,' he notes. 'There's a kind of scale that you can attain in a two-parter, that you can't have in forty five minutes. It's a scale that we're not used to at the moment, as we haven't done two-parters for quite a while. And in a way, it's sort of advertising the fact that we've got two-parters back this year. We do things in that first episode that I would say are very "two-parter-y."'
Wee Jenna Coleman her very self has revealed one of the tricks of the trade employed during filming scenes with her co-star Peter Capaldi. The three-foot-four-inch actress told the Daily Scum Express: 'I have to stand on an apple box when we're filming - it's called "Jenna's Box" and it gets brought out when I need to fit into a particular shot.'
Peter, meanwhile, has revealed that his terse Time Lord is looking to 'have a good time' when the series returns next month. 'You must never trust Doctor Who, because his knowledge of the past and the future is comprehensive and deep and not quite human,' he said. 'So, in his human form, I think he's decided - because he knows how dark it can get outside - that he's going to have a good time. But as always in Doctor Who, no good time goes unpunished!' Having his new Doctor be more 'severe' - both in personality and appearance - was an intentional move for the previous series, Peter confirmed. 'Everyone felt it was very important to make a very decisive change,' he said. 'I think it always happens in the first season of a new Doctor - you make a very decisive change, a contrast to who's gone before. With Matt [Smith] being so friendly and affectionate and open, I think they wanted to be quite different to that.' One person who was able to penetrate this Doctor's sometimes frosty exterior was Clara - and she'll continue to guide The Doctor this series. 'She helps The Doctor relate more effectively with human beings, because he can't be arsed to give them the time of day if they're not doing what he wants!' Peter said. 'So she helps him - she has little strategies to help him be better!' But for how long? Is Clara sticking around, or is a new companion on the horizon? According to Peter, a few characters are keen to jump around the TARDIS this time round. 'There's a lot of people who could come into the TARDIS quite easily - we're playing around with a lot of offers [in the storyline],' he said.
Peter's predecessor in the TARDIS, yer actual Matt Smith has begun filming for a new drama for Netflix, The Crown, due to be broadcast in 2016. According to the Northampton Herald & Post, the previously announced ten-part series, based on Peter Morgan's play The Audience, will follow the relationship between Queen Elizabeth (played by Wolf Hall's Claire Foy) and the Prime Ministers who have served during her monarchy. Smudger will be portraying the young Prince Philip.
Smudger's predecessor in the TARDIS, David Tennant his very self will be portraying the character of Zebediah Killgrave in the television adaptation of the Marvel comic Jessica Jones. Jeff Loeb, Marvel's Head of Television, said: 'In the same kind of way Vincent D'Onofrio owned his half of Daredevil, you’ll see David Tennant own his half of Jessica Jones. What you get out of Jessica is a sort of hold-your-breath tension as to what's going to happen. When you see the dynamic between Krysten Ritter and David Tennant, that question of "What's going to happen next?" and "What could happen next?" and how that's driven by character is something that is so important to not just the scripts but also the way the show is shot, and the way that everyone reacts, and the way those two react with each other.'
David's predecessor in the TARDIS (do we detect a theme emerging here, dear blog reader?), big scary, massive-eared Christopher Eccleston led this year's tributes in Manchester on 16 August to mark the anniversary of the infamous Peterloo Massacre, in which fifteen protesters were killed when troopers charged a political meeting in 1819. The actor read from a speech delivered by Orator Hunt from the day of the massacre.
Christopher's predecessor in the TARDIS - well, according to post-The Day Of The Doctor continuity malarkey, at least - Sir John Hurt his very self can be heard as the lead role in Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell, broadcast this weekend on BBC Radio 4. The play is described as 'a dying Soho, seen through the eyes of the notorious columnist of The Spectator - plain-speaking drinker, gambler, wit and raconteur.' It also features Nichola McAuliffe and Jeff Rawle. Speaking of his recent diagnosis of having pancreatic cancer, John observed: 'I can’t say I worry about mortality, but it’s impossible to get to my age and not have a little contemplation of it. We're all just passing time and occupy our chair very briefly. But my treatment is going terrifically well, so I'm optimistic.' Which is, of course, marvellous news.
And, Peter, Smudger, David, Christopher and Sir John's predecessor in the TARDIS, Big Mad Tom Baker may be about to take on a role in the Star Wars franchise according to rumours reported by several Internet websites. So, they're bound to be true. A guest at the recent Day Of The Doctors convention, Tom is reported as saying: 'I'm going to be in this new Star Wars thing, you know? I'm going down to record some voices for this new character they've created for me, very soon.'
Yer actual Frazer Hines has been appearing in a touring production of Agatha Christie's ... And Then There Were None, which this week reaches the Leeds Grand Theatre. Talking about portraying his character, Rogers, Frazer said: 'I suppose it's my experience of being in the show business for over forty years that many could assume that Rogers, being just a butler, could be played just as a butler. But, I worked out that he was in the First World War, in the army, so he has this straight-backed walk and respects the general in the play and respects the copper. So, I've brought those little nuances into the character.' He also mentioned that the most common question he gets asked is what was it like to work with the late Patrick Troughton (Peter, Smudger, David, Christopher, Sir John and Big Mad Tom's predecessor in the TARDIS, just in case you didn't know): 'A lovely man. Some of the happiest years of my career were working with Patrick in Doctor Who. I wish I had a pound for every time I'm asked that question. He was a lovely, lovely man and we had great fun working together. If I had an idea he wouldn't say, "I'm The Doctor, you just shut up and be the assistant." He'd turn and say, "Frazer, what a marvellous idea. Let's do it." I'd worked with him before in 1964, before Doctor Who started and I was the star of Smuggler's Bay. He was playing the part of an old smuggler. But, a year or so later he was the star of Doctor Who and I was just joining in as Jamie for four episodes so the role was reversed. It was great, we just gelled straight away.'
Before any pedants get aal uppity and discombobulated, yes, Frazer did get a few of the dates slightly wrong; Doctor Who started in November 1963, Smuggler's Bay débuted a few months later, in July 1964, and Patrick became The Doctor in October 1966, six weeks before Frazer his very self joined the cast.

Amidst speculation that he may be a future successor to The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) as the lead writer on Doctor Who, Toby Whithouse responded: 'No-one at the BBC has ever had this conversation with me! No-one has asked me, no-one has approached me about if Steven leaves, when Steven leaves. These are conversations that happen purely among fans, not on any official level.' On writing for the drama in general, Toby added: 'There's a reason I go back to Doctor Who every year, and that's because I absolutely love working on it! There is something so magical, so ludicrous about that show. The appeal never fades: I'm forty five now and writing "Interior: TARDIS" at the top of a scene is still really, really exciting. You also get to tell these extraordinary stories that you couldn't write for any other show.'
Many media publications focussed on the recent casting of Bethany Black the first transgender actress to appear in Doctor Who. Including this blog, as it happens. The comedienne herself reflected on filming for the new series, telling her Facebook followers: 'It is, genuinely, the greatest job I could ever have imagined getting. Everything about it is magical. I'm enjoying every day of filming and cherishing it, because you never know if you'll ever get to do anything like this again. I only hope that I do the role and the show justice, and that you all enjoy it. For me it's the gig of a lifetime.'
On Wednesday morning, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping was a'woken in his pit at some Christforsaken hour of the morning by the late summer sun streaming through the curtains of Stately Telly Topping Manor. As is its want, to be fair. This blogger then couldn't get back to his kip no matter what he tried - milky cocoa, drugs, hitting himself on the napper with a pillow. Therefore, he switched on the telly just as the title sequence of WATCH's repeat of The Fires Of Pompeii was starting. Do you know, dear blog reader, this blogger had quite forgotten what a thoroughly sharp little episode that one was/is. Tight script from the very excellent James Moran, loads of funny dialogue and some proper great performances. Particularly from that chap Capaldi. Whatever happened to him?
Arthur Darvill will be playing Rip Hunter in DC's Legends Of Tomorrow, with the character described as 'a time-traveler [sic] tasked with assembling a group of villains and heroes together after he sees a future that could destroy everything. This unlikely squad must now stop these devastating future events from happening, but it won’t be easy.' Arty can also be seen in the forthcoming fictional account of Lenny Henry's early life, Danny & The Human Zoo, which also features Richard Wilson and Mark Benton in the cast.
Bryan Fuller already has his first post-Hannibal project lined-up - a TV version of Neil Gaiman's award-winning novel American Gods. But the writer/producer already has another dream project in mind - a reboot of the 1960s Telefantasy series The Avengers. 'I would love to reboot The Avengers - with Eddie Izzard as John Steed,' Fuller told TVLine. 'That would be wonderful.' Fuller and Steady Eddie, of course, worked together on Hannibal - where the latter played the serial killer Abel Gideon. The pair also have form when it comes to reboots, even if their last effort to revive a classic property - 2012's The Munsters revamp Mockingbird Lane - didn't get a series pick-up.
To the ratings now: The Scandalous Lady W brought in an impressive overnight audience for BBC2 on Monday. The factual drama - which starred Natalie Dormer - gathered 2.51m between 9pm and 10.30pm. Earlier, Great British Menu continued with 1.56m at 7.30pm, before University Challenge had an audience of 2.74m at 8pm and Only Connect was watched by 2.22m at 8.30pm. On BBC1, Trouble At The Post Office was the evening's most-watched programme outside of the soaps, with three million punters at 7.30pm. A repeat of Sherlock followed with 2.27m at 8.30pm. ITV's Vet School dipped to 2.29m at 8pm, while Travel Guides was watched by 2.28m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Flying To The Ends Of The Earth averaged nine hundred and sixty thousand at 8pm, before Twenty Four Hours In Police Custody was watched by 1.39m at 9pm and Revenge Porn shocked 1.23m at 10pm. Ben Fogle: New Lives In The Wild climbed to 1.62m at 9pm, while Under The Dome attracted five hundred and six thousand viewers at 10pm.

New Tricks dipped slightly in the overnights, but was still Tuesday evening's most watched programme outside of the soaps. Episode three of the drama's final series attracted 5.39m at 9pm, while Don't Take My Baby followed with 1.19m at 10.45pm. On BBC2, Great British Menu rose to 1.62m at 7.30pm, before The House That One Hundred Thousand Pounds Built interested 1.59m at 8pm and Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School averaged 1.33m for its final episode at 9pm. ITV's The Dales brought in 2.04m at 7.30pm, while risible gnome Alan Titchmarsh's Love Your Garden was watched by 2.33m at 8pm. School Swap: The Class Divide followed with 1.42m at 9pm. On Channel Four, The Three Day Nanny had an audience of 1.08m at 8pm and Terror On Everest: Surviving The Nepal Earthquake was watched by eight hundred and fifty thousand punters at 9pm. The Dog Rescuers With Alan Davies continued on Channel Five with 1.20m at 8pm, while Benefits Life: Jailbird Boys Going Straight was seen by 1.10m at 9pm. Joined At The Head followed with five hundred and six thousand at 10pm.

You will soon be able to own all five inches of yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch - steady - when his new action figure is released this November. Underground Toys is releasing a new Sherlock figure, which comes with the detective's mobile phone, violin and a skull, just in time for Christmas.
Maisie Williams had 'the perfect tactic' to stop her Doctor Who co-stars from 'annoying her' according to the Digital Spy website - Game Of Thrones spoilers. The actress claimed that she often 'threatened people' with 'huge plot twists' from the HBO drama if they 'wound her up' too much. Why, exactly, anyone would be 'winding up' Maisie Williams on the Doctor Who set, she didn't elaborate.
Odious shit-scum filth politicians - with their thoroughly sick agendas - should stop pressurising the BBC and the public should have more of a say in the corporation's future, the chairwoman of the BBC Trust has said. Well, it's about effing time that somebody at the Trust stood up for themselves - and for the BBC's viewers whom they are supposed, after all, to represent - and showed some sodding backbone in the face of crass and ignorant twat bullies and scum who would do the corporation down. What a very great pity the Trust wasn't doing all this years ago, of course but still, better late than never one supposes. Writing in the Independent, Rona Fairhead said the BBC's future must be 'driven by evidence and fact, not by prejudice and not by vested interest.' No shit, Rona? And, it's taken you this long to work that out, has it? Jesus, with brain power like that it's clear to see you get your salary for nowt, don't you? She also complained of MPs attempting to interfere in the broadcaster's affairs. The lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale has said 'a debate' is needed over whether the BBC should become more 'precise.' A debate, of course, is not needed about this although a debate on whether all MPs are disgraceful scum and should be shovelled into the gutter along with all the other turds probably does have some merit in the greater scheme of things. The corporation's Royal Charter is up for renewal next year. Fairhead, who became the head of the BBC's governing body last October, said that there is 'good evidence' that audiences 'very much' wanted the corporation to continue to be 'part of their lives.' She added that people 'believe that a significant public benefit arises from the existence of a strong, independent BBC that provides a universal service.' Fairhead said that the public wanted independent scrutiny and regulation of the BBC, but that they wanted this done by a separate body representing licence fee payers, not by politicians. 'That independence has needed defending over decades, not just from governments but also from parliament, with a growing tendency in recent years for select committees to question BBC executives about detailed editorial decisions,' she said. 'We believe that this charter review gives us a chance to codify the relationship between the BBC and the state, and the BBC and its public, so that the terms of engagement are clear, the processes transparent, and the BBC can be seen to be both accountable and independent.' She also said that the corporation 'cannot sit still' when it came to creating and offering new technology. 'It has a strong history of initiating highly valued technological change - the iPlayer being only the most recent example. But the iPlayer is now more than seven years old - which makes it venerable in digital time-scales. Everyone wonders where the next great innovation in delivery will come from, so the BBC must have the technical and research capacity, if not to invent new technologies, at least to adapt and exploit them.' She goes on to suggest that the broadcaster is dealing with 'ever-tighter funding constraints' along with 'arguably the greatest external challenges in its lifetime.' While accepting that 'the status quo is not an option', she writes that changes 'should happen through a proper debate where the public's voice is heard loud and clear.' She added: 'The BBC's future is simply too important to be settled behind closed doors.' One should never 'accept the Status Quo', dear blog reader. All their records sound the same. Anyway, the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale - Tory filth that he is - has launched a Green Paper on the corporation's future, claiming that he wanted the corporation to 'thrive'. One or two people even believed him. But, the corporation has said the review suggested 'a much diminished, less popular, BBC.' It has already agreed to take on the cost of free TV licences for the over-seventy fives, in return for some concessions, including linking the licence fee to inflation. The Green Paper also said that responsibility for regulation of the broadcaster could be transferred away from the BBC Trust, after incidents where the corporation had 'fallen well short of the standards we expect.' The BBC has previously responded by saying public consultation should be a key part of charter review.

And, further to this, the BBC reportedly warned George Osborne that it would have to close BBC2 and BBC4 if the government did not provide extra funds to offset the cost of free licences for the over-seventy fives. The corporation told the chancellor that the seven hundred and fifty million knicker hole in its finances would also force it to cut all of its local radio stations and radio news for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to a forthcoming book on the BBC. The lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale told Director General Tony Hall and Trust chair Rona Fairhead on 29 June that the government was making the BBC cover the cost of providing free TV licences, with any discussion of mitigating measures left until charter renewal negotiations due to start in earnest later this year. According to a chapter by former Financial Times journalist Ray Snoddy in The BBC Today: Future Uncertain, Snoddy claims that in the days after informing the BBC it would have to take on the free licences, the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale offered to shave fifty million smackers off the BBC's responsibility for funding broadband rollout. However, the corporation's leadership felt the deal still left it without any guarantee that it would be able to afford to maintain the services. It was only after the BBC said it would tell the public which services it would have to cut that the Treasury offered a package of 'mitigating measures' including a commitment to raise the licence fee in-line with the consumer price index. Though the proposals offer the BBC additional income to offset the cost of free TV licences, the corporation is still expected to see its budget decrease by between ten per cent and twenty per cent by the time the changes are fully implemented in 2020.

The divine and luscious Keeley Hawes will lead the cast of ITV's latest period drama and, as a bonus, she'll get to travel to Corfu. The Durrells will be a six-part series set in 1935, and is based on Gerald Durrell's trilogy of memoirs, including the best-selling My Family & Other Animals. Actress and dancer Leslie Caron will also star in the series, along with popular Greek actor Alexis Georgoulis. The series focuses on Louisa Durrell (played by Keeley her very self), whose husband died years previously and his money has almost run out. Her four children Larry (Josh O'Connor), Leslie (Callum Woodhouse), Margo (Daisy Waterstone) and Gerry (Milo Parker) are running riot and making life for Louisa very difficult. So, she decides to escape from Britain for a new adventure in Corfu, taking her brats with her. Georgoulis will play the dependable Spiro Halkiopoulos, while Caron will appear as Countess Mavrodaki, who hires Margo as her companion. Yorgos Karamihos will play Theodore who befriends the family, while Christopher Sciueref will appear as ex-convict Kosti. Keeley, who previously appeared in the BBC's 1930s drama Upstairs Downstairs, said: 'I'm delighted to be playing Louisa Durrell. As a life long fan of Gerald Durrell's wonderful books, I can't wait to start filming and telling his stories through Simon Nye's hilarious and poignant adaptation.' Nye will write all six episodes, with filming scheduled to take place in Corfu from September.

Katy Wix, who plays the ditzy Daisy in the BBC sitcom Not Going Out, is hopeful that the show will return for an eighth series and suggests that there are 'talks happening.' 'I think there are discussions in rooms going on, in the corridors of power at the BBC,' she told the Digital Spy website. 'So I'm waiting to hear myself, I suppose.'
Naughty, bad and wrong Britain's Got Toilets 'misled' viewers over the use of a second dog in the final of the ITV talent show, media watchdog Ofcom has ruled. Jules O'Dwyer and her dog Matisse won the talent show in June, but it was later revealed that another dog, Chase, performed the tightrope walk section of the act. Whilst Ofcom acknowledged that ITV did not intend to deceive viewers, it nevertheless said that viewers were, ultimately, misled. In a wicked and terrible style(e), and that. ITV has said it will refund any viewers who paid to vote for the winning act. It expressed 'sincere regret' about the 'unfortunate editorial mistake' and begged Ofcom not to cane them, claiming they were 'led astray by older boys.' More than one thousand viewers - with nothing better to do with their time, seemingly - whinged to Ofcom in the immediate aftermath of the final regarding the use of Chase once this chicanery was exposed by the tabloids. More than thirteen million viewers had watched O'Dwyer and Matisse become the second dog act to win Britain's Got Toilets - in and of itself, possibly the most horrifying statistic of this entire fiasco. ITV's voting figures showed O'Dwyer and her dog(s) won by just two per cent of the popular vote - getting 22.6 per cent of votes cast compared with 20.4 per cent for the magician, Raven. Ofcom said that ITV extremely broke rule 2.14 of the broadcasting code which states broadcasters must ensure 'viewers are not materially misled about any broadcast competition or voting.' Or, face the music as a consequence. 'In this case, the fact - as evidenced by numerous complainants to Ofcom - many viewers were not aware that a central part of a dog agility act was performed by a second animal, indicates the licensee did not take sufficient steps to ensure that the broadcast was not materially misleading,' the watchdog said. A speaking watchdog. Now, there's an act that should be winning talent contests. Anyway, ITV promptly grovelled on the floor and begged for mercy. They said in an official statement: 'The Britain's Got Talent production team apologised at the time for not making it clearer to the judges and viewers at home that three dogs were involved in the final performance. There was never any intention to mislead viewers and in their decision Ofcom said they "have no reason to believe that there was any intention to deceive viewers that the tightrope walk actually involved a second dog."' Which, if you look up 'taking a minuscule crumb of supportive comfort from an otherwise utterly damning verdict' on Goggle, you'll find that one pretty much top. It went on: 'The majority of votes cast for Jules' act were received through the free voting app. However, we accept that some viewers who voted for the winning act by a paid voting route may wish to seek a refund, or that the cost of their vote be donated in full to the Royal Variety charity. Details about how to obtain a refund, or to request that a refund be donated to the charity, are now on our website.' Further news on the rumour that the dogs in quesation will be, one hopes humanely, destroyed as a consequence all of this malarkey and shenanigans is yet to be confirmed. Although, if they are, one imagines ITV will probably film it and show it at Christmas.

An ITV journalist has described how he tried in vain to save the life of an elderly man who drove his car off a harbour wall in Greece. Tom Bradby described in a series of tweets how he dived into the sea after the man but 'couldn't get him out.' The father-of-three, who was in Rafina on a family holiday, said that he believed the man had committed suicide. The Rafina Port Authority in Greece confirmed that a man had died after his car went off the wall. A spokeswoman said that the incident happened at about 4:30pm local time, but would give no further details. Bradby, who is ITV's chief political editor, said he was 'shaking with shock and anger' after complaining that officials nearby did not do more to help. He claimed that of the 'nine or ten officials' on the quay, one went in to try to get the driver out as the car sank, and 'the rest watched.' Bradby has been announced as the new host of ITV's News at Ten.
The new show by the former hosts of Top Gear for Amazon's streaming video service will be 'very, very, very expensive', the company's founder says. Jeff Bezos also told the Sunday Torygraph that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are 'worth a lot and they know it.' The trio will front three series of a new motoring programme for Amazon Prime, with the first season due for release in 2016. The move follows their departure from the hit BBC2 show earlier this year. 'We have a lot of things in the pipeline, which I think viewers in the UK and around the world are going to love. And, I think Clarkson's new show is going to be one of those. I think we're in a golden age of television, so if you go back in time even just five years, you couldn't get A-list talent to do TV serials or, if you could, it was a rare thing. But that's flipped completely.' He added that serialised TV is currently enjoying 'very high investment' and that this bring an increase in the 'amount of time you have to tell a story. That format change opens up a lot of storytelling possibilities, which, when mixed with the movie-like production standards, and the A-list talent, is why we're seeing amazing television.' The unnamed car-themed programme will be made with former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, who has also quit the BBC. Wilman has said that they had all agreed to a deal with Amazon because 'they'll give us the freedom to make the programme we want. There's a budget to produce programmes of the quality we want and this is the future.'
An Emmerdale storyline involving a helicopter crashing into the local village hall has been cleared by Ofcom, after whinges that the storyline was 'too similar' to a real-life tragedy which occurred in Glasgow in 2013. The broadcasting watchdog received forty three whinges about two episodes involving the wedding reception of characters Debbie Dingle and Pete Barton being, as it were, interrupted. Some of these people, apparently, felt that the dramatic scenes echoed the Glasgow crash, where ten people were killed after a police helicopter crashed into a pub. Quite why they felt this as opposed to the storyline echoing any other helicopter crash - of which, sadly, history has witnessed many - they did not elaborate. Ofcom has now ruled that the storyline was 'sufficiently removed' from real-life events so does not warrant an official investigation.
And, speaking of whingers being shown the exit, an EastEnders scene involving Ben Mitchell and Paul Coker 'getting carried away' in a funeral parlour will also not be investigated further by Ofcom. Who have got better things to do with their time than pander to the prejudices of homophobes. Probably. The watchdog - a politically appointed quango, elected by no one, of course - received seventy six whinges - from homophobes - after the scene was broadcast, showing the characters kissing next to an open coffin before they were later seen getting dressed. Ofcom said: 'We found the scenes were justified in the context of a long-running plotline and sexual contact between the characters was implied rather than overt.' The watchdog added: 'Our rules don't discriminate between scenes involving opposite-sex and same-sex couples.' Sadly, they didn't use the opportunity to tell those seventy six people that any kind of love is all right, that bigotry and homophobia is 'so last Century' and that it might be an idea for those seventy six people to get themselves new brains as the ones they currently have are, clearly, narrow and full of diarrhoea. That, some might regard as an opportunity missed. This blogger couldn't possibly comment on that.
Sky News business presenter Ian King's use of the word 'fuck' on live TV is to be investigated by Ofcom. They will investigate an edition of Ian King Live, which was broadcast on 30 July, to see if it was in breach of the broadcasting code relating to 'generally accepted standards.' King's naughty sweary came during a live interview with the economist Michelle Meyer about interest rates in the USA. After introducing is guest, King asked her a question about the 'tepid' growth rate in the second quarter. Before she has a chance to answer, King, who was off-camera, suddenly shouted 'fuck' for no obvious reason. Although, to be fair, this blogger occasionally uses very strong language when discussing America and what goes on there. It's, sort of, The Law. Also, it should be noted that Meyer's little giggle just after he says it is what raises the clip from a mildly amusing moment to the level of art. 'Ofcom is investigating this programme, which included the most offensive language before the [9pm] watershed,' said a spokesman for the politically appointed quango, elected by no one. At the end of the interview King, apologised to Meyer blaming 'a microphone lead falling out.' He also grovellingly apologised on Twitter to viewers following the early evening broadcast, posting belatedly at 11.30pm: 'Many apologies to anyone who was offended by my Kenneth Tynan moment earlier this evening.' King was referring to the late theatre critic Ken Tynan who is believed to have been the first person to used the word 'fuck' on British TV. That incident, in 1965 on the late night satirical show BBC3, resulted in a formal apology by the BBC, four separate House of Commons motions signed by one hundred and thirty three scum backbenchers and a letter to the Queen from morality campaigner and full-of-her-own-importance arsehole the late Mary Whitehouse. Curiously, the world kept turning. Just days before King's faux pas, ITV found itself in jolly hot water when Helen Mirren said in an interview on Good Morning Britain that it 'pissed' with rain when she went camping. In April, French free climber Alain Robert repeatedly used 'fuck' on Good Morning Britain. Ofcom later criticised stand-in host Piers Morgan for laughing during the incident and for being an oily, offensive waste-of-space twat. Just, you know, on general principle.

The Australian actress Maggie Kirkpatrick, who starred in 1980s TV soap Prisoner Cell Block H, allegedly invited a girl to her house then sexually assaulted her, a Melbourne court has heard claimed. The alleged victim, who cannot be named, said the attack took place in 1984, when she was fourteen. In a statement read to the court, she said that she had not reported the abuse until recently because she feared people would call her 'crazy.' The actress, seventy four, denies the charges. 'I need to go to court to have this ridiculous situation quashed,' the Sydney-based actress told the Herald Sun newspaper. 'Allegations have been levelled at me, yes. Are they true? Absolutely not,' she said. Kirkpatrick played a warden nicknamed The Freak in Prisoner, a popular series set in a women's prison. She later appeared in a host of other Australian TV shows and in 1991 played Marilyn's aunt Jean Chambers in Home & Away. Her most recent role was in a stage production of the musical Wicked. The actress has been charged with two counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a person under sixteen years. In her court statement, the alleged victim claimed that she had organised a meeting with Kirkpatrick through a TV producer while she was a patient in a psychiatric hospital. It is alleged that the actress collected the victim from the hospital and took her to her home, where they shared a meal. They are said to have ended up in Kirkpatrick's bedroom, where the alleged abuse allegedly took place. A witness, who also cannot be named, testified that the alleged victim later told him about the incident, and that 'some sexual things happened.' According to ABC, the court was also shown Kirkpatrick's videotaped police interview, in which she admitted taking the teenager back to her home for dinner but denied abusing her. Kirkpatrick said she sent the girl away in a taxi after she caught her raiding her alcohol cabinet. 'It was a kindness to give her a day out,' Kirkpatrick said during the interview. 'I then became a tad uncomfortable as, while I was cooking and having a glass of wine, she decided to get into the alcohol in the dining room. I felt I should put a stop to it.' The case extremely continues.
Six people caught in sting operations involving the former Scum of the World investigations editor, Mazher Mahmood, are seeking leave to appeal against convictions resulting from stories about them in the disgraced and disgraceful newspaper. A lawyer acting for the six, Siobhain Egan, argues in the preliminary grounds for appeal that there are 'serious concerns' over the safety of these - and other - convictions. According to the papers sent to the court of appeal the 'common thread' to all six cases concerns Mahmood's integrity as a witness. There are also references to his methodology and his concealment of alleged 'sources' under journalistic privilege. The appeals are the direct result of statements made by a judge when he halted the trial of singer and TV presenter Tulisa Contostavlos in July 2014. Judge Alistair McCreath said that there were 'strong grounds for believing' that Mahmood had 'lied' on oath. Two of the six are known to be the actor John Alford and the former boxer Herbie Hide. Alford was convicted in 1999 of supplying drugs to Mahmood and sentenced to nine months in prison (eventually serving six weeks). Hide was sentenced to twenty two months in prison in 2013 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine to Mahmood, by then working for the Sun on Sunday. Hide's sentence was cut on appeal to eighteen months. These actions follow the sending by the Crown Prosecution Service of 'disclosure packs' to twenty five people who either pleaded guilty or were convicted as a result of evidence provided by Mahmood (also known as The Fake Sheikh). Both the CPS and the Criminal Cases Review Commission have received the grounds for appeal by the six. Meanwhile, the CPS is still trying to make up its mind whether to prosecute Mahmood for perjury following an investigation by the Metropolitan police. The CPS received the police file on 6 June. A CPS spokeswoman said last month that the file was being 'reviewed in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors.' The service must decide if there is enough reliable and credible evidence to warrant charging him and whether there is 'a realistic prospect of conviction.' One other key factor is whether a prosecution would be 'in the public interest.' Whatever that means. Mahmood has been under suspension by the Sun on Sunday's publisher, News UK, since the collapse of the Constostavlos trial. It announced at the time that it was holding 'an internal investigation.' In subsequent weeks, the CPS abandoned three cases in which Mahmood was due to have been the key witness on the understanding that his evidence could no longer be relied on to guarantee a conviction.

An American man famed for dressing up as Batman and visiting sick children in hospital has died after he was hit by a car in Hagerstown, Maryland. Police said that Leonard Robinson's car had broken down in the fast lane of a major highway when the incident occurred. He was struck by his own Batmobile after another car careered into it. Robinson rose to fame in 2012, when a video went viral of him being pulled over by police because his car had invalid number plates. Known as 'The Route Twenty Nine Batman', Robinson had spent the last fourteen years visiting sick children in hospital and handing out Batman paraphernalia in full superhero dress. According to the Washington Post, he sold his commercial cleaning business to help fund his Batmobile - a black customed Lamborghini. The paper said that he spent more than twenty five thousand dollars of his own money on Batman toys, T-shirts and books to give to children. 'I'm just doing it for the kids,' Robinson told the paper in a profile in 2012. Robinson was never charged over the 2012 incident which thrust him into the public spotlight, telling police that he was on his way to cheer up children at a cancer ward in a nearby hospital. Montgomery County police department, to which the officers belonged, said it was 'saddened by the news' of his death. 'The footage depicted a positive and humorous interaction between officers and Robinson. It was evident that the officers and Robinson had a mutual respect for each other and the job that each was trying to accomplish that day,' it said in a statement.
Emmerdale actress Kitty McGeever, who became the first blind actress to have a starring role in a British soap, has died at the age of forty four. McGeever played the character of Lizzie Lakely for four years after joining Emmerdale in 2009. A spokeswoman for the show said that the actress died on Sunday night, 'surrounded by her loving family.' McGeever had trained at RADA and her previous TV credits included Beautiful People and London's Burning. She also worked as a stand-up comedienne and was a regular performer on the comedy circuit. The spokeswoman said: 'Kitty was a great talent and a true inspiration to all who worked with her. The cast and crew are devastated at her passing and she will be missed tremendously and remembered fondly by all of us.' McGeever had lost her sight at the age of thirty two as the result of an illness. McGeever's character was initially a loveable rogue who arrived in Beckindale wearing an electronic tag following a conviction for a petty crime. Her bad behaviour continued but she settled down over time as she made more friends in the village and took up a job at Jai Sharma's sweet factory. She also supported her best friend Lisa Dingle after she confided in her about being raped.
And, some further terribly sad news, Yvonne Craig who played Batgirl in the 1960s Batman TV series has died aged seventy eight. Yvonne was a pioneer of female superheroes on-screen. As an actress, she originated the role of Batgirl, as a trained dancer, she also did her own stunts. She died on Monday after a two-year battle with breast cancer at her home in Pacific Palisades. 'She had been in chemo almost continuously for the past two plus years since being diagnosed and that had weakened her immune system as well as her body,' her family said in a statement on Tuesday. 'This didn't dampen her sense of humour or her spirit, she intended to fight and win this battle. In the end, her mind still wanted to fight but her body had given up.' Yvonne played the role during Batman's third and final season in 1967 alongside Adam West and Burt Ward's dynamic duo. 'I hear from women that I was their role model,' she told CNN in an interview earlier this year. '"When I was a little girl, I realised that girls could kick butt just like guys," [they'd say].' She also had a memorable role as the green-skinned Orion slave girl Marta who wanted to kill Captain Kirk in Whom Gods Destroy, a particularly memorable episode of Star Trek. Beyond those two well-remembered roles, Yvonne had a long and illustrious career which began as the youngest member of a ballet company. 'I was invited to dinner by a man who was a producer, who wanted to put me in movies. I said I wasn't interested,' she recalled. 'John Ford's son walked by and asked "Excuse me, are you an actress?" And, as I shook my head and tried to swallow, [the producer said], "She is and I'm her manager. What can I do for you?" Typical Hollywood. They were doing a movie with John Wayne's son Patrick, and they were looking for a leading lady. And I became it.' That was 1959's The Young Land, her movie debut. She went on to appear in several films, including two with Elvis Presley - It Happened At The World's Fair and Kissin' Cousins. She also starred in the cult SF movie Mars Needs Women (1966) and appeared in In Like Flint as a Russian ballet dancer opposite James Coburn the following year. She then converted her big-screen success into television roles, guest starring in several series, most notably episodes of The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Dating Game, Perry Mason and Seventy Seven Sunset Strip. Then came Batgirl. DC Comics had been asked to create a new Batgirl character to help get the show recommissioned for a third season and Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara, took on the identity of the newest masked avenger in Gotham City, both on TV and in the comic books. 'It was a wonderful experience,' Yvonne said. 'The crew liked one another, the cast liked one another. It doesn't happen often, and when it does, it's a joy to go to work every day. I got to work with people that I would never have the chance to work with. We had Ethel Merman, I would never have met Milton Berle and he was a delight.' She described the characters of Barbara Gordon as 'very close to who I am.' Her post-Batman TV career lasted several years and spanned many of the hit shows of the era, including The Six Million Dollar Man, Kojak, The Big Valley and The Mod Squad. In later years, Yvonne worked as a real estate broker, did voice-over work for the Nickelodeon cartoon Olivia and, with her sister, went into the prepaid phone card business. She wrote a memoir, From Ballet To The Batcave & Beyond and was publicly vocal about her support for free mammograms for women who couldn't afford them. 'She was one special lady and my best friend, so will be missed terribly,' her sister, Meridel Carson, told CNN. She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Aldrich, her sister and two nephews.
From the sublime, to the ridickelickelickelous.
And now, dear blog reader, the first in a new, semi-regular From The North series, Is He Really So Skint He's Got To Do That? This week's item up a'fore the court, Ringo Starr flogging loafers. Now, this blogger is sure the quality footwear in question are pure dead choice and that but, still, this bloke used to be in The Beatles fer Christsake.
After three months of The Curse Of The Werewolf look, yer actual Keith telly Topping his very self recently decided to rejoin the ranks of the shaved. To be fair, he barely recognised the handsome chap looking back at him in the mirror. So, Keith telly Topping pushed him out of the way and looked at his very self instead.
To yer actual Keith telly Topping's 45 of the Day now, dear blog reader. What say you to a mighty slab of The Farmers' Boys their very selves. Tasty.

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