Saturday, August 22, 2015

We're All Looking At A Different Picture Through This New Frame Of Mind

It was only a matter of time, this blogger suggests, before one of the tabloids was going to trot out the seemingly annual 'The Doctor might be leaving. Possibly. Maybe,' story. And, sure as eggs is eggs, this week had seen it occur. This time around it was the Metro, if you can actually classify the Metro as 'a newspaper' - which might be pushing the definition somewhat. In this article, quoting comments made by Peter during a press round-table last week which, seemingly, only the Daily Mirra (also, 'a newspaper' if you really stretch the definition of what a newspaper is) reported. At least the 'sooner rather than later' line, anyway. As regular dear blog reader, the excellent Peter Nolan notes: 'The very nearest "sooner" could be is after series ten. Which would [mean Peter had played the role for] three seasons. Which is exactly average for a Doctor to stay. The Metro making a story out of "Doctor likely to stay around about the average amount of time Doctors stay" is actually kind of lovable of them, in a scamp fashion.' Indeed, dear blog readers with longer memories may recall previous examples of this annual malarkey. Like, last year for instance. Or, the infamous occasion when the Sun (also, allegedly, 'a newspaper', apparently) claimed that 'a pal' of Matt Smith had told them Smudger would soon be leaving the role to try his hand in America. Which he did. Almost exactly three years later. As for the Metro's piece, it filled up half-a-page which will be used as tomorrow's fish and chip wrapper, one supposes.
BBC America has whetted lots of fan juices - stop it - with six new Doctor Who images to publicise series nine. There are couple of new shots of Peter Capaldi's Doctor - sporting his hoodie - and Jenna Coleman's Clara. The are also four images from series nine's opening two episodes, The Magician's Apprentice and The Witch's Familiar. Along with more dramatic pictures of The Doctor and Clara, we get our first look at Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) in the new series, as well as a resurrected Missy (Michelle Gomez).
Russian 'art collective' and distributor of international films CoolConnections has announced that on 15 and 16 September, Russian cinemas will be showing Doctor Who's series eight two part finale Dark Water and Death In Heaven in 3D, as well as the series nine preview. Locations and times have not yet been announced. The episodes will be shown in English, with Russian subtitles. In 2013, Russian cinemas joined the international simulcast of the fiftieth anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor.
The Great British Bake Off's ratings are showing no sign of slumping - the BBC1 hit rose to more than ten million overnight viewers for Bread Week on Wednesday. A whopping 10.06 million punters tuned-in at 8pm to see the remaining bakers take on Soda Bread and French baguettes, before impressing Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry with some 'showstoppers.' Anne Robinson's Britain's Spending Secrets followed with 5.49m at 9pm. On BBC2, Great British Menu continued with 1.60m at 7.30pm, before Horizon interested nine hundred and seventy thousand at 8pm and Return Of The Giant Killers: Africa's Lion Kings averaged 1.22m at 9pm. ITV's latest Foyle's War repeat was watched by 2.05m between 8pm and 10pm. Channel Four's Supervet In The Field gathered 1.15m at 8pm while One Born Every Minute brought in 1.17m at 9pm. The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door continued with 1.20m on Channel Five at 8pm, before Undercover Benefits Cheat attracted nine hundred and thirty five thousand at 9pm. Wentworth Prison was watched by five hundred and forty five thousand at 10pm. Meanwhile, E4's Jane The Virgin dipped sharply to but ninety six thousand at 9pm, while Nashville continued with one hundred and seventy five thousand at 10pm.

Who Do You Think You Are? pulled in impressive overnight ratings figures again on Thursday evening, topping (or, should that be telly topping) the night overall outside soaps. Actress Jane Seymour's turn on the ancestry trail achieved an audience marginally higher than Paul Hollywood's episode last week by around two hundred thousand viewers on BBC1, taking in an average 4.37 million at 9pm. Earlier, Traffic Cops brought in 3.17m at 7.30pm. On BBC2, Great British Menu appealed to 1.72m at 7.30pm, followed by Building The Ancient City with 1.20m at 8pm. Things just get worse and worse for ITV's shamefully banal z-list celebrity shepherding fiasco Flockstars which dipped again to a truly risible 1.44m punters at 8.30pm, over half-a-million viewers down on last week's overnight audience. The Wonder Of Britain didn't do all that much better, attracting but 1.46m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Phil, Phil, Phil and Kirstie, Kirstie, Kirstie in Location, Location, Location continued with 1.58m at 8pm, while 1.20m whinges along with Very British Problems at 9pm around two hundred thousand viewers own on the previous week's opening overnight audience. Channel Five's Supersized season continued with four hundred and seventy one thousand at 8pm, followed by Trapped In A Cult with six hundred and eighty seven thousand at 9pm. Person Of Interest's double-bill was watched by four hundred and ninety seven thousand at 10pm and four hundred and fifty five thousand at 11pm.

Ripper Street was seen by an average overnight audience of 2.82 million, up from the previous week's overnight of 2.74 million. For the second week running, The ONE Show was Friday's highest-rated overnight programme outside of soaps, with an audience of 3.18 million punters at 7pm. It was followed by A Question Of Sport with 2.42 million at 7.30pm, while Would I Lie to You? was seen by 2.57 million. BBC1's evening ended with a reduced audience of 1.05 million for Mountain Goats. Replacing Gino's Italian Escape: A Taste Of The Sun, Real Stories With Ranvir Singh secured 2.11 million for ITV at 8pm, while risible, worthless waste-of-space BBQ Champ saw its audience drop yet again to a laughably embarrassing 1.38 million viewers as another sixty thousand viewers from the previous week's audience took one look at that awful Klass woman and thought, 'you know what? I'd soon contemplate the inherently ludicrous nature of existence than spend another second in the company of that hateful, full-of-her-own-importance smear.' Quite why it took them three weeks to get to that stage and what's keeping the other 1.38 million glued to their seats is another question entirely. Apathy? Depression? Self-loathing? An inability to find the remote control? You decide, dear blog reader. Five hundred and seventy thousand viewers tuned in to watch World Athletics - A Beijing Special at 7pm on BBC2, followed by 1.38 million for Great British Menu and 1.81 million for Mastermind. The fact that Mastermind drew five hundred thousand punters more than BBQ Champ does, admittedly, marginally restore ones faith in the general viewing public and their ability to spot stinking shite a mile away. Gardeners' World continued with 1.68 million, The Great British Bake Off: Extra Slice secured an evening high of 2.36 million for Beeb2 and Rick Stein: From Venice To Istanbul was seen by 1.7 million. Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown was, as usual, Channel Four's most popular overnight show, playing to 1.52 million punters at 9pm. The Last Leg followed with 1.26 million at 10pm, while Celebrity Fifteen to One was seen by eight hundred and ten thousand. On Channel Five, Aircrash: The Downing Of Flight 8509 has an audience of seven hundred and eighty three thousand at 8pm, whilst Katie Price: In Therapy was seen by an average overnight audience of eight hundred and ninety thousand. An audience share of 4.8 per cent watched the former glamour model and crass self-publicist undergo psychological evaluation over the course of a month. After which, presumably, the vast majority of those people would have needed some psychological evaluation themselves as to what on Earth possessed them to watch such utter drivel.

TV comedy line of the week came from Friday's episode of the always reliable Would I Lie To You? and Rob Brydon's uncanny impression of 'David Mitchell on the toilet.' You had to be there, dear blog reader.
The round featuring Jermaine Jenas's story about Nolberto Solano keeping him awake by blowing his own cornet was pretty amusing too albeit, hardly a revelation to Newcastle supporters who were already well aware of Nobby and his horn. No, stop it.
BBC1's Casualty has once again topped the Saturday overnight ratings. The long-running medical drama rose to 4.34 million overnight viewers from 9.10pm. Earlier in the evening, Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull had an audience of 3.38 million from 6.20pm, and The National Lottery: Five Star Family Reunion attracted 3.17 million. Match Of The Day averaged 3.39 million from 10.20pm. On BBC2, Proms Extra - presented by Katie Derham - had four hundred and thirty five thousand viewers from 7pm. The latest Dad's Army repeat appealed to 1.49 million whilst Julie Walters: A Life On Screen interested 1.49 million. The ITV game show Keep It In The Family continued with but 2.48m in the 7pm hour. The Saturday Night Story and a repeat of the acclaimed drama The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jefferies were watched by 2.26 million and eight hundred and fourteen thousand punters respectively. On Channel Four, Great Canal Journeys was seen by nine hundred and forty three thousand viewers before an showing of the movie Battleship averaged 1.03 million. Channel Five's Football League Tonight was watched by five hundred and nine thousand from 9pm. The multichannels were topped by ITV3's Lewis, which drew six hundred and seventy four thousand from 8pm.

This blogger was, frankly, rather cross with yer actual Alan Shearer for failing to take the opportunity to eblow Big Sam Allardyce in the mush, geet hard, when the pair sat next to each other on the Match Of The Day sofa on Saturday night. Very much 'an opportunity missed' that, one could suggest. Nevertheless, yer actual Keith Telly Topping did enjoy Gary Lineker allowing his co-presenters to have a 'drinks break' in the middle of the show due to the heat. That was funny.

Big Blue Live was an overnight ratings winner for BBC1 on Sunday evening. The new natural history series kicked off with 4.96m viewers at 7pm, while the latest episode of Partners In Crime brought in an overnight audience of 3.68m at 9pm. On BBC2, Dragons' Den continued with 2.89m at 8pm, while Odyssey averaged 1.09m at 9pm. ITV's Animal Mums appealed to 2.01m at 7pm, before a Midsomer Murders repeat had an audience of 2.19m between 8pm and 10pm. On Channel Four, Time Crashers interested 1.17m at 8pm, while the network premiere of Les Misérables was watched by 1.32m at 9pm. Channel Five's Police Interceptors: Unleashed drew six hundred and forty two thousand at 8pm and the movie Snitch was seen by 1.12m at 9pm.

Here's the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Nineteen programmes, week-ending Sunday 16 August 2015:-
1 The Great British Bake Off - Wed BBC1 - 11.59m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.92m
3 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.04m
4 New Tricks - Tues BBC1 - 6.97m
5 Emmerdale - Fri ITV - 6.49m
6 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.73m
7 Partners In Crime - Sun BBC1 - 5.14m
8 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.09m
9 Who Do You Think You Are? - Thurs BBC1 - 5.08m
10 Six O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 4.98m
11 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.90m
12 Earth's Natural Wonders - Wed BBC1 - 4.78m
13 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.76m
14 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.45m
15 Fake Or Fortune? - Sun BBC1 - 4.32m
16 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.80m
17 Ripper Street - Fri BBC1 - 3.75m
18 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.60m
19 Pointless Fri BBc1 - 3.47m
These figures, as usual, do not include iPlayer or ITV Player viewers. Note: Partners In Crime (watched by 7.95m for its opening episode and 6.20m for its second) shed the best part of three million viewers of its initial audience over the course of four weeks. We've reached, as previously noted, that time of the year where TV schedules tend to be full of all sorts of bilge that the networks find they've commissioned which have turned out to be complete rubbish and they want to get out of the way with as little fanfare as possible. As a consequence, this was another wretchedly poor week across the board. Nevertheless, once again the fact that ITV's top eleven broadcasts were five episodes of Coronation Street and six episodes of Emmerdale and not one single other ITV programme of any description managed to break the three million viewers barrier, clearly says ... something. For the record, the channel's twelfth most-watched broadcast of the week was Love You Graden with but 2.62 million viewers. ITV's latest two 'quality' examples of lowest-common-denominator shite-on-toast - Flockstars and BBQ Champ - drew final, consolidated audiences of 1.93 million for the former and, less than 1.73 million punters for the latter (this blogger is unable to give you an exact figure for risible BBQ Champ, dear blog reader, as it didn't even make ITV's top thirty for the week). Is it possible that awful Klass woman isn't, actually, as popular as TV executives, not to mention herself, seem to believe? Just wondering? By contrast, it was another decent week - in relative terms - for BBC2. Dragons' Den continued to pull in impressive numbers (3.16m), whilst the figures brought in by University Challenge (2.91m), The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice (2.78m), Gardeners' World (2.40m), Only Connect (2.23m) and Rick Stein From Venice To Istanbul (2.10m) were also well above-average. Now that its biggest drama hit in years, Humans, has ended, it was a case of 'back to normal' for Channel Four. Its top-rated broadcasts being Very British Problems (2.14m), Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown (2.08m), Twenty Four Hours In Police Custody (1.95m), Location, Location, Location (1.94m) and The Last Leg 1.78m. Channel Five's highest-rated shows were Undercover Benefits Cheat (1.75m), Ben Fogle: New Lives In The Wild (1.73m) and Sinkholes: Buried Alive (1.49m). Sky Sports 1's Live Ford Super Sunday was the most-watched multichannels broadcast of the week with 1.42m. Lewis was ITV3's highest-rated programme (seven hundred and ninety five thousand), followed by Endeavour (seven hundred and thirty eight thousand). On ITV4, World Series of Darts attracted three hundred and ninety four thousand. BBC3's weekly-list was topped by Don't Tell The Bride (1.05m). As usual, the soon-to-be-online-only channel's top ten was overloaded with several episodes of Family Guy and American Dad! and a Top Gear repeat. BBC4's weekly list was headed by Cilla At The BBC (1.15m) and Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield (seven hundred and twenty three thousand), followed by The Young Montalbano (five hundred and eighty three thousand) and Sinatra: All Or Nothing At Last (five hundred and six thousand). 5USA's Chicago PD attracted four hundred and seventy three thousand. The opening episode of the highly acclaimed Aquarius (four hundred and three thousand) was Sky Atlantic's weekly list-topper, followed by the final episode of True Detective's second series (two hundred and forty three thousand) and the latest Ray Donovan (two hundred and thirty six thousand). The Brink was watched by two hundred and three thousand. Sky Living's most-watched dramas were Madam Secretary (five hundred and twenty one thousand viewers), Chicago Fire (five hundred and eleven thousand) and Unforgettable (four hundred and seven thousand). Hannibal had one hundred and ninety four thousand viewers. Sky Arts' Elvis '56 drew eighty six thousand punters. Sky 1's most-watched programmes were the opening episode of Zoo (1.22m) and The Last Ship (five hundred and five thousand). On Dave, the first two episodes of the much-trailed The Last Man On Earth were the channel's highest-rated programmes of the week - five hundred and thirty two thousand and four hundred and forty thousand respectively - followed by Have I Got A Bit More News For You (four hundred and eleven thousand), the very welcome return of cult favourite Suits (three hundred and forty eight thousand) and Room 101 (three hundred and thirty four thousand). Drama's Judge John Deed attracted four hundred and eighty one thousand. Watch's broadcast of the movie Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams had an audience of two hundred and nine thousand. Dynamo Top Ten Greatest Moments was watched by one hundred and twenty six thousand whilst a repeat of the Doctor Who episode Last Of The Time Lords drew one hundred and fourteen thousand. Yesterday's Raiders Of The Lost Past was watched by two hundred and fourteen thousand viewers, as was the excellent documentary Royal Cousins At War. Sounds Of The Sixties was viewed by two hundred and two thousand. FOX's highest-rated shows were the sixth episode of Marvel's Agent Carter (four hundred and twenty two thousand), Falling Skies (three hundred and seventy four thousand), American Dad! (two hundred and twenty nine thousand), Murder In The First (two hundred and eighteen thousand) and several episodes of NCIS (Friday's being the most-watched with one hundred and fifty nine thousand). Another of the, seemingly endless, repeats of NCIS topped CBS Action's weekly list (ninety four thousand). The world's most-watched drama also featured in the top ten list of the Universal Channel, which was headed by Rookie Blue (two hundred and sixty six thousand). On the Discovery Channel, Deadliest Catch was watched by one hundred and seventy six thousand viewers, Mythbusters by one hundred and forty thousand and Auction Hunters by one hundred and ten thousand. Discovery History's Hitler's Generals had twenty thousand viewers, as did Time Team and Unsolved History. The Discovery Science channel drew thirty four thousand viewers for How It's Made. On Discovery Turbo, Wheeler Dealers had forty nine thousand viewers. CI's The Forensic Squad brought in forty three thousand whilst ID's FBI Case Files was watched by fifty one thousand and Murder Behind Mansion Walls by fifty thousand. National Geographic's Wicked Tuna had an audience of one hundred and eight thousand viewers. GOLD's, repeat run of Miranda attracted one hundred and ninety nine thousand. On Sky Sports News, Gillette Soccer Saturday was watched by six hundred and seventy five thousand. On ITV Encore, Jordskott continued with one hundred and fourteen thousand. TLC, curiously, did not report any ratings figures to BARB so, tragically, this blogger can't tell you how many sad, crushed victims of society watched the second episode of If Katie Hopkins Ruled The World. Because, I know how much you were all looking forward to knowing that.

Some jolly good news now, dear blog reader - the new 'M' series of Qi returns to BBC2 on 4 September according to Wikipedia, at least (albeit, there has been no official confirmation of this from the BBC itself).
Some plank in the production office at The Voice accidentally axed all of its singers before the blind auditions had even started a tabloid newspaper has claimed. Although, not with an actual axe, obviously. Because, that would have been news. According to the ever reliable Sun - who, of course, don't have a sick anti-BBC agenda smeared all over their smug collective mush and certainly never illegally pay public officials for stories - the e-mail cock-up on Monday led to two hopefuls believing they'd been dropped from the talent show after four rounds of meeting producers. It apparently took 'some hours' before the BBC's IT employees realised the mistake and producers had to call the acts to tell them that they, actually, were still going to make it to the blind auditions. So, everything was sorted out quite quickly, what's the problem, you may wonder? Good question. We can confirm 'this unfortunate incident' was caused by 'a technical glitch' and 'human error' and 'was rectified immediately', a spokesperson for the show said. The human who erred is understood to have been taken out the back and had his knackers kicked pure dead hard until he said he was very sorry and he'll never ever do it again.
The cast for the second series of Happy Valley has been announced. Sarah Lancashire will return in the lead role, alongside the likes of James Norton, Siobhan Finneran, George Costigan, Karl Davies and Charlie Murphy. Matthew Lewis is among the newcomers to the acclaimed, award-winning crime drama. He will be joined by former Coronation street actresses Katherine Kelly and Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Blackadder could be making a return to screens twenty six years after its fourth and last series, according to yer actual Sir Tony Robinson. Tone told the Sun that he 'thinks' a reunion for the historical comedy is on the cards. Quite what Tone, a good old Labour lad, was doing talking to a scum newspaper like the Sun is another matter entirely. 'I do think a new series of Blackadder is on the cards,' he is quoted as saying said. 'I have spoken to virtually all the cast about this now.' Whether he's also 'spoken' to Richard Curtis or Ben Elton about this cunning plan, he didn't say. The actor, writer and presenter then said that the only thing stopping the project from going ahead is the popularity of one of his former co-stars. 'The only problem is Hugh [Laurie]'s fee,' he claimed. 'He's a huge star now - or so he'd like to think.' No, Tony, he is. Sir Tone his very self also admitted that audience expectations would be high if the popular historical sitcom was to return. He said: 'Expectations for a new series will be high because people not only remember the original, they remember who they were when it was on. It's a big danger.' Yeah. Probably one very good reason not to do it in that case.
Juliet Stevenson and Adrian Edmondson are leading the cast of a major new thriller One Of Us for BBC1, written by the team behind The Missing. Set in Edinburgh and the Highlands, the Jack and Harry Williams-written four-part drama will also star Joanna Vanderham, Laura Fraser, John Lynch, Georgina Campbell and Game Of Thrones actor Joe Dempsie. The official BBC press release reads: 'Living side-by-side in isolated rural Scotland, the Elliot and Douglas families know each other inside out. However when two of them are horrifically murdered their lives are shattered and their relationships, both between and within the grieving families, are tested to the limit. In the search for answers, skeletons are unearthed and old wounds are reopened, as honesty, loyalty and morality is all brought in to question. Everyone has secrets, but when the lines between right and wrong, good and bad, true and false, become blurred, what path do you take, and how do you cope with the lasting and deadly consequences?' Vanderham said: 'I am very excited to start work on this character-led drama. The arresting Scottish landscape is the perfect setting for Jack and Harry's clever and brave script.' Writers Jack and Harry Williams said: 'One Of Us is a thriller but also, at heart, a character piece. So it's wonderful to have such a talented cast. We can't wait to see how they bring it to life.' Christopher Aird, the Head of BBC Drama Production England, added: 'One Of Us is a roller-coaster of a story with some amazing characters. We are thrilled to be making this compelling show for BBC1 next year.' Anybody else find some irony in the fact that the BBC's English Head Of Drama is commenting on a drama due to be made in Scotland? Just me, then?
And, still on the subject of Jockoland, the BBC's political editor, Tory slapheed Nick Robinson, has compared protests against his coverage of last year's Scottish independence referendum to the treatment of the media in Vladimir Putin's Russia. Robinson criticised the 'intimidation and bullying' of journalists, during an appearance at the Edinburgh international book festival to promote his latest book, Election Diary. In the run-up to 2014's referendum, Robinson was accused of bias after getting into an argument with the then Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, over the BBC's coverage of a story about the possible relocation of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The spat led to hundreds of pro-independence supporters congregating outside the BBC's Glasgow headquarters to - loudly - call for Robinson's resignation in the days before the vote. Robinson, who is leaving his post as political editor to join Radio 4's Today programme, admitted the episode was 'a source of regret.' But, he said: 'Alex Salmond was using me to change the subject. Alex Salmond was using me as a symbol. A symbol of the wicked, metropolitan, Westminster classes sent from England, sent from London, in order to tell the Scots what they ought to do. As it happens I fell for it. I shouldn't have had the row with him which I did and I chose a particular phrase we might explore badly in terms of my reporting and that is genuinely a sense of regret.' He added: 'But, as a serious thought I don't think my offence was sufficient to justify four thousand people marching on the BBC's headquarters, so that young men and women who are new to journalism have, like they do in Putin's Russia, to fight their way through crowds of protesters, frightened as to how they do their jobs. That, you may agree with me or disagree with me, is not how politics should operate either in the UK or in future independent Scotland if there is to be such a thing. We should not live with journalists who are intimidated, or bullied, or fearful in any way.' Robinson said that he had taken 'several personal lessons' from the episode, but he criticised what he saw as antipathy towards journalists from outside Scotland covering the referendum. 'There's a deeper question around should a man from London, should an Englishman come to Scotland to cover the referendum, particularly at the last minute? To which my answer is an unequivocal yes,' he said. 'This country is still a United Kingdom until and unless the Scottish people vote for it not to be. The idea that before Scotland becomes independent, if she is ever to become independent, that only certain journalists can cover it, who live in certain places and come from certain locations is, again, dangerous.' He said that he was concerned about the growth of 'echo chamber' politics and journalism perpetuated by social media. 'The great danger is that people only read and hear and watch people they already agree with because you choose who to follow. And what I saw happen in the lead-up to the Scottish referendum was that the vortex of anger about my reporting on that one occasion was all connected with social media. This is very dangerous. We've seen what happens with FOX News in the United States: people only watch media that they agree with.' He added: 'The big lesson I learned from that protest is that ain't what a democratic politician should be about.' Robinson, who earlier this year had a successful operation to remove a lung tumour, said he was particularly delighted to attend the festival 'as it means I'm on the road to recovery.'

A BBC continuity announcer suffered the ultimate embarrassment on Wednesday when he forgot to put his mobile on silent during a live link. He was speaking over the credits of Pound Shop Wars on BBC1, just before the start of The Great British Bake Off, on Wednesday when his phone went off and ruined his announcement. Got in a reet kerfuffle, so he did. Still,it's not like anyone was watching - only, you know, ten million punters who'd just tuned in to watch Bake Off, that's all. The announcer apologised for the mistake before soldiering on with his link, limping, like a wounded buffalo towards the sack.
And now, dear blog reader, proof that grrl power is ... you know, still a thing.
Aw. Bless. Next ...

The Met Office has lost its BBC weather forecasting contract, it has confirmed. The UK's weather service has provided the data used for BBC forecasts since the corporation's first radio weather bulletin on 14 November 1922. The BBC said that it was 'legally required' to secure the best value for money for licence fee payers and would tender the contract to outside competition. The Met Office said it was 'disappointed' by the decision. A replacement is expected to take over next year. Steve Noyes, Met Office operations and customer services director, said: 'Nobody knows Britain's weather better and, during our long relationship with the BBC, we've revolutionised weather communication to make it an integral part of British daily life. This is disappointing news, but we will be working to make sure that vital Met Office advice continues to be a part of BBC output.' The Met Office also provides many of the presenters who read the weather on the BBC and said it would be supporting them to 'ensure clarity on their future.' A BBC spokesman said: 'Our viewers get the highest standard of weather service and that won't change. We are legally required to go through an open tender process and take forward the strongest bids to make sure we secure both the best possible service and value for money for the licence fee payer.' The spokesman said that the Met Office's severe weather warnings would still be used by the BBC.
The BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire has announced that she is battling breast cancer. The journalist confirmed on Twitter on Wednesday that she will continue hosting her BBC2 and BBC News Channel series 'as much as possible' while she is receiving treatment. 'Have been diagnosed with breast cancer and am having a mastectomy in a few weeks,' Victoria wrote. 'Family, friends, work and NHS staff are being brilliant,' she added. 'Will be doing the programme as much as possible during treatment in the months ahead.' Victoria began hosting her BBC2 news hour in April, having previously worked on Radio 5Live for sixteen years.
Shadow lack of culture secretary Chris Bryant has accused the Department for Culture, Media and Sport of publishing 'anti-BBC propaganda' which makes the consultation on the corporation's future look like 'a con.' No shit? And, you've just worked this out have you, Chris? Bloody hell, you get yer money for nowt, to be sure. The Labour MP said that a post on the department's blog, which was recently given a five thousand five hundred smackers redesign, about the government’s Green Paper on the future of the BBC was 'undermining attempts' to run a consultation on the proposals. The blog says that the consultation will ask 'whether the BBC is muscling out commercial competition' and if its role in developing the UK's technology industry is 'an appropriate use for licence payers' money.' It also says: 'There are some who believe the BBC has become too big and powerful, distorting the market against the interests of the industry as a whole and the licence payer.' Yes, there are. Your boss, for one. Bryant said that passages in the blog were 'biased' and showed the department was 'determined' to break up the BBC. 'Clearly the government consultation is no more than a con,' said Bryant. 'The Secretary of State promised it would be open and transparent, but he is already undermining it and seems intent on a break-up of the BBC. Instead of wasting six thousand pounds on a blog stuffed with anti-BBC propaganda, ministers should let the consultation run and gather evidence from people across the country. If they genuinely listen they will learn that the country does not support them in their desire to cut the BBC down to size.' A DCMS spokesperson said the post reflected the content and language of the government's Green Paper on charter renewal. The DCMS blog is one of many ways we communicate with our audiences about all of the department's work,' said the spokesperson. 'Through the BBC charter review consultation we want to hear from the public and the blog is one way we are engaging people online to share their views. The BBC charter review blogs are produced in-house at no cost, and simply reflect content from the open, balanced consultation document.' The topics covered in the post, which is titled What the BBC does: scale and scope, are particularly sensitive because the deal to link the licence fee to inflation struck between the government and BBC chiefs last month is dependent on the corporation's scope remaining the same.

This Is England '90 now has a broadcast date. What is supposed to be the final chapter in Shane Meadows' series will begin on Channel Four on Sunday 13 September 13 at 9pm. Two years after the events of This Is England '88, the upcoming four-part serial follows the same group of youths in the North of England including Lol (the wonderful Vicky McClure), Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) and Woody (Joe Gilgun).
Woman's Hour has long been considered to be a safe, if slightly 'worthy', staple of the daytime Radio 4 schedule. Until now, few would have described it as cool, and nobody would expect it to turn the airwaves blue. All that has changed now that Wor Geet Canny Lauren Laverne has taken the helm of a late night version of the long-running show that is shaking up some of the cosier conventions of BBC speech radio. After just a week on air, Late Night Woman's Hour has already seen one contributor blurt out the word 'fuck' and hosted a lively discussion about 'self-lubricating anuses.' You don't tend to get that sort of thing on The Archers. Well, not often, anyway. It would be enough to make regular listeners – and daytime host Jenni Murray – choke on their crumpets. Even Wor Geet Canny Lauren admits that she 'had trouble' lowering her eyebrows after one particularly spicy exchange about the sex lives of aliens. But, thanks to its 11pm slot, it seems the programme has escaped censure and is fast becoming a niche hit. Listeners have praised its in-depth discussions on woman's affairs and said it provides a refreshing antidote to some of the BBC's other content. Until now, Wor Geet Canny Lauren has been best known as a DJ and presenter on 6Music and for presenting the BBC's Glastonbury coverage. The former lead singer of Kenickie has spent parts of her career fighting off assumptions that she is a 'ladette' more interested in pop culture than 'serious matters.' And, a Mackem at that. Well, actually, on the latter score, she is. But, we'll try to forgive her for that. So, although she is no stranger to highbrow output – having presented BBC2's flagship arts programme The Culture Show – her appearance on Woman's Hour has taken some by surprise. Not least because of her memorable contribution to an episode of Mock The Week in a round called 'things you'll never heard on Radio 4' - 'a regional accent!' But, she said that the transition to speech radio has been easier than even she anticipated. 'Listening to five contributors all talking at the same time, keeping it moving, making sure everyone gets a chance to be heard ... it is surprisingly similar to doing a mix, just with human voices,' she said. Unlike the magazine format of its daytime counterpart, Late Night Woman's Hour takes a single discussion topic for each hour-long episode, allowing it to take a more in-depth approach. The subjects so far have been women and fan fiction, why we lie and the rise of dating app Tinder. Next week will see a discussions of female lust and another about women, drugs and alcohol. Wor Geet Canny Lauren became involved after she appeared as a guest presenter of a Woman's Hour episode last year alongside a string of celebrity editors including JK Rowling and Doreen Lawrence. 'I got to know the team really well,' she said, 'A few months ago we decided to do something a bit different, that would allow us to dig down into topics a little more. Because of my music radio background, I'm always thinking about the tone and feel of what is going out on-air. It is meant to sound like a group of friends having a conversation in a pub. I like to inject a bit of mischievousness. That said, I'm not trying to stitch listeners' eyebrows to their hairlines. Mine have only just come back down after we talked about self-lubricating alien anuses on the first episode.' Wor Geet Canny Lauren said that Thursday's show almost ended in disaster when a fire alarm meant the studio had to be evacuated. 'We had to move to the 5Live studio instead,' she said, 'Which is where the continuity announcers are based. They told me, "If you over-run, we won't be able to do the pips." I was nervous in case I brought Radio 4 down in my first week.' The final two episodes of the month-long run will be presented by regular Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey. She agreed that the new late night format is able to delve into areas the morning show cannot touch. 'I love it,' she said. 'They're the sort of revealing, intimate conversations it's difficult to have at 10am, however hard you try.' New Statesman deputy editor Helen Lewis, who was a guest on the first episode last week, is another fan of the new format. She said: 'Lauren Laverne is a fantastic presenter. She is genuinely interested in what people have to say, rather than her own opinions. She has no ego, so she draws interviewees out of themselves. The format lets them talk about things in a way that is normally rare on the BBC, without spoon-feeding people. I've been on BBC programmes before and there is a tendency to ask very "level one" questions that don't really get below the surface of a subject. Late Night Woman's Hour isn't afraid to delve into niche areas a little more. It can also afford to be a little more explicit and adult. There was a very relaxed feeling in the studio. They offered us all beer, though we were all very parsimonious and stuck to tea and coffee.' Writing online, Radio 4 listeners seemed a little shocked at some of the language they had heard on the show but, by and large, were full of praise for the format. On Thursday, Wor Geet Canny Lauren was forced to apologise after some Middle Class hippy Communist Gruniad Morning Star journalist, Hannah Jane Parkinson, let an f-shaped expletive slip out in a discussion about Tinder.

The actor Adam Deacon has been banned from contacting fellow actor and director Noel Clarke by a court. Deacon was found very guilty of harassment without violence earlier this year for sending his former friend a 'barrage' of abusive social media messages. The thirty two-year-old's lawyer said that the unemployed actor had 'a history of mental health difficulties.' He told Hammersmith Magistrates' Court that Deacon had 'increased his use of skunk cannabis as a form of self medication.' Deacon was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in January and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the court heard ahead of sentencing. Noel Clarke previously told the court that he helped launch to Deacon's career by selecting him to star in his hit films Kidulthood and Adulthood. The pair subsequently fell out in 2010 over a spoof film that Deacon wanted to make called Anuvahood. Deacon made the movie and won a BAFTA, but still took to Instagram and Twitter to attack the Doctor Who actor, Clarke - accusing his friend of 'bullying' him and 'sabotaging' his career. 'Perhaps Mr Deacon had justifiable reasons for feeling aggrieved towards Mr Clarke, perhaps he did not,' said Oscar Merry, speaking for Deacon in court. 'What is clear is that his online trolling of Mr Clarke overstepped the mark from unreasonable behaviour to actions that were unacceptable.' Noel Clarke said that he had tried to ignore the abuse, but Deacon posted pictures of his children next to an emoji of a gun. 'It is a death threat isn't it, really? If we are being honest,' he told the court during Deacon's trial. Following this, the security codes were changed at the school attended by Noel Clarke's children. Deacon's lawyer called his client 'a decent and kind human being' and said that the trolling was 'totally out of character.' He claimed Deacon was 'profoundly ill' and having 'a full mental breakdown' at the time of the abuse. Even after the police were called in, Deacon continued to troll Noel Clarke, calling him 'a snitch.'

The Australian actress Maggie Kirkpatrick has avoided jail time after being found very guilty of sexually abusing a teenage girl in 1984. Kirkpatrick, seventy four, who starred in the Australian TV drama Prisoner Cell Block H, denied charges of gross indecency with a person under sixteen. The court ruled on Thursday that she had abused the then fourteen-year-girl at her Melbourne home. Kirkpatrick on Friday was sentenced to one hundred hours of community service. She will be placed on a sex offenders' registry for eight years and will have to undergo a sex offenders programme and rehabilitation assessment. In sentencing, Melbourne Magistrate Peter Mealy said that Kirkpatrick would have been jailed if the offences were not 'historical in nature', local media said. Blimey, Rolf Harris must be wishing he'd never left Australia in that case. In a statement read to the court on Thursday, the unnamed victim said that she had organised a meeting with Kirkpatrick through a TV producer while she was a patient in a psychiatric hospital. She claimed that she had not reported the abuse until recently because she feared people would call her 'crazy.' Kirkpatrick played Joan 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.

Members of the Perry County District school board, in Perryville, Missouri, voted four to three in favour of asking for fellow board member, Mark Gremaud’s resignation. The vote came about as the result of Gremaud's reported comments, directed toward a female board member, Kathy Carron, during an earlier school board meeting: 'Kathy, you are just a woman,' Gremund allegedly said. 'The only thing you know is laying on your back with your legs in the air splayed.' Nice. According to KFVS, dozens of parents and teachers attended the special board meeting, many of them to show support for Gremaud. Insert your own punchline here, dear blog reader.
Meanwhile, dear blog reader, things must be bad for Sir Cliff, even the Daily Scum Mail appears to have turned against him.
I say, that's a bit harsh.

Yer actual Brian Eno is to deliver the annual John Peel Lecture at this year's Radio Festival. The speech, organised by BBC 6Music, focuses on the state of the music industry - with previous speakers including Iggy Pop, Pete Townshend, Charlotte Church and Billy Bragg. Eno's essay will 'examine the ecology of culture' and how a vast array of people - from DJs to lawyers - shape the music we hear. The musician started his career with Roxy Music and has gone on to produce records for David Bowie, Devo U2, james, Grace Jones and Coldplay - although we'll just have to try and forgive him for the latter - as well as making influential solo records such as Music For Airports. Eno said: 'I'm honoured to be invited to do a talk in the name of John Peel, a man who had a profound effect on my musical life and indeed my becoming a musician at all. His career as a non-musician who altered the course of music has been an inspiration to me and forms the basis of this talk.' The lecture will be broadcast live from the British Library by BBC 6Music on 27 September.
The Cassini mission to Saturn has returned its final close-up images of the gas giant's moon Dione. The probe passed within five hundred kilometres of the pockmarked surface on Monday - its fifth such encounter in the spacecraft's eleven-year tour of the ringed planet. Cassini is now engaged in a series of observational 'lasts.' And, in 2017 it will put itself on a destructive dive into Saturn's atmosphere. Which should be a sight to see. 'I am moved, as I know everyone else is, looking at these exquisite images of Dione's surface and crescent and knowing that they are the last we will see of this far-off world for a very long time to come,' said Carolyn Porco, who leads the imaging team on the mission. 'Right down to the last, Cassini has faithfully delivered another extraordinary set of riches. How lucky we have been.' The closest ever approach to Dione was in 2011, when the US, European and Italian space agency mission swept just one hundred kilometres above the moon. Dione has a diameter of eleven hundred kilometres, making it the fourth largest of Saturn's sixty two known moons. It has an icy exterior and a rocky interior. Cassini has detected a wispy oxygen atmosphere at the world, and has also seen signs that it may still be active, with what appear to be regions on its surface that have been altered by internal processes. Next year, Cassini will begin a series of manoeuvres to put itself in orbits that take it high above, and through, Saturn's rings. Then, in 2017, once the probe's fuel has all but run out, ground controllers will command the spacecraft to plunge into the planet's atmosphere, where it will be destroyed. As Cassini hurtles towards Saturn, it will become incredibly hot, will melt and ultimately will be crushed by huge pressures. As rock and roll deaths go, this one right up there with John Entwistle of The Who snuffing it in bed in Vegas with two hookers, a nose full of Charlie and a bottle of brandy. The mission is being disposed of in this way to be sure there is no possibility that debris from Cassini can one day land on Enceladus and Titan. These moons have been talked of as candidates for extraterrestrial life, and scientists would not want them contaminated by any Earth microbes that might still be on the probe - however unlikely that might be. The coming months will see Cassini make final, farewell passes of a number of moons. Referring to Monday's flyby of Dione, Carolyn said: 'Consider this the start of The Long Goodbye.' No missions are presently in preparation to re-visit the Saturnian system. Those outer-planet ventures that are being worked on will go to Jupiter. America has its Juno probe arriving at the gas giant next year, to be followed by Europe's Juice satellite in the 2030s.

Dutch police have arrested a man suspected of trying to sell a fake Vincent Van Gogh painting. The unidentified, but very naughty, fifty six-year-old chap was allegedly trying to pass off a study of Van Gogh's The Harvest for fifteen million euros. The man was alleged to have been touting the study with forged documents claiming to be from the Van Gogh Museum authenticating the work. Police said that there had been interest from - exceedingly rich - buyers worldwide. The Harvest, which hangs in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, was painted in 1888 and depicts the wheatfields and the farmers of Arles. Van Gogh produced ten oils and five drawings during a one-week period. According to documents held at the museum, Van Gogh was especially proud of this work, writing to his brother, Theo, about his success. 'The last canvas absolutely kills all the rest; there's only a still life with coffee-pots and cups and plates in blue and yellow that can stand beside it,' he wrote during the summer of 1888. The record for a Van Gogh painting stands at just over ninety five million knicker for Portrait Of Doctor Gachet, which was sold in 1990. The record price paid for a painting is Paul Gaugin's Nafea Faa Ipoipo? (When Will You Marry?), which was sold earlier this year for a reported three hundred million US dollars in a private sale.

Daniel Mays, known for his roles on Ashes To Ashes, Mrs Biggs, Doctor Who and Made In Dagenham, has defended the new Dad's Army film reboots from accusations that it will be 'utter shite', saying 'the characters are so rich it justifies a remake.' One or two people even believed him. 'It's so well-loved, it's a national institution, those original actors were so wonderful in their roles. I think,' Daniel told BBC 5Live, adding: 'The fact it's a film gives it brilliant scope.' The actor plays the role of Joe Walker, portrayed by the late James Beck in the original TV series. He says he 'didn't stop laughing' during filming, alongside the likes of Michael Gambon, Blake Harrison, Toby Jones and Bill Nighy. Which, frankly, is far more than any potential audience are likely to manage when the thing is released, shortly.
The very excellent New Zealand comedy duo Flight Of The Conchords - a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping - have been pretty busy since calling time on their cult HBO sitcom in 2009. Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for the song 'Man Or Muppet', while his partner, Jemaine Clement, appeared in Men In Black, Rio and the vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows. But now comes news that they duo are finally reuniting to make a film about their hapless, hopeless folk-rock band. 'We have actually started writing [a film],' Clement told Indiewire. However, he added: 'Who knows if it will ever be made, we’ve written some notes for some different film ideas. We're not down to the stage where we're going, "The film is going to be like this," it could be this, this, this, this, this.'
And from that to this ...
One of The Conks greatest hits, of course, was the masterful 'Bowie'. This blogger mentions it because, a) it's a damned good excuse to listen to it again, and b) Will Brooker - who is a 'film and cultural studies expert' at London's Kingston University; so, someone who hasn't got a real job, seemingly - is spending an entire year living as David Bowie. He is 'attempting to gain a greater understanding of the enigmatic pop lizard by adopting his eating habits, reading the same books he reads, and dressing in his clothes.' Apparently. Nice work if you can get it.
Youth Hostelling With Chris Eubank was, of course, one of the legendary desperate pitches Alan Partridge made to the BBC when his chat show was cancelled and his world fell apart. Now, eighteen years later, it has become a reality. The former boxer has filmed a one-minute 'pilot episode' to advertise a youth hostel website. And, it's pretty funny.
The Scum's one hundred per cent winning start to the Premier League season ended as yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies produced a battling display to secure their second point of the campaign. Wayne Rooney had a goal ruled out for offside as Louis van Gaal's side made a blistering start before Newcastle responded through big hard Aleksandar Mitrovic. The Serbia striker headed against the United bar before Newcastle's keeper Tim Krul denied Javier Hernandez with a brilliant save. Despite the absence of both Moussa Sissoko and Daryl Janmaat, the Magpies gave a convincing and committed performance that was almost unrecognisable from the lack-lustre display posted at Swansea a week earlier. Chris Smalling headed against the Newcastle bar in the closing moments. The Scum started and finished well but were left frustrated as Th' Boony Toon weathered the early storm and came close to taking the lead themselves. Steve McClaren, the former Old Trafford assistant manager, could have been celebrating the perfect return but new signing Florian Thauvin narrowly failed to connect with Papiss Cisse's ball across the six-yard area.
Just twenty four hours after his good friend Mo Farah reminded us all of his class, the legend that is Usain Bolt produced perhaps his greatest performance as he put a troubled build-up behind him to beat twice convicted drug-cheat (and favourite) Justin Gatlin to retain his world one hundred metres title. Twice convicted drug-cheat Gatlin came into the final on a twenty eight-race unbeaten run and apparently relishing his role as the sport's pantomime villain. But, at the same Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing where Bolt announced himself to the world with two Olympic golds and two world records in 2008, the Jamaican superstar came past a faltering twice convicted drug-cheat Gatlin at the death to snatch victory by one hundredth of a second. Canada's Andre de Grasse and young American Trayvon Bromell were both awarded bronzes in 9.92 seconds. This was, once again, The Bolt Show, even as the world doubted him, even as his own struggles this summer continued in a semi-final when he stumbled and almost fell. Twice convicted drug-cheat Gatlin had looked unbeatable in running 9.77 seconds in his own semi-final, but starting out in lane seven - his team-mate Tyson Gay was between him and Bolt in lane five - he was the slowest of the main contenders from the block. In every race this season twice convicted drug-cheat Gatlin's technique has been as certain as his reception has been chequered. Yet, with Bolt out faster and level with him at fifty metres, he tightened up horribly in the last thirty metres and staggered through the line as Bolt flew through. To quote Mad Frankie Boyle '9.79 seconds? I can't do anything in 9.79 seconds. It took me ten seconds to watch him doing it in 9.79 seconds!' The characterisation of this showdown as good-versus-evil was always rather overplayed. Neither is it redemption for a sport when the final contained three other men who have also returned from previous doping bans. Yet it is another reminder, if any were needed, of both Bolt's peerless competitive and athletic abilities and how much his sport owes him. Subsequently twice convicted drug-cheat Gatlin announced that he would be boycotting the BBC from now on over its 'biased' coverage. Which, obviously, the BBC were gutted over. The twice convicted drug-cheat's agent criticised the British media as a whole for focusing on convicted drug-cheat Gatlin's doping past, which led to him being banned from the sport in 2002 and again in 2006. At the climax of the race, the BBC commentator Steve Cram said, in reference to Bolt's victory: 'He's saved his title, he's saved his reputation, he may have even saved his sport.' Responding to the BBC's coverage, convicted drug-cheat Gatlin's agent, Renaldo Nehamiah, said: 'Justin, as well as I, feel that the British media and journalists have been extremely unkind to him.' This was, obviously, an awful story for the Daily Scum Mail to cover as, under normal circumstances, they'd be celebrating someone else criticising the BBC for bias but this time, they could only do so if they sided with a twice convicted drug-cheat. Nightmare.
And, finally, dear blog reader.
Made up or not, dear blog reader? You decide.

For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, one of the greatest dozen-or-so records ever made by anyone, ever. Bar none. A stunning slab of yer actual Portishead, trippy-hoppy-jazz-style(e), Beth Gibbons with a voice made entirely of gold and chocolate. Skill.

2 comments:

Mark said...

The trailer for the Dad's Army film makes it look about as funny as a heart attack

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping said...

Genuinely excellent cast ... and a director and scriptwirter whose previous career apex was Johnny English Reborn. 'nuff said, really.