Friday, September 11, 2015

It's All About The Pants (Revisited)!

Ever since a clip of The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, m'lud, you may have heard of them) performing their top-pop-tune 'Ticket To Ride' appeared in the opening episode of the 1965 Doctor Who story The Chase (and William Russell danced to it like a physics teacher crushing cockroaches at the Sixth Form Disco), the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama has had a curious, but almost symbiotic, relationship to popular music. Over the years Doctor Who has had many high-profile guest stars, some of whom have been musicians (including, for example, Katherine Jenkins and Foxes in recent years) – but there is one music grandee who Peter Capaldi thinks has been missing out. 'I think we should have David Bowie,' the actor told the audience at a screening for episode's one and two of the upcoming series in Cardiff this week. 'I think he would be a very good one.' Aye. And, this blogger wants to be a billionaire living on a paradise island with the fifty most beautiful women in the world. That, similarly, isn't going to happen. Next ...
Of course, dear blog readers should be advised that since the two episodes have now been shown to an audience larger than about eight people, spoilers are, perhaps inevitably, going to be doing the rounds on an Interweb near you. This blog, as ever, remains - as much as possible - a spoiler-free zone to anything that hasn't been officially announced by the Beeb themselves (or, via them, Radio Times). Nevertheless, as The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat told his Facebook followers this week: 'Off to Cardiff for screening of our opening two-parter. If you care about spoilers, now is the time to hide away - they'll all be out there.'
A new series prologue for Doctor Who series nine has been released this week. The teaser introduction features Clare Higgins as Ohila, High Priestess of the Sisterhood of Karn, who previously appeared with Paul McGann in The Night Of The Doctor. It is different from the series prequel shown in US cinemas earlier this year. Set on the planet Karn, it sees The Doctor say - seemingly of The Master - that 'an enemy's a friend you just don't really know yet.'
Doctor Who will tackle what is being described as 'its most experimental episode, ever' (bar none) as part of the forthcoming ninth series. Confirming recent rumours about such an episode, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) has announced that yer actual Peter Capaldi will appear in a 'one-hander' - an episode featuring no characters other than The Doctor his very self. But, don't blame recent BBC budget cuts for this conceit, dear blog reader, it's actually 'a bold intentional move' by the show's creators. 'We always like a new challenge on the show,' The Moff said. 'I can't tell you too much about this, but it's certainly unique and a big first for the show.' The Moffinator his very self, head writer and executive producer on the series, also hinted that the new twelve-part series will include 'urban thrillers, underwater ghost stories [and] journeys that take us from Vikings to the end of time.' Plus Daleks. Obviously.
We can also expect 'more laughs' alongside the scares in the new series of Doctor Who. Steven has promised that fans will be 'grinning a lot more' this year - well, those that haven't had all of the joy sucked out out of them and become jaded, humourless smears, that is - and so will The Doctor and Clara.
'They've been through the angst, The Doctor has been through his fear of not being a good man and Clara has been through her fear that this might not be The Doctor,' Steven said. 'They're on equal footing with a new dynamic between them and are relishing the Universe. They're linking hands and running towards a brand new world of epic adventure on a cinematic scale. They are clearly heroes and loving every minute.' Steven described the new run as 'big, mad and exciting', adding: 'You'll be grinning a lot more, there's more comedy mixed in with some of the darkest stuff we've done - The Doctor's first big entrance kind of sets the tone.' Steven also elaborated on the decision to reintroduce two-parters with a vengeance, promising 'bigger stories' and 'massive cliffhangers. Forty five minutes has served us incredibly well,' he said. 'But it's time to change it up a bit, change the rhythm. It's not just about being longer, sometimes it's about going deeper. And you won't always be quite sure whether you're watching a two-parter or not - [or] how much longer the jeopardy will last. We're aiming to be unpredictable.'
One year on from making his impressive début on Doctor Who, yer actual Peter Capaldi has insisted that he 'didn't want to seek the audience's approval.' But, Peter has admitted to The Red Bulletin that it was 'a risk' to make his Doctor less obviously and immediately 'accessible' than Matt Smith's former incarnation. 'I was very nervous about playing the part, but I didn't really think about the expectations of the fans,' Peter said. 'I just tried to think about playing the part of The Doctor as best as I could. I didn't want to seek the audience's approval. I think they must find out whether they like you or not. It is a risk. I just had to dive in.' As for being at the heart of a global popular family SF drama phenomenon, Peter said that he tries not to think too much about the pressures it brings. 'I sort of try not to look down - do you know what I mean? If I become over-conscious of the scale of interest in it, then I think that would make me a difficult person to live with.'
Peter has also come out in defence of the BBC, arguing that it is 'vital' it remains a large-scale public service broadcaster because commercial rivals are 'no substitute.' Yer man Capaldi, who returns in the latest series of Doctor Who on 19 September, admitted that the corporation 'is not perfect' but said that it contributed a lot to the UK. 'I absolutely love the BBC,' he said in an interview with The Big Issue. 'It is not perfect, but it has given us so much more than it has taken. I think it is vital to have a public service broadcaster of this scale. The opportunities it brings to the country are immense.' Earlier this week, Director General Tony Hall gave outlined his first response as to how the BBC will deal with seven hundred million quid in cuts following the licence fee agreement struck with the government which includes taking on the cost of free TV licences for the over-seventy fives, something which the BBC neither wanted, nor asked for. Capaldi said that if the BBC services are 'significantly cut' back as a result it is wrong to think that rival TV broadcasters, or newer players such as Netflix and Amazon, will be adequate substitutes for the corporation. 'Do people think all these other television services are these great shakes, because they are simply not,' he said. 'Nobody else does what the BBC does. And it is an ethos, a way of thinking, a way of conducting themselves and viewing the world that is not about profit. When did that become bad news? When did that become uncool?' Peter's comments echo those of The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) who said in July that the BBC is a 'beacon' and that if it is 'limited or damaged' it might be impossible to reverse the impact.
The BBC have finally confirmed the scheduled time when the new series of Doctor Who will have its world premiere television broadcast, with The Magician's Apprentice showing on BBC1 on Saturday 19 September at 7:40pm. The episode has a scheduled length of fifty minutes. The evening line-up has yet to be finalised, but it is expected that the episode will be preceded by an edition of Pointless Celebrities and then followed by The National Lottery: In It To Win It. Details of whether Doctor Who will precede or follow BBC1's annual Autumn dance extravaganza Strictly Come Dancing - which starts its new series the following weekend - should be confirmed next week.
The Magician's Apprentice and The Witch's Familiar will see The Doctor battle Daleks from across the decades, it has been revealed. 'The opening episode of the new series is fabulous,' Peter promised. 'The story is going to take us across the Universe in to all types of dark, terrifying and funny places. It's a particularly epic one to start, with lots of old favourites, Missy and The Daleks are returning - and particularly for those who are nostalgic with The Daleks of the 1960s, there are some special surprises in store.' Peter - who, least we forget, had major Doctor Who fandom credentials stretching back four decades - admitted that he was 'excited' to act alongside the old-school models. 'I don't have a particular favourite, but I do like to see the little old ones,' he said. 'They're very sweet as they're quite small - but actually they're still strangely brutal, nasty little pieces of work. You get a whole group of them together in the opening episode. I think we had about twenty of them in the studio so that was very exciting.'
Digital Spy, understandably, chose this particular week to start a poll on their website asking their readers to vote for their favourite Doctor. At the time of writing, notoriously thin-skinned Colin Baker is, currently, thirteenth out of twelve. That's got to hurt. Is it really so wicked of this blogger to idly wonder whether, if Richard Hurdall was an option, Colin would be fourteenth out of twelve? Answers on a postcard.
Sherlock's Amanda Abbington has reportedly received a death threat after publicly supporting backstage worker Tim Roberts, who lost his job after criticising the conduct of some Benedict Cumberbatch fans. As reported by The Stage, Roberts' employment with Really Useful Theatres came to an end earlier this month after he used social media to criticise the behaviour of some Cumberbatch fans who were watching Benny in Hamlet at The Barbican. When Amanda tweeted a link to the story, she received a death threat, which also appeared to include her husband, and Sherlock co-star, yer actual Martin Freeman. The threat was made in an anonymous blog, written by an anonymous coward, obviously, which reportedly showed a baseball bat covered in barbed wire, with a caption that said: 'Shall we start prepping for a possible funeral?' Oh, how gauche. Another message - written, no doubt, in crayon, by some perfect specimen of human evolution, read: 'Both Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington are starting to give Benedict and all his fans a bad name! They both seriously just need to shut up and fucking die already!' Mmm. I think it's the 'already' that turns this from a really nasty example of twatty self-entitlement into a brattish whinge from someone who is, clearly, either twelve and needs a damned good slap or sixteen and desperately needs a girlfriend (or, you know, a boyfriend, whichever). Amanda subsequently tweeted that the blog had been closed down and disappeared from the 'net and that the matter has now been reported to the police. Good. Whether the individual concerned has been pinched by the bobbies since, we just don't know but, this blogger will certainly report any further developments concerning the international man(or woman)hunt for the daft plank responsible. Roberts told The Stage that he had also received anonymous threats. 'I have been subjected to sustained harassment both on Twitter and to my personal e-mail. Some of the threats include threats of extreme violence toward me and anyone seen supporting me. This includes an actress after she had tweeted the piece on her Twitter account,' he said. Roberts added that he had arranged to meet with the police on Monday to 'formalise a complaint' against the individual or individuals involved. The theatre technician also said that he was considering legal action against RUT. 'I have worked in West End Theatre since I was sixteen, and I love the tradition of theatre, yet a small group of fanatics have been able to to engage with my former employers and all other potential employers to bring that to an end,' he said, adding: 'My original tweet that started this was about theatre etiquette. I'm now left to fend off hate mail and tweets just because a manager decided to validate the trolls and their attack on me.'
     Sadly, dear blog reader, we at this point have to acknowledge an age-old truism. There are some good people in the world, there are some bad people, most of us are somewhere in between and just want to get through life with as little fuss as possible hurting only those that really deserve it. And then, there are some people who was, quite simply, scum. Here endeth the lesson.
Incidentally, should the risible, louse who posted these laughably stupid threats happens to be reading this blog - it's unlikely, of course, but they may have Goggle'd themselves. That's if they haven't been caught by the fuzz thus far - and, having done so, feel like similarly threatening yer actual Keith Telly Topping, please do feel free to drop one into my inbox. This blogger could do with a good laugh.
Following the successes of their award-winning docudramas about the creations of Coronation Street and Doctor Who - The Road To Coronation Street and An Adventure In Space & Time respectively - a BBC documentary-drama about the origins of Dad's Army will begin filming in Northern Ireland this month. It will focus on the battles faced by co-creators Jimmy Perry and David Croft to get the popular sitcom made. 'It's a bit of a journey for the two guys and there are lots of ups and downs,' said producer, Brett Wilson. 'It was very hard for the writers to convince the BBC to commission the series in the first place. A comedy about members of the Home Guard during World War Two wasn't very appealing to them. But there will also be a lot of humour and we have some great actors involved, including John Sessions who is playing Arthur Lowe.' Sessions will play Lowe opposite Julian Sands as John Le Mesurier, with Paul Ritter as Perry and Richard Dormer as Croft. Shane Richie will play Bill Pertwee (inspired bit of casting, that) with Kevin Bishop as James Beck, Michael Cochrane as Arnold Ridley, Ralph Riach as John Laurie and Sally Phillips as Ann Croft. Further cast details will be announced at a later date (ie. who's playing Ian Lavender, for instance). The drama will be based on interviews, archive material and a history of the series by Graham McCann. It will focus on the journey of Dad's Army's creators from the script's beginnings, in a story described as so absurd in parts it could not have been made up. In particular, it will detail how the pair, along with the BBC's head of comedy Michael Mills, ran up against executives concerned about 'poking fun' at the Home Guard and the war generally. Keith Allen will play Sir Paul Fox, the then-head of BBC1, who eventually gave the go-ahead for the series, but insisted that the original title sequence – which was to feature real footage of Nazi soldiers – be changed to the now familiar 'map-and-arrows' design. Making Dad's Army will begin with Perry's initial idea for the sitcom in 1967 until the transmission of the first episode in 1968. The BBC said that the drama would tell the story of how Perry and Croft 'overcame BBC management scepticism, focus groups and cast constipation to get the much-loved legend onto air. This affectionate and witty film shows the beginnings of Perry and Croft's writing partnership and the casting woes, personal clashes and production difficulties that put the show's very existence in jeopardy,' it said. Charlotte Surtees, executive producer of the docudrama and head of drama development at the production company DSP, said the original sitcom had faced major concerns from executives. 'At the time, the knives were out for the BBC – Mary Whitehouse had almost declared war at that point and there was a big political situation going on,' she said. So, no change there, then. 'There was a concern that they didn't want to be the channel poking fun at the Second World War. The other worry was: would anyone really care? Would people watch it, and would they even want to be reminded of war?' The drama is being shot entirely in Northern Ireland. 'We are using Northern Ireland crew - all the heads of department, costume, make up, production, even the accountants are from Northern Ireland,' said Brett Wilson (no relation). Locations include Cultra Manor in County Down, Broadcasting House and the Ulster Reform Club in Belfast. 'It's all going really well,' he added. 'I have never worked here before, so I wasn't sure. But it's been fantastic and I would love to bring more productions to Northern Ireland.' Dad's Army was first broadcast in the late 1968 and ran for nine years and included eighty episodes and a feature film spin-off. It followed the adventures (and misadventures) of a rather incompetent but ultimately loveable Home Guard unit in the fictional Kent town of Walmington-on-Sea during World War Two. We laugh with the men of the Home Guard because of the contradictions between warfare and 'Little England'. However, in 1940, those contradictions were utterly real. As Alan Coren famous once said in The Times, 'Clive Dunn might well ... have been the only thing standing between us and Dachau.' Michael Mills strongly defended the fledgling series against internal BBC claims of bad taste and he was proved correct to do so. We can't laugh at the Walmington-on-Sea platoon because not only is their situation truly desperate, but, in the best tradition of Fred Karno, Evelyn Waugh, and the lowly soldiers in Henry V, they're doing the best they can. Tom Hutchinson summed it up when he called the show 'a sweetly comic celebration of the British amateur'. Dad's Army was based, at heart, on a simple class joke which Huw Weldon, when he first met the cast, failed to get. He assumed that John Le Mesurier was playing Captain Mainwaring and Arthur Lowe was Sergeant Wilson. In truth, that was how it was initially going to be, but Perry and Croft changed their minds. The central conflict in the show is that of a lower middle-class bank manager who finds himself commanding a man from the upper classes. Wilson was the voice of sanity, he almost always had the easier answer. If it wasn't for Wilson's unwillingness to get involved in anything, he'd have made a much better officer. The one-off hour-long drama, announced on Friday, comes ahead of a new big-screen version of the comedy, due to be released next year, starring Toby Jones, Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon. Which has a superb cast but is written and directed by the men behind Johnny English Reborn and will, therefore likely be shite.
Tom Baker has provided his distinctive voice for the TV advert for Doctor Who: The Complete History. The book series, by Hachette Partworks, launches this week with volume fifty five which covers the David Tennant episodes Gridlock, Daleks In Manhattan, Evolution Of The Daleks, The Lazarus Experiment and Forty Two. Issue one will be available in from all good newsagents (and, some bad ones as well) at a special introductory price of one English pound and ninety nine pence. Subsequent issues will be considerably more expensive.
Doc Martin topped the overnight ratings outside of soaps upon its return on Monday, but its audience was distinctly lower than previous series. According to average overnight figures, the Martin Clunes-fronted drama brought in 5.59 million at 9pm on ITV. This is down by over two million punters from the overnight ratings of the equivalent episode of its previous series in 2013. And, it is down by around four million from the 2011 Doc Martin series premiere. Earlier, Britain As Seen On ITV was watched by 2.54m at 8pm. On BBC1, the documentary The Queen's Longest Reign interested 2.91m viewers at 9pm, while a rather hatchet-job Jeremy Corbyn Panorama special was seen by 1.97m at 8.30pm. Which is probably about the same number of people that'll be voting for Labour at the next election with yer man Jezza as leader. BBC2's Great British Menu had an audience of 1.54m at 7.30pm, followed by University Challenge - yes, the episode featuring a chap wearing a leather vest which seems to have got various people on Twitter with nothing better to do with their time in a right old kerfuffle - with 2.49m at 8pm and Only Connect with 2.17m at 8.30pm. Listen it's a leather vest. The kid looks like a berk wearing it but that's his choice in a free and democratic society. Grow up. Next, Bletchley Park: Code-Breaking's Forgotten Genius gathered 1.64m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Risible Jamie's Rubbish Food appealed to 1.26m at 8pm, followed by Food Unwrapped with 1.59m at 8.30pm and The Catch with eight hundred and eighty eight thousand at 9pm. Channel Five's latest example of shovelling the nation's intellect into the gutter along with all the other shit, Celebrity Big Brother, attracted 1.37m at 9pm, while the documentary Fat, Fabulous & Filthy Rich - which was every single bit as horrific at the title suggests - had seven hundred and forty nine thousand viewers at 10pm. All of whom probably needed a frontal lobotomy after it had finished to get it out of their heads.
England's 2-0 Euro 2016 qualifying victory over Switzerland was the top attraction outside soaps on Tuesday night, according to overnight figures. An average 4.85 million viewers watched Wayne Rooney break Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time international goalscoring record on ITV at 7.15pm. BBC1's New Tricks suffered a big dip in its audience, probably due to the football, dropping around nine hundred thousand viewers week-on-week to 4.50m at 9pm. On BBC2, Hairy Bikers' Northern Exposure appealed to 1.80m at 8pm, followed by India: Nature's Wonderland with 1.40m at 9pm. Channel Four's Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners attracted 1.14m at 8pm, while Educating Cardiff brought in 1.18m at 9pm. On Channel Five, the latest Celebrity Big Brother, including Chris Ellison's eviction, apparently, was gawped at by 1.26m sad, crushed victims of society at 9pm. Elsewhere, Sky Atlantic's premiere of Dwayne Johnson's HBO series Ballers - which has had more trailers than the average trailer park in Kentucky over the last couple of weeks - was seen by a mere one hundred and twenty one thousand at 10pm.

The Great British Bake Off continued its dominance of Wednesday evenings by easily topping the overnight ratings. An average audience of 9.49 million watched plenty of soggy bottoms, with a peak audience of 9.94m when the elimination result was announced. Bake Off's lead-in certainly helped the launch of Suranne Jones's rather promising new drama Doctor Foster, which opened with an impressive 6.05m at 9pm. On BBC2, Horizon appealed to seven hundred and ninety four thousand at 8pm, followed by The Ascent Of Woman with four hundred and fifty seven thousand at 9pm. ITV's sickeningly self-congratulatory ITV Changed My Life brought in but 2.05m at 8pm. So, obviously, it didn't change all that many people's lives. Odd, that. The Nick continued with 1.76m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Posh Pawn interested a million punters at 8pm, followed by the return of Grand Designs with 2.26m at 9pm and Million Pound Movers with 1.04m at 10pm. Channel Five's Nightmare Neighbour Next Door attracted nine hundred and seventy eight thousand at 8pm, while the latest Celebrity Big Brother all but destroyed the brains of 1.32m at 9pm and Wentworth Prison was watched by six hundred and thirty six thousand viewers at 10pm.
Channel Four look as though they could be onto something of a winner with their new series Hunted, as it attracted an overnight average audience of 1.73 million at 9pm for its first episode on Thursday evening. Earlier, Location, Location, Location appealed to 1.49m at 8pm, while First Dates was watched by 1.13m at 10pm. On BBC1, Eat Well For Less had an audience of 3.55m at 8pm, while Gareth Malone's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? topped the night outside soaps with 3.90m at 9pm. BBC2's World's Weirdest Events drew 1.47m at 8pm, followed by the rather impressive Cradle To Grave which had 1.83m at 9pm and Boy Meets Girl with 1.09m at 9.30pm. Mock The Week provided some awkward cynicism for 1.15m punters at 10pm. It was another horrorshow of a night on ITV, soaps aside, with flop following flop. Risible shepherding fiasco Flockstars plunged to a new low of 1.65m at 8.30pm, while Stephen Fry In Central America interested 1.82m at 9pm. Channel Five's Last Secrets Of 9/11 documentary was seen by seven hundred and seventy two thousand at 8pm, followed by the latest Celebrity Big Brother with 1.54m at 9pm and Special Needs Hotel with six hundred and fifty one thousand at 10pm.

An average overnight audience of 3.54 million tuned in for the opening episode of the new series of Gogglebox at 9pm on Channel Four. A peak of 3.68 million watched the programme, making it Friday's highest-rated overnight broadcast outside of soaps. It was sandwiched between Celebrity Fifteen To One with nine hundred and fifty thousand viewers at 8pm and a This Is England special with 1.84 million at 10pm. Alan Carr: Chatty Man also returned for a new series with 1.23 million at 10.15pm. Celebrity Big Brother's latest worthless hour of shite was seen by 1.36 million gawping voyeurs who should all be sodding well ashamed of themselves at 9pm. On BBC1, The ONE Show drew an average audience of 3.19 million at 7pm, followed by 2.04 million for A Question of Sport. Would I Lie to You? continued with 2.86 million at 8.30pm, while Ripper Street was watched by an increased week-on-week audience of 2.71 million at 9pm. The evening ended with 1.29 million for Mountain Goats at 10.45pm. The Real Peak Practice started the evening off for BBC2 with seven hundred and ten thousand at 7pm, followed by 1.38 million for The Great British Menu and 1.81% for Mastermind. Gardeners' World continued with 1.87 million while The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice was seen by 2.07 million. Rick Stein's From Venice To Istanbul picked up 1.47 million at 9.30pm. Britain's Noise Nuisance: Tonight was seen by 2.2 million at 8pm on ITV, while Mo Farah's appearance on Oily Piers Morgan's Life Stories attracted but 2.12 million at 9pm. Remember the days when the that odious twat Morgan used to take to Twitter first thing on Saturday mornings to crow about his ratings? How times have changed and, in this case, very much for the better. ITV3's Lewis was among the highest-rated multichannel programmes, with five hundred and twenty five thousand punters for a repeat of that episode with Jemma Redgrave at 8pm.

Having, allegedly, been given two weeks to 'save the "failing" show' (that's, if you believe the Daily Lies, of course), The X Factor reached a current series high on Saturday night, according to overnight data. But, it was still a million viewers down year-on-year. So, swings and roundabouts, really. With no competition from Strictly Come Dancing (which gave the ITV show such a pants-down slipperingy last weekend), The X Factor rose to an overnight audience of 7.55 million from 8pm. However, as noted, all is not entirely rosy in Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads' garden as last year's corresponding episode on 13 September 2014 managed an overnight figure of 8.43 million. So, that'd be more. Elsewhere on ITV, Keep It In The Family and Through The Worthless Arsehole were seen by 2.89 million and 3.44 million respectively. On BBC1, Pointless Celebrities had an audience of 3.96 million from 7.20pm, before The National Lottery: In It To Win It was watched by 3.1 million. Last Night Of The Proms averaged 4.09 million from 9pm. The Proms started earlier on BBC2 with an audience of 1.27 million from 7.15pm. Over on Channel Four, It Was Alright In ... The Eighties appealed to 1.25 million in the 9pm hour. Channel Five's Celebrity Big Brother continued with but nine hundred and ten thousand punters from 10.30pm, after Football League Tonight attracted five hundred and sixteen thousand earlier.

The X Factor enjoyed its best Sunday ratings of 2015 so far, according to overnight figures. The ITV lack-of-talent show was watched by an average of 6.96 million overnight viewers from 8pm. This is up by around three hundred thousand punters on the previous Sunday's overnight figure, but down over half-a-million from Saturday's ratings. Later on ITV, the final part of the Ray Winstone and Amanda Redman drama The Trials Of Jimmy Rose was watched by 2.93m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Shane Meadows's This Is England '90 launched with 1.56m at 9pm. And was, as usual, excellent. Earlier, Time Crashers brought in four hundred and sixty five thousand viewers at 8pm, whilst The Nineties: Ten Years That Changed The World interested seven hundred and ninety five thousand at 10pm. On BBC1, Countryfile had an audience of to 5.16m at 6.30pm, followed by Antiques Roadshow with 5.26m at 7.30pm and the opening episode of the David Thewlis drama An Inspector Calls with 5.84m at 8.30pm. Match Of The Day 2 then, if you will, scored 2.11m punters at 10.30pm. A repeat of The Best Of Top Gear attracted 1.24m at 8pm on BBC2, while Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week was seen by eight hundred and twnety four thousand at 9pm. On Channel Five, Celebrity Big Brother continued with 1.35m at 9pm.

And now, dear blog reader, here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Two programmes for week-ending Sunday 6 September 2015:-
1 The Great British Bake Off - Wed BBC1 - 12.39m
2 Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show - Sat BBC1 - 9.78m
3 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 8.53m
4 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.81m
5 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 6.99m
6 New Tricks - Tues BBC1 - 6.48m
7 Emmerdale - Wed ITV - 6.35m
8 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.76m
9 Casualty - Sun BBC1 - 5.74m
10 Lady Chatterey's Lover - Sun BBC1 - 5.64m
11 Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 - 5.43m
12 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.81m
13= Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.67m
13= Kolkata With Sue Perkins - Wed BBC1 - 4.67m
15 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.61m
16 Who Do You Think You Are? - Thurs BBC1 - 4.38m
17 Eat Well For Less - Thurs BBc1 - 4.34m
18 The Trails Of Jimmy Rose - Sun ITV - 4.22m*
19 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.18m
20 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.12m
21 The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Mon BBC1 - 4.09m
22 The ONE Show - Wed BBC1 - 3.88m
21 The National Lottery: five Star Family Reunion - Sat BBC1 - 3.80m
These figures, as usual, do not include iPlayer or ITV Player viewers. The Sunday episode of The X Factor drew an audience of 7.77 million. For BBC2, the first episode of Danny Baker's autobiography adaptation Cradle To Grave attracted an impressive 2.90m punters, whilst the audiences brought in by University Challenge (2.81m), The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice (2.80m), The Hairy Bikers' Northern Exposure (2.56m), Only Connect (2.45m), Dragons' Den (2.29m) and India: Nature's Wonderland (2.24m) were also above-average for the network. Channel Four's top-rated broadcasts were Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown (2.06m), Educating Cardiff (2.00m), the film Iron Man 2 (1.90m), Location, Location, Location (1.83m) and The Last Leg With Adam Hills (1.71m). Channel Five's highest-rated shows were several episodes of Celebrity Big Brother (Monday's 1.87m being the largest) and The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door (1.20m). The highest-rated multichannels show of the week, rather restoring ones faith in the viewing public, was BBC4's Canals: The Making Of A Nation (nine hundred and ninety one thousand). Timeshift: The Trains That Time Forgot also attracted a big audience of the channel (seven hundred and thirty four thousand). Sky Sports 1's coverage of Live Euro Qualifiers - featuring Wales's draw with Israel - was watched by six hundred and sixty nine thousand viewers, whilst Live International Rugby Union's broadcast of England's victory over Ireland had five hundred and twenty three thousand. England cricket team's victory over Australia in Live T20 was watched by five hundred and nineteen thousand viewers on Sky Sports 2. Sky Sports F1's coverage of The Italian Grand Prix drew seven hundred and fifty four thousand punters to watch Lewis Hamilton with. Again. A week without any Premier League football meant no episode of Gillette Soccer Saturday (giving Champagne Charlie Nicholas a few days to learn how to pronounce the word 'situation' properly and Paul Merson a few days to learn ... English). The channel's highest-rated show was News HQ At Five (five hundred and thirty one thousand). Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated programme (nine hundred and seventeen thousand), followed by Endeavour (seven hundred and sixty nine thousand) and Lewis (seven hundred and forty six thousand). On ITV4, Moto GP: Highlights attracted four hundred hundred and thirty seven thousand. BBC3's weekly-list was topped by a repeat of Tuesday's episode of EastEnders (nine hundred and seventy one thousand). 5USA's Chicago PD attracted six hundred thousand viewers. Ray Donovan (two hundred and sixty thousand) was Sky Atlantic's weekly list-topper, followed by the really rather good Aquarius (one hundred and three thousand) and Blue Bloods (Ninety four thousand). Sky Living's most-watched dramas were Chicago Fire (five hundred and eight thousand viewers), Madam Secretary (four hundred and fifty nine thousand) and Unforgettable (four hundred and thirty four thousand). Hannibal's unbelievably bloody final episode had two hundred and twenty two thousand viewers. Sky Arts' broadcast of the excellent documentary The Story Of The Jam: About The Young Idea drew one hundred and ninety three thousand punters (mostly ageing Mods like this blogger). This was way above the average for the channel's top rated weekly broadcast which usually is around fifty to seventy thousand. Sky 1's most-watched programmes were the fourth episode of Zoo (seven hundred and fifty one thousand) and The Last Ship (six hundred thousand viewers exactly). On Dave, the very under-rated cult favourite Suits was the channel's highest-rated programme of the week - four hundred seventy nine thousand - followed by the not really rated at all Taskmaster (four hundred and forty eight thousand watching the normally terrific Greg Davies was his talent on rubbish like this) and Storage Hunters UK (three hundred and fifty three thousand). Drama's Dalziel & Pascoe attracted four hundred and sixty six thousand viewers whilst the latest episode of The Pinkertons was watched by three hundred and fifty eight thousand and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries by three hundred and eight thousand. Watch's broadcast of The Strain was seen by three hundred and sixty four thousand. Yesterday's Top Of The Pops 1978 - The Big Hits had an audience of two hundred and thirty six thousand viewers. Now that Marvel's Agent Carter has concluded, FOX's highest-rated shows were Falling Skies (four hundred and fifty one thousand), The Fixer (three hundred and seventy three thousand), American Dad! (two hundred and ninety six thousand), Backstrom (two hundred and two thousand) and several episodes of NCIS (Friday's being the most-watched with one hundred and fifty five thousand). Another episode of NCIS topped CBS Action's weekly list (one hundred and fifty six thousand). The world's most-watched drama also featured in the top ten lists of both 5USA and the Universal Channel, the latter of which was headed by Rookie Blue (two hundred and twenty eight thousand). On the Discovery Channel, the popular Wheeler Dealers (helped by a really cool trailer using Roy Budd's Get Carter theme music) was watched by two hundred and ninety six thousand viewers. Deadliest Catch had two hundred and thirty six thousand, Alaskan Bush People one hundred and seventy seven thousand, Mythbusters one hundred and forty five thousand and Ed Stafford: Into The Unknown one hundred and twenty two thousand. Chasing Classic Cars topped Discovery Turbo's weekly list (sixty eight thousand). Discovery History's Killer Tanks had twenty five thousand viewers. The Discovery Science channel drew thirty one thousand viewers for Ghost Asylum. CI's Unusual Suspects brought in forty two thousand whilst ID's The Perfect Murder was watched by forty nine thousand thousand. National Geographic's SOS: Wild Special had an audience of one hundred and forty seven thousand viewers and Eden's Great White Matrix was seen by twenty five thousand. Seeming for the moment having run out of episode of Only Fools & Horses to show, GOLD's new repeat run of Mrs Brown's Boys attracted three hundred and ninety one thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (four hundred and sixty two thousand). On ITV Encore, Agatha Christie's Poirot attracted sixty three thousand viewers. TLC's weekly-list was topped by Say Yes To The Dress which was seen by one hundred and thirty two thousand.

If you don't see Jeremy Vine on Strictly Come Dancing after all this year, dear blog reader, it could be because he's been carted off to The Tower. And, there's no future in England's dreamin' ...
John Sullivan's estate has denied rumours that there are plans afoot to resurrect his 1970s sitcom Citizen Smith. The denial came after its star, Robert Lindsay, claimed that he had been 'chased' by a TV company with 'a fantastic idea' for updating the show. He told the Independent that the new show would see his Marxist urban guerilla and former leader of the Tooting Popular Front, Wolfie Smith running for leader of the Labour Party. Oh, the irony. But Jim Sullivan, son of the show's late creator, said that a revival was 'not something we would want to do. Every episode of Citizen Smith was written by my Dad - all the lines, ideas and plots were his. As we have said about Only Fools & Horses, the show only ever had one writer and it is going to stay that way,' he added. John Sullivan wrote four series of Citizen Smith, which ran on BBC1 between 1977 and 1980. Allegedly based on someone that Sullivan had known as a teenager, the character of Wolfie Smith was a deluded anarchist: full of big ideas and good intentions but beset by idleness. It was a particular favourite of this blogger at the time although, having viewed a few episodes recently, it has to be said it really hasn't aged all that well being, very much, a product of its time. In his interview with the Independent, Lindsay admitted that he had 'unfinished business' with the role. Which is somewhat ironic given that when this blogger and two colleagues wrote the first edition of The Guinness Book Of Classic British TV in 1993, we wrote a very admiring piece about Citizen Smith and wanted to include a photo of Robert as Wolfie driving a tank in the book. We were prevented from doing so, however, by Lindsay's agent who claimed that Robert 'wasn't comfortable' with the character he played and didn't wish to be associated with the series. He wasn't alone in this, mind, James Bolam's agent also denied us permission to include a picture of Bolam and Rodney Bewes from Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? for pretty similar reasons. Either that, or the money Guinness were offering wasn't enough. Actually, come to think of it, the latter was far more likely. Anyway ... 'It was a series I never finished. It was just beginning to become huge. You know what happens, you want to be a serious actor, you don't want to do sitcoms,' he said. He did not reveal to the newspaper who, exactly, was behind the - alleged - proposed revival, but claimed that the 'moves afoot in the industry to bring Citizen Smith back' were by 'some respected figures that I very much admire.' Perhaps one of these anonymous people involved in the alleged insutry afootness was Robert's 'actor friend' whom he told Ruth Jones all about, but wouldn't actually name, in that wretched arse-licking advert for Sky they did a few years ago. On Friday morning, Lindsay clarified his comments in a tweet, saying: 'I'm afraid [t]here have been many plans to resurrect Wolfie but he rests with his brilliant creator, John Sullivan.' Nice bit of backtracking there, Bobby, baby! Impressive. So, sadly - or, perhaps, thankfully - the Front is not back. Anyway, here's a great picture of Wolfie in his prime. 'Power to the people!'
And, speaking of things that were popular in the 1970s, filming on the second series on Poldark has begu8n in Cornwall this week, with the BBC hoping to build on the massive success of the first run.
The Countryside Alliance - a self-appointed bunch of Tory bell-ends who can't get a proper hard on unless they've got fox's blood all over their groins - has called on the BBC to sack the high-profile wildlife presenter and naturalist Chris Packham after he criticised leading conservation groups for sitting on the fence over fox hunting, badger culling and the plight of hen harriers.
Thankfully the BBC have, effectively, told the Countryside Alliance to, as it were, go fuck themselves (and the horses they rode in on). Which is good. Very good. That's what this blogger pays his licence fee for, tosee odious, full-of-their-own-importance fox murderers slapped down, hard. Tim Bonner, the chief executive of the alliance, which has approximately one hundred thousand members out of a rural population of between four and five million and which lobbies to, allegedly, 'promote the interests of rural people and communities' but, actually, lobbies to promote the interests of red-coated fox murderers and similar bloody-thirsty twonks, claimed that Packham was pursuing 'obsessive crusades' and that the BBC was printing 'blatant political propaganda.' Personally, this blogger would rather like to see Bonner his self let loose in a field, given a fifty yard head start and then have a pack of wild, slavering dogs set on him to see if he likes it. But, hey, we can't have everything we want, can we, dear blog reader? Yer man Packham's monthly column in BBC Wildlife magazine argued that conservation groups were 'hamstrung by outdated liaisons with the "nasty brigade" and can't risk upsetting "old friends"' in the rural and shooting communities. The RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and others said Packham's criticisms were 'baseless', and the Countryside Alliance - which, just to repeat, lobbies to promote the interests of red-coated fox murderers and similar bloody-thirsty twonks, went further. 'There is no issue with people voicing such opinions, but using the position granted by a public service broadcaster to promote an extreme agenda is a different thing entirely,' Bonner wrote on the alliance's website. So, clearly, there is an issue with 'people voicing such opinions', particularly if those opinions happen to be that you and your mates are fox murderers, Lord Timbo, me old china. 'This is the clearest possible abuse of the position the BBC has given Chris Packham and as it is an ongoing behaviour, rather than an isolated incident, it is difficult to see how the situation can change. If it does not then the BBC's only answer can be to remove the BBC from Chris Packham's biography [sic] by refusing to employ him any more.' The magazine, produced under licence from the BBC by Immediate Media and obliged to follow BBC editorial guidelines, defended Packham, strongly. 'The column was highlighting criminal activity. It was not controversial. He was saying that we all need to do more on the illegal killing of wildlife and that no one should be standing by when criminal acts [were taking place]. Packham was doing something of real value,' said editor Matt Swaine. The Countryside Alliance has frequently criticised both Packham – who has presented Springwatch and The Really Wild Show – and the BBC. In 2013 it said that the broadcaster was 'neither fair nor balanced' on rural issues. Or, at least, on rural issues involving fox murderers, anyway. Lord Timbo added: 'A couple of years ago, the BBC did reprimand Packham for using "intemperate" language when he used social media to describe farmers involved in the badger cull as "brutalist thugs, liars and frauds", but he has continued to happily use the fame given to him by his work for the BBC to promote an increasingly extreme agenda.' Yeah. And more power to his elbow, I say. Continue to give the fox murderers both barrels Chris.
And, speaking of odious right-wing scumbags, a camera operator for a Hungarian nationalist television channel closely linked to the country's far-right Jobbik party has been filmed kicking two refugee children and tripping up a man at the border hotspot of Rőszke on Tuesday. Petra László of N1TV was filming a group of refugees running away from police officers, when a man carrying a child in his arms ran in front of her. László stuck her leg out in front of the man, causing him to fall on the child he was carrying. He turned back and remonstrated with László, who continued filming. A twenty-second video of the scene was posted on Twitter by Stephan Richter, a reporter for the German television channel RTL and soon went viral, leading to the creation of a Facebook group The Petra László Wall of Shame. Hungary's leading news website, Index, had also caught László kicking a young girl and boy. N1TV said that László had been dismissed due to 'unacceptable behaviour'. The channel's editor-in-chief Szabolcs Kisberk said in a statement posted on the station's website: 'The camerawoman's employment has, today, been terminated with immediate effect, the case is now closed for us.' As well as speeches made by the Jobbik leader Gábor Vona, the channel's website also contains articles with such headlines as migrants have swarmed all over the shops and Guantanamo = Hungary? Opposition parties Együtt-PM and the Democratic Coalition have said that they will initiate charges of violence against a member of the community, which is punishable by up to five years in prison, against László.
Rev actor and comic Miles Jupp has said he does not envisage a return of the popular TV comedy, in which he starred with Tom Hollander and Olivia Colman. The BAFTA-winning BBC sitcom about life at a London vicarage, ended its third series in April last year. 'It seemed to be finished,' yer man Miles told the Radio Times. 'Although I thought the same after series two. I would be very surprised if there was more.' Hollander, who co-wrote the series, said in April 2014 that it was 'sad' but 'attractive' to end the sitcom after three series, adding that he did not want the show to 'get worse' by carrying on for too long. However, he did not rule out a Rev film, saying: 'It could probably hold it because of its tone. But, we'd have to find a story that justifies it.' Jupp is about to take on a new role as host of BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz, becoming its fifth host, replacing Sandi Toksvig. 'It's iconic and that is what is both frightening and exciting,' he said. 'It's like being told, "Here's this beautiful thing we made - it's your turn to hold it, don't break it."' He will present the eighty eighth series of the popular long-running show and said that he would like to have some politicians as guests, 'particularly those who are capable of actual thought and speech.' Good luck with that, matey. 'I want to make sure we keep having journalists on too,' he said. 'They really go for the stories, whereas comedians tend to pick around the periphery of a news item and make jokes in the margin, which is valid.' Miles first came to wider public attention on the BBC children's show Balamory, but said he has not shown it to his own children. 'I used to be worried about showing it to them because I thought that they would find it very odd,' he said. 'But, I guess now children film themselves on an iPad and watch it back, so probably now being on screen, there's nothing magic about it.'
Dry as a bone Jack Dee has signed up to host the new series of The Apprentice: You're Fired. The comedian has replaced Dara Ó Briain on the BBC2 companion show, which is broadcast directly after the main episode and features business experts and celebrities discussing the week's events with the eliminated candidate.

Dennis Haysbert will become the public face of the wrongly-imprisoned in a new BBC1 drama. Undercover casts Haysbert - best known for 24 - as a twenty-year prison inmate on death row for a false murder conviction. As Rudy Jones's execution looms, he urges his lawyer and close friend Maya (Sophie Okonedo) to challenge accepted truths. The six-part series also includes Hustle's Adrian Lester in its ensemble cast as Maya's husband, Nick, an undercover police officer with a terrible secret. Undercover is the latest drama from Peter Moffat, screenwriter of The Village, Silk and Einstein & Eddington. BBC1 in the UK and BBC America in the US will premiere Undercover next year.
Charlie Brooker's comedy A Touch Of Cloth is unlikely to come back for a fourth series, according to John Hannah. The actor said that the Sky1 police drama parody is 'dead', but that he wanted to return as Jack Cloth. 'I imagine that's dead,' he said. 'I think it's been too long. I loved that show. Charlie wanted to do more, everyone did. It was Sky, I guess. There might have been something to do with the negotiations, I don't know. We did the first one, then they wanted a lot more and Charlie wasn't sure he could sustain it over twelve episodes. So we did two more and then, by the third one, they had figured out what they were doing. I think it's dead, it's a couple of years since we did that now.' He added: 'Normally when these things go, they go pretty quickly because people have other commitments and Charlie is busy. It's a real shame. I doubt I'll be playing McDoodah for the next few years.' A Touch Of Cloth last broadcast the two-part special Too Cloth For Comfort in August 2014, also starring Suranne Jones and Julian Rhind-Tutt. Interestingly, Suranne Jones was interviewed by the Metro's Keith Watson this week as publicity for her new BBC series Doctor Foster and, when asked about any potential future for A Touch Of Cloth, she was much more positive than Hannah, stating: 'I really hope so. Could you put that at the end? "Dear Charlie Brooker, will you please do more Touch Of Cloth?" That should do it!' Hannah will next be seen in Gold's new sitcom Marley's Ghosts as Sarah Alexander's husband, whom she can still see after he dies. Speaking about the show, he said: 'It was probably the most fun I ever had on a job. It was a really nice crowd, it was a good script. I was a bit nervous about the whole comedy aspect of it, but like everything else you just play the truth of it. It was a really quick shoot, but it was three episodes, which as a pilot it was really nice to see the characters developing. It's comedy and fun and light, but then it gets really emotional.'
Toby Jones will become one of literature's most iconic characters in BBC1's upcoming series The Secret Agent. Based on Joseph Conrad's classic espionage novel, the adaptation also reunites This Is England stars Vicky McClure, Joseph Gilgun and Stephen Graham. Jones has been cast as Verloc, a spy employed by the Russians to provoke a London bomb attack carried out by anarchists. Verloc's activities puts him at odds with London's Chief Inspector Heat (played by the excellent Graham) and his own long-suffering wife, Winnie (McClure). 'I am both excited and intrigued by the challenge of playing Verloc, the eponymous hero of Conrad's startlingly relevant novel The Secret Agent,' Toby said. Val added: 'I'm so excited to play the part of Winnie. It's an incredible script. And delighted to work with Toby Jones, I've always been a huge fan of his!' The Secret Agent has been adapted for the BBC by Tony Marchant and will also star Tom Goodman-Hill, Raphael Acloque, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and David Dawson. production on the BBC1 series will begin in October.

Rowan Atkinson is on the case as French detective Jules Maigret in a first image which has been released this week. Rowan is taking a break from comedy to star in a pair of two-hour films for ITV - Maigret Sets A Trap and Maigret's Dead Man, both set in 1950s Paris. Maigret Sets A Trap began filming in Budapest this month, while Maigret's Dead Man follows later this year. Stewart Harcourt is adapting Simenon's stories. Before his death in 1989, Simenon wrote seventy five novels and twenty eight short stories featuring the laconic, pipe-smoking Sûreté detective. The character has previously featured in a number of TV and radio adaptations, with Rupert Davies starring in a well-remembered BBC series in the early 1960s and Michael Gambon starring in a critically well-received revival for ITV between 1992 and 1993.
Channel Five is sending US favourite CSI: Crime Scene Investigation out in style with a night-long tribute. CSI Night will include a re-broadcast of the procedural drama's 2000 premiere episode, as well as the debut of its movie-length series finale, Immortality (scheduled to be broadcast in the US on 27 September). Viewers can also vote now through to 14 September for their all-time favourite episode to be shown during CSI Night, and possibly even win a box set. For this blogger, it would be the 2005 episode Snakes - a fantastically nasty study of Las Vegas narcocarrido scene. No broadcast date has been set yet for Channel Five's CSI Night, but the marathon will serve as an introduction into the spin-off CSI: Cyber. It has already been announced that CSI is bringing back several familiar faces for its feature-length finale, including William Petersen, Jorja Fox, Paul Guilfoyle, Marg Helgenberger, Melinda Clarke and Marc Vann.
Maxine Peake is leading the cast of a new Comic Strip Presents ... film from Peter Richardson. The Comic Strip Presents … The Red Top! (working title) tells the story of Rebekah, an 'innocent and beguiling girl who accidentally becomes Chief Executive of News International and gets caught up in a seventies Watergate-style scandal.' So, not at all like Channel Four's 2012 comedy drama Hacks? then. The film also stars Nigel Planer as Rupert Murdoch, Russell Tovey as Andy Coulson and Stephen Mangan as Tony Blair. The seventy five-minute comedy will be screened on GOLD.
Random Thought For The Day, dear blog reader. Number One: Whenever you get on a train, have a Roy Budd soundtrack playing in your head.
The BBC has struck a two-year deal to broadcast NFL matches, including the fiftieth Super Bowl in 2016, days after the corporation said that upcoming budget cuts would mean a tighter focus on 'key areas', such as more TV drama. The deal, which sees the BBC win back the rights it lost to Channel Four in 2013, includes live games and highlights coverage across TV, radio and online. It is a rare TV sports rights win for the corporation, which in recent months has lost the bulk of Six Nations Rugby to ITV, Open Championship Golf to Sky (which is, essentially, hours of 'televised sky' anyway and is, thus, no great loss) and control of the destiny of Olympics coverage to Discovery. 'NFL has a growing fan base in the UK and I'm delighted that the BBC can bring it free-to-air for our audience,' said Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport. Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFL UK, said: 'We are very pleased and excited to be back on the BBC. As we look to expand our reach and create new fans, the BBC's free-to-air and digital platforms offer us a fantastic opportunity for further growth of our sport.' This season, the Wembley clash between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins on 4 October will be exclusively live on BBC2. Channel Four's broadcast of the 2014 Super Bowl peaked at 1.2 million at 11.30pm on a Sunday night. Sky has the TV rights to the lion's share of NFL matches broadcasting seventy live games this season.

The advertising watchdog has cleared a whinge against the bookmaker Paddy Power which called on FIFA president Sepp Blatter to 'f**k off', ruling that this statement was 'unlikely to cause widespread offence.' No, indeed. Widespread agreement, possibly, but not widespread offence. The national press advert, which ran in the sports section of the Gruniad Morning Star, featured the odds on the candidates to become the next president of football's world governing body. An image showed Blatter, who at the time was facing allegations of corruption at FIFA, holding up a a piece of paper which said 'me'. The advert had the headline: 'Just f**k off already!' It should be noted that the advert did not go on to add 'and, ideally, die from cancer of the arsehole whilst you're about it.' Which is, surely, a point in its favour, yes? The Advertising Standards Authority received a lone complaint - presumably from one of the Gruniad Morning Star's more 'concerned' Middle Class hippy Communist readers - that the expletive was 'likely to cause serious or widespread offence.' Paddy Power, which has a history of controversial marketing including running the most complained-about advert of last year offering money back if Oscar Pistorious got off his murder trial, resisted the probably overwhelming urge to reply 'will it f**k?' (which would have been really funny) and, instead, suggested that the campaign was 'in keeping with the brand's distinctive voice.' The Irish bookmaker claimed that the advert 'reflected the overwhelming sentiment' felt by many football fans that Blatter is, in fact, a total and utter fekker and should resign forthwith, if not sooner, pointing out it had also chosen 'a less offensive' way of writing the swearword by 'using asterisks.' Instead of just saying 'fekk', which, to be fair, would've been a lot more honest. The Gruniad Morning Star weasled that it pre-vetted the advert and decided that the 'adult readership' of its sports pages were 'highly unlikely' to find it offensive. It said that the newspaper's sports section 'frequently' contained swearwords and that the use of the F-word was 'for comic effect.' It also said that it would be happy to get together with the reader who complained and, you know, have a bit of quiche with them and talk about 'nice things' instead. The ASA agreed that the complaint was the work of a sodding moron and cleared the campaign of any breach of the advertising code relating to harm and offence. 'We considered that readers of that section were likely to understand that the ad was intended to be a lighthearted comment on the ongoing allegations of corruption within FIFA, and in particular the controversy surrounding Sepp Blatter's tenure as FIFA president,' the ASA ruled. 'In that context, we considered the use of "f**k" was unlikely to cause offence to readers.'
ITV's Loose Women looks set to face an investigation - and, a potential over-the-knee hiding of extreme proportions - from Ofcom after seventy four people whinged to the broadcasting regulator about a poll asking whether women were ever 'to blame' for being raped. Instead of just telling the producers of the risible mid-morning magazine show that no, women are never to blame for being raped, it's a bloody stupid, and very dangerous, suggestion to make that they ever are or could be and, next time, don't be some a bunch of daft planks. Which would, perhaps, have been more proportionate to the issue at hand. Ofcom is currently assessing the complaints and is expected to make a decision on whether to launch an investigation on Monday. The poll was sparked by comments from The Pretenders' singer Chrissie Hynde, who said that she took 'full responsibility' for a sexual assault that happened when she was twenty one. Using Chrissie's comments as an excuse to indulge in a bit of classic stupidity, the Loose Women poll asked: 'Is it ever a woman's fault if she is raped?' An overwhelming eighty eight per cent of respondents said that no, it was not. Although, admittedly, that statistic in and of itself does rather make one wonder what sort of shite the other twelve per cent of respondants have between their ears. Ofcom is likely to consider the poll under section two of the broadcasting code covering 'harm and offence.' Section 2.4 of the code says: 'Programmes must not include material (whether in individual programmes or in programmes taken together) which, taking into account the context, condones or glamorises violent, dangerous or seriously antisocial behaviour and is likely to encourage others to copy such behaviour.' However, the regulator is likely to take into account the show's track record of asking allegedly 'controversial' questions in deciding whether to investigate. Following an 'online backlash', ITV swiftly and grovellingly apologised for 'a misjudgment' in 'the way the poll had been worded' - so, a somewhat classic 'non-apology apology' there - removed it from its website and deleted a tweet that was promoting it. The non-apology apology said: 'We always want to know what our viewers think about topical issues, however, we accept that the wording of the online poll was misjudged and we apologise for any offence caused.' it wasn't so much the wording as the ruddy stupid question itself that was the issue, people. Speaking on the day the poll was published, Katie Russell, the national spokeswoman for Rape Crisis England & Wales, said: 'A programme like Loose Women could choose to use its high profile to raise awareness and understanding of rape, its impacts and prevalence and to support and encourage survivors to seek services like those Rape Crisis offers. Instead, they've reinforced myths and stereotypes with this ill-considered, insensitive and insulting poll.' What she said.
Odious, ugly Tory smear Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the lack of intellectual property minister, has claimed that the BBC is 'not untouchable' and the seven hundred million smackers in cuts being forced on the corporation by the government are 'probably less' proportionately than what is being asked of government. Oh, so that's all right, then.
The scum Tory peer who really is, if you've never seen her boat-race, just about the ugliest creature that ever crawled upon the face of the Earth (and, this blogger says that whilst freely acknowledging he's no oil painting his very self, just a tax payer - you know, one of those annoying 'little people' who pays Lady Muck's vastly inflated wages), was speaking in a debate on the future of the BBC in the House of Lords on Thursday. She, grovellingly and with much tongue-up-the-arse slavvering, 'defended' (ie 'licked') the government's shotgun licence fee deal which will see the corporation take on the seven hundred million knicker cost of free TV licences for over-seventy fives, something the BBC neither asked for nor wanted. 'What is being asked of the BBC in terms of savings is not out of line, it's probably less, than what is being asked of most government departments,' Nevile-Rolfe slurped, the shit dripping off her filthy brown tongue, when concluding a debate dominated by pro-BBC speakers. 'It is impossible to predict precisely how the media landscape will look in the years to come. No institution will be as good as it could be if it is seen to be untouchable. In a multimedia world the BBC needs to find its place, it has to improve, it has to build on the excellent strengths it has.' Tragically, no one from the opposition benches chose that moment to walk across the floor and give her ladyship a damned good piece of their mind, face-to-face. Which would have, admittedly, been satisfying even if it achieved little in the great scheme of things. This odious louse of a woman also argued against the notion that the government is looking to use the charter renewal process to 'force' the BBC to stop covering certain types of programming. 'The government will never decide or dictate BBC content,' she said. 'These are editorial decisions for the BBC. That is very important. However as part of an open and thorough consultative review we have to look at if every BBC intervention in the market is justified. We are seeking evidence about this. We will be commissioning more research on these impacts.' One or two people even believed her. Neville-Rolfe, also defended the government's advisory group on the charter renewal process, which has come in for much criticism for having a potentially anti-BBC bias among its members, arguing that media criticism is 'nonsense'. So, that was the odious, ugly Baroness Neville-Rolfe-Lady-Muck her very self, dear blog reader, taking absolute shite. Always a sight to see. The author and broadcaster Lord Bragg, a Labour peer, said that the government's plans to 'cut the BBC down to size' could be called 'without exaggeration, cultural vandalism.' Rite on, Melv. 'It could be the most damaging thing to have happened to the BBC in decades,' he said, criticising the government for making the BBC cover the cost of free TV licences for over-seventy fives. 'It ought to come out of general taxation, [it] has no connection to programme-making. How can that be right? Where was the voice of the BBC Trust? This goes to the jugular [and] shows contempt for the licence fee payer.' Broadcaster Baroness Bakewell, who called the Lords debate in the first place, said that the government deal was 'a smash and grab raid' on the BBC. 'The new settlement must outlaw any such smash and grab raids in the future,' she said. 'The BBC is under attack, not from the public, but two other sources. The government of the day and vested media interests who command headlines and distort the wider public interest and concern [in the BBC].' You tell 'em, Joan, baby. Another Labour peer, Lord Stevenson of Balmacara, concurred, voicing concern about the motivations of the corporation's rivals. 'We are at the beginning of what looks like a quick and dirty charter renewal process. The real enemy is the huge international media companies,' he said. Lord Alli, the former broadcasting executive, called for 'more investment' in the BBC, warning that 'once destroyed it can never be rebuilt. It is a mistake to believe [the BBC] is in competition with local newspapers, ITV, [Channel] Five, or Sky,' he added. '[It] faces US giants Google, Apple, US networks, CCTV in China and Netflix.' Former EastEnders actor and Labour peer Lord Cashman called on the government to make public all submissions in the consultation process on a publicly accessible website. 'There is a real and deep concern within the creative communities that the BBC is under attack – an attack it will not survive,' he said. 'I endorse the recommendation, there should be a two-year extension of the [existing] charter to get this absolutely right so there can be no question of the motives of those involved.'

Rumours of his demise have, it would seem, been greatly exaggerated. yes, it's official - Terry Gilliam is not dead. Merely resting. Oh, yes. The industry website Variety has, grovelling, apologised after it mistakenly published a pre-prepared obituary for the movie director and Monty Python's Flying Circus animator on Tuesday of this week, which stated 'Monty Python's Terry Gilliam, director of Brazil, dies at XXX.' The act that Terry has never seven been to XXX should, perhaps, have told readers that there was something wrong with this statement. The obituary was posted on the website for several hours before it was taken down, prompting Terry himself to write a response on his own Facebook page. 'I apologise for being dead. Especially to those who have already bought tickets to the upcoming talks. But, Variety has announced my demise. Don't believe their retraction and apology' wrote Terry, alongside a picture of him being you know, dead. Variety posted a correction on their Twitter page, claiming that the article had been 'incorrectly published. We're deeply sorry for the mistake.' Terry is currently promoting his autobiography Gilliamesque, subtitled 'a pre-posthumous memoir.'
Yer actual Tim Roth his very self is to star in a new Bitter Old Red Jimmy McGovern-penned drama for BBC1. So, bet that'll be a barrel of laughs. Reg tells the story of a man who takes on the British Prime Minister over Britain's participation in the Iraq War. And, loses. Anna Maxwell Martin will also star in the ninety-minute drama. McGovern (Old Labour) said: 'It was an honour to meet Reg Keys, a truly remarkable man, and it has been a privilege to tell this part of his story.' Of the cast, McGovern added: 'Never dreaming we'd get either [Roth or Maxwell Martin]. We got both and I am absolutely over the moon.'
Anne Robinson is stepping down from consumer show Watchdog after more than twenty years. She is leaving to present a new series of Britain's Spending Secrets on BBC1. The seventy-year-old said: 'It's been an honour to be part of the most important consumer show in Britain.'

ITV has confirmed that Safe House has been commissioned for a second series. The drama, starring yer actual Christopher Eccleston, Marsha Thomason and Paterson Joseph his very self, will be back for four more episodes to be broadcast in 2016.The new run will continue to focus on the married couple Robert (Eccleston) and Katy (Thomason), whose guest house provides the perfect cover for a police safe house. 'We had a tremendous reaction from the audience to Safe House,' said ITV's director of drama Steve November. 'From the gripping story and compelling performances, we were delighted with every aspect of the production. With Ed Whitmore and Tracey Malone writing the scripts, and Jill Green and Paula Cuddy producing, we know the new series will be in safe hands.' Cuddy added: 'From the outset, the ambition was for Safe House to become a returnable series. The characters of Robert and Katy, maintaining their cover and providing a place of safety for those in need of protection is a compelling idea. We're thrilled to be returning to tell another complex and engaging story.' Filming on the new episodes will begin in February in the Lake District.
From the very excellent Christopher Eccleston, who once played the alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon to the equally excellent Ian Hart - who has made something of a career out of doing the same thing. Ian is to step into the Cuban-heel suede boots of Lennon for a fourth time. He will perform John Lennon's Last Day on Radio 2 in October. The docu-drama monologue, written by Stephen Kennedy, charts the events of 8 December 1980, when Lennon was shot extremely dead by obessive fan and, you know, nutter, Mark Chapman. Hart first played Lennon in 1991's acclaimed arthouse flick The Hours & Times, a homoerotic fictionalised account of what may have happened when Lennon and Brian Epstein went on holiday together to Spain in 1963. He then reprised the role in 1994's successful Backbeat, the story of the band's Hamburg days, opposite Stephen Dorff as Stuart Sutcliffe, The Be-Atles' original bass player. Hart once again played Lennon in the - superb - Sky Arts Playhouse Presents ... episode Snodgrass in 2013, as an aged alternate-universe Lennon who had quit The Be-Atles (popular beat combo yadda, yadda) when they were on the verge of stardom and was, now, a cynical fortysomething failure. Hart said: 'There will always be interest and intrigue into every part of his life, and now we take a sensitive look at the incomprehensible day when he was tragically taken from this world too soon.' Other highlights of the BBC Radio 2 autumn schedule include a documentary about the actor James Dean.

The final series of Downton Abbey - which kicks off on ITV on 20 September - sees Lord Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) 'face up to reality' as he realises 'the writing is on the wall' for his palatial home. 'This is a series of resolution, that's why we did another one,' said the show's creator, Lord Snooty. 'We were going to end on a season five but we just felt we needed a series to wrap it up.' And, it appears that not every character will live happily ever after. 'Although I think a lot of the audience wants certain characters to pair up. That isn't the way it is going to be,' said executive producer Liz Trubridge. 'We have to do what we feel is right and the audience will either love or loathe us for that, but I'm hoping that we will end up where we all feel would be the great place to end.'
The Whom (another popular beat combo of the 1960s) have been forced to postpone four US dates on their current fiftieth anniversary tour, because singer Roger Daltrey is suffering from 'an unspecified virus.' The band were due to kick off the second leg of The Who Hits Fifty! North American tour in San Diego on 14 September, but they've now cancelled that show, as well as dates in Anaheim (16 September), Las Vegas (19 September) and Los Angeles (21 September). An appearance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival has also been scrapped. It comes after the band were forced to cancel dates in London due to illness earlier this year. Before the tour began, Pete Townshend said the band were 'lucky to be alive and still touring.' Get well soon Roge.
This Morning host, the full-of-his-own-importance lard bucket (and drag) Eamonn Holmes, has accused David Cassidy of 'delusion' and 'rudeness' after an awkward interview about the singer’s bankruptcy. Cassidy was appearing via video link on This Morning from his Florida mansion when he became offended by Holmes and wife Ruth Langsford's line of questioning. Persoanlly, this blogger is often offended by Eamonn Holmes's face but, hey, what y'gonna do, you know? The remote control has been invented for just such occasions. Cassie asked: 'Are you trying to rubbish me?' when he was asked if he could now pay off his debts. Jesus, mate, you were in The Partridge Family, you don't need any more rubbishing, trust me. 'When you declare bankruptcy in this country, it's something you do in order to reorganise what you have, your assets, so I'm not going to discuss that,' he explained. Langsford's comments that he had been through a lot were met with the response: 'Yes, I have and I still have fantastic assets.' Something which, one imagines, made his creditors sit up and really take notice. David, kidda, take a tip - when you're in a hole, it's usually a good idea to stop digging. The uncomfortable chat continued when Langsford - who appears to have the intellectual capacity of a mollusc - asked if Cassidy was 'glad' to have the support of his fans after such a difficult journey. 'Don't interrupt me,' Cassidy snapped back – telling her to 'wait' nine times in a row, when she voiced her agreement with him. Cassidy's attitude may have been influenced by the technical difficulties he was experiencing. 'What's difficult for me with this transaction that we're doing here is that I hear echoes and it's very difficult to concentrate,' he said. Langsford continued the conversation by asking if he would be touring the UK soon. 'Probably not,' said Cassidy. 'The problem is there is a twenty per cent foreign entertainer's tax and with everything else that it costs to go there. I'd love to, but I ended up making six hundred and thirty dollars last time I went there, so it didn't make a lot of sense.' His fans, he maintained, have been 'incredible' and 'sensational'. 'I guess I'll have to do it, just via the Internet,' he said. Concluding the interview, the odious, risible Holmes asked if Cassify was sad to sell the plush mansion seen in the background, which Cassidy is auctioning for $1.8m. 'It had nothing to do with declaring bankruptcy, that was a totally separate issue. I'm doing it because I'm in the middle of a divorce,' Cassidy replied. Holmes compared Cassidy's situation to the good fortunes of his one-time chart rival Donny Osmond when the video link ended and referred back to the singer's previous arrests for drink driving. 'David's going through more than [a divorce], he's been arrested three times for being drunk under the influence,' he sneered to Langsford. He then apologised to viewers, and said: 'Folks, we only ask the questions, it's up to them to answer them.' Later, Holmes reached for a drink after the interview, downing an entire glass of red wine live on air while telling his wife: 'My darling, as you know, I don't drink. Today I'm going to make an exception. David Cassidy, here's to you!' And, then he wonders why nobody likes him.

An Italian chess player has been kicked out of one the country's most prestigious tournaments after allegedly using a camera and Morse code to cheat. Officials at the tournament became suspicious when Arcangelo Ricciardi, who is ranked fifty one thousand three hundred and sixty sixth in the world, began beating theoretically far better players. Ricciardi was reportedly blinking in an unusual manner and holding his hand under his armpit. Confronted by referee Jean Coqueraut, he refused to open his shirt. Officials believe the thirty seven-year-old was using the camera, hung around his neck, to transmit the game to someone with a chess computer program, who was then feeding back moves using Morse code. Coqueraut said that he began to suspect something was wrong early on in the competition. 'In chess, performances like that are impossible,' he told La Stampa. He said Ricciardi did not get up at all during hours of playing and kept his thumb tucked in his armpit. The player was also 'batting his eyelids in the most unnatural way', Coqueraut added. 'Then, I understood it,' he said. 'He was deciphering signals in Morse code.' When Ricciardi refused to open his shirt, officials asked him to pass through a metal detector which picked up a pendant hanging underneath his shirt. The pendant contained a tiny video camera connected to a small box under his armpit, officials said. The incident follows a high-profile cheating case in Moscow in April, where a chess grandmaster was expelled after he was discovered using a smartphone in the toilet to check his moves. Gaioz Nigalidze aroused suspicions when he repeatedly used the same toilet cubicle each time for ten minutes or more. When officials checked the stall, they discovered a smartphone wrapped in toilet tissue buried in the bin. Which all seems rather a lot of faff to go to. This blogger's flawless strategy for cheating at chess involves telling his opponent to 'look at that really interesting ting over there' and, when he's distracted, move a few pieces around. it's never let me down yet.

Stuff overheard by this blogger in Morrison's which one really wishes one hadn't overheard. So, there yer actual Keith Telly Topping was in the rice, pasta and condiments aisle, minding his own business and looking for a bottle of soy sauce because he was making a lamb and prawn curry for us dinner at Stately Telly Topping Manor (I found the soy sauce, incidentally, in case you were worried). Then, from the next ailse along - baked beans, spaghetti and canned vegetables for those taking notes - came a (female) voice which sounded uncannily like paint-stripper, yelling, I'm presuming to her parnter, 'an' if ye think ya ganna be bummin' me tonight, y've gorra 'notha thing cumin'. Too much information, chuck. Get a room if you want to debate that sort of thing. And, you know, ideally, some lubrication as well.

The ex-girlfriend of 'a Louis Theroux impersonator' (what?!) has told how she was 'completely duped' by the conman after he threw her out of her home in her underwear less than two months after they first met. Allan Debenham, who once claimed to be the presenter so that he could stay in a pub for free, moved in to Jane Putt's home in Bodmin in March, just eleven days after the pair had met online. Which, some nmight consider to be a wee bit early in a relationship to be making such a significant commitment. I dunno, this blogger's met plenty of people online over the years but, by-and-large, I've never invited them to come an co-habit avec moi at Stately Telly Topping Manor inside a couple of weeks. Call me weird if you like. Lots of people do. Anyway ... The couple had started talking on the dating website Zoosk and Putt - who, she admits, 'became besotted' with the Louis Theroux look-a-like - asked him to move into her gaff less than a fortnight later. But, within just a few months, the relationship had started to break down. Then, in 'a shocking attack' in May this year, Debenham grabbed the forty four-year-old by the neck and threw her out of her home in just her underwear. Putt has spoken about how she was 'naive' to be taken in by the homeless alcoholic, initially believing he was a 'perfect gentleman'. No shit? She said: 'I consider myself an intelligent woman but he completely duped me. He seemed the perfect gentleman before I agreed to let him move him. Then, once he had the key to my door, he changed within days. I was naive to think you can get to know a man in such a short space of time. By the looks of Allan's profile, he was smart, sensitive and kind - just like Louis Theroux. Now I know that he manipulated me and I was gullible enough to believe him.' Quite how Putt knows that the real Louis Theroux is 'smart, sensitive and kind', so didn't explain. That's perhaps, a question best left for another day. The attack took place when Putt arrived home from seeing a relative. She found Debenham had been drinking and had a carrier bag full of bottles. During a hearing in Bodmin, the court was told how he then lunged at Putt while she was dressed in just her nightclothes, grabbing her throat and breaking the necklace she was wearing. Putt told how, after the assault, she started searching for Debenham's name on Google and found out about his claims regarding the real Louis Theroux. 'I couldn't believe it - he does look a little like Louis, but he never told me about the incident when we were together,' she said. 'It makes sense that he was trying to use the resemblance to scrounge freebies - after all, he did the same thing by living with me and using my home. It was just more proof that Allan wasn't the man I thought he was.' She added: 'I want to warn other women about the dangers of moving too fast in these sorts of relationships. Perhaps I was just unlucky but I've been completely put off online dating websites.' Debenham was extremely jailed for eight weeks in May this year after pleading very guilty to assault by beating and criminal damage. He was also given a permanent restraining order preventing him from contacting Putt again. The administrative assistant described how Debenham spent most of his days drinking and 'slobbing around' on their sofa. She said: 'While I went out and worked from nine-to-five every day, Allan would slob about on the sofa drinking beer.' And, that didn't make you think that, perhaps, he wasn't 'the perfect gentleman' Jane? I think, 'naive' might be the tip of the iceberg here. 'I would come home from work and smell it on him, and see up to fifteen empty bottles in the bin. He was claiming eleven hundred pounds benefits a month in Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Allowance and spent pretty much the whole lot on boozing. It was happening every night and it became obvious he was an alcoholic - when I spoke to him about it, he snapped.' Debenham narrowly avoided prison in June 2013 after using his bogus Theroux identity to blag a seventy quid-a-night room. He gave staff at the Duke of York at Shepton Beauchamp in Somerset, an order number so they could claim payment back from the BBC and even provided a fake contact from the BBC's finance department. During his three-night stay he also pretended to be Theroux's personal assistant and ordered two bottles of wine from room service to add to the tab. He was only rumbled when staff became suspicious that the 'PA' had telephoned to ask for 'some fags' to be taken to Debenham's room. He was handed a twelve-month supervised community order and one hundred and sixty smackers in fines and costs.

'Patronising' pantomime 'bosses' - at least, according to some smear of no importance at the Daily Torygraph - have been 'slammed' - that's newspaper-speak for 'criticised' only with less syllables - over their decision to drop the word 'dwarf' from this year's festive show to put on Snow White & Her Seven Friends. Of diminished stature, no doubt. Or, vertically challenged. It's political correctness gone mad, I tells ya. Or, rather, it's some stupid arsehole being a stupid arsehole and some other stupid arsehole at a newspaper thinking this constitutes 'news'. Which, it isn't. De Montfort Hall in Leicester allegedly made 'the move' because the production team claim that 'dwarf' is not a term 'people feel comfortable with.' Whether they actually asked any 'people' about this, and what replies they got, they didn't say. Now Doc, Dopey, Bashful, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy and Happy are being written out of the traditional fairytale by the Brothers Grimm in the Nineteenth Century. But the move has been criticised by the vertically challenged actor Warwick Davis who described the decision was 'patronising'. Although, what the hell it has to do with him, since he's not involved in the production, he didn't say either. Jesus, has everybody taken the frigging stupid pill this week, or what? (The answer to that question, incidentally, appears to be 'yes' dear blog reader. As you'll find out if you carry on reading the next few 'silly season stories' stories, below.)
An actor who played a suspect in a Crimewatch reconstruction has been accused of being the actual killer police are seeking by viewers. Steve Watson of Newark in Nottinghamshire, who is now fifty three, played 'a person of interest' in the case of murdered thirty eight-year-old Julie Pacey for the show in 1994 after responding to an advert. 'Viewers' reported him as the potential killer when the programme was rebroadcast on BBC1 earlier this year, the Nottingham Post said. How many 'viewers' did this and why they don't say. Because, that would be really interesting. 'I asked the officer if I was a suspect and he said everybody was until they were ruled out,' Watson said. 'I haven't heard anything yet - I guess I'm still a murder suspect.' He added: 'Yes, I can see the laugh in it, but the serious side is there. If you're going to do a reconstruction in a murder case, then be prepared for whatever comes. Until my DNA results are cleared I'm still in the frame.' A BBC spokesman said: 'The reconstruction used in the re-appeal was filmed in 1994 and, while we always try to contact actors involved when reconstructions are re-used, unfortunately this actor's details were not listed in our records. 'We understand he has not been arrested and is not a suspect in the enquiry, and hope the re-appeal can assist the police in finding Julie Pacey's murderer.' Detective Inspector Helen Evans of the Nottinghamshire fore said: 'I made an appeal for names to be put forward so that we can eliminate them from the enquiry. The name of the gentleman who it later turned out was an actor in the reconstruction was passed to us and was information that, of course, we had to investigate for obvious reasons.' She added: 'We would be remiss not to thoroughly investigate every solid piece of information that has come in and decide whether or not it is relevant to the enquiry.' Or, indeed, just plain frigging stupid.
An escapologist has admitted that he is fortunate to be alive after he lost consciousness during a stunt. Antony Britton's latest escape bid involved him being handcuffed and buried in a grave beneath six feet of soil. But it didn't go to plan. Almost nine minutes after Britton went in, he was hauled out, unconscious, by crew members when he failed to emerged at the surface, and had to be given oxygen from a waiting ambulance. 'I almost died,' he said. 'I was just seconds away from death. It was scary.' Probably a good idea not to do it then, in that case, mate. 'The pressure of the soil was crushing around me. Even when I found an air pocket, when I exhaled the soil around me was crushing me even more. I could feel myself losing consciousness and there was nothing I could do. I was pretty much dying.' Britton discovered he was still two feet from the surface when he was rescued. The stunt was the 'highlight' (and, this blogger uses that word quite wrongly) of an event held to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which is changing its name later this month to Bloodwise. Great, and very worthy, cause but next time, maybe, might want to think about having something a wee bit less suicidal as your showstopper. Either that or, you know, spend a bit more money and get Derren Brown instead. Britton is the head of the not-for-profit escapologist organisation Escape For Life. He is the third person in a century to attempt the Buried Alive escape. Both Harry Houdini (in 1915) and Alan Alan (in 1949) also failed. Although, not fatally in either case.

It was not, perhaps, the sort of eighteenth birthday present your average mother would normally expect to give her daughter. The pair planned to travel to London in a limousine for the special day and Nicola Austen decided to give her daughter twelve bags of cocaine so that they would 'have a good time.' Twelve bags? Jesus, that's not a good time, that's a good coma. The thirty seven-year-old mother claimed that this was the reason she had almost six grammes of snow concealed in a window at her home in Bright Ridge, Southborough, when nabbed by the bobbies. Austen went to Maidstone Crown Court on Friday with a bag packed prepared for a reasonably lengthy jail sentence. But, she walked free from court after the judge decided that her nine months imprisonment could be suspended and two hundred and fifty hours 'onerous' unpaid work (ie. cleaning shit out of old people's netties) would be imposed instead. Prosecutor Craig Evans said that police went to Austen's house on 31 January last year and while searching her bedroom, a drugs dog 'showed interest'. A bag containing 'white powder' was then discovered hidden in sections of the window. The twelve packages weighed 5.65 grammes and had a high purity of about eighty seven per cent. Evans said that Austen admitted having the drug to celebrate her daughter's forthcoming birthday. 'They were going to London in a limousine and she wanted to make sure they had a good time,' he added. Austen, who admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply, had six previous convictions, one for possessing amphetamine in 2010.

A bar manager allegedly told a homeless man, 'We don’t serve tramps here,' before kicking him out of the gaff – despite the fact a couple of customers had already paid for his drink. Danny - last name unknown - had, it is claimed, only had 'a couple of sips' from his soft drink in the Rectory Bar in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter before staff told him to sling his hook and take his stink with him. Claire Carmichael and her partner, Fran Lynch, claim that Danny the Harry Ramp was not allowed to finish his 'lemonade'. Claire, from Tipton said: 'We were very shocked and disgusted and felt so bad for the guy. It was discrimination. We were really upset about it. He had a couple of sips of it and the manager came out and said he would have to move on. Fran questioned why and he said, "We don’t serve tramps in this establishment." He wouldn't let him finish his drink.' The Rectory's manage Paul Barr said: 'Danny is well known to us in the area as a beggar. He has been told before that he's not welcome on the premises. When he was seen on the premises on Saturday evening, he was approached and told to leave. He was told that he could finish his drink but he would need to leave, which he did without incident.'

Sixteen again. Not only a very fine tune by Never Mind Yer Actual Buzzcocks (it's on Love Bites, check it out, it's great) but, also, the number of lengths wot yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self only went and managed at the pool on Thursday morning. Just about satisfied with that but, this blogger needs to get a bit more going shortly or he's going to stuck in the numbers around the mid-teens for the forseeable future.

A woman was caught running a brothel from her Liverpool city centre flat after neighbours complained of being kept awake by 'seedy late-night behaviour' and 'rowdy antics' which, it was claimed, were so vigorous that shelves shook in the adjoining flat. Terri Bowker-Hughes managed the business at her home in Dale Street. Her prostitutes' and customers' 'rowdy' late-night boinking activities led to more than one 'tired and upset' neighbour moving out of the gaff. Extremely jailing Bowker-Hughes for three years, Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said: 'It is clear from witness statements that the degree of activity which you were responsible for, was highly disruptive and distressing for your neighbours.' Liverpool Crown Court heard how Bowker-Hughes moved into the flat in Dale Street in 2014 and employed 'at least two' prostitutes. Simon Duncan, prosecuting, said that neighbours were also 'disturbed' by clients who were 'sometimes aggressive' and would knock at the adjoining flats by mistake. He suggested that men would call 'through the night' and into the early hours of the morning from September until May this year. Police raided the premesis on 29 May and found Bowker-Hughes with two 'scantily clad women along with condoms and sex toys.' Duncan said: 'Neighbours were awoken by rowdy visitors and sexual activity.' He added that one woman kept a diary in which she wrote how she was woken five times on one night by men ringing her buzzer by mistake. On another night, she had to stay with her parents to get some sleep. Duncan said: 'On occasions activities were so vigorous her shelves would shake and she had to sleep with headphones on to block out the noise. She also had to take leave or go to work late because of tiredness, having had to wait for activities to die down.' The court heard another neighbour, a disabled man, who eventually felt forced to move out 'because of intolerable suffering', at great personal expense and inconvenience. Duncan said he, like the other neighbour, had repeatedly telephoned the police and also contacted the council. He told of hearing a woman telling a customer it was 'eighty pound for half-an-hour.' Blimey, that's a bit steep. Presumably, the length of the custodial sentence also reflects the over-charging. When the man asked Bowker-Hughes to be quiet she allegedly threatened to burn his flat down, although she later apologised for her outburst. Oh. So, that's all right, then. Desmond Lennon, defending, claimed that Bowker-Hughes became involved in prostitution after 'getting into debt' and being put under pressure by a loan shark. He added: 'She accepts it was clearly an unacceptable course of conduct and understands the consequences of that decision is to face a custodial sentence.' At an earlier hearing, Bowker-Hughes was ejected from court after throwing a cup of coffee over a man on the public landing. She was not charged with a criminal offence in relation to that incident. Superintendent Mark Wiggins of Merseyside Police said: 'The sentence today will reassure the community that these matters are taken seriously and we act on information given to us.'

A 'dinosaur' of a headmistress who recently banned all female students from wearing skirts because male teachers were, allegedly, becoming 'distracted' by the sight of their bums has now sent a number of girls home on the first day of the new term because their trousers were 'too tight.' It'll be force-wearing of barqa's next, one imagines. In July, Doctor Rowena Blencowe - who sounds like a right good laugh - said that she was 'fed up' of telling girls off for showing too much leg and wearing skirts which 'barely covered their bottoms.' But, this week, she has come under fire again from parents after ten girls were kicked out as they arrived at Trentham High School in Stoke-on-Trent. Bizarrely, staff 'inspected' pupils at the school gates to decide whether their trousers were too tight or not. Which sounds like a fun job if you're, you know, 'into' that sort of thing. The students were kept out of some lessons and threatened with 'isolation' if they refused to go home to put on baggier trousers instead. Harriet Dale, fifteen, was among a group picked out as they arrived for lessons at the seven hundred and thirty-pupil school. The year eleven student claimed to several media outlets that staff said her trousers were 'not suitable' and 'too tight' to be worn at school. Harriet said: 'I was with a girl wearing exactly the same pair of trousers but, because I have slightly larger legs than her, I was told my trousers are too tight and that I must go home and change.' Which does, rather, suggest that poor Hattie is being discriminated against for having thunderthighs. This blogger, as a lifelong possessor of the, ahem, 'fuller male figure' entirely sympathises with her. 'First the school told us skirts are not acceptable, now we are only allowed to wear trousers after they've been inspected,' Harriet added. 'It's really uncomfortable to think you could be walking around the corridors and teachers will be looking you up and down. I'm not the only person who feels that way.' Harriet's mother has 'blasted' - which, as previously noted is tabloid-speak for 'criticised' only with less syllables so their readers can understand what the word means - staff for singling out her daughter in 'the most important year of her life'. Trentham's decision comes just months after it imposed a blanket fatwa on skirts because, it was claimed, male staff were 'embarrassed' at the sight of female pupils wearing them. Doctor Blencowe subsequently 'rubbished' claims that the school's guidelines are 'not clear.' She said, rather haughtily let it be noted, that pupils must wear 'black, full-length tailored trousers' and 'not jeans, leggings, tightly-fitted trousers, cotton trousers, shorts or tracksuit bottoms.' Blencowe, added: 'The vast majority of pupils turned up to school wearing perfectly suitable clothing. But there was a small minority of elder pupils who decided to push the boundaries, ten in total. Our guidelines are clear. It is up to parents to make sure their child attends school wearing trousers which suit their shape. Trousers which fit one pupil may be too tight on another, we have to draw the line somewhere.' One presumes she then asked the reporters asking her these impertinent questions what bloody business it was of theirs and threatened the lot of them with detention if they didn't improve their attitude, forthwith. And, if there was any repeat of such behaviour, she had a cane in her cupboard and she's not afraid to use it. One trusts former lack of education secretary the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove thoroughly approves of Rowena and all her doings.

Which, obviously, brings us to nowhere else but the latest Keith Telly Toppng's 45 of the Day. Bloody madness, that's what this blogger calls it, dear blog reader.

3 comments:

Mark said...

A positively bumper blog today with lots of great bits. I'm very glad Bob Lindsay's got egg on his face following his ridiculous claims re reviving Citizen Smith. As a fan of your Guinness book Keith (twas my tele Bible in the 90s and I still use it to this day) it irritates but does not surprise me in the slightest that the two faced luvvie's people refused to give you permission to include a photo.

Really looking forward to the new Comic Strip and, unlike you, Reg - love me some McGovern and Reg keys story deserves to be told. Tim Roth and Anna Maxwell Martin? I cannot wait. But then, maybe I am a bitter old Red too - we've a lot to be bitter about ;)

It's a real shame Sky seems to have no faith in their homegrown tele - I'd love to see Cloth back too. Hilarious stuff!

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping said...

McGovern, as a writer, I've got no problem with - other than that I always come away feeling more miserable than if I'd just spent four hours playing bloody Joy Division - but his, (often) publicly stated, dismissive - and, seemingly, bitter - attitude towards the hard work of other writers makes him seem a frightfully unappealing individual. I'm sure he's a jolly very nice man who is kind of old ladies and cats, and that, but until he learns to keep his gob shut about the work of others and learn that if you haven't got anything nice to say about something, don't say anything at all, then he's not going to get any praise - or a good review - from me!

I have to be honest, the fact that Bob's agent and Jimmy Bolam's agent wouldn't let us have a couple of - great - pictures in TGBoCBTV STILL annoys me even twenty years later! It was such a *mean* thing to do to three young writers who *adored* the programmes their clients were featured in. The excuse given for both - that they had 'problems' with those characters - might've been a load of old bollocks. In fact, it probably was. It may well have been that had Guinness offered, I dunno, another fifty quid each they'd've said "yeah, fine, no problem" but, still, it's rankled with me for two decades about what a right bunch of precious sods actors can be! And, for what it's worth, I still think Robert Lindsay is the best Doctor we never had!

Mark said...

Oh yes, I recall voting for him in DWM back in the 90s as the person you'd like to see in tole role should the beeb ever bring it back. Nowadays, I think Mark Williams is the best Doctor we never had. I was gutted when he was cast as Rory's dad instead...still, not that that stops him for a future incarnation ;)

It's a real shame the likes of Lindsay, Bolam and Trevor Eve seem to have problems with the roles that made them. But I totally understand your annoyance with that missed opportunity even now!

I've probably regularly done 4 hours plus listening to Joy Division myself haha