Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Zygon Invasion: When Love Is Gone, They Lustre On

'At ease. I'm the President of the World, I'm here to rescue people and, generally, establish happiness all over the place!'
'Everybody Middle-Aged always thinks the world's about to come to an end. It never does.'
'Hi, this is Clara Oswald. I'm probably on the tube or in Outer Space. Leave a message.'
'It's a command computer, you operate it by titivating the fronds.' 'Are you enjoying that?' 'I snogged a Zygon once. Or, rabbits. Still got the old magic!'
'You start bombing them you'll radicalise the lot. It's what the splinter group wants.'
'I thought you didn't like being President of the World.' 'No, but I like poncing around in a big plane!'
'I used to memorise Trivial Pursuit questions. So I could win.'
'I've got question mark underpants.' 'Makes one wonder what the question is.'
'You can't have the United Kingdom. There's already people living there. They'll think you're going to pinch their benefits!'
'I know there are other blobby factions that you don't control.'
'All traitors will die. Truth or consequences.' Something very odd happened this week, dear blog reader. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping watched a Doctor Who episode that he didn't think was great. He thought it was fan-ruddy-tastic. That is all.

Two new media reports this week appear to confirm that both Doctor Who executive producer The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) and Peter Capaldi his very self will be back next year. Yer man Capaldi joined the popular long-running family SF drama as The Doctor in 2013 and his second season is currently being shown on BBC1. You might have noticed. This blogger thinks it's great. You knew that, right? Series ten will be The Moffinator's sixth series as showrunner. Speaking to the Observer, Moffat - who had already stated his intention to stay in an interview with the Doctor Who Magazine earlier in the year - commented: 'I'm just embarking on the new [series] and it's terrifying. I have to make all that again.' Revealing what he is most proud of on Doctor Who recently, he added: 'We got some new writers in who I thought were really great. Jamie Mathieson and Peter Harness, and thank God for voices of new people writing. I love that, having new writers this year. Sarah Dollard, Cat Tregenna, so it's always good getting people who are new to the show.' Meanwhile, the Mirra reported last weekend that yer man Capaldi has agreed to stay on for 'at least one more [season].' He has, the tabloid claimed, agreed to 'a new one-year deal with a further one-year option.' An alleged - although anonymous - BBC 'source' is allegedly quoted as allegedly saying: 'Peter has made it clear he is happy playing The Doctor for as long as the BBC – and viewers - want him. Peter is keen to complete three years playing The Doctor to round off his storylines. That will take us until the end of next year. After that, who knows?' Of course, it is important to remember that this report comes from the Mirra, a newspaper with, at the best of times, a curiously vague relationship with accurate and truthful reportage (at least, in relation to stories they didn't acquire through phone-hacking, that is). So, you know, as ever treat this with a vat of salt until confirmed by someone who actually knows what they're talking about and isn't a - curiously anonymous - 'source'. Nevertheless, if this report is true, it does render the horseshit that this waste-of-space clown claimed as an exclusive a few weeks ago in an even more negative and post-apocalyptic rubbish light.

Meanwhile, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) has confirmed that the BBC's long-running family SF drama has at least another five years in it. In an interview with Variety, Steven said: '[Doctor Who is] definitely going to last five more years, I've seen the business plan. It's not going anywhere. And I think we can go past that. It's television's own legend. It will just keep going.' The comments broadly support details which were publicly revealed in a leaked e-mail between Sony executives discussing the possibilities of a Doctor Who movie in early 2014 in which one of them mentioned a recent conversation with Danny Cohen which had suggested that the BBC had drawn up with the Doctor Who production team a - one imagines, glorious - 'eight year plan' regarding the franchise. A franchise which, of course, it goes without saying, provides the BBC with a massive income stream that, quite frankly, it can't afford to be without at the moment. Yer man The Moffat also noted that while Jenna Coleman will be stepping out of the TARDIS for the last time during the current series, The Doctor his very self is staying exactly where he is. 'Peter Capaldi is going nowhere,' he confirmed. So, five more years at least and, it is to be hoped that, should he want to stay for the duration, The Moffinator will be showrunning it. Quite aside from his qualities as a writer, if only because such a delicious scenario would really piss off a small but highly vocal collective of very annoying Special People, glakes, arseholes and louse scum. And, one can never have too much of that, frankly.
The Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble are returning to the Doctor Who universe, albeit only in a new set of audio adventures for Big Finish rather than on telly. Next year national heartthrob David Tennant will be returning to his role as The Doctor, alongside Catherine Tate as his companion Donna in three, hour long audio dramas. The popular Tennant portrayed The Doctor on-screen from 2005 until January 2010, returning to the series alongside Matt Smith and John Hurt in the fiftieth anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor in 2013. Tate made her début as Donna in December 2006, and after one series and two festive specials she made her last appearance alongside Tennant in his final episode, The End Of Time. Their on-screen partnership is regarded by many fans as one of the high-points of the series. Big Finish Executive Producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said: 'I still remember the sense of joy I had when I heard that David had been asked to play The Doctor. We were all so pleased for him - as we knew how much Doctor Who meant to him. And now, David comes full circle, back doing Doctor Who with Big Finish - except that this time he's playing The Doctor! It's the same but different - it's wonderful to have him back.' Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures will be released in May 2016 and will comprise three full cast audio adventures. The set opens with Technophobia by Matt Fitton, which is set in London in the near-future, where mankind is gradually losing its ability to use everyday technology. In Time Reaver by Jenny Colgan the Doctor and Donna arrive on Calibris - 'an entirely mechanical planet. Catch, hitch, fuel, fix, buy, pretty much any kind of transportation in existence. It's also a world full of scoundrels, where a deadly black market has opened up in a device known only as the Time Reaver'. Finally, in Death & The Queen by James Goss, Donna is swept along in a fairytale romance and meets the man of her dreams in the land of Goritania. What can possibly go wrong? And why has The Doctor never heard of Goritania?

'The stage is set, the curtain rises, we are ready to begin.' A new extended trailer for Sherlock The Abominable Bride has been released by the BBC this week - and, if you weren't excited about the popular drama's upcoming return already, dear blog reader, you will be now. Truly, it totally gave yer actual Keith Telly Topping The Horn, so it did.
The Sherlock production team have promised 'a Gothic Christmas ghost story' for the festive season. The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE), Mark Gatiss, Sue Vertue and Amanda Abbington spoke to the Digital Spy website after their panel at last weekend's London Comic Con. Among other things, Sue confirmed that the shooting of the much-anticipated fourth series of Sherlock will begin in April.
So, Spectre, which this blogger went to see on Wednesday morning, dear blog reader. The best James Bond movie since Casino Royle (though yer actual Keith Telly Topping did rather enjoy Skyfall, but this was fractionally better). Funniest Bond movie since Die Another Day (albeit, Ben Wishart gets almost all of the best lines). There are a couple of 'however's', however; no spoilers - well, one but it's a very small one - in common with just about every Bond movie since the mid-1970s it's too long (about half-an-hour too long in the case of anyone like this blogger, with a weak bladder). It was also, and Keith Telly Topping kind of got this impression when the trailer was released a few weeks ago, a bit of a case of 'Bond's Greatest Hits' in terms of the majority of the set-pieces. There's even a sequence that rips off the finale of The Man With The Golden Gun, fer Christ's sake! Nevertheless, that was a morning (and five pence short of seven quid) broadly well spent.
Then, dear blog reader, this blogger only went and had a very nice lunch at what used to be his favourite Chinese Restaurant in town - under new management since the last time Keith Telly Topping went there but, actually, still pretty okay much to his relief; I think they're still employing the same chef. Which meant that the salt and chilli king prawns were still bloody marvellous. And then, yer actual Keith Telly Topping only went and got absolutely effing drenched on the way home as Tyneside got hit, verily, by The Flood.
Spectre has made a huge impact at the UK box office. Previews on Monday took over four million knicker, while Tuesday showings on six hundred and forty seven screens across the UK made 6.3 million smackers. That represents the biggest Tuesday takings ever for a movie in the UK, and tops the £6.2m made by Spectre's predecessor Skyfall on its Friday opening. The latest Bond film subsequently managed a further £5.75m on Wednesday - including yer actual Keith Telly Topping's seven quid - again, a British record for that particular day. Skyfall took twenty million notes from its opening weekend, and it looks inevitable that Spectre will have topped that figure by the coming Monday, albeit with far more days of screenings under its belt.
The Walking Dead was watched by an audience of more than six hundred and fifty thousand viewers on Monday, according to initial overnight figures. The latest episode - which saw the possible death of a major character - averaged six hundred and fifty eight thousand overnight viewers from 9pm on FOX, by a considerable distance the highest overnight for any of the multichannels. Doc Martin once again topped the terrestrial overnight ratings with 5.99 million. On BBC1, Panorama was watched by 2.07 million and Traffic Cops had 2.32 million. BBC2's University Challenge was seen by 2.82 million from 8pm. It was followed by Only Connect, which had 2.29 million. On Channel Four, SAS: Who Dares Wins appealed to 1.42 million. The American drama Fargo continued with three hundred and ninety five thousand viewers afterwards. On Channel Five, Police Interceptors and More Scum On Benefits: The Millionaire Shoplifter averaged nine hundred and twenty four thousand and 1.1 million punters respectively.

Channel Four's cult comedy Catastrophe returned for its second series with an average overnight audience fr its opening episode of seven hundred and eighty thousand at 10pm on Tuesday night. This is a higher figure than its launch overnight audience of six hundred and eighty thousand in January. Earlier on Channel Four, Twenty Four Hours In A&E brought in 1.71m at 9pm. ITV's Lewis topped Tuesday's overnights outside soaps despite dropping around four hundred thousand viewers week-on-week, attracting 3.34m at 9pm. BBC1's River continues to be properly excellent and yet, sadly, also shed yet more viewers, dipping by three hundred thousand from the previous episode to 2.50m at 9pm. In the same timeslot, Gareth Malone's The Naked Choir was seen by 2.10m on BBC2. On Channel Five, Dog Rescuers appealed to 1.42m at 8pm, followed by oafish sneering full-of-his-own-importance lard bucket Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford's wretched new show How The Other Half Lives with 1.38m at 9pm. BBC3's Suicide & Me with Professor Green interested four hundred and seventy seven thousand at 9pm, after Don't Tell the Bride drew five hundred and ninety five thousand at 8pm. On Sky1, Arrow continued with four hundred and fifty seven thousand viewers at 8pm.

The Apprentice remained top of the overnight ratings outside soaps on Wednesday, but lost around five hundred thousand overnight viewers from the previous week. Lord Sugar-Sweetie's latest show-related firing attracted an average overnight audience of 5.59 million at 9pm on BBC1. Spin-off show You're Fired followed with 1.75m at 10pm on BBC2. BBC1's new police drama Cuffs debuted with a decent 4.22m at 8pm. On ITV, All-Star Mr & Mrs as usual failed to entertain 2.87m at 8pm, followed by crassly rubbish Alexander Armstrong vehicle In The Land Of The Midnight Sun with 2.52m at 9pm. Channel Four's Grand Designs brought in 1.69m at 9pm, while Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! attracted 1.24m in the same slot on Channel Five. On Sky1, Arrow continued with three hundred and twelve thousand punters at 8pm, while The Affair returned with one hundred and three thousand at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.

This blogger must note, dear blog reader, how much he enjoying Matthew Sweet and Mark Gatiss's excellent Premium Bond documentary as part of BBC4's Bond Night on Wednesday. Keith Telly Topping was also thoroughly made-up to discover that yer man Mark shares this blogger's appreciation of Tom Mankiewicz's script for Diamonds Are Forever.
I've said this before, dear blog reader, but it bears repeating, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has always seen Diamonds and Live & Let Die and kind-of part one and part two of the same movie; different Bonds, obviously, but the same writer, the same director (the great Guy Hamilton) and both with that wonderfully sleazy view of early-1970s America. When this blogger first got to LA, in 1998, he was massively disappointed to discover that every city in the States didn't have a Fillet O Soul chain. Plus, those two were the first that this blogger saw at the cinema and so they loom very large in his legend. I just love Mankeiewicz's writing and the way that he could manage to make Bond occasionally appear quite foolish to others but without, ever, making him anything less than deadly.
And, as far as this blogger is concerned every Bond film should have the hero walking over four crocodiles to escape from certain death.
Some former footballers' new BBC1 series Out Of Their League attracted over three million overnight viewers on Thursday. Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and their fellow The Scum team-mates' running of Salford FC was seen by an average overnight audience of 3.09 million viewers at 9pm. Earlier, Watchdog brought in 3.99m at 7.30pm. ITV's For The Love Of Dogs With Paul O'Grady was - horrifyingly - the most-watched show of the night outside soaps with 4.03m at 8.30pm, followed by the latest episode of the drama Unforgiven with 3.56m at 9pm. On BBC2, The Last Kingdom continued with 1.54m at 9pm, while Russell Howard's Good News was as wretchedly unfunny as usually and was watched by eight hundred and thirty two thousand people who are, it seems, easily pleased at 10pm. Channel Four's Amazing Spaces had an audience of 1.19m at 8pm, followed by the opening episode of the new series Kitchen Impossible with 1.13m at 9pm and First Dates with 1.26m at 10pm. On Channel Five, Chris Tarrant's Extreme Railways interested 1.27m at 9pm. E4's latest The Big Bang Theory episode drew 1.31m at 8.30pm, easily topping - or, if you will, telly-topping - the multichannels. Supergirl arrived on Sky 1 with five hundred and eighty four thousand viewers at 8pm.
Channel Four's Gogglebox was, once again, one of Friday evening's biggest overnight attraction outside soaps. The popular show was seen by an average audience of 3.49 million at 9pm. TFI Friday was watched by 1.26 million at 8pm, while Alan Carr Chatty Man followed with a million punters at 10pm. On BBC1, The ONE Show started the evening off with 3.19 million, followed by the return of Citizen Khan for a new series with 3.33m at 8.30pm. National heartthrob David Tennant's appearance of Have I Got News For You was seen by 3.62m - the evening's highest overnight audience excluding soaps across all channels - whilst sitcom flop The Kennedys brought in but 1.81m at 9.30pm and The Graham Norton Show rounded the night off with 3.25m. On BBC2, coverage of the World Gymnastics Championship took centre stage, with an overnight audience of 1.65m from 7pm, followed by the latest of old Mister Portaloo's Great Continental Railway Journeys with 1.63m at 9pm and Qi with 1.42m (8.9%) at 10pm. On ITV, Rugby World Cup fever appears to have more or less completely evaporated once the home nations got knocked out, a mere 2.08m tuning in to watch the third place play-off between South Africa and Argentina. Police Interceptors attracted five hundred and thirty eight thousand punters for Channel Five at 7pm, followed by Conspiracy with seven hundred and ninety eight thousand at 8pm. Later, NCIS: New Orleans was seen by six hundred and ninety one thousand at 9pm, NCIS attracted seven hundred and eighteen thousand at 10pm and NCIS: Los Angeles had four hundred and twenty eight thousand at 11pm.
TV comedy line of the week came from a decent enough episode of Qi on Friday. It occurred after David Mitchell had produced one of regular 'angry logic' rants about which of four, all rather odd, given placenames was the 'made up' one. 'In a sense, all names are "made up", aren't they?' asked Mitchell, displaying his usual 'smug-but-not-entirely-unamusing' persona to the full. 'Welcome to the ruthlessly logical world of David Mitchell', said an exasperated Stephen Fry producing an inscrutable - and, quite chillingly accurate - impersonation of the vocal inflections of the man who is lucky enough to share a bed with Victoria Coren. 'You don't sound like that, I'm sorry,' added Stephen, quickly. Oh, yes he does, mate. And, that's why we love him.
The X Factor was hit with yet another blow in the overnight ratings, achieving a new series low as 5.4 million viewers watched its first live show on Saturday night. The episode averaged 5.39 million on ITV from 8pm, as Strictly Come Dancing thrashed its sorry ass raw by nearly four million overnight punters. Again, it's worth repeating that, in 2015, over five million punters on overnights for any show is, within its own context, still a decent figure. But, considering the sort of numbers X Factor was pulling in just a couple of years ago, the decline is, let's describe it as 'noticeble' and leave it at that, eh? Strictly remained steady week-on-week, with an audience of 9.35 million from 6.35pm for its Hallow'een-themed show. Doctor Who also suffered a drop for its latest episode, The Zyygon Invasion, being watched by an overnight audience of 3.87 million although that figure is likely to rise considerably when consolidated timeshift viewers are taken into account. The episode achieved an audience appreciation index score of eighty two out of one hundred. Later, Casualty had 3.65 million and Match Of The Day 3.18m, to witness yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable and, probably, relegation haunted) Magpies draw 0-0 with Jack Buckland. On BBC2, a Dad's Army repeat entertained 1.83 million. It was followed by the much-trailed adaptation of The Dresser, which was watched by one million viewers from 9pm. ITV's The Jonathan Ross Show managed 2.12 million after The X Factor whilst New Zealand's victory over Australia in the final of the Rugby World Cup attracted 4.82 million during the afternoon. On Channel Four, How To Be A Queen: Sixty Three Years & Counting took 1.1 million from 8pm, with It Was Alright In The Seventies drawing nine hundred and sixty two thousand nostalgics afterwards.
The X Factor's first live results show fared much better than Saturday night's lowest-rated overnight episode of the series, reclaiming around a million viewers on Sunday. The ITV lack-of-talent show attracted an average overnight audience of 6.47 million from 8pm. In contrast, BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing results show rose to its highest ratings of 2015 so far, entertaining 9.70m punters at 7pm. The rival shows did not overlap on Sunday, with Strictly peaking at 9.91m at around 7.45pm, compared to The X Factor's 7.28m peak. Earlier on ITV, Jekyll & Hyde shed a million overnight viewers from the previous week's launch - going directly up against Strictly - being watched by 2.14m at 7pm. Downton Abbey continued with 7.54m at 9pm. On BBC1, Countryfile's Children In Need special brought in 5.92m at 6pm, while Antiques Roadshow interested 5.86m at 8pm. David Attenborough's new natural history series, The Hunt, had an audience of 4.44m at 9pm and highlights of the Mexican Grand Prix drew 1.96m from 10.30pm. BBC2's Britain's Ultimate Pilot appealed to 1.15m at 9pm, followed by Match Of The Day 2 with 1.73m at 10pm. Earlier, Earth's Wildest Waters had 1.09m. On Channel Four, Great Canal Journeys was seen by 1.54m at 8pm, while Homeland continued with nine hundred and forty eight thousand at 9pm. Channel Five's Sunday night movie, Arachnophobia, was watched by six hundred and seventy thousand from 8pm.

Sunday night at Stately Telly Topping Manor, dear blog reader. Feet up the fire, the Mexican Grand Prix, a good book, a chilled glass of sweet white and, erm, this. Simple pleasures.
And so, dear blog reader, to the final and consolidated ratings list of the Top Twenty Eight programmes for week-ending Sunday 25 October 2015:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 10.42m
2 Downton Abbey - Sun ITV - 9.55m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.35m
4 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 7.77m
5 The Apprentice - Wed BBC1 - 7.70m
6 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.21m
7= EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.14m
7= Doc Martin - Mon ITV - 7.14m
9 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.75m
10 DIY SOS: The Big Build - Wed BBC1 - 6.63m
11 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 6.11m
12 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.72m
13 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.03m
14 Six O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 5.00m
15 Gogglebox - Fri C4 - 4.80m
16 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.63m
17 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.51m
18= Unforgotten - Thurs ITV - 4.33m*
18= Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.33m
20 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.30m
21 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 4.24m
22 Lewis - Tues ITV - 4.18m*
23 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.14m
24 From Darkness - Sun BBC1 - 4.12m
25 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 4.09m
26 River - BBC1 Tues - 3.96m
27 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.94m
28 Who Do You Think You Are? - Thurs BBC1 - 3.83m
Those ITV programmes marked '*' do not include HD figures. These figures, as usual, do not include iPlayer or ITV Player viewers. The Sunday episode of Strictly Come Dancing drew an audience of 9.33 million. Doctor Who's timeshift over and above the initial overnight audience for The Woman Who Lived was 1.73 viewers (again, it's worth stressing that figure does not count those people who watch the episode on iPlayer). The X Factor's Sunday night episode drew 7.14m viewers. The opening episode of ITVs Jekyll & Hyde had a final, consolidated audience of 3.38m viewers. On BBC2, the first part of The Last Kingdom was watched by 3.09m whilst University Challenge was seen by 3.05m, followed by Building Cars Live (2.40m), Only Connect (2.38m), Gardeners' World (2.33m) and The Apprentice - You're Fired (2.25m). The Celts: Blood, Iron & Sacrifice With The Goddess of Punk Archaeology Alice Roberts & Scottish Neil Oliver (And His Lovely Hair) had an audience of 1.73m and Jezza Clarkson's appearance on Qi attracted 1.53m (the XL edition had 1.35m). Aside from Gogglebox, Channel Four's top-rated broadcasts included SAS: Who Dares Win (2.36m), Twenty Four Hours In A&E (2.33m), Grand Designs (2.30m), Great Canal Journeys (1.86m) and TFI Friday (1.82m). Channel Five's highest-rated broadcast was Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away (1.51m) and The Yorkshire Vet (1.47m). An episode of The Big Bang Theory brought in an astonishing figure of 2.66m, over six hundred thousand higher than the next largest audience of a multchannels broadcast and over million viewers above anything on Channel Five all week. Sky Sports 1's coverage of Live Ford Super Sunday and the Manchester Derby between The Scum and Sheikh Yer Man City was watched by 1.98m viewers. Earlier on the same day, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies' utterly cowardly and disgraceful capitulation to the Mackem Scum of Humanity - not helped by some inept refereeing, let it be noted - drew an audience of nine hundred and forty eight thousand. The day's third Premier League game, Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws versus The Saints had 1.32m from 4pm. Gillette Soccer Saturday was, as usual, Sky Sports News's highest-rated broadcast, with seven hundred and ninety six thousand punters. Saturday's coverage of the second test between Pakistan and England had one hundred and forty seven thousand viewers for Sky Sports 2. Sky F1's Live United States Grand Prix coverage drew 1.04m viewers - added to the 1.57 million punters who watched the race on BBC2. ITV4's Moto GP Highlights had three hundred and ninety two thousand viewers. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama with nine hundred and thirty eight thousand. The second series of BBC4's Arne Dahl continued with the third and fourth episodes being watched by six hundred and eighty seven thousand and six hundred and nineteen thousand viewers respectively. Unnatural Histories drew four hundred and sixty one thousand whilst Psychedelic Britannia had four hundred and thirty four thousand, Welsh Railways: Beating Beeching was watched by four hundred and eleven thousand, Servants: The True Story Of Life Below Stairs by three hundred and eighty two thousand and The Somme: Secret Tunnel Wars by three hundred and seventy nine thousand. How Gay Is Pakistan? was BBC3's top-rated broadcast with six hundred and forty eight thousand whilst Saving The Cyber Sex Girls was seen by six hundred and thirty four thousand. Sky Atlantic, Sky Living, Sky1 and Sky Arts all did not report any consolidated figures for the week in question to BARB. Neither did 5USA, FOX, the Universal Channel or CBS Action for that matter. Slackers. Give the lot of them a good slap. On Dave, Dave Gorman: Modern Life Is Good(ish) was, again, the channel's highest-rated programme - six hundred and twenty one thousand - followed by Blackadder: The Third (three hundred and eighty nine thousand), Storage Hunters UK (three hundred and twenty five thousand) and Qi XL (three hundred and five thousand). Drama's Dalziel & Pascoe drew four hundred and three thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programmes were Rizzolo & Isles (five hundred and twenty six thousand) and Castle (three hundred and sixty thousand). Watch's broadcast of The Strain was seen by three hundred and ten thousand. Yesterday's repeat run of Porridge had two hundred and forty one thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Rush was watched by three hundred and ninety four thousand viewers. Wheeler Dealers had three hundred and eighty nine thousand, Alaskan Bush People one hundred and eighteen thousand and Running Wild With Bear Grylls one hundred and ten thousand, whilst Bitchin' Rides was seen by ninety two thousand and Naked & Afraid by eighty three thousand viewers. Meanwhile, Discovery History, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, National Geographic and ID joined the growing list of channels which, seemingly, couldn't be bothered to fill their forms in for BARB this week. Send the boys round to administer a damned good punishment shellacking, that's what this blogger suggests. Anyway, CI's Crimes That Shook Britain brought in seventy five thousand viewers whilst Unusual Suspects drew forty six thousand. Eden's First Look: Code Black was seen by thirty one thousand. The opening episode of the awful Bull on GOLD's attracted two hundred and thirty four thousand viewers. How many of those will be sticking around for the second episode of the rotten Robert Lindsay and Maureen Lipman vehicle is, as with the channel's other recent hideous comedy flop Marley's Ghosts, a question well worth asking. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (four hundred and forty three thousand). On ITV Encore, Vera was watched by sixty eight thousand viewers. TLC's weekly-list was topped by Cake Boss which was seen by two hundred thousand.

BBC1's Doctor Foster proved a huge ratings hit with its tale of a scorned wife wreaking retribution on her cheating husband. But some viewers were, apparently, 'left disappointed' that Bertie Carvel's adulterous Simon didn't get more of a comeuppance, instead escaping to start a new life with his pregnant mistress Kate (played by Jodie Comer). 'I don't know what kind of comeuppance people are wishing for - whether there's blood and death and castration involved,' Carvel told the Digital Spy website. But, perhaps a darker fate still awaits Simon in the future, with Carvel suggesting that Doctor Foster - which starred Suranne Jones in the title role - 'could be continued' with a second series. 'I'm sure those conversations will be had at the Beeb, given the numbers,' he said. 'Whether or not [a second series] will come to pass, I don't know. As for comeuppance, it's like life. I don't wish unhappiness on anyone, neither do I think this is a story with a good guy - or girl - and an evil guy. It's a story about recognisable flawed human beings. I don't think it's really a happy ending really for any of them.' Doctor Foster's massive series ending audience - a consolidated figure of just over ten million punters - made it the biggest new BBC drama of the year, with Carvel saying that he was 'thrilled' by the show's success. 'I think one of the brilliant things [writer] Mike Bartlett has done has been to write a thriller that might have looked like a bit of comfortable mid-week television, but actually delved into the experience of infidelity from all sides. It's an experience that I would imagine is unfortunately close to a lot of people, and so it's relatable, it's well-written, it's well-acted, it's brilliantly directed and it's made with huge passion by the producers. For all those reasons, I'm not surprised it's been successful.'

ITV's has reportedly 'refused to bow to pressure' to move its teatime drama Jekyll & Hyde to a later, post-watershed slot, despite more than five hundred whinges about 'violent scenes' in the broadcast in the opening episode on Sunday evening. The drama, shown at 6:30pm, featured scenes of a man being bludgeoned to death within the first minute and went on to include further grisly deaths and 'potentially disturbing imagery.' ITV confirmed that it had received two hundred and eighty complaints, while two hundred and sixty three snitchers contacted broadcasting regulator Ofcom to 'express their concern' about the drama. ITV confirmed that it would go ahead with a planned shift to a 7pm slot for Jekyll & Hyde starting 1 November from its current start-time of 6:30pm and added that there are 'no plans' to move the remainder of its ten-episode run to after 9pm. An ITV spokesperson highlighted a warning broadcast before the start of show 'advising the parents of younger children they may find some scenes scary.' The show is currently available on ITV's video on-demand service but also comes with a warning saying that the content would usually be broadcast after the watershed or 'contains content or themes that may be unsuitable for some viewers.' Based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, Jekyll & Hyde follows the nephew of the original Doctor Jekyll in 1930s London as he encounters monsters and a shadowy government organisation that fights them led by Richard E Grant. Tom Bateman, who plays Jekyll, is at one point seen putting his foot against a child's throat and a number of other characters, including a half-man, half-dog creature, meet grisly ends, such as being set on fire. Ofcom, a politically-appointed quango, elected by no one, said that it would look at whether it was 'appropriately' scheduled for a time when young children could be watching. 'We are opening an investigation into whether the programme complied with our rules on appropriate scheduling and violent content before the watershed,' it said in a statement. It added that it had been 'powerless' to force ITV to move the show before it aired and can only react retrospectively. The regulator cannot order a broadcaster to change the time of broadcast, but takes the watershed seriously in assessing whether to impose sanctions. Last year, the US-owned network Discovery was fined one hundred grand for daytime broadcasts of a programme about serial killers called Deadly Women during the school holidays. However, that was considered an extreme case and ITV is unlikely to face similarly punitive repercussions. The fourteen million smackers series was created by ITV's in-house production arm and written by Charlie Higson. The show is designed to appeal to the same family audiences the BBC has previously won over with fantasy shows such as Doctor Who, Merlin and Atlantis and ITV is also hoping it could prove a hit overseas to offset the large budget. The premiere drew an average overnight audience of 3.15 million viewers between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, some way off the audiences the BBC has been able to attract for its own tea-time viewing. Atlantis, which was cancelled after two seasons, debuted in 2013 with nearly six million viewers and Doctor Who continues to be a ratings hit with regular consolidated audiences - excluding iPlayer viewers - of six million and above. The BBC has also attracted criticism, from glakes, morons and bell-ends, largely, for 'overstepping the mark' with shows aimed at families. More than one hundred people whinged about a Doctor Who episode broadcast last year which dealt with theories about the afterlife and claims - subsequently disproved - that the bodies of the dead could feel the pain of being cremated. Thankfully, the corporation for once showed a bit of backbone and effectively told those making such whinges to grow-the-fuck-up. Which, one hopes, is exactly what ITV will tell those bellyaching about Jekyll & Hyde. Higson told the Gruniad Morning Star before Jekyll & Hyde's broadcast that children would be 'happy' with the dark tone. 'Kids will be happy with it, they love all that stuff,' he claimed. 'You never want to dumb it down. There's enough fantasy element to it. We don't do squirting blood, torn-off limbs. [But] kids know what they can deal with. I've always maintained it is good to scare children.' The furore may raise concerns over the show ITV has lined-up for a similar time slot in January once Jekyll & Hyde ends its run. Beowulf: Return To The Shieldlands is based on the Old Norse poem about the battle between the eponymous hero and man-eating monster Grendel.
Amazon signed a deal worth a reported one hundred and sixty million notes with former Top Gear presenters Jezza Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – and it’s doing its best to get its money’s worth before their new series launches next year. It has just released an advert for Amazon's Fire TV Stick featuring Jezza, who is shown gliding around a country house on a Segway backed by Steppenwolf's rock classic 'Born To Be Wild.' In a reference to Clarkson's departure from the BBC, he says: 'Back in the spring, as you probably remember, I suddenly became un-busy and that was okay because I had one of these – an Amazon Fire TV stick.' He adds: 'Everything you could possibly want – Demand Five, Netflix ...' before shaking his head and say 'that' when he sees the BBC iPlayer and skipping on to Amazon Prime. 'It's almost perfect. No, wait. It is perfect.' Heh!
Don't panic, dear blog reader. Instead have a first look at BBC2's upcoming Dad's Army biopic drama. We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story will tell of the struggles creators Jimmy Perry and David Croft had to endure to get the classic sitcom on screen. The stills show Friday Night Dinner's Paul Ritter and Game Of Thrones actor Richard Dormer as Perry and Croft, respectively and John Sessions as a dead ringer for Arthur Lowe. Shane Richie will play Bill Pertwee in the one-off film, with the rest of the Dad's Army actors portrayed by Julian Sands (as John Le Mesurier), Mark Heap (as Clive Dunn), Kevin Bishop (as James Beck), Michael Cochrane (as Arnold Ridley) and Ralph Riach (as John Laurie). Meanwhile, Keith Allen will appear as BBC TV executive Paul Fox and Sally Phillips will play Croft's wife Ann. The biopic has been written by Stephen Russell and will be directed by Steve Bendelack. We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story is set to be shown on BBC2 during the Christmas period.
Yer actual Christopher Eccleston has been signed up to star in the BBC's new drama series The A Word. The production focuses on The Hughes family, who must learn to communicate effectively after their son is diagnosed with autism. The six-part drama is directed by The Full Monty filmmaker Peter Cattaneo and written by Peter Bowker. Big Ecc recently spoke about the project, saying: 'I'm very proud to be reunited with Peter Bowker on The A Word. This is a special job for us all. We hope the audience take us to their hearts.' Bowker - who previously worked with Eccleston on 2002's Flesh & Blood - added: 'We have the opportunity here to make something funny, tough, realistic and inventive about contemporary family life and autism. In a society where imperfection increasingly comes with blame attached it seems timely to look at how autism is regarded both within a family and the wider community – and to give some insight into how that experience might be for the child on the autism spectrum.' Lee Ingleby, Morven Christie, Greg McHugh, Vinette Robinson and Max Vento also star in The A Word on which filming recently began and which will be shown in 2016.
Danny Dyer has admitted he was 'absolutely skint' and 'desperate' for a job when he was offered his role in EastEnders. Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show, he said that when he was offered the part he tried not to show how eager he was to the producer. 'I was like, "Wow, I want to do a cartwheel in front of them" but I thought, "Play it down, don't show your bolt too early." I went, "I'll think about it" and then I walked out and I did a couple of back-flips on the way out!' He said that if the role hadn't come up, he would have been forced to work as a labourer to make ends meet. Tragic, really. Cos that would have been funny.
Newsnight editor Ian Katz has spoken of his concern over the seizure of a BBC journalist's laptop by police acting under the Terrorism Act. Secunder Kermani handed over the computer after officers secured a judge's order, the BBC has confirmed. They were responding to communications between Kermani and a man in Syria who was publicly identified as an Islamic State extremist. The man was not a confidential source, a BBC spokesman said. Katz said that police use of the act to access information shared between journalists and sources could 'cause problems' when reporting about Islamic State. 'While we would not seek to obstruct any police investigation, we are concerned that the use of the Terrorism Act to obtain communication between journalists and sources will make it very difficult for reporters to cover this issue of critical public interest,' Katz said. A BBC spokeswoman said: 'Police obtained an order under the Terrorism Act requiring the BBC to hand over communication between a Newsnight journalist and a man in Syria who had publicly identified himself as an IS member. The man had featured in Newsnight reports and was not a confidential source.' Police have legal powers to seize information during any inquiries into the 'commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism', under the Terrorism Act which was introduced in 2000. Kermani, who has previously worked for BBC London, Channel Four News and the Islam Channel, joined Newsnight last year. During his work for the current affairs programme he interviewed a number of people claiming to be connected to IS, including Jake Bilardi, an eighteen-year-old Australian whose photo with IS fighters appeared online last December.
Some abject prick of no importance speaking on behalf of ITV has whinged that the BBC should be 'banned' from buying overseas formats such as its Saturday night talent show The Voice. The commercial broadcaster said that there should be 'a blanket ban' on the BBC running any acquired content or formats on either BBC1 or BBC2 and should not buy US films or shows 'in any circumstances.' Quite what the fuck any of this has to do with them is, of course, another question entirely. And one well worth asking this blogger would have said. ITV's risible snitching remarks follow a period in which - by a curious coincidence - its own ratings have suffered a big drop, with its main channel down seven per cent in the first six months of 2015 and a four per cent drop across all its channels. So, no obvious - and quite sick - agenda going down there, then, clearly. In response, a BBC spokesperson told ITV to 'mind its own effing business and stop acting like The School Sneak, whinging to teacher like a filthy stinking Copper's Nark.' Well, no, actually they didn't. Because, the BBC is - collectively - far too polite to do that or anything even remotely like it. But, I'm not. In fact, the BBC said that in-house research showed an eleven-point rise in the share of viewers over the past five years who said BBC1 shows offer something 'fresh and new', to 71.6 per cent. A BBC spokesperson told the Digital Spy website: 'BBC services are more distinctive than they have ever been and we show a wider, more unique range of programmes than any other channel. BBC1 is the UK's most watched channel offering an unrivalled breadth of world-class programmes that inform, educate and entertain from peak time documentaries and drama to news, science, history and arts coverage. While thirty years ago a fifth of BBC1's peak time schedule consisted of acquired American series, today that is zero.' They further stated that BBC programmes were 'more distinctive than they have ever been,' adding: 'We take risks whilst supporting, celebrating and championing British talent and creativity, and programmes like Strictly, The Great British Bake Off and Doctor Who help bring the UK closer together.' And the BBC's director of television Danny Cohen also had something to say on the matter.
Bob Mortimer has cancelled the first leg of a UK tour with long-time comedy partner Vic Reeves after undergoing a triple heart bypass operation. Bob was due to take to the stage alongside Vic in Glasgow next month as part of a twenty fifth anniversary show. Neil Reading, spokesman for Mortimer, said that Bob needed 'several weeks' to recover from the operation. Vic added: 'I'm so pleased the operation has gone well and Bob is fixed. Many thanks to the surgeon.' Their tour, Twenty Five Years Of Reeves & Mortimer: The Poignant Moments, had been due to start on 8 November. Reading said: 'Bob would like to thank his consultant and all the nursing staff at the hospital for looking after him so well. He now needs several weeks to fully recover, so unfortunately the first leg of the UK tour will be cancelled. Bob very much hopes to be fit and well enough to perform the second leg in January next year.' All ticket holders for performances from 8 November to 4 December are advised to contact their point of purchase for a refund. It is hoped the January and February 2016 shows will go ahead as planned. When the tour was announced earlier this year, Bob said: 'Playing in front of a living audience is where it all began for us.' He added: 'I will ensure that Vic arrives at all dates smartly dressed and unarmed. I promise not to mention football, JLS or apricots during the performances. Should you choose to attend, be warned - I will be not be wearing a toupee.'
Dame Maggie Smith has admitted that she is relieved Downton Abbey is coming to an end. She's not the only one either. Next ..

The Antiques Roadshow has found the most valuable item in its thirty eight-year-history - worth more than one million knicker. The item, described by producers as 'a world famous piece owned by a sporting institution', was discovered during filming in North Yorkshire. The exact value of the item has not been revealed, but the previous holder of the title - a scale model of The Angel Of The North - was valued at a million quid in 2008. The BBC1 show, filmed at Harrogate's Royal Hall, will be screened in April of next year. A spokesman for the show, presented by Fiona Bruce, said: 'An item seen at The Antiques Roadshow in Harrogate is the highest valued object ever to appear on the show in its thirty eight-year history. It is a world-famous piece owned by a sporting institution. The final valuation given will be revealed when the programme airs in Spring 2016.' The estimate for Antony Gormley's model of The Angel Of The North was three times the show's previous record. That was held by a three hundred thousand quid collection of silver dating back to the reign of Charles II. More than two thousand five hundred people turned out to have their antiques appraised and valued in Harrogate. Some owners of potentially valuable antiques queued for about ninety minutes to be seen.
Sir Ian McKellen has told the BBC that working with Sir Anthony Hopkins on BBC2's forthcoming adaptation of The Dresser was 'bliss.' The adaptation of the classic play is the first time the two actors have shared a screen together. Sir Ian said that the only reason he signed up was because Sir Anthony was in it: 'I said, "well, that would be a joy!" And it was.'
Dazzling Dezza Brown has been telling the BBC about his forthcoming ride at Thorpe Park in Surrey. A team of one thousand technicians are working to bring the attraction to life in 2016. Billed as 'a fully immersive psychological attraction', the thirteen-minute journey is 'designed to manipulate' the human mind. 'The only brief was to make something that was fun and thrilling,' Derren told BBC News. 'The sheer budget involved is huge. This is their biggest investment in anything, which is amazing and genuinely is a world first. There is nothing like it.' In keeping with his stage shows, though, Derren is keeping studiously schtum about how it will actually work. 'It isn't a rollercoaster, it's an experience. If I described it you, you would think it sounded exciting. If it does everything that it should do, it will be phenomenal.' Derren is due to start a West End run of his latest show, Miracle, next month.
Terry Jones will direct the world premiere of Jeepers Creepers, a play Marty Feldman and his ambitious wife, Lauretta. It charts the British comedian's move to Hollywood, where he played Igor in Mel Brooks' 1974 film Young Frankenstein. Feldman rose to fame writing - often in partnership with Barry Took - on 1960s shows like radio's Round The Horne, The Frost Report, At Last The 1948 Show (in which he starred with John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Tim Brooke Taylor) and his own BBC sketch show It's Marty. The play has been written by Marty's biographer Robert Ross. Jones will direct a four-week season of the theatre production at London's Leicester Square Theatre from 18 January to 20 February. During the 1960s the Monty Python's Flying Circus star worked with Feldman several times, including writing sketches for and appearing in It's Marty. 'When I joined the writing team for The Frost Report, the first person to say "hello" and make me feel welcome was Marty Feldman,' said Jones. 'He was one of those very kind and very funny people who helped all the Pythons along the way. It's lovely to be able to say a belated "thank you" by bringing him back to eye-popping life - sort of! - on the London stage.' Actor David Boyle will play Feldman as he struggles with life in Los Angeles and 'comes to terms with the burden of fame he has always craved', as his wife Lauretta 'takes to the glamorous lifestyle with alacrity.' She will be played by Rebecca Vaughan. Producers say that Jeepers Creepers will chart 'one of the most powerful and complex partnerships in comedy, through the unique gaze of one of the greatest: Marty Feldman.' The play's writer, Ross, has penned several comedy biographies, including Feldman, Benny Hill and Sid James, as well as The Monty Python Encyclopaedia.
Sky is preparing the ground for what they claim to be 'a revolutionary TV announcement' on 18 November. The broadcaster has released a curious promo video that counts down the major TV milestones from 1929 to the present day, ending with the phrase 'Set your TV free.' Industry speculation suggests that Sky's announcement relates to portability, but Sky Go already allows viewers to take content on the move. Sky has already launched a 'Set TV Free' website, although there's nothing on there at the moment besides that teaser video and links to the firm's social media accounts.

Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter - who is, obviously, not a complete and total crook - has suggested that there was 'an agreement' in place for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup - before the vote took place. The seventy nine9-year-old told the Russian news agency TASS of 'a discussion' in 2010 about future World Cups. He claimed that 'a late swing' in voting which gave Qatar the 2022 World Cup undid a similar 'agreement' to hand it to the US. Blatter is currently serving a ninety-day ban alongside UEFA chief Michel Platini. Both deny any wrongdoing. Asked whether it was 'a mistake' to hold voting for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments simultaneously, Blatter replied that before the ballot: 'It was agreed inside the group that we go to Russia because it has never been to Eastern Europe, and for 2022 we go back to America. And so we would have the World Cup in the two biggest political powers.' But, he added that four votes from Europe later switched from the USA to Qatar. The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments is the subject of an ongoing Swiss criminal investigation. It was begun alongside a US inquiry following the arrest and indictment of several top FIFA executives and former executives by the US Department of Justice on corruption charges. Simon Johnson, then chief operating officer of England's failed 2018 World Cup bid, was said to be 'livid' about Blatter's comments, saying that England's Football Association had 'every right to bring legal action against FIFA.' The FA spent twenty one million quid, including two and a half million smackers of public money from local authorities, on England's attempt to host the 2018 tournament. 'All the way through the process we were being told by high-ranking FIFA officials that as long as we put together a strong bid and a good presentation we would have a lot to offer,' Johnson told BBC 5Live. He added that the bid team 'played by the rules' and, 'right until the night before the vote', thought that they had 'every chance.' The FA's chairman Greg Dyke said that English football's governing body will investigate Blatter's revelations. Giving evidence to the UK Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Dyke said that it would be 'very nice to get taxpayers' money back', adding that the FA would 'talk to our own lawyers, but this is uncharted territory.' In a wide-ranging interview, Blatter, who will be replaced as head of world football's governing body at an election on 26 February 2016, also said that Russia will 'never lose' the 2018 World Cup, England are 'bad losers' over perceived media criticism of the 2018 and 2022 Word Cup bidding process, most national football associations 'don't like" UEFA-backed FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino, Blatter's own current suspension is 'a total nonsense' and the FIFA ethics committee has failed him. Blatter claimed that it was 'his dream' for his ban to end in time to conduct the February congress when the election to replace him with one of seven candidates will take place. He also said that he should have stood down after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but stayed because of concerns that UEFA, European football's governing body, would become 'too dominant' within FIFA. 'The other confederations were afraid that UEFA would take over everything because they have the money and the players,' said Blatter. UEFA president Platini, who is FIFA's suspended vice-president, was the target for most of Blatter's criticism, with the Frenchman accused of being 'motivated by envy and jealousy.' Both men are currently suspended while FIFA investigates a £1.35m payment made to Platini in 2011, which the pair say was for work Platini carried out as Blatter's 'adviser.' The payment was made months before Platini decided not to challenge Blatter in the 2011 FIFA presidential election. 'At the beginning it was only a personal attack - it was Platini against me,' said Blatter. 'He started it, but then it became politics and when it is in politics, it is not any longer Platini against me. It is then those who have lost the World Cup - England against Russia. They lost the World Cup and the USA lost the World Cup against Qatar. Platini wanted to be FIFA president but he did not have the courage to go as the president and now we are in such a situation in football.' In an interview with the Torygraph published later on Wednesday, Platini said he would press on with his bid to replace Blatter as FIFA president in February's election. Platini claims that the £1.35m payment 'represents the equivalent of four years' salary arrears that FIFA owed me when I was the president's special adviser. The president himself offered me a contract and a salary that I accepted.' He added: 'So, to be clear: was there work provided? Yes. Is an oral contract legal in Switzerland? Yes. Did I have the right to reclaim my money even nine years later? Yes. Did I produce a proper invoice as Fifa required? Yes. Was the money declared to the taxman? Yes.' Platini said that his disagreement with Blatter stemmed from 'rivalries' between the two organisations they ran, adding: 'FIFA and UEFA are antagonistic in an organic sense. With Sepp Blatter our relationship became still more strained when in 2015, going against the promise he made in 2011, he wanted to put himself forward for re-election.' Platini accused FIFA's ethics inspectors of failing to investigate the case before banning him. He said that he would take the matter to 'the highest court' to clear his name. Earlier, a spokesman for FIFA's ethics committee investigatory chamber told the BBC Sport website it was 'reading with interest' Blatter's comments but declined to comment further. Meanwhile, the former head of Brazilian football, Jose Maria Marin has agreed to be extradited from Switzerland to the US to face corruption charges, Swiss authorities say. He was among seven FIFA officials extremely arrested at a Zurich hotel in May after they were very indicted by the US on corruption charges.

Venus, Jupiter and Mars can all be seen together in the sky this week, in a rare grouping of the three planets. The planetary conjunction - in which planets line-up due to the timing of their orbits around the Sun - has been visible for days and will continue until at least the end of the week. The planets are best seen before sunrise and will form a particularly neat triangle on Thursday. The next time the planets cluster this close together will be in January 2021. Two planets appear together in this way at various times throughout the year, but it is much rarer to have three grouped together. The fact the planets can be seen without binoculars or a telescope is one of the things that makes this grouping special.
The Cassini probe has made a daring close flyby of Enceladus, an ice-rich moon of Saturn. The NASA craft swept just fifty kilometres above the moon's surface in a final attempt to 'taste' the chemistry of water jets spewing from its south pole. Enceladus has produced a series of major discoveries that mean it is now considered one of the most promising places to find life beyond Earth. Scientists say it has an ocean beneath its icy crust. What is more, the conditions in this global body of liquid water could be benign enough to support microbial organisms. 'Enceladus is not just an ocean world - it's a world that might provide a habitable environment for life as we know it,' said Cassini program scientist Curt Niebur, in a media briefing on Monday. 'On Wednesday we'll plunge deeper into that magnificent plume coming from the South Pole than ever before. And we will collect the best sample ever from an ocean beyond earth.' Cassini will attempt to detect molecular hydrogen during Wednesday's encounter. This would be a strong signal that hot vents exist on the rocky ocean floor. If that is the case, it would be another plus-point in the moon's habitability potential. Such vent systems are known on Earth to provide the fundamental energy and nutrient requirements for some deep-sea ecosystems. At these locations, water is drawn into the rock bed, heated and saturated with minerals, before then being ejected back upwards. Bacteria thrive in this environment, establishing a food web that supports a chain to more complex organisms. Cassini is entering the end stages of its mission to the Saturnian system, which began with an insertion into orbit around the ringed planet in July 2004. Since then it has made repeated passes of the major moons, to image them and to characterise their make-up and environment. This latest visit to Enceladus is one of the very closest. Indeed, Cassini will never again get quite so near to the moon's surface. As a consequence, Wednesday's rendezvous represents the last real opportunity to sample the densest regions of the jets. Previous detections by the probe's instruments have already identified salts and organics in the icy spray. Key indicators of hidden vent activity include the presence in the plumes of silica particles and methane. Next year, Cassini will begin a series of manoeuvres to put itself in orbits that take it high above, and through, Saturn's rings. Then, in 2017, once the probe's fuel has all but run out, ground controllers will command the spacecraft to plunge into the planet's atmosphere, where it will be very destroyed.
And now, dear blog reader ...
Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's DJ-themed Internet reality TV series is not happening at Yahoo any more. Which is, obviously, a complete and total tragedy of world-shattering importance, and that. The X Factor boss had made an appearance at Yahoo's NewFront event earlier this year to promote Ultimate DJ, in which MCs would compete for a Sony record contract. Whilst the show had been tipped for a spring 2016 debut, Variety now reports that Yahoo have decided this week to pull the plug. While initially promoting the series, Wee Shughie mcfee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads promised that Ultimate DJ would have 'respect'. The winning DJ would received a headline spot at a major electronic music festival, in addition to securing a record contract. The Ultimate DJ concept drew its fair share of criticism from the EDM community, with the likes of Fatboy Slim, Gorgon City and Sigma (no, me neither I'm afraid) all mocking its lack of credibility. And the fact that, like as not, it would be total shite.
A decision to award ten grand privacy damages to Paul Weller for three of his children would have 'far-reaching adverse effects' on the freedom of the UK media if allowed to stand, the court of appeal has heard claimed. Lawyers for Associated Newspapers said on Tuesday that Mr Justice Dingemans had 'got it wrong' in his application of the law and created what was, in effect, an 'image right' for the first time. Weller, the frontman of The Jam and The Style Council and the Goddamn Modfather is very self, sued Associated after the unobscured faces of daughter Dylan, aged sixteen, and ten-month-old twins John Paul and Bowie were 'plastered' over the Scum Mail Online website. The seven unpixellated pictures appeared in October 2012 after a paparazzo followed the musician and his children on a shopping trip in Santa Monica – taking photos without their consent, despite being asked to stop. At the trial in April last year, Associated argued that they were 'innocuous' and 'inoffensive' images taken in public places and that the Wellers had previously chosen to open up their private family life to public gaze 'to a significant degree.' But, the judge was having none of it and ruled that there was 'a misuse of private information' and a breach of the Data Protection Act which merited an award of five grand to Dylan and two thousand five hundred smackers each to the boys. He said that the photos were published in circumstances where the children had 'a reasonable expectation of privacy' – and that the balance came down in favour of finding that the right to respect for private and family life overrode that to freedom of expression. Weller's wife, Hannah, the mother of the twins, was in court in London when Associated's QC, Antony White, told the master of the rolls Lord Dyson, Lord Justice Tomlinson and Lord Justice Bean that the appeal raised issues of 'some significance' for the developing law of privacy. It had been clear for more than a decade that there were 'some restrictions' on the legality of taking photos in public places but the boundaries of the restrictions 'remained unclear', particularly when the photos involved children or were taken abroad – such as in the US where both the taking of the photos and their publication would be lawful. He said that an image right was 'not recognised' in English law and, if the decision stood, 'would have far-reaching adverse effects on the freedom of the media in this jurisdiction.' The effect of foreign law on the assessment of reasonable expectation of privacy was likely to arise in many cases concerning photographs taken in other jurisdictions because of the increasingly international nature of the content of news organisations' websites. David Sherborne, for the Wellers, said that the appeal raised 'no new points of law' and the judge's decision was 'simply the application of a set of facts' to well-established legal principles. 'In truth, the appeal can, and should, be disposed of shortly. Not only was it a decision which fell squarely within the discretion which the judge at first instance exercised on a careful and correct analysis of the accepted law in this field, but the primary basis of the appeal, namely that he was wrong in law to find the respondents had a reasonable expectation of privacy, is manifestly unsustainable.'

Meanwhile, it has been announced this week that Paul is to score a new British boxing drama, to be filmed early next year. Ray Winstone, Michael Smiley and This Is England's Johnny Harris will star in the currently untitled drama, a collaboration between film company Independent and the BBC. Harris will play Jimmy, a man who turns to his childhood boxing club when he hits rock bottom. Harris, a former youth boxer, also wrote the script for the film, which he based on his own experiences.

Jimi Hendrix's London home is to open as a permanent museum for the public to visit on 10 February 2016. The flat at 23 Brook Street, Mayfair has undergone a £2.4m restoration with the help of money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and private donors. Hendrix bought the third-floor flat in 1968 at a time when he was considering the next phase of his career and that summer he released his classic Electric Ladyland LP. The flat is in the same row as the former home of the German-born composer George Frideric Handel, who lived next door at 25 Brook Street for twenty six years and wrote many of his greatest works, including The Messiah there. Both homes are owned by the Handel House Trust, who have been using the Hendrix flat as an office, only opening it occasionally to the members of the public. The chairman of the trust, Alistair Stranack said: 'It is hard to think of another home in the world with such a concentration of musical genius. We hope that the opening of Jimi Hendrix's flat will give people an added insight into the life and work of a figure whose actions have been examined no end since his death in 1970. While it has been a pleasure to have been working in Jimi's bedroom for the past few years, it is even more pleasing to be able to throw it open to everybody else.' Stranack said that, through painstaking research into the building and Hendrix's circle of friends and acquaintances, the trust had managed to present an image of what life was like during his time at Brook Street. At the heart of the Hendrix flat will be the main living room, restored to how it would have looked when Hendrix was in residence. Among the exhibits are previously unseen or rarely-seen images of Hendrix taken at the flat and in the local area. The museum will also include a new state-of-the-art studio to be used for teaching and as a concert venue. Living at 23 Brook Street fuelled Hendrix's creativity and led to many hours of writing and visits from fellow musicians led to countless late-night jam sessions. He also became fascinated by the fact that Handel had lived just a stone's throw away and went on to buy records of the composer's works, the most notable of which is a copy of The Messiah performed by the English Chamber Orchestra. That is now housed at The Experience Music Project in Jimi's home town of Seattle, along with a large section of Hendrix's huge record collection. Hendrix shared the Brook Street flat with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham and Hendrix referred to it as 'the first real home of my own.' The couple lived there, in-between touring, for around a year during the 198-69 period. Tickets for the Hendrix Flat will go on sale on 2 November.

Now, dear bog reader, just when you thought 2015 couldn't, possibly get any worse, odious, tone-deaf balding waste-of-space Phil Collins has said that he is coming out of retirement and is planning to tour. Truly, there is no God. Perhaps predictably, a petition has been started demanding that Collins stay retired. It states: 'We [the undersigned] think that there is enough misery and depression in the world and now is not the time to threaten anyone's mental well being.' Well, quite.
Don't do it on our behalf, Phil, we can learn to live with the disappointment, honestly. And, besides, you promised, remember ...

And speaking of balding horrorshows who continue to inflict their rubbish music upon the general public, ex-milkman and world saviour Sting and his awful wife, Trudie Styler, are reported to be selling more than two hundred items from their art collection, previously housed in their former family home in London. Works by Matisse, Picasso, Gustav Klimt and Ben Nicholson will be offered at auction at Christie's in February, as well as Sting's Steinway piano. The auction house said that the couple had collected the works 'with passion and knowledge' over twenty years. One painting, Nicholson's March 55 (amethyst) could fetch up to five hundred thousand smackers. Is it really so wrong to hope that Sting his very self trips over the pavement on the way to the auction house and rips it? Probably. It'd be funny, though.
So, dear blog reader, for the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. What about a Bond theme, eh? Let's make it the best one.

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