Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sleep No More: Shake Thy Chains To Earth Like Dew, Which In Sleep Have Fallen On You, Ye Are Many They Are Few

Dear blog readers are advised that this bloggerisationisms has been very updated.
Now, read on.

'D'you ever get the feeling like you're being watched?"'
'We're here to assess ... Stress.' 'So, what happened?' 'From the very beginning of time? That's a very long story.'
'You are to consider yourself ...' '... Part of the furniture?'
'Hold my hand.' 'I'm okay.' 'I'm not!'
'Ah, this is where I come in. Hello!'
'Congratulations Professor, you've revolutionised the labour market. You've conquered nature. You've also created an abomination.'
'What used to be sleep in your eye has turned into a carnivorous lifeform.'
'In order to enter rooms everyone must do the song. It's very amusing.'
'Shakespeare. He really knew his stuff. They all did, the ancients, the poets. All those sad songs. All those lullabies. Sleep is essential to every sentient being in the universe. But to humans - greedy, filthy, stupid humans - it's an inconvenience to be bartered away. Well, now we know the truth. Sleep isn't just a function, it's blessed. Every night we dive deep into that inky pool. Deep into the arms of Morpheus. And every morning, we wake up and wipe the sleep from our eyes. And that keeps us safe. Safe from the monsters inside.'
'You must not watch this. I'm warning you. You can never unsee it.' Well, guess what dear blog reader? This blogger though that was great. And very, very creepy. Next ...
Obviously. Nous somme avec vous.

Some perfectly horrifying news now, dear blog reader. A revival of the classic BBC comedy Porridge is claimed to be on the cards. Because, of course, no one has any original ideas in the television these days, it would seem. The Sunday Times is reporting that the series will be brought back with a BBC pilot centred around Norman Fletcher's grandson, who will be serving time for computer hacking. Writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have said that the BBC has commissioned them to write a single episode, which La Frenais hopes will then be turned into a series. 'We were asked by the BBC to do a revival and decided to set it right up-to-date. It will be set in a modern prison while Slade was of course Victorian,' explained Ian, who added that Fletcher's grandson would also be called Fletch and has 'attitude.' Oh, Christ. The original series of Porridge ran between 1974 and 1977 with a movie spin-off and a sequel, Going Straight and starred Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale and Fulton Mackay. You knew all that, right? This blogger's reaction to this truly wretched news?
Followed by
I mean, not even with Dick and Ian - the greatest TV comedy writers ever, bar none, in this blogger's opinion - writing it. Just ... no! Leave it alone, lads, it was perfect. Aw, that's really pissed this blogger off now.
The Extremely Expensive London Doctor Who Festival began at the ExCel Centre on Friday. The three day convention, saw fans queuing from the early hours of Friday morning for a chance to meet yer actual Peter Capaldi, Michelle Gomez, Ingrid Oliver, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) and Mark Gatiss. Peter Capaldi his very self told the assembled press about some of the hazards of playing The Doctor, revealing that he has had an operation on his knee to repair damage caused by the constant running down corridors. It was an injury previously suffered by Matt Smith. 'I had keyhole surgery on the meniscus membrane,' said Peter. 'It got torn and it doesn't grow back so they had to snip it away to make it all fine. I was worried that it would get worse, because they couldn't do the surgery while we were filming. But I’ve become rather drawn to the cane that I had. Obviously I wanted one with a silver fox or a skull on the handle.' Peter also denied a report in the Daily Mirra - which, obviously, didn't come from any phone-hacking, no siree, Bob - that he had agreed to direct two episodes of the HBO series Veep. 'I'm not. A journalist asked what I was doing and I said I'd been asked to direct a couple of episodes of Veep but I couldn't because of Doctor Who. But that is not what was chosen to be printed.' The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) revealed that the casting for the new companion had not yet taken place. 'We went to the BBC yesterday to talk about the type of person we might be looking at. To my unending terror, we have not yet finished episode eleven [of the current series] and episode twelve is nowhere near finished so we haven't actually delivered the show yet.'
BBC Worldwide have announced that the - as yet unnamed - Doctor Who Christmas Special is to be shown in cinemas across the United States in late December. There's no news yet on whether it will also be shown in cinemas in the UK - you know, they country where it's made and where TV licence fee payers finance the programme. More news on that if and when we get it.
Peter Capaldi has spoken about his creative relationship with ​​Doctor Who ​showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE). The actor said ​that he and The Moffinator 'sometimes disagree' on the 'direction' of the series - Which, immediately, became headline news in certain parts of the media with a (sick) agenda to stir the shite and cause trouble - but only to' a healthy degree.' Unlike, say, William Hartnell and his producers, at least one of whom ended up having a nervous breakdown trying to cope with the notoriously difficult actor. ​'I think Steven's fantastic and the team we have are fantastic and to be honest my hands are pretty full just playing The Doctor,' Peter said. 'I trust Steven completely. I have my ideas about where we should go and what the character should be like, and generally we always agree on those. Sometimes we don't, but it all comes out in the wash and I think it's good to have creative relationships when you can disagree with people.' Yer man Capaldi added that every fan has their own 'very personal idea' of what ​Doctor Who ​should be. 'I think everybody has their own idea of what Doctor Who is and it's not the same - everybody doesn't agree, and that's the way it should be,' he said. 'So I'm not interested in sticking my oar in where it's not necessary, but I will make my feelings felt if I feel it's going in the wrong direction.'
It is starting to look like Peter Capaldi will be back on the TARDIS set for series ten in the spring of 2016. ​Michael Pickwoad​, the production designer on Doctor Who, revealed in an interview with the very excellent Radio Free Skaro​ podcast, that he expects to start working on new episodes in either February or March. '[Work on series ten] won't start until well into the New Year,' Michael said. 'So it will be probably be February [or] March before we start getting onto the next one.' He added that shooting would then commence 'a couple of months' later - implying an April or May start date. The previous two series of ​Doctor Who ​began filming in January for an August launch - so it's, therefore, possible that series ten will be looking at a late 2016 launch. Speaking to press ​last week, ​The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) refused to comment on specific scheduling but confirmed that he is signed up for thirteen episodes, including a Christmas special, to be filmed in 2016 ​'If you're talking about scheduling, that's BBC1 - they will speak,' he said. 'I know that what I've signed on to do is thirteen more episodes of Doctor Who. I'm trying to argue for slightly more than that, but we'll see. It's all in action, it's not that long away.'
Fame, fame fatal fame always comes at a price – as discovered by yer actual Peter Capaldi his very self. At least, according to the Metro. If not a real newspaper. Peter - seen below with his wife, Elaine and daughter, Cecily - is, of course, a household name more than ever now that he has taken over the TARDIS and he has recently revealed that he was 'forced' to relocate after students at a local school discovered where he lived. The Sunday People - no, they're not a real newspaper either - claims that actor had to 'up sticks' from his North London home and move several miles away to 'avoid all of the attention.' Peter said: 'I was well known in certain quarters for being Malcolm Tucker but I wasn't famous to this degree, like when you are walking down the street people look at you and shout at you. I wasn't quite prepared for that. I always wanted to be an actor but I didn't want to be a famous actor. Now, I cannot go through a day without people coming up and talking, asking for autographs. Don't get me wrong, it is very pleasant but it is very different to what I have known before. I don't think it is natural for human beings to be famous. I think it is an unnatural situation because the animal part of you always would like the capacity to disappear and hide if necessary – which is hard if everyone knows you.'
Mark Gatiss his very self has told Radio Times that judging the success of a show based on overnight viewing figures is 'insane' – adding that the legacy Doctor Who leaves will outlast anything The Great British Bake Off or The X Factor can supply. 'The ratings system is insane and iniquitous,' Mark told the latest issue of Radio Times. 'I've seen grown men crying because their show got 6.3 million [viewers] instead of a hoped-for 6.5 million. They make a difference to a person's career.' Overnight figures are, as readers of this very blog should be well aware, measured by The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board and calculated using approximately five thousand one hundred households across the country with set-top boxes, which track what each member of the family is watching and when. From those numbers, estimates for the whole viewing population can be extrapolated. However, as Mark explains, these figures only provide a 'thumbnail sketch' of the entire audience and do not take into account viewers on services like BBC iPlayer. The result, yer man Gatiss argues, is that 'undue pressure' is put on shows every year: 'That's the modern world we live in and I'm not being defensive, but when you add everything together – timeshifting, plus iPlayer – [Doctor Who's] ratings are the same as they ever were. But there is no capital in saying 'Doctor Who's ratings remain roughly the same', so people make a story out of it.' Mark also warned against comparing the 'temporary popularity' of shows like Bake Off and The X Factor with a show with 'a proper legacy' such as Doctor Who. 'Those episodes of Bake Off or The X Factor, and their virtues are manifest, will never be watched again. Yet Doctor Who will be watched in fifty years' time, one hundred years' time. It's a marathon, not a sprint. I love things to be popular, I want things to be watched, but this sort of scrutiny is deadly.'
A new trailer for the BBC's upcoming drama slate has been released. The clip - promising Pure Drama - features a teasing looks at the likes of Luther, Sherlock, Peaky Blinders, The Fall, Death In Paradise and Doctor Who. From The North fave Suranne Jones gives an emotive reading of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem 'Solitude' over the clip.
A new mini-series of The X-Files is just around the corner, dear blog reader, and now Mulder, Scully and Walter Skinner are all back in some moody new artwork released this week. The new series sees Fox Mulder (yer actual David Duchovny) investigating a worldwide invasion plot by Tad O'Malley (Joel McHale), a conservative newsman who has major political connections. O'Malley's dire warning spurs Mulder to reunite with Dana Scully (From The North fave Gillian Anderson) and FBI Assistant Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi). The key to their investigation is an alien abductee named Sveta (played by Annet Mahendru), but can she lead the FBI to 'The Truth' at last? The X-Files premieres in the US on Sunday 24 January 2016 on FOX. Watch a - really sexy-looking - trailer for the series here.
The divine Goddess that is yer actual Suzi Perry - whom we're all big fans of here at From The North - has long been rumoured to be possibly joining Chris Evans as one of his Top Gear co-hosts. But, to be honest, yer actual Keith Telly Topping always thought that rumour was merely a case of wishful thinking on the part of lots of semi-hormonal chaps in their forties and fifties. Like this one, fr instance. However, this week, part of the media and Interweb went into virtual meltdown and lots of excitement was raised when Evans his very self let Suze's name slip on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show. Reeling off a list of incentives for his Children In Need auction prizes, Evans said: 'The first ever Top Gear of the brand new run, you'll get there the day before. You'll have your own hot lap with The Stig and then you'll be the star in the reasonably priced car. We'll then reveal who was quickest at a dinner that night, hosted by Suzi Perry at my pub. Then you will come to the recording of the first show itself.' Okay, that may well be putting two and two together and getting nineteen. In fact, it probably is. Still if, somehow, Chris has managed to persuade Suzi to join him on Top Gear, this blogger might actually watch it out of something other than curiosity. The BBC's Formula 1 host Suzi had previously dismissed rumours that she would join Top Gear. Appearing as a guest on ITV's This Morning in July, she said: 'I'm away twenty weeks a year doing Formula 1. So unless someone has invented forty eight hours in a day, it would be pretty tough I think for me to do it.' A cult figure for many since her regular hosting of The Gadget Show, Suze also revealed that more than a decade ago when Top Gear was returning to the screens under what was then a new format she did turn down the possibility of a presenting job after being offered the opportunity to discuss such a role with Andy Wilman and Jezza Clarkson, saying: 'I just didn't think that I could do it.'
Yer actual Michelle Gomez is set to make a guest appearance on the US television drama Gotham. Michelle plays as a character called The Lady in the next episode of Gotham, A Bitter Pill To Swallow, which will be broadcast in the US on 16 November.

To the ratings now, dear blog reader, and Ben Whishaw's new thriller London Spy debuted with over two million overnight viewers on Monday night. An overnight audience of 2.5m punters tuned-in at 9pm, as Whishaw's character got himself caught up in a web of espionage and that in the BBC2 drama's opening episode. Elsewhere on the channel, Only Connect interested 1.82m viewers at 7.30pm, while 2.75m watched University Challenge at 8pm. Simply Nigella continued with 2.38m at 8.30pm. On BBC1, at 7pm an audience of 4.4m watched Alan Bennett's appearance on The ONE Show and 3.1m joined the channel at 8.30pm for Panorama. Hugh's War on Waste continued with 4.62m at 9pm - up BY over a million viewers week-on-week. On Channel Four, SAS: Who Dares Wins was up fractionally on last week's audience with 1.48m at 9pm, followed by five hundred and twelve thousand for Fargo at 10pm. ITV's Countrywise returned to 2.3m at 8pm, while 1.85m watched The Hangover at 9pm. Channel Five's Police Interceptors continued with 1.01m at 8pm and 1.25m were attracted by On Benefits: The Yorkshire Dole at 9pm. The Walking Dead drew an audience of eight hundred and ten thousand viewers on FOX.

This blogger really does wish that Nigella - she has her knockers - wouldn't use the words 'buns' and 'squeezy' in the same sentence. Monday night's episode of Simply Nigella included what was, frankly, five minutes of obscenity. 'Soft buns', 'hot sticky pork', 'I like to use banana shallots' ... Filth, the lot of it. All it needed for a full eighteen-rating was to be overdubbed with the sound of someone cracking one-off.
Those pork sandwiches looked really nice, mind. And, the episode finished with, yes, a cum-shot of chocolate sauce getting drizzled on a cake with 'Let's Get it On' as the soundtrack. Subtle as a brick!
Lewis concluded with an overnight audience of over three million viewers, according to overnight data. Kevin Whately's popular detective cracked one last case in Oxford during the final episode of the long-running ITV drama, attracting 3.77m at 9pm. Earlier in the evening, risible flop Eternal Glory continued with but 1.6m at 8pm. On BBC2, The Great Pottery Throw Down's audience was up on the previous week, drawing an audience of 2.06m at 9pm. MasterChef: The Professionals began a new series with a very impressive overnight audience of 3.12m at 8pm. The Stellan Skarsgård-fronted crime thriller River's audience held firm week-on-week, again attracting 2.65m to BBC1 at 9pm. Loch Lomond: A Year In The Wild was broadcast to 1.61m on Channel Five at 8pm. Eamonn & Ruth: How The Other Half Live held steady week-on-week with a depressing 1.14m audience at 9pm. Offensive lard-bucket horrorshow (and drag) Holmes his very self had been in the news earlier in the week claiming that he 'couldn't work' on the reported salary of departing BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull. Not that anybody with any say in the matter actually wants him to. Channel Four's The Secret Life Of Four Year Olds continued at 8pm with 1.89m, followed by 2.07m for Twenty Four Hours In A&E at 9pm. Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan's comedy Catastrophe was watched by eight hundred and forty six thousand at 10pm. The Flash attracted four hundred and seventy three thousand viewers at 8pm on Sky 1.
The welcome return of MasterChef: The Professionals on Tuesday was aided during the opening episode by the potential discovery a new culinary star in Geordie Sam whose two dishes had Big Baldy Gregg, Scowling Monica and Marcus rolling around on the floor making the sort of semi-orgasmic noises that yer actual Keith Telly Topping always has in his head during episodes of Simply Nigella. It was early days in the series at that stage, of course, but good on Sam for a cracking start and for proving to a sometimes doubtful nation that it's not all ham and pease pudding stottie sarnies up here. Sadly, Sam had an utter nightmare in Thursday's quarter final and will go no further in the competition. What a pity, I really liked him.
Nearly six million people watched Wednesday night's episode of The Apprentice, according to overnight figures. Lord Sugar-Sweetie's BBC1 show averaged 5.82 million from 9pm. Earlier, Cuffs was watched by 3.32 million. On BBC2, MasterChef: The Professionals attracted 2.98 million and The Apprentice: You're Fired with Jack Dee managed 1.95 million. ITV's The Nation's Favourite Be-Atles Number One drew an audience of 2.75 million from 8pm. The Be-Atles were a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them.On Channel Four, Grand Designs: House Of The Year attracted 1.58 million in the 9pm hour, before Peep Show returned with 1.09 million. And in it, as usual, David Mitchell was quite funny, if unbearably smug and Robert Webb was about as funny a kick in the knackers. And, also unbearably smug but with very little to be smug about. So, no change there, then. Channel Five's Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away interested 1.41 million. The multichannels saw 5USA's Castle draw three hundred and sixty thousand punters from 9pm.
That old curse of the MasterChef franchise, the 'never-big-oneself-up-cos-it'll-come-back-to-haunt-you' thing struck yet again on Wednesday evening's episode of MasterChef: The Professionals. As we've mentioned on From The North so often in the past it seems as though the producers take an almost perverse delight in asking the contestants to be positive about their own abilities in the interviews conducted before they've cooked anything and then, in the episode, showing that the contestants who make the most self-promoting statements about their own sense of self-worth, invariably, are the ones who are going to come a cropper and embarrass themselves in front of millions of viewers. It's happened before and it'll happen again as sure as eggs in an Arnold Bennett Omelette (which looked bloody lovely when Marcus Wareing cooked one) are eggs in an Arnold Bennett Omelette. In this particular episode, it was Lee, an experienced chef from Worcester, who told the viewers: 'I see myself in five-to-ten years as a head chef, top of the game, maybe even [with] a star.' Clearly an ambitious chap, one guessed from that statement. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that, of course, though you hoped that Lee had the skills to back up such big talk. 'Skills test, it does make you nervous but you could throw me anything and I think I'd be able to cope with it,' he continued. Collectively, at that moment three million viewers winced and muttered, 'yeah, he's gonna be one of the first to leave, I can tell.' Monica, as scowly-faced as ever, threw Lee the task of making a couple of brandy snaps something which, one imagines, anyone who has ambitions of getting a Michelin Star one day should be able to manage without too much difficulty. Lee, needless to say, couldn't cope with the task in hand. Red-faced and shaking, Lee watched, horrified as Gregg Wallace told him that he was struggling to find anything positive to say about the dish and Marcus pointed out that Lee's chocolate sauce had burned. 'Your face looks very disappointed,' Marcus added, quite sympathetically this blogger thought. Actually, Lee's face looked every bit as unhappy as a smacked arse. Still, there was time to recover, and Lee was positive that his next round couldn't possibly be as bad as the skills test. 'Hopefully, that's the only slip up I'll have,' he noted. 'I hope the judges see what I want them to see because there is a lot more to me than a blip in pastry, it's not my strong point.' Hang on, mate, I thought you told us you were confident that anything they threw at you, you could handle? 'My strong point is creating dishes,' added Lee. 'And cooking dishes that I know I can do.' Oh dear, you kind of knew at that point the next round wasn't going to go well for Lee either. Sean Pertwee - taking time off from being the best thing in Gotham to come back to his day job - told us that Lee had cooked for his 'signature dish' a cannon of lamb with crushed Jersey Royals, chorizo, asparagus, broad beans, heritage carrots, pea purée and 'a chicken stock emulsion.' The latter of which, as Marcus pointed out wasn't, actually, an emulsion at all or anything even remotely like it. And the lamb, he added, wasn't very well cooked either. It was a rather sad looking plate of grub which matched the, by now, rather sad looking Lee. 'You had a point to prove on this round,' Monica said unhelpfully, and scowling even more. 'You really had to come in here, guns blazing and ready to blow us away with a great plate of food. But it seems like you've given up.' Ouch! Nowt like kicking a chap in the cannon of lamb and two veg when he's already down, is there? 'I played it safe,' said Lee, in the aftermath. 'Turned out not to be the best idea on the day.' 'There was just no love in Lee's food today,' Monica scowled when discussing which of the six chefs should be shown the door. Proof, if any further proof were needed dear blog reader that, if you enter into one of the MasterChef competitions and during the pre-cooking interviews the producers ask you to tell the viewers how pure dead fan-ruddy-tastic you think you are, it might be wise to undersell yourself and your abilities rather than the opposite. Because, for those who do the latter, it never seems to end well. So, Lee, along with Tim who had a meltdown during the omelette skills test and Lucy who thought that cooking a chocolate brownie with a slice of beetroot was good idea, went home and Alex, Andy and the very impressive Nick were the three chefs to progress to the next round.

Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs was the most watched show on Thursday outside the soaps, a truly appalling indictment of just about everything that is wrong with not only British TV but also British society in 2015. Come on Britain, we're the nation that produced Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, The Be-Atles, George Best and H from Steps. We're better than this. ITV had 3.39m overnight viewers at 8.30pm. Later, the series finale of Unforgotten attracted 3.2m at 9pm. On BBC1, The ONE Show attracted 3.9m punters at 7pm, Tom Jones & Rob Brydon: One Big Night attracted 3.14m at 8pm and a repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys was watched by 2.9m at 9.30pm. Rick Stein: From Venice To Istanbul (Not Constantinople) attracted 1.5m at 7pm on BBC2, Masterchef: The Professionals had an audience of 2.7m at 8pm and The Last Kingdom was seen by 1.6m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Amazing Spaces: Floating Homes drew 1.5m at 8pm, Kitchen Impossible was watched by nine hundred and sixty thousand at 9pm and First Dates attracted 1.23m at 10pm. Secrets Of Great British Castles on Channel Five had an audience of five hundred and seventy one thousand at 7pm, Shark Attack had an implausibly evil six hundred and sixty sixty thousand viewers at 8pm and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves had three hundred and nine thousand at 10pm.
MasterChef: The Professionals 'do not big-yourself-up on camera, whatever you do', part the second. Thursday's quarter final saw young Bobby from Essex, who had only just scraped through from the previous round on Tuesday, deciding to make a 'deconstructed' chicken pie in his invention test. When Marcus and Monica looked a bit doubtful about this, Bobby suggested it would be 'the best chicken pie you've ever had.' Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Don't say that Bobby, you're only asking for trouble. 'That's gusty. Or naive,' opined Marcus. Needless to say, it wasn't the best chicken pie (deconstructed or otherwise) that Marcus and Monica had ever had. Or, indeed, anything even remotely like it. Chefs and boasting? Will they never learn? Meanwhile Mark, who had also only just made it through by the skin of his teeth had a glorious round in front of the food critics and sailed into the next stage - knockout week - along with Nick and Andy.
Children In Need was, unsurprisingly, Friday's highest-rated overnight broadcast, attracting an average audience of 7.69 million. It peaked with approximately 7.9m punters around 8.15pm to see Bruce Forsyth return for a Strictly Come Dancing 'special' (and, I used that word quite wrongly) with the cast of Call The Midwife. It had another peaked at 8.30pm, as 8.65m viewers tuned in to watch a Star Wars sketch featuring the likes of Warwick Davis, Martin Freeman and Sir Alan Sugar-Sweetie. The annual telethon continued on BBC2 at 10pm, attracting 2.86m. It then carried on late into the night on BBC1, with an average of 1.73 million insomniacs. As usual, it was most self-congratulatory slavvering shite but, it was in a good cause so, you know, swings and roundabouts. BBC2's evening began with Rick Stein: From Venice To Istanbul, which managed to attract 1.25m at 7pm. Mastermind continued with 1.24m at 8pm, An Island Parish: Falklands drew 1.19m at 8.30pm and Great Continental Railway Journeys was watched by 1.47m at 9pm. On ITV, an average audience of 3.16m tuned in to watch the international football friendly between Spain and England. As usual, Gogglebox was Channel Four's most-watched show of the evening. An average overnight audience of 2.74m were watching at 9pm. Earlier, Unreported World attracted four hundred and eighty thousand at 7.30pm, Grand Designs had nine hundred and twenty thousand and later, Alan Carr's Chatty Man gathered nine hundred and twenty thousand. Four hundred and twenty one thousand tuned into Secrets of St Paul's Cathedral at 7pm on Channel Five, while seven hundred and thirty one thousand watched Ice Road Truckers at 8pm. NCIS: New Orleans attracted five hundred and seventy four thousand at 9pm, NCIS was watched by six hundred and fifteen thousand at 10pm and NCIS: Los Angeles had three hundred and fifteen thousand.

More than thirty seven million knicker has been raised in the initial burst of generosity for BBC Children In Need, beating last year's overnight total of £32.6m. One Direction, Dame Helen Mirren and Martin Freeman his very self were amongst the host of stars featured in Friday's fund-raising telethon. Dermot O'Dreary hosted this year's fundraiser, replacing Sir Terry Wogan after the seventy seven-year-old broadcasting veteran pulled out a few days earlier for 'health reasons.' Children In Need tweeted that the total raised was 'a record-breaker.' The show was also presented by Tess Daly, witless brainfart Fearne Cotton, Rochelle Humes (no, me neither) and BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw (and his stupid hair). Sir Terry was missing from the presenting line-up for the first time since the annual TV event's launch in 1980. The veteran TV presenter is 'having a procedure' on his back and is understood to have withdrawn in line with doctors' advice. O'Dreary said: 'It's been an absolute blast. Thank you so, so much. To Terry, I hope you're feeling better, I hope we get to enjoy a drop of the pure very soon and we're all doing you justice here.'
Strictly Come Dancing once again thrashed The X Factor, pants down, on Saturday night, according to initial overnight figures. The BBC1 series came out on top by nearly four million overnight punters, averaging 10.2 million from 6.50pm. By contrast, ITV's The X Factor could only muster 6.27 million. At 8pm, when the two shows overlapped for fifteen minutes, Strictly was watched by 9.57 million and The X Factor had 5.13 million. Elsewhere on BBC1, Doctor Who appealed to four million overnight viewers, Casualty drew 3.85 million and a Match Of The Day 'special' showing 'highlights' of David Beckham's charity kick-about for UNICEF attracted 2.82 million. Earlier, live coverage of The Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying had 2.55 million viewers. Horrific events in Paris attracted many to the main national news programmes, resulting in both evening editions of BBC News and an ITN News Special gaining larger than usual audiences. The 6pm BBC1 evening news programme - extended to forty minutes - had an audience 6.71 million viewers whilst on ITV, 4.35m watched their news special at 9.45pm. On BBC2, the latest Dad's Army repeat entertained 1.82 million, with Qi XL having an audience of 1.06 million afterwards at 9pm. A hastily-arranged Newsnight special was watched by 1.36m whilst David Gilmour: Wider Horizons attracted eight hundred and ninety two thousand. ITV's The Chase was watched by 2.97 million and The Jonathan Ross Show interested 2.26 million. On Channel Four, Grand Designs: House Of The Year had eight hundred and thirty thousand whilst the movie The Inbetweeners 2 was seen by 1.93m. Channel Five's movie, Secret Santa had an audience of eight hundred and ninety thousand whilst Football League Tonight was watched by three hundred and sixty thousand and Live Championship Boxing by four hundred and sixty nine thousand.
This blogger switched on Strictly shortly before the end in preparation for Doctor Who and found himself watching that Jeremy Vine dancing - or, rather, looking like a stick figure attached to the mains supply - to a perfectly fucking awful cover version of 'Going Underground'. Either the world has gone quite mad or the government has started slipping LSD into the water supply again. Either way, Paul Weller must be turning in his grave.
I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) ​returned with its latest batch of terrified 'one or two people that you might vaguely have heard of but, mostly, not' with over nine million viewers on ITV on Sunday. This blogger resigned from the human race in protest dear blog reader, though he doesn't think it did much good. This shower's arrival in the jungle was seen by an average overnight audience of 9.49m at 9pm which is down by around half-a-million-punters from last year's overnight opening figure of 10.07m. On the day that the always reliable and trustworthy Daily Lies claimed The X Factor is soon to be dropped by ITV the latest X Factor results show was watched by 7.18m from 8pm. However, yer actual Strictly Come Dancing​ was top dancing dog once again, achieving its highest overnight ratings so far this year with an average 10.55m at 7.30pm on BBC1. Countryfile​ appealed to 7.39m at 6.45pm, while Antiques Roadshow​ brought in 6.66m at 8pm. The Hunt​ was watched by 3.87m at 9pm. Live coverage of The Brazilian Grand Prix during the afternoon had an audience of 4.02m. On BBC2, Robert Peston Goes Shopping drew nine hundred and twenty two thousand, Earth's Wildest Waters​ attracted 1.05m at 8pm followed by Monty Don's Secret History Of The British Garden​ ​with 1.53m at 9pm. Channel Four's Million Pound Mega Yachts​ was seen by 1.40m at 8pm, followed by the latest Homeland​ with 1.01m at 9pm. Channel Five had a poor night with the movie Fail Army attracting five hundred and forty thousand, Impractical Jokers drawing a mere two hundred and fifty thousand and Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters being watched by six hundred and thirty thousand.

ITV did not broadcast Sunday night's episode of Jekyll & Hyde after the Paris terror attacks. The drama, which had been scheduled to be broadcast at 7pm was, according to an ITV statement, to feature a 'gunfight'. An ITV spokesman said: 'Tonight's episode of Jekyll & Hyde has been postponed in consideration of recent events in Paris.'

Lastly, here's the final and consolidated ratings of the Top Twenty Five programmes for week-ending Sunday 8 November 2015:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing - Sun BBC1 - 10.87m
2 Downton Abbey - Sun ITV - 10.39m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.33m
4 The X Factor - Sun ITV - 7.60m
5 EastEnders - Fri BBC1 - 7.39m
6 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.24m
7= Doc Martin - Mon ITV - 7.23m
7= The Apprentice - Wed BBC1 - 7.23m
9 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 6.63m
10 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 6.03m
11 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 5.79m*
12 The Hunt - Sun BBC1 - 5.71m
13 The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance - Sat BBC1 - 5.61m
14 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.51m
15 Gogglebox - Fri C4 - 4.95m
16 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.75m
17 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.84m
18 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.72m
19 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.64m
20 Cuffs - Wed BBC1 - 4.22m
21 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 4.20m
22 Lewis - Tues ITV - 4.17m*
23 Unforgotten - Thurs ITV - 4.13m*
24 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 4.12m
25 Paul O'Grady's For the Love Of Dogs - 3.98m*
Those ITV programmes marked '*' do not include HD figures. These figures, as usual, do not include iPlayer or ITV Player viewers. The Saturday episode of Strictly Come Dancing drew an audience of 10.77 million. Doctor Who's timeshift over and above the initial overnight audience for The Zygon Inversion was, again, a fraction under two million viewers (and, it's worth stressing once more that figure does not account for any people who watched the episode on iPlayer). The X Factor's Saturday night episode drew 7.50m viewers. On BBC2, University Challenge topped the week with 2.88m, followed by the - almost pornographic - opening episode of Simply Nigella (2.70m), Autumnwatch (2.54m), Match Of The Day Live (2.41m), The Great Pottery Throw Down (2.24m), The Apprentice: You're Fired! (2.16m), Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two (2.12m), Qi (2.07m) and Only Connect (clearly suffering from being shifted to an earlier timeslot to make way for Nigella, with 1.85m). Aside from Gogglebox, Channel Four's top-rated broadcasts included The Secret Life Of Four, Five & Six Year Olds (2.87m), Twenty Four Hours In A&E (2.52m), Grand Designs: House Of The Year (2.24m), SAS: Who Dares Wins (1.94m) and Homeland (1.85m). Channel Five's highest-rated broadcast was Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away (1.70m), then Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways (1.53m), Eamonn & Ruth: How The Other Half Lives (1.50m) and Pets Who Hate Vets (1.47m). An episode of The Big Bang Theory brought in an astonishing figure of 2.64m, over eight hundred thousand higher than the next largest audience of a multchannels broadcast and nine hundred thousand viewers above anything on Channel Five all week. Sky Sports 1's coverage of Live Ford Super Sunday and the North London derby between The Arse and The Stottingtot Hotshots was watched by 1.79m viewers. Gillette Soccer Saturday was, as usual, Sky Sports News's highest-rated broadcast, albeit with a smaller audience than usual for a full Premier League weekend - five hundred and forty one thousand punters. For the second Saturday running, far from unbelievable, Jeff. ITV4's broadcast of the movie Eraser had two hundred and fifty three thousand viewers. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama with seven hundred and ninety five thousand. Detectorists was BBC4's most-watched show with six hundred and ninety nine thousand. The second series of Arne Dahl continued with the week's two episodes being watched by six hundred and ninety thousand and six hundred and fifty six thousand viewers respectively. Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered drew four hundred and eighty two thousand, whilst Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield had four hundred and thirty eight thousand, At Home With The Georgians was watched by three hundred and seventy seven thousand, Colour: The Spectrum Of Science by three hundred and seventy three thousand and Better Than The Original: The Joy Of The Cover Version by three hundred and seventy one thousand. A repeat of Thursday's episode of EastEnders was BBC3's top-rated broadcast with six hundred and seventy seven thousand in a top ten that also included five episodes of Family Guy.
Sky Atlantic's weekly-list was watched by The Affair (three hundred and eighty thousand). The Leftovers drew one hundred and eighty one thousand. On Sky Living, The Blacklist had nine hundred and nineteen thousand and Criminal Minds was watched by eight hundred and fifty one thousand. Sky 1's The Flash had an audience of 1.41m whilst Supergirl attracted 1.26m and Arrow 1.01m. Sky Arts' Landscape Artist Of the Year had one hundred and ninety three thousand. 5USA's Castle was watched by five hundred and twenty eight thousand viewers. FOX's The Walking Dead was the second most-watched multichannel show of the week, with 1.84 million viewers. American Horror Story: Hotel had three hundred and forty thousand, Talking Dead was watched by two hundred and ninety five thousand, Tyrant by one hundred and seventy two thousand and NCIS by one hundred and sixty four thousand. CBS Action's weekly-list was headed by Bad Girls (eighty six thousand). The Universal Channel's Sleepy Hollow had two hundred and ninety two thousand whilst Law & Order: Special Victims Unit attracted two hundred and sixty thousand. On Dave, Storage Hunters UK was the channel's highest-rated programme - three hundred and sixty seven thousand - followed by Blackadder The Third (three hundred and thirty five thousand), Qi XL (two hundred and seventy nine thousand), and Alan Davies: As Yet Unfunny (two hundred and seventy five thousand). Drama's New Tricks drew four hundred and ten thousand and Death In Paradise was watched by three hundred and seventy eight thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programmes were Rizzolo & Isles (four hundred and seventy five thousand), Crossing Lines (two hundred and thirty two thousand) and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (two hundred and one thousand). Watch's broadcast of Grimm was seen by six hundred and fifty seven thousand and The Strain by three hundred and ninety nine thousand. Yesterday's repeat run of Porridge continued two hundred and fifty nine thousand. Please don't bring it back, Dick and Ian, this blogger is begging you! On the Discovery Channel, Gold Rush was watched by five hundred thousand punters. Fast N' Loud had two hundred and thirty two thousand and Tony Robinson's Wild West by one hundred and ninety eight thousand viewers. Discovery History's Mark Williams On The Rails had an audience of twenty eight thousand punters whilst Greatest Tank Battles drew seventeen thousand. On Discovery Science, Food Factory was watched by fifty one thousand and Mythbusters by fifty thousand. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programme was Wheeler Dealers (fifty five thousand). National Geographic's top ten was headed by Yukon Gold which had eighty three thousand viewers. I'd Kill For You was ID's largest audience of the week (fifty one thousand). CI's Measuring Evil: Britain's Worst Killers brought in ninety seven thousand viewers whilst Homicide Hunters drew forty six thousand. Eden's Hidden Kingdoms was seen by forty eight thousand whilst Horizon: Swallowed By A Black Hole drew forty thousand. GOLD's top ten was topped by Mrs Brown's Boys (three hundred and thirty two thousand). Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (three hundred and ninety eight thousand). On ITV Encore, Vera was watched by one hundred and thirty one thousand viewers. TLC's weekly-list was topped by Cake Boss which was seen by one hundred and eighty nine thousand. Your TV's Snapped: Killer Couples had fifty five thousand.

Things that we learned from TV this week. Number one: Appearing on BBC4's The Sky At Night, the broadcaster, presenter (and Doctor Who fan) yer actual Dallas Campbell recalled that he first saw Star Wars as a seven year old on the day it opened in 1977 at the old ABC Haymarket Cinema on Percy Street in Newcastle. Keith Telly Topping wonders if Dallas was in the same showing of the movie as this blogger did on 27 December 1977? There's probably a one-in-four-or-five chance he did. (Yes, I know that date was six months after the movie opened in the US, that was the way things worked in them days. Now, people whinge if they have to wait twenty four hours for a new episode of Game Of Thrones).
Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch has been made a CBE by Her Maj at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The Sherlock actor was being honoured for both his theatre and TV work and his charitable efforts. Speaking to the BBC, Benny said: 'It's fantastic, it's quite nerve-wracking, there is nothing really that prepares you for it. It's a unique occasion and I feel very privileged to be here and flattered to be recognised in this way.' He added: 'It was wonderful, it was the first time I've ever met [the Queen] and to meet her and be honoured by her was extraordinary.' The actor was joined at the ceremony by his wife, Sophie Hunter. Benny, who is currently filming the eponymous role in Doctor Strange, recently completed a three-month run in Hamlet at the Barbican. He said: '[Her Majesty] asked me what I was doing at the moment, and I told her I had finished a three month run at the Barbican, which she knew of. And I told her I had just got back last night from filming in Nepal, Doctor Strange for Marvel, then I'll be going straight into the fourth series of Sherlock. She said: "Oh, it never stops does it?"' He added that the Queen 'didn't let on' if she was a Sherlock fan or not, but said: 'I know a lot of the household is, I have been assured they have watched a few episodes.' On receiving the letter notifying him of his honour, Benny said: 'I thought there had been a mistake. I thought someone had got something wrong.' But he said that the honour would not stop him from speaking out on issues about which he feels strongly. Last month, following a performance in Hamlet, he urged the audience to donate cash to the refugee crisis appeal. 'I think the power anybody in the public eye has, is to draw attention to things that concern them at certain points in time, whether it be causes or politics, and I think I had a unique opportunity to do that at The Barbican with the money for the Save the Children appeal for Syria. I am in a very privileged position to have a voice and to have a certain amount of people listen to what I have to say. 'I don't know if [the CBE] will change that, but I am certainly not going to change who I am because of it. It is a huge honour, but I will still speak my mind about things I feel are right and wrong about the world when it is appropriate. Now would not be an appropriate time.'
David Tennant and Georgia Moffett are celebrating after welcoming their fourth child together. National heartthrob Dave confirmed the news on an appearance of The Jonathan Ross Show which will be broadcast this weekend. 'We've just had another one,' Tennant announced. 'We're quite pleased. We managed to [keep that] under the radar, which is how we like to do it on the whole.' As for whether Dave and Georgia are now content with four kids, the actor said: 'I think, probably? We're a very happy family.' The couple's daughter seems destined to be the next Doctor Who fan in the Tennant-Moffett household, since her siblings are all loyal watchers of their dad's former series. '[My eldest] Ty grew up with it but the younger two have just got into it. And I did not force this upon them! My wife and I met on Doctor Who and they saw a picture, they got wind of that,' he explained. 'So they wanted to see it and they watched the episode we met on, and then they developed this passion for it. So it's now on in our house all the time, which is embarrassing when people come round because it looks like there's a moving shrine to myself in the corner of the living room at all times. But then the other day, Olive [my daughter] watched my last one, and I thought, "this is fine", I wasn't really thinking about it. It gets quite sad toward the end, and she was wrapped so I wasn't really paying any attention to the way she was reacting to it. And then she got really upset. You know, quite moved!' Tennant added. 'Part of me was thinking, "Aw [she] doesn't want to see her daddy moving on." Four hours later she was still crying, at which point it felt like bad parenting, I have to be honest. Now, of course, yesterday she found Matt Smith and he's her favourite. They're fickle.'
NCIS's Pauley Perrette - who plays lab technician Abby Sciuto in the hit US crime drama - was attacked outside her Hollywood home on Thursday night. The actress, who was reportedly hit in the face several times, told Twitter followers that she thought she was going to die. In a lengthy post, Pauley described the man as 'psychotic', adding, 'I am shaken and traumatised. I almost died tonight.' Police said that a man was later extremely arrested for aggravated battery. Los Angeles police spokesperson Jane Kim confirmed the actress's account of the assault was 'accurate.' Officer Kim said that forty five-year-old David Merck was in custody and that bail has been set at one hundred thousand dollars. In her account of the assault, Pauley described Merck as a 'a very psychotic homeless man. He grabbed me so forcefully, pinned my arm, punched me in the nose, forehead, repeatedly telling me he was going to kill me.' Perrette said that after the attack, Merck 'headed towards Hollywood Boulevard, with murder in his eyes.' She recalled how, as she lay on the ground following the attack, a man walked past 'on his phone, annoyed. Did nothing.' Los Angeles, ladies and gentlemen, par for the course, that. Her tweet ended: 'Tonight was awful, life-changing and I'm only grateful to be alive.' The popular actress - with something of a cult following - has been with the cast of NCIS since it began in 2003. She also appeared in one of this blogger's favourite movies, Almost Famous. The CBS show, about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is the most-watched drama on US television and is often described as one of the world's most-watched television programmes with a worldwide audience estimated at over two hundred million. In the UK, it is shown - often up to three times a day - on Channel Five, 5USA, the Universal Channel, FOX and CBS Action. And the thing is, every time you tune in (and yer actual Keith telly Topping does watch the series rather a lot), it always seems to be a different episode. Odd, that. Anyway, all of us here at From The North wish Pauley a speedy recovery from her horrifying ordeal.
Supergirl got off to a soaring start in the UK, as it has become Sky 1's highest-rated series launch in nearly three years. The US superhero drama, which had an overnight audience of six hundred and eighty thousand viewers for its first episode, added another million on timeshifts to bring its consolidated total up to 1.64 million. Not since March 2013 - when JJ Abrams's Revolution attracted 2.15 million - has a launch managed such numbers on the channel. The Flash earned 1.59 million for its Sky 1 debut. Fifty five per cent of people who tuned into the opening episode of Supergirl were said to be male. Can't imagine why. Supergirl stars Melissa Benois. Oh yes, that's why. Fair enough.
Liz Dawn, who is best known for playing Big Vera Duckworth for more than thirty years on Coronation Street before retiring in 2008, is to make a cameo appearance in rival soap Emmerdale. The actress will appear in the Christmas Day episode playing demanding guest Mrs Winterbottom, who stays at Eric Pollard's B&B.
The BBC is reported to be looking to adapt the classic 1976 movie The Eagle Has Landed into a three-part TV series. As revealed by the Radio Times, the production is being headed up by ITV Studios, but the BBC would be the show's home if the production is picked up. The original film, based on Jack Higgins's classic novel, starred Michael Caine his very self, Donald Sutherland, Jenny Agutter and Robert Duvall. If the project does get the green light, it would take between three and four years to make, according to the head of ITV Studios, Francis Hopkinson. The story revolves around a group of German commandos tasked with assassinating Winston Churchill in his rural retreat during World War II. The writer behind the project is Tony Saint who wrote Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley - which was very good - and The Interceptor - which, err, wasn't.
Adverts that really get right on yer actual Keith Telly Topping's tit-end, big-style. Number One: Sun Bingo Is Fun Bingo. Voiced by that bloody super-annoying Welsh thing off Bastard Gavin & Sodding Stacey who almost managed, single-handedly, to shag-up The Day Of The Doctor. That, in and of itself, is the perfect reason to switch channels every time it comes on. Still, one supposes it's marginally better than, you know, paying police officers and public servants for snitching stories using the spurious 'in the public interest' defence.
Ofcom has said that it is still 'not acceptable' to swear on TV before the watershed, despite its decision not to investigate Strictly Come Dancing for a judge using the word 'bollocks' during an early evening broadcast. It is to be hoped that all broadcasters will, as a consequence, tell Ofcom - a politically appointed quango, elected by no one - to go fuck themselves. But, of course, they won't because they're all cowards. The broadcast regulator received nineteen whinges - from glakes with nothing better to do with their time - about Bruno Tonioli’s use of the phrase 'the bull's bollocks' to describe a dance by Jay McGuiness at 6:35pm in an episode last month. However, a spokesperson said that the regulator had decided not to launch an investigation due to 'the live nature' of the show, the fact that Tonioli's fellow judges appeared embarrassed by the remark and the 'swift and sincere' apology by presenter Tess Daly, which was followed by another apology immediately after the programme had ended. Despite the decision not to investigate Strictly, it is understood that Ofcom will continue to impose rules barring 'most swearwords' before the 9pm watershed. Some media reports interpreted the decision as an indication that broadcasters were now free to use the word 'bollocks' before the watershed as long as it appeared within a 'comical context', but Ofcom said that this was not the case. A study from Ofcom in 2010 classified 'bollocks' in the second lowest category of swearwords along with others such as 'bloody', 'crap', 'wee wee', 'fartface' and 'semprini'. Some members of the public, in particular older people, were found to find these words offensive - in which case they should effing well get over themselves, the daft planks - and said that 'some care' should be taken in using them before the watershed. Research published earlier this year by Ofcom found that four in ten people thought there was too much swearing on TV. Which, by definition, means that six in ten people think there is not. And, six is more than four. But, as usual in Britain, the whinges of a minority tend to get listened to more than the opinions of a majority.
Adverts that really get right on yer actual Keith Telly Topping's tit-end, big-style. Number two: That naffing lousy series of poxy Aldi adverts featuring a dreadful, simpering version of 'My Favourite Things' (sung by one Jade Williams, apparently. No, me neither). They used to hang people in the Eighteen Century for crimes less awful than murdering Julie Andrews. If Aldi wasn't, already, a horrible cheap-shop that this blogger would be ashamed to set foot in, I'd be boycotting them over this on general principle.
Charlie Higson has, seemingly, ruled out the chance of any new episodes of The Fast Show. The classic comedy sketch show - a big favourite with all of us at From The North - originally ran from 1994 to 1997. There were additional specials in 2000 and a thirteen-part Fosters Funnies web series in 2011-2012, plus last year's two-part BBC2 Fiftieth Anniversary Special. Asked about the possibility of any new episodes, Higson said: 'It is a tricky one. It was twenty one years ago and we've all got a lot older. People have cherished memories of it.' He added: 'So, just watch your DVDs. All we're going to do is come along and make people think it's not quite as good as it used to be.'
Paul Hollywood is to 'juggle his judging duties' on The Great British Bake Off with a new show. About baking. What a surprise, this blogger was certain it would be about nuclear fission. Paul Hollywood City Bakes will see the chef 'explore pastry and bread recipes' in Europe and North America. 'Food culture can reveal so much about a nation,' said the forty nine-year-old, who has been a Bake Off judge since 2010. He said it would be 'a privilege to be able to delve into the lives of fellow bakers and discover some really amazing international bakes.' The new show will begin in April and be broadcast on the Food Network in the UK. Richard Farmbrough, of production company Reef Television, said that the 'mouth-watering project' would show 'a different side' to the 'baking megastar.' Hollywood has been a baker since his teenage years, when he became an apprentice at his father's bakery. He has been head baker at some of Britain's most exclusive hotels and runs an artisanal baking business. Earlier this week The Great British Bake Off was nominated for a Rose d'Or award in the reality and factual entertainment category.
Adverts that really get right on yer actual Keith Telly Topping's tit-end, big-style. Number three: Axa's offensively wank, 'why not have some health insurance, it'll come in handy if you're unemployed former Doctor Who actress Nicola Bryant and you suddenly feel a bit poorly and need a, hopefully painful, operation' thing. Not so much for the visuals, although they're bad enough but, again, for the horrendously drippy version of the standard 'Little Things Mean A Lot' by a popular beat combo called Little Shoes, Big Voice (again, no, me neither. And, it's a daft name for a band, as well). What the hell is it with advertisers? Do they think that using a soundtrack of some drippy-voiced silly bint destroying a classic song will actually persuade people to buy the product they're trying to flog (see, also, John Lewis every few months). Gotta tell you, guys, it's certainly doesn't work with this particular consumer. In fact, it has quite the opposite affect.
A pamphlet containing a lost poem by yer actual Percy Bysshe Shelley has been purchased by the University of Oxford. Shelley's Poetical Essay On The Existing State Of Things, will become the twelve millionth book to be added to the Bodleian Library's vast archive. The twenty-page pamphlet, which is the only copy known to survive, will also be available online. Shelley wrote the work during 1810 and 1811, while studying for his first year at the university. It addresses issues such as the abuse of the press, dysfunctional political institutions and the global impact of war. Issues which, of course, have little or no relevance these days. Oh, hang on ... Printed by a stationers on Oxford High Street, it also contains a ten-page poem of one hundred and seventy two lines written under the alias of 'a gentleman of the University of Oxford.' It was only attributed to Perce fifty years after his death in 1822 and a copy was rediscovered in a private collection in 2006. It has been bought by the university for an undisclosed sum. Bodley's librarian Richard Ovenden said: 'The mission of a great library like the Bodleian is to preserve and manage its collections for the benefit of scholarship and to put knowledge into the hands of readers of all kinds.' Michael Rossington, the professor of romantic literature at the University of Newcastle, called it a 'tremendously exciting moment'. At an event announcing the acquisition, the actress Vanessa Redgrave described Shelley as 'intoxicating.' She added: 'His words transport you. I'm thrilled that, thanks to the Bodleian and its generous donors, this long-lost poem of Shelley's can be studied by students all over the world.'
Adverts that really get right on yer actual Keith Telly Topping's tit-end, big-style. Number four: Age Partnership's 'are you a gullible pensioner, desperate for cash?' Which features, by a distance, the worst acting in any advert ever made. Bar none. What's the matter, couldn't you afford any real actors?
Kylie Minogue her very self is the latest celebrity to appear on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. No word on her song choices or luxury item yet, but we can find out what she'd take with her when the episode is broadcast on 13 December.
Adverts that really get right on yer actual Keith Telly Topping's tit-end, big-style. Number five: Pounds To Pocket. Nice idea, subvert the concept of hard-sell in advertising. But, if you're going to do that, it's probably a good idea not to fill the ad with actors with faces so smug they put you off having anything to do with the company involved. Just a suggestion. You might want to consider using an animated meerkat instead.
Derren Brown is back in London's West End with his new show, Miracle. He won't let on what it's about but, apparently, he will ask audiences to take 'a leap of faith.' In the meantime, here are Dazzling Dezza's three top tips for spotting if someone could be lying to you.
A twenty eight-year-old man, best known for his 2006 appearance on the quiz show Countdown, tracked down a Scottish teenager who had written a negative review of his self-published novel and shattered a bottle of wine on the back of her head. Blimey, there's such a thing as taking irritation over a bad review too far, mate. An,d this would appear to qualify. The aspiring author pleaded extremely guilty to the 2014 assault in a Scottish court Monday, the Mirra reported. Richard Brittain had posted an unfinished version of his novel, The World Rose, on Wattpad, an app where amateur writers post their work and others review it. Brittain claimed that the early reception for The World Rose was strong, blogging that 'the praise I received was remarkable and made me feel great; I was compared to Dickens, Shakespeare, Rowling, Raymond E Feist and Nora Roberts.' Yeah. But, the people who compared him to the first two were probably high at the time. However, he also complained about bad reviews from 'idiots and teenagers.' One of those 'teenagers' was Paige Rolland, the eventual victim of Brittain's savage and unprovoked bottle attack. Rolland noted that Brittain 'has gained a bit of infamy on Wattpad where he's known for threatening users who don't praise him.' 'Pray for me,' she added at the end of her comments, which turned out to be horribly portentous. Brittain, incensed at her one-star review, apparently tracked down Rolland's Facebook page, discovering that she lived in Scotland and worked at an ASDA supermarket. He then, allegedly, travelled five hundred miles from London and found her at the store, crouching to stock a shelf of cereal boxes. He then hit her from behind with a full bottle of wine, leaving her unconscious and with a gash on her head before running away a bit sharpish. According to the Daily Scum Mail, this isn't the first time that Brittain has been accused of stalking a woman online. The heroine of his novel, Ella Tundra was, the newspaper claimed, based on a woman whom Brittain targeted, a courtship he described in a blog post called The Benevolent Stalker. 'Eventually, she contacted the police,' he wrote. 'I was called by a policewoman and told that I had to stop contacting her. On Valentine's Day 2014, I sent her another card, with an elaborate drawing of a wild scene. In it, she became the character Ella Tundra, and that is how The World Rose began.' Brittain has since updated the post to acknowledge that it was 'deluded and creepy,' and that he is 'now getting treatment. There is no such thing as benevolent stalking,' he wrote, 'This is now crystal clear to me. I was totally wrong. No means no.'

An alleged mobster has been found extremely not guilty of planning a brazen 1978 airport heist which helped to inspire the Mafia film Goodfellas. After the verdict, eighty-year-old Vincent Asaro walked out of the courthouse in Brooklyn and threw his hands into the air, shouting: 'Free!' He was cleared of murder, extortion and other naughty crimes after a three-week trial. His arrest last year had raised hopes that one of the country's most infamous unsolved crimes would finally be closed. But, since he - seemingly - never done it, those hopes have now been dashed. The theft by masked men of five million bucks in cash and a million dollars in jewels from a Lufthansa Airlines cargo building at New York's John F Kennedy Airport was the biggest robbery ever carried out at the time. Prosecutors claimed that Asaro waited in a decoy car about a mile away with another gangster, Jimmy Burke, who inspired the character played by Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese's cult movie. Lawyers spent years building a case against the defendant, the only man ever to be arrested over the crime, and had called on senior Mafia figures to give evidence. The US attorney's office declined to comment after the verdict, a reticence not shared by a jubilant, strutting Asaro. 'I was really shocked,' he told reporters outside the courthouse, where major mobsters like John Gotti had been convicted in the past. In closing arguments, Assistant US Attorney Alicyn Cooley told the court that the defendant, whose father and grandfather were members of the secretive Bonanno crime family, 'was born into that life and he fully embraced it.' The state's case relied heavily on the evidence of Asaro's cousin Gaspare 'The Snitch' Valenti. But, defence lawyers attempted, successfully, to discredit such witnesses as 'accomplished liars.' Taking the witness stand last month, Valenti had told the court that Asaro and Burke killed a suspected informant using a dog chain - which probably inspired the famous sequence in Goodfellas where Tommy whacks Morrie with an ice-pick - and then ordered him to bury the body. As he walked free from court, getting into a waiting car, Asaro was overheard telling his lawyers: 'Sam, don't let them see the body in the trunk.' This blogger would offer the observation that he doesn't think, given the circumstances, this was a particularly funny comment. But, then, Keith Telly Topping doesn't really want to end up stabbed to death and buried in a shallow grave in the forest like Billy Batts, so, you know, I'm offering no comment whatsoever on the subject. No, sir. Jimmy Burke died in 1996 while extremely serving a twenty-year sentence for the murder of a drug dealer. He was suspected of, but never prosecuted over, the Lufthansa robbery or the subsequent deaths of many of those suspected of taking part in the heist. Goodfellas, based on the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, told the story of the rise and fall of Lucchese crime family associate Henry Hill (played, magnificently, by Ray Liotta) and his friends over a period from 1955 to 1980 who including Jimmy The Gent Conway (based on Burke) and the psychotic - but, very amusing - Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). If you've never seen it, dear blog reader, it's bloody fantastic, and Scorsese's use of music in the film is astonishing. Particularly, this bit. And this bit. And this bit. And, many others. Listen, seriously, just go online and buy a copy on DVD, you won't regret it. And, if you need more persuading, the word 'fuck' (or variants) is used in the movie on two hundred and forty six occasions; that's an average of one every thirty five seconds. Come on, if that isn't enough reason to want to see it, what is?

Sometime, dear blog reader, there are simply no words. Except, possibly, 'Best! Headline! Ever!'
Still, one assumes he didn't do it on porpoise. What? What? Oh, suit yerselves ...

It has been reported that disgraced former national treasure, convicted paedophile and filthy old kiddie-fiddler and rotter, Rolf Harris, left his cell at Stafford Prison to be treated in 'an Ebola ward' at Royal Stoke University Hospital. The eight five-year-old is said to have been 'sneaked in through a side entrance' and kept in a secure ward. Harris was, allegedly, admitted over the weekend following X-rays. The Gruniad Morning Star claims (using information apparently supplied by Sixties crooner Vince 'The Snitch' Hill) that the disgraced and disgraceful entertainer was 'feared to have fallen ill after gorging on chocolate and sweets in jail.' Another alleged - although anonymous and therefore, probably fictitious - 'source' allegedly revealed that Harris 'was taken to the Lyme Building where there is a less public entrance than the main ones. People are saying he was in a secure room in the infectious diseases unit. This is more cut off from the outside world because it is equipped to take the most infectious cases, such as Ebola.' A spokesperson for the hospital said in a statement: 'We cannot confirm whether Rolf Harris has been a patient here.' A prison spokesperson also refused to comment on the news, adding: 'We don't comment on individuals.' Except to, individually, comment that they don't comment, clearly. Harris was found extremely guilty of molesting four girls as young as seven between 1968 and 1986 and sentenced to five years and nine months in the Slammer last summer.
And, speaking of old men in hospital rather than prison, the suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter - who is, obviously, not a complete and utter crook. oh no, very hot water - has spent some time this week hospital after what has been called 'a small emotional breakdown.' Blatter, who has led world football's governing body - badly - for eighteen years, was provisionally suspended for ninety days last month amid a corruption scandal. It is understood that he suffered what has been called 'a nervous shock' but he is expected to make a full recovery. Which is, obviously, great news as he may well have a date up a'fore the beak before too very long. Five days ago, Blatter's lawyer Richard Cullen said that Blatter had undergone 'stress-related health checks' in hospital, but added: 'He is fine and expects to be home shortly.'
On Wednesday of this week, dear blog reader, for us dinner at Stately Telly Topping Manor, we had this. Although, obviously yer actual Keith Telly Topping cooked it first.
Warren Mitchell, familiar to millions as Alf Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part and several sequels, has died at the age of eighty nine. A statement from Warren's family said that the actor had died in the early hours of Saturday 'surrounded by his family. He has been in poor health for some time, but was cracking jokes to the last,' the statement added. Warren's great nephew, Jerry Barnett, paid tribute to him on Twitter, saying that Warren was 'the last of his generation.'
     Warren never completely distanced himself from his most famous character and, in many ways, never seemed particularly to want to. It was a role which he relished and often returned to it over a period of more than three decades. He was, nevertheless, a consummate character actor who took on a wide variety of roles on stage, screen and television. And despite playing Johnny Speight's infamous creation for such a long time, he skilfully managed to avoid being typecast as Britain's favourite cockney bigot. In contrast to his screen role as a racist, homophobic, chauvinistic and sexist git Warren was, in reality, a lifelong socialist. Nevertheless, he got used to being stopped in the street by viewers who thought he really was like his character. It was always one of the great dilemmas about Till Death, a genuine social document as well as a ground-breaking - and very funny - comedy series, whose success was something of a double-edged sword of most of those involved in the production. The idea of the piece was that the audience was supposed to laugh at Alf and his stupid views. Tragically, a decent sized proportion never managed to get that particular joke and, instead, laughed with him and thought his repulsive racism was, not only funny but, also, correct. 'Johnny Speight is a great satirist, and satire has always gone over the heads of the idiots,' Warren once famously recalled. He admitted to some similarities to Garnett, saying: 'Opinionated male chauvinistic pig at times? I suppose. As my wife Connie once said to me, "You are like that awful Alf Garnett. Only he's funny and you're not!"' Indeed, proof that some people are unable to tell the difference between a character and an actor comes in an, apparently true, story once told by Till Death's creator, Johnny Speight, who remembered that during the early 1970s leading members of the National Front had approached both Speight himself (who was a Maoist) and Warren (a gentle, Jewish left-winger) with a view to them appearing in a party political broadcast for the racist, repatriationist party. Needless to say they were, politely, rejected by both men. As well as his starring role in the - frequently controversial - sitcom, Warren was also famous for long and successful stage and television career. He won two Olivier Awards for his roles in Death Of A Salesman in 1979 and, again, in The Price in 2004. He also won a BAFTA award for Till Death and an AACTA Award for his role in the Australian movie Norman Loves Rose.
   Warren was born in Stoke Newington in January 1926. His father was a glass and china merchant and the family was of Russian Jewish descent. Warren - who always described himself as an atheist - was interested in acting from an early age and attended the Gladys Gordon's Academy of Dramatic Arts in Walthamstow from the age of seven. He had been chosen, aged five, to play Tiny Tim in his primary school's production of A Christmas Carol but never made the stage. His Orthodox Jewish grandmother vetoed the idea when she learned that he would be breaking Jewish dietary law by eating Christmas pudding containing suet. In later years he developed a pathological loathing of Christmas, referring to it as 'all that sentimental crap.' He did very well at school and read physical chemistry at University College, Oxford, for six months. There he met his contemporary, Richard Burton, and together they joined the RAF in 1944. The pair remained friends and appeared opposite each other in The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1965). Warren completed his navigator training in Canada just as the war ended. Burton's description of the acting profession had convinced Warren that it would be a more interesting life than completing his chemistry degree and so, after being demobilisation, he attended RADA for two years, performing in the evening with London's Unity Theatre. After a short stint as a DJ on Radio Luxembourg in 1951 using his family name, Misel, Warren - with his prematurely aged featured - became a versatile professional character actor with straight and comedy roles on stage, radio, film and television. For the next sixty year he was seldom out of work. His first broadcast was as a regular on the classic BBC radio comedy Educating Archie and this led to appearances in both the radio and television versions of Hancock's Half Hour. By the late 1950s, he regularly appeared on television: as Sean Connery's trainer in the boxing drama Requiem For A Heavyweight, with Charlie Drake in the sitcom Drake's Progress and in a title role in Three Tough Guys in which he played a bungling criminal. He also appeared in several episodes of Armchair Theatre. Infamously, during one of these, Underground (1958), one of the actors, Gareth Jones died from a heart attack during the live performance. The producer, Sydney Newman, instructed director Ted Kotcheff to continue with the play and 'shoot it like a football match', meaning to follow the characters around as they improvised a way of coping with the missing cast member. Kotcheff hurriedly re-structured the story during a commercial break in order to be able to bring the play to a conclusion without the missing character being noticed by the audience.
      Warren also had guest roles in four episodes of The Avengers in addition to many ITC drama series of the 1950s and 60s including William Tell, The Four Just Men, Sir Francis Drake, Danger Man and as a recurrent guest in The Saint. His cinema début was in Guy Hamilton's Manuela (1957) and he began a career of minor but often scene-stealing roles, as usually sinister - though, often comic - foreign agents, assisted by his premature baldness, sly, shifty appearance and facility with Eastern European accents. He appeared in the classic British horror b-movie The Trollenberg Terror, The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone, Carry On Cleo, Eric and Ernie's The Intelligence Men and in a cameo in The Be-Atles' Help! and played leads in All The Way Up, The Chain, The Dunera Boys and Foreign Body.
In 1965, Warren was cast in the role for which he would become best known, as the West Ham United supporting East End bigot Alf Ramsey in a play for the BBC's Comedy Playhouse series. This was the pilot episode of what became the long-running Till Death Us Do Part, co-starring Gretchen Franklin, Una Stubbs and Anthony Booth. The part of Alf's wife, Elsie, was recast for the subsequent series with Dandy Nichols taking the role of the 'silly moo' and the family name was changed to Garnett. Mitchell's real life persona was, of course, very different from yer actual Alf; not only was he a Jewish, intellectual socialist, he was also a staunch supporter of Tottenham Hotspur, something that both Spurs and West Ham fans gave him plenty of grief for over the years! He recalled an exchange with a fellow Tottenham fan who had come up to congratulate him on 'having a go' at immigrants on Till Death. 'Actually,' Warren tersely replied, 'we're having a go at idiots like you.' The sitcom ran from 1966 to 1975, in seven series, a total of fifty three episodes. And, it became central to a heated, decade-long debate on the subject of taste and decency in television (suffice to say, Mary Whitehoue was not a fan). The show highlighted some of the pressures felt by the white working classes at a time of great economic, political and social change in Britain and broke a number of taboos, with a high level of pre-watershed swearing and often insulting references to racial minorities. Later, it spawned a number of sequels and spin-offs. Warren's huge following as Alf, led to an American remake, All In The Family with its own Alf counterpart, Archie Bunker, played with equal success by Carroll O'Connor. Warren reprised the role of Alf in two film adaptations, Till Death Us Do Part (1969) and The Alf Garnett Saga (1972), in the ATV series Till Death ... (1981), LWT's The Thoughts Of Chairman Alf and, most memorably, in the BBC series In Sickness And In Health (1985 to 1992). In 1997 he played the role in An Audience With Alf Garnett. The same year, ITV broadcast a series of mini-episodes called A Word With Alf. When Johnny Speight died in 1998, however, at Warren's request Alf was, quietly, retired.
     Warren had a long and distinguished career on stage and television. Other small screen roles included a thirteen episode series, Men Of Affairs with Brian Rix (1973), based on the West End hit farce Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! There were also memorable appearances in The Sweeney, Lovejoy, Waking The Dead, Kavanagh QC (in which, he played a concentration camp survivor), as Shylock in a 1980 BBC production of The Merchant Of Venice and Gormenghast. In 2001, he appeared in the Christmas episode of Last Of The Summer Wine. On stage he received critical acclaim for his performances as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman, in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker at the National Theatre and in another Pinter play, The Homecoming at the London Comedy Theatre. He continued his TV work, appearing in Wall Of Silence in 1993, a BBC murder mystery set in North London's Jewish community. His CV also included appearances in Busman's Holiday, Big Guns, Man From Interpol, Colonel Trumper's Private War, Maigret, No Hiding Place, Man Of The World, Z Cars, The Edger Wallace Mystery Theatre, Crane, Bootsie & Snudge, The Human Jungle, Our Man At St Mark's, The Walrus & The Carpenter, Gaslight Theatre, Redcap, Out Of The Unknown, The Frankie Howerd Show, Rudolph Cartier's Lee Oswald: Assassin, Pardon The Expression, The Man In Room Seventeen, Dusty, A Series of Bird's, It's Lulu, The Generation Game, Tickets For The Titanic, Ain't Misbehavin', Joker's Wild, Noel's House Party, Have I Got News For You and Forty Years Of Fuck. And, also, in the movies Three Crooked Men, Tommy The Toreador, Hell Is A City, Pure Hell At St Trinian's, Hammer's The Curse Of The Werewolf, Don't Bother To Knock, Operation Snatch, We Joined The Navy, Where Has Poor Mickey Gone?, The Sandwich Man, The Assassination Bureau, Moon Zero Two, Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky and Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers. Warren was a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association. He spent a great deal of his time in Australia where Till Death Us Do Part had made him a household name, and he took up dual UK-Australian citizenship in 1988. For over twenty years, Warren suffered pain from nerve damage, caused by transverse myelitis and, as a consequence, he was a supporter of the Neuropathy Trust. He suffered a mild stroke in August 2004. He was back on stage within a week, reprising his lauded and award-winning role as a cantankerous old Jew in Arthur Miller's The Price. He spearheaded a campaign against outdoor concerts near his home in Hampstead after the organisers switched from classical music to more populist fare. Warren was once asked for his idea of perfect happiness. 'Play three sets of tennis, and win of course, take the family for a sail in the afternoon and then watch Spurs beat Arsenal six-nil in the evening!' He is survived by his wife on sixty four years, Constance and their three children, Rebecca, the actor Daniel Mitchell and the actress Georgia Mitchell. This blogger never had the good fortune to meet Warren but, two years ago, I did meet his screen daughter Una Stubbs who described him as 'the most wonderful human being I've ever met and, genuinely, like a dad to me.' He will be missed by many.
Andy White, the Scottish studio session musician who played drums on 'Love Me Do' by The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might have heard of them), has died in New Jersey. According to his family, the eighty five-year-old died on Monday of this week following a stroke. Andy, a regular session musician at EMI in the early 1960s, was chosen to work with the recently signed Liverpool group by their producer, George Martin, and his assistant, Ron Richards, in September 1962 on a remake of 'Love Me Do' and a new recording, 'PS I Love You'. Both were recorded at Abbey Road on 11 September. In the end, it was an earlier version of 'Love Me Do', recorded on 4 September and featuring yer actual Ringo Starr on drums, which was released as the band's first Parlophone single in October. The Andy White version of 'PS I Love You' appeared on the single's b-side (on which Ringo played maracas). Sometime during the next couple of months, EMI managed to misplace the original session tapes for the 4 September version of 'Love Me Do' and so when George Martin was putting together the Please Please Me LP in early 1963, the White version was used on that and on most subsequent reissues of the song (the two versions can easily be told apart as the 11 September version features a tambourine - played by Ringo - whilst the 4 September version does not). Most times that you hear 'Love Me Do', it's probably the Andy White version you're listening to. In a 2012 BBC interview, White also claimed that during the 11 September session he played on a recording of 'Please Please Me' and that this was used on the single. This appears to be wholly incorrect. Certainly 'Please Please Me' was recorded by The Be-Atles on 11 September in an early arrangmenet of the song (and, indeed, the version which appeared on 1995's Anthology may be a September recording, featuring White - although sources vary on this). But the version of 'Please Please Me' released as the band's second single and also used as the title song of their debut LP was, in fact, recorded in late November 1962 and featured Ringo's drumming, something confirmed by Mark Lewisohn's acclaimed and comprehensive 1988 book The Complete Be-Atles Recording Sessions. That didn't stop many of media outlets this week, including the BBC News website and the NME - both of whom should know better - claiming that Andy 'is also believed to have played on the album version of Please Please Me.' Which, he isn't, or anything even remotely like it. Andy's ahcievements were good enough without inventing some new ones for him, guys. Andy, who was born in Glasgow in 1930, the son of a baker, also played on Lulu's memorable 1964 cover of 'Shout' and on Sir Tom Jones' 1965 hit single 'It's Not Unusual' as well as recordings by Herman's Hermits, and Anthony Newley. He toured with Marlene Dietrich, Burt Bacharach and Rod Stewart and perform with the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra. In a 2009 interview with a New Jersey newspaper, White revealed that he was often called to Abbey Road in the 1960s. 'I would get a call from EMI and you never knew what you were going to be asked to do,' he told The Progress. White was paid a one-off session fee - a whopping five knicker - for his three hours work with The Be-Atles. 'You could tell it was something different and very special,' Andy told the Daily Record in 2012. 'But I didn't know just how special it would become. I had heard of The Beatles because my first wife, Lyn, was from Liverpool and had mentioned the name, but I didn't know much about them,' he added. At the age of twelve, Andy started playing drums in a pipe band, and became a professional session musician at seventeen. In the 1950s, he played drums with a number of swing and trad jazz groups. In 1958 he formed a big band jazz outfit and took it to the American North East where he backed rockers like Chuck Berry, The Platters and Bill Haley & His Comets. White said, 'We used some big band arrangements and put a back-beat to it to fit in with the rock 'n' roll thing. I got the chance to hear rock 'n' roll in the flesh. That was where I got a good idea about what it was supposed to happen, drumwise.' In 1960, Andy recorded with Billy Fury on Fury's seminal first LP, The Sound Of Fury, which is generally regarded as Britain's first proper rock and roll LP. In the early 1960s White lived in Thames Ditton and was married to singer Lyn Cornell, who later became a member of The Vernons Girls. In later life he emigrated to the US, where he married the voiceover actress Thea Ruth and became a drumming instructor. The New York Metro Pipe Band, one of the bands with whom he worked, described him on Facebook as 'an all round gentleman.' He was also called upon to teach drums to musician turned actor Little Stevie Van Zandt for his role as Silvio Dante in The Sopranos. Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, Andy's family paid tribute to his 'amazing humility and humbleness about his many achievements.'
Turgid, tuneless, pompous old hippies The Queen Group have been revealed as the Sunday night headliners for The Isle of Wight Festival next year. So, that's probably one very good reason not to go, then. The Queen Group's drummer, Roger Taylor, said: 'When I think of The Isle of Wight Festival I think of Hendrix, Dylan and The Who. What immortal company to be in.' Aye. The difference is, of course, that they were all good. Get yer hair cut. hippies. Next ...
The playlist at Stately Telly Topping Manor this week has included this, dear blog reader.
Little story here to explain why I play Bridge Over Troubled Water roughly once a month or so, particularly on days where yer actual Keith Telly Topping is feeling a bit, you know, 'meh.' When this blogger was but a wee slip of a Telly Topping, his best mate at school, Matt, and Keith Telly Topping is very self used to spend quite a bit of time around Matt's gaff. Mainly because his dad let us play records on his - really very nice - Sanyo Stereo Music Centre. The thing was, Matt's mum and dad - whom Keith Telly Topping then considered to be far cooler than his own parents (even though they probably weren't) only had about five LPs in the house, three of which were Sime and Garf thirty threes: They had Bridge Over Troubled Water, the Greatest Hits and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (it's probable that Matt's mum had been a bit of a fan). So, many days after school, Keith Telly Topping would go around their gaff, sometimes with a copy of the new Dickies single or something but, somehow, we'd always end up playing some Paul and Arty before this blogger went home for his tea. To the point where, by the time Keith Telly Topping was about fifteen, he not only knew every song in the Paul Simon Songbook backwards but if he never heard another Simon & Garfunkel record in his entire sodding life it would be A Day Too Soon. That almost Stalinist-style attitude remained with Keith Telly Topping for all of twenty years until one day in the mid-1990s he was in HMV on Northumberland Street buying the four-CD Doors box-set for twenty quid. And, on that particular day, the shop were having a 'two-selected-box-sets-for-the-price-of-one' deal. Bargain. Except, of course, that literally nothing else in the selected sets was in the least bit interesting to this blogger. But, they did had a copy of Columbis's recently-released Simon & Garfunkel Old Friends CD set. 'I'll take that, I suppose,' Keith Telly Topping muttered with all of the enthusiasm of a fart emerging, unwillingly, from a pile-ringed anus. And so it was that, about a day or two later, Keith Telly Topping put on the first CD of Old Friends, got halfway through it and then remembered why it was that he'd spent much of his time between the ages of about fourteen and fifteen, when he wasn't listening to The Jam, The Clash, Buzzcocks and The Undertones listening to Paul & Arty. Because they were fucking great. So, that's why Stately Telly Topping sees the playing of Bride Over Troubled Water every so often. To remind this blogger of those wasted twenty years of Stalinism!

The playlist at Stately Telly Topping Manor, this week, also included these two.
'But, for why, Keith Telly Topping? For why, in the name of God, why?' Keith Telly Topping hears you bellow, dear blog reader. Well, you see it's like this. We didn't have many records at Stately Telly Topping Manor when yer actual was nowt but a saucepan, as it happens; quite a few singles left over from when Keith Telly Topping's older brothers left home but, until this blogger nagged his dad to buy him Motown Chartbusters Volume III in 1971 (and, I've certainly told that story before), we had but four LPs in the gaff. One was the soundtrack to the movie South Pacific (although, by the time this blogger came along, in 1963, it was already scratched to buggery) and another was a Black & White Minstrel Show LP (hell, it was the 1950s, I'm takin' no responsibility for that one). But, the other two, The Golden Age Of Donegan and The World Of Val Doonican this blogger still stands behind one hundred per cent. Between the ages of about five and ten Keith Telly Topping must've near enough bled those two bits of vinyl white (although, he was relieved to discover on Wednesday morning that they do both still play, although the Val LP skips on a couple of songs). So, in memory of a time long, long ago when the world was so much simpler and 'My Old Man's A Dustman' and 'Delany's Donkey' and 'The Jarvey Was A Leprechaun' were the utter height of sophisticated humour to a seven year old, here's to the late Lon and the late Val. Thanks for everything.

A public service announcement. Remember, dear blog reader, if you're thinking about lighting up a fag round about now ...
And finally, dear blog reader, a thought for this week of all weeks. Not, necessarily, this blogger's thought for the week, but a sentiment which this blogger his more than happy to echo.
For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, who? What? Wah!? Sing, Pete.
Or, indeed, this. Bom, bom, bom, bom.