Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Zygon Inversion: Kill All Hippies

'I spend a lot of my time being kidnapped, tortured, shot at, exterminated ... Doesn’t mean I like it!'
'Any questions?' 'Why do you have a Union Jack parachute?' 'Camouflage ... It's Great Britain.'
'Do you have a partner? A Boyfriend?' 'You kind of give up on dating if you have anything to do with UNIT!'
'Why would she be sending me propoganda? She just blew me up with a big bazooka!'
'Hello! Doctor John Disco. It was my plane!'
'Don't call me Zigella. My name is Bonnie.' 'And, you're winking at me? ... You're sending out some very mixed message here. I'm over two thousand years old. I'm old enough to be your Messiah!'
'London. What a dump!'
'What's your name?' 'Osgood.' 'No, your first name?' 'What's your first name?' 'Basil!' 'Petronella.' 'Okay, let's stick with what we had!'
'How did you survive?' 'Five rounds, rapid!'
'I did this on a very important day for me. And, the cease-fire will stand.'
'Why does peace-kepping always involve killing?' Keith Telly Topping thought that was great, dear blog reader. So, no change there, then.
'Do you know what thinking is? It's a fancy word for just changing you mind.' 'I will not change my mind.' 'Then you will die stupid.'

So, at last, dear blog reader, Ms Osgood has a first name. And, it's all because this blogger personally asked yer actual Peter Harness to, if you will, give her one. And he did. Of course, he did so in an episode which was filmed six months ago and written even earlier and yer actual Keith Telly Topping only pleaded with him to undertake such naming duties last week. But, still, I'm taking all the credit.
Yer actual Peter Capaldi this week talked to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show with that full-of-his-own-importance berk Nick Grimshaw about, among other things, Jenna Coleman’s unexpected last Doctor Who scene and Maisie Williams teasing him with Game Of Thrones spoilers. Yer man Capaldi also talked about the international success of the show and how much he is enjoying the role. 'You wake up in the morning and think I'm going to blow up some Daleks. It's just a gas. How could you not like that?' On the subject of working with Jenna Coleman her very self and how it was filming her departure from the series. Peter noted: 'It was really sad. She's great fun and just wonderful to work with. I've had a great time with her. She was fabulous in her last scene. It is very clever what happens in it, but very sad. Really sad. Get lots of hankies ready.' Peter also talked about working with Maisie Williams, confirming that the character will return in episode ten of the current series: 'She's just such a laugh. She keeps teaching me new words because she thinks I'm a really ancient old guy. She's great to have around.' An upcoming episode features just Capaldi with no other characters in the story: 'Because its just you, you work much more closely with the rest of the crew. It makes you realise how much you bounce off other actors. It's a really strange episode but I don't want to give anything away.' Peter was also asked about the future of the Sonic Spectacles and whether the Sonic Screwdriver would be back: 'I think those fans of the sonic screwdriver should not fret. Fear not. Don't lose any sleep. But I do like the shades. Dear blog readers can listen to the whole interview here on the BBC iPlayer (from approximately two hours, twenty three minutes in). Though it does mean having to listen to full-of-his-own-importance waste-of space Grimshaw too.Which is, frankly, a chore. The programme be available for, approximately, the next four weeks. After that, tough, you've missed your chance.
And, still on the subject of those Sonic Specs and the whinging glakes among The Special People who, you know, whinge about them (as if anybody actually gives a flying fek what those arseholes think), The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) got his big stick out this week during an interview with the Observer Morning Star: 'It's the sort of silly thing that Doctor Who would do. And it sort of resurrects the old joke that we've all forgotten about. The words "sonic screwdriver" together are ridiculous. Why would you make a screwdriver sonic? Well, sonic sunglasses is just going back to that. The ones that care about this kind of stuff enough to get angry are insisting that our sonic sunglasses are silly but sonic screwdrivers, well, that makes perfect sense. Are you mad? This is about a man with two hearts who lives in a telephone box - can we just straighten ourselves out here a bit? Get with the program [sic].' Yes, what he said, dear blog reader. The full interview, which is, incidentally, a joy can be read here.

Self-confessed serial phone-hackers the Daily Mirra were still pushing the 'Doctor Who will return with half the usual episodes next year when its star Peter Capaldi is granted leave' story earlier this week. Which would have been a hell of a lot more convincing if the story wasn't, seemingly, based on alleged 'quotes' from - suspiciously anonymous - 'insiders'. Rumours of a reduced 2016 series had been swirling around the periphery of fandom for some months, with Private Eye claiming in August that in lieu of a full series next year there would, instead, be several specials – as during David Tennant's final year as The Doctor in 2009. All of this, allegedly due to Steven Moffat's commitment Sherlock, which goes into production for its next series in April. The Mirra claimed that 'the BBC pushed for more than the regular twelve instalments but the Time Lord actor wants to do other projects too. He told bosses [that] working harder was "not on", for both himself and the "exhausted" crew. "If you did the series all year there'd be casualties – and one would be its quality,' he said.' Which, indeed, Peter did say, in an interview with Radio Times some weeks ago. The tabloid also claimed that Peter was to direct 'a film loosely based on his time in Glasgow punk band The Dreamboys and two episodes of the US TV series Veep' made by his close friend and The Thick Of It creator Armando Iannucci. 'Peter was lead singer and guitarist in The Dreamboys – which also counted Late, Late Show host Craig Ferguson among its numbers - while a student at Glasgow School of Art in the early 1980s.' Alleged - though anonymous and, therefore, almost certainly fictitious - 'insiders' had, allegedly, 'revealed' that – as with Matt Smith and David Tennant – the next series would be reduced for one year to allow Capaldi the time off he needed. They stated that 2016 would see a shortened - six episode - series, plus a Christmas special. This blogger, as previously stated, would not have been at all surprised if 2016, as with 2009 and 2012-13, was a light year for the series given Steven Moffat's other commitments to Sherlock and the fact that 'three series over the course of four calendar years' seems to be pretty much the BBC's established model for Doctor Who these days. But, one would have liked to hear that from someone within the BBC who a) knew what they were talking about and b) were prepared to put their name to such a statement. Particularly when yer actual Peter Capaldi used an interview with the BBC's Lizo Mzimba on Friday to, specifically, deny the Mirra's claims and then, later the same day, Steven Moffat confirmed to Radio Times that the Mirra's story was, in fact, a load of old made-up cock (see below). So, glad we got all that sorted. If I was the Mirra I'd be having a serious word with their alleged 'insider' since he seems to have told them a load of lies. Allegedly. Either that or, you know, they could always go back to hacking phones to acquire accurate stories.
On a related noted, yer man Peter Capaldi has criticised the BBC for treating Doctor Who 'as a pawn in a Saturday night warfare.' The actor, showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) and writer Mark Gatiss all expressed varying degrees of concern about the show's current post-8pm Saturday night slot when. When Russell Davies revived the popular long-running family SF drama in 2005, it was broadcast in 7pm slot - and not 'a teatime spring slot' as claimed by some waste-of-space who couldn't be bothered to do any research at the Gruniad Morning Star. However, the ninth series premiered with The Magician's Apprentice at 7.40pm on 19 September. Subsequently, it has been given the post-Strictly Come Dancing slot, meaning episodes are finishing at times pushing, and sometimes after, 9pm. The third episode, Under The Lake, for example had a start time of 8.25pm on 3 October. Peter said: 'I feel it's slightly used as a pawn in a Saturday night warfare. I feel as if it should go out at 7.30pm or around that time. I see a lot of kids and a lot of families and these families who all love Doctor Who want to sit down and watch it together. I used to do that with my daughter when it came back so it has to be on at a time that’s reasonable for them to do that. And once you get past 8.15pm, you're getting yourself into adult territory and although a lot of adults really like it, at its heart, it's designed to do a lot of entertaining of children as well. So I think it begins to move into a zone it doesn't quite belong in. I feel it's a shame they're not given that opportunity,' he added. The Moffat called the scheduling 'not smart' and also defended the show's viewing figures, by pointing out the - considerable - difference once time-shifting is factored into the numbers. 'I don’t think 8.25pm is brilliant for Doctor Who,' he said. 'I'm not blasting the BBC or getting cross or anything, but that's not smart. I don't think anyone thinks that's smart.' While he says the scheduling decisions were not made by him, Moffat admits that 'conversations have been had' about Doctor Who's place in the schedule and that it may return to an earlier slot next year. 'I am not a man of influence. [Doctor Who] gives me no power. [Scheduling] is entirely in Charlotte Moore’s control, a very fine controller of BBC1,' he told Radio Times. 'We have conversations about it. I've expressed my views. We're all pretty much agreed that the bold experiment of being on too late isn't a great idea. There's not a big controversy. I am not exercising my non-existent muscle at the BBC. I have, literally, none. But I think we're agreed that we're not going to do that again.' On the subject of the ratings, he added: 'If there's a slight - and it is only a slight - drop off, it's I think [it's because] that's not where Doctor Who's meant to be. Doctor Who is not designed and built to go out at 8.25pm – that's Sherlock o'clock. It's for earlier in the evening. [But] we're doing fine, once you put the consolidated and then if you do the wicked thing that you're not supposed to do of adding on iPlayer as well.' He continued with a message for the press: 'Stop reporting the overnights as if they're the ratings. They’re not. Could you please start reporting football matches with the scores in the middle of the game, as if that was the final score? You know it's not true ... The consolidated [ratings] are absolutely fine. It's still a hit show. But, I say this every year. I'm the only man who goes around apologising for a hit show. "Loads and loads of people really love this well-reviewed show – how are you going to fix it?"' On the subject of the scheduling, Gatiss, who has written the current series' ninth episode, Sleep No More, stated: 'It's a show I adore, but there's nothing I can do. I think it's too late: I think everybody does.' The co-creator of Sherlock added: 'I would like it to be where Pointless is because I think that's its slot, but you've got a packed schedule with things like Strictly and then the rugby and all these things, it's difficult. But it's important to not just treat it as part of the furniture, not take it for granted.' The Moffinator also rubbished the Mirra's claims suggesting that the BBC had commissioned only a half-series order of six episodes: 'People just sit in rooms and make this shit up. That's absolutely untrue. We're making a full series. I can confirm that. I'm making a full series of twelve episodes, plus a Christmas special. I don't know when it goes out, that's up to someone else. And even if I did know – which I genuinely don't – I wouldn't be allowed to say so as I have absolutely no say in it whatsoever. [But] it's not being reduced in size. We're not making fewer episodes. That's all complete bunk. I can confirm that absolutely.' Capaldi also confirmed he has signed for a full series. 'I'm doing next year, then I don't know,' he said. 'It depends what the show is. It's important if you do the show that you're committed to it. I feel as if I've just started. I just find it amazing that it's gone so fast.'
Meanwhile, it seems that someone at Radio Times has been reading some of Steven Moffat's 1995 postings on rec.arts.drwho in search of a story. There must, surely, be easier - and less demeaning - ways of making a living?
Doctor Who fans mourning Clara Oswald's impending exit will have the chance to say goodbye to yer actual Jenna Coleman in person. Jenna her very self has been confirmed to attend this month's Doctor Who Festival at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London. The actress will appear on both the Saturday and Sunday (November 14 to 15) and will join yer actual Peter Capaldi, Michelle Gomez and Ingrid Oliver for a Meet The Cast-type panel affair. Photo opportunities with Jenna went on sale this week - though if you haven't purchased one with her co-star, yer man Capaldi yet, the bad news is those are all sold out. You can console yourself with the fact that they were fucking expensive, though. The official Doctor Who Festival will also feature a Writer's Panel - with The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Sarah Dollard, Toby Whithouse, Catherine Tregenna, Peter Harness and Jamie Mathieson all in attendance. Further attractions at the - extremely expensive - event include sets on display from series nine, a Cosplay Showcase and a special effects live show. The festival is a three-day event, spanning November 13 to 15. For more details and to purchase - really costly - tickets, visit www.doctorwhofestival.com. Though you might want to check with your bank manager to see how his blood pressure is first.
The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine is extremely available this week from all good newsagents (and some bad ones, too).
Doc Martin was, once again, top of the Monday overnight ratings, as its finale episode of the current series brought in over five-and-a-half million viewers. The popular Martin Clunes drama was seen by an average overnight audience of 5.88m at 9pm on ITV, down approximately one hundred thousand punters week-on-week. On BBC1, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's War On Waste was watched by 3.36m at 9pm. Nigella Lawson's much anticipated return to BBC2 drew more than two million viewers, but the cult quiz show Only Connect - a particular favourite of this blogger - lost more than a quarter of its regular overnight audience after being bumped from its slot. Simply Nigella, Lawson's first BBC outing since the dirty knickers of her home life were aired in the court last year, attracted 2.34 million viewers and a ten per cent audience - not to be sniffed at,obviously - share between 8.30pm and 9pm. Lawson's return, however, was bad news for Only Connect which shed six hundred thousand viewers week-on-week after being shifted from its usual 8.30pm slot to 7.30pm to make way for Nigella (she has her knockers). The divine Victoria Coren Mitchell was clearly aware of the possibility that fans of Only Connect would miss their usual Monday night quiz show double bill. Victoria had previously tweeted that the schedule change, which sees Only Connect spend a few weeks at 7:30 before reverting to the 8.30pm slot at Christmas, could, potentially, be 'baffling' for viewers. Well, for those viewers who can't be bothered to read a listings guide, that is. Only Connect's overnight audience fell from 2.3 million last week to 1.65 million. BBC2's busy night also included University Challenge with 2.73m at 8pm and the return of Autumnwatch which was seen by 1.74m at 9pm. Mock The Week had an audience of 1.25m at 10pm. On Channel Four, SAS: Who Dares Wins interested 1.31m at 9pm, followed by Fargo with four hundred and eighty nine thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Police Interceptors attracted 1.01m at 8pm and On Benefits: Twenty Kids & Counting had nine hundred and seventy one thousand at 9pm. The Walking Dead was watched by eight hundred and sixty thousand at for a bumper two-part edition at 9pm on FOX.
BBC2's attempt to replicate the success of The Great British Bake Off only with pottery began on Tuesday. The Great Pottery Throw Down ​attracted an average overnight audience of 1.88 million at 9pm. Earlier, Autumnwatch ​brought in 2.40m at 8pm. On BBC1, River ​continued with 2.65m at 9pm. ITV's ​penultimate episode of Lewis ​topped the ratings overall outside soaps with 3.66m at 9pm. Before that, risible lowest-common-denominator flop Eternal Glory​ limped on but with 1.49m at 8pm. On Channel Four, The Secret Life Of Four-Year-Olds ​had an audience of 2.19m at 8pm, followed by Twenty Four Hours In A&E with 1.98m at 9pm and Catastrophe ​with seven hundred and eighty one thousand punters at 10pm. Channel Five's documentary Pets Who Hate Vets ​attracted 1.37m at 8pm, while Eamonn & Ruth's How The Other Half Live ​was seen by 1.22m at 9pm people with nothing better to do with their life. CSI: Cyber ​attracted five hundred and eighty thousand at 10pm. On Sky1, The Flash ​continued with four hundred and seventy three thousand viewers at 8pm.

Robbie Lewis will finally retire later this month. The Inspector Morse spin-off Lewis will come to an end after its ninth series concludes on ITV with a final episode, What Lies Tangled on 10 November. Launched in January 2006, Lewis will have broadcast the same number of stories as Morse - thirty three - by the time it concludes. Yer actual Kevin Whately, who began playing the detective in 1987, said that he was 'incredibly fortunate to have shared a decade of fantastic worldwide success' with Lewis. His co-star, Laurence Fox his very self, added: 'What an extraordinary ten years. I feel so lucky to have worked with absolutely the best crew in the business on Lewis. I will really miss hanging out with Kev for half the year. I am however fairly confident that he will not miss my flawless Geordie accent between takes. Thank you so much for watching and supporting us.' ITV's director of drama Steve November praised Fox and said that Whatley was owed 'a huge debt of gratitude' after playing the character off-and-on for almost thirty years. 'We respect their decision not to continue into a further series and wish them the very best for whatever comes next,' he said. When Lewis began, it was set five years after the death of Lewis's former boss, Morse and the death of Lewis's wife, teaming him up with the younger, posher Hathaway and reporting to Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent (the excellent Rebecca Front). Lewis retired during the seventh series, but soon returned to help Hathaway's transition to Detective Inspector, and ended up staying with the force.

And now, dear blog reader ...
ITV news executives are reported to be 'privately seething' about the BBC's response to its revamped 10pm bulletin and have accused their rival of 'arrogance' according to a - totally agenda soaked piece of louse-scum bollocks by some people of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star. This, presumably, being the same ITV who, less than a week ago were happily snitching to the government that the BBC should be 'banned' from buying overseas formats like a bunch of filthy stinking Copper's Narks. The school sneak, were you? What a collective of wretched fekking hateful cowards. According to the Gruniad who, of course, were greedily slurping all this shite up like the cat that had got the cream, alleged - although, suspiciously anonymous - 'insiders' at ITV had 'expressed surprise' at BBC1 anchor Huw Edwards' 'triumphant reaction' to the higher viewing figures for his bulletin since its rival News At Ten was revamped with Tom Bradby as the main anchor. Describing the BBC as 'a massive gorilla on the block', one alleged - though, again, anonymous coward of a - 'senior ITV news executive' allegedly claimed that the channel had been 'shocked' by Edwards' response in Facebook and Twitter posts. 'We are just trying something a bit different but their attitude is such they are trying to smash and crush us,' this, alleged, waste-of-space cocksplash whinged, without even having the courage to let every know how he was. 'Their arrogance has got to such a level.' The row escalated after Edwards allegedly 'poked fun' at his rival on Facebook for 'conspiring to lose' 4.2 million viewers who had watched the 'excellent Doc Martin' at 9pm, pointing out that the BBC attracted more than twice ITV’s audience for its 10pm bulletin. Considerably more, in fact.
While ITV executives 'declined to go on the record' to 'avoid tit-for-tat point scoring', the Gruniad state, they 'expressed their surprise' at his behaviour. One does, rather, wonder why ITV were so reluctant to go on the record and why they were so keen to, allegedly, 'avoid' tit-for-tat point scoring when they're normally so good at it. The BBC said in a statement: 'We are proud that more than four million people a night have been tuning into our Ten O'Clock News bulletin for ten years. We are always aiming to offer them the best possible news analysis from home and abroad.' They also added that it might be an idea for ITV to concentrate on their own, wretched, ratings rather than whinging about the BBC's. Except that they didn't, because the BBC, collectively, is far to polite to do any such thing. But, I'm not.
The Apprentice ​managed to achieve the same overnight audience ratings as the previous week for its children's book task on Wednesday. The BBC1 competition brought in an average audience of 5.59m at 9pm. Earlier, police drama Cuffs ​dropped around eight hundred thousand viewers from the previous week's launch episode to 3.40m at 8pm. On BBC2, Autumnwatch ​appealed to 2.15m at 8pm, followed by the new documentary series Let Us Entertain You ​with eight hundred and twelve thousand and The Apprentice: You're Fired! ​with 1.62m at 10pm. ITV's All-Star Mr & Mrs ​drew an audience of 3.45m at 8pm, while Joanna Lumley's Elvis & Me ​documentary attracted three million overnight punters at 9pm. On Channel Four, Restoring Britain's Landmarks ​was watched by nine hundred and twenty one thousand at 8pm, followed by Grand Designs ​with 1.67m at 9pm. Channel Five's GPs: Behind Closed Doors ​interested 1.16m at 8pm, while Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! ​brought in 1.43m at 9pm. On Sky 1, the latest episode of Arrow ​picked up three hundred and fifty two thousand at 8pm.

Tom Hardy's guest appearance on Paul O'Grady's For The Love Of The Dogs​ topped the overnight ratings outside soaps on Thursday for ITV. The show appealed to an average overnight audience of 4.25 million at 8pm. Later, Unforgotten​ continued with 3.58m at 9pm. On BBC1, Watchdog​ had an audience of 3.40m at 8pm, followed the final Class Of Ninety Two: Out Of Their League​ with 2.90m at 9pm. BBC2's Autumnwatch​ brought in 2.20m (at 8pm, while The Last Kingdom​ drew 1.58m at 9pm. The latest episode of Russell Howard's Good News​ was watched by nine hundred and fifty seven thousand viewers at 10pm. On Channel Four, Amazing Spaces​ drew an audience of 1.43m at 8pm, followed by Kitchen Impossible​ with 1.06m at 9pm and First Dates​ with 1.14m at 10pm. Channel Five's Extreme Railways​ interested 1.32m at 9pm. On E4, The Big Bang Theory​ managed to attracted 1.39m at 8.30pm, a larger overnight audience than anything on Channel Five during the entire evening.

As it happens on Thursday night dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping spent his time mostly watching BBC4 (as is, frequently, his want). Two important issues raised themselves from this fine multichannel viewing. Firstly, this blogger knows that what he is about to say is very wrong on many levels but, watching Digging For Britain, Keith Telly Topping came to the impossible-to-avoid conclusion that Professor Alice Roberts doesn't half give him The Horn. Anyway ...
Gosh, did I just say that out loud?

Next ...

Thursday night's 1980 repeat episode of Top Of The Pops featured a - genuine, twenty-four carat - turning point in music history including, as it did, the début appearance on the programme of yer actual Spandau Ballet performing that 'To Cut A Long Story Short'. Contemporary audiences, entirely unwittingly, got a brief glimpse into all of the worst horrors of the 1980s which were to follow. Mind you, the sight of Steve Norman wearing a daft kilt and a stupid haircut and pretending to play guitar was funny, admittedly.
Gogglebox topped Channel Four's overnight ratings on Friday with an average audience of 3.38 million punters. 1.36 million watched boring bastards Coldplay on TFI Friday at 8pm, while Alan Carr: Chatty Man was watched by 1.19 million at 10pm. On BBC1, The ONE Show attracted 3.80 million - the highest audience of the evening across all channels outside of soaps. That was followed by A Question of Sport with 2.83 million (14.7%) and Citizen Khan with 2.64 million at 8:30pm. Have I Got News For You with guest host Kathy Burke was watched by 3.74 million at 9pm, whilst alleged sitcom The Kennedys followed with 2.07 million. 3.32 million tuned into The Graham Norton Show to watch an impressive line-up of Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy and Johnny Depp. On ITV, Gino's Italian Escape was seen by 2.72 million at 8pm, while Oily Twat Piers Morgan's Horrifying Life Stories attracted 2.1 million at 9pm. On BBC2, Mastermind was watched by 1.18m, Match Of The Day Live coverage of the first FA Cup shock of the season, non-league Salford City beating Notts County attracted 2.49m, whilst Qi had an audience of 1.85m from 9pm. Ice Road Truckers attracted six hundred and forty two thousand for Channel Five at 8pm, followed by NCIS: New Orleans with six hundred and thirty four thousand at 9pm, NCIS with six hundred and thirty one thousand at 10pm and NCIS: Los Angeles with four hundred and six thousand at 11pm.

TV comedy line of the week came, as usual, from Friday night's episode of Qi. Which this week was, frankly, pure filth! Funny pure filth, mind, I'll give them that. 'I can usually predict almost everything that's going to be said on this show,' noted a visibly irritated Stephen Fry in response to something really rude that Alan Davies his very self had blurted out. 'But, "there's an iceberg like your clitoris" is a new one on me.' You had to be there, dear blog reader.
Strictly Come Dancing continued its Saturday dominance, averaging more than nine million overnight viewersfor the second week running. The popular BBC1 series was watched by 9.17 million overnight punters from 6.30pm, beating The X Factor's ass hollow by nearly three million. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's singing competition on ITV improved from their Hallow'een's overnight series low, rising to 6.29 million viewers. Doctor Who also saw a weekly increase on BBC1, The Zygon Inversion appealing to 4.22 million punters from 8pm. And, according to the Mirra, leaving about four people on social media 'stunned'. So, you know, swings and roundabouts. Pointless Celebrities had 4.57 million whilst, later, coverage of The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance drew 5.39 million. The evening ended with an audience of 2.87 million for Match Of The Day and yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies' rather fortunate 1-0 victory at Bournemouth. Plus, a defeat for Blunderland. Which was funny. And, another one for Moscow Chelski FC. Which was hilarious. On BBC2, Rick Stein From Venice To Istanbul (Not Constantinople) was watched by 1.09 million, a Dad's Army repeat entertained 1.77 million and Qi XL attracted nine hundred and twenty two thousand. ITV's The Chase was seen by 2.75 million before The X Factor and The Jonathan Ross Show attracted 2.65 million from 10.10pm. On Channel Five, Football League Tonight was watched by three hundred and seventy four thousand and the film Operation Crossbow by four hundred and six thousand.

The Zygon Inversion also had an audience appreciate index score of eighty four, Doctor Who's joint highest AI of the current series. One does, rather, wonder if the two Petronellas had started, you know, lezzing it up a bit at the end whether that score might've higher. Well, this blogger wonders that anyway. Perhaps I've said too much.
The highest AI score of Saturday night, incidentally, was achieved, not at all unreasonably, by The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance coverage which garnered an entirely worthy score of ninety out of one hundred. One does, rather, wonder if Pixie Lott - who sparked OUTRAGE IN CAPITAL LETTERS over ... something utterly trivial according to a few pricks of no importance on social media and quoted by the Daily Mirra - hadn't been appearing whether that score might've been higher. Perhaps we'll never care.
Strictly Come Dancing reached ten million overnight punters with Sunday's results show and hit a series high, according to overnight figures. BBC1's family entertainment hit was watched by an average of 10.43 million from 7.15pm, comfortably topping - or, should that be Telly Topping? - the ratings. Meanwhile, ITV's The X Factor averaged 6.98 million from 8pm. Downton Abbey closed its series with 8.45 million for the final episode. Earlier in the evening, the latest episode of ITV's Jekyll & Hyde drew but 2.07 million. Elsewhere on BBC1, Countryfile attracted 7.08 million. Antiques Roadshow and The Hunt had respective audiences of 6.57 million and 4.46 million. Earlier in the day coverage of Remembrace Sunday: The Cenotaph was watched by 3.87m whilst a repeat of this on BBC2 drew a further 1.23m. FA Cup Final Score was watched by eight hundred and forty two thousand. BBC2's Earth's Wildest Waters drew an audience of one million viewers. On Channel Four, Great Canal Journeys was seen by 1.46 million in the 8pm hour, before the imported drama Homeland appealed to nine hundred and eighty one thousand. Channel Five's broadcast of the movie The Expendables 2 - what a truly great, respectful choice for Remembrance Sunday, guys - had nine hundred and seventy thousand viewers.

And so, dear blog reader, to the final and consolidated ratings list of the Top Twenty Nine programmes for week-ending Sunday 1 November 2015:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 10.85m
2 Downton Abbey - Sun ITV - 9.84m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.99m
4 Doc Martin - Mon ITV - 7.14m
5 The Apprentice - Wed BBC1 - 7.25m
6 The X Factor - Sun ITV - 7.19m
7 EastEnders - Fri BBC1 - 7.04m
8 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 6.04m
9 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 6.00m
10 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 5.86m*
11 The Hunt - Sun BBC1 - 5.80m
12 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 5.76m
13 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.47m
14 Rugby World Cup: New Zealand Versus Australia - Sat ITV - 5.07m
15 Cuffs - Wed BBC1 - 4.93m
16 Gogglebox - Fri C4 - 4.73m
17 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 4.71m
18 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.64m
19 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.63m
20 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.62m
21 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.60m
22 Watchdog - BBC1 Thurs - 4.22m
23 Unforgotten - Thurs ITV - 4.18m*
24 Lewis - Tues ITV - 4.11m*
25 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.09m
26 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 3.99m
27 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.98m
28 Paul O'Grady's For the Love Of Dogs - 3.86m*
29 Citizen Khan - Fri BBC1 - 3.80m
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 10.24 million. Doctor Who's timeshift over and above the initial overnight audience for The Zygon Invasion was a fraction under two million viewers (again, it's worth stressing that figure does not count those people who watch the episode on iPlayer). The X Factor's Saturday night episode drew 6.95m viewers, the long-running talent show's worst Saturday night performance in years. The audience for Jekyll & Hyde's second episode fell by half-a-million viewers, week-on-week to 2.56m. Although it still managed to pull in more punters than Alexander Armstrong's In The Land Of The Midnight Sun. Just (2.50m). On BBC2, University Challenge topped the week, seen by 3.01m, followed by episode two of The Last Kingdom (2.65m), Only Connect (2.51m), The Naked Choir With Gareth Malone (2.41m), The Apprentice - You're Fired (2.34m), Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two (2.10m), Dad's Army (1.87m) and Qi 1.79m. The much-trailed adaptation of The Dresser was watched by 1.19m. Aside from Gogglebox, Channel Four's top-rated broadcasts included Twenty Four Hours In A&E (2.23m), Grand Designs (2.08m), SAS: Who Dares Wins (2.07m) and First Dates (two million viewers). Channel Five's highest-rated broadcast was, horrifically, Eamonn & Ruth: How The Other Half Lives (1.75m), then Dog Rescuers: Puppy Special (1.59m), Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away (1.50m) and Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways (1.44m). An episode of The Big Bang Theory brought in an astonishing figure of 2.51m, over eight hundred thousand higher than the next largest audience of a multchannels broadcast and over three hundred thousand viewers above anything on Channel Five all week. Sky Sports 1's coverage of Live Ford Super Sunday and the South Coast derby between Southampton and Bournemouth was watched by nine hundred and twenty thousand 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 - four hundred and sixty eight thousand punters. Not exactly unbelievable, Jeff. Sunday's coverage of the third test between Pakistan and England had one hundred and twenty seven thousand viewers for Sky Sports 2. Sky F1's Live Mexican Grand Prix coverage drew seven hundred and fifty one thousand viewers. ITV4's Moto GP Highlights had three hundred and seventy two thousand viewers. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama with eight hundred and ninety three thousand. The second series of BBC4's Arne Dahl continued with the fifty and sixth episodes being watched by six hundred and sixty four thousand and six hundred and four thousand viewers respectively. Detectorists drew five hundred and eighty four thousand for the start of its second series whilst Terry Wogan's Ireland had five hundred and seventy one thousand, The Mystery Of Rome's X Tombs was watched by five hundred thousand, Digging For Britain by four hundred and thirty thousand and The Stuarts In Exile by four hundred and nine thousand. Don't Telly The Bride was BBC3's top-rated broadcast with six hundred and ten thousand. Sky Atlantic's weekly-list was watched by two episodes of The Affair (three hundred and forty two thousand and three hundred and seven thousand, respectively). The Leftovers drew one hundred and seventy six thousand. On Sky Living, The Blacklist had 1.05m for the first of Friday's two episodes (the second drew nine hundred and thirty eight thousand). Criminal Minds was watched by eight hundred and ten thousand. For the second week running, Sky 1 did not report any final and consolidated figures. What have they got to hide, one wonders? Sky Arts' Landscape Artist Of the Year had an audience of one hundred and eighty nine thousand. 5USA's Castle attracted five hundred and twenty thousand viewers. FOX's The Walking Dead was the most-watched multichannel show of the week, with 1.54 million viewers. American Horror Story: Hotel was watched by four hundred and seven thousand, Talking Dead by two hundred and eleven thousand and NCIS by one hundred and sixty nine thousand. CBS Action's weekly-list was headed by Bad Girls (eighty six thousand), JAG (eighty two thousand) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (seventy four thousand). The Universal Channel's Sleepy Hollow had an audience of three hundred and fifty six thousand. On Dave, Dave Gorman: Modern Life Is Good(ish) was, again, the channel's highest-rated programme - six hundred and ninety six thousand - followed by Storage Hunters: UK (four hundred and thirteen thousand), The Last Man On Earth (three hundred and fifty one thousand), Blackadder The Third (three hundred and thirty five thousand) and Qi XL (three hundred and thirty one thousand). Drama's Death In Paradise drew four hundred and seventeen thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programmes were Rizzolo & Isles (five hundred and fifteen thousand) and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (two hundred and thirteen thousand). Watch's broadcast of The Strain was seen by three hundred and seventy two thousand. Yesterday's repeat run of Porridge had three hundred and twenty seven thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Rush was watched by four hundred and ninety thousand viewers. Alaska: The Last Frontier had one hundred and twelve thousand. Discovery History's Tanks had an audience of thirty thousand punters whilst The Vietnam War drew twenty eight thousand. On Discovery Science, Home Factory was watched by forty one thousand. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programme was Fast N' Loud (fifty one thousand). National Geographic's top ten was headed by Yukon Gold which had ninety seven thousand viewers. Nightmare Next Door was ID's largest audience of the week (sixty thousand). CI's Measuring Evil: Britain's Worst Killers brought in sixty two thousand viewers whilst Unusual Suspects drew fifty six thousand. Eden's Operation Wild was seen by thirty thousand. GOLD's top ten was topped by Mrs Brown's Boys (one hundred and eighty three thousand). As predicted last week, the new - rotten - comedy Bull lost more than half of its audience form its opening episode. And, when you were only pulling in a couple of hundred thousand in the first place, that's really not a place you want to go. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (two hundred and ninety seven thousand). On ITV Encore, The Americans was watched by ninety three thousand viewers. TLC's weekly-list was topped by Cake Boss which was seen by one hundred and ninety one thousand.

The BBC is making more than seven thousand hours of TV available to buy from its archives, including current shows and lost gems, from the new BBC Store. The digital service, which launched on Thursday, allows the public to buy and keep more than sixty years of BBC shows. Shows will typically cost £1.89 an episode and can be downloaded through bbcstore.com and iPlayer. Billed as the most comprehensive collection of BBC programmes published, it includes some banned programmes. Sherlock and Doctor Who fans in the UK will be able to buy and download episodes of their favourite programmes. Among others, the 1976 Dennis Potter drama Brimstone & Treacle and The War Game, Peter Watkins' harrowing 1965 depiction of the impact of a nuclear war in Britain will also be available. This year's adaptation of Wolf Hall will be among the current shows available for purchase. Cult comedies such as Morecambe & Wise and Dad's Army will be available to buy digitally for the first time, as well as the legendary David Frost interviews. In addition, popular dramas such as EastEnders, Poldark (both versions) and Holby City can be bought from the site just a day after transmission. The launch is part of a shift towards making more BBC content available to buy and own in a digital format.
It is intended as a long-term replacement for DVD sales, the market for which has halved in the last three years, said Marcus Arthur, UK managing director for the broadcaster's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide. The BBC hopes to generate up to a billion smackers from the project over the next five years, which it intends to put back into programme-making. Exclusive content released to mark the launch includes Matt LeBlanc fronting a series of Top Gear clips in Top Gear: The Races, bringing together memorable moments from the show's archive, and a Best Of Top Gear collection from the popular car show. 'It's a fabulous new service for the BBC that makes it easy to browse, buy and download some of your favourite BBC programmes ever in much the same way as previously you owned them on DVD,' said Arthur. Prices will be clearly marked on the site and are described as 'broadly competitive', with series typically costing £6.99. Arthur told Newsbeat that he hoped, over time, to offer 'value-added material' to shows, that can be purchased as part of the episode or as an optional extra. At present the focus of the archive is on drama, comedy and factual entertainment - including a collection featuring some of Sir David Attenborough's most memorable documentaries - but in time, the BBC hopes to extend the service to include more content for children and more music programming. Children's classic Muffin The Mule is currently the oldest piece of content available. There will also an 'of its time' section to include content that might no longer be 'considered appropriate' for broadcast. The BBC said that consumers will still be able to access its shows through subscription services such as Netflix, and the BBC iPlayer would continue to offer a free catch-up service for thirty days after shows have been broadcast.

There will be a new Star Trek television series in January 2017. Alex Kurtzman, producer on the franchise's movie reboots, will serve as executive producer on the CBS Television Studios series, which will begin broadcasting just after Star Trek has celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2016. The next chapter of the Star Trek franchise will premiere its first US episode on the CBS Television Network and the series will then be available exclusively in the US on CBS's digital subscription VOD and live streaming service All Access. It will also be distributed around the world by CBS Studios International. The show will introduce new characters to the world of Star Trek, but will not be related to the upcoming big screen outing Star Trek Beyond, due to be released in cinemas during July 2016. 'There is no better time to give Star Trek fans a new series than on the heels of the original show's fiftieth anniversary celebration,' said David Stapf, President of CBS Television Studios. 'Everyone here has great respect for this storied franchise, and we're excited to launch its next television chapter in the creative mind and skilled hands of Alex Kurtzman, someone who knows this world and its audience intimately.' Alongside Kurtzman, Heather Kadin will serve as executive producer on the series, which will be produced in association with Kurtzman's Secret Hideout company. It will be the first original series developed specifically for CBS All Access, which already offers every episode of all previous five Star Trek television series for US audiences, Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. The first three or which were, broadly speaking, excellent. The latter two of which ... weren't. 'This new series will boldly go where no first-run Star Trek series has gone before - directly to its millions of fans through CBS All Access,' added Marc DeBevoise, the Executive Vice President of CBS Digital Media, who seemed to think he was being really funny with the use of that infamous split-infinitive. Stick to the day job, Marc mate, you're impressing no one. 'We've experienced terrific growth for CBS All Access, expanding the service across affiliates and devices in a very short time. We now have an incredible opportunity to accelerate this growth with the iconic Star Trek, and its devoted and passionate fan base, as our first original series.' Meanwhile, Star Trek Beyond has seen Justin Lin take over directing duties from JJ Abrams, who was behind the first two Star Trek movie reboots in 2009 and 2013. Lin directed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth films of the Fast & Furious franchise. So, that's four lines on a CV that you really want to brag about, isn't it? Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto will return to their lead roles, though plot details are being kept under wraps for now. Simon Pegg has teamed up with Doug Jung to work on the screenplay, which he has described as 'less Star Trek-y' than the previous two movies.
The BBC has announced that the next series of The Voice will be the last. The - not wholly surprising - announcement was made by Mark Linsey, the acting Director of Television on Saturday and cited the series having been 'poached' by another broadcast (ITV, one imagines). The statement said: 'The BBC is incredibly proud of The Voice, but the fifth series which starts in January will be our last. We always said we wouldn't get into a bidding war or pay inflated prices to keep the show, and it's testament to how the BBC has built the programme up - and established it into a mainstay of the Saturday night schedule - that another broadcaster has poached it.' Last month the BBC said that it had made a 'final' bid to keep the show for two more years. The show is currently made for the BBC by production companies Talpa and Wall to Wall. ITV bought Talpa for three hundred and fifty five million smackers earlier this year.

The BBC is to adapt Philip Pullman's epic fantasy trilogy of novels His Dark Materials into a new TV series. The ambitious project will be produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema, and will be filmed in Welsh Wales. Broadcast dates have yet to be announced. The His Dark Materials consists of the acclaimed and award-winning novels Northern Lights (1995), The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spyglass (2000). The series follows two children - Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry - as they travel through various parallel universes and meet a host of fantastical creatures including witches and armoured polar bears. Pullman said: 'It's been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media. It's been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel - and now comes this version for television. In recent years we've seen how long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game Of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterisation and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel. And the sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable. For all those reasons I'm delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials. I'm especially pleased at the involvement of Jane Tranter, whose experience, imagination and drive are second to none. As for the BBC, it has no stronger supporter than me. I couldn't be more pleased with this news.' Nicholas Hytner previously made a stage production of His Dark Materials for the National Theatre in 2003 to 2004. Two years later, a film adaptation of the first book - titled The Golden Compass - starred Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Dakota Blue Richards. Sequels of the second and third books in the series were shelved due to the disappointing financial performance of the film and the worldwide recession following the banking crisis.

The BBC has unveiled an impressive first trailer for its forthcoming BBC1 adaptation of War & Peace. An all-star cast, including Paul Dano, Lily James and James Norton, will appear in the six-part version of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel. Jim Broadbent, From The North favourite yer actual Gillian Anderson, Rebecca Front, Aneurin Barnard and Brian Cox are also among the huge ensemble cast.
In what is, perhaps, the least surprising TV news of the year so far, the hugely popular drama Doctor Foster will be returning to BBC1. The revenge thriller starring the wonderful Suranne Jones has been the highest-rated new TV drama of the year so far, attracting a consolidate average of 8.2m viewers across its three episodes. Series creator Mike Bartlett said: 'I've been astounded by the response to Doctor Foster, so I'm thrilled that alongside Drama Republic and the phenomenal Suranne Jones, we're now going to tell the next chapter in Gemma's story Her life in Parminster may look better on the surface, but as she will discover to her cost, every action has its consequences eventually. No-one comes through hell unscathed.' Suranne, who won much critical acclaim for her performance as the scorned Gemma Foster, added: 'I can't wait for the audience who invested in these characters to find out the explosive twists and turns Mike has in store. Now we can look into what happens to a woman after divorce, deceit and revenge has taken its toll.' Doctor Foster followed Jones's character as she uncovered her husband's affair with a younger mistress and plotted her retribution.
ITV's Collision is getting an American remake for NBC. Because, seemingly, no one working in US television has any original ideas anymore. Anthony Horowitz, creator and writer of the original 2009 series, will be working with CSI's Carol Mendelsohn to bring the project to TV screens in the US. Horowitz is writing the first two episodes of a proposed ten-episode series - double the length of the British original. 'Collision was one of the first genuine event dramas when it aired on ITV in 2009. Uniquely stripped across five continuous nights, it was watched and talked about by millions of viewers,' said producer Jill Green. 'We are delighted to now be working on a "local" version for NBC, as it was always Anthony's and my dream that the drama should exist on a larger scale and as a longer-length series. This is a country where it is routine to use your car to get everywhere - and never give it a second thought. The drama has universal, relatable characters and fuses together multiple genres.' Attracting overnight audiences of seven million, Collision told the story of a group of strangers whose lives were forever changed following a major road accident. When the police started their investigation, the strangers found themselves drawn into dangerous worlds including government cover-ups, smuggling, torn relationships and murder. There is also reportedly to be 'much early interest' in a US remake of ITV's Christopher Eccleston series Safe House.
Everything from Twin Peaks to The X-Files is returning to television in the near future - largely because, as noted, no one working in the US TV industry seems to be able to come up with any original ideas - but Dame Diana Rigg her very self has said that The Avengers should be left in the 1960s. Not that anybody with announce of credibility has suggests that it won't be. Well, except for the makers of that bloody awful 1998 movie version, that is.
Alan Davies has suggested that his - not particularly funny - Dave show As Yet Untitled would never be made by the BBC and ITV - who would be too 'terrified' to commission it. Either that, or they might consider that the vanity project is, actually, nowhere near as funny as it thinks it is. One or the other. The show sees a group of comedians sitting around and chatting about various tales, but the only preparation involved is that the guests bring one story with them. 'It's a dream job for me - I don't have to do any preparation,' Davies said. 'I have the same approach I have for Qi - the less I do, the better it is!' He went on to say: 'You would never get this to fly on the BBC or ITV. They would just be terrified: "What are you going to say?" "Don't know."' Davies suggested that there are still some nerves about the show, explaining: 'There's a surprising amount of talk about how many stories they should bring, what sort of stories, and at the beginning it was, "Maybe they should talk about something they like, something they don't like." Most of the time, though, they don't take a lot of prodding!' That's not the only thing that was up for debate, as Davies revealed: 'There's so much talk about the size of the table, the shape of the table, the kind of chairs - you would be amazed. We have had a couple of people make a séance gag. But in the first pilot there was a big table and big chairs and we came together and it was something like a sci-fi film with various leaders of the galaxies convening. So I think this is the optimum sized table for five people to sit around.' Alan also explained that there is, sometimes, some slight producer interference - but only so that the audience isn't too shocked too early. 'Last series I went to Julian Clary first and he had a very funny but quite shocking story about an incident in a gay club and afterwards I thought, "That might not have been the one I'd gone to first had I known! So I say, "Forewarn me" - they don't tell me what the stories are but they say, "That's a good one, that's a good one, that's a really funny one." So I have a little idea.' That didn't stop the horrifying Bob Mortimer story in the first series about his testicles coming off worse in a fight with some goalposts - and Bob, despite his recent heart bypass operation, will be back this series. 'The thing with Bob is, you never know if it's true or not,' Davies said. 'Bob's the best contestant they've ever had on Would I Lie To You? Because you just really never know if what he's saying is true or not. And he's got the cheekiest, twinkliest face. It was lovely having him back on. He doesn't snag his scrotum in series three!' Davies explained that he still has a few people on his guest wish-list, including Kathy Burke, Paul Whitehouse and Chris Rock, and previewed some of the stories from the new series of As Yet Untitled. 'Nick Helm, who's just a joy of a person, met Captain Kirk and there's photographic evidence of it and it's really, really funny,' he said. 'And Olivia Lee's stuff about her grandmother giving her advice on underwear is hysterical - and again, there's photographic evidence. It's not Olivia Lee in her underwear for any men reading and getting their hopes up!' But, Davies suggested that the real success of As Yet Untitled centres on the fact that it feels like a pub from the past. 'It's very unusual to sit for any length of time nowadays without somebody getting their phone out,' he said. 'I did a comedy gig about a year ago for a couple of friends of mine I know who are in their twenties. They're very good-looking boys, these two, one of them's a ballet dancer. So all their female friends were really good-looking and in their twenties and I'm watching them all sitting round the table, and they're all looking at their phones, all eight of them. Four boys and four girls. And I want to go over and slap these boys and say, "Look at what's in front of you! Get off your phone! She's three feet away, look!"'
Jeremy Clarkson's handbags-at-ten-paces 'fracas' with a producer showed 'a lack of respect' for the production team behind the show, a Top Gear script editor has whinged. Richard Porter, who worked on the programme for thirteen years years - keyword 'worked', past tense, one imagines - has written about the punch which ended Clarkson's time on the BBC show in a - rather snitchy - new behind-the-scenes book. Don't bother buying it, dear blog reader, just wait until a couple of weeks after Christmas and you'll be able to pick one up for a quid in Poundland. Clarkson was suspended by the broadcaster on 10 March after punching producer Oisin Tymon during a row over a steak dinner after a day filming, before the corporation announced Jezza's contract would not be renewed. In the book called And On That Bombshell: Inside The Madness & Genius Of Top Gear, Porter wrote: 'Jeremy had let us down.' He went on: 'We'd happily work long and late, trying to find a unicorn, a Talbot Samba and a cat that looked like Kylie Minogue if that's what Jeremy wanted. But when the reward for the team's hard work was a smack in the chops, that suggested a lack of respect for the people who worked so tirelessly to make his vision a reality.' Porter wrote about when Clarkson came to the Top Gear office to apologise to the team. 'He didn't sit down or even take his jacket off. He just told us he'd made a confession to management and that he was sorry to all of us. With that he left the office for what would be the very last time. I was furious. Properly, knee-jigglingly, teeth-grindingly furious. His apology seemed half-hearted and feeble, like a child saying the word sorry because they know it's what the adults want to hear, rather than a sincere reflection of remorse.' Porter said that in the weeks after the furore he felt 'as if someone had died.' On the book's page on Amazon, it says: 'I was Top Gear's script editor for thirteen years and all twenty two series. I basically used to check spelling and think of stupid gags about The Stig. I also got to hang around with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. It didn't feel like something you should get paid for. From the disastrous pilot show of 2002 to the sudden and unexpected ending in 2015, working on Top Gear was quite a rollercoaster ride.'

Louis Theroux is to make a second BBC documentary about Jimmy Savile in an attempt to discover how the disgraced former DJ and dirty rotten old scallywag and filthy rotten rotter was able to hide his sick and sordid crimes for so long. The film-maker first visited the subject fifteen years ago in one of his best-known documentaries, When Louis Met Jimmy. He has since said that he felt 'a burden of responsibility' for failing to unmask Savile as a kiddie-fiddlerand rapist. During the three months of filming in 1999 and 2000, Theroux struck up a friendship with Savile which lasted until 2004, even occasionally staying at his home. This time, the BBC said that Theroux will speak to Savile's friends - or those few people that are still willing to describe themselves as 'friends', anyway - family and victims to discover how he was able to commit his crimes. 'At the time, [Theroux] knew there was more to [Savile] than met the eye and, while he succeeded in showing a different side of Jimmy Savile, the darkest side of this hugely complex celebrity eluded him,' the BBC said. While Theroux was unable to fully expose the truth about Savile in that first film, he did confront him over several sexual abuse allegations, which Savile denied. Earlier this year, Theroux said that he had been 'trying to work out' how he 'missed the truth' about Savile, which finally came to light in 2012 after Savile's death. 'I feel a sense of responsibility,' he said. Speaking on the comedian Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre podcast, Theroux said: 'I think none of us wants to believe that someone we know is a sex offender. I knew when I was making it there was his sexual side that I had not fully understood.' The BBC said that Theroux would try to 'understand the personality of a man who was able to commit such a spectrum of sexual crimes; how someone he once called a friend used his celebrity status to commit these crimes and how the power of this public image afforded him immunity.' It added: 'Louis will also explore the impact those crimes had on his victims, and the legacy of their revelations. How exactly did Jimmy Savile get away with it for all those years?' Kim Shillinglaw, the controller of BBC2, said that she was 'please' to see Theroux 'revisiting this important – and deeply personal - subject for us, asking difficult questions about the life of Jimmy Savile and those around him and exploring the impact his crimes had on his victims.'

It's a good job Angela Constance is not in charge of anything important. Oh, hang on ... she is. The SNP MP and Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Education asked to start her interview on BBC Scotland's Sunday Politics again, without realising it was a live broadcast. At the beginning of her interview with Gordon Brewer, Constance made the mistake of calling 2012 'twenty thousand and twelve' before apologising and asking: 'Are we able to do that again?' Brewer agreed before dropping the bombshell that 'we are live, by the way.' Her reaction was priceless.
The BBC is 'understood' to have shelved plans to potentially shut its twenty four-hour news channel. At least according to the Gruniad Morning Star so that's probably wrong. The corporation had been exploring plans to make the BBC News TV channel online-only and replacing it with a mobile streaming service if further cuts needed to be made. The total costs associated with running the channel are in excess of one hundred and ten million smackers a year, including production, newsgathering, content, distribution and infrastructure. However, it is understood a review of the cost benefits of closing the TV channel found that it was likely to only save perhaps fifteen to sixteen million notes annually, not as big a saving as expected. This is because a lot of the costs associated with the channel would not directly translate into savings because they would have to be reassigned to other areas of news. It is understood that Director General Tony Hall, who launched BBC News Twenty Four and BBC News Online and went on to hold the post of chief executive of the news operation, was personally involved in the decision process. The BBC Trust has also seen the outcome of the review of the cost-benefit analysis of potentially shutting the channel and similarly believe the case is not strong, the Gruniad claim. In September, Hall outlined plans to move towards a mobile-focused streaming news service, called BBC Newstream, which would deliver more video-based stories 'complemented by audio, graphics and text live from BBC News.'

The rumours weren't greatly exaggerated, number one - Cold Feet will return to our screens in 2016. Fay Ripley has confirmed a new series of the ITV comedy-drama, which followed the lives of three couples going through the highs-and-lows of romance and friendship. 'I think we're off and away, I think we can say that,' Ripley told the Mirra. 'My only hesitation is that one hopes it's not going to be rubbish.' In August, rumours increased about a potential return for the show as James Nesbitt, Hermione Norris and John Thomson were thought to be in talks. Ripley admits to having 'no idea' where the new series will find the characters, but joked that she hopes it hasn't been written that her character has 'got very thin. Ten years have passed, anything could have happened,' she explained. 'I still have a relationship with John [Thomson]. I reckon we'll pretty much pick up where we were. We're still friends. The fondness we have for each other is probably key to that character. That's if they're still married? Who knows?'
A BBC Trust director has suggested that Ofcom - a politically appointed quango, elected by no one - is 'not equipped' to regulate the BBC because the corporation is held to a 'different standard of accuracy and impartiality' than the broadcasting watchdog applies to commercial rivals. Alex Towers said that he is 'agnostic' on exactly who should regulate the BBC – the BBC Trust, Ofcom, 'OfBeeb' or a hybrid of all three – but went on to make a case for why Ofcom's current remit is not equipped to handle the corporation. 'The BBC is consistently held to a different standard on accuracy and impartiality than other broadcasters,' he said, speaking at a Westminster Media Forum on Thursday. 'Even where there is currently parallel regulation between Ofcom and the Trust, around editorial standards, there is no easy assumption that functions can simply be transferred from one to another.' Towers went on to point out, for example, that Ofcom's regulation of accuracy only applies to news and that about half of the two hundred and eighty six editorial standards cases that the BBC Trust dealt with last year would not have been considered by Ofcom under its current remit. 'The BBC Trust regulates all BBC content, broadcast and online, to exactly the same standards, whereas Ofcom does not regulate broadcasters' online content in the same way that they regulate broadcast output,' he added. 'It would seem perverse if independent regulation [of the BBC] led to a diminution of the standards that are applied to the BBC.' The BBC Trust's thinly-veiled critique of Ofcom prompted the broadcasting watchdog to offer a response pointing out it has the 'same high standards' of regulation as the corporation's governing body. One or two people even believed them. 'Ofcom and the BBC both hold the same high standards for dealing with impartiality and accuracy issues,' claimed an Ofcom spokesman, unconvincingly. 'The BBC [Trust] applies the same standard, but to a broader range of programmes and services. These can range from news and current affairs, as well as its online content.' In July, Ofcom chief executive Sharon White pointed out that it already regulates aspects of the BBC's output, such as harm and offence issues, and if the government wanted to extend its responsibilities to bias and impartiality 'we will do the best possible job.' The BBC Trust also published additional information as part of its response to the government's consultation on the corporation's charter review on Thursday. In the seventy two-page submission, the Trust argues that 'not everything' that has gone wrong at the corporation should be blamed on its governance model. 'There are some important lessons to learn from some of the things that have gone wrong in the current charter period,' it said. 'It is also vital not to lose the things that have worked well and to recognise that not every error or mistake should be attributed to the governance model.' Towers said that he was 'never convinced' by the argument that the BBC Trust is 'both cheerleader and regulator', rather that it has been the corporation's 'conscience'. The Trust's submission also argues that BBC Worldwide should not be sold or privatised and that a new set of public purposes should be drawn up, including specific commitments on distinctiveness and entertainment.

Channel Four's Gogglebox and its one-off programme The Paedophile Hunter were among the winners at the forty third British Documentary Awards on Monday of this week. The awards celebrate documentaries from Britain and abroad that 'have made a significant contribution to the genre.' Gogglebox, which films people watching and discussing the week's TV, was named most entertaining documentary. The Paedophile Hunter, investigating online child grooming, was named best documentary on a contemporary theme. The programme, which was screened last year, was led by self-styled undercover reporter Stinson Hunter, who posed online as an under-age child. He was subsequently approached by men sending explicit messages, videos and pictures and arranging to meet. The jury of the awards, run by The Grierson Trust, praised the programme for its 'provocative and confident' take on the issue. Overall, Channel Four had a good night at the awards ceremony. Its programme Curing Cancer won best science or natural history documentary. The Romanians Are Coming, exploring the lives of Romanians trying to make a new life for themselves in Britain, won best documentary series. Grayson Perry won best documentary presenter for the channel's three-part series Who Are You? in which the artist met different individuals and groups of people in an exploration of the meaning of identity. He went on to make portraits of his subjects. Jury chairperson Lorraine Heggessey - former BBC1 controller - said: 'Grayson is an interviewer who gets under the skin of his subjects and an artist who captures their essence. He's one of our greatest national treasures.' The BBC won two awards with BBC3 programmes Our War: Goodbye Afghanistan, named best documentary on current affairs, and Our World War: The First Day, taking the title of best historical documentary. The Grierson Awards commemorate the pioneering Scottish documentary film-maker John Grierson, famous for Drifters and Night Mail, and the man widely regarded as the father of the documentary.

Police in Frankfurt have extremely raided the headquarters of the German Football Association over allegations of tax evasion linked to the 2006 World Cup, prosecutors say. The homes of DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach, his predecessor Theo Zwanziger, and former Secretary General Horst Schmid, were also searched. It follows reports that a secret €6.7m slush fund was set up to secure votes for Germany to host the World Cup. The DFB denied the claims last month. One or two people believed them. In a statement, the prosecutor's office said that it had 'opened a probe' into claims of serious tax evasion and other general alleged naughtiness linked to the awarding of the World Cup to Germany in 2006. It said it was investigating the alleged transfer of €6.7m from 'the organising committee for the DFB to the FIFA football association.' Niersbach has denied the allegations, claiming instead that the sum was used to 'secure larger FIFA funding.' He claimed that the deal was 'agreed at a private meeting' between suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Franz Beckenbauer, the president of the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup. But, speaking to Der Spiegel, Zwanziger accused his successor of lying, saying it was 'clear that a slush fund existed.' Beckenbauer said last week that he had 'made a mistake' in the bidding process in 2000 to host the 2006 World Cup, but denied that votes were 'bought.' A former World Cup-winning captain and ex-Germany coach, Beckenbauer instead supported Niersbach's claim that a payment was used to unlock FIFA subsidies. 'In order to receive a financial subsidy from FIFA, it was agreed to accept a recommendation from FIFA's finance committee, which from today's perspective, should have been rejected,' he said. The UK's Serious Fraud Office is currently investigating money laundering claims against FIFA. German tax authorities are probing the DFB over allegations of a secret payment to secure votes to host the 2006 World Cup. In December 2014, FIFA chose not to release its own investigation into the bidding process that awarded the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. In its report in October, Der Spiegel said that the DFB fund to buy votes was set up using money loaned by late Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus. FIFA said in a statement that it would investigate the 'serious allegations.' World football's governing body has, for months, been engulfed by the biggest corruption scandal in its history. In May, fourteen current and former officials and sports marketing executives were indicted by the US Department of Justice on charges of 'rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted' corruption. Meanwhile, a separate Swiss investigation began looking into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Then, last month, FIFA's outgoing President Blatter - who is, obviously not a complete and utter crook - was provisionally suspended, along with Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Vice-President Michel Platini, amid further allegations of corruption, wickedness and scummish bad behaviour. Blatter is under investigation by Swiss prosecutors over allegations that he signed a contract that was 'unfavourable to FIFA' and made a 'disloyal payment' to Platini, also head of European football's governing body, UEFA.

West Yorkshire Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over the 1985 Bradford City fire disaster. Fifty-six people died and more than two hundred and fifty others were injured at the Valley Parade stadium. A recent book by the author Martin Fletcher has suggested that several suspicious fires had started at businesses which were owned by the club's then chairman. The IPCC said it had not yet decided if it would be investigating. Fletcher, who was at the game on 11 May 1985 and lost several family members, claims that the stadium fire was one of at least nine which happened at companies owned or associated with Stafford Heginbotham. The Popplewell inquiry, held three weeks after the disaster, ruled that the fire was started by accident by a spectator dropping a cigarette or a lighted match which ignited rubbish that had accumulated under an old timber stand. The IPCC said that the police referral was 'in relation to the force's actions during the disaster itself and the investigations that followed.' Since the publication of Fletcher's book, West Yorkshire Police said that it had identified what evidence was still available from its original enquiries and discovered 'a lot of material' had been retained. The force said that it understood its decision would 'bring back painful memories' for people who were at the fire or who lost loved ones, but it was 'important the concerns raised by Mister Fletcher are addressed.' Fletcher, who was twelve at the time of the blaze, escaped from the stand at Valley Parade, but his father, uncle, grandfather and younger brother were all killed.

A feature-length profile of Oasis is to be produced by the team behind the record-breaking film about Amy Winehouse. The film will 'document the journey from the moment in 1991 when Noel Gallagher joined his brother Liam's band' to their acrimonious split. According to a statement, the film-makers have been given 'unprecedented access' to the band and their archives. Amy director Asif Kapadia has taken a production role on the film. Mat Whitecross will direct, having previously made The Stone Roses' film Spike Island - a fictional story about a wannabe rock band who tried to get their demo tape into the hands of their idols at their seminal outdoor show near Widnes. He also won acclaim for Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, his whimsical, mischievous biopic of Ian Dury, with a head-turning central performance by Andy Serkis. Amy broke box-office records on its release earlier this year, eventually becoming the highest-grossing British documentary of all time, with takings of £5.4 million. Oasis's story is, of course, less tragic and much more convoluted - and, probably funnier as well. And, with better tunes. Initially called Rain, they were signed to Alan McGee's Creation Records in 1993. A year later their debut CD, Definitely Maybe topped the charts - but the Gallagher brothers' fractious relationship was already a story even then. In September 1994, Noel walked out of the band after Liam made offensive remarks about American audiences, hitting him over the head with a tambourine during a Los Angeles gig. They reconciled to record the career-defining CD (What's The Story) Morning Glory and, by 1996, were able to play two sold-out gigs at Knebworth, watched by two hundred and fifty thousand fans. Including this blogger who was also at Maine Road and Whitley Bay the same year. Over the next decade, the band scored eight UK number one singles, fifteen NME Awards, five Brit Awards, nine Q Awards and four MTV Europe Music Awards. But there was a constant backdrop of squabbles and in-fighting between Liam and Noel. Things eventually came to a head backstage in Paris in 2009, after a row about Liam's fashion business led to a violent dressing room clash and Noel leaving the band.

This year's annual offensively twee and over-sentimental John Lewis Christmas advert has received a mixed reaction in Friday's newspapers and an even more angry one from music-lovers. Having, in previous years, used a soundtrack of horrifyingly bland and drippy cover versions of songs by The Smiths and Frankie Goes To Hollywood by anonymous, simpering-voiced girl singers who could do with a damned good hard slap in the mush with a wet kipper this year, they've only been and gone and done it again, haven't they? The new one features a truly wretched cover of Oasis's 'Half A World Away'. As the Independent's Christopher Hooton asked: 'Will next year's advert see a puppy stranded in the snow at Christmas, howling as he looks longingly in on a family's Christmas dinner, while Sam Smith murdering Johnny Cash's cover of 'Hurt' plays in the background?' I wouldn't bet against it, frankly. Hanging - until they're very sorry and promise never to do it again - is, simply, too good for these people.
Meanwhile, boring beige hippies Coldplay have revealed their seventh CD, A Head Full Of Dreams, will be released on 4 December. So, that'll be well-worth avoiding, then. The band previously hinted that it could be their last. And, when they did that, truly, there was rejoicing among music-lovers everywhere.
Sir Cliff Richard has been re-interviewed by police investigating alleged sexual assaults, his spokesman has said. The entertainer was interviewed under caution last year by detectives investigating a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s. He has never been arrested or charged with any offence and his spokesman said that the allegations were 'completely false' and Cliff had 'co-operated fully' when he voluntarily met South Yorkshire Police this week. 'Other than restating that the allegations are completely false and that he will continue to co-operate fully with the police, it would not be appropriate for Sir Cliff to say anything further at this time,' the spokesman said. Sir Cliff was first interviewed last summer, after a high-profile police raid on his apartment in Berkshire. Since then, police have confirmed to a parliamentary committee that their investigation has 'expanded', but said that this meant no date could be given for when it would be concluded. The singer has described the claims he faces as 'absurd and untrue.' It is not known what police questioned Sir Cliff about on this occasion. Although, whether he ever did find out the forwarding address that Carrie had moved to after she left her room on the second floor is thought to be one possibility. Not a strong one, admittedly, but a lot of us would quite like to know.

The Oscar-winning writer and actor Colin Welland has died aged eighty one after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for several years, his family has announced. Welland won an Oscar for best original screenplay for Chariots Of Fire in 1982. He, infamously, used his acceptance speech to declare: 'The British are coming.' But, they weren't. Earlier in his career, as an actor, Colin won a BAFTA for playing the sympathetic English teacher Mister Farthing in Ken Loach's Kes in 1969. Teaching was a former occupation that Colin shared with his fellow Kes actor Brian Glover and the movie's writer, Barry Hines. If you've never seen it, here's Vic and Bob's sixty second adaptation. Colin had found fame earlier that decade when he played Constable David Graham in Z Cars. He went on to successfully combine acting and writing and scooped a BAFTA TV Award for writing the Play For Today Kisses At Fifty in 1972. His other screenplays included Your Man From Six Counties, Leeds United, Jack Point and The Hallelujah Handshake for the BBC and Tales Of Piccadilly: A Room Full Of Holes, Roll On Four O'Clock, Bangelstein's Boys and Say Goodnight To Your Grandma for ITV. His film writing credits included 1979's Yanks, which starred Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Gere, A Dry White Summer and 1985's Twice In A Lifetime. As an actor, he played a vicar in Dustin Hoffman's 1971 thriller Straw Dogs and appeared in both the TV version and the big screen adaptation of The Sweeney and 1980s sitcom Cowboys, about incompetent builders. He also had a memorable role in Dennis Potter's 1979 play Blue Remembered Hills. 'The reaction to Chariots Of Fire from America was: who wants a story about two athletes from 1924?' he wrote in an article for the Gruniad Morning Star in 2001. 'When we showed it at Twickenham, a Hollywood producer left after ten minutes, came back at the end and said that they wouldn't have anything to do with it. When it won four Oscars, I don't know where he hid himself.' If his heralded arrival of the Brits didn't quite materialise, Colin did write some other worthy films - Twice In A Lifetime (1985) was an effective blue-collar drama starring Gene Hackman, A Dry White Season (1989) starred Donald Sutherland and dealt with the cruelties imposed by apartheid in South Africa (co-written with Euzhan Palcy) and War Of The Buttons (1994) was an offbeat and entertaining tale of warring children. His last acting credit was in a 1998 episode of TV drama Bramwell. Born Colin Williams in Leigh, he grew up as a child in the Kensington area of Liverpool. Before becoming an actor, he taught art at Manchester Road Secondary Modern school in Leigh, where he was known as Ted Williams because of his Teddy Boy curly hair style. Amongst his pupils was the future author John Sutton. In a statement released via his literary agent Anthony Jones, his family said: 'Colin will be desperately missed by his family and friends. Alzheimer's is a cruel illness and there have been difficult times but in the end Colin died peacefully in his sleep. We are proud of Colin's many achievements during his life but most of all he will be missed as a loving and generous friend, husband, father and granddad.' Colin, who died on Monday, is survived by his wife Patricia, whom he married in 1962, four daughters - Genevieve, Catherine, Caroline and Christie - and six grandchildren.

The former England cricketer Tom Graveney has died at the age of eighty eight. An elegant batsman, Graveney played seventy nine tests for England, scoring eleven centuries and averaging over forty four runs per innings. He scored more than forty seven thousand first-class runs - including one hundred and twenty two hundreds - in a career which stretched from 1948 to 1972 and included spells at Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Queensland. After retiring, he became a BBC commentator and served as the two hundredth president of the MCC in 2005. He was the first former professional cricketer to be appointed to the post. Tom captained England once at the age of forty one, deputising for Colin Cowdrey against Australia at Headingley in 1968. His older brother, Ken, died recently at the age of ninety. Both were former Gloucestershire captains. Tom was Worcestershire president from 1994-98 and remained a regular visitor to New Road. In a statement, the club said that Tom had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for some time. Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale said: 'He was one of the stalwarts of our first two championship triumphs and will be hugely missed by everyone at Worcestershire CCC and by cricket as a whole.' Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott said that he fulfilled a childhood ambition by playing alongside Graveney for England. 'He was my boyhood hero and I ended up batting with him - first at Lord's in 1966. He got ninety six and I got sixty,' he told BBC 5Live. 'He was an aesthetic player as well, he was lovely on the eye because he played gorgeous cover drives. He made one hundred and twenty-odd first-class hundreds, so that shows he could seriously play.' BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew said Graveney was 'renowned as a great stylist' and later, was a 'forthright pundit. I knew him as someone who loved cricket, someone who really loved talking about the game,' said Agnew. 'He would sit in the bar and just talk for hours about the modern game and how he used to play. He had pretty strong opinions. He would talk a lot about some of the West Indian throwers he faced in his batting days and how he thoroughly disapproved of that, but he was a real gentleman. I think that's what he'll be remembered for as much as for the style that he brought to the crease.' England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves said: 'I count myself privileged to have seen Tom Graveney bat. He was one of the game's great stylists; a batsman whose name became synonymous with elegance and whose perfectly executed cover drive will live long in the memory of those who saw it. He was also a true gentleman; someone who served our county game with distinction and who, later in life, gave back much to the game he so dearly loved by becoming MCC president.'

Don't you just love it, dear blog reader, when that hideous slaphead Tory snob and arsewipe Lord Snooty says something utterly stupid in public and then gets slapped down for it by academics? Case in point from this week's The Times ...
You tell 'im, Norm!

Bill Bailey's tour bus, stolen during his recent gig in Liverpool, has been found. Just in case you were worried. This is particularly bad news for the dozens of hasbeen pop stars who were about to record a charity record to raise funds (and their own profile). It was going to be a version of 'Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey's Bus.' Come on! Aw, suit yerselves. Anyway, Merseyside Police were called after the Mercedes Sprinter was taken from outside Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 26 October. Officers said that a vehicle discovered in the Tuebrook area three days later has since been identified as the tour bus in question. The comic has tweeted his thanks to the police and the 'good people of Liverpool' for their help. Except for the twat whole stole it, obviously. Bill's manager said that the van had been given false number plates and had suffered 'minor' crash damage. A laptop, several bags and suitcases belonging to the crew remain missing, he added. Merseyside Police said that they were continuing to search for a man pictured in CCTV images released after the theft. And that when they find him, they'll be giving him a severe talking to.

Today for us dinner at Stately Telly Topping Manor, Thai curry tempura king prawn and chicken with wild rice, chiliis, garlic, ginger and spring onion. Oh yes.
This blogger was always a big fan of Bonfire Night as a kid, dear blog reader. These days, with Stately Telly Topping being stuck in the middle of about four families with young children, the fireworks tend to start early and go on most of the night. Which isn't too bad except that there tends to reach a peak period around 7pm where all four parties are going more or less simultaneously and Walker sounds like downtown Mogadishu! As, indeed, it did on Thursday evening.
And now, dear blog reader, the important news ...
Congratulations are - considerably - due to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's many old muckers at BBC Newcastle whom, this week, won the annual Gillard Award for the BBC local station of the year for the second time in four years. (They also won in 2011 when yer actual was still doing some Top Telly Tipping there.) The Real Madrid of local radio, clearly. It'll be the Champions League next, mark my words. Mind you, the legend that is Alfie Joey his very self, the housewives choice could, at least, have smartened himself up a bit for the ceremony, don't you think? Worn a nice tie like young Razor or Doug Morris or even run a comb through his hair, like Uncle Scunthorpe Drayton appears to have done. Y'scruff, Joey, letting the side down there.
Final item for this latest bloggerisation; it's that time of the year when Remembrance Day is just around the corner, dear blog reader. This blogger, as it happens, buys a poppy each year. I have done for about the last twenty years or so (roughly since my late father died in the early 1990s). I do it in specific remembrance of members of my family who fought in both The Great War and The Replay - notably, my dad (who served, with incredible bravery at the age of just twenty one, in the Royal Artillery at Dunkirk), my grandfather (who was at Passchendaele and then with the British Expeditionary Force in the Soviet Union in 1919) and, his brother, my great uncle Bob, who died in the first battle of Ypres. I - genuinely - do not mind other people not wearing one (as I didn't myself for several years), or wearing a white one to signify their belief in pacifism, that's individual choice and is, after all, an example of what we were supposed to be fighting for in both of those conflicts. I entirely agree with the broadcaster Jon Snow in so much as I loathe the awkward 'politicisation' of the act of wearing a poppy these days and I try never to make my own wearing of one into a political act. Although that's actually rather difficult, particularly in times of current conflict. If, for example, you ask one hundred random people wearing a poppy on the street why they are doing so, I can guarantee that a percentage - and a decent sized percentage, at that - will state that they are wearing a poppy to support members of the armed forces currently serving abroad (perhaps family members, perhaps just support generally). And, that's fine too, I have no problem with that, but it does - by the very nature of the fact that the conflict or conflicts are current - make the poppy into a political symbol whether we want it to be or not, something that it was never meant to be; I hate the way that the Daily Scum Mail have made such an issue of the poppy over the last few years so that now virtually everybody appearing on the BBC is so shit-scared of what will be said if they don't wear one that they all do, whether they want to or not. That's, surely, the very definition of what we were fighting against between 1939 and 1945 - forcing people to do something that they don't want to do? Then again, let's all remember exactly whom the Daily Scum Mail were such big - and vocal - fans of in the years immediately prior to the outbreak of war. I agreed with FIFA (probably for the only time in my life on any issue) over their request that the England team did not wear a poppy on their shirts a few years ago when they were playing an international on a date near to 11 November as the entire debate had the contentiousness to be turned into a political issue by those with an agenda (as, indeed, it was on that occasion, by members of the BNP) though I was glad that a sensible compromise was reached in the end. (The England team, with FIFA's support, wore poppies on an armband rather than on their strip.) So, point of all this is, I admire the Royal British Legion's laudable attitude towards the issue of wearing a poppy which is, essentially, 'wear one, wear a white one, don't wear one, whatever you like, it's a free country and it's your choice. But, whatever you do, please spare a thought - however briefly - for those who fought and died to keep it a free country and to give you the opportunity to exercise that right of choice.' I'm a big fan of the British Legion personally. But, and this this very important, if you do wear one and criticise those who don't, or, don't wear one and criticise those who do, or, worst of all as far as I'm concerned, wear one of one colour and criticise those who wear one of another like you're morally superior then, frankly, you can fuck off from this blog and don't come back because I think you are scum. You are pissing on the graves of people who are better than will ever be in a million years and this blogger does not want to be associated with you or even know you exist. Here endeth the lesson.

For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear bog reader, let Gorgeous introduce your instructions for the week.

No comments: