Wednesday, December 16, 2015

T'was The Bloggerisation Before The Bloggerisation Before Christmas

Yer actual Peter Capaldi has said that he would happily make more episodes of Doctor Who each year, if he was allowed to. But, unfortunately, the BBC currently haven't got a pot to piss in thanks to getting lumbered with paying for pensioners licence-fees and, therefore, thirteen will have to do. Speaking in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Peter states: 'I'm shocked at the speed at which it's going. I've done twenty six episodes already and I don't know how that happened. I'm amazed that people ask me all the time, when I am going? It makes you feel very unwelcome! "Please, when are you leaving?" Or, someone said this morning, "You're only doing six episodes next year because you're too tired?" I don't know where they've made this stuff up from.' Well, actually, it was notorious self-confessed phone-hackers the Daily Mirra that made that particular story up, Peter if you're really interested. 'Six episodes?! That's not what I'm contracted to do. And I would do twenty episodes if they let me. I could do Doctor Who all the year round, quite happily.'
We've spent the past decade following The Doctor on his many adventures, flitting backwards and forwards through space and time – but how do they all fit together? That's the question which Steven Richter has done his best to answer on YouTube, by editing Doctor Who series one to nine into a chronological order and taking viewers on an adventure through space and, more specifically, time. It's a dirt job, dear blog reader, but someone has to do it.
Live +7 Figures are now available for the first half of Doctor Who's ninth series. The Live+7 figure is calculated by the BBC to try to get a more accurate estimate of the total unique audience for an episode of a programme than merely through overnights or consolidated figures. Unlike official BARB figures, the Live+7 uses data to include those who watched one of the broadcast repeats of the episode and those who watched the episode on iPlayer within seven days of the original transmission. The figures show an average of sixty percent of the audience watch Doctor Who on the day of transmission, either as a live broadcast or as delayed viewing later in the evening via a PVR device of some description. A further twenty seven per cent of the audience watch the programme, via a recording, within seven days of the original transmission. Twelve per cent now watch on iPlayer, up from an average of nine per cent last year. The numbers watching a scheduled repeat has dropped sharply this year, from an average of four per cent last year, to an average of just 1.3 per cent per episode this. It appears from these figures as though, with on-demand services now so readily available, the audience no longer needs to seek out a scheduled repeat to catch up with the programme. The decline of the audience watching on BBC3 has caused the BBC to cancel the regular repeats from episode four onwards this year. The only other repeat was the late night, signed version on BBC2, which had an average audience of around forty thousand viewers per episode. Overall Doctor Who's total Live +7 ratings are down around one and half million punters on the 2014 figures, to average a total of approximately 6.8 million viewers for each episode. Further analysis of the Appreciation Index figures are also available, with a marked difference in appreciation between different age groups. The sixteen to thirty four age group appeared to enjoy the series more than the over fifty five group. While there have been small differences in AI figures previous years, the contrast this year is larger, with the lower age group scoring the series around five points higher than the older viewers. The most marked difference was for the penultimate, Heaven Sent, which scored an AI figure of eighty five for viewers aged sixteen to thirty four, but only seventy six for those aged over fifty five. The female viewers rated the series slightly higher than the male viewers, although the programme is now watched by slightly more male viewers than female with an average of fifty two per cent of the audience being male, in contrast to a rough fifty-fifty split in past years. The AI panel was also asked questions on how they see the series, with around fifty nine per cent thinking it is high quality and fifty per cent felt it was 'fresh and new.' Around twenty per cent of the audience felt the initial stories were 'thought provoking', with the figure rising to over thirty per cent near the end of the series. One per cent found them 'offensive.' Why, God only knows.
What's even cooler than going into space? Having The Doctor counting you down to blast off, of course. Astronaut Tim Peake became the first Briton to reach the International Space Station on Tuesday. And, Major Tim did it with a little help from yer actual Peter Capaldi. The Doctor was just one of a number of BBC stars counting down to launch in this special video.
Sherlock is back in action in the Victorian special The Abominable Bride this Christmas - you might have heard - and now a new trailer has given viewers a closer look at the ghostly adversary. The avenging ghost looks terrifying in the new clip. Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch looks out into the Victorian London Street, introducing the clip, by saying: 'The stage is set. The curtain rises. We are ready to begin.' Viewers then see some spooky footage of the titular veiled bride.
And, on a related note, the lead characters from Sherlock, Luther and The Fall are all,seemingly, trying to crack the same case in an imaginative new BBC Drama teaser. Thanks to some digital trickery, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, John Luther and Stella Gibson all appear at the scene of the same crime. The trailer promotes new episodes of all three From The North favourites coming in the months ahead across the BBC channels.
The X Factor recorded its lowest-ever ratings for a final on Saturday night, according to overnight figures. Which, one trusts made Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads look particularly sour-faced - like he'd been chewing a lemon, for instance - when he received the grizzly news. The ITV singing competition slumped to below six million overnight viewers in its 8pm timeslot, as 5.72 million watched the top three artists perform. This figure is down more than two million punters compared to the Saturday final in 2014 (which attracted an overnight audience of 8.14 million). On BBC1, Strictly Come Dancing continued with 9.67 million viewers from 6.50pm, including Jay McGuiness with Aliona Vilani's now-infamous Doctor Who influenced routine. The latest episode of Casualty was watched by 4.32 million and Match Of The Day averaged 2.97 million punters. ITV's The Jonathan Ross Show appealed to but 2.44 million. On BBC2, the latest Dad's Army repeat entertained two million viewers before Qi XL was seen by 1.05 million.
The X Factor's latest run ended with a series overnight high for Sunday night's final. An overnight audience of 8.21m tuned in from 8pm on ITV to see Louisa Johnson's victory, along with performances from One Direction, Coldplay and Adele. Really rotten ones in the case of the first two. However, overnight ratings for the final were down by a million punters on last year's comparative ratings of 9.22m. Although The X Factor slightly narrowed the gap to its primetime rival, Strictly Come Dancing, it was the BBC1 show which continued to rule Sunday night and give The X Factor a, metaphorical, golden shower. In the mouth. Anita Rani's elimination from the dance competition was seen by 10.81m - the second-highest overnight ratings of the year so far for Strictly. Elsewhere on BBC1, Countryfile continued with 7.28m from 6.20pm, while Antiques Roadshow picked up 6.12m from 8pm. David Attenborough's The Hunt concluded with 3.83m at 9pm. ITV's Jekyll & Hyde continued to struggle with but 1.73m at 7pm. A BBC2 Horizon special on the British astronaut Tim Peake brought nine hundred and seventy eight thousand viewers to the channel at 8pm. Monty Don's The Secret History Of The British Garden finished with 1.2m at 9pm, while Professor Green's BBC3 documentary Suicide & Me attracted four hundred and seventy seven thousand with a repeat broadcast at 10pm. Channel Four's Britain's Wildest Weather 2015 brought in 1.05m at 7.30pm, followed by 1.06m for Homeland at 9pm. On Channel Five, the Albert Finney and Alec Guinness movie Scrooge was seen by seven hundred and eighteen thousand viewers at 7.45pm.

The final and consolidated numbers for the Top Twenty programmes, for week-ending Sunday 6 December are as follows:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 11.93m
2 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) - Sun ITV - 10.61m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.46m
4 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 7.40m
5 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.25m
6 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.10m
7 The Apprentice - Wed BBC1 - 6.77m
8 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 6.30m
9 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 6.17m
10 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 5.79m*
11 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 5.61m
12 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.46m
13 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.40m
14 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 4.89m
15 The Hunt - Sun BBC1 - 4.86m
16 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.52m
17 Capital - Tues BBC1 - 4.38m
18 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.36m
19 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.24m
20 The ONE Show - Thurs BBC1 - 4.15m
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 11.07 million. Doctor Who's timeshift over and above the initial overnight audience for Hell Bent was 1.72m (and, it's worth stressing once again that figure does not account for people who watched the episode on iPlayer). The X Factor's Saturday night episode drew 7.11m viewers. Here's something for those at ITV who are constantly whinging about what they claim to be the BBC's deficiencies to, perhaps, reflected upon; during the entire week not a single ITV programme apart from 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), The X Factor, Corrie and Emmerdale rated above three million viewers (Friday's ITV News got closest with 2.99m). Maybe, Adam Crozier, if you made some decent programmes, people would come. Perhaps we'll never know. On BBC2, the three episodes of MasterChef: The Professionals drew audiences of 3.39m, 2.96m and 2.95m placing the series first, second and third in the channel's weekly list of most-watched programmes. University Challenge attracted with 2.94m viewers, followed by The Last Kingdom (2.63m), The Apprentice - You're Fired! (2.39m), The Great Pottery Throw Down (2.35m), Simply Nigella (2.22m), Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two (2.19m), Only Connect (2.09m) and London Spy (1.87m). Gogglebox was, as usual, Channel Four's top-rated broadcast (3.59m), followed by a broadcast of the movie The Jungle Book (3.42m), The Secret Life Of Four, Five & Six Year Olds (2.26m), World's Weirdest Homes (2.19m), The World's Most Famous Train (2.02m) and Kirstie's Thoroughly Nasty Homemade Christmas (1.98m). Channel Five's highest-rated broadcasts were the movies Disney's Santa Who? (1.43m) and Bruce Almighty (1.39m), followed by Loch Lomond: A Year In The Wild (1.25m). This week's episode of The Big Bang Theory brought in a figure of 2.33m, by a huge distance the largest audience for a multichannel broadcast of the week. Sky Sports 1's Live Ford Super Sunday and yer actual Keith telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable and, probably, relegation-bound) Magpies unexpected, but highly welcome, victory over the Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws was watched by 1.56m punters whilst the previous day's Live Ford Saturday Night Football and AFC Bournemouth's shock win at Torpedo Stamford Bridge against the Moscow Chelski FC attracted eight hundred and eighty one thousand punters. Sky Sports 2's coverage of the third and final Live International T20 and England's victory over Pakistan was watched by three hundred and six thousand. Coverage of the La Liga clash between Valencia and Barcelona was watched by two hundred and twenty five thousand. Gillette Soccer Saturday was Sky Sports News's highest-rated broadcast and with six hundred and forty three thousand punters. ITV4's repeat of Benidorm had three hundred and twenty eight thousand viewers. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama with nine hundred and thirty six thousand whilst Lewis was watched by six hundred and sixty three thousand and Foyle's War by six hundred and forty one thousand. The Bridge's third series on BBC4 drew audiences of 1.41m and 1.38m for its fifth and sixth episodes on Saturday night. The excellent documentary I'm Not in Love: The Story Of 10CC drew six hundred and forty five thousand, whilst Detectorists had six hundred and thirty thousand and Sounds Of The Seventies was watched by five hundred and fifteen thousand thousand. Dan Cruickshank: Resurrecting History had an audience of four hundred and ninety two thousand, Britain's Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates & Rogues four hundred and sixty five thousand and Britain's Deadliest Rail Disaster four hundred and forty three thousand. Eight episodes of Family Guy made up the majority of BBC3's top ten list for the week, whilst the most watched broadcast on the channel was a repeat of Sherlock. And, there are still people - mainly Gruniad Morning Star readers admittedly, so no one that actually matters - who wonder why BBC3 is about to get a long-overdue shoving onto the online gutter along with all the other turds. Sky 1's most watched programmes were Supergirl (nine hundred and fifty thousand), Modern Family (eight hundred and fifty eight thousand) and The Simpsons (six hundred and six thousand). Sky Atlantic's weekly-list was topped by The Affair (four hundred and fifty eight thousand). The Leftovers drew one hundred and sixty three thousand. On Sky Living, Blindspot was watched by 1.12m and The Blacklist was nine hundred and seventy five thousand. Elementary drew eight hundred and two thousand. Sky Arts' Landscape Artist Of the Year had two hundred and thirteen thousand. 5USA's Castle was watched by five hundred and thirty eight thousand viewers. FOX's The Walking Dead brought in 1.46 million viewers. American Horror Story: Hotel had two hundred and fifty three thousand, Talking Dead was watched by one hundred and sixty two thousand and Da Vinci's Demons by one hundred and fifty four thousand. CBS Action's weekly-list was headed by Bad Girls (one hundred and ten thousand). The Universal Channel's Sleepy Hollow had an audience of two hundred and twenty thousand whilst Law & Order: Special Victims Unit attracted two hundred and seven thousand and How To Get Away With Murder also had two hundred and seven thousand. On Dave, Storage Hunters UK was the channel's highest-rated programme, with three hundred and eighty two thousand. That was followed by Qi XL (three hundred and twenty four thousand), Qi (three hundred and six thousand), Top Gear (two hundred and seventy six thousand) and Alan Davies: As Yet Unfunny (two hundred and seventy two thousand). Drama's The Inspector Lynley Mysteries was watched by six hundred and four thousand, Dalziel & Pascoe by three hundred and seventy two thousand and Death In Paradise by three hundred and twenty eighty thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programmes were Crossing Lines (two hundred and sixty seven thousand), Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (two hundred and twenty thousand), The Doctor Blake Mysteries (one hundred and three thousand) and Lie To Me (ninety four thousand). Watch's broadcast of MasterChef Australia was seen by three hundred and nineteen thousand. Yesterday's repeat run of Open All Hours continued two hundred and forty three thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Rush was watched by four hundred and seventy three thousand punters. Fast N' Loud had two hundred and fifty thousand and Gold Divers was seen by two hundred and thirteen thousand viewers. On Discovery History, Battlefield topped the weekly-list with audience of twenty six thousand punters. Time Team drew twenty two thousand as did Al Murray's Road To Berlin. On Discovery Science, How Do They Do It? was watched by fifty two thousand punters and Pluto: First Encounter by forty one thousand. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programmes were Bitchin' Rides (forty five thousand) and Wheeler Dealers (forty three thousand). National Geographic's top ten was headed by Yukon Gold which had one hundred and eight thousand viewers. Tabloid With Jerry Springer was ID's largest audience of the week (thirty six thousand). CI's Britain's Biggest Heists brought in thirty four thousand viewers. Eden's Attenborough's Natural Curiosities was seen by thirty five thousand. GOLD's top ten was headed by Mrs Brown's Boys (two hundred and forty four thousand). Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (two hundred and sixty five thousand). On ITV Encore, The Frankenstein Chronicles was watched by two hundred and sixty nine thousand viewers. TLC's weekly-list was topped by Say Yes To The Dress (ninety three thousand). Your TV's Corrupt Crimes had forty one thousand viewers.

Simply Nigella was watched by more than 2.5 million viewers on Monday night, according to overnight figures. An extended episode of the BBC2 cooking show averaged 2.56 million from 8pm. Back In Time For Christmas followed with 2.69 million. Earlier, the latest episode of Only Connect drew an audience of 1.89 million punters. On BBC1, Crimewatch was viewed by 3.11 million. ITV's The Martin Lewis Money Show - sandwiched between two episodes of Corrie - continued with 2.62 million, before Las Vegas With Trevor McDonald appealed to 2.2 million at 9pm. On Channel Four, the much-trailed Our Guy In Latvia was watched by 1.33 million. The latest Dispatches documentary – How The Monarchy Can Make You Millions - was watched by six hundred and sixty thousand punters while Supershoppers Do Christmas averaged 1.2m from 8:30pm. The US drama Fargo pulled in four hundred thousand viewers. Channel Five's latest horrific sneering example of 'demonising the working classes TV' On Benefits: Life On The Dole was seen by nine hundred and thirty one thousand viewers. Who should all be sodding well ashamed of themselves.

'There are some things that you might've heard about me that, quite possibly, could be true!' Luther​ returned to kick crime reet up the arse with just under five million overnight viewers on Tuesday night. The award-winning BBC1 drama starring yer actual Idris Elba was seen by an average overnight audience of 4.91m at 9pm. This is down by around nine hundred thousand overnight punters from Luther's third series première in 2013, but slightly higher than the overnight audience for its last episode. It as also a, timely, reminder that Luther remains one of the best - and most reliably bonkers - dramas British TV has produced in the last decade. Indeed, had it arrived just a couple of weeks earlier, it would have been an irresistible contender for From The North's best shows of the year list. Astronaut Tim Peake's arrival on the International Space Station covered by Professor yer actual Brian Cox (no, the other one) and Dara O'Briain on Stargazing Live was watched by 2.77m on BBC2. Due to an overrun as we all waited patiently for Major Tim to emerge and talk to Ground Control, the latest episode of MasterChef: The Professionals​ started quarter of an hour late. But, nevertheless, the episode - in which Mark Holland deservedly progressed to the semi-finals - appealed to 3.15m punters at 8pm, followed by Back In Time For Christmas ​with 2.16m at 9.15pm and Mock the Week​ with 1.06m at 10.15pm. So, it's was a cracking night for BBC2, but ITV - soaps aside - had a right horrorshow (and drag). Countrywise (2.05m) and a repeat of Midsomer Murders (but 1.92m) saw the commercial channel struggle on through another Tuesday and be comprehensively out-performed by both BBC1 and BBC2. Channel Four's Kirstie's Thoroughly Nasty Handmade Christmas drew an audience of 1.38m at 8pm, World's Most Expensive Christmas ​was watched by 2.06m at 9pm, while That's So Last Century​ attracted 1.05m at 10pm. On Channel Five, The Dog Rescuers At Christmas​ interested 1.15m at 8pm. Sky1's latest episode of The Flash​ was seen by three hundred and ninety six thousand viewers. On BBC4, Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions had five hundred and forty one thousand, Blood & Gold: The Making Of Spain six hundred and two thousand and a repeat of Ian Hislop Goes Off The Rails three hundred and twenty nine thousand viewers.
Luther ​is notorious for being dark and disturbing - that's one of the reasons why it's so popular. But, one sequence shot for the latest two-parter was, apparently, too shocking to be broadcast. Idris Elba revealed that a surreal scene exploring John Luther's mangled psyche was cut before transmission. 'It was a very dark, deep sequence that explained some things that are floating around in Luther's head,' Idris revealed. 'We shot it and cut it and put it in. And had to take it out. It was a psychological expression of John. The audience would have said, "I wanted to get to know him, but Jesus - is that what's going on in his head?" - and so we axed it.' Idris insisted that it was not his decision to cut the sequence - and that he was disappointed to see it go. 'I loved it. But the powers that be were like ... "Ooh no."' Given the character's dark headspace, it is perhaps surprising that Idris describes playing Luther as 'therapy' - but he says that the troubled character allows him to exorcise his own, very real, inner demons. 'I always go to Luther when I'm at my most grumpiest - if I feel shit, it's time to play some Luther!' he admitted. 'I use John Luther as a little bit of a therapy session - and I think it's that for Neil Cross as well. We both use it as a cathartic experience.'
TNT has been busy hiring and firing, with the network passing judgement on a host of shows.​ ​Major Crimes, The Librarians and, as previously announced, Murder In The First have all been renewed by the network, although three other dramas weren't so lucky, Deadline reports. The Mary McDonnell​ police procedural will return for a fifth season consisting of thirteen episodes, while The Librarians and Murder In The First will each be back for a third outing. The trio join TNT's recently acquired series Good Behavior [sic], Animal Kingdom and The Alienist. Meanwhile, the Sean Bean-fronted spy drama Legends has been cancelled after two seasons, and Public Morals and Agent X have also got the old tin-tack after one season each. Public Morals focused on the Public Morals Division of the police force in 1960s New York, while political drama Agent X ​followed a series of scandals in the White House. Neither appear t have found much of an audience, hence their premature departure.

The BBC's governing body has given Jeremy Clarkson the green light to appear on future BBC shows after it rejected a long-running - and ludicrous - whinge about the former Top Gear presenter being scheduled to host an episode of BBC1's Have I Got News For You. The BBC Trust also rejected another whinge from the same source - which was, of course, not in the slightest bit soaked in sick politically-motivated agenda - which called for 'information' about what action had been taken against staff who witnessed Clarkson's 'farcas' with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon but did not intervene. Basically, because such information was, frankly, none of the business of whatever plank made these whinges in the first place. A jolly satisfying - and highly amusing - metaphorical slap across the chops for the uppity cheb that stuck his (or her) nose in where it had no business being. The Trust's complaints and appeals board - the final port of call for serial whinges escalated through the BBC system - has been assessing a call for Clarkson to be 'banned' from appearing on all future BBC programmes. Because, of course, banning people isn't at all Stalinist, is it? The whinger in question whinged that BBC Director General Tony Hall's comment at the time Clarkson was dropped – 'there cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations' – had not been applied to Clarkson given that he had been lined-up to appear as guest host of Have I Got News For Youa few weeks after his departure. The BBC said that the issue had been 'considered at the highest level' and that whilst Jezza's contract had not been renewed on Top Gear, he was 'not banned from appearing on the BBC altogether.' Indeed, within days Clarkson had recorded an appearance on an episode of Qi, although that wasn't broadcast until some months later. Clarkson ultimately decided against hosting Have I Got News For You during its last series because of the furore, but did appear in a later episode in October. The whinger just wouldn't let it lie, however, and escalated the whinge through the appeals process at the Trust, arguing that 'if the BBC allows the employment of someone who has assaulted another member of staff then the policy should be reviewed.' Although, what the flaming fek any of that had to do with him (or her) is another matter entirely. The Trust's complaints and appeals board delivered a final verdict which said that it would not uphold the whinge. The Trust said that the choice of presenters was 'an editorial and operational decision' which was the responsibility of the BBC executive board. And not some politically-motivated whinging whinger with a - sick - agenda. 'The [complaints] panel did not consider that it was appropriate, proportionate or cost-effective to take this matter on appeal because it did not have a reasonable prospect of success,' said the BBC Trust in its verdict. The Trust's panel also declined to review a BBC decision not to pursue a complaint about staff members who stood by and watched the 'fracas' between Clarkson and Tymon. The BBC's position was that it would not investigate the complaint as the matters raised were 'of an internal nature' and, therefore, could not be discussed. The whinger's comments had been 'passed to the appropriate figures within the BBC,' said BBC audience services which first handled the complaint. Where, presumably, it would have been filed, tidily, in the bin where it belonged. The whinge was eventually passed to the Trust's panel, stating that any inquiry into the action of other BBC staff present at the time of the incident, and any subsequent action, would be 'an operational matter' for the BBC executive board. The Trust panel said that the whinger was 'entitled' to make a Freedom of Information Act request for that information. 'The panel agreed that audience services had provided a reasoned and reasonable response to the complainant's concerns,' said the Trust.
The BBC's governing body has also rejected a complaint that a re-run of Top Of The Pops featuring former pop singer and producer Jonathan King should not have been broadcast because he had been convicted of child sex abuse. The lone whinger lodged the complaint after seeing a re-run of a 1980 episode of Top Of The Pops on BBC4 which featured King demonstrating the then global phenomenon, the Rubik's Cube. At the time of the episode's broadcast, this blogger commented upon being surprised, though in no way offended, by King's appearance and predicted - rightly, as it turned out - that someone with an agenda and a sodding big nose would soon be whinging about it to anyone that would listen (and, indeed, anyone that wouldn't). It's never nice to say 'I told you so', dear blog reader. The whinging whinger whinged that the BBC should 'never' have rebroadcast the episode with King, which was broadcast on 23 July this year, given King's conviction for child sex offences in 2001. The BBC's Audience Services department fielded the complaint in the first instance. It said that decisions about including individuals in re-run shows was done on a 'case-by-case basis' taking into account the potential sensitivity surrounding the person, the nature of their contribution and its context. King appearing in an episode from 1980 demonstrating a Rubik's Cube was not 'inappropriate' and did not break editorial guidelines, it said. The whinge was eventually escalated to the BBC Trust's editorial standards committee. A panel of the Trust committee said that the decision to broadcast the King episode of Top Of The Pops was an 'editorial judgment that rested with the BBC executive. Trustees did not consider that, if they entertained the appeal in detail, they were likely to find that the broadcast, in its context, had breached generally accepted standards,' the committee said. 'Trustees did not consider that it would be proportionate, appropriate or cost-effective to take this matter on appeal.'
And, in yet another example of some whinges being, you know, risible, the BBC has stood by its decision to reject a crassly moronic whinge of 'bias' for not playing a Bay City Rollers song in more than three hundred and ten shows by a BBC Radio 2 DJ showcasing 'classics' from the 1970s. And, the problem with that is, exactly? Jesus, sometimes, don't you want to stand up and salute the utter shite that some people chose to care about? The whinger, who claimed that the band - very popular with thirteen year old girls between 1974 and ... 1975 - was 'Scotland's answer to The Beatles' (which, they weren't), argued that licence fee payers were 'entitled' to hear what they wanted and that the show's DJ was 'unreasonably biased' against the band. The idea that licence fee payers are 'entitled' to anything is a sentiment very popular among a variety of self-interest groups with an agenda and, you know, The Special People. Although this blogger must admit that, using this theory, he will now be writing to the BBC Trust demanding - demanding - that a four hour programme featuring nothing but 'music I like' be broadcast every Sunday evening. And, if they don't comply with this request ... yer actual Keith Telly Topping will be jolly cross. The whinger said that the band had not featured once in six years on Johnnie Walker's BBC Radio 2 show Sounds Of The 70s. The whinger accused the BBC of 'showing bias' against Scottish licence fee payers. BBC audience services admitted that Walker had made 'no secret' of his 'poor opinion and dislike' of that particular band, but his job is to play 'classic tracks' he feels his audience will 'most enjoy.' The BBC added that if felt the whinger had 'not raised an issue which justified further investigation.' No shit? Sadly, they did not add that they felt the whinger should grow the fek up and stop wasting their valuable time with utter arsehole nonsense the likes of this. The BBC did not do this because they are, of course, far too polite to say that or anything even remotely like it. But, I'm not. The issue eventually ended up being assessed by the BBC Trust's complaints and appeals board, thus wasting licence fee payers money in having the BBC Trust spend time talking about this crap instead of ... other crap. Probably. The Trust's panel said that the choice of music played on the radio show was 'a matter for the BBC executive' (and, indeed, for Johnnie Walker his very self, since it's his show), not the corporation's governing body. Or, indeed, one uppity listener with a sodding great chip on their shoulder. They have the choice or listening to the show or, you know, not. The Trust said that the show was named after the presenter and 'reflected his taste [in music].' The panel added there was 'no evidence' that Walker's decision not to play Bay City Rollers' songs was, specifically, because they were a Scottish band. Merely, that he thought they were shite. Which, you know, is a valid viewpoint - albeit one that this blogger does not entirely agree with. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping, for instance, was always rather partial to The Tartan Five's sprightly cover of 'I Only Wanna Be With You'. Sing, Les. Anyway, 'Trustees agreed that it was not appropriate, proportionate or cost-effective to proceed with the appeal as it did not have a reasonable prospect of success,' the Trust ruled. Yet another thoroughly satisfying metaphorical back-hander across the mush of one particular whinger. Encore.
Morgana Robinson is getting a new BBC2 sketch show. Impressions Of Fame will 'tackle the world of celebrity on-screen and behind the scenes' as a showcase of Robinson's impersonations. Reportedly these will include takes on Danny Dyer and Miranda Hart, as well as parodies of Russell Brand, Alan Davies, Joanna Lumley and Mel and Sue. Blimey, sounds thigh-slappingly hilarious. 'The BBC have given me my show under one condition, I'm not allowed to be myself in it. I guess this is what school prepared me for,' Robinson said in a press release. BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw announced Impressions Of Fame saying: 'I'm thrilled that the highly talented Morgana is bringing this show to BBC2 - there just isn't anyone else like her. I believe that being a home for distinctive and innovative British comedy is one of the key things BBC2 is here to do. With Morgana and the rest of our comedy slate, we're promising more of the same fresh, distinctive comedic energy on Two for 2016.' Robinson previously featured in Channel Four's really awful The Morgana Show, as well as Vic and Bob's House Of Fools and Toast Of London.

Ripper Street series four will arrive on Amazon Prime Instant Video on Friday 15 January. Amazon Prime has released the following synopsis: 'The new season begins in the summer of 1897 with Queen Victoria celebrating her diamond jubilee. Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) has left the force which gave him his career and left the neighbourhood which shaped his life. He finds himself drawn back to Whitechapel when he discovers that his old friend Isaac Bloom (Justin Avoth) is set to hang for a brutal murder; a murder of which Reid believes him incapable. Detective Inspector Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) has now risen to the level of Head of H Division, holding a position of trust and status in Whitechapel. What's more, he's now married to the love of his life Rose Erskine (Charlene McKenna). The last two years have treated Rose kindly but, despite her happy marriage and successful career, she can't help but be troubled that she and Drake have so far been unable to have a child. Adam Rothenberg returns as surgeon Captain Homer Jackson, assisting Drake in investigating the criminal goings on in Whitechapel. When we catch up with Jackson, however, his wife Long Susan Hart (MyAnna Buring) is only weeks away from being executed for her part in the deaths of the fifty five souls who perished in the Leman Street locomotive disaster of 1894. Now a mother to two year old Conor Judge, Long Susan has spent the last two and a half years residing in the Mother and Infants Wing of Newgate Prison. Time is fast running out for Long Susan but can Jackson save her?' The great David Threlfall and Matthew Lewis have also reportedly joined the cast.

Poldark producer Mammoth Screen is developing an adaptation of The War Of The Worlds, according to Broadcast magazine. Mammoth is working with Wallander, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Doctor Who writer Peter Harness to create the mini-series. Mammoth hopes to go into production on the series in early 2017, after the copyright for HG Wells's novel expires in December 2016. It will be the first time that The War Of The Worlds has been adapted for UK television. The SF story about Martians invading Earth was first published in 1898 and has previously been adapted for radio - infamously in 1938 by Orson Welles - American television, cinema and, em, the medium of rock opera. Mammoth managing director Damien Timmer said: 'The story of a Martian invasion as experienced in Victorian Surrey is a masterpiece. We want this new adaptation to reaffirm H G Wells' position as one of this country's most important writers.' That sound really good, this blogger is looking forward to that.
Rafe Spall plays ghost hunter Harry Price in a new ITV film, but has criticised real-life mediums who 'prey on bereavement.' The real-life Price, who inspired the movie, became famous for debunking phony spiritualists in the 1920s. 'In research for this, I watched a lot of mediums - Colin Fry, Derek Acorah, Mystic Mary - and it raises many interesting ethical questions,' Rafe told the Digital Spy website. 'Because, obviously, it's not real. It's manipulation and it's make-believe. But they're not messing with people, they're not frightening them, they're giving them comfort. The people who come to these shows are in desperate pain, delirious with grief, and they need some comfort. But, they're paying for tickets and these mediums are making - as Harry Price said - a fat living preying on bereavement. It's the misery industry - you're making money out of people's misery, which is very questionable. They're giving people hope and when people are in agony, who am I to say that they shouldn't be doing it? But do it for free. Use your "powers" to connect with the afterlife pro-bono, then we're all good. Go and do a normal job [as well] - something else that is befitting of monetary reward.' No surprise then, that Rafe describes himself as a staunch sceptic who puts no stock in tales of the supernatural. 'I'm not a religious person, and I don't care for religion,' he said. 'But, I am very aware of people's right to believe in that. I don't believe in ghosts, I don't believe in the spirit world, I don't believe in ouija boards. Even if you are a believer in the supernatural, or religion, I think if you are of rational mind, you would know that [mediumship is] nothing more than bollocks. It's a trick.'

​Making the hills come alive with The Sound Of Music hasn't come cheap for ITV, after it was revealed that the channel's forthcoming live adaptation has a budget of two million knicker. According to the Gruniad Morning Star, The Sound Of Music Live! employs more than four hundred cast and crew, and features more than one hundred and seventy seven costumes. The production is a two-and-a-half-hour TV dramatisation of the popular musical, and will star Kara Tointon as Maria. Julian Ovenden will play Captain Von Trapp, while Katherine Kelly and Alexander Armstrong portray Baroness Elsa Schraeder and Max Detweiler respectively. Richard Valentine is directing the project, which will include all of the songs from the classic soundtrack. ITV's director of entertainment and comedy Elaine Bedell claimed: 'This is the first time in the UK that this type of project has been attempted - a musical drama both performed and broadcast live - but big ambitious live television events is what ITV does well. We've assembled some of the very best talent both in front of and behind the camera, and I can't wait to see it all come together.'

An extreme adventurer who became the first person to run, swim and cycle the length of the UK has completed the journey for a fourth time - this time by boat. Sean Conway, from Cheltenham, completed the 'ultimate triathlon' between Land's End and John O'Groats in May and became something of a media sensation at the time as his journey was accompanied by cameras from the Discovery Channel. Just before 9pm on Monday of this week, he crossed the finish line again - in a racing yacht. It is thought Sean is the first person to complete the trek using the four different methods. He was part of a three-man crew, with skipper Phil Sharp from Jersey and boat owner Alex Alley. They completed the journey in just under three-and-a-half days. The trio left Land's End in their Class Forty racing yacht on Friday morning and arrived in the North of Scotland - six hundred and twenty nautical miles away - eighty three hours and fifty three minutes later. Sean said it was 'amazing' to have completed the challenge. 'This was a very different experience to my previous adventures because they took weeks and months to do. I didn't get a lot of sleep and we were battered at sea. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I think this is it now. I think I'm done with Land's End to John O'Groats. No doubt I'll row it or do it on a pogo stick at some point, but for now I'm happy with my four records.' Sharp said: 'We are tired but feel quite ecstatic to have finished. It was a bit hairy towards the finish with strong tides and big overfalls in the dark. Overall having done it, I think this a good course and we have now set a benchmark which we think others will go out and challenge.'

Netflix will serve up thirteen new episodes of House Of Cards on 4 March, the company announced Tuesday night. The announcement came in the form of a mock political advert which was broadcast on CNN during the fifth Republican presidential debate. 'It's a new day in America. Today more people will go to work, return home to their families and sleep more soundly than ever before – all because one man refuses to settle, putting people before politics. That man is Frank Underwood,' said the advert's narrator. Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, is the fictional US lawmaker who has schemed his way up the political ladder, all the way into the Oval Office. 'America, I am only getting started,' Spacey says into the camera. Off-screen, he continues: 'I am Frank Underwood and I approve this message.'
​Yer actual Kiefer Sutherland is starring as the President of the United States in a new TV project. The 24 actor will play the leader of the free world in Designated Survivor, which has been picked up by ABC. According to The Wrap, Sutherland plays a low level cabinet member who is promoted to President after a tragic attack during the State of the Union which leaves everyone above him dead. Sounds like a case for Jack Bauer, frankly. An Inconvenient Truth director David Guggenheim wrote the script for the drama, while Simon Kinberg is acting as executive producer. Kiefer reprised his role as Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day last year, and he previously starred in Touch, which was cancelled after one season in 2013. Because, it wasn't very good.
The first draft of the novel which went on to be turned into cult film Withnail & I is set for auction at Sotheby's. The 1987 film, starring Richard E Grant and Paul McGann, depicts the lives of two unemployed actors who spend a disastrous weekend in the countryside. The copy of Bruce Robinson's novel, written between 1969 and 1970, is estimated to reach between four and six thousand smackers when it goes under the hammer. It includes extensive handwritten revisions by Robinson. He has described Withnail & I as 'seventy per cent autobiographical' - and was living in a house in Camden where much of it is set, when he was writing the novel. The work for sale also includes a page torn from a magazine featuring the author and his flatmates outside their house in the late 1960s. Withnail & I was adapted for the screen in 1987, produced by George Harrison's HandMade Films and directed by Robinson himself. It also starred Richard Griffiths as the flamboyant Uncle Monty, in whose rural cottage the two friends stay. While it did not make much of an impression at the box office at the time of its release, it subsequently became a hugely popular cult in the following decade - particularly with students. Although, to be fair, many 'normal' people - including this blogger - are also big fans of the work. I mean, something being 'popular with students' is no guarantee of quality. Look at Russell Kane, for instance. The draft of the novel is to be auctioned as part of Sotheby's sale of English literature, history, children's books and illustrations on 16 December.
The first trailer for Star Trek Beyond has been unveiled this week. And, pretty good it looks too.
Ed Sheeran - whoever he is - has announced he is 'taking a break' from social media as he is 'seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes.' And, this constitutes news, apparently.

Substitutes Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez gave yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable and possibly relegation-bound) Magpies a spectacular and thoroughly unexpected victory at White Tart Lane on Sunday afternoon as they came from behind against The Stottingtot Hotshots to record back-to-back victories in the Premier League for the first time since November 2014. United's third successive league win at White Tart Lane took them out of the bottom three and above Champions Moscow Chelski FC up to fifteenth place after six unlikely points from the last two games against Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws and The Spurs. Quite where this latest triumph actually came from, after a miserable first forty five minutes in which goalkeeper Rob Elliot was the only things standing between United and a damned good hiding, is something of a mystery but there was a memorable finish to another live TV thriller. The Sky Sports cameras once again witnessed Steve McClaren's side defying expectations to deliver three precious points - as they have done on each of the three previous occasions that they've won this season - when even one would have been gratefully accepted by the majority of the Toon Army. Elliot - given man of the match - had made a rare error to give the home side the lead in the thirty ninth minute when Eric Dier headed a corner towards goal and our 'keeper palmed the ball beyond Vurnon Anita who could have cleared it off the line. The Magpies seemed to have reverted back to old habits in a disappointing first period when they created very little and looked vulnerable at the back as Elliot saved from Harry Kane and Erik Lamela twice. The second from Lamela was a fine tip over the bar but from that corner The Spurs took the lead. Papiss Cisse had blocked United's best effort which came in the fifth minute when Siem de Jong's goalbound shot looked to be heading for the top corner until it hit Cisse who had inexplicably strayed into its path. However, McClaren's half-time instructions seemed to have an effect and his side emerged to show a spirit and endeavour that had been noticeably lacking. Moussa Sissoko slotted in Cisse but the striker dragged his shot narrowly wide when an equaliser looked likely. At the other end, Elliot saved a low shot from Kane. Perez replaced De Jong and then Mitrovic came on for Cisse and the impact was almost immediate as Danny Rose, blocked a cross with his arm. Jack Colback's whipped centre from the right seemed to be over-hit but Fabricio Coloccini did well to nod the ball back to Chancel Mbemba and the defender's header was poked in by Mitrovic - deadly from two inches - barely ninety seconds after appearing on the pitch. Mitrovic appeared to have missed a golden chance to pinch a win when he failed to make contact in front of goal after Sissoko had crossed from the right. But, minutes later Perez took down a ball that was nodded forwarded by Mitrovic in the area and fired it past Hugo Lloris who couldn't keep it out. It was geet lush and that. As the expression on these two supporters clearly shows.
Now, in case you've been, I dunno, living in a cave for the last couple of weeks, you'll probably be aware that the new Star Wars movie is about to be released. If you've never seen any of the previous six (four of which are pretty good, two of which ... are not), then allow a government spokesperson to explain everything.
In other news, the Stately Telly Topping Christmas tree has been extremely erected. And, here it is.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping wasn't going to bother this year, but then he thought he might as well try to get into the Christmas spirit. You know, take in a classic movie or something ...
For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, heeeere's Dusty.