Sunday, January 24, 2016

And In The Darkest Night. I'll Keep You Safe, Alright

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) is to step down from his showrunning malarkey on Doctor Who after the next series, the BBC has confirmed. Steven's last series is currently being written, will be filmed during 2016 and will be broadcast in the spring of 2017 following a Christmas special, after which Steven will be replaced in the role of executive producer by Broadchurch and Torchwood writer Chris Chibnall. Who, in about eighteen months time, will be The Special People's new favourite online punchbag. So, that'll be fun ... if you enjoy watching people exploding with impotent and pointless fury because someone has committed the dreadful crime of 'producing a TV show in a way I don't like.' From various comments that he's made in recent months, it appears that yer man Moffat has been actively looking to move on from his current role for about a year-and-a-half but had previously been prevented from doing so, seemingly by the BBC's wish to have their preferred choice for a replacement signed up to the production. Chibnall's ongoing commitments to ITV with Broadchurch had made that impossible, until now. Steven, of course, took over the reins on Doctor Who in 2010 at the beginning of series five of the BBC's long-running family SF drama from Big Rusty Davies. And, in this blogger's opinion, he has done a ruddy fantastic job in the five years since producing five full series and a number of specials the vast, overwhelming majority of which this blogger has thoroughly enjoyed and, in fact, thought were great. BBC1's controller, Charlotte Moore, said that yer man Moffat was an 'absolute genius.' In a statement, the BBC noted that Steven had been responsible for introducing the eleventh and twelfth Doctors - yer actual Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi his very self - as well as two companions in Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman. Which is a bit of a slap in the mush of poor old Arthur Darvill but, otherwise, factually accurate. 'I have decided to schedule Steven's big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel. 2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 - I promise it will be worth the wait!' Steven said that it took 'a lot of gin and tonic' to talk Chibnall into taking up his new position. 'I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future,' he added. 'At the start of season eleven, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.' (Of course, he won't be, or anything even remotely like it, he'll continue to run Sherlock - the next series of which is to enter production shortly - and, presumably, do 'other stuff' as well!) Chibnall described Doctor Who as 'the ultimate BBC programme - bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world.' He added: 'So it's a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I've loved Doctor Who since I was four years old and I'm relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore.' Moore thanked Steven 'for everything he has given Doctor Who.' And, presumably, for putting up with all the shit that's been thrown in his direction by a small fraction of overgrown school bullies in their thirties and silly little mouthy pillocks with access to the Interweb. This blogger very much included in that collective, obviously. She said: 'I've loved working with him, he is an absolute genius and has brought fans all over the world such joy. I will be very sad to see him leave the show but I can't wait to see what he will deliver in his last-ever series next year with a brand new companion.' Steven talked about his feelings on leaving the show: '[It] feels odd to be talking about leaving when I'm just starting work on the scripts for season ten, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I'll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him.'

Steven Moffat (OBE) has also extended a hearty thanks to fans of Doctor Who for their support. In a message posted on his wife and producing partner Sue Vertue's Twitter account, Steven indicated that whilst the end is in sight, the moment has been prepared for, as it were. 'Steven thanks you all for your lovely comments and reminds you he's got a whole season to go yet,' Vertue wrote. Steven himself quit Twitter a few years ago after being frequently ambushed and ignorantly insulted by a contingent of gobshite arsehole scum with an agenda whose own contribution to society is yet to be fully established. But, it won't be very much.
Of course, some people are simply never satisfied - one or two national newspapers - specifically the Daily Mirra - have picked up on the fact that some Doctor Who fans are 'outraged' that 2016 will see but one new Doctor Who episode broadcast before the next full series is shown the following year. Ironically, many of these planks appear to be amongst those who have been most vocal in their very public dislike of Steven Moffat's tenure. So, in other words, they've previously said that they didn't want any Steven Moffat Doctor Who but, when told that they've got their wish for the next eleven months, they're annoyed about it. You just can't please some people, can you?
       Here's one further thought for you all to slip into your toaster and see if it pops up brown. Much was made in certain sections of the media last year concerning Doctor Who's 'ratings drop' - which,in reality, was from an average weekly audience of between seven and eight million in 2014 to an average weekly audience of between six and seven million in 2015. Events of the last two days have concluded with the BBC publicly committing to the popular long-running family SF drama two series in advance. Before the first of those two series has even started filming. That fact alone puts most of the more hysterical 'oh no, the sky is falling' worries expressed in some fandom circles last autumn into a rather sharp perspective I'd've said.
Once again, the best comedy moment on TV this week came from BBC4's breathtakingly funny Brian Pern: Forty Five Years In Prog & Roll. In the latest episode, aside from some brilliant mickey-taking out of Peter Gabriel's career (as per usual) and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours period, the best bit - by miles - was Christopher Eccleston reprising his role as Luke Dunmore who produced Brian's legendarily awful Madchester LP, Get Real Quick (featuring the hit single 'Maraca Man'). 'Brian was,and is, London, and the world was realising, at the time, that London was dead and Manchester was where it was happening. It was electric up here, it was like being on Venus or Mars. Or ... one of the other planets in The Milky Pass.' Luke was then asked if Brian had a big influence on 1990s indie music: 'Undoubtedly. They'd never admit it but, without Brian, there'd be no Oasis, no Blur, no Mondays, no Top Loader, no Ocean Colour Scene, no BDI, no Shed Seven. He's got a fuckin' lot to answer for!'
Silent Witness was the highest-rated overnight programme across all channels (excluding soaps) on Monday evening. The long-running BBC1 crime drama had an audience of 5.8 million overnight viewers. Opposite that on ITV, Benidorm was watched by 4.4m. Meanwhile, the second episode of Tracey Ullman's Show continued to perform well for BBC1 with 2.4m punters at 10.45pm in a slot where the average overnight audience over the last year has been 1.8m. On BBC2, the very impressive team from Peterhouse, Cambridge managed to overcome York College in a close-run quarter final episode of University Challenge, watched by 3.03 million viewers. After that, Only Connect's final - in which The String Section team defeated The Wayfarers - was watched by an audience of 2.53m. How To Lose Weight Well appealed to 1.87m on Channel Four, followed by The Undateables with 1.67m. On Channel Five, the latest episode of sick Victorian freak show Celebrity Big Brother had 2.04m and the return for a new series of the excellent US import Gotham was watched by seven hundred and thirty two thousand viewers.
On Tuesday evening, Silent Witness remained Queen of the Overnights, the second episode of the latest two-parter bringing in an audience of 5.96 million to BBC1. That even beat the figures for EastEnders earlier in the evening (5.29m). At 8pm, another popular long-running drama, Holby City, drew 4.60m. Soaps aside, ITV had another dreadful Tuesday night, with Trawlermen Tales being watched by a mere 1.94m at 8pm and then Saved managing a shockingly poor 1.03m an hour later. To put that figure into some context, all four of the other terrestrial channels had more viewers during the slot. On BBC2, the evening began with Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (1.65m), followed by Victorian Bakers (2.26m at 8pm), Barely Legal Grafters (1.66m at 9pm) and the start of a new series of Phone Shop Idol (five hundred and forty thousand in a slot where the average is eight hundred thousand plus). Channel Four's evening schedule was consistent, Tricks Of The Restaurant Trade attracting 1.29m, Travel Man: Forty Eight Hours In ... Copenhagen being seen by 1.22m and the much-trailed The Jihadis Next Door having an audience of 1.16m at 10pm. On Channel Five, Bargain Loving Brits In The Sun pulled in 1.10m punters, followed by Celebrity Big Brother (2.25m), then The Secret Life Of The Family with seven hundred and nineteen thousand. On BBC4, a repeat of the documentary Alex Higgins: The People's Champion was watched by three hundred and fifty three thousand viewers. The Queen's Castle in the 9pm slot, had seven hundred and ten thousand, after which The Crusades attracted three hundred and eighty thousand.

ITV's coverage of the National Television Awards attracted its lowest overnight audience in eight years, with fewer than 5.5 million tuning in to see Strictly Come Dancing beat The X Factor to the best talent show prize. The awards ceremony, presented by Dermot O'Dreary and broadcast live from the O2 arena, attracted 5.47 million viewers and a twenty five per cent share of total television viewing between 7.30pm and 10pm on Wednesday. This was the event's lowest overnight rating since 2008, the last awards presented by O'Dreary's predecessor, Sir Trevor McDonald, which pulled in 5.3 million viewers. The audience for this year's ceremony, which faced competition from BBC1's live coverage of the third round FA Cup replay between Leicester City and Stottingtot Hotshots, was well down on the 6.6 million who tuned in for the 2015 event. Match Of The Day drew an average audience of 3.9 million between 7.30pm and 10pm, as Spurs won the tie, 2-0. Earlier in the evening, The ONE Show had 3.73m. On BBC2, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip attracted 1.62m, Trust Me, I'm A Doctor was watched by 2.29m, The Town That Took On The Taxman was seen by 1.65m and Russell Howard's Good News had seven hundred and twenty thousand viewers. Channel Four's evening highlights included Mary Portas: Secret Shopper (nine hundred and seventy thousand), Twenty Four Hours In A&E (1.37m) and Bodyshockers: Nips, Tucks & Tattoos (eight hundred and twenty thousand). On Channel Five, Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords began the evening at 7pm with six hundred and forty thousand. After that, GPs Behind Closed Doors was watched by eight hundred and twelve thousand, Celebrity Big Brother was gawped at by 1.75m glakes whilst Ten Thousand BC: Two Tribes returned for a second series with six hundred and nineteen thousand viewers. On BBC4, Empire Of The Tsars: Romanov Russia With Lucy Worsley was watched by eight hundred and thirteen thousand, The Queen's Castle by four hundred and fifty one thousand and The Trains That Time Forgot: Britain's Lost Railway Journeys by two hundred and forty nine thousand. The much-trailed The Comic Strip Presents ... Red Top had an audience of one hundred and twenty seven thousand viewers on G.O.L.D.
BBC1's Death In Paradise continued to pull in impressive strong overnight figures on Thursday with an audience of 6.11 million viewers for its latest episode. This, in spite of the fact that its two lead-in shows - Dickensian and Room 101 - also continue to under-perform alarmingly (drawing audiences of 2.42m and 2.59m respectively). Against Death In Paradise, ITV's Jericho once again crashed and burned, being watched by a mere 2.49 million punters. Meanwhile, worthless, unfunny waste-of-space shite Birds Of A Feather attracted 4.08 million planks of the first order to ITV from 8.30pm. All of whom should have been sodding-well ashamed of themselves. This blogger felt it necessary to resign from the human race in protest but, I don't think it did much good. On BBC2, The Story Of China had a quietly impressive 1.50m viewers at 9pm. Channel Four's The Restoration Man also drew 1.5m in the same slot whilst the perfectly obscene Date My Mum was watched by eight hundred and sixty eight thousand daft glakes at 10pm. On Channel Five, Celebrity Big Brother also continues to attract depressingly decent figures - 2.35m for its latest episode. And, Ten Thousand BC carries on struggling with seven hundred and twenty thousand. The stand-out multichannel performer was Traffic Cops which was watched by seven hundred and fifty two thousand on BBC3 at 8pm.

EastEnders was the most-watched overnight programme on Friday evening with a audience of 6.43m from 8pm on BBC1. At nine o'clock, the second episode of series three of Shetland drew 4.15m. ITV's once massively-popular Mr Selfridge continued to shed viewers with an overnight of 2.98m at 9pm. On BBC2, Mastermind was watched by 2.15m, What To Buy And Why attracted 1.76m, Britain's Trillion Pound Island interested 1.68m and Qi had an audience of 1.32m at 10pm. Channel Four's scheduled were topped by the latest episode of Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown which was watched by 1.75m viewers at 9pm, followed by First Dates with an audience of 1.13m an hour later. The first of two evening episodes of Celebrity Big Brother - as if one, or even none, isn't quite enough - was seen by 2.42m people with nothing better to do with their time. Lip Sync Battle found itself in the middle of a Celebrity Big Brother sandwich at 10pm, being viewed by 1.38m. The evening's second dose of Celebrity Big Brother had an audience of two million punters.

The most-watched overnight show of Saturday night was, once again, The Voice on BBC1 with 6.63m, although the audience figures for the talent show's final series before its move ITV next year remain considerably down on previous years. Earlier, Pointless Celebrities continued to pull in impressive numbers - five million - which The Getaway Car promptly squandered as a lead-in, it being watched by a mere 3.61m overnight viewers, down four hundred thousand on the previous week's opening episode. And, for those who may be interested in this blogger's view on the woefully lowest-common-denominator cross between Top Gear and Total Wipeout, it's really not very good. I mean, it's no Don't Scare The Hare, but BBC1 on a Saturday night should be showing something with a bit more imagination than this tripe. After The Voice, Casualty was watched by 5.08m. BBC1's evening ended with Match Of The Day - featuring the latest of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies' calamitous and cowardly surrender-before-kick-off fiascoes against The Watford Gap - and a higher-than-usual overnight of 4.10m. On BBC2, the terrestrial premier of the acclaimed movie War Horse was seen by 1.88m. Qi XL had an audience of nine hundred and ninety thousand. ITV's night was steady-and-unspectacular, Ninja Warrior attracting 4.05m, woeful, worthless Take Me Out being watched by 3.11m people with shite for brains and The Jonathan Ross Show being roundly thrashed by Match Of The Day with a mere 2.07m. On Channel Five, Football League Tonight had five hundred and sixty thousand whilst the latest episode of sick Victorian freak show for crass attention whores desperate to get their face on TV, Celebrity Big Brother brought in 1.59m. On BBC4 The Young Montalbano was the most watched show on multichannels, with six hundred and fifty thousand.

The latest episode of Qi XL included another of the best TV comedy moments of the week. Matt Lucas - making his second appearance of the current, M, series - made a reference to keeping Mini-Milks in his freezer next to his onion rings. This seemed to take yer actual Stephen Fry by surprise as The World's Brainiest Man Bar None (®™) claimed not to know what Mini-Milks are. 'It's what you get if your mum won't buy you a Magnum,' explained Lucas before asking what sort of ice cream and/or lollies Stephen had a preference for. 'I used to like Mivis ... when I was a boy,' Stephen replied with mock firmness. 'Now I'm an adult, I eat olives and I eat cheese. I want to live in the Middle Ages now, because they seemed to have grown-up food!'
BBC1 enjoyed a truly impressive Sunday evening, as a special from David Attenborough and the Still Open All Hours series finale helped to lift the channel's primetime average to 6.6m overnight viewers across the entire evening. Attenborough's enduring appeal to viewers of all ages was demonstrated as Attenborough & The Giant Dinosaur was watched by an overnight audience of 7.5m on BBC1, with a peaked of 8.5m. Still Open All Hours was watched by 7.42m. Also during the evening, Countryfile drew 5.5m whilst Call the Midwife was, yet again, the best performer of the night's line-up with 7.78m and War & Peace continued with 5.23m. By contrast, it was another rotten Sunday night for ITV, where drama flop of the year so far, Beowulf: Return To The Shieldlands, plunged to a risibly low 1.46m at 7pm. Endeavour's series finale was watched by a lower-than-usual 3.66m viewers - a great pity, that, as it was actually a terrific episode - and, at 10pm, The Day Hitler Died could only manage eight hundred and forty one thousand viewers. On BBC2, Dragons' Den was watched by 2.24m from 8pm, the much-trailed James May's Cars Of The People attracted 1.77m at 9pm and Blood Diamond had an audience of seven hundred and sixty two thousand at 10pm. On Channel Four, the final episode of Walking The Himalayas was watched by 1.7m. After that, the latest episode of Deutschland Eighty Three drew six hundred and nineteen thousand and Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown was seen by six hundred and eighty two thousand. Channel Five's evening began with a bumper audience for the movie Labyrinth - featuring the late David Bowie, of course - which had 1.7m. Following that, The Wedding Planner attracted eight hundred and ninety thousand. Celebrity Big Brother was gawped at by 2.44m and Celebrity Botched-Up Bodies by nine hundred thousand viewers. Whether Channel Five's scheduled in future will feature Celebrity Arses Go Wild, Celebrity Quim Shockers and so on is, as yet unknown. Although, this blogger having said that has probably given some worthless plank at Channel Five all manner of notions in this regard. On BBC3, a repeat of Saturday's The Voice drew five hundred and twenty thousand, the movie Die Hard With A Vengeance was watched by eight hundred and ninety three thousand and an episode of Family Guy had five hundred and eighty eight thousand. On ITV 2, Skyfall drew six hundred and thirty three thousand.

The final and consolidated numbers for the Top Twenty Four programmes, for week-ending Sunday 17 January 2016 are as follows:-
1 Call The Midwife - Sun - 9.88m
2 Silent Witness - Mon BBC1 - 8.51m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.48m
4 Death In Paradise - Thurs BBC1 - 8.17m
5 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 8.11m
6 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.62m
7 Emmerdale - Thurs ITV - 7.27m
8 Still Open All Hours - Sun BBC1 - 7.20m
9 The Voice - Sat BBC1 - 7.03m
10 War & Peace - Sun BBC1 - 6.57m
11 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 6.36m
12 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 6.18m
13 Shetland - Fri BBc1 - 6.12m
14 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.77m
15 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 5.52m
16 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 5.22m
17 Midsomer Murders - Wed ITV - 5.17*
18 Holby City - Tues BBC1- 5.00m
19 Ten O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 4.95m
20 Benidorm - Fri ITV - 4.74m*
21 Birds Of A Feather - Fri ITV - 4.69m*
22 Endeavour - Sun ITV - 4.64*
23 The Getaway Car - Sat BBC1 - 4.53m
24 David Bowie: Sound & Vision - Mon BBC1 - 4.47m
These consolidated figures include viewers who watched the programmes live and on catch-up, but does not include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via computers. Those ITV programmes marked "*" indicates that they do not include HD viewers. Disappointing final figures continue for several ITV dramas, including Mr Selfridge (3.77m) and Jerico (3.41m) whilst the third episode of Beowulf again didn't even register an audience large enough to make it into ITV's top thirty programmes. On BBC2, University Challenge drew an audience of 3.13m. Trust Me, I'm A Doctor had 3.01m viewers, followed by Only Connect (2.70m), Victorian Bakers (2.69m), Mastermind (1.94m), Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (1.78m), Stargazing Live (1.77m), Dad's Army (1.75m), Qi (1.73m) and World's Sneakiest Animals (1.70m). The Stargazing Special: Live Spacewalk attracted 1.66m viewers. Location, Location, Location was Channel Four's top-rated broadcast of the week (2.52m), followed by How To Lose Weight Well (2.44m), Twenty Four Hours In A&E (2.37m) and Walking The Himalayas (2.34m). Celebrity Big Brother dominated Channel Five's week (Tuesday's episode was the highest-rated with 2.84m. Depressing, isn't it?) Sky Sports 1's Live For Super Sunday and The Scum's victory over the Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws was watched by 1.95m punters, the largest audience for a multichannel broadcast during the week. Sky Sports 2's coverage of Live Test Cricket and England's third test victory against South Africa was watched by four hundred and forty four thousand. Gillette Soccer Saturday was Sky Sports News's highest-rated broadcast, as usual, with six hundred and fifty thousand punters. ITV2's broadcast of Hotel Transylvania attracted seven hundred and forty nine thousand. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated broadcast with 1.01m. Foyle's War (nine hundred and fifty three thousand) and Lewis (five hundred and ninety four thousand) also continued to pull in decent audiences for the channel. A repeat episode of Benidorm headed ITV4's top ten (three hundred and fifty seven thousand). The Young Montalbano on BBC4 drew an audience of nine hundred and eighteen thousand. Empire Of The Tsars: Romanov Russia With Lucy Worsley was watched by eight hundred and twenty two thousand (whilst the Sunday repeat of the same episode had six hundred and three thousand), whilst The Queen's Castle was seen by seven hundred and one thousand and Music Moguls; Masters Of Pop was also watched by six hundred and three thousand. Don't Tell The Bride (six hundred and fifty thousand) topped BBC3's top-ten list. Sky 1's most watched programme was awful, laughless horrorshow (and drag) A League Of Their Own watched by nine hundred and forty thousand numskulls. Hawaii Five-0 drew nine hundred and twenty six thousand and, another of the channel's horrifying home-grown products, Stella was watched by eight hundred and forty eight thousand people who really need to find something else to occupy their time. Sky Atlantic's weekly list was topped by Blue Bloods (three hundred and seventy six thousand). On Sky Living, Blindspot was watched by nine hundred and ten thousand and Greys Anatomy by four hundred and forty thousand. Sky Arts' Occupied had one hundred and sixty thousand whilst David Bowie: A Reality Tour was seen by eighty four thousand, Discovering David Bowie by seventy one thousand and David Bowie: Blackstar by sixty eight thousand. 5USA's broadcast Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was watched by three hundred and eighty four thousand viewers and NCIS by three hundred and fifty five thousand. NCIS also featured in the top tens of FOX - the second episode of series thirteen's British début attracting 1.07m - and the Universal Channel - on which Major Crimes drew an audience of two hundred and seventeen thousand. CBS Action's weekly-list was topped by Bad Girls with one hundred and fifteen thousand. On Dave, Live Boxing: David Haye Versus Mark De Mori was the channel's highest-rated programme with 1.35m. That was followed by Top Gear (three hundred and eighty six thousand), American Pickers (three hundred and forty one thousand), Have I Got A Bit More news For You (three hundred and thirty four thousand) and Qi XL (three hundred and four thousand). Drama's New Tricks was watched by four hundred and seventy nine thousand and Deadline Gallipoli by three hundred and ninety one thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme was Castle (four hundred and fifty thousand). Watch's broadcast of Code Black was seen by two hundred and thirty three thousand. Yesterday's Sounds Of The Sixties had an audience of two hundred and twenty five thousand viewers. Secrets Of Britain drew two hundred and eighteen thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Rush was watched by four hundred and fifty four thousand punters. Fast N' Loud had three hundred and forty two thousand. On Discovery History, Lost Temple Of The Gods topped the weekly-list with audience of thirty two thousand viewers. Word War II In Colour, The Man Who Cracked The Nazi Code, Seven Ages of Britain and Time Team were all watched by twenty five thousand. On Discovery Science, Mythbusters was seen by thirty four thousand punters. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programme were Fast N' Loud (forty thousand) and Wheeler Dealers (thirty six thousand). National Geographic's top ten was headed by Air Crash Investigations which had one hundred and sixty nine thousand viewers and Drugs Inc (one hundred and two thousand). A Crime To Remember was ID's largest audience of the week (eighty two thousand). The First Forty Eight topped CI's top ten (forty four thousand). Eden's Wild Ones was seen by thirty one thousand. GOLD's top ten was headed by Porridge (one hundred and fifty nine thousand) and Blackadder II (one hundred and fifty six thousand). Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (three hundred and thirty six thousand). On ITV Encore, Downton Abbey was watched by ninety four thousand viewers. True Drama's Taggart had twenty six thousand. The Avengers was watched by twenty four thousand. Your TV's Ghostly Encounters had seventy nine thousand viewers. On More4, Come Dine With Me was watched by five hundred and fifty thousand.

In an age where there is a greater spotlight on equal gender pay than ever before, you'd think a TV show known for its iconic male and female team would set an example. Apparently not - as From The North fave Gillian Anderson has revealed that she was initially offered just half of what co-star David Duchovny was paid for The X-Files​ revival. 'I'm surprised that more [interviewers] haven't brought that up because it's the truth,' Anderson told The Daily Beast website. 'Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it's important that it gets heard and voiced. It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.' It's even more shocking to this blogger given the relative states of both Anderson and Duchovny's careers at the time the revival was first mooted. Anderson was among the forerunners of securing equal pay for male and female stars in the 1990s, having initially received much less that her co-star. 'I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,' Gillian said of the FOX network. 'Or that, somehow, maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn't deal with actually seeing them walk side by side. I have such a knee-jerk reaction to that stuff, a very short tolerance for that shit​. I don't know how long it lasted or if it changed because I eventually said, "Fuck no!" I don't remember somebody saying, "Okay, now you get to walk alongside him." But I imagine it had more to do with my intolerance and spunk than it being an allowance that was made.' But Anderson was amazed that the same situation occurred when negotiating pay in 2015. 'Even in interviews in the last few years, people have said to me, "I can't believe that happened, how did you feel about it, that is insane." And my response always was, "That was then, this is now." And then it happened again! I don't even know what to say about it.'
Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch cuts a stern and moody figure in the first-look teaser of the BBC's The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses​. The ambitious three-part series is a follow-up to 2012's series, and will be adaptations of Henry VI: Parts I​-III and Richard III​​. Don't get too attached to him, girls, he gets extremely killed by Henry Tulip at the end whilst looking for his horse.
The final series of ITV's Downton Abbey won best drama for the fourth time in five years at the 2016 National Television Awards on Wednesday night. Hugh Bonneville thanked the over-rated drama's creator, Lord Snooty, for 'giving us wonderful lines to say.' And, for being the most appalling snob in the universe, obviously, that goes without saying. BBC drama Doctor Foster deservedly collected two awards - best new drama and best drama performance for its star, the wonderful Suranne Jones. The heavily pregnant actress joked that she was missing an antenatal class to attend the ceremony and pick up her award. 'If anyone wants to send me tips on how to give birth that would be useful,' she said as she collected the prize, thanking the drama's writer, Mike Bartlett, for creating 'a complex character.' I think, Suranne, the trick is to push as hard as you can. A mine of useful information, this blog. Anyway, EastEnders was also a double award winner. It beat rivals Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks to receive the award for the best serial drama. Danny Dyer also received the best serial drama performance prize for a second consecutive year for his role as Mick Carter. 'I'm so honoured to be part of such a sublime and depressing programme that is EastEnders,' he said while collecting his award. Overall the BBC won eight of the sixteen awards with ITV picking up six and Channel Four but one. Wor geet canny Anthony McPartlin and/or Declan Donnelly were named best TV presenter for the fifteenth consecutive year. 'It's getting a bit mental now,' McPartlin said. That's certainly one word for it. Little Dec added: 'People ask us does it get boring or old - of course it doesn't. If anything our gratitude has grown over the years as you never know when you're going to get it again.' Next year, probably. The Great British Bake Off was named best challenge show for a second consecutive year. Collecting the award, Paul Hollywood said that the last series was 'the best year we've ever had - the bakers were the best.' Peter Kay's Car Share beat Benidorm, Birds Of A Feather and Not Going Out to win best comedy. Kay dedicated the award to he well-known Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. Connolly himself was presented with the Special Recognition Award at the ceremony in honour of his fifty-year career. Other winners included The X Factor winner-turned actor Shayne Ward, who was voted best newcomer for his role as Aidan Connor in Coronation Street. Strictly Come Dancing won best talent show, with This Morning named best live magazine programme. The best factual entertainment award went to Gogglebox, The Chase won best daytime show and the US sitcom The Big Bang Theory won best international programme. A new award was also created this year - the impact award for best TV moment. It went to Aidan Turner for his torso-revealing turn as Ross Poldark in the Cornish-set BBC drama series Poldark.
As noted, on Wednesday, ITV's This Morning clinched the best live magazine show title from a hotly contested category, which included The ONE Show, BBC Breakfast and Loose Women. Come Thursday morning, the next episode opening with the unedifying sight of Phillip Schofield's face on Holly Willoughby's bum. This, is what passes for entertainment, apparently.
Game Of Thrones - which yer actual Keith Telly Topping has finally got up to date with thanks to Sky's wall-to-wall repeats and now starts to see why everyone else on the planet has been making such a fuss about it for the last five years - and Transparent led the winners of the TV categories at the Producers Guild of America Awards 2016 on Saturday, both picking up awards for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television in the Drama and Comedy categories respectively. This year's Best Long-Form programme went to Fargo, with How To Get Away with Murder's Shonda Rhimes receiving the honorary Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television. The Twenty Seventh annual PGA Awards ceremony took place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, hosted by Jane Lynch, and also saw The Big Short take home the top title in its movie categories.
Yer actual David Tennant his very self is to host a live TV celebration of William Shakespeare to mark the four hundredth anniversary of The Bard's death. The former Doctor Who actor and national heartthrob will be joined in Stratford-upon-Avon by Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen. 'It's a variety bill and the plays are a huge part of that,' Tennant said. 'We've got some of the biggest classical actors around.' Shakespeare Live! will be broadcast on BBC2 on 23 April. Tennant, who played an acclaimed title role in Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2008, is currently starring in the RSC's Richard II at London's Barbican. Unveiling details of the live broadcast at the launch the BBC's Shakespeare Festival on Thursday, Tennant said: 'We have opera, we have ballet, we have hip-hop - all celebrating Shakespeare and what he's done for our cultural heritage.' The live tribute from the RSC theatre in Stratford coincides with Shakespeare's birthday weekend. It will also feature Joseph Fiennes - who played the lead in the film Shakespeare In Love - the English National Opera, Birmingham Royal Ballet and rapper Akala (no me neither), founder of the Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company. The BBC Shakespeare Festival is billed as 'the most far-reaching celebration of Shakespeare's work ever broadcast.' BBC Director General Tony Hall said that it aimed 'to make Shakespeare irresistible to everybody.' Other festival highlights, some of them previously announced, include The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses starring yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Keeley Hawes, Sophie Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville and Sir Michael Gambon, A Midsummer Night's Dream adapted by Russell Davies his very self and featuring Matt Lucas, Maxine Peake, John Hannah, Elaine Page, Richard Wilson and Bernard Cribbins, the world première of a new work by Carol Ann Duffy as part of a Radio3 residency in Stratford-upon-Avon from 22-24 April, Radio3 dramas include The Wolf In The Water, by Naomi Alderman, which imagines what became of Shylock's daughter Jessica from The Merchant Of Venice and an adaptation of King Lear, starring Ian McDiarmid. Radio 4 will broadcast a new production of Julius Caesar featuring Tim Piggott-Smith. There's also Upstart Crow, a previously announced BBC2 comedy written by Ben Elton, starring David Mitchell as Shakespeare, Liza Tarbuck as his wife and Harry Enfield as his father. Let's hope it's a bit better - and funnier - than anything Ben had been involved in since, ooo, about 1990. Cunk On Shakespeare will be a half-hour special featuring the character of Philomena Cunk (played by creator Diane Morgan). A special episode of Horrible Histories will be broadcast on CBBC, looking at the Bard's early life with Tom Stourton playing Shakespeare. BBC1's Countryfile will investigate the landscapes that inspired Shakespeare's greatest works. Gyles Brandreth will track down the UK's only living William Shakespeares for The ONE Show whilst Best Bottoms In The Land will follow the RSC's quest to put on A Midsummer Night's Dream using a mixture of professional and amateur actors from around Britain. The BBC1 daytime drama Doctors will apparently feature storylines 'inspired by a Shakespearean sonnet.' The festival sees the BBC in partnership with a number of arts organisations, such as the RSC.

The BBC has announced a significant executive shake-up in their management structure, with the controller of BBC1, yer actual Charlotte Moore her very self, now becoming controller of TV channels and iPlayer. This means that Moore will become the creative, editorial and strategic lead for BBC1, BBC2, BBC4 and BBC iPlayer. 'A united vision across the portfolio will encourage greater ambition and diversity of output, more creative freedom and quicker decision-making,' Moore claimed. 'I'm passionate about the BBC and committed to making this a place where the best creatives want to work, and having the right teams working together is key.' She will continue to sit on the TV board and report to acting Director of Television Mark Linsey. Linsey said: 'Charlotte is an outstanding leader and has done a brilliant job making BBC1 both distinctive and popular. This role will allow her to take a view across channels to drive distinctiveness, quality and risk-taking even further, whilst offering a single point of contact for programme-makers and ensuring audiences get the best programmes, however and wherever they choose to watch.' Moore will continue in her leadership of BBC1 and will manage the heads of iPlayer, Daytime and BBC4 and the new editor of BBC2. She will take up her new responsibilities from 25 January. Kim Shillinglaw has left the BBC as part of the changes and the post of controller of BBC2 and BBC4 will be closed. Channel executive at BBC2 and BBC4 Adam Barker will be acting editor of BBC2 while a new editor is recruited. Shillinglaw said: 'I wish the BBC, Mark and Charlotte every success with the many changes BBC TV needs to make. I've loved modernising BBC2 and BBC4 over the last two years but when you don't get the big job it's time to move on. And I'm looking forward to another big challenge.' Linsey added: 'Kim has led BBC2 and BBC4 with great creativity, bringing viewers an amazing range of programmes including edgy documentaries like Meet The Ukippers, innovative comedy in Boy Meets Girl, ambitious TV experiments like Are Our Kids Tough Enough?, Chinese School and distinctive treats like The Dresser, as well as re-energising factual entertainment and drawing younger audiences with The Real Marigold Hotel, Phone Shop Idol, Hell Week and Let's Play Darts. 'She has modernised BBC2's identity, winning awards for the channel's use of social media and the revamp of on-air and refreshed the schedule with Monday's clever quiz hour, box-set factual and comedy double-bills back at 9pm, whilst creating new commercial funding models in factual entertainment and natural history. She has been an outstanding leader of BBC2 and BBC4 and I will be very sorry to see her go, but am incredibly grateful for her contribution.'
Former BBC2 controller, Janice Hadlow, has become the latest high-profile executive to leave the corporation. Hadlow, who has held specially-created post of 'Controller of Special Projects' since 2014, has worked at the BBC for the best part of thirty years. The BBC said that it is not looking to replace Hadlow. She is the latest in a string of executives to leave in quick succession including Kim Shillinglaw, Danny Cohen, and former creative director executive, Alan Yentob. The departure of Hadlow means that the BBC has saved almost a million smackers in salaries of departed executives. Enough to make half-a-dozen of episodes of EastEnders. 'I have had a wonderful career at the BBC, where I have been lucky enough to work with very talented people on a host of exciting programmes,' said Hadlow. 'I was pleased to be able to see my final project, Civilisations, through a period of development to the point where it is about to begin filming. It is always hard to say goodbye, but this feels the right moment for me to take my leave. I wish it, and all the colleagues with whom I have so enjoyed working, the very best of luck for the future.' While controller of BBC2, a post she held from 2008 to 2014, she was responsible for hits including The Great British Bake Off, The Fall and Line Of Duty.

Former Top Gear presenter James May has been vocal in his support for new host Chris Evans, saying that the BBC has been 'harsh' on him by recently celebrating the show's history. 'I was surprised they showed lots of Top Gear compilations over Christmas,' May told Radio Times. 'Just as he's trying to launch his version of the programme, the BBC is saying: "Look how brilliant it was before."' May is, of course, joining the show's former hosts Jezza Clarkson and Richard Hammond for their new Amazon Prime motoring show, which will be Top Gear's direct rival. But there is no animosity between them and Evans, he claimed. 'I'd like to see Chris's Top Gear do well,' May said. 'It's a ballsy call to continue it. I wouldn't want to be the one presenting it when we'd just finished, but there must be a way of reinventing it. We always said it would survive beyond us.' May also poured cold water on suggestions in the press that Top Gear was floundering and may not be ready in time. 'I think the stories about Chris's version being in trouble might be an elaborate hoax, before it explodes onto our screens in brilliance,' he said. Evans's reboot has been the subject of a number of trouble-making articles in both the tabloids and broadsheets over the last couple of weeks. Like this one from the good old reliable Middle Class hippy Communists at the Gruniad Morning Star, for instance.
​Sky Atlantic has confirmed that it will broadcast the new revival of ​Twin Peaks. The channel will also sow the new Damian Lewis drama ​Billions ​as part of a deal which sees Sky Atlantic become the exclusive home of Showtime programming in the UK. The deal - which also includes ​Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy​ - will see Atlantic continue to broadcast new seasons of ​Ray Donovan ​and ​The Affair​. Sky customers will also have on-demand access to the US cable channel's back catalogue, including Californication, Dexter and Nurse Jackie. ​The deal, however, does not include new episodes of ​Homeland​, which will continue to be shown on Channel Four in the UK.
Stephen Fry his very self has stepped down from the board of Norwich City, taking on an ambassadorial role at the club instead. However, the soon-to-be-former Qi host's seat on the board wasn't empty for long; taking over from him is Thomas Smith, a former civil servant and the nephew of Delia Smith, Norwich's joint majority shareholder. Stephen said: 'My five years in the role have been an honour and a privilege beyond almost anything I can remember. I wish I could take credit for ushering the club up from League One to the Premiership during that time on the Board. Actually, I'm going to. It was all me. It can't have been a coincidence.' Newly appointed chairman Ed Balls also had praise for Fry, saying that 'the huge affection in which he is held by the public at home and abroad has definitely enabled him to help raise the profile of Norwich City.' The former shadow chancellor took on his Norwich City role last month, saying at the time that it had been his dream to play football for the club, but his new appointment was the next best thing.
American astronomers say that they have 'strong evidence' there is a ninth planet in our Solar System orbiting far beyond Pluto. The team, from the California Institute of Technology, has no direct observations to confirm its presence yet. Rather, the scientists make the claim based on the way other far-flung objects have been observed to move. But, if proven, the putative planet would have ten times the mass of Earth. The Caltech astronomers have a vague idea where it ought to be on the sky, and their work is sure to fire a campaign to try to track it down. And name it Mondas, obviously. 'There are many telescopes on the Earth that actually have a chance of being able to find it,' said Doctor Mike Brown. 'And I'm really hoping that as we announce this, people start a worldwide search to go find this ninth planet.' The group's calculations suggest the object orbits twenty times farther from the Sun on average than does the eighth - and currently outermost - planet, Neptune, which moves about 4.5 billion kilometres from the Sun. But, unlike the near-circular paths traced by the main planets, this object would be in a highly elliptical trajectory, taking between ten thousand and twenty thousand years to complete one full orbit around the Sun. The Caltech group has analysed the movements of objects in a band of far-off icy material known as The Kuiper Belt. It is in this band that Pluto resides. The scientists say they see 'distinct alignments' among some members of The Kuiper Belt - and in particular two of its larger objects known as Sedna and 2012 VP113. These alignments, they argue, are 'best explained' by the existence of a hitherto unidentified large planet. 'The most distant objects all swing out in one direction in a very strange way that shouldn't happen and we realised the only way we could get them to swing in one direction is if there is a massive planet, also very distant in the Solar System, keeping them in place while they all go around the Sun,' explained Brown. 'I went from trying very hard to be sceptical that what we were talking about was true, to suddenly thinking, "this might actually be true."' The idea that there might be a so-called 'Planet X' moving in the distant reaches of the Solar System has been debated for more than a hundred years. It has fallen in and out of vogue. What makes this claim a little more interesting is the lead author behind it. Doctor Brown specialises in finding far-flung objects and it was his discovery of two thousand kilometre-wide Eris in The Kuiper Belt in 2005 that led to the - controversial and, frankly, wrong - demotion of Pluto from full planet status a year later. At that stage, Pluto was thought to be slightly smaller than Eris, but is now known to be a little bit bigger. Others who model the outer Solar System have been claiming for some years that the range of sizes seen in the objects so far identified in The Kuiper Belt suggest another planet, perhaps the size of Earth or Mars, could be a distinct possibility. But, there is sure to be strong scepticism until a confirmed telescopic observation is made. Brown and Konstantin Batygin report their work in the latest issue of the Astronomical Journal.

The release of the next Star Wars film has been delayed until the end of 2017, Disney has announced. Star Wars: Episode VIII was due to go on global release in May 2017 but instead will not be released until six months later. It will follow The Force Awakens, which is still showing and has become the biggest-grossing film in US history. In the five weeks since its release, it has earned over six hundred million smackers in the US and $1.88bn globally. Disney did not say why the film had been delayed until 15 December 2017, but there had been speculation that the script was currently being rewritten. Production is set to begin next month at Pinewood. The new release date means it could come up against another long-awaited blockbuster, Avatar 2, which is also set for Christmas 2017 but could be further delayed. Despite the news concerning the postponement, Star Wars fans have the consolation of the spin-off Rogue One, which is due out in December this year. The film, starring Felicity Jones, is set in the Star Wars universe, but with new characters. Disney will be releasing the fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean movie in May 2017 in the slot that would have been occupied by Episode VIII. Daisy Ridley, who stars as Rey in the revived Star Wars franchise, will also be teaming up with director JJ Abrams at the Oscar Wilde awards on 25 February. Ridley is to be honoured at the ceremony as she has Irish ancestry. She also shot the final scene of The Force Awakens with co-star Mark Hamill on Skellig Michael, off the West coast of Ireland. Abrams hosts the event, which has been held at his Bad Robot production company in Santa Monica in recent years.
All four members of ABBA reunited on Wednesday for the first time in seven years for the opening of a new restaurant in Stockholm. Based on the Greek taverna featured in the - horrifically awful - ABBA-themed film Mamma Mia!, the restaurant is the brainchild of Bjorn Ulvaeus. Bjorn was joined by his old bandmates Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad for the opening night, but the foursome - last pictured together in 2008 - once again ruled out any musical reunion. Asked if they would ever perform together again, Ulvaeus told the BBC News website: 'I don't think so, no. And I expect the others have answered the same thing to that question. I hope so - otherwise there will be headlines tomorrow.'
In a new interview with NME, Coldplay's Will Champion has revealed that the late David Bowie once turned down the awful middle-of-the-road rockers' request for a collaboration. The band had written a song with a multi-part harmony and envisioned Bowie as one of the voices. When Chris Martin wrote to David asking him to participate, the response was definitive: 'It's not a very good song, is it?' All of which proves that David Bowie had heard every single Coldplay record and concluded that one statement covered a multitude of sins.
A duo that Bowie did collaborate with - brilliantly, on 1996's 'Hallo Spaceboy' was, of course, The Pet Shop Boys who have, this week, announced a new CD to be released in April with the excellent title Super.
Here's proof, dear blog reader, that some people really are effing daft planks. 'Let's start an Internet petition about a subject that most people couldn't give a frigging stuff about - to be sent to whom, exactly, and threatening what, exactly if they (whoever they are) don't do what we want, we're not really sure yet - instead of just, you know, not buying the record when (or if) it comes out.' This blogger genuinely despairs of humanity and sometimes longs for the blissful blackness of eternal night. And, of course, it later appeared that the poor chap being petitioned was never planning on doing what he was being petitioned about anyway and that it was all a load of tabloid lies. What a surprise. One imagines that those who signed this utterly worthless petition will now be claiming this as 'a victory.' It's probably just as well that the Interweb didn't exist in 1973. One imagines it would have been full of outraged Pink Floyd, The Who and Pretty Things fans demanding - demanding - that this orange-haired freak of a pop singer with his audience of fourteen year old schoolgirls stop, instantly, desecrating 'See Emily Play', 'I Can't Explain' et al on his Pins-Up nonsense.
Meanwhile this blogger urges you, dear blog reader to check out this piece which yer man Bowie wrote for Vanity Fair in 2013 on his twenty five favourite records. Fascinating for Bowiephiles, vinyl junkies and social historians alike. Because, of, course, he was a dee-jay,he was what he played.
Dale Griffin, the former rummer with Mott The Hoople, has died aged sixty seven. The band, who made eight LPs during their five-and-a-half year existence - most of the really good - reformed to mark their fortieth anniversary in 2009 - but Griffin was too ill to take part. He did appear in BBC4's superb 2013 documentary The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople which featured contributions from all of the original members. Dale died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, said Peter Purnell from record label Angel Air records. He called Griffin 'one of the nicest, friendly and talented men I have ever known. All he ever wanted was for his beloved Mott The Hoople to reform and it was his determination that achieved that very feat in 2009 but, sadly, by then he was too ill to perform at the five sold-out dates - though he did join the band for encores.' Born in Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, the drummer - nicknamed Buffin - played in a number of local bands, appearing on two singles in 1966 by Yemm & The Yemen before forming Silence with singer Stan Tippens, keyboard player Verden Allen, guitarist Mick Ralphs and bassist Pete Overend Watts in the late 1960s. They got a record contract in early 1969 and went to London to record under the legendary producer Guy Stevens, who renamed the band Mott The Hoople after a 1967 novel by Willard Manus. Tippens was soon replaced by the perfect frontman, Ian Hunter but, although they built up a cult following (a raucous gig at the Royal Albert Hall led to the venue banning rock acts), they struggled to sell records and were on the verge of breaking up in 1972, until one of biggest fans David Bowie stepped in and persuaded them to stay together, placing them under the care of his manager Tony De Fries. He first offered them the song 'Suffragette City' - which they turned down - and then wrote the anthemic 'All The Young Dudes' instead. Mott's definitive version of the song reached number three in the UK charts and also made the top forty in America, giving the band a new lease of life. Later they produced in-house hits such as 'Honaloochie Boogie', the twenty four carat classic 'All The Way From Memphis', the forty eight carat masterpiece 'Roll Away The Stone' and 'The Golden Age Of Rock'n'Roll'. But the group disintegrated in 1974 when Hunter, suffering from physical exhaustion, cancelled their entire European tour. When rumours then spread that he was making a solo LP with Bowie's former guitarist Mick Ronson, it led to an irrevocable rift. Griffin, Watts and Morgan Fisher continued to play and record under the name Mott, but split up two years later. During the 1980s, Griffin and Watts formed a production company and produced LPs for Hanoi Rocks and The Cult and Department S's hit single 'Is Vic There?' Griffin then joined the BBC and engineered many sessions for John Peel's Radio 1 show from 1981 to 1994, including working with Pulp, The Smiths, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease just as the Mott The Hoople reunion was about to begin. His parts were played by his friend, The Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers, although he joined the band on stage for encores during their five-night stint at the Hammersmith Apollo. Dale is survived by his long term partner Jean Smith.
Thus, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, a tasty slice of yer actual Mott.

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