Monday, September 12, 2016

Shouldn't Be Allowed

BBC2 is to follow the search for new evidence in a murder case, six years after the conviction of a man who has maintained his innocence. Conviction: Murder At The Station will show the work of charity Inside Justice, which investigates possible miscarriages of justice. The programme will show the charity examining the case of Paula Poolton, who was murdered in Hampshire in 2008. It follows the popularity of Netflix's Making A Murderer and the podcast Serial. Both looked at the evidence behind historical convictions and gripped their audiences. The BBC programme will consist of two hour-long episodes to be broadcast on 21 and 28 September. In June 2010, Roger Kearney was jailed for fifteen years for killing Poolton, of Titchfield in Fareham, and hiding her body in the boot of her car. The trial heard that the pair had an affair in the summer of 2008. The court decided that Kearney had stabbed her to death when she started putting pressure on him to leave his partner and he then fabricated an alibi to cover his tracks. Poolton's parents said after the sentencing that 'justice had been done.' Kearney has always - and continues to - deny being responsible for the murder. Inside Justice said that no scientific evidence was found at the crime scene to implicate him and crucial CCTV evidence was 'of extremely poor quality.' Clare Sillery, the acting head of commissioning for BBC Documentaries, said: 'In gaining access to the work of Inside Justice, cameras capture the painstaking work that goes into these cases. With the bar for such referrals [to the Court of Appeal] being set phenomenally high, viewers will get a sense of just what it takes [to] look for evidence which could potentially overturn a murder conviction.'

Usually on episodes of yer actual University Challenge, this blogger wants teams geographically close to Stately Telly Topping Manor to win. But, this week, Keith Telly Topping found himself really wanting the Durham University team to lose. Badly. Simply for them thinking that both Roxy Music and Bauhaus were The Velvet Underground. Pfft, students. In't maaa day, we knew the difference. People used to get hanged for lesser crimes than that. In the end, Durham did lose, to the team from Edinburgh, albeit narrowly. Perhaps, if they'd brushed-up a bit on their popular music knowledge, they might have got those few extra points needed to take victory. You could tell yer man Paxman was less than impressed with them, however.
Things we learned from Only Connect this week. People, apparently, write to Victoria Coren Mitchell on Twitter 'to ask what I'm wearing.' Normally when you do that, the police become involved, don't they?
In the biggest media-related news story of the week yer actual Jezza Clarkson, apparently, decided to blow up his gaff in the country to make way for a new one (as you do). For which, to be fair, he did have permission to. Then, somebody in the locality whinged about it and the Daily Mirra got a totally pointless story out of it. Do you ever wonder, dear blog reader, if you are the last sane person left on the planet?
Next, here are final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Eight programmes, week-ending Sunday 4 September 2016:-
1 The Great British Bake Off - Wed BBC1 - 13.45m
2 Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show - Sat BBC1 - 10.43m
3 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 9.52m
4 Coronation Street - Wed ITV - 7.30m
5 Victoria - Sun ITV - 7.12m
6= Poldark - Sun BBC1 - 6.65m
6= EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 6.65m
8 Emmerdale - Fri ITV - 6.20m
9 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 6.17m
10 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.98m
11 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.39m
12 World Cup Qualifier: Slovakia Versus England - Sun ITV - 5.35m
13 DCI Banks - Wed ITV - 5.05m
14 One Of Us - Tues BBC1 - 4.84m
15 Goodnight Sweetheart - Fri BBC1 - 4.66m
16 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.64m
17 BBC News - Sat BBC1 - 4.44m
18 The Chronicles Of Nadiya - Wed BBC1 - 4.39m
19 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.37m
20 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.36m
21 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV - 4.29m
22 Young Hyacinth - Fri BBC1 - 4.14m
23 The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Mon BBC1 - 3.99m
24 The Force - Thurs ITV - 3.75m
25 ITV News At Ten - Mon ITV - 3.69m
26 Would I Lie To You? - Fri BBC1 - 3.59m
27 Newzoids - Sat ITV - 3.58m
28 The National Lottery: Five Star Family Reunion - Sat BBC1 - 3.56m
These consolidated figures include all viewers who watched programmes live and on catch-up during the seven days after initial broadcast, but do not include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. I dunno why, they just don't, all right? Don't blame me, I don't make the rules. The X Factor's Sunday night programme attracted 8.66 million viewers whilst another episode of Victoria on Monday evening had 6.83 million. The much-hyped (and much-awful) Go For It continued to struggle on ITV being watched by but 2.49 million punters two hundred thousand down from the previous week's audience. On BBC2, New York: America's Busiest City was the most watched programme with 3.06 million viewers. The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice was seen by 2.85 million, Ripper Street by 2.75 million and University Challenge by 2.54 million punters. Inside The Factory: How Our Favourite Foods Are Made and Dragons' Den both drew 2.67 million, Only Connect had 2.60 million, Gardeners' World 2.57 million viewers, The Great British Menu 1.89 million and Trust Me, I'm A Doctor 1.81 million. Mastermind attracted 1.80 million and An Hour To Save Your Life attracted 1.76 million, followed by Home From Home (1.62 million), Dad's Army (1.52 million), A Week In The Wild (1.36 million), Our Ex-Wife (1.34 million) and the film War Horse (1.20 million). The latest repeat episode of Qi drew 1.18 million. Speed With Guy Martin was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast of the week (2.87 million viewers), followed by F1: Italian Grand Prix Live (2.10 million), Nine, Nine, Nine: What's Your Emergency? (2.05 million), Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown (two million viewers), Location, Location, Location (1.97 million) and First Dates (1.86 million). Hidden Britain By Drone was watched by nine hundred and thirteen thousand viewers. Channel Five's top performer was, Gypsy Kids: Our Secret World - with 1.82 million - ahead of Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away (1.60 million), Gangland: Turf Wars (1.28 million), The Dog Rescuers With Alan Davies (1.27 million) and On Benefits (1.17 million punters). Inside The White House drew 1.09 million whilst Adolf & Eva: Love & War had 1.08 million. For the second week running, none of the Sky Sports channels - not one of them, and there's about ten of the bloody things now - appear to have submitted their data for this particular week. Which is extremely remiss of them, frankly. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and sixty five thousand viewers). Foyle's War was seen by seven hundred and eighty two thousand, Doc Martin by five hundred and fifty one thousand and Lewis by five hundred and twenty one thousand. Cycling: La Vuelta A Espana Highlights headed ITV4's weekly list with four hundred and twenty one thousand viewers whilst Mr Bean attracted three hundred and forty thousand and Benidorm was watched by three hundred and thirty three thousand. ITV2's most-watched broadcast was the movie White House Down, which drew eight hundred and forty thousand viewers. Family Guy six hundred and sixty thousand viewers and The Xtra Factor a surprisingly lower than usual figure of six hundred and seven thousand. The Darling Buds Of May headed ITV Encore's top ten with seventy thousand viewers, ahead of Heartbeat which had sixty one thousand and Cilla with fifty two thousand. BBC4's list was headed by the surprisingly watchable All Abroad! The Country Bus (which, with nine hundred and twenty five thousand viewers was the most-watched programme of the week on multichannels), followed by Beck: In The Eye Of The Storm (eight hundred and sixteen thousand), Lost Sitcoms: Till Death Us Do Part (seven hundred and thirty one thousand), The Most Courageous Raid of World War II (six hundred and ninety eight thousand) and Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made The Commonwealth (four hundred and thirty six thousand). Alan Johnson's First Class Post drew three hundred and forty nine thousand and The Beginning & End of The Universe three hundred and forty five thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed the return of Mount Pleasant (four hundred and forty nine thousand), Zoo (four hundred and thirty seven thousand), The Last Ship (four hundred and three thousand) and The Simpsons (three hundred and twenty nine thousand). Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the opening episode of The Night Of (four hundred and sixty eight thousand). Ray Donovan was seen by two hundred and sixty five thousand, Ballers by two hundred and forty thousand, Vice Principals by one hundred and one thousand and another Game Of Thrones repeat by eighty six thousand, the same audience attracted by Blue Bloods. On Sky Living, Chicago Fire drew five hundred and fifty three thousand, Shades Of Blue had four hundred and fifty nine thousand, Unforgettable, four hundred and thirty four thousand, Nashville, three hundred and five thousand and My Kitchen Rules Australia, two hundred and thirty thousand viewers. Sky Arts' Master Of Photography had sixty four thousand viewers whilst History Of The Eagles attracted sixty thousand. 5USA's NCIS; Los Angeles was watched by five hundred and twenty eight thousand viewers. Chicago PD attracted four hundred and eighty two thousand, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, three hundred and forty four thousand, NCIS, three hundred and twenty two thousand and Rookie Blue, two hundred and eighty seven thousand. NCIS also featured in the top ten of CBS Action (one hundred and twelve thousand), which was headed by Bad Girls with one hundred and fourteen thousand. FOX's list was also headed by Wolf Creek (two hundred and thirty four thousand) in a top-ten which also included another episode of NCIS (one hundred and fifty seven thousand), Tyrant (one hundred and fifty thousand) and Family Guy (one hundred and ten thousand). The Universal Channel's list was headed by the movie The Bourne Ultimatum (one hundred and seventy thousand). Motive drew one hundred and forty two thousand, Mr Robot, one hundred and forty thousand and yet another episode of NCIS, one hundred and thirty one thousand. On Dave, Suits was, as usual, the highest-rated programme with four hundred and seventy five thousand punters. That was followed by Have I Got A Bit More News For You (four hundred and fifty thousand), Would I Lie To You? (four hundred and thirty nine thousand), Mock The Week (three hundred and ninety nine thousand) and Qi XL (three hundred and ninety four thousand). Drama's Death In Paradise was watched by three hundred and eighty eight thousand viewers. Father Brown had three hundred and eighty six thousand, Murdoch Mysteries, three hundred and seventy five thousand and New Tricks three hundred and forty five thousand. Shetland attracted three hundred and twelve thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme was Rizzoli & Isles (five hundred and seventy six thousand), followed by Rosewood (two hundred and eighty four thousand), Inspector George Gently (one hundred and sixty nine thousand), Death In Paradise (one hundred and thirty eight thousand) and Sherlock (one hundred and twenty five thousand). The latest episode of Yesterday's repeat run of 'Allo 'Allo was seen by two hundred and three thousand. Yes Minister was watched by one hundred and eighty four thousand, Murder Maps by one hundred and seventy one thousand, The Two Ronnies by one hundred and sixty four thousand and Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? by one hundred and sixty thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Alaskan Bush People's latest series - in which, at least according to that bloody trailer which is shown about every two minutes, someone is 'goin' t'jail' ... hopefully for life - continued with one hundred and seventy five thousand viewers. Running Wild With Bear Grylls had an audience of one hundred and sixty one thousand, Yukon Men was watched by one hundred and nineteen thousand, Misfit Garage by one hundred and seven thousand and Gold Divers by one hundred thousand. Discovery History's Seven Ages Of Britain topped the weekly-list with thirty eight thousand viewers. Egypt's Mystery Chamber and World War II In Colour were both watched by twenty thousand, whilst A Time To Remember and Time Team attracted eighteen thousand. On Discovery Science, How it's Made was seen by seventy four thousand viewers. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programmes was Wheeler Dealers (forty two thousand) followed by Chasing Classic Cars (twenty eight thousand) and Bitchin' Rides (twenty six thousand). National Geographic's list was headed by Yukon Gold which had sixty four thousand viewers and No Man Left Behind (sixty thousand). The History Channel's top-ten was led by Barbarians Rising and The Bastard Executioner (two hundred and sixty six thousand and one hundred and sixty eight thousand respectively). On Military History, Ancient Aliens was watched by forty two thousand and Hanger One: The UFO Files by twenty seven thousand. Real Prison Breaks, Killer Instinct With Chris Hansen and FBI Case Files were ID's top-rated programmes of the week (with seventy two thousand viewers, fifty five thousand and forty three thousand murder-lovers respectively). Unusual Suspects, Killer Kids and A Town & Country Murder headed CI's list (sixty four thousand, fifty seven thousand and forty seven thousand). GOLD's repeat of unfunny and rotten as a badger's bush Gavin & Stacey drew one hundred and eighty eight thousand. This blogger once again resigned from the viewing public in protest at this occurrence but, I don't think it did much good. Miranda had one hundred and seventy eight thousand and Only Fools & Horses one hundred and sixty one thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (four hundred and nine thousand) and Jason Manford: First World Problems (one hundred and sixty six thousand). Your TV's Unusual Suspects had sixty five thousand viewers whilst Snapped drew fifty thousand. On More4, Phil Spenser's Stately Homes was the highest-rated programme with four hundred and twenty two thousand. Selling Houses With Amanda Lamb attracted three hundred and forty thousand, Twenty Four Houses In A&E, three hundred and eleven thousand, Come Dine With Me, three hundred and five thousand and Sarah Benny's Four Rooms, two hundred and eighty seven thousand. E4's latest episode of Made In Chelsea: South Of France drew 1.01 million viewers. The Horror Channel's broadcast of Dark House attracted one hundred and seventeen thousand. Their top-ten list for the week also included Curtain (one hundred and fourteen thousand), Altitude (eighty five thousand), The Canal (eighty four thousand) and Prey (eighty one thousand). Dark Matter, headed Syfy's top-ten with four hundred and twenty three thousand whilst a broadcast of Star Trek: Insurrection drew one hundred and twenty five thousand. The Blue Planet had forty three thousand on Eden. Tanked was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with sixty five thousand. On W, John Bishop In Conversation was seen by six hundred and twenty six thousand. Battlebots attracted two hundred and four thousand on Spike, whilst the movie Kelly's Heroes was watched by one hundred and ninety thousand. Katie Price's Pony Club - possibly the most offensively dreadful TV programme made since ... TLC's last Katie Price vehicle was watched by one hundred and thirty nine thousand people who really do need to have a good, hard look at themselves in the mirror. The Vault's Saved By The Bell was seen by twenty five thousand punters.

Yer actual Christopher Eccleston reportedly wishes that he'd stayed in the TARDIS for more than just one series. Speaking to the Australian radio show Drive on Melbourne's 774 ABC, Chris explained that he now regrets not doing another series of Doctor Who in 2006 and said that he would have liked to develop his character further. 'It was kind of tragic for me, that I didn't play him for longer,' Big Ecc noted. 'He's a beautiful character and I have a great deal of professional pride and had I done a second season, there would have been a marked improvement in my performance. I was learning new skills, in terms of playing light comedy. I was not known for light comedy and, again, production did not allow for that,' he added.
John Barrowman has previously alluded on several occasions in interviews to his efforts to bring back the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood for another (fifth) series - which would, hopefully, a bit better than the thoroughly piss-poor fourth one. But now, he has claimed that there are specific things - or, actually specific people - getting in the way. Speaking to the Radio Times, Barrowman claimed: 'I was told that there are some obstacles to overcome and every time I tried to talk about a way around them, it was almost like there was another obstacle. I travel all over the world,' he continued, 'and I see the popularity of Torchwood. But when it comes down that it's not being done because of people's egos, I find that really difficult. There's a lot of politics involved and the people that are close to it, I think would love to see it done, but there's just certain egos in the path that are just standing in the way. That's all I'll say.' Barrowman, pointedly, did not say who these 'certain egos' were - which was a bit cowardly of him, frankly, having made the accusation in the first place - but, inevitably, the madder end of Torchwood fandom assumed that Barrowman was referring to Doctor Who showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE). The man who, lets remember, created the character of Captain Jack in the first place. Queue the expected deluge of stroppy throwing of toys out of prams on Twitter and, you know, death threats and the like. Steven himself appeared bemused - and, not entirely pleased - with finding himself stuck in the middle of this manufactured malarkey: 'You may be aware that John Barrowman has been saying, publicly, that I've been blocking a new series of Torchwood,' he wrote. 'To be very clear, 'I haven't blocked it; I wouldn't block it; I wouldn't be able to block it. I didn't even know a revival had been mooted till I read about it on the Internet. As John perfectly well knows, it's not my show and I could no more prevent it happening than he could cancel Sherlock. I am bewildered, and a little cross, even to be included in this conversation. For the record, I really liked the show (especially the third series) and would be very happy to see more - monsters and mayhem, why not? But the fact is, it has nothing to do with me. Please pass this on to the anxious and the angry - I've had enough hate mail now.' Okay then, Steven, consider that extremely done. Now, it might be helpful if yer man Barrowman actually clarified, publicly, whom he did mean and what evidence he has to back up his claims.
Channel Four has pissed off one extremely powerful TV writer by their luring of The Great British Bake Off away from the BBC for a reported twenty five million knicker. Mark Gatiss's reaction echoed that of many other fans of the popular bakery show. "Oh fuck off Channel Four,' Mark seethed on Twitter when news broke on Monday evening. What he said.
Meanwhile, yer actual Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc her very self will 'step down' as hosts of The Great British Bake Off when it moves to Channel Four. The duo have fronted the show since it began on BBC2 in 2010, alongside judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. They said in a statement: 'We made no secret of our desire for the show to remain where it was. We're not going with the dough.' Neither they. nor Hollywood or Berry, were reportedly consulted during the negotiations over the show's future. After talks between the BBC and producers collapsed on Monday afternoon, Perkins tweeted the BBC's statement which expressed the hope that Love Productions, which makes the show, would reverse their decision. Love Productions thanked Mel and Sue - through gritted teeth, one imagines - for 'bringing their unique humour to the tent.' Giedroyc and Perkins said that they were 'very shocked and saddened' to learn Bake Off would be leaving the BBC. Their decision to quit will be a huge blow to Channel Four, which agreed a twenty five million knicker-a-year deal to broadcast the show. Perkins and Giedroyc's chemistry and saucy, innuendo-laden presenting style are considered to be a key part of Bake Off's huge popularity. The statement continued: 'The BBC nurtured the show from its infancy and helped give it its distinctive warmth and charm, growing it from an audience of two million to nearly fifteen [million] at its peak. We've had the most amazing time on Bake Off and have loved seeing it rise and rise like a pair of yeasted Latvian baps. We're not going with the dough. We wish all the future bakers every success.' A spokesman for Channel Four said earlier that it 'would be delighted if the presenters and judges want to come to Channel Four.' The BBC is understood to have offered fifteen million smackers – double its previous terms – to keep the show, but baulked when rank and sick greed got the better of Love Productions and they demanded twenty five million wonga a year. It is not yet known if Berry and Hollywood will stay with the show. One imagines that rather depends if they, like Love Productions, have got their greed on big-style.
When a Spice Girl pisses on your jellyfish sting (that's not a euphemism, just in case you were wondering), you act like it's been magically cured no matter what it actually does. During an appearance on ITV's This Morning on Monday, Bear Grylls admitted that he may have 'feigned relief' during the incident, which was captured on Mel B's episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls. 'It's amazing how all the members of the crew suddenly went very coy,' said Grylls. The survival expert went on to explain that despite his star guest's valiant effort to 'relieve his pain' by urinating on him, it wasn't exactly as painless as he made it seem. 'When you get stung by a jellyfish, the tentacles stay on it and keep stinging,' he explained. 'So, what the urine does is stop the tentacle from continuing its stinging. It doesn't neutralise anything. [It didn't make] a huge difference. But, I didn't want to be rude, so I was like: "Ah, so much better. Thank you so much!"' Still, 'it helped a little bit,' Grylls said before adding: 'I mean, it wasn't the miracle cure I'd been hoping for!'
Game Of Thrones has dominated this year's creative EMMY Awards with nine prizes for technical achievement. The ceremony was split over Saturday and Sunday evenings and featured categories such as best casting, sound and visual effects. Thrones' success was followed by The People Versus OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, which took five awards. Making A Murderer and Grease Live! each achieved four wins. Game Of Thrones won in categories including prosthetic make-up, period/fantasy costumes and production design. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler shared a best guest actress in a comedy award, for hosting last year's Saturday Night Live Christmas episode. It was a ninth EMMY for Poehler but a first for Fey, and also the first time two women had shared the prize. Odious funny lardbucket (and drag) James Corden was honoured for The Late, Late Show With James Corden and his Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special. The Ameircans, for some bizarre reason, seem to like Corden. Listen, you can have him if you want, we really don't mind. Other British interests included Downton Abbey, which took two awards for hairdressing and production design. The Night Manager won for outstanding music composition for a limited series, movie or special and Sherlock: The Abominable Bride won outstanding special visual effects. American Horror Story picked up the prize for best make-up in a limited series or movie, and best documentary went to What Happened, Miss Simone?
Whinges over an episode of Fireman Sam, which appeared to show a character treading on a page from the Qu'ran, will not be investigated by Ofcom. The scene shows a fireman slipping on a bundle of papers and, as they fly up, a page with Arabic script appears to be among them. Ofcom received one hundred and seventy complaints but said on Monday that it 'could not confirm' the page was from the Qu'ran. While the number of whinges to Ofcom was high, the poor old BBC received more than one thousand about the show despite not, actually, broadcasting it. The episode, which was swiftly pulled from Channel Five's streaming service, was first broadcast on TV in October 2014. 'We studied a recording of the programme in the highest possible resolution,' an Ofcom spokesperson said. 'We found that the page did appear to contain Arabic text, but its contents could not have been deciphered, nor recognised as being from a given text.' Mattel, which produced the show, previously apologised and said it did not believe it was 'done maliciously.' The company, which produces brands including Bob The Builder, Pingu and Thomas The Tank Engine, blamed the animation studio for the mistake. 'It's just an unfortunate incident where someone from the production company thought they were just putting in random text,' a Mattel spokesperson claimed. 'We have no reason to believe it was done maliciously.' In a statement, at the time the whinges were made, Mattel said: 'The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error. We sincerely apologise for any distress or offence it may have caused.' It said it would 'no longer be working with the animation studio responsible,' and would take 'immediate action to remove this episode from circulation. We are reviewing our content production procedures to ensure this never happens again,' it added.
The Archers' Helen Titchener has been found not guilty of attempting to murder her abusive husband Rob. Millions of listeners to the BBC Radio 4 drama were expected to tune-in as the fictional trial drew to a close with the jury's verdict. The high-profile domestic abuse plot culminated in the first hour-long episode in show's sixty five-year history. A cast of jurors, including Dame Eileen Atikins, Nigel Havers and Catherine Tate, were heard deliberating Helen's fate. After a week-long trial, the jury at Borchester Crown Court also found her not guilty of wounding with intent over the incident, in which Rob was stabbed. Discharged from the court room following the majority verdict, Helen had an emotional reunion with her parents. Her mother Pat told her: 'You're a survivor, all right. You didn't deserve any of this - that's what the jury decided, remember that.' But moments later, Helen was confronted by Rob. 'Congratulations Helen, you must be chuffed with yourself,' he said. Issuing a chilling warning, he added: 'You might have fooled everyone else but you haven't got rid of me - and as long as we have a child together you never will.' She replied: 'The whole world knows what you are now Rob. You've failed, I'm free.' A family court hearing has been set for 14 September, where the custody of Helen's two sons - Henry and Jack - will be decided. The fictional stabbing, which took place in an episode in April, followed a much-debated storyline portrayed by actors Timothy Watson and Louiza Patikas. It has gripped listeners, sparked a national debate about domestic violence and a flood of donations to the women's charity Refuge. The verdict prompted thousands of comments on social media, including a Tweet from the shadow justice minister, Jo Stevens, who wrote: 'Absolute applause to BBC Radio 4 [and] The Archers for brilliantly scripted/acted story of DV (domestic violence) and women in prison.' Rob's long-term emotional abuse of Helen had been slowly drip-fed to listeners of The Archers over two and a half years. Avoiding the standard depiction of abuse as daily physical violence, the drama centred on his systematic undermining of her personality. The plot was inspired by a new law against 'coercive or controlling behaviour' in relationships, with writers consulting lawyers, charities and abuse survivors to get the details right. For the gentle soap opera set in the fictional English village of Ambridge, the storyline has proved a sensational departure from the cosy country life usually depicted. The relationship between organic cheesemaker Helen Archer and farm manager - and very naughty man - Rob Titchener began in 2013, leading to marriage and a baby. Listeners were gradually introduced to Rob's darker side as he began to bully and control her, isolating her from family and friends. Louiza, who has played Helen for sixteen years, said: 'I feel relieved - the secret's out. Finally I can talk to friends and family about it and I'm really intrigued to see what the public makes of the verdict.' She said that she was looking forward to 'rebuilding' Helen, who may take her time processing the implications of the verdict. 'I hope that she'll soon get back behind the wheels of her car and start some therapeutic cheese-making when she feels up to it.' The actress, who met survivors of domestic violence in preparation for the role, said that she hoped anyone listening to the programme who was experiencing domestic abuse would 'find the courage to get help.' More than seven thousand people have supported a Just Giving fundraising page for the women's charity Refuge set up by Archers fan Paul Trueman, 'because for every fictional Helen, there are real ones.' Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: 'Never before in my thirty three-year career at Refuge have I seen such amazing public support for our work.' Programme editor Sean O'Connor said that whilst he was aware the storyline was controversial, he had been 'surprised by the intensity of the reaction to it and how it has inspired a national debate about a previously hidden issue in British culture.' O'Connor added: 'In many ways, while this is the climax to the story it's not the end of the story - because Helen and Rob are still married, they have two children, one of whom they share together. In many ways this story could be a twenty or thirty-year story - as long as Helen and Rob share that child between them.' But, for the audience, the writers wanted to 'draw a line under the legal part of the story' he added. Helen's verdict was even kept a strict secret from the majority of the cast. 'We just made an agreement we wouldn't tell anybody, it was very old-fashioned, it was all hush hush.' The Archers was first broadcast in five pilot episodes in 1950, in the hope of educating farmers about modern agricultural methods to help feed a Britain still subject to food rationing. A regular audience of around five million people listen to the show, which is broadcast in six episodes a week.
Former Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown Findlay is to appear in a new production of Hamlet. The twenty six-year-old, who played Lady Sybil Crawley, will take on the role of Ophelia in the production at the Almeida Theatre in London. Sherlock's Andrew Scott will play the title role in the Shakespeare play while Juliet Stevenson will play Hamlet's mother, Gertrude. Robert Icke will direct the production, which opens in February. Brown Findlay has also previously appeared in Jamaica Inn, Misfits and The Outcast, with film credits including Albatross, Winter's Tale and The Riot Club.
A second alleged sexual abuse victim of Sir Cliff Richard has challenged the decision not to bring charges against him, prosecutors have confirmed. The Crown Prosecution Service said last month that it was reviewing one case after a request by a complainant and another has now requested a similar review. In June it said there was 'insufficient evidence' to prosecute Richard over sex abuse claims made by four men. Claims which, it is important to note, the veteran singer has always strongly denied. A spokesman for the singer said: 'Sir Cliff reaffirms his innocence and has every confidence the CPS will come to the right conclusion as soon as possible.' Both cases are expected to be reviewed together, with the outcome expected this month. Alleged victims of alleged crimes are entitled to a review of decisions not to charge suspects under a scheme set up by the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales in 2013. On Tuesday, in reply to a question about Sir Cliff's case, Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said that reviews would be looked at 'within twenty eight days. We only overturn these decisions if we think that the original decision was wrong,' she told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. 'We look at it again and it must still be that there is sufficient evidence and it's in the public interest to prosecute. It must still satisfy the tests.' The four men alleged the sex offences had taken place at various dates between 1958 and the early 1980s.
The Ukrainian city of Kiev will host the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, it has been announced. That's if the bloody Russians haven't occupied Ukraine by then, of course. The venue was originally due to be announced on 26 August, but a press conference was cancelled at the last minute for unknown reasons. Organisers said that they were 'still discussing' candidates, but fans speculated that Ukraine might pull out of the contest for financial reasons. The Eurovision organisation said Kiev, the Ukraine capital, would prove to be a 'worthy' host. 'Kiev presented an excellent case and we are looking forward to working together to create the most electrifying show yet next May,' said Jon Ola Sand, who oversees the contest for the European Broadcasting Union. Hosting the contest, of course, costs millions of pounds. This year, Sweden is thought to have spent twelve million smackers on staging the three live shows, making it the lowest-budget production in many years. The city of Baku, in Azerbaijan, which hosted the contest in 2012, spent forty eight million knicker after building the Baku Crystal Hall specifically for the event. In 2014, Denmark spent thirty six million quid and received thirteen million in tourism spending, while Austria paid twenty eight million notes and received twenty two million in 2015. Millions of viewers across the continent watched Ukrainian singer Jamala win the 2016 contest, held in Stockholm last May. Her song, '1944', had been the target of criticism - mainly from Russia - as its lyrics referenced the deportation of Crimean Tatars under Josef Stalin, which some - Russian - whingers claimed broke Eurovision rules on songs that 'contain political messages.' Yeah, well, don't blame the Ukrainians, blame that murdering bastard Stalin. However, it scored a resounding victory, winning five hundred and thirty four points, largely drawn from viewers' phone votes. The 2017 contest will be held in Kiev's International Exhibition Centre, which has the capacity for eleven thousand spectators. The semi-finals will take place on Tuesday 9 and Thursday 11 May, with the final on Saturday 13 May.
Star Trek has had 'an inspirational relationship' with the space programme, according to Robert Picardo, who played the medical hologram in Star Trek Voyager. The hit SF franchise is currently celebrating fifty years since the initial broadcast of Star Trek in American in 1966. Speaking to BBC Radio 5Live, Picardo said there have now been 'two generations' of people who have 'been inspired' to go into technology fields directly because of Star Trek and its numerous spin-offs.
TV comedy moment of the week came from the always excellent The Last Leg: Live From Rio on Sunday evening. Host Adam Hills was introducing one his guests, the Paralympic gold medal cyclist Jon-Allen Butterworth who, Adam noted, had conducted an online poll before travelling to Rio asking whether he such keep the beard he'd recently grown or shave it off. Jon's Twitter followers, seemingly, voted for the facial hair to remain. 'It was, literally, online grooming,' noted Adam! Now, what's the betting somebody, somewhere whinges about that?
If you haven't been watching The Last Leg, dear blog reader, you really should be. Adam Hills remains one of the finest comedy talents on the planet - this blogger has been a fan for years - and is aided by terrific contributions from regulars Josh Widdecombe and Alex Brooker plus Johnny Vegas, Steven Mangan and, err, Johnnie Peacock in a tutu. You probably have to be there. Funny, irreverent, smart, sassy and just a bit dangerous, even if you're not following the Paralympics - and, if not, why not? - you should still be following this.
Worthless ITV2 attention-whore spectacle Love Island has been cleared by the media watchdog Ofcom - a politically-appointed quango, elected by no one - after receiving various complaints about 'sexual content.' Sadly, no one bothered to whinge about Love Island being an insult to the intellect of all but the nation's stupidest glakes, because that one, they might have upheld. Seven viewers whinged about an episode broadcast on 30 June in which two contestants - Emma-Jane Woodham and Terry Walsh (no, me neither) - had The Sex. Ofcom felt that ITV2 had given viewers 'enough warning' and that the footage was 'relatively indistinct.' So, there you go, dear blog reader, you can boink on telly now, so long and don't do it in HD. Ofcom also concluded that the 'young adult audience' ITV2 is aimed at would have 'a greater expectation of such footage.' The watchdog also took into consideration the 'light-hearted tone' of the sequence, which was edited to music from Bizet's Carmen 'for comic effect,' with the emphasis on other housemates' reaction to the event rather than the act of The Sex itself. The incident took place in the dark in a communal bedroom and was recorded with night vision cameras. There was no full nudity in the scene and Ofcom noted that The Sex was extremely brief - approximately six seconds. Something, one imagines, Walsh made plenty of excuses for. In the scene preceding The Sex footage, Woodham asked one of her fellow contestants: 'If we have sex on top of the covers, they can't air that, can they?' Apparently, they can. Ofcom also noted that the episode of Love Island in question was immediately preceded by a double-bill of the sitcom Two & A Half Men which 'typically' included discussion 'of an adult and/or sexual nature,' so 'the transition to stronger material after the watershed was not unduly abrupt.' The Sex incident was not the only controversy of the latest series - former Miss Great Britain Zara Holland was stripped of her title after having The Sex with Alex Bowen (no, me neither) on the show. Love Island began in 2005 and ran for two series before it was cancelled due to lack of interest. It was revived last year and is now hosted by Caroline Flack and a third series has been commissioned. The series is thought to have attracted double the number of viewers it had last year, with an average of 1.3 million people watching each episode. Which, in and of itself, is one of the sickest and most dispiriting comments on Britain in the Twenty First Century imaginable.
The shadow foreign secretary has accused a TV interviewer of 'sexism' after he asked her to name the French foreign minister. No, this blogger can't quite get the link to sexism from that either but, here's the story, dear blog reader, see if you can work it out. Emily Thornberry - no, me neither - criticised Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan for 'pub-quizzing' her as they discussed Brexit talks, saying it was 'patronising.' Err ... she's a politician, isn't it her job to answer questions on her specific political role asked by journalists? The Labour MP 'declined to' (or, perhaps, couldn't) name French minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, adding: 'Can we talk about some serious stuff?' I'm not sure why Thornberry thinks that Britain's relationship with France isn't important, again, that's something that this blogger always thought was key part of the shadow foreign office brief. Murnaghan said that he had asked male politicians similar questions. He went on to refer to the time in 2011 when he asked the then shadow chancellor Alan Johnson about national insurance rates - a question which the Labour MP was unable to answer; although, to be fair to Johnson, his reply was a lot less stroppy and discombobulated as hers. If memory serves, his reply was something along the lines of 'sorry I don't know, I've only been in the job a few days, ask me again in a week and I'll know the answer to that and plenty else besides.' Which most independent viewers were rather impressed by. Thornberry was asked if she had taken part in any Brexit talks with her would-be counterparts in Germany and France, and then if she knew the name of the French foreign minister. 'Don't start pub quizzing me, Dermot,' she snapped. She was then asked again if she was able to name the minister. Thornberry said: 'No and I'm not going to start answering your questions on this.' Heaven forbid that a politician should have to answer questions asked of them. She added: 'Do you know what really upsets me about your attitude to me is that you do this with me. I don't remember you doing it with anybody else you know. Have you done it to David Davis? Have you asked these questions? Do Sky journalists have a go at Boris Johnson on this basis? How about Liam Fox? Do you do pub quizzes with them? I mean honestly. Can we talk about some serious stuff?' Thornberry suggested that Murnaghan should ask her questions about the situation in Syria or North Korea. Murnaghan then asked her if she knew who the South Korean president was in relation to the recent news that North Korea had carried out a fifth nuclear blast. 'If you want me to go with you to a pub tonight and we can do a pub quiz tonight, let's do it,' she replied. She was then asked if knew the president's gender, she said: 'I'm not getting drawn by you into this nonsense.' aw, come on - he gave you a fifty-fifty and you still bottled it. Park Geun-hye is, of course, a lady. Murnaghan went on to ask Thornberry about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. She claimed that Labour is 'committed to tackling the issue,' as well as racism and sexism, whenever it occurs. She said: 'There is always more to be done and do you know what, there is certainly a lot more to be done by the Tories and I certainly think sometimes when it comes to sexism, some Sky presenters need to look at themselves too. I really do. It really upsets me that every time I come on here, you do another pub quiz with me because you do not do it with anybody else and I do think that it's patronising.' Murnaghan replied: 'It's not, because you are the shadow foreign secretary and this was about the French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who Boris Johnson has met now several times.' Round one to Murnaghan, on could suggest. Thornberry said that she wanted to 'take this offline because I have got a lot to say to you and I don't think a lot of it ought to be broadcast.' The interview, inevitably, 'sparked a wave of debate online.' Because, as we all know - or, at least, as the Gruniad Morning Star never gets tried of telling us, Twitter is now The Sole Arbiter Of The Worst Of All Things. Isabel Hardman, the assistant editor of The Spectator, tweeted: 'Hum. Never realised I could just use "sexism" as a cover-all excuse for not doing my homework.' She later added: 'Seriously, though, sexism is still so rife and serious. This kind of thing trivialises it and makes it harder to fight.' Which, pretty much sums up this bloggers opinion on Thornberry's ridiculous claims. Matt Chorley of The Times tweeted: 'It would have been sexist if Murnaghan had asked Thornberry about Bake Off. Or her hairdresser. Not who she might talk to in government.' Again, it's hard to argue with that. Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson tweeted: 'Plenty of genuine sexism and misogyny in politics. Don't need prominent women debasing the term to cover their own poor performance. Jeez.' Bloody Hell, this blogger finds himself agreeing with a Tory. Thanks a lot Emily, in a back-handed way you've just managed the impossible.
The publisher of an Air China in-flight magazine has grovellingly apologised after the airline became embroiled in a - rather manufactured, but still very embarrassing - 'race row.' The magazine warned passengers to 'take precautions' when visiting parts of London mainly populated by 'Indians, Pakistanis and black people.' Which, to be fair, is most of London given that it is, proudly, one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. It was distributed on Air China flights in September. Predictably, some people lost their shit when the story broke although whether the most contentious issue was the rather glib racial implications or, rather, the suggestion that a major European city has 'no go' areas is another matter entirely. Air China Media, which publishes the Wings Of China magazine, said that it wished to apologise to 'readers and passengers who are feeling uncomfortable.' It added: 'This inappropriate description was purely a work mistake by the editors and it's not the magazine's views. We will immediately recall this entire issue of magazines and draw lessons from this incident.' Whether the editors in question will have their knackers spanked with a plimsoll or get sent to a special place reserved for those who screw up in China is not, at this time, known. But, we can probably guess. The offending magazine article was noticed by Beijing-based producer Haze Fan, from US news channel CNBC who, of course, decided that snitching about it to newspapers instead of having a quiet - private - word with the airline was the best course of action. The article said: 'London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people.' It added: 'We advise tourists not to go out alone at night and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling.' Air China said it had 'immediately removed' the magazine from all its flights and demanded Wings of China completes a 'thorough check on future content' to 'avoid similar problems.' London MP Virendra Sharma has written to the Chinese ambassador to the UK to demand - demand - an apology. Instead of just, you know, accepting that somebody screwed up and letting them try to put it right without sticking your oar in and stirring up trouble. But, this is an MP -and a Labour MP at that - so why waste the opportunity to get yourself in the news over something utterly trivial? Sharma said: 'I am shocked and appalled that even today some people would see it as acceptable to write such blatantly untrue and racist statements.' Shocked and appalled. Blimey. Not just one of them, you'll note, but both. The MP for Ealing Southall, which does have a high Indian population, said that he had requested for the magazine to be removed from circulation immediately. Which was done, seemingly, even before he made his 'request' so, that was a bit pointless, really. He added: 'I have invited representatives of Air China to visit my constituency of Ealing Southall to see that a very multi-cultural area is safe and would be of great value for those visiting London to see. I will await their response and if an appropriate one is not forthcoming I shall feel forced to question whether Air China is a fit company to operate in the UK.' Given that it's the only airline which currently operates between China and the UK and that, post-Brexit, we're looking for every friend and potential trading partner we can get in the world, Virendra, you might want to think about maybe dialling down the threats. Especially since they've got a hell of a lot more intercontinental ballistic missiles than we have. Just a thought. The Chinese government has previously 'raised concerns' about how its citizens act abroad. In 2013, a senior Chinese Communist Party official called for authorities to 'guide tourists to conscientiously abide by public order and social ethics, respect local religious beliefs and customs, mind their speech and behaviour and protect the environment.' Which is lovely. It's something the British government might want to think about having a go at considering the reputation - lower than rattlesnakes piss - that many British people have abroad.
A bill of sixteen thousand shekels (about three thousand two hundred smackers) handed to a group of eight Chinese tourists in a restaurant near Jerusalem has 'sparked an online row.' Or, in other words, some people on social media have been sticking their noses into something that does not concern then and causing trouble. So, no change there, then. It all started when the head of Israel's association of tour operators posted a photo of the bill, suggesting that the visitors may have been 'suckered.' But, the restaurant's owners contested this and give a different version of how the meal unfolded. They say that the group had a gourmet meal and the venue was closed to host them. The bill, from the popular Abu Ghosh restaurant on the outskirts of West Jerusalem, allegedly included five thousand nine hundred shekels in alcohol, four thousand shekels for the use of the private room and three thousand one hundred shekels for the main course. On top of what was consumed by the group, there was a service charge of fifteen hundred shekels. In a post on Facebook with a picture of the bill, Yossi Fatael, chairman of the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association, said that the group's tourist agent confirmed they had paid the bill. And, seemingly, hadn't complained about it. So, what's the problem? 'There may be a billion Chinese, but they may not all be suckers,' he sneered. 'This is how we are destroying our own budding potential of the Chinese market in Israel.' No, mate, that would be doing what a Labour MP in Britain has and suggesting Air China be banned from these shores. But, Jawdat Ibrahim, one of Abu Ghosh's owners, disputed this. He said that the group had 'a gourmet meal' that lasted for eight hours, with 'special desserts, specially ordered alcoholic drinks and artists' - and that the restaurant was closed to the public to host them. He also said that the eight had 'insisted' on paying the service charge. The post had pictures of what he said was the specially produced decoration to host the group. The Chinese visitors have not been identified.
Facebook has controversially removed the iconic image of a girl fleeing a Napalm attack during the Viet'Nam war from a post, on the grounds of nudity. The editor of Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten said that the entire post, which was about iconic war imagery, was later deleted and the account of the reporter behind it suspended. Espen Egil Hansenhas accused Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg of 'an abuse of power.' Facebook weaselled that it 'has to restrict nudity for cultural reasons.' Which is as crap an excuse as you'll ever hear, frankly. Hansenhas said the image of Kim Phuc, then aged nine, was removed less than twenty four hours after the newspaper received a request from the social media firm to either take down the image or pixelate it and before it had responded. 'While we recognise that this photo is iconic, it's difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others,' Facebook said in a statement. 'We try to find the right balance between enabling people to express themselves while maintaining a safe and respectful experience for our global community. Our solutions won't always be perfect, but we will continue to try to improve our policies and the ways in which we apply them.' Several Norwegian politicians, including the Prime Minister Erna Solberg, also shared the image but within hours it had been removed again, Aftenposten reports. Hansenhas has now written an open letter to Zuckerberg. Why he couldn't have made it a closed letter, put it in an envelope and stuck a stamp on it, is unknown. He described Zuckerberg as 'the world's most powerful editor' but added that he was restricting Aftenposten's own editorial responsibilities. 'I am worried that the world's most important medium is limiting freedom instead of trying to extend it and that this occasionally happens in an authoritarian way,' he wrote. The letter goes on to state: 'If you will not distinguish between child pornography and documentary photographs from a war, this will simply promote stupidity and fail to bring human beings closer to each other. To pretend that it is possible to create common, global rules for what may and what may not be published, only throws dust into people's eyes.' He ended the letter saying that Facebook had opened up a lot of positive opportunities and he wanted to see them used 'in a better way.' All of which, really, didn't need to be said. It could have been replaced with 'cut it out, Mark, y'daft bastard and grow-the-fek-up, you're impressing no one.' Aftenposten is the largest newspaper in circulation in Norway. The social network said it had to have the same rules for everybody. Social media 'consultant' (ie. 'not a real job'-type job) Sue Llewellyn told the Gruniad Morning Star that she 'believed' Facebook's actions were 'heavy-handed.' No shit? And, you needed a 'social media consultant to tell you that? Has everybody taken the Stupid Pill this week, or what? 'I understand what they are saying but I think they are over the top,' she said. 'It's ridiculous when everybody knows that image and it is such an iconic image, to ban it.' She also disagreed with Zuckerberg's comments last month that his company is a technology firm, not a media organisation. 'You can't be a distributor of news without having editorial responsibilities,' she said. 'They can't keep washing their hands of it and then censoring content.' That was 'social media consultant (ie. 'not a real job-type job) Sue, there. Speaking some sense to the masses.But, do they appreciate it? Do they shite. Next ...
The National Gallery in London is being very sued by heirs of the subject of a 1908 Matisse portrait. Three grandchildren of Margarete Moll, known as Greta, claim the gallery is 'unlawfully displaying' the painting, and claim it was stolen after World War Two. They began proceedings in a federal court in New York on Wednesday, claiming the Portrait of Greta Moll is rightfully theirs. The National Gallery said it had received the legal documents. The grandchildren - British-born Oliver Williams and Margarete Green and Iris Filmer of Germany - have been trying to gain possession of the painting for five years. They want thirty million dollars in compensation if the work is not returned. The heirs filed their case in New York because they say the National Gallery has 'commercial interests' in the US and has 'profited' from the work through its display and the sale of associated merchandise. 'This is a family heirloom of their grandmother, by Matisse, which belonged to her,' their lawyer David Rowland told Reuters. 'It is not acceptable, moral or legal for museums to bury their heads in the sand and keep stolen paintings in their collections.' Moll, a pupil of Matisse, is believed to have sat for ten three-hour sessions for the portrait. Her husband, Oskar, bought the painting from Matisse, the complaint claims. Moll lived in Germany during the war and gave the painting to her husband Oskar's art student, who lived in Switzerland, for safe-keeping from looters after the conflict ended, according to the complaint. The student 'ran off with the painting' and the work passed through the hands of several US art galleries until it was bought in 1979 by the National Gallery in London, it is claimed. The heirs say the gallery should have been 'more suspicious' of the origins of the painting but its director, Gabriele Finaldi, has refused to return the oil painting because of 'statutory constraints.'
Two British teenagers allegedly stole items including buttons and a rusted hair clipper from the Auschwitz death camp, a court in Poland has heard. Guards at the site claims they saw the pair pick up the items from the ground, the judge at a court in Krakow was told. The pupils, from the independent Perse School in Cambridge, say they picked them up to 'show their guide.' They deny a charge of 'stealing artefacts of special culture importance' during a school visit in June 2015. The court in Krakow heard the items were found on the students by police. The pupils were in an area of the Nazi death camp where the belongings of murdered Jews were kept, the court was told. The court heard that police also found a fragments of a spoon and glass on the pair, who were seventeen at the time. Initially they pleaded very guilty to the charge and accepted a fine, but once back in the UK they changed their pleas. If found guilty, they face sentences of up to ten years in The Big House. The Nazis are believed to have murdered over one million people at Auschwitz in occupied Poland during World War Two. The trial extremely continues.
A new alert has been issued after cheese tested positive for the E.coli bug which recently killed a child. Food Standards Scotland has ordered the withdrawal from sale of batch G14 of Lanark White ewe milk cheese. Earlier it emerged that the child who died during a recent E.coli outbreak was a three-year-old girl from Dunbartonshire. The cheese's manufacturer, South Lanarkshire-based Errington Cheese, said that it was 'conducting its own tests.' The young girl who died was among twenty confirmed cases of E.coli O157 which were all identified in July. Eleven of the cases required hospital treatment. Health experts have previously investigated possible links to Dunsyre Blue cheese - also made by Errington - and said that a link with E.coli was 'highly likely' but until now there have been 'no positive tests.' In a statement on Saturday, Food Standards Scotland said: 'A sample from a batch of Lanark White submitted for testing by South Lanarkshire Council has tested positive for E. coli O157. Although this organism may not carry shiga toxins, it is associated with human disease in the UK, so this cheese is a potential risk to health. FSS has issued a FAFA calling for this product to be immediately recalled from sale.' The order to withdraw the cheese from sale was made after Errington refused to issue its own voluntary recall. The company said that the cheese had been on the market for three weeks with no reported cases of illness. In a statement on its website, it said: 'When we were told of the presumptive E.coli 0157 result we immediately consulted experts in dairy microbiology. The experts told us they were confused and concerned by the testing methodology adopted by the laboratory. We have given careful consideration to this and to the fact that the cheese has been on the market for three weeks now with absolutely no reported incidence of illness. We have arranged for the sample of the same cheese tested by the authorities to be tested and the results will be ready on Monday when we will review the situation.' E.coli is a type of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of humans, livestock and other animals and is excreted in faeces. The O157 strain is a leading cause of food-borne illness and can be particularly dangerous. The bacterium is generally spread by contaminated food and water but also can be passed among humans. In people with weak immune systems, particularly young children and the elderly, the infection can cause serious kidney damage, blindness, paralysis and sometimes death. Symptoms can include abdominal cramps and diarrhoea that may be bloody and people may also experience fever and vomiting. Earlier more details emerged about the child who died when prosecutors confirmed that an investigation had begun into the circumstances of her death. A Crown Office spokesperson said: 'The Procurator Fiscal has received a report in connection with the death of a three-year-old girl in Dunbartonshire on 2 September 2016. The investigation into the death, under the direction of Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit, is ongoing and the family will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.' Three batches of Dunsyre Blue cheese have already been recalled since the E.coli outbreak. Health Protection Scotland previously said that epidemiological investigations had 'identified Dunsyre Blue cheese as the most likely cause of the outbreak.' It added: 'Despite extensive investigation, including looking for other possible food sources, no other link to a majority of cases could be established.' Errington Cheese disputed the link, maintaining there was 'no conclusive evidence' linking its products to the outbreak. In a statement on its website last month it said that testing had shown it to be 'completely clear of E.coli O157.'
A World War II torpedo has been blown up in the sea off the Isle of Wight after it was found by a dredging barge on the seabed in Portsmouth Harbour. The device was discovered by the vessel's underwater cameras in the harbour on Friday. It was towed by a Navy bomb disposal team to a detonation site in the Solent, where a controlled explosion was carried out. Following the find, some trains were halted and early ferries were delayed. Wightlink Ferries said that services were now back on schedule. The train line between Portsmouth and Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour has also re-opened. A spokesman for Portsmouth's Queen's Harbour Master said: 'We worked very hard to make sure the harbour was not closed. There were restrictions put in place for public safety and there was a certain amount of disruption to vessels earlier while the torpedo was towed out.' Dredging work is being carried out in Portsmouth harbour to allow the the navy's new sixty five thousand-tonne aircraft carriers to dock. Three million cubic metres of sea bed is being removed to deepen and widen a four mile channel. Queen Elizabeth is due to be handed over to the MoD in 2016 ahead of being put into service in 2020.
South Korea has 'a plan' to 'annihilate' the North Korean capital of Pyongyang if the North Koreans 'shows any signs' of mounting a nuclear attack, according to reports from Seoul. An alleged military 'source' allegedly told the Yonhap news agency that every part of Pyongyang 'will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosives shells.' Though, to be honest, it would probably be pretty good idea if they, you know, didn't do that. It might be regarded as being a bit provocative.
The woman kissed by a sailor in an iconic photograph marking the end of World War Two has died aged ninety two. Greta Zimmer Friedman died of pneumonia at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia, her son Joshua Friedman said. Greta was a twenty one-year-old dental assistant when she was grabbed and kissed by George Mendosa in New York's Times Square on 14 August 1945. The photo of that moment became one of the enduring images of the VJ Day celebrations in the US. It was originally published as part of a round-up of celebration pictures in Life magazine. Greta said she was not even aware of the photo until the 1960s when she saw a book by the man who took the photo, the renowned photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. There were a number of people who claimed to be the sailor and the nurse in the photo and it was not until the 1980s that they were confirmed to be Greta and George. Although the picture captures the pair in a tight embrace, they did not actually know each other. Mendosa was actually on a date at the time with his future wife who can be seen smiling in some of the photos. 'It wasn't much of a kiss,' Greta recalled, in an interview with the Veterans' History Project in 2005. 'It was just somebody celebrating. It wasn't a romantic event.' Although the photo is lauded as a symbol of the joy felt by Americans on the day that Japan surrendered to the United States, some people in recent times view the photo, as Time Magazine put it, 'as little more than the documentation of a very public sexual assault.' Though it should be noted, by and large, these are the sort of people whom one would cross the street to avoid. Born Greta Zimmer in June 1924, in Wiener Neustadt, a small town in Austria near Vienna, she was one of four daughters born to Max Zimmer, a clothing store owner and Ida Zimmer. As conditions worsened for Jews in Nazi-occupied Austria, her parents sent their children out of the country. Greta and two of her sisters went to the United States in 1939, while the other sister to what was then Palestine. The Zimmer parents were killed in the Holocaust. Greta had been working at a New York dentist's office on 14 August which was why she was wearing the white nurse's outfit. She married Doctor Mischa Friedman, a scientist for the United States Army, in 1956. Besides their son, the couple had a daughter, Mara. In addition to her children, she is survived by one sister, Belle Hoffman of Florida, and two grandchildren.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle United moved up to second in the Championship table with a comfortable victory at Derby County. Yoan Gouffran gave the visitors the lead when he thundered in a volley from Jonjo Shelvey's corner. Craig Bryson had the Rams' best chance after the break, but his powerful shot from the edge of the box was parried away by goalkeeper Matz Sels. The Magpies sealed the win in injury time, Ayoze Perez finding DeAndre Yedlin who scuffed a shot home. Derby's goal-scoring difficulties continued, having scored just once in their first six league games despite handing debuts to an attacking trio of Matej Vydra, James Wilson and Ikechi Anya, who were signed before the transfer window closed. By contrast, Rafael Benitez's Magpies have now recovered from their wobbly start to the campaign - two defeats in their opening two games - to pick up four straight wins in the second tier (plus another the cup), with keeper Sels barely tested. That was in no small part down to the defensive effort throughout the side, typified by wingers Matt Ritchie and Gouffran doubling up with their full-backs to deny Derby the opportunity to bring their attacking additions into the game. They were also ruthless enough to take their chances, soaking up Derby's brief second-half resurgence and then releasing the pressure with a late second goal.
England one-day captain Eoin Morgan and opening batsman Alex Hales have opted out of October's tour of Bangladesh because of security concerns. No international side has toured Bangladesh since twenty people were killed in a siege at a cafe in Dhaka in July. The England and Wales Cricket Board said in August that tour would go ahead following a security review. Jos Buttler will captain the one-day side, with the squads for the one-day and test series to be named on Friday. The tour features three one-day internationals followed by two test matches. England director of cricket Andrew Strauss said: 'While we understand and respect Eoin and Alex's decision, we are disappointed that they have made themselves unavailable for selection for the Bangladesh tour.' Which is a euphemism for 'what a pair of cowards.' Probably. He added that no further withdrawals were expected following 'open and honest' discussions with all the players. Several England players, including Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Dawson have publicly said they will tour Bangladesh. Former England captain Michael Vaughan has described Morgan's decision as 'a huge mistake,' while Nasser Hussain, another ex-skipper of the national side, said Morgan 'should be with his team.' England fly out on 29 September, with the one-day series starting on 7 October and the test series on 20 October.
Four-time Olympic gold medallist Magic Mo Farah became the first man to win the Great North Run three times in a row. Farah pulled away from American Dathan Ritzenhein in the last mile in his first race since retaining his five and ten thousand metre Olympic titles in Rio. In the women's race, Olympic five thousand metre champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya won in her first half-marathon. Scotland's Mark Telford took the men's wheelchair crown, a second ahead of fellow Briton Bret Crossley. The Great North Run - from Newcastle to South Shields - is, of course, the world's biggest half marathon and there were more than forty one thousand runners taking part in this year's event from one hundred and seventy eight nations. Farah was taken on a fast pace by former American five thousand metres record holder Ritzenhein, but powered away with a mile to go and even had time to do a cheeky heel flip before he crossed the line in one hour and four seconds, the slowest of his three wins. Belgium's Emmanuel Bett, who ran the second half of the race almost on his own, crossed in third. Farah told BBC Sport: 'To be honest with you, I'm knackered. I knew I had to work hard because Dathan is a former training partner and was running a great race. He put his foot down and tried to get rid of me because he knew I have amazing pace. It's good to finish the year on a high, what a year I've had. I just want to go home now, chill out, see the kids, get up to no good.' The women's race was billed as a shoot-out between middle distance greats Cheruiyot and three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba. Dibaba could not keep pace with Cheruiyot and fellow Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo in the closing stages of the thirteen-mile course. It was Cheruiyot who took victory, producing a sprint finish to clock 1:07.54, just one second ahead of Jeptoo. Cheruiyot said: 'I'm so happy because it's my birthday. I found it tough with one kilometre to go but it's fantastic for me to end my season this way.'
A first edition Be-Atles Yellow Submarine jukebox worth more than twenty thousand quid is amongst a number of 'vintage items' stolen in 'a pre-planned raid,' according to police. The rare machines, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, were taken by thieves who targeted a vintage store in Weybridge. Other gaming machines were also stolen in the burglary on The Games Room. Collectors have been asked to help look out for the stolen items. The machines are said to be 'extremely distinctive' and have 'unique serial numbers,' making them 'easily recognisable,' police said. The burglary occurred on 28 August, but details have only just been released by Surrey Police. PC Matt Ladd said: 'Our enquiries so far have led us to believe that this was a thoroughly researched and pre-planned job. We are very keen to speak to anybody who saw anything or who has heard conversations around this incident.' He urged anyone who saw pictures of the items on sites like e-Bay or Gumtree, or who 'knew of someone' selling them at car boot sales or vintage fairs, to get in touch. The Be-Atles were a popular beat combo of the 1960s. You might have heard of them. They all lived in a yellow submarine, they claimed. It was very nice.
A mother and daughter from Oklahoma are accused of having an incestuous marriage. According to court records Patricia Spann, forty three, and Misty Spann, twenty five, were married in March 2016 in Comanche County. Police say that Patricia is Misty's biological mother. Investigators with the Department of Human Services discovered the allegedly illegal relationship in August while investigating the children who were inside the Spanns' home, KFOR reports. Misty and her two brothers were raised by a grandparent when Patricia lost custody of them, an arrest affidavit claims. The DHS investigator told authorities that Patricia and Misty 'reunited' two years ago. Patricia told officials she didn't think she was breaking any laws by marrying Misty because her name is no longer listed on her daughter's birth certificate. A warrant was issued for their arrests on Friday and, since then, Patricia and Misty have both been very arrested and booked into the Stephens County Jail on charges of incest, a detective told KFOR. Court records show that this is not the first time Patricia Spann has, seemingly, married one of her own children. She also married one of her sons in 2008 but court records show that marriage was annulled in March 2010.
Police have arrested over fifty people and seized 'a significant number of bladed weapons' after reports 'a sword-wielding gang' stormed a Sikh temple. Armed police surrounded the Gurdwara Sahib in Leamington Spa after they were called to the temple on Tachbrook Drive early on Sunday morning. Police negotiators and religious leaders went into the building to try to end the stand-off. The storming of the temple 'may have something to do with a mixed-race wedding,' Sky News was later told. A wedding between a Sikh and a non-Sikh was due to take place at the venue. One Sikh worshipper, who asked not to be named, told Sky News: 'We were working in the kitchen at the temple early this morning when a group of men arrived. There was to have been a wedding here today, a mixed marriage, but it was clear that they didn't want it to go ahead. Then just before 7am the police turned up. Everybody is just shocked. This kind of thing is completely alien to us. Some people said the men had come from as far as Manchester. We didn't recognise any of them.' A police cordon was put up around the temple and passers-by have been told to avoid the area until the matter is fully resolved. Officers were seen taking evidence bags from inside the temple and talking to a group of masked men outside. Warwickshire police said fifty-five people have been arrested on suspicion of 'aggravated trespass.' Superintendent David Gardner said: 'We would like to reassure people that this was a contained incident that we believe was an escalation of a local dispute. A significant number of bladed weapons were seized from the scene. As a result of reports that the men were in possession of these weapons we deployed armed officers as a precaution. Nobody was injured in the incident. Over the coming days we will be working with local the Sikh community to address some of the ongoing issues that have culminated in today's events. We would like to thank local people for their patience while we dealt with this incident.'

The oldest tiger in the UK has died aged twenty two at a wildlife park in Lincolnshire. Woodside Wildlife Park said: 'It is with great sadness that we must announce the passing away of Tango the tiger.' The park asked people to share their memories and photographs of Tango, who was moved to Lincolnshire in 2014 after being rescued from a German circus. Tango and his partner were saved hours before they were due to be put down. On his twentieth birthday, Tango was given a cardboard birthday cake filled with meat to celebrate his milestone. Speaking at the time, Ben Pascoe, head keeper at the park, said: 'He's the equivalent of about an eighty-year-old man and I don't know of any eighty-year-old men that are still running about.' Tigers usually live to about sixteen and occasionally into their late teens, he said. The world's oldest known tiger, Flavio, a male Siberian/Bengal tiger, died at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida, in 2014. Staff at the centre said he was aged twenty five. Tango was bred in captivity in the UK. When he was rescued, there were media reports claiming that he had once featured in an advert for Esso. Esso, however, said it had used several tigers in their lengthy series of 'put a tiger in your tank' adverts and 'could not confirm' that Tango had been one of those used. Tango worked in a German circus with his partner, Julia, until they were seized by Belgian and German authorities in late 2013, after reports that they were being mistreated. They arrived in Lincolnshire in April 2014, following a campaign by park director Neil Mumby and his team to save them.
A Tennessee woman was arrested after she allegedly tried to remove a body from its casket during a funeral she drunkenly gate-crashed, authorities have said. Witnesses at the Roundtree Napier Funeral Home in Columbia told police that a woman 'showed up' during a service on Monday and starting grabbing the deceased person's body, WTVF reported. At one point, the woman allegedly tried to pick up the body out of the casket, witnesses told police. It took six people to remove the woman, identified as thirty six-year-old Cynthia Ann Frierson, from the building, police said. Frierson was charged with 'disrupting a funeral or memorial service,' public intoxication, unlawful drug paraphernalia, immediate notice of accident and driving with a revoked or suspended license, officials said. She is accused of hitting two cars with her red truck and fleeing both scenes before arriving at the funeral home, WTVF reported. Police allege that she smelled of alcohol and was slurring her words and, when she was taken to jail, a glass pipe with 'black residue' was found about her person, according to WKRN-TV. Both Frierson and the deceased man's family have said that she did not, in fact, try to remove the body from the casket. Which means the alleged witnesses were lying in what they told the fuzz. 'I did not do that,' Frierson insisted to WKRN-TV. 'When I went up, I just went up and touched him and if they were recording, I just touched him and turned around and I said "He is just asleep," and I said, "Everything is going to be okay."' Well, not for you it isn't, m'love. You've got a date with the county jail if found guilty. Frierson claimed that her cousin drove her to the funeral home. Keith Mayes Senior, whose father was being laid to rest, said that while his family was 'upset' with Frierson, he hopes that she gets the help she needs. '[As] upset as we were about her presence, I don't want her to be accused of something that she did not do and in no way did she try to remove his body from the casket,' he told WKRN-TV. Frierson is due in court on 14 September.
Former Prime Minister Dodgy Dave Cameron is to stand down as an MP, triggering a by-election in his Oxfordshire seat of Witney, it has been announced. No that anyone really noticed he as still an MP anyway- certainly not the constituents of Witney. Bye then, Dodgy Dave - off to The Lords with ya. Don't forget to close the door on your way out, mate.
And now, dear blog reader ...
In the Canadian town of Calgary, some residents are 'vociferously protesting' about the city's efforts to plant more trees because they are worried these trees will 'increase crime.' Aye, well, the trees have no mercy. Obviously. Officials had planned to put fifteen saplings in a small park, but had to stop after only eight were planted after 'meeting fierce resistance' from a handful of locals, according to the CBC. 'If you give people more places to hide, more naughty things will be done,' said resident Ellen Burgess, who went door-to-door to get others to back her anti-tree campaign and who, seemingly, doesn't like naughty things being done. As is her right in a democratic society. 'They're using our park as a toilet,' another resident told CTV, while Burgess claimed to have found 'a makeshift crackpipe' as well as other 'undesirable items' in the park's shady grove. Protesting trees, for fear of burglars and other criminals using them as cover, admittedly sounds, well, let's be honest about this, risible (and has already sparked a lot of taking-the-Michael on social media). But, the residents' claim their concerns are not new. For years, and in many locations across North America, some people have worried that more trees equals more crime. 'There's a long history of thinking trees and crime go hand-in-hand,' said David Wachsmuth, an 'assistant professor of urban planning' at McGill University in Montreal and, not at all mental. 'People have worried that urban greenery could potentially give criminals a place to hide. It's not just literally creeping in the bushes,' Wachsmuth said. 'It obstructs sightlines. For that reason, tree or plant removal has been a crime mitigation strategy, in inner cities in particular.'
A woman was reportedly arrested in Washington DC for allegedly stealing three French fries from a police officer who was dining at a U Street eatery. This incident occurred around 9:45pm on Wednesday at the Italian Pizza Kitchen. The woman allegedly sat down next to the officer and tried to start a conversation, a police 'source' told WUSA9. The alleged 'source' allegedly said that she allegedly reached down and allegedly took a French fry from him as he was eating. The officer asked the woman to stop, but she took another. The police officer again asked the woman to stop, warning her that she was 'engaging in theft' and could be arrested. She proceeded to take another chip, so the fuzz arrested her, the alleged 'source' allegedly said. One imagines he felt like a man afterwards. In the police report, property stolen is listed as 'French fried potato. Quantity? Three.' The was reportedly charged with second-degree theft.
The head of Anne Arundel County's Economic Development Corpopration has been placed on unpaid leave after he was accused of entering a neighbour's home and 'going through her underwear drawer' according to NBC. Annapolis police say that the neighbour's motion-activated surveillance cameras captured seventy-year-old Robert Hannon rifling through the woman's lingerie drawer Thursday. Hannon has been charged with 'several counts of burglary and illegal entry.' County Executive Steve Schuh said in a statement on Tuesday that Hannon is 'on leave until further notice.' Mark Hartzell, the county's chief administrative officer, will serve as acting CEO of economic development. A police report says that neither the neighbour nor the landlord 'gave Hannon permission' to enter the apartment. Investigators did not find any signs of forced entry.
Pokemon Go is 'blasphemous and should be banned,' an Indian court was told, because 'it rewards religious vegetarians with eggs.' Lawyer Nachiket Dave - who is, obviously, neither an ambulance chaser nor, indeed, a mental - argued that the game 'offended the religious sensibilities' of Hindus and Jains - many of whom do not eat meat or other animal products - by giving players 'virtual' eggs. 'Those who succeed are rewarded with eggs. Offering eggs to people in temples, even in the virtual world, is highly objectionable and amounts to blasphemy,' Dave said after the brief hearing at the court in the Western Indian state of Gujarat. Many Hindus are vegetarian, among them the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, while members of the Jain faith usually follow a strict vegan diet. Dave, who is acting on behalf of a private individual named Alay Dave - relation, one presumes - claimed the court would now ask the Gujarat and Indian governments as well as the San Francisco-based makers of Pokemon to 'respond' to the claims. And, you can absolutely guarantee that they're going to do that. The global Pokemon Go craze has prompted a slew of complaints, from glakes, with religious sites arguing that it is 'disrespectful' to play there and some countries imposing a complete ban. For reasons that escape rationality. The game was recently updated to remove the Hiroshima and Berlin Holocaust memorials as Pokemon landmarks. A Russian blogger has been charged with 'offending religious believers' and 'inciting hatred' after filming himself playing Pokemon Go in a church.
FIFA's ethics committee has opened a formal investigation into former president Sepp Blatter over his conduct, including allegations of accepting gifts and bribery and corruption. It is also investigating former secretary generals Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner. Both Blatter and Valcke - neither of whom are, obviously, complete and total crooks, it is important to say at this particular juncture - are currently banned from football-related activities following breaches of FIFA's code of ethics. Blatter is suspended for six years, while Valcke is serving a ten-year ban. FIFA says that the trio are being investigated for 'possible violations of its code of ethics' regarding 'rules of conduct, loyalty, conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts and other benefits and bribery and corruption.' The violations are alleged to relate to the salaries and bonuses paid to each of the three. In June, FIFA's lawyers said that there was 'evidence' the trio made 'a coordinated effort' to 'enrich themselves' between 2011 and 2015.

The family of former MasterChef contestant Helen Barker have paid tribute to 'a talented artist' after she was found dead at her home in Wiltshire. The thirty eight-year-old's body was found by her father at a house on Shearman Street in Trowbridge last Thursday. A seventy eight year old man - who is not thought to be related to Barker - was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and actual bodily harm, police said. He has since been bailed until the end of November, pending further enquiries. In a statement Barker's family said it had been 'left devastated' by her 'untimely death. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by us all. She was a bright young woman who, in addition to her attainment of a BSc degree in Dental Technology at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, was a talented artist and an accomplished cook, having appeared on the MasterChef television programme. It will be difficult to come to terms with her loss, but this is being aided by the kind words and messages of support we have received and for which we are very grateful.'
Horrible waste-of-space louse Katie Hopkins claims that she was tear-gassed during a recent visit to the Calais Jungle refugee camp. It's nice to know, is it not, that in a world on constant bad news, occasionally, there is a bit of balancing good to cheer everybody up.

NASA has launched a mission to retrieve a rock sample from a five hundred metre-wide asteroid called Bennu. Scientists hope the material will reveal details about the formation of the planets and improve our knowledge of how potentially dangerous space objects move through the Solar System. The probe, NAMED Osiris-Rex, blasted off from Florida on an Atlas rocket earlier this week. It will be seven years before it returns to Earth with its space-bounty. This will be delivered in a capsule which will be parachuted down to the Utah desert on or around 24 September 2023. It is not the first such sample-return mission - the Japanese brought back a tiny amount of dust from asteroid Itokawa in 2010. But, NASA hope to acquire considerably more material, weighing perhaps a few hundred grams. Engineers have developed a collection device which will extend from Osiris-Rex on a robotic arm and, effectively, 'high five the surface of Bennu. On contact, the mechanism will deliver a burst of gas to kick up loose fragments that should then settle in a holding chamber prior to being packed away in the return capsule. Asteroids are left-overs from the original building blocks of the Solar System. As such, they should still retain clues to the events that brought the Sun and the planets into being. Bennu is a so-called 'B-type' asteroid. Telescope observations suggest it is rich in carbon compounds. 'For primitive, carbon-rich asteroids like Bennu, materials are preserved from over 4.5 billion years ago. We're talking about the formation of our Solar System,' explained Christina Richey, NASA's Osiris-Rex deputy programme scientist. 'these primitive materials could contain organic molecules that may be the precursors to life here on Earth or elsewhere within our Solar System.' Sample-Return missions are the future of space exploration, believes British mission scientist Ian Franchi. The range of studies that can be conducted back on the Earth is far broader than can be pursued in-situ by a probe. 'The instruments we use in the lab are the size of family cars or bigger if you think of synchrotron facilities,' he told BBC News. 'They require amazing temperature control or very sophisticated sample preparation techniques. These are all things you just cannot do robotically on a spacecraft. And the other big issue is dating - we have to understand when something's happened and that chronology work has to be done in an Earth lab."'
An investigation into how the SpaceX rocket exploded is uncovering a 'difficult and complex failure,' the firm's founder Elon Musk has said. Musk tweeted that the explosion of Falcon Nine during a routine filling operation was 'the most complicated' in the space travel firm's history. He said that the engines 'weren't on' and there was 'no apparent heat source.' The rocket's payload, a satellite on which Facebook had leased capacity, was very destroyed in the massive explosion last week. 'Still working on the Falcon fireball investigation. Turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in fourteen years,' Musk tweeted. Facebook, with Eutelsat Communications, had been due to use the Amos-Six satellite for broadband Internet coverage for parts of sub-Saharan Africa as part of Facebook's Internet.org initiative. The force of the blast at Cape Canaveral shook buildings several miles away. Musk tweeted that support for the SpaceX investigation by NASA, the US Federal Aviation Administration and the US Air Force was 'much appreciated.'
The ska pioneer Prince Buster, who shaped the course of Jamaican popular music, has died at the age of seventy eight. He died at home in Miami on Thursday. Born in Kingston, as Cecil Bustamante Campbell, BusTer became a legend of the burgeoning ska music genre in the 1960s. Cecil was born on the legendary Orange Street in Kingston in May 1938. His middle name was given to him by his family in honour of the Labour activist and first post-Independence Jamaican Prime Minister, William Bustamante. In the early 1940s Cecil was sent to live with his grandmother in rural Jamaica where his family's commitment to the Christian faith gave him his earliest musical experiences. While at school Campbell performed at The Glass Bucket Club as part of Frankie Lymon's Sing & Dance Troupe; rock and/or roll-themed shows were popular during the 1950s, with The Glass Bucket establishing a reputation as the premier music venue for Jamaican teenagers. Upon leaving school, Cecil found himself drawn to the ranks of followers of the sound system of Tom The Great Sebastian. Cecil became more actively involved in the operational side after he was introduced to Clement Coxsone Dodd, a musically inclined businessman who operated one of Kingston's most popular sound systems and his own record label. Cecil found himself fulfilling a variety of roles for Coxsone: providing security, handling ticket receipts, identifying and sourcing music as well as working in the essential role of the selector. The knowledge he gained about the financial and logistical aspects of staging a sound system dance was put to good use when Cecil made the decision to start his own sound system called 'Voice Of The People'. Cecil recorded prolifically throughout the 1960s first using his Prince Buster handle in 1961; notable early ska releases include: 'Madness' (1963), 'Wash Wash' (1963, with Ernest Ranglin on bass), 'One Step Beyond' (1964) and 'Al Capone' (1964). The documentary This Is Ska (1964) included Buster performing his hit 'Wash Wash'. In 1964 Cecil met World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali who invited him to attend a Nation Of Islam talk at a Mosque in Miami. Later that year, Cecil joined the Nation Of Islam and also started to release material, including a version of Louis X's 'White Man's Heaven Is A Black Man's Hell' on his own imprint label, Islam. In 1965 he appeared in Millie In Jamaica (a film about Millie Small's return to the Caribbean after the world-wide success of 'My Boy Lollipop') which was broadcast on Rediffusion's Ready, Steady, Go! Cecil had a top twenty hit in the UK with the single 'Al Capone' in 1967 and toured Britain that year, appearing at London's Marquee Club. Later, he toured America to promote the RCA LP release The Ten Commandments (From Man To Woman). By the late 1960s Buster was, once again, at the forefront of a musical change in Jamaica; the new music would be called rocksteady, a half-way point betwen ska and reggae. Cecil's late-sixties songs like 'Shaking Up Orange Street' (1967) were arranged with the slower, more soulful rocksteady beat as used by the likes of Alton Ellis and The Wailers. The LP Judge Dread Rock Steady was released in 1967 and the classic title song with its satirical theme and 'toasting' vocal style proved to be hugely popular and influential - to the subsequent point of parody. In the 1972 movie The Harder They Come, Cecil had a memorable cameo role as a DJ. He was a huge influence on British multi-racial groups like The Specials and Madness during the British ska revival of the late-1970s. The former's first single, 'Gangsters' was a cunning reworking of Buster's 'Al Capone' based on the Coventry band's experiences dealing with The Clash's notorious manager Bernie Rhodes. They also covered Buster's 'Enjoy Yourself' and 'Too Hot' and adapted 'Judge Dread' into 'Stupid Marriage'. Madness, of couse, named themselves after one of Buster's best known songs, their debut single, 'The Prince', was a tribute to the man himself ('even if I keep on running, I'll never get to Orange Street') whilst their second single was a cover of another of his most famous numbers, 'One Step Beyond'. The Beat also covered two of Buster's songs, 'Rough Rider' and 'Whine & Grine' on their debut LP. Madness paid tribute to Buster at Radio 2's Festival In A Day at Hyde Park over the weekend. Suggs dedicated 'The Prince' to Buster. 'He was enormously important,' Suggs told the BBC. 'The fact he came from the streets and he had a terrific sense of humour and energy - it really appealed to us and it had a huge impact on everything we did, really. It's like the Monty Python thing about the Romans. "What did Prince Buster ever do for us?" A great deal indeed.' Buster's decision to use a syncopated beat on songs such as 'Little Honey', 'They Got To Go' and 'Thirty Pieces Of Silver' is credited as pivotal in ska music's development and he gave himself the moniker The King Of Ska. In 2001 Buster was awarded The Order Of Distinction by the Jamaican Government for his outstanding contribution to music. Cecil is survived by his wife Mola Ali and his children. And, you can read an affectionate remembrance of Buster here, written by The Specials' Jerry Dammers.

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