Monday, September 26, 2016

The Corpse In The Copse

The titles of the first two new Sherlock episodes which will be broadcast in 2017 have been revealed. The BBC confirmed the episodes will be called The Six Thatchers and The Lying Detective. Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman his very self will reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson respectively. Because, if they didn't then the seris would be, you know, finished. The fourth series of the BBC's updated adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective will begin in January, probably on New Year's Day although that is yet to be officially confirmed. Both actors were seen filming scenes in Cardiff and London earlier this year. It has already been announced that Toby Jones will play a villain called Smith in one of the episodes of the new three-part series. The Six Thatchers is likely to be based, possibly loosely, on Sir Arthur's very famous 1904 short story The Adventure Of The Six Napoleons, while the second episode's title is thought to be a reference to the rather less well-known 1913 tale, The Adventure Of The Dying Detective.
Meanwhile, this interesting Sherlock location shot - taken back in April in London - cropped up in the press this week and seems to, thankfully, knock on the head one persistent - and quite horrible - online fan theory; that Mary Watson would be kicking the proverbial bucket early in the series and lose the baby at the same time. Of course, Steven and Mark would never do such a dreadful thing. No, hang on, they bloody would an'all if they thought they'd get a good story out of it! But clearly, unless this is all another one of Sherlock's drug-induced hallucinations, she's had enough time to, as it were, drop the sprog. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping confesses himself to be jolly pleased about that.

Matt LeBlanc has signed a two-series deal with the BBC to continue hosting Top Gear. LeBlanc will be joined by Chris Harris and Rory Reid with regular appearances from Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig. Co-host Chris Evans stepped down from the BBC2 show after one series. LeBlanc was, by common consent of most viewers, one of the few successes of the rebooted series which was broadcast earlier this year. BBC2 editor Patrick Holland said: 'I am thrilled Matt LeBlanc is returning to Top Gear. He's a huge talent whose love of cars is infectious.' He added: 'I can't wait for the series to return to BBC2 next year.' Mark Linsey, director of BBC Studios, says: 'Matt was hugely popular with Top Gear viewers last series with his humour, warmth and obvious passion for cars and for the show, so I couldn't be more delighted that he's agreed to come back and do more for us.' Harris and Reid will continue with their BBC3 show Extra Gear, whilst also appearing with LeBlanc on the main BBC2 series. Last month, the former Friends star said that he was 'keen' to return for a second series of the motoring show. Top Gear's future prospects were thrown into doubt in July when Evans announced he was stepping down. Speaking after his departure, Evans said the series had proved LeBlanc and Top Gear 'were made for each other.' LeBlanc was 'the man' and 'a total mensch,' Evans said, denying reports that the pair's relationship broke down during filming. Evans' resignation followed falling ratings, with overnight audiences dropping from 4.4 million to 1.9 million viewers during the course of the twenty third series. Evans said working on Top Gear had been 'an honour, privilege and pleasure,' and that he had 'tried his best' at the helm but 'it was not meant to be.'
It was utterly horrifying to discover watching Monday night's episode of University Challenge that there appears to be a student at Birmingham University who don't know that 'Life On Mars?' was from Hunky Dory, and a whole team of students from Belfast University who don't know that 'Ashes To Ashes' was from Scary Monsters and 'Sound & Vision' was from Low. Pfft, 'young people.' In't maaaa day, dear blog reader, we damn-well knew which David Bowie hit came from which LP. And, that The Man Who Fell To Earth was a film not an LP. Give them all detention, Jezza.
Things we learned from Only Connect this week. Victoria Coren Mitchell claims not to be able to pronounce the word 'Wolves'.
Here are final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Six programmes, week-ending Sunday 18 September 2016:-
1 The Great British Bake Off - Wed BBC1 - 13.29m
2 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 8.88m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.82m
4 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 7.01m
5 Victoria - Sun ITV - 6.91m
6 Cold Feet - Mon ITV - 6.41m
7 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.36m
8 Poldark - Sun BBC1 - 6.17m
9 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.75m
10 Our Girl - Wed BBC1 - 5.44m
11 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.37m
12 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.25m
13 One Of Us - Tues BBC1 - 4.81m
14 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.63m
15 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.60m
16 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.45m
17 DCI Banks - Wed ITV - 4.22m
18 Mrs Brown's Boys - Sat BBC1 - 4.12m
19 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV - 4.09m
20 Ten O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 3.80m
21 Joanna Lumley's Japan - Fri ITV - 3.70m
22 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.68m
23 The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs - Thurs BBC1 - 3.66m
24 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 3.65m
25= Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.40m
25= Would I Live To You? - Fri BBC - 3.40m
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 7.82 million viewers. The much-hyped (and much-Godawful) Go For It continued to struggle for ITV, being watched by a mere 2.75 million punters. On BBC2, University Challenge was the week's most-watched programme with 2.77 million viewers. Ripper Street's latest episode (the vampire one!) was seen by 2.74 million and cult favourite Only Connect by 2.51 million. Note that the channel's top three performing programmes are all broadcast back-to-back on Monday evenings. Clever bit of scheduling by someone, that. The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice ... Of Greed drew 2.28 million punters whilst Gardeners' World had 2.16 million, New York: America's Busiest City, 1.98 million and Mock The Week, 1.82 million viewers. The Great British Menu and The Hairy Bikers: Chicken & Egg were both watched by 1.77 million. Mastermind attracted 1.63 million and Dad's Army, 1.54 million. Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast of the week (3.16 million viewers), followed by Thursday evening's episode of The Last Leg: Live From Rio (2.25 million). Five other episodes of the popular Adam Hills-fronted comedy chat show featured in the Channel's top eight most watched broadcasts. F1: Singapore Grand Prix Highlights was seen by 1.91 million viewers, whilst Saturday's coverage of Paralympics 2016 had 1.60 million. Channel Five's top performer was, Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! - with 2.24 million - ahead of Gypsy Kids: Our Secret World (1.63 million), On Benefits (1.54 million), Secrets Of The SAS: In Their Own Words (1.33 million), Eamonn & Ruth: How The Other Half Lives (1.31 million punters) and When TV Goes Horribly Wrong (1.29 million). Celebrity Botched-Up Bodies drew 1.20 million whilst Undercover: Nailing The Fraudsters had nine hundred and sixty thousand. After three weeks of not bothering to get their figures in, the Sky Sports channels finally got their collective finger out and submitted their data to BARB. On Sky Sports 1 coverage of Moscow Chelski against The Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws was watched by 1.04 million whilst Sottingtot Hotshots victory over The Mackem Filth drew eight hundred and seventy nine thousand. Crystal Palace versus Dirty Stoke attracted four hundred and eighty two thousand. Live Super League Play Off on Sky Sports 2 had one hundred and fifty three thousand. Gillette Soccer Saturday was watched by four hundred and fifty five thousand on Sky Sports News HQ and a further three hundred and seventy seven thousand on Sky Sports 1. Unbelievable, Jeff. Live Singapore Grand Prix was seen by eight hundred and two thousand on Sky Sports F1. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and forty two thousand viewers). Doc Martin was seen by seven hundred and forty three thousand, Foyle's War by six hundred and ninety six thousand and All New It'll Be Alright On The Night by four hundred and forty four thousand. MotoGp Highlights headed ITV4's weekly list with three hundred and forty thousand viewers whilst the movie Exit Wounds attracted two hundred and sixty one thousand, Mr Bean had two hundred and fifty one thousand and Licence To Kill was watched by two hundred and forty four thousand viewers for its first showing on Saturday and then exactly the same figure for a repeat on the following Friday. Wouldn't it be, like, totally 'mazing if the same two hundred and forty four thousand James Bond fans tuned in to both broadcasts? But, that would be ridiculous, particularly in relation to Licence To Kill! ITV2's most-watched broadcast was the worthless steaming shower of rancid, horrible stinking diarrhoea Celebrity Juice (watched by a staggeringly sad 1.33 million people, every single one of whom should be bloody well ashamed to show their face in public after viewing so much as a second of this wretched horseshit). Family Guy drew six hundred and seventy thousand. The movie The Mummy Returns had six hundred and five thousand and The Xtra Factor, five hundred and seven thousand viewers. Vera headed ITV Encore's top ten with sixty thousand viewers, ahead of Downton Abbey which had fifty three thousand and DCI Banks with fifty two thousand. BBC4's list was headed by Beck with seven hundred and eighty two thousand viewers, followed by British Sitcoms: Sixty Years Of Laughing At Ourselves (five hundred and ninety one thousand), Billy Fury: The Sound Of Fury (five hundred and forty thousand), Lost Sitcoms: Steptoe & Son (five hundred and thirty seven thousand) and The Everly Brothers: Harmonies From Heaven (five hundred and twenty seven thousand). World War Two: 1942 & Hitler's Soft Underbelly drew five hundred and eight thousand and Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made The Commonwealth, four hundred and fifty six thousand. The Brecon Beacons With Iolo Williams was watched by four hundred and twenty six thousand, The Magic Of Mushrooms, three hundred and thirty two thousand and Top Of The Pops 1982, three hundred and twenty six thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by the much-trailed (and, actually, rather decent) Hooten & The Lady (a very impressive 1.20 million punters), The Last Ship (five hundred and two thousand), Mount Pleasant (four hundred and sixty six thousand), Zoo (four hundred and forty three thousand) and Ridiculous Ross Kemp's Extremely Silly World (four hundred and twenty five thousand). Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the third episode of The Night Of (two hundred and sixty nine thousand). Ray Donovan was seen by two hundred and thirty nine thousand, Ballers by one hundred and sixty five thousand, a Game Of Thrones repeat by one hundred and nineteen thousand and Aquarius by ninety four thousand. On Sky Living, Chicago Fire drew five hundred and nine thousand, Shades Of Blue had four hundred and thirty six thousand, Nashville, three hundred and sixty four thousand and My Kitchen Rules Australia, two hundred and eighteen thousand viewers. Sky Arts' Discovering Film had seventy three thousand viewers whilst The Queen Group: Live At Wembley attracted sixty six thousand. 5USA's Chicago PD was watched by six hundred and forty five thousand viewers. NCIS: Los Angeles attracted four hundred and seventy nine thousand, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour, four hundred and fifty three thousand, Castle, four hundred and twenty two thousand and CSI: Cyber, three hundred and nine thousand. NCIS was seen by two hundred and fifty two thousand. NCIS also topped CBS Action's list (one hundred and twenty four thousand) and featured in the top-tens of FOX (one hundred and twenty seven thousand) and The Universal Channel (seventy five thousand). FOX's most watched programmes were American Horror Story (five hundred and sixteen thousand), Wolf Creek (two hundred and eleven thousand) and Tyrant (one hundred and thirty thousand). The Universal Channel's list was headed by Major Crimes with two hundred and seven thousand, Motive, one hundred and twenty two thousand and Mr Robot, one hundred and eight thousand. On Dave, the second episode of Dara O Briain's Go Eight Bit was the highest-rated programme with six hundred and eighty one thousand punters. Eighty thousand punters up on the opening episode after this blogger confidently predicted that ratings for the show would not so much drop as plummet. Shows what Keith Telly Topping knows! That was followed by Suits (four hundred and thirteen thousand), Would I Lie To You? (three hundred and sixty five thousand), Qi XL (three hundred and sixty four thousand), Mock The Week (three hundred and fifty six thousand) and Have I Got A Bit More News For You (three hundred and eighteen thousand). Drama's Murdoch Mysteries was watched by four hundred and forty nine thousand viewers. Death In Paradise had four hundred and twenty four thousand, Father Brown, four hundred thousand viewers, New Tricks three hundred and eighty nine thousand and Dalziel & Pascoe three hundred and twenty eight thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme was Rizzoli & Isles (four hundred and forty seven thousand), followed by Rosewood (two hundred and sixty nine thousand), King & Maxwell (one hundred and five thousand), Inspector George Gently (ninety one thousand) and Jack Taylor (seventy six thousand). Yesterday's 'Allo 'Allo repeat run was seen by two hundred and fifty nine thousand. Fawlty Towers: Basil's Best Bits was watched by one hundred and eighty four thousand, Great British Railway Journeys by one hundred and sixty nine thousand, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? by one hundred and sixty one thousand, Secrets Of The Bible by one hundred and fifty eight thousand and Murder Maps by one hundred and fifty six thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Fast 'N Loud's latest series continued with one hundred and ninety nine thousand viewers. Alaskan Bush People had an audience of one hundred and sixty two thousand, Gold Divers (featuring that really annoying Emily woman who 'wants all the gold') drew eighty seven thousand whilst The Last Alaskans was seen by seventy one thousand. Discovery History's Out Of Egypt topped the weekly-list with thirty four thousand viewers. Greatest Tank Battles and Tony Robinson's Time Walks were both watched by twenty four thousand, whilst Killer Tanks, Seven Ages Of Britain and Time Team all attracted twenty one thousand. On Discovery Science, How it's Made was seen by fifty six thousand viewers. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programme was, as usual Wheeler Dealers (fifty three thousand, the top performing of nine episodes featuring Mike and Edd in the channel's weekly top ten). The one programme that wasn't Wheelers Dealers, Rods N' Wheels (twenty six thousand). National Geographic's list was headed by Yukon Gold which had ninety four thousand viewers and No Man Left Behind (seventy six thousand). The History Channel's top-ten was led by Barbarians Rising and Ice Road Truckers (two hundred and fifty seven thousand and one hundred and fifty two thousand respectively). The Bastard Executioner was seen by one hundred and twenty one thousand. On Military History, Rome's Lost Legion was watched by twenty seven thousand and Hooked - Illegal Drugs by twenty five thousand. Real Prison Breaks, The Perfect Murder and FBI Case Files were ID's top-rated programmes of the week (with seventy two thousand viewers, sixty six thousand and fifty nine thousand murder-lovers respectively). A repeat of a particularly memorable episode of a series called Evil Stepmothers - Newleydead - which this blogger happened across at some obscure hour of the morning when he couldn't sleep didn't make the top ten list. Tragic frankly, as it was gripping stuff. Jack The Ripper, After The First Forty Eight and Killer Kids headed CI's list (forty six thousand, forty six thousand and forty one thousand). GOLD's repeat of Only Fools & Horses drew two hundred and seventeen thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (three hundred and sixty six thousand). Your TV's Sensing Murder had eighty thousand viewers whilst Corrupt Crimes drew fifty eight thousand. On More4, coverage of Paralympics 2016 was the highest-rated programme with five hundred and thirty eight thousand. Sarah Beeny's Four Rooms attracted three hundred and ninety seven thousand punters, My Floating Home, three hundred and ninety five thousand, Selling Houses With Amanda Lamb, three hundred and sixty eight thousand and Phil Spencer's Stately Homes, three hundred and thirty nine thousand. E4's latest episode of Hollyoakes drew 1.16 million viewers. The Horror Channel's broadcast of Triangle attracted one hundred and eighty eight thousand. Their top-ten list for the week also included the abysmally wretched Lesbian Vampire Killers (one hundred and seven thousand), the 1958 classic The Blob (ninety thousand thousand), Hammer's The Devil Rides Out (seventy six thousand) and The City Under The Sea (sixty two thousand). Dark Matter, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and twenty six thousand whilst Hunters had two hundred and twenty three thousand. Wild Canada and Deadly Sixty On A Mission were both watched by twenty nine thousand viewers on Eden. Tanked was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with forty one thousand. On W, MasterChef Australia was seen by two hundred and seventy nine thousand. Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away attracted two hundred and twenty nine thousand on Spike, whilst the movie Rio Lobo was watched by one hundred and seventy 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 forty eight thousand people who really do need to have a good, hard look at themselves in the mirror. The Vault's Where Are They Now? was seen by twenty four thousand punters.

Strictly Come Dancing trounced The X Factor by more than one-and-a-half million overnight viewers on Saturday. The return of the hit BBC1 show to the Saturday evening schedule drew an average overnight audience of 8.6 million viewers and a forty five per cent share of total TV viewing between 6.30pm and 8pm. The show – which saw Daisy Lowe top the leader board with her waltz and Ed Balls come extremely last – attracted a fifteen-minute peak of 9.3 million. Saturday was well up on Strictly's slightly below-par debut on Friday night when 7.2 million overnight punters tuned in, five hundred thousand down on the opening episode of the 2015 series but still well up on 2014's 6.5 million. Strictly was well ahead of Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef of Crossroads' The X Factor which drew an overnight average of seven million viewers and a thirty five per cent share between 8pm and 9.45pm. The Saturday night show had a fifteen-minute peak of 7.3 million.

The BBC has confirmed that the new Doctor Who spin-off, Class, written by Patrick Ness, will launch its first two episodes on BBC3 on Saturday 22 October. The first episode of the 'young adult' series will feature the current Doctor, yer actual Peter Capaldi. Canadian broadcaster SPACE have confirmed via Twitter that they will be broadcasting Class starting on the same day the series launches in the UK.
Here's the seventh batch of From The North's latest semi-regular series don't you just wish, dear blog reader, that they still made movie posters like this?
The BBC commissioned a Barbara Windsor biopic not long after the actress made her final appearance in EastEnders. Entitled Babs, it will explore the actress's lonely London childhood, her difficult relationships with her father and her ex-husband, Ronnie Knight, as well as her breakthrough role in the Carry On series. Now Windsor - she has her knockers - has revealed that casting is underway for the biopic and that she is as keen as the audience to find out who will be stepping into her shoes. Speaking to The Press Association at a charity lunch she was hosting the week, Windsor said: 'I keep phoning up and saying when can I come and see who's playing me. Who's playing my dad. Who's playing my husband. All I know is they're doing auditions as we speak. I've seen the beautiful pictures of it and I mustn't get too close to it and say "Oh no I wouldn't do that" or "I wouldn't do that." There's a lovely writer from EastEnders,' she continued, 'the wonderful Tony Jordan. He knows me and I've worked with him so I think they will get it right. And I know a lot of the other people and I trust them. I think it'll be a bit different.' Jordan previously said: 'The opportunity to tell the story of the amazing Dame Barbara Windsor was too good an opportunity to miss, I think people will be surprised that there's a lot more to her than just the Carry On films and EastEnders. There's a reason that, as a nation, we've all taken Barbara to our hearts, I think it is because she's always been one of us, never forgetting where she came from.'
Ofcom has launched an investigation launched into comments about bisexuality made by Christopher Biggins on Z-List Celebrity Big Brother. The broadcasting watchdog said that it had received twenty complaints about Biggins's remarks, broadcast on Channel Five on 1 August. The former actor was extremely removed from the Big Brother house a few days later. The Victorian freak show's producers said that they took the decision because he had made 'comments capable of causing great offence.' During a conversation about homosexuality, the openly gay Biggins had said: 'The worst type though is, I'm afraid to say, the bisexuals. What it is is people not wanting to admit they are gay.' The sixty seven-year-old was warned three times by Big Brother producers for comments which could cause 'widespread offence.' The final one involved a conversation where he said AIDs was 'a bisexual disease.' Which, just to be clear about this, it isn't and never was. After he had his ass removed from the house and thrown into the gutter along with all the other turds, Biggins claimed that he was he was 'very sorry and very sad.' One or two people even believed him about the being 'very sorry' part. An Ofcom spokesperson said: 'We are investigating whether a contestant's comments about bisexual people were offensive and breached generally accepted standards.'
Andrew Marr is to chart his recovery from a stroke amid the summer's momentous political events for a one-off BBC2 documentary. Andrew Marr: My Brain & Me will cover the last six months as Marr juggled covering developments such as the Brexit vote and Theresa May becoming Prime Minister with the ongoing recovery from the stroke which, he believes was in part caused by stress. Marr had a stroke at the start of January 2013, leaving him partially paralysed down his left side. In an interview with the Gruniad Morning Star later that year he said: 'My grandfather used to say, "Hard work never killed anyone." Well, I suppose I've done my best to disprove his theory.' Although intensive physiotherapy has helped restore some movement, Marr has seen limited progress over the last year and the documentary will follow him exploring possible new treatments. Marr returned to his Sunday morning politics show just nine months after the stroke and has since fended off a challenge from Robert Pestinfestation's competing programme on ITV. He has also written his first novel, Head Of State, and begun appearing in culture programme Artsnight along with Lily Cole. The documentary, expected to be broadcast early next year, will also see Marr return to the hospital where he was treated and meet those who oversaw his care, as well featuring interviews with his family and friends. Marr will also meet other stroke victims who have been affected in different ways, including a man who can no longer recognise his wife after decades of marriage and a woman who has trouble speaking but can still sing. The presenter said: 'Stroke can happen to anyone at any time and is one of the biggest killers in modern society: but to begin to recover, is to be taken on a journey into cutting edge discoveries about the human brain and to learn lessons that go way beyond getting better from an illness. If this film helps other people who have gone through what I have gone through, and their families, that's all I can possibly ask for.' BBC2 channel editor Patrick Holland said: 'This is a tremendously important documentary by one of Britain's most respected and loved broadcasters. It is both humbling to see Andrew's response to his stroke but also hugely life affirming. Brain injury from a stroke has an impact on many families in the UK, so this film is not just brave and personal, it will speak to the broadest of audiences.'
Kiefer Sutherland's TV comeback in Designated Survivor is now available to watch in the UK. Available to stream on Netflix, the conspiracy theory political drama stars Sutherland as a low-level US cabinet member who is suddenly promoted to President after an attack which wipes out everyone above him at the State Of The Union. So, it's obviously mined from the same logic-seam as 24 came from. Thrust into one of the world's most important jobs, Tom Kirkman (Sutherland) has to deal with not only a potential terrorist threat but all the baggage that comes with being the leader of the free world. Designated Survivor marks Kiefer's first TV comeback since playing Jack Bauer in 24 and you can follow it on a weekly basis as Netflix plan to roll out episodes in line with its US broadcast, according to Deadline.
It seems that it's not just the viewers who are worried about The Great British Bake Off's much-publicised move to Channel Four. The Torygraph reports that a committee of MPs are going to 'probe' the move over 'concerns' that the broadcaster 'fell foul of rules' which require it to 'champion innovative new programming.' Just like when Paul Hollywood prods bread, only, you know, different. 'We will have the BBC and Channel Four in front of the committee and Bake Off is definitely something that we will ask about when they next appear,' explained Damian Collins, the acting chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee. It is claimed that Channel Four paid a whopping twenty five million knicker a year to Greed Productions to win the rights to Bake Off from the Beeb. Critics of the move believe that it may not have met Channel Four's remit to demonstrate 'innovation, experiment and creativity.' 'They have, essentially, poached a show which is very successful from another public service broadcaster and at some considerable cost,' wittered former lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale. Although, since he got extremely sacked from his post, one could, legitimately, wonder what the blithering fek any of this has to do with him. 'The irony is, if Channel Four had commissioned Great British Bake Off at the very beginning, rather than the BBC, it would have been applauded.' However, Channel Four's chief creative officer, Jay Hunt, argued that the broadcaster need commercially successful shows to provide the money to pay for public service programming and 'more risk-taking drama.' One or two people even believed her. Quite what Bake Off will look like on Channel Four is anyone's guess though as Mary Berry broke the Interweb last week by revealing she will not be following the show across the channels, even though Hollywood will be.
Hollywood's decision to stay with The Great British Bake Off as it switches to Channel Four seemingly hasn't made him very popular online. And former Bake Off contestant Ruby Tandoh was the latest to 'hit out' (that's 'criticise', only with less syllables) at the judge, calling him 'a peacocking manchild' on Twitter. Ooo, get her. 'Ah, a peacocking manchild lingering wherever the money is,' she wrote. 'I am shocked. This, from a man who turned up to work revving a rental Lamborghini. Or was it a Ferrari? I don't remember. The air was thick w[ith] testosterone. I will be told off for this,' she said immediately afterwards. 'I did it all for you, my friends.' Quite whom will be 'telling off' Tandoh, and whether this telling off will include and actual spanking is not, at this time, known. But, dear blog readers can be certain that when one of the tabloids publishes another story concerning Tandoh's Twitter posts, From The North will be there to examine the entrails.
Coronation Street actor Marc Anwar has reportedly been sacked for posting tweets about Indians which ITV said were racially offensive. Anwar's Twitter account has now been locked, but the Sunday Mirra reported that 'racially offensive messages' posted on his page described Indians as 'bastards' and 'piss-drinking cults.' At least, this blogger thinks the last word was cults. Another tweet allegedly said: 'Why the fuck do Pakistani artists want work in fuck-face India? Do you love money so much?' The Sunday Mirra also said that the actor 'quickly deleted' two of the most offensive tweets on Friday night but, not before someone took a screen-grab of them. Anwar becomes the first Corrie actor to be sacked for naughty behaviour in public since 2013, when Chris Fountain made a series of offensive comments in online rap videos and, also, got the tin-tack. Anwar's remarks, which were apparently posted on Friday, came just days after seventeen soldiers were killed, sparking a UN clash between India and Pakistan. After ITV were 'alerted to' Anwar's tweets by the Sunday Mirra (ie. after the tabloid nitched him up like a Copper's Nark), he is said to have been 'sacked within hours.' I mean, not undeservedly so, either for a) making such horribly offensive comments in the first place and b) being so utterly stupid as to make them in a public forum where anybody could see them. That's Twitter for you, dear blog reader, an excellent place for someone getting themselves into trouble via their own rank stupidity. There is however, it should be noted, something really rather tawdry about the way that tabloid newspapers seems to take great glee in reporting this sort of thing. You're supposed to report the news, guys, not to make it. Anyway, let that be a lesson to everyone, racism is sick and wrong and if you do it, you will be found out and will, like as not, suffer personally and financially for voicing it. So, you know, it might be an idea to cut it out. In a statement, ITV said: 'We are deeply shocked by the entirely unacceptable, racially offensive comments made on Twitter by Marc Anwar. We have talked to Marc and, as a consequence of his comments, he will not be returning to Coronation Street with immediate effect.' ITV confirmed that pre-filmed episodes with the actor, who has also appeared in Hollywood films such as Captain Phillips and Fifty First State, will still be broadcast but that his presence in the soap will be 'minimised' until his character can be written out.
Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell leaving EastEnders is going to be the end of an era for the BBC soap, especially now that it has been suggested it's going to be a permanent departure. Actresses Rita Simons and Sam Womack are, according to tabloid reports, said to be 'upset' by the news that the Mitchell sisters are being bumped off as they had hoped to have the option to return at some stage in the future. Other cast members are also said to be 'disappointed' that they were 'not consulted' about the death storyline. A an alleged 'source' allegedly told the Sun: 'Everyone's in shock. The cast are really upset as it's come out of the blue.' The exit comes under new producer Sean O'Connor. Already under O'Connor's stewardship, the much-loved character Paul Coker has been killed off, as well as announcing the departures of other favourites, including Babe Carter, Masood Ahmed, Lee Carter, Claudette Hubbard, Buster, Briggs, Pam and Les Coker and Kyle Slater. The alleged 'insider' allegedly added: 'People are worried who's going to be next. The script for Roxy and Ronnie's deaths has been written, but none of the actors know what's going to happen.' A spokesperson for the BBC refused to comment, saying: 'We know how much our audience hate to have any future storylines spoilt so we will not comment on speculative stories.'
The hit 2013 novel Apple Tree Yard is being adapted by BBC1 as a four-part series and the BBC have released the first image from the production. Emily Watson plays the lead, Yvonne Carmichael, in the small-screen version of Louise Doughty's book. Yvonne lives a contented, conventional suburban life, until a chance encounter leads to an impulsive and passionate affair with a charismatic stranger (played by Ben Chaplin). Soon, her entire world spirals into chaos and a life-changing act of violence lands Yvonne in court. 'This compelling story makes for addictive viewing as Emily Watson takes us into the heart of darkness,' said Manda Levin, executive producer for Kudos. Watson, a pathologically law-abiding woman, finds herself in the Old Bailey accused of complicity in a shocking act of violence. 'Her extraordinary performance ensures Yvonne's terrible fall from grace is as moving as it is challenging. Apple Tree Yard is about a moment of transgression and the price one woman has to pay for it.' Watson herself said: 'I am both relishing and daunted by the prospect of taking on this role; it's grown-up, steamy and of queasy moral complexity.' Doughty's Apple Tree Yard has been translated into twenty six languages and has sold over a quarter of a million copies in the UK alone.
Yer actual Jezza Paxman has spoken about having depression in an intimate new profile. The former Newsnight presenter spoke candidly about seeing therapists and taking antidepressants for 'several years' and he insisted that he should not be labelled 'a victim. I don't see any reason to be ashamed of saying I've suffered depression, as have a vast number of people,' he told The Times. 'What I'm really not willing to do is try to appear as a victim.' Speaking of having therapy, Paxo explained that having cognitive behavioural therapy teaches you 'a new perspective,' and passed on advice to readers. 'The great thing is that unless we are all finished, the sun's going to come up tomorrow,' he continued. 'It's always worst in the middle of the night and what seems insurmountable at 3am, at 8am looks completely different. The critical thing they teach you doing CBT is there is another way of looking at things. I would really like to learn that skill.' When asked whether CBT helped him, however, he added: 'I don't think I was conscientious enough. But that is the key question: when everything seems black and shrouded in gloom and there seems no way out, is there another way of looking at it? Though, if you're in the grip of really serious depression, that's almost impossible.' Paxo discusses his depression in his new memoir, A Life In Questions, recalling suffering from insomnia and nightmares after losing three close friends and a stint of war reporting aged thirty five. 'I didn't exactly have a breakdown,' he said. 'But it was pretty like one.'
Laurence Fox has admitted that he barely sleeps and has suffered anxiety attacks since his split from his wife, Billie The Piper. Laurence and Billie were married for eight years and have two sons together and Laurence said that he has been 'deeply traumatised' by the divorce. He told the Sunday Mirra: 'The physical symptoms of trauma and suffering are profound panic attacks for an extended period of time and I've never had a panic attack in my life before last year. It's like being plugged into an electric socket where you go mental. I've learned to put on my running shoes and sprint as fast as I can until I can't move any more, then there's something else distracting me and the endorphins kick in and you start to feel better. Thankfully they're getting less all the time.' He added: 'I haven't slept for six months, even with sleeping pills. I go to bed the same time, same bed as the kids and just lie awake, sleeping two or three hours. My mind's whirring round. I'm seeing an amazing therapist, I love her. You've got to seek help, from your family, a therapist, a fitness trainer, whatever it is. Family and friends might be the best people for this stuff but they've got their own lives. My brother, Robin, has saved me in this whole situation. He saw it all, what I didn't see, knew what was coming and tried to tell me about it.'
Cycling's golden couple yer actual Laura Trott and Jason Kenny his very self have got very married. The couple, who boast ten Olympic gold medals between them, got hitched on Saturday in a ceremony away from the media spotlight. Kenny tweeted a picture of his new wife on Sunday saying 'good Morning, Mrs Kenny.' Trott's father also wrote: 'So pleased to announce that my darling daughter married Jason Kenny yesterday.' Kenny's image of his new wife pictured her in bed with their two dogs, Sprolo and Pringle at her feet. She posted on Instagram: 'The happiest day of my life. With all my family and close friends I married my best friend. We had the most amazing day and I'm so pleased to finally be able call Jason my husband.' The pair, who live in a cottage just outside Knutsford, reportedly turned down an offer of mucho disgraceful wonga to have the wedding featured in a celebrity trivia magazine and managed to keep the details of the event a secret from the press until it had actually happened. The relationship between the two began in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Trott has said 'it wasn't love at first sight' when she first met Kenny who, she said, never spoke to her in training. Kenny said in response, that he 'never said hello to anyone' and he could not 'help being grumpy.' The Bolton cyclist famously popped the question whilst the pair sitting on the sofa watching an episode of EastEnders just before Christmas in 2014.
A 'strange' cloud on Saturn's moon Titan which seems to 'appear out of nowhere' may form through process similar to one that depletes the ozone layer at Earth's poles. This process involves reactions with solid crystals rather than vapour. The cloud, which NASA officials described as 'impossible' in a statement, is made of dicyanoacetylene, which is one of several hydrocarbons that give Titan's atmosphere it's orange-brown hue. One cloud just like it was first seen by Voyager 1, which passed Saturn in 1980. Strangely, though, there didn't seem to be enough dicyanoacetylene in Titan's atmosphere to make such a cloud - only one percent of the amount needed. Observations of this newer cloud, taken by the Cassini orbiter currently exploring Saturn's system, yielded similar results: The spacecraft saw a high-altitude cloud, but there was not enough raw material to make one. At first, the scientists thought the problem was that the Voyager instrument wasn't sensitive enough to pick up the dicyanoacetylene. But when Cassini got the same result, that explanation was scrapped, researchers said in the NASA statement. Clouds are usually formed via condensation; a gas will rise to a certain height before cooling enough to turn to liquid vapour. This is what water does on Earth, forming clouds and what methane does on Titan. In the upper atmosphere, the process differs slightly; in that case, warm air is pushed to the poles and then sinks, where it condenses into clouds. Carrie Anderson, a planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, led a team at Goddard and the California Institute of Technology that proposed a different model for those clouds' formation: reactions among solid ice particles. Under this process, crystals of another hydrocarbon, cyanoacetylene, would condense as the gas moves downward through Titan's upper atmosphere. On the way, the crystals get coated by hydrogen cyanide. The little coated particles get hit with ultraviolet light from the sun, and the result is a reaction that forms dicyanoacetylene ice and hydrogen. This process is similar to one on Earth involving clouds that sometimes form in the stratosphere and chlorine-bearing chemical pollutants. The chlorine chemicals stick to the ice crystals, react when hit with UV light and create ozone-destroying chemicals. The study appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Further evidence has been obtained to show that Jupiter's icy moon Europa throws jets of water out into space. Scientists first reported the behaviour in 2013 using the Hubble telescope, but have now made a follow-up sighting. It is significant because Europa, with its huge subsurface ocean of liquid water, is one of the most likely places to find microbial life beyond Earth. Flying through the jets with an instrumented spacecraft would be an easy way to test the possibility. One could even attempt to capture a sample of ejected material and bring it back to Earth for more detailed biological analysis. The alternative - of trying to land on the moon and drill through perhaps tens of kilometres of ice to examine the ocean's water - would be immensely challenging. Hubble made its latest identification by studying Europa as it passed in front of Jupiter. The telescope looked in ultraviolet wavelengths to see if the giant planet's light was in any way being absorbed by material emanating from the moon's surface. Ten times Hubble looked and on three of those occasions it spied what appeared to be dark 'fingers' on the edge of Europa. What is more, the location for these prominences looks very similar to the region where Hubble two years ago detected an excess of oxygen and hydrogen - the component parts of water. Taken together, the new work and the earlier observations make a compelling case that H20 is being hurled - if only sporadically - into space from cracks in Europa's surface. The suggestion is that the jets reach several hundred kilometres in height before then falling back on to Europa. A similar phenomenon has already been seen up close at Enceladus, the icy moon of Saturn. It has vast plumes of water vapour emanating from a series of fissures at its south pole. The Cassini spacecraft, in orbit currently at Saturn, has even dived through the emissions to 'taste' some of their chemistry. But the probe's instrumentation is not designed to detect the presence or activity of microbes. That would require a mission dedicated to the task. NASA has just sent a satellite to Jupiter called Juno, but again this has no life-detection equipment on-board and, in any case, is not going anywhere near Europa in the course of its work. Both NASA and the European space agency do however have future missions in the planning stage that will visit Europa to make repeated flybys, and the determination that the moon has water jets will surely factor into the organisations' thinking. Hubble has been working at the limit of its capabilities to see the moon's jets.
In 2010, the physicist Stephen Hawking voiced concern about the possibility that humans might contact hostile extraterrestrial life by transmitting signals into space. However, SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak told Business Insider that it is 'too late' to consider whether we should send such transmissions because we've already been doing so for decades.
A Canadian man used a wine bottle to fend off a bear attack, and managed to walk away from the confrontation with just a few claw marks and a sore back. Jack Ballantyne was reportedly 'drinking in a remote area' of La Ronge, Saskatchewan on Friday morning, when a bear approached him in a sinister manner. Ballantyne has lost some of his hearing and did not initially hear the approaching and did not realise he had, as it were, a bear behind, his sister Rose told the CBC. 'All he remembers is that the bear took a swipe at him, hit him and he went flying,' Rose said. Ballantyne used his wine bottle 'to defend himself' - yeah, this blogger's tried that defence before. Usually, judges don't buy it - and said that he punched the bear in the nose, according to the CBC. He went to the hospital a few hours later after suspecting internal bleeding, but had recovered by Saturday morning. 'I'd say he's really lucky, I don't know what he did but he's very lucky and we're all relieved to see that he was okay,' his sister said.
Bemused customs officials in Austria have stopped a Moroccan woman, who travelled to Graz airport with a bag containing her husband's entrails. The man's intestines had been wrapped carefully in two containers, Austrian media reported. The woman, who has not been named, explained that she suspected her deceased husband had been poisoned, according to Kleine Zeitung. She wanted a toxicology test carried out on her husband's tissue. He died during an operation in Morocco, the newspaper reported. When the woman arrived in Graz, a doctor was called to examine the intestines but said that a proper investigation could not be carried out without the whole body. Police said the woman had not broken any laws. The entrails have been stored temporarily ahead of further forensic investigation.
A family have had their home fumigated due to an infestation of 'deadly spiders' which they say arrived in a bunch of bananas from their local ASDA. Ashley Gamble, from Leicester, told the Sun that 'dozens' of the spiders 'emerged from a cocoon' on the fruit. There is speculation that they were Brazilian wandering spiders, a bite from which can cause an 'extremely painful erection' and 'possible death.' Ooo ... I dunno about you lot, dear blog reader, but this blogger would sooner have the extremely painful erection, thanks all the same. ASDA claimed that finds like this were 'rare' and it was 'investigating further.' Gamble, who moved his family out of the home for a brief period, said it was like 'something out of a horror movie.' A horror movie featuring spiders, presumably rather than one featuring, you know, vampires or something? 'All our bananas are washed and sprayed before they are transported to the UK and every single piece of fruit is manually checked for quality and stowaways,' a spokeswoman for ASDA said. 'We sell one billion bananas every year and the chance of finding a spider is incredibly low, but very occasionally one hangs around to give us a fright.' To rid the property of the spiders a pest control firm heated the house up to sixty degrees to neutralise them. Paul Gale, from the company, said that Brazilian wandering spiders were 'potentially lethal. They are from a humid, moist climate. The heat we're putting in is a dry heat and they are unable to live.' Matthew Holden, from the Nottingham Reptile Centre, said their venom could cause 'an extremely painful erection.' However, he added that the 'spiders in fruit stories' could be 'blown out of proportion' as they were probably more likely to be harmless and from the UK. There has been no independent confirmation of what species was found at the house.
Cote d'Ivoire footballer Serge Aurier, who plays for Paris St-Germain, has been very sentenced to two months in jail for elbowing a police officer. Aurier was also fined six hundred Euros in damages over the incident at a Paris nightclub in May. He will remain free pending an appeal, which means he could play for PSG in the Champions League on Wednesday. The twenty three-year-old was suspended earlier this year over his comments about the then-PSG coach Laurent Blanc. Aurier was very convicted on Monday of elbowing a police officer after leaving a nightclub in the early hours of 30 May. The defender had been stopped to take a breath test after leaving a Parisian nightclub when he allegedly got all stroppy and uppity. According to the police account, the officer involved needed to take a day off work to recover from his injuries. Aurier denied the charge, arguing that he was 'a victim of police violence.' The PSG defender has had a troubled year. His suspension from the Ligue 1 side in February came after he appeared to use homophobic language to insult then-coach Laurent Blanc. He also called his team-mate, Angel di Maria, 'a clown' as he answered fan questions on social media. On Friday, he was sent off for a foul in the first half of PSG's Ligue 1 match against Toulouse.
An actor has been found very murdered at the rented home of Canadian talk-show host George Stroumboulopoulos in the Hollywood Hills neighbourhood of Los Angeles, police said on Friday. The body of Richard Hong was found at the house by officers responding to reports of a burglary, said Officer Norma Eisenman, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman. 'Officers were directed to a male, the apparent victim of a homicide,' Eisenman said, adding that witnesses reported seeing a man in a black jacket fleeing the area on foot. That suspect remained at large despite a search of the neighbourhood using dogs and a helicopter. The Los Angeles Times, citing a coroner's spokesman, said that the victim had 'sustained head trauma.' 'Many of you have seen the reports of a homicide which occurred early this morning in the home I rent in Los Angeles,' Stroumboulopoulos said in a post on Twitter. 'I only have a few details but it seems like it was the result of a break in,' he said. 'The victim was a dear friend of mine, who was staying at my place while I was away. I am heartbroken.' Stroumboulopoulos said that he was sending the message from a plane en route to Los Angeles from New York 'so I can be with my friends there, who are also devastated.' Stroumboulopoulos is best known as the host of a CBC talk show, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight.

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