Monday, October 31, 2016

Zeroes

Here, dear blog reader, are the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Seven programmes, week-ending Sunday 23 October 2016:-
1 The Great British Bake Off - Wed BBC1 - 13.44m
2 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 11.21m
3 Coronation Street - Fri ITV - 8.23m
4 Emmerdale - Fri ITV - 7.81m
5 The Apprentice - Thurs BBC1 - 7.37m
6 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.22m
7 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 7.17m
8 The Missing - Wed BBC1 - 7.08m
9 The X Factor - Sun ITV - 6.99m
10 Poldark - Sun BBC1 - 6.38m
11 Cold Feet - Mon ITV - 6.32m
12 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 6.05m
13 Ordinary Lies - Tues BBC1 - 5.71m
14 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.45m
15 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 5.0m
16 Pointless Z-List Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.82m
17 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.79m
18 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV - 4.78m
19 Six O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 4.75m
20 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.70m
21 Tutankhamun - Sun ITV - 4.58m
22 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.34m
23 The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins - Sat BBC1 - 4.16m
24 The ONE Show - Tues BBC1 - 3.95m
25 ITV News - Mon iTV - 3.94m
26 Would I Live To You? - Fri BBC - 3.92m
27 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.90m
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. Don't blame this blogger, he doesn't make the rules. Strictly Come Dancing's Sunday night results episode attracted 10.51 million punters. For once The X Factor's programme on the same evening out-performed the Saturday night episode, which had but 6.82 million. Can anyone else remember the last time that neither of ITV's two weekend X Factor episodes had a final, consolidated audience of seven million and that the best performing of the two was only the ninth most watched programme of that particular week? On BBC2, the latest episode of The Fall drew 3.31 million whilst The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice ... Of Greed attracted 2.93 million viewers and University Challenge was watched by 2.88 million. From The North favourite Only Connect was seen by 2.80 million, The Victorian Slum by 2.44 million and Gardeners' World by 2.32 million. The Great British Menu drew 2.30 million as did the opening episode of the new series of Qi, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two attracted 2.16 million and Mastermind had 2.05 million viewers. Pointless was watched by 2.01 million. The fourth episode of hideous, rotten and wretchedly unfunny Morgana Robinson's The Agency attracted an audience of somewhat less than 1.20 million punters and, for the third week running, didn't make BBC2's top thirty list for the week. Which does rather restore ones faith in the general viewing public knowing an utter turd when they're presented with one. Gogglebox: Z-List Celebrity Special was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast of the week (3.43 million), followed by Grand Designs (2.43 million) and SAS: Who Dares Wins (2.18 million). Hunted was seen by 2.08 million viewers, whilst Steve Coogan & Noel Gallagher: Stand Up To Cancer had 1.72 million, Food Unwrapped and First Dates, both drew 1.71 million whilst Married At First Sight, Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown, The Last Leg With Adam Hills and Great Canal Journeys were all watched by 1.60 million. Britain's Ancient Tracks With Tony Robinson attracted 1.50 million whilst the fourth episode of Damned had 1.07 million punters. Channel Five's top performer was, Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! with 1.98 million, ahead of The Yorkshire Vet (1.93 million), Eamonn & Ruth Talking A Reet Load Of Total Bollocks, As Usual (1.30 million), GPs: Behind Closed Doors (1.28 million punters) and The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door (1.22 million). The Sky Sports channels got their shit into gear this week and actually bothered to send in their figures to BARB. Thus, on Sky Sports 1, Monday Night Football and The Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws bore-draw with The Scum was watched by 1.97 million punters, by a distance the largest multi-channels audience of the week. The Scum's visit to Torpedo Stamford Bridge and their pants-down spanking by Moscow Chelski FC the following Sunday attracted 1.55 million - no doubt, very amused - viewers. The same day's coverage of Sheikh Yer Man City versus West Hamsters United had eight hundred and forty eight thousand. On Sky Sports Two, coverage of the final day of Live Test Cricket: Bangladesh Versus England was seen by two hundred and six thousand. Live United States Grand Prix coverage was watched by six hundred and fifteen thousand viewers on Sky Sports F1 and four hundred and thirty four thousand on Sky Sports 1. Gillette Soccer Saturday was also simultcast across two channels, being seen by four hundred and seventy two thousand on Sky Sports News HQ and a further three hundred and eighty two thousand on Sky Sports 1. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and forty six thousand viewers). Lewis was seen by eight hundred and thirty six thousand, Doc Martin by six hundred and thirty nine thousand and Rosemary & Thyme by four hundred and fifty three thousand. Coverage of MotoGP Highlights headed ITV4's weekly list with three hundred and thirty four thousand viewers whilst the James Bond movies You Only Live Twice and Thunderball attracted three hundred and twenty thousand and three hundred and eleven thousand respectively. Benidorm had three hundred and fourteen thousand. Once again ITV2's most-watched broadcast was that disgraceful and worthless shower of rancid festering diarrhoea Celebrity Juice (watched by a properly sad 1.34 million people, every single one of whom should be bloody well ashamed to show their faces in public after viewing a solitary second of this odious, smug nonsense). Family Guy drew seven hundred and seventeen thousand viewers. The Xtra Factor Results, six hundred and forty three thousand viewers and Scorpion, five hundred and seventeen thousand. DCI Banks headed ITV Encore's top ten with ninety three thousand viewers, ahead of Downton Abbey (fifty nine thousand) and Vera (fifty thousand). BBC4's list was topped by Great Barrier Reef (seven hundred and ninety four thousand viewers), followed by The Code (six hundred and thirty nine thousand), Timeshift: Bridging The Gap - How The Severn Bridge Was Built (six hundred and seven thousand), Julia Bradbury's Canal Walks (five hundred and fifty eight thousand) and Oak Tree: Nature's Greatest Survivors (five hundred and fifty four thousand). Sleuths, Spies & Sorcerers: Andrew Marr's Paperback Heroes drew five hundred and twenty eight thousand and The Incredible Human Journey, four hundred and fifty six thousand. Surviving Aberfan was watched by four hundred and twenty eight thousand and British Gardens In Time by four hundred and eight thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was, as usual, headed by unfunny, full-of-its-own-importance spew A League Of Their Own (seven hundred and forty six thousand), a figure which, frankly, makes this blogger angry. Hooten & The Lady was seen by six hundred and fifty two thousand, Mount Pleasant by four hundred and forty nine thousand and The Simpsons by three hundred and forty four thousand. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the third episode of Westworld (1.31 million). The much-trailed Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle Divorce was seen by three hundred and twenty four thousand - having lost a quarter of its initial audience between episodes one and two - and The Night Of by one hundred and seventy seven thousand. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver drew one hundred and fifty eight thousand whilst the latest Game Of Thrones repeat had one hundred and four thousand. On Sky Living, Criminal Minds drew 1.03 million, Chicago Fire attracted five hundred and forty five thousand, Nashville, three hundred and two thousand and The Biggest Loser USA, one hundred and ninety two thousand viewers. Sky Arts' Landscape Artist Of The Year was watched by two hundred and forty thousand viewers - more than triple the usual slot average - whilst The Story Of The Jam: About The You Idea had seventy thousand and Madness: Live At The House Of Commons, fifty thousand. 5USA's Chicago PD was seen by five hundred and eighty five thousand viewers. NCIS: Los Angeles attracted five hundred and thirty six thousand, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour, five hundred and two thousand, Castle, four hundred and twenty seven thousand and NCIS, two hundred and ninety four thousand. NCIS also topped CBS Action's list (one hundred and fifteen thousand) and featured in the top-tens of FOX (one hundred and sixteen thousand) and The Universal Channel (one hundred and eleven thousand). FOX's other most watched programmes were The Walking Dead's seventh series premiere (nine hundred and forty three thousand), American Horror Story (four hundred and eighty two thousand) and Family Guy (one hundred and thirty thousand). The Universal Channel's weekly list was headed by Chicago Med (four hundred and ninety two thousand), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (two hundred and ninety eight thousand), Major Crimes (two hundred and eighty nine thousand) and Private Eyes (two hundred and four thousand). On Dave, the eleventh series of Red Dwarf continued with 1.10 million viewers. Taskmaster was - inexplicably - the second highest-rated programme with eight hundred and sixty five thousand punters. No, this blogger has no idea why either. That was followed by laughless sitcom Zapped (six hundred and seven thousand), Dara O Briain's Go Eight Bit (four hundred and fifty six thousand), Top Gear (three hundred and seven thousand) and Qi XL (two hundred and seventy eight thousand). The latest episode of Drama's repeat run of New Tricks was watched by four hundred and eighty four thousand viewers. Rebus had four hundred and forty eight thousand, followed by Death In Paradise (three hundred and eighty five thousand), Murdoch Mysteries (three hundred and seventy four thousand), Father Brown (three hundred and fifty seven thousand) and Silent Witness (three hundred and forty four thousand). Alibi's highest-rated programmes were Rizzoli & Isles (four hundred and forty eight thousand), Crossing Lines (two hundred and eighty three thousand), Rosewood (two hundred and sixty five thousand) and Death In Paradise (one hundred and fifty four thousand). On The Sony Channel, Saving Hope was watched by sixty thousand, [spooks] by thirty six thousand, The Night Shift by thirty four thousand and Hustle by thirty one thousand. Yesterday's Open All Hours repeat run attracted two hundred and eighty nine thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Rush's latest series continued with five hundred and twenty six thousand viewers. Fast N' Loud drew two hundred and ninety six thousand whilst Taking Fire was seen by one hundred and twenty thousand, Deadliest Catch by one hundred and thirteen thousand and Last Alaskans by fifty thousand punters. Discovery History's Waterloo: The Ultimate Battle topped the weekly-list with forty seven thousand. The Mystery of The Mary Celeste and Curiosity: Nefertiti Mummy Queen Mystery both had twenty seven thousand and Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered and Hitler's Children both attracted twenty five thousand. On Discovery Science, How It's Made was seen by thirty nine thousand viewers. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programmes were, Wheeler Dealers, Fast N' Loud and Kindig Customs all of which had an audience of thirty seven thousand viewers. Would it not be, like, totally 'mazin' and that if it was exactly the same thirty seven thousand petrolheads watching all three of them? National Geographic's list was headed by Air Crash Investigation which had one hundred and ninety seven thousand viewers and Wicked Tuna (fifty nine thousand). Elizabeth 1: A Secret Life was watched by forty five thousand. The History Channel's top-ten list was topped by Barbarians Rising (two hundred and five thousand). Mountain Men was seen by one hundred and forty three thousand and Ice Road Truckers attracted an audience of one hundred and sixteen thousand. On Military History, Snipers was watched by thirty five thousand as was Ancient Aliens. Swamp Murders, Six Degrees Of Murder and Betrayed were ID's top-rated programmes of the week (with sixty one thousand viewers, forty nine thousand and forty three thousand murder-lovers respectively). Robbie Coltrane's Critical Evidence, Homicide Hunter and The Jail: Sixty Days In headed CI's list (ninety five thousand, seventy three thousand and fifty eight thousand). Crimes That Shook Britain drew forty nine thousand. GOLD's repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys attracted three hundred and thirty thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for South Park (four hundred and thirty seven thousand). Your TV's Crime Files: The Homefront was seen by seventy one thousand. On More4, Hitler: The Rise & Fall was the highest-rated programme with four hundred and fourteen thousand. Homes By The Sea attracted three hundred and seventy eight thousand punters, Grand Designs, three hundred and seventy one thousand, Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown, three hundred and thirty four thousand and Come Dine With Me, three hundred and twenty thousand. E4's the return for a new series of the massively popular The Big Bang Theory drew 1.98 million viewers. Hollyoaks had 1.11 million. The Horror Channel's broadcast of Doghouse attracted one hundred and thirty six thousand. Their top-ten list for the week also included They Live (one hundred and thirty three thousand), The Devil's Tomb (one hundred and eleven thousand thousand) and The Asylum (ninety two thousand). The Exorcist, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and thirty two thousand whilst Hunters had one hundred and thirty seven thousand. Could We Survive Mega-Tsunami? and Lions On The Move were watched by forty three thousand and forty one thousand respectively on Eden. Insane Pools: Off The Deep End was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with fifty five thousand. On W, John Bishop In Conversation With Lenny Henry (Last Funny, Briefly, In 1983) was seen by three hundred and fifty seven thousand. The Strain attracted three hundred and forty three thousand punters. Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! was watched by one hundred and sixty four thousand and The X-Files drew one hundred and twenty eight thousand on Spike. Say Yes To The Dress was seen by one hundred and twenty eight thousand people who really do need to have a good, hard look at themselves in the mirror on TLC. The Vault's Gareth Gates: 2002 - A Year In Pop drew thirteen thousand punters. The Foster& Allen Show attracted an audience of twenty seven thousand on Irish TV. Building Alaska was seen by sixty five thousand on the Travel Channel. Man Versus Food drew sixty four thousand.

There was another classic comedy moment in Sunday's Qi XL episode when Sandi Toksvig - settling in very nicely to the Stephen Fry role - noted that the magnetic North Pole is moving Eastwards at a rate of around thirty five miles per year. 'The magnetic North Pole is moving imperceptibly slowly towards Russia. Along with fashion, democracy and gay rights!'
On Monday evening, dear blog reader, there was a quite brilliant opening to the latest episode of Only Connect when Victoria Coren Mitchell quoted Robert Burns's aphorism: 'Suspense is worse than disappointment,' adding that this, therefore, meant for the losing team in the quiz, 'not knowing they're going to lose is worse than actually losing. They should really hurry up and lose so they can feel better about themselves.'
Jezza Clarkson has said he and his two fellow former Top Gear presenters have been 'challenged' by legal restrictions, nerves and the efforts of over-zealous makeup artists before the launch of the trio's new multimillion pound show. Three weeks before The Grand Tour hits Amazon Prime, Clarkson said that BBC restrictions on intellectual property rights had left him 'worried' about the format of the new motoring show. 'The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, The Cool Wall, The Stig – all that had been left behind and replaced with other stuff,' he wrote in The Sunday Times magazine. 'Would that be like The Rolling Stones suddenly appearing on stage in tweed suits and doing ABBA songs?' Filming in a static location would also present legal problems with the BBC, he claimed. So he and co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May are doing a studio recording at a different place each week from inside a huge tent, which will be packed up and relocated for each of the £4.5m episodes in the twelve-show series. Clarkson said that he had a 'eureka' moment while watching - in his underpants - an episode of True Detective in which a Baptist minister preaches in a tent. 'Yes!' he exclaimed to colleagues the next day, 'We'd be rootless, peripatetic, like music teachers in the 1970s. Or gypsies.' He, Hammond and May chose South Africa for their first location as it has 'far and away the best audiences in the world. Crack a gag at a Friday night event in London and you get a chuckle. But crack it in South Africa and they laugh for about a year,' he wrote, adding: 'As the filming day dawned, we were all nervous.' There were other problems, not least the fact the show is recorded in 4K ultra-high definition. 'Our biggest worry, however, was the makeup girl who turned up with a bag full of Artex and some trowels. Hammond was first in the chair and after half-an-hour emerged looking like he'd just arrived from Easter Island. It simply wasn't him.' With all the make-up on, 'speech was impossible because we couldn't move our mouths. James had breathing difficulties. I couldn't get my head off the floor because it weighed so much. Some chisels were found and soon we began to emerge from our tombs, like skeletons unearthed at an archaeological dig.' Clarkson also said he had watched only two episodes of the revamped Top Gear, which was co-presented by Chris Evans, adding one observation: 'It was a television programme about cars.'
Sir David Attenborough has belatedly commented on the BBC's Top Gear row and believes that the corporation was totally wrong not to renew Jezza Clarkson's contract. The ninety-year-old national treasure, who was once BBC2's controller, said that Clarkson's anti-establishment malarkey was 'healthy' for the corporation. 'I regret letting Clarkson go, because it's very good to have a voice that's anti-establishment, or so profoundly anti-establishment,' Sir Dave told the Radio Times. However, he said that he was more than happy for the BBC to wave goodbye to The Great British Bake Off. Asked if they were right not to renew a deal with the show's production company, Greed Productions, he said: 'Absolutely right! To say to them: "If you want another million, go ahead, we've got plenty more ideas where that came from."' Attenborough also used the interview to reveal himself as anti-Brexit and heavily criticised David Cameron's decision to hold a referendum on Britain’' membership of the EU. 'There's confusion, isn't there, between populism and parliamentary democracy?' he explained. 'That's why we're in the mess we are with Brexit, is it not? Do we really want to live by this kind of referendum? What we mean by parliamentary democracy is surely that we find someone we respect who we think is probably wiser than we are, who is prepared to take the responsibility of pondering difficult things and then trust him – or her – to vote on our behalf.'
Tom Watson - power to the people - spoke, rather movingly, in Parliament this week in a debate about the future of the BBC. As Tommy said in his speech, the BBC is often criticised but rarely bettered. It is a national asset we should all treasure. It is.
Yer actual Johnny Marr has revealed that re-forming The Smith was 'a very real prospect' - if only for about four days. The guitarist and co-songwriter has released an extract from his upcoming memoir Set The Boy Free in the Gruniad Morning Star and said that he met with former band-mate Morrissey in 2008 for the first time in a few years. The pair discussed the possibility of reforming the legendary eighties indie band, which Marr said would 'make a Hell of a lot of people very happy.' But, 'the distrust remained' between the pair and the idea never came to fruition. Johnny was back in touch with Morrissey in 'a rare period of communication' in 2008 when Marr was remastering The Smiths' back catalogue and they arranged to meet in a pub in Manchester. 'I was happy to see him,' he wrote. 'It was ten years or more since we'd last met. We caught up with personal news and family and reminisced a bit.' But then, the conversation 'turned to deeper things' and, eventually, what Marr called 'that subject.' He wrote: 'There had been rumours for years that The Smiths were about to re-form and they were always untrue. I had never pursued any offer. Suddenly we were talking about the possibility of the band re-forming and, in that moment, it seemed that with the right intention it could actually be done and might even be great.' After parting company, Johnny returned to his band at the time, The Cribs, and talked to them about him possibly playing some shows with The Smiths, which he hoped 'might even be better than before.' But, by the time he returned from a tour of Mexico with The Cribs some weeks later, Marr said, the communication with Morrissey had ended. 'Things went back to how they were and how I expect they always will be,' he said. 'An air of disaffection and distrust remained between us. It was a shame.' Personally, this blogger - as big a Smiths fan as exists on the planet even if he does say so his very self - is rather glad that they didn't. Reunions are more often than not something of a disappointment (with some notable exceptions, admittedly) and, as a consequence, yer actual Keith Telly Topping remains grateful to both The Smiths and The Jam - the two popular beat combos which probably mean more to him than any other; the two, certainly, that loom largest in this blogger's legend - for not getting back together and running the risk of ruining Keith Telly Topping's life. Thanks lads. Much appreciated.
Bob Dylan says that he accepts his Nobel Prize in literature, ending a silence since the announcement was made that he was being awarded the prize earlier this month. Bob said that the honour had left him 'speechless', the Nobel Foundation said in a statement. The foundation said it had not yet been decided if the singer would attend the awards ceremony in December. However, Dylan reportedly told a newspaper that he intended to pick up the award in person 'if at all possible.' The award to Dylan was announced on 13 October 'for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.' However, his failure to acknowledge it publicly raised a few eyebrows. Last week, a member of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel prizes, described his silence as 'impolite and arrogant.' Although, arguably, not as impolite and arrogant as the comments made by the member of the Swedish Academy who might've wanted to wait to bit long before making his or her mouth go in public. But on Friday, the Nobel Foundation said that Dylan had called Sara Danius, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, telling her: 'The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless. I appreciate the honour so much.' Although the statement said that it was unclear if Dylan would attend the prize-giving banquet in Stockholm, the Daily Torygraph quoted him as saying: 'Absolutely, if it's at all possible.' In an interview with the paper he described the awarding of the prize as 'amazing' and 'incredible. It's hard to believe. Whoever dreams about something like that?' the paper quoted Bob as saying.
'The fight against literary censorship didn't end with the Lady Chatterley trial. It didn't begin there either. Lady Chatterley's Lover was first published in 1928, in Florence and DH Lawrence spent the rest of his life trying to secure copyright for the book in the rest of Europe, to protect it from piracy. He found the bravest publishers in France. And one of the bravest of them was a gangly Mancunian war hero called Jack Kahane.' A loophole in France's obscenity laws allowed Kahane to publish Lady Chatterley's Lover as well as other allegedly 'obscene' books by Henry Miller and Anais Nin. To go along with his forthcoming BBC4 documentary, A Very British Pornographer, the actor and rare book collector Neil Pearson has written a fascinating piece, Dirty Books & Literary Freedom: The Lady Chatterley Publisher Who Beat The Censors for the BBC website about Jack Kahane.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice against Preston Both Ends for the second time in a week to hand the Championship leaders yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies a two-one victory at Deepdale. Newcastle, who annihilated Preston but six-nil in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night, struggled for chances in the first half of Saturday's league game. However, Serbian striker Mitrovic fired in a low strike and then turned home a second after his header was parried by the Preston keeper after the break. Preston's Jermaine Beckford scored in the eighty ninth minute and Marnick Vermijl then hit the post deep into a ridiculously long period of added time. The match was in stark contrast to the thrashing the Magpies inflicted on Preston in midweek at St James' Park, with a low Paul Gallagher drive testing Newcastle's goalkeeper Karl Darlow and Bailey Wright's header also forcing a save before half-time. But, two clinical Mitrovic finishes meant the Magpies are now on a seven-game winning run in the league and Rafael Benitez's side remain three points clear at the top of the table. Deepdale hosted a crowd of over twenty thousand, Preston's highest attendance since 2009, as they chased a fifth successive home win in the league. Substitute Beckford's late goal, on his first appearance since 27 August because of injury, briefly gave Both Ends hope, while Newcastle survived whinging bleats for a penalty late on and Vermijl hitting a post in a nerve-jangling ten minutes of injury time. In part, the added time was because Newcastle's DeAndrew Yedlin was hit on the head by an object - allegedly a twenty pence coin - thrown by some brain-free vacant numskull in the crowd. Brighton & Hope Albinos's five-nil home win ensured they remained three points behind United at the top of the table, but their opponents, Norwich City, and Huddersfield's identical mauling at Poor Bloody Fulham, left Newcastle six points clear of the play-off places and their already significant goal difference advantage increased further.
Borussia Monchengladbach fans were so desperate to get hold of merchandise referring to their club as 'A German Team' that two thousand scarves sporting the branding sold out within two days. A Twitter post showing a sign outside a Scottish bar went viral before the club's two-nil Champions League win over Glasgow Celtic, after the author seemingly gave up attempting to spell 'Monchengladbach' - instead opting for 'A German Team.' Gladbach seemingly saw the funny side, changing their own English account's Twitter handle to 'A German Team' and using the phrase on their team-sheet on social media. They also gave fans the chance to grab a piece of merchandise, but the club's head of corporate communications, Markus Aretz, says that the scarves were in such great demand Gladbach have ordered another two thousand to sell before Tuesday's return group game against the Scottish champions. 'It went big and was a big laugh on that day,' Aretz told BBC Radio 5Live. 'We know it is a difficult name and not a club like Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United that's well known around the world, although we had a big history in the 1970s. It is hard to pronounce our name. We don't get offended. Everybody thought it was a good joke.'
New York City's Metropolitan Opera was forced to cancel its Saturday afternoon performance of Guillaume Tell after an audience member sprinkled an unidentified powder, which police believe was cremated ashes, into the orchestra pit. New York City Police officials said that witnesses had heard a man say he was at the opera to spread the ashes of his mentor. ell, it's what they would have wanted. Allegedly. 'An individual from out of town indicated that he was here to sprinkle ashes of a friend, his mentor in opera, during the performance,' John Miller, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism told reporters. The Met said on its Facebook page that it had also cancelled the Saturday evening performance of L'Italiana In Algeri, whilst police 'investigate the incident' which occurred during the second intermission. There were no reports of any injuries or any unwanted reactions to the substance, though the theatre was evacuated as a precaution and the New York Police Department dispatched 'a special unit' to investigate, Officer Tiffany Phillips said. The suspect, a man who was not identified, fled the scene and no arrests have been made, Phillips added. The Metropolitan Opera has seen other bizarre episodes in the past, including one in 1988 when a patron died during a plunge from the top balcony during the intermission of a performance of Macbeth.
Two Eurostar trains were delayed on Sunday morning after a passenger reportedly tried to take a World War Two shell on board. As you do. The 08:13am and the 09:13am Paris to London services were delayed by twenty and thirty minutes respectively. Passengers were evacuated into the main hall at Paris Gare du Nord as a precaution and police were called. A Eurostar spokeswoman said that train services from the station then returned to normal.
Members of the public are being asked to help create a record of ritual markings on buildings that were once believed to ward off evil spirits. The 'witches' marks' were often carved near entrances to buildings, including the house where Shakespeare was born and the Tower of London. The symbols were believed to offer protection when belief in witchcraft and the supernatural was widespread. But heritage agency Historic England says 'too little is known' about them. This Hallow'een it is calling for people to document the marks, which can be found in medieval houses, churches and other buildings, most commonly from around 1550 to 1750.

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