Monday, March 06, 2017

"Wouldn't This Time Be Better Spent Plotting A War Against A Country That Can't Possibly Defend Itself Against Us?"

TV comedy moment of the week came from Friday's Only Connect and the divine Goddess that is Victoria Coren Mitchell's comment that 'we've just had Alphabetti Spaghetti®™ in the canteen; tasty and an anagram. I actually wanted to make fish fingers ... but I only had one "f".' She's a saucy minx, that one!
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) has revealed on Facebook that he has, this week, started writing his final Doctor Who script (presumably, this year's Christmas episode, which will also be yer actual Peter Capaldi's finale). And, The Moffinator has, seemingly, opened his script with a - one imagines, entirely deliberate - conceptually fascinating stage direction.
Meanwhile, filming has begun on the final two episodes of Doctor Who series ten, with a first released image revealing the return of a classic enemy. The Doctor (yer actual Peter Capaldi - you knew that, right?) is pictured with the Mondasian Cybermen – the original version of The Doctor’s deadly enemies who have not been seen in Doctor Who for over fifty years (since 1966's The Tenth Planet, in fact). The Cybermen will return in episodes eleven and twelve of the new series. The episodes, written by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) and directed by Rachel Talalay, are now filming in Cardiff.
There's a very interesting piece on the new - post-Chris Evans - series of Top Gear which you can read here.
The latest series of Top Gear has been praised by critics though some said that there is still 'room for improvement.' The new series sees Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid and Chris Harris take the lead presenting roles after the departure of Chris Evans last year. Writing in the Torygraph, Ed Power described the opening episodes as 'a roaring return' and said it was 'a vast improvement on last year's car-crash attempts at reinventing the wheel. If a few clunking elements still need tinkering with, the all new Top Gear nonetheless impressed as it left the starting grid,' he said. But, he added: 'Whether it can keep up the momentum across the next two months is harder to predict.' An average of 2.8 million overnight viewers tuned in to the first episode on Sunday evening - with a peak of 3.1 million as the show reached its climax, an improvement on the overnights achieved by the later episodes of the previous series. The Digital Spy website's Tom Eames said the show was 'much more fun than last year. The weak link of 2016 has gone in the shape of Chris Evans and the best three presenters have been elevated to an equal status. And it's worked wonders. There are still a few quibbles that need to be ironed out in time. Mainly, the studio segments still feel a little forced.' Caroline Frost of The Huffington Post said: 'From the off, it was immediately clear that the new team of Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid, has worked tirelessly to play to its strengths, previously overshadowed by former frontman Chris Evans.' She added: 'What they do now have is a bit more chemistry between the hosts. The return to three people was a solid decision and while some might not want a name like LeBlanc involved, he's good at what he does here and he's enjoyable to watch.' The Gruniad Morning Star's odious middle-class hippy Communist Sam Wollaston, always such a big fan of the show in the past, compared the new trio's chemistry with their predecessors. 'Whatever you think of [Clarkson, Hammond and May's] asinine, middle-aged laddishness, it's hard to deny that there was something between them, a connection, a chemistry,' he sneered. 'Here, though, it's more like speed-dating: no one really seems to know anyone else. It's not quite working yet. They are overdoing the bants - laughing too hard at Matt's gags and trying too hard with their own.' Writing in the Sun, Ally Ross said: 'Matt LeBlanc may still come across like Dylan from The Magic Roundabout, but he is now capable of looking all of his co-hosts in the eye for more than 2.3 seconds. This small miracle is possible, of course, because BBC2 has got rid of the shouty ginger tyrant, Chris Evans and that hideous yellow T-shirt he wore every single episode of his short yet noisy tenure.'
There have been many Interweb rumours over the last few months that Mark Harmon may be about to leave NCIS due to unspecified 'health problems', however this does not seem to be the case, at least, according to this piece and a couple of similar 'oh no, he isn't' reports to have appeared over the last week. NCIS has already been renewed for a fifteenth series and, Harmon reportedly has a contract which runs for that duration. As confirmed here.
Here are the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Thirty programmes broadcast during the week-ending Sunday 26 February 2017:-
1 Call The Midwife - Sun BBC1 - 10.22m
2 Death In Paradise - Thurs BBC1 - 8.42m
3 Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - Sat ITV - 8.17m
4 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.64m
5 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.49m
6 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 7.19m
7 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.62m
8 FA Cup Match Of The Day Live: Sutton Piemen Versus The Arse - Mon BBC1 - 6.19m
9 The Good Karma Hospital - Sun ITV - 6.03m
10 The Voice - Sat ITV - 5.90m
11 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.67m
12 Taboo - Sat BBC1 - 5.59m
13= Six O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 5.56m
13= The Brit Awards - Wed ITV - 5.56m
15 The Real Marigold Hotel - Wed BBC1 - 5.24m
16 SS-GB - Sun BBC1 - 5.03m
17 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.96m
18 The Halcyon - Mon ITV - 4.72m
19 Let It Shine - Sat BBC1 - 4.61m
20 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.60m
21 Rugby Six Nations: England Versus Italy - Sun ITV - 4.57m
22 Six Nations Rugby: Scotland Versus Wales - Sat BBC1 - 4.33m
23 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.21m
24 DIY SOS: The Big Build - Tues BBC1 - 4.08m
25 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 4.05m
26= Shop Well For Less? - Thurs BBC1 - 4.00m
26= The Big Painting Challenge - Sun BBC1 - 4.00m
28 Who Do You Think You Are? - Wed BBC1 - 3.97m
29 Not Going Out - Fri BBC1 - 3.94m
30 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 3.91m
These consolidated figures, published weekly by the British Audience Research Bureau, include all viewers who watched programmes live and on various forms of catch-up TV and video-on-demand during the seven days after initial broadcast, but do not include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. As noted last time, it is probably a wee bit over-the-top to describe self-confessed Tory tax-avoider Gary Barlow's Let It Shine as a 'flop', per se, but having lost around a third of its initial audience across six weeks and continuing to shed viewers much like a dog sheds hair, 'a major disappointment and a bloody disgraceful waste of licence fee payer's money,' probably isn't all that far from the mark. Particularly as it continues to make The Voice's weekly audience figures look 'better-than-average' in comparison. No doubt to the delight of some people who whinge about 'mumbling', SS-GB dropped from 7.8 million punters for its (excellent) opening episode to - a still highly respectable for a Sunday night drama - five million for (the also excellent) episode two. Still, that'll no doubt give some odious glakes with a sick-agenda smeared all over their collective mush at the Gruniad Morning Star or the Daily Scum Mail something to sneer about. On BBC2, the top-rated programme was Dragon's Den with 2.79 million viewers. Further Back In Time For Dinner was watched by 2.69 million, The Great Pottery Throw Down by 2.58 million, University Challenge by 2.41 million and The Drug Trial: Emergency At The Hospital by 1.90 million. Mastermind attracted 1.88 million viewers and Only Connect, 1.68 million. Antiques Road Trip was watched by 1.56 million viewers, followed by Qi (1.54 million), SAS: Rogue Warriors (1.51 million), the movie My Old Lady (1.50 million), Inside Number Nine: The Devil Of Christmas (1.47 million), Dad's Army (also 1.47 million) and Diana: Designing A Princess (1.46 million). An Island Parish: Anguilla had an audience of 1.38 million. The returning Gogglebox was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast (3.27 million punters), followed by Twenty Four Hours In A&E (2.12 million), The Last Leg With Adam Hills (1.76 million), Homeland (1.74 million) and The Jump (1.65 million). The Trouble With Dad and The Royal House Of Windsor both had 1.58 million viewers whilst Rivers With Jeremy Paxman drew 1.42 million. That Awful Keith Woman's Favourite Villages was seen by ninety hundred thousand punters with, presumably, nothing better to do with their time than watch abject tripe like this. Cruising With Jane McDonald was, again, Channel Five's top performer with an audience of 1.84 million, ahead of Inside Windsor Castle (1.67 million viewers), another fine example of Channel Five's demonisation of the poor, The Great British Benefits Handout (1.32 million), Secrets Of The National Trust With Alan Bloody Titchmarsh (1.32 million), Z-List Celebrity Carry On Barging (1.26 million) and GPs: Behind Closed Doors (1.24 million). Coverage of Live EFL Cup Final: The Scum Versus Southampton on Sky Sports 1 was seen by 1.78 million punters whilst the Live Premier League game between Stottingtot Hotshots and Dirty Stoke Nil drew six hundred and twenty four thousand. Wednesday's all Yorkshire clash between Dirty Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday had four hundred and forty four thousand (plus a further fifty four thousand on Sky Sports Mix) whilst The Gloves Are Off was seen by three hundred and eighty nine thousand. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies putting Aston Villains across their knee for damned good hiding had three hundred and eight thousand and The Sunday Supplement was seen by seventy seven thousand. On Sky Sports 2, Live EFL: Norwich Versus Ipswich attracted three hundred and thirty five thousand. Of which, one presumes, a maximum of twelve were outside of the general East Anglia area. Gillette Soccer Saturday was top of the pile on Sky Sports News HQ with five hundred and nine thousand punters and an additional three hundred and twenty two thousand on the Sky Sports 1 simultcast. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by the return of Stan Lee's Lucky Man (nine hundred and eighty four thousand viewers). Hawaii Five-0 was seen by eight hundred and fifty nine thousand, NCIS: Los Angeles by eight hundred thousand, Modern Family by seven hundred and sixty nine thousand, The Blacklist by six hundred and twelve thousand and Supergirl by five hundred and six thousand. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by another returning cult favourite, Billions (four hundred and eighty four thousand). Blue Bloods attracted three hundred and twenty nine thousand. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver had two hundred and thirteen thousand, Fortitude, two hundred and eight thousand and Girls, one hundred and thirty nine thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of Elementary was seen by 1.01 million whilst Bones had eight hundred and seventy two thousand, Criminal Minds drew eight hundred and fifty eight thousand, Blindspot, six hundred and fifteen thousand, Madam Secretary, five hundred and three thousand and Greys Anatomy, four hundred and ninety eight thousand. Sky Arts' Portrait Artist Of The Year was watched by three hundred and forty three thousand viewers whilst Oasis: Lice At The Barrowlands, had fifty five thousand, the same total as Dire Straits: Alchemy. Although the chances of it being the same fifty five thousand punters that watched both were, admittedly, slim. One of the channel's - highly entertaining - daily repeats of Tales Of The Unexpected drew forty three thousand. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (eight hundred and eighty five thousand viewers). Doc Martin was seen by five hundred and fifty nine thousand and a very welcome repeat of the - rarely shown - Inspector Morse episode Day Of The Devil by four hundred and ninety thousand. Benidorm headed ITV4's weekly list with three hundred and eighty one thousand punters. Snooker Shoot Out drew three hundred and sixty five thousand. Christ only knows why. ITV2's most-watched broadcasts were for Ibiza Weekend (six hundred and twenty two thousand), Scorpion (five hundred and seven thousand) and a Sunday afternoon repeat of Wor Geet Canny Ant & Wor Geet Canny Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (also five hundred and seven thousand). Worthless, vomit encrusted example of everything that is wrong with British television and British society in the Twenty First Century Release The Hounds: Famous & Freaked was watched by five hundred and two thousand planks. Every single one of whom should, frankly, be horsewhipped through the streets until they promise never to watch this crap again. And, the same goes for the four hundred and ninety one thousand morons who tuned in to The Jeremy Kyle Show. Shame on you. Shame on all of you. Four episodes of the first series of Broachurch headed ITV Encore's top ten, the opening episode attracting seventy nine thousand viewers, followed by Vera (fifty four thousand thousand) and Downton Abbey (forty eight thousand). BBC4's list was topped by the third episode of Roots (1.07 million viewers), followed by South Downs: England's Mountains Green (seven hundred and ninety two thousand), Thailand: Earth's Tropical Paradise (six hundred and thirty five thousand), Madame Tussaud: A Legend In Wax (six hundred and twenty three thousand), Planet Earth II (five hundred and fifty one thousand) and Queen: From Rags To Rhapsody (five hundred and twenty two thousand). Top Of The Pops 1983 drew three hundred and fifty seven thousand, This World: Russia's Hooligan Army, three hundred and fifty four thousand, Treasures Of Ancient Egypt, three hundred and forty four thousand and Timeshift: The People's Liners - Britain's Lost Paradise Fleet, three hundred and thirty thousand. 5USA's Person Of Interest was watched by seven hundred and eighty eight thousand viewers, NCIS by five hundred and thirteen thousand and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit by four hundred and seventy eight thousand. NCIS also topped the weekly lists of CBS Action (one hundred and thirty two thousand) and featured in the top tens of FOX (nine hundred and thirty two thousand viewers) and The Universal Channel (one hundred and thirty one thousand). It's not 'the most-watched drama series in the world' for nothing, you know? It was also interesting to note FOX's continually sneering continuity announcer saying, before several recent episodes, 'you can watch NCIS on many channels but FOX is the only one where you can see new ones.' The latest episode of The Walking Dead topped FOX's weekly list with 1.49 million. The really disappointing 24: Legacy had five hundred and seventy three thousand, Legion continued by four hundred and seventy thousand and Bull had four hundred and sixty four thousand. The Universal Channel's Chicago Med attracted three hundred and seventy eight thousand. On Dave, Suits was watched by four hundred and sixty three thousand viewers. Have I Got A Bit More News For You continued with three hundred and eighty thousand, followed by the return of Alan Davies: As Yet Unfunny (three hundred and fifty five thousand), Mock The Week (three hundred and six thousand), Not Going Out (two hundred and seventy seven thousand) and Qi XL (two hundred and sixty four thousand). The latest episode of Drama's The Brokenwood Mysteries was watched by six hundred and forty four thousand viewers. New Tricks had four hundred and forty four thousand whilst Taggart drew three hundred and ninety one thousand (to discover that, quite unexpectedly, 'there's bin a murrrrrdah!'). Who'd've guessed, eh? Alibi's highest-rated programmes was Murdoch Mysteries (two hundred and thirty eight thousand) whilst nine episodes of Death In Paradise (one hundred and seventy seven thousand being the most-watched) made up the rest of the channel's top-ten. Popular lad, that Kris Marshall. On The Sony Channel, another well-liked BBC drama, Hustle was seen by forty two thousand. Robots attracted forty one thousand. Yesterday's Open All Hours repeats continued with two hundred and sixty four thousand and Porridge was seen by two hundred and fifty five thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Rush was watched by five hundred and thirty thousand thousand viewers. Fast N' Loud had two hundred and fifty six thousand. Alaskan Bush People was seen by one hundred and sixty nine thousand and The Wheel by one hundred and twenty thousand. Episodes of From The North cult favourite Wheeler Dealers topped the weekly lists of both Discovery Shed (thirty five thousand) and Discovery Turbo (thirty eight thousand). Discovery History's Tanks headed the top ten-list with twenty eight thousand. Spirit Of The Somme had twenty six thousand, Tony Robinson's Time Walks, also twenty six thousand and The Reich Underground, twenty five thousand. On Discovery Science, Ghost Asylum was seen by fifty five thousand viewers punters. On Quest, Salvage Hunters was watched by five hundred and two thousand. Pick's Elementary had two hundred and eighty one thousand. Murders That Shocked The Nation also shocked two hundred and four thousand viewers. Probably. National Geographic's list was headed by Air Crash Investigation which had one hundred and seventy thousand viewers and Atlantis Rising (seventy three thousand). The History Channel's weekly list was topped by The Curse Of Oak Island (two hundred and seventeen thousand) and Forged In Fire (one hundred and sixty one thousand). On Military History, Ancient Top Ten was watched by forty nine thousand punters and Combat Trains by thirty four thousand. The Detectives Club: New Orleans, Your Worst Nightmare, Evil Lives Here and A crime To Remember were ID's top-rated programmes with ninety five thousand, seventy five thousand, sixty nine thousand and sixty seven thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. Crimes That Shook Australia, Usual Suspects and On The Case With Paula Zahn headed CI's list (eighty one thousand, sixty two thousand and fifty eight thousand). GOLD's repeat run of Only Fools & Horses attracted one hundred and ninety six thousand and Not Going Out, one hundred and eighty thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (four hundred and sixty four thousand). Your TV's repeat of Bones series two continued with an audience of one hundred and twenty nine thousand for one particular episodes (over forty thousand more viewers than the repeats of the popular US crime drama usually attract to the channel. It must've been a quiet night elsewhere, no doubt). On More4, Vet On The Hill was the highest-rated programme with four hundred and sixty four thousand. The Supervet attracted three hundred and eighty six thousand punters and Fatal Flight Four Four Seven: Chaos In The Cockpit, three hundred and seventy six thousand. E4 saw the welcome return of the massively popular The Big Bang Theory for a new series, the opening episode attracting 2.78 million viewers, by a huge distance the largest multi-channels audience of the week. Hollyoaks drew 1.07 million viewers. The Horror Channel's broadcast of Virus attracted one hundred and seventeen thousand. The top-ten list also included I Spit On Your Grave (one hundred and fourteen thousand), The Blob (ninety one thousand), The Last Exorcism (sixty nine thousand) and An American Werewolf In Paris (sixty seven thousand). Sleepy Hollow, headed Syfy's top-ten with one hundred and seventy thousand. Bitten was seen by one hundred and twelve thousand. Yellowstone was watched by thirty three thousand on Eden whilst Attenborough's Natural Curiosities and Martin Clunes: A Man & His Dog both attracted twenty nine thousand viewers. Tanked: Unfiltered and Alaska: The Last Frontier were the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with forty seven thousand and forty five thousand respectively. Grimm on W drew six hundred and seventy six thousand punters. On the True Crime channel, Killer Kids was watched by twenty two thousand punters. True Emtertainment's latest repeat of M*A*S*H was seen by one hundred and twenty eight thousand and The Persuaders by one hundred and five thousand. Ah, Danny and Sir Brett, where are you now when your countries really need you? The Real White Queen & Her Rivals drew thirty eight thousand on London Live. Jamie Oliver's Thirty Minute Meals and Rick Stein's Food Heroes attracted by seventy five thousand and fifty nine thousand respectively on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Outdaughtered: Busby Quints (one hundred and fifty nine thousand). Ex On The Beach on MTV was viewed by seven hundred and seventy six thousand.
Keen to provide a popular live entertainment alternative to the BBC news, ITV has moved its flagship News At Ten bulletin back by thirty minutes for the next eight weeks to make way for a topical, part-sketch part-chat show with a different host each week. But, The Nightly Show - as noted in the previous bloggerisationisms update - has not yet proved popular with critics or viewers. The full-of-his-own-importance TV critic Kevin O'Sullivan called it 'dreadful from start to finish,' and even one ITV executive described it in a Facebook post as 'very thin.' From a high of 2.9 million overnight viewers on Monday night, the audience slipped to 1.3 million on Tuesday and 1.4 million on Thursday, both lower than the 1.8 million overnight average for the News At 10 it replaced. Even worse, on Thursday was the fact that while 1.7 million of the 5.3 million viewers of the programme on before it – the new Prime Suspect prequel, 1973 – stayed to watch the start of The Nightly Show, by 10.30pm, seven hundred thousand had switched over (or off). At one point during Thursday's episode, which featured a truly excruciating interview with the boxer David Haye, the presenter, That David Walliams Bloke, turned to the camera and said, archly: 'And they moved The News for this?' The Daily Scum Mail's reaction to The Nightly Show was to berate ITV for its 'lame surrender. This is bad for journalism, bad for media plurality – and ultimately bad for democracy. ITV should be ashamed,' it howled. On Wednesday, when the News At Ten anchor Tom Bradby picked up an award for 'presenter of the year' at the Royal Television Awards, industry figures could talk of little else but The Nightly Show according to the Gruniad Morning Star. ITV's failure to attract stars bigger than those who appear in its other programmes, from Martin Clunes to the cast of The Voice, led to jibes about 'The Shitely, No.' In an interview with the Gruniad before the launch, ITV's director of television, Kevin Lygo, said that he had taken the decision to 'try something new' because the channel could never win in a direct head-to-head with the BBC, even with News At Ten relaunched - to much fanfare - just over a year ago. 'The truth is that when you're up against the fifty-times resourced juggernaut of BBC News, you won't get more viewers.' The rationale is clear: not only were almost four times as many people tuning in to the BBC at the top of the hour but fewer than a million were watching ITV at 10.30pm, and, as Lygo said, those viewers were 'not young.' ITV first axed News At Ten in 1999 to clear the primetime schedules for blockbuster movies, drama and big football matches. After its struggled to stick with one time for the news, the industry's then regulator insisted the so-called 'News at When' farce should end. An ITV spokesman said: 'We are just four shows into a forty-episode run with The Nightly Show and it is, therefore, still very early days as we try something new that extends the primetime entertainment feel of ITV beyond 10pm.' Lygo has previously said that he will make 'no decision' on the show's future until the end of the eight-week run. Alleged - though, anonymous and, therefore, probably fictitious - 'insiders' allegedly suggest that estimates of a ten million knicker budget for the series 'are inaccurate,' although at roughly two hundred and fifty grand per half-hour episode this would make it almost three times cheaper than dramas such as Vera. Albeit, a tenth as entertaining and attracting a sixth of the audience. Perhaps the key issue was summed up by Clunes, a guest on The Nightly Show's first episode, talking about the future of his own ITV drama, Doc Martin: 'If people watch it, it goes again: if they don't, it doesn't.' What he said.
The BBC is said to be investigating after 'several people' gained 'unauthorised access' to one of its studios during a live broadcast at yer actual Broadcasting House. A group of five individuals entered the studio in Central London at around 7:30pm on Friday evening. The BBC News Channel was using the studio at the time, but the intruders were, apparently, not seen on-air. It is understood that the intruders 'left of their own accord.' A BBC spokeswoman said that no one was hurt during the incident. The spokeswoman added: 'We take security very seriously and are urgently investigating how several individuals were able to gain access to a studio. No one was hurt and there was no interruption to broadcasts. We have already taken further security measures and will take any other necessary steps.'
The BBC has cancelled the daytime TV drama The Coroner. The announcement was made in a press release: 'After two fantastic series, The Coroner won't be returning as we look for opportunities to bring through new programmes for the BBC1 daytime audience. We'd like to thank the brilliant cast and production team for all of their hard work.'
The lack of culture secretary has said that she is 'likely' to refer billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's eleven billion smackers takeover bid for Sky to Ofcom to investigate 'issues of media plurality and whether FOX will maintain broadcasting standards at the pay-TV company.' The vile and odious rascal Bradley, who has ten working days from Monday to make a final decision on referring the deal to the media regulator, said that she is 'minded to' issue an intervention notice to call in Ofcom to examine the deal. 'I have, today, written to the parties to inform them that I am "minded to" issue a European intervention notice on the basis that I have concerns that there may be public interest considerations,' the vile and odious rascal Bradley said, in a statement issued minutes after the European commission confirmed that FOX had formally notified it about the takeover bid. 'To be clear, I have not taken a final decision on intervention at this stage. In line with the guidance that applies to my quasi-judicial role I am inviting written representations from the parties and will aim to come to a final decision on whether to intervene in the merger within ten working days of today's notification.' The vile and odious rascal Bradley said that she was 'minded to' intervene on the basis of two public interest grounds specified in the Enterprise Act. The first of these is whether FOX's takeover will raise issues of UK media plurality and concentration in billionaire tyrant Murdoch's control. The second is on whether FOX is committed to 'the required editorial standards,' such as accuracy and impartial news coverage. 'This ground relates to the need for persons carrying on media enterprises, and for those with control of such enterprises, to have a genuine commitment to attaining broadcasting standards objectives,' said the vile and odious rascal Bradley. 'This is not an announcement of my final decision in relation to intervention, but an indication of what I am presently minded to do.' The vile and odious rascal Bradley said that FOX and Sky have until 5pm on 8 March to 'make representations' about the deal to the Department for Culture Media and Sport, with her final decision being delivered in the week commencing 13 March. If asked, Ofcom will carry out a public interest test on the deal, reporting back within forty days. If there are 'no concerns,' the vile and odious rascal Bradley must clear the bid. If Ofcom does raise any concerns, however, the vile and odious rascal Bradley must then decide whether to accept an undertaking from FOX to address them. In 2011, billionaire tyrant Murdoch's bid for Sky resulted in a deal to spin-off Sky News to quell media plurality issues before the takeover was subsequently abandoned in the wake of the Scum of the World fiasco. Murdoch's son James The Small, now chief executive of FOX and chairman of Sky, has already said that he 'does not believe' any 'meaningful concessions' will need to be made to authorities this time round. 'As we have previously indicated, we anticipate regulators will undertake a thorough review of the transaction, and we look forward to engaging with them as appropriate,' said a spokeswoman for FOX. 'We are confident that the transaction will be approved based on a compelling fact set.' European regulators have up to twenty five days to look at competition issues but are likely to clear the takeover as they previously gave the green light to the original bid late in 2010, as well as Sky's seven billion knicker deal in 2014 to buy its sister operations in Germany and Italy. FOX's deal to purchase the sixty one per cent of Sky which it does not already own will give billionaire tyrant Murdoch and his grubby spawn control of Sky News and pay-TV operations in the UK, Germany, Austria and Italy. His ownership of UK news media also includes The Times, The Sunday Times and the Sun as well as the radio group TalkSport, which he controls through a separate company, News Corp. Tom Watson - 'Power to the people!' - Labour's shadow lack of culture secretary, said that the bid should have been referred 'for scrutiny immediately and without equivocation. It is clear that FOX's bid to take full control of Sky will significantly increase the size of the biggest media organisation in the UK and further concentrate power in the hands of a dominant industry player,' he said. 'The culture secretary must now ensure MPs are given an opportunity to debate the deal before a decision is taken on whether to approve it.' An Ofcom investigation found in 2012 that Sky remained 'a fit and proper' owner of a broadcast licence, despite the phone-hacking malarkey that embroiled its then parent company and saw the closure of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World in shame and ignominy. This, despite the fact that many people consider billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch is not a fit and proper person to shovel shit from one place to another. However, Ofcom did publish a scathing assessment of James Murdoch The Small – then the chief executive of his father's UK newspaper group and chairman of Sky – finding that his conduct 'repeatedly fell short of the standards expected.' Ofcom has the right - at any stage - to launch a new investigation. However, the regulator has had a chance to air any concerns about James Murdoch The Small and Sky since it was announced he was returning as chairman in January and has, as yet, failed to do so. In October, he had to rely on the support of FOX, Sky's largest shareholder, to win approval for his return after more than fifty per cent of independent shareholders voted against his reappointment. 'The public has serious doubts as to whether Rupert Murdoch is fit to take even more control over the UK's media,' said Maggie Chao, from the campaigning group Thirty Eight Degrees. 'Memories of the phone[hacking scandal are still fresh. That’s why more than two hundred and thirty thousand have signed a petition demanding the Sky deal is referred to Ofcom.'
If you've been having West Wing withdrawal symptoms since the best TV drama in the history of the medium (that doesn't have the words 'Doctor' and 'Who' in the title) ended in 2004 - and to be honest, in the current political climate, we all need it - then this trailer should help ease the pain. In what should be every fan of Aaron Sorkin's drama's wet dream, Toby Ziegler gets his own movie, giving us all the best bits of The White House communications director. Sadly, it's not an actual movie but a fan tribute to Richard Schiff's brilliant character. The trailer frames Toby as a political action drama, using some of the character's best lines throughout the series (most notably, 'they'll like us when we win'). It ends on an inspiring note, Toby remarking: 'Government can be a place where people come together and where no one gets left behind.' Dear Aaron Sorkin, please, please, please, please make this. Yours sincerely, everybody.
And now, the From The North music section ...
This blogger probably needs to get himself one of these at some point. Triple X-large, obviously.
What's the best job in the world you may wonder, dear blog reader? Well, according to the BBC Earth website, it's 'being an otter fluffer.'
Which brings us, inevitably, to ...
Great over-the-top mental Daily Scum Mail headlines of our time, number six hundred and seventeen: Porn really is bad for you! Lonely Japanese man who amassed a SIX-TON pile of dirty magazines died when it collapsed on top of him... and his body wasn't found for six months. Of course, being the Daily Scum Mail, the article includes a paragraph on house prices.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle's maiden success at Huddersfield's John Smith's Stadium on Saturday evening brought a return to the Premier League at the first attempt for The Magpies immeasurably closer for Rafa The Gaffer and his hard-working side. This thirteenth away league win this season matches Newcastle's best-ever return away-from-home, recorded during in the famous Kevin Keegan 1992-93 campaign. United made it ten Championship games without defeat, their best sequence of the season and the longest unbeaten league run since 2011. Spurred on by Brighton & Hove Albinos' three-nil defeat at Nottingham Forest earlier in the day, United's victory saw them move five points clear of The Seagulls and open up an eleven point gap between themselves and The Terriers (and, with a goal difference of plus forty, effectively, that's could prove to be worth an extra point at the end of the season). Newcastle had to work hard for their victory, which was watched by a record league crowd at the John Smith's Stadium of twenty three thousand two hundred and thirteen. Huddersfield, who dominated possession, started brightly but fell behind when man of the match Matt Ritchie was tripped by Nakhi Wells in the box and picked himself up to send Danny Ward the wrong way from the spot. The lead was doubled just after the half-hour mark when Daryl Murphy beat the offside trap from a superb Jonjo Shelvy pass and dispossessed the Town 'keeper before converting a fourth goal of the season with a neat finish from a tight angle put through Ward's legs. The home defence whinged - as did some glake on no importance in the Daily Torygraph - that Murphy had kicked the ball out of the goalie's hands in the process (he, in fact, did no such thing as television replays subsequently proved). The home side continued to dominate possession and were rewarded for their endeavours with eighteen minutes remaining when Jonjo Shelvey was adjudged to have fouled Elias Kachunga on the edge of the area. On-loan Sheikh Yer Man City midfielder Aaron Mooy beat Karl Darlow to set up up something of a grandstand finish, only for an over-enthusiastic Huddersfield side to gift a crucial third goal to United in added time. Four additional minutes had been indicated when the hosts won a corner that replacement 'keeper Joel Coleman went up for - finding himself out of position when United counter-attacked and substitute Dwight Gayle's forward surge ended with him heading into an empty net to register a twenty first goal of the season (and, by far, his easiest). It was a catastrophic error from The Terriers 'keeper who had charged forward for the corner, but should still have done better than head the ball straight to Gayle who nodded into the unguarded goal. The possession stats may give the impression that this was something of a lucky win for United but The Terriers actually created very little, being restricted to long shots and free-kicks all easily dealt with by Darlow, whilst Rafa's side were far more clinical in attack and resolute in defence.
Two men were arrested after 'a violent pitch invasion' caused a non-league football match to be abandoned. About one hundred people were reportedly involved in 'shameful scenes' the end of Didcot Town's Southern Football League game against Hereford FC with kids gettin' sparked an aal sorts. Didcot said it was 'very disappointed,' with those involved and believed they should, probably, 'think about what they'd done' whilst Hereford - leading two-one at the time of the abandonment - said it was 'deeply concerned.' BBC commentator Bill Rennells said that 'fists were flying everywhere.' A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: 'A nineteen-year-old man from Hereford was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, and a nineteen-year-old man from Hereford was arrested on suspicion of common assault.' Didcot manager Andy Ballard called it a 'very bizarre day.' He added: 'I do have to commend the referee, he made a fantastic decision to call the game off. He couldn't guarantee the safety of the players, the supporters and everybody in the ground, so he made a very tough call, but I think it's the right one. Throughout the game [the tension] was always kind of there. Some of the abuse our goalkeeper was taking was vile and I have to commend him for keeping cool. Having a fan up in his face he didn't react, he walked away.' Rennells, a journalist since the age of fourteen, said: 'It's something I've never ever seen before in my seventy one-year career. There were people being held back, and some people trying to stop it.'

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