Saturday, May 13, 2017

Oxygen: You Get Too Much, You Get Too High!

'Mining Station Chasm Forge. Crew of forty. I've got thirty six records of life-signs terminated. Last log entry - station declared non-profitable.' 'Yeah, because your workers all dying will do that for you!' 'Forty minus thirty six equals what? Four. Four survivors. One distress call. The universe shows it true face when it asks for help, we show ours by how we respond.'
'Space, the final frontier. Final, because it wants to kill us. Sometimes we forget that, start taking it all for granted. The suits, the ships, the little bubbles of safety as they protect us from The Void. But, The Void is always waiting.'
'So, how does space kill you? I'm glad you asked. The main problem is pressure. There isn't any. So, don't hold your breath or your lungs will explode. Blood vessels rupture, exposed areas swell. Fun fact: The boiling temperature of water is much lower in a vacuum which means that your sweat and your saliva will boil. As will the fluid around your eyes. You won't notice any of this because fifteen seconds in, you've passed out as oxygen bubbles form in your blood and ninety seconds in, you're dead. Any questions?' 'What's this got to do with crop rotation?' 'I dunno. But space is great, isn't it?!'
'Going into space is exactly like camping.' 'Is it?' 'No. Well, in a way, yes. Too much between you and the outside and you might as well stay home. To really feel it you need the space equivalent of a wafer-thin sleeping bag and a leaky two-man tent. Pick a campsite!'
'I thought I sent you to Birmingham for a packet of crisps.' 'I saw through your cunning ruse!' 'Yes, well, if you will go thinking for yourself; what do you want?' 'I was given strict instructions to keep you at the university.' 'Who by?' 'You!' 'Well, you're not doing a very good job are you? I'll overlook it this once!' 'Do you know what this is?' 'If it's not crisps, you're sacked!' 'Fluid link K57, removed it from the TARDIS last night after your lecture.' 'That is very untrusting!'
'Doctor, are you okay?' 'Bill, I've got no TARDIS, no Sonic, about ten minutes of oxygen left and now I'm blind. Can you imagine how unbearable I'm going to be when I pull this off!'
'It should be safe.' 'You thought you were safe before.' 'Well, I'm bound to be right eventually!'
'Great, we rescued a racist!'
'Too many rescue ships. There's a first-world problem!' 'Who are you? 'I'm The Doctor. I will do everything in my power to save your lives and, when I do, you'll spend the rest of them wondering who I was and why I helped you. If anyone's offering a better deal, be my guest!'
'Don't throw-up in my helmet. Check!'
'The TARDIS?' 'I've got stuff in there that'll cure fix anything. Failing that I think I've got some spare eyes somewhere They're from a lizard but I think they'll fit!'
'Five whole minutes. We could boil-the-hell out of an egg. Stop being such a quitter. Do you know what's wrong with this universe? Believe me, I've looked into it. Everyone says it's not their fault. Well, yes it is! All of it. It's all your fault. So,what are you gonna do about it?' 'There's nothing we can do, she's dead.' 'She's no more dead that you are. and I am, and everyone on this station is. Get me to a keyboard!'
'The nice thing about life is, no matter how bad it gets there's always one last option available. Dying well ... It's not just revenge, it's revenge-as-bright-as-the-sun, it's revenge you can see across galaxies. Not bad for a blind man!' 'Are you out of your mind?' 'Err, yes, completely. But that's not a recent thing!'
'None of us has more than three thousand breaths left.' 'Then, stop wasting them!' An interesting little allegory about the space capitalism that initially felt strangely shallow, despite some terrific performances and lots of good dialogue in Jamie Mathieson's fast-moving script. My immediate reaction was that it was the worst - or, least best, anyway - episode of the series so far, albeit far from a disaster. However, I've a strong feeling this is definitely one that will improve greatly with multiple viewings. 'They're not your rescuers, they're your replacements. The end point of capitalism. The bottom line where human life has no value at all. We're fighting an algorithm. A spreadsheet. Like every worker everywhere, we're fighting The Suits!'
There was a proper terrific episode of Gotham broadcast in the US this week dear blog reader - The Primal Riddle - which, aside from the continuing development of the numerous characters arcs, was particularly impressive due to that chap (or lady-chap) on the production team who is, seemingly, a big fan of British punk, post-punk and indie being up to his-and/or-her old tricks again. To wit, the girl Goth band in Barbara's club playing a rather lovely doomy, slow version of Killing Joke's 'Love Like Blood'. Tasty!
And, just one day later, it was announced that Gotham has been officially renewed for a fourth series by FOX. Which makes this blogger very happy.
Also this week, this blogger received a preview disc with the first two episodes of American Gods sent over the Mighty Blue Ocean. Which, to be honest, can be summed up in one word. Wow! This blogger hasn't been that impressed with the start of a new US series since True Detective.
Plus, of course, where else are you going to hear From The North favourite Gillian Anderson saying a line like 'You ever wanted to see Lucy's tits?' Like Keith Telly Topping said, 'wow'!
Of course, why use just one word when you can use a whole plethora of them? So long as they're effective words. 'Just when you thought TV couldn't get any more brain-melting than the mental maze of Legion, along comes American Gods, an epic adaptation of Neil Gaiman's wildly ambitious philosophical blockbuster that doesn’t just raise the weird bar but triple somersaults right over it,' wrote this blogger's favourite TV reviewer, the Metro's Keith Watson. 'Attempting a plot synopsis of American Gods is a fool's errand akin to reducing The Bible to a tweet ... Gaiman's book amounts to an alternative history and/or mythology of the world - it's about everything and, fans of the book will be relieved to know, in the capable hands of Bryan (Hannibal) Fuller, the scope of the TV version is every bit as ambitious. Built around the character of Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle, a long, long way from Hollyoaks), American Gods references everything from the surreal dream sequences of Twin Peaks to the limb-scything blood spatter of Spartacus as it treads a visually arresting path between fantasy and melodrama. One minute you're lost in a video game - the fight scenes are brutal - the next it's a sorrowful love story. Prepare for your head to spin. Which, of course, can be discombobulating. So many characters pass in a blur - I wanted more of young Brit actor Bruce Langley's evil Technical Boy, a 1D clone on acid - that there's a danger of the story arc getting trampled. But the thrill ride is so stylish I'm more than happy to keep the faith. Or lose it, depending on how you read your Gaiman.' Aye. pretty much exactly what he said!
The really good - and, to be honest, quite unexpected - news is that just two episodes into its debut series, the Starz channel has picked up a second series of American Gods from co-showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green.
We've been hearing since summer 2016 that FOX desperately wanted 'further instalments of The X-Files', which is hardly surprising given the ratings success of the previous revival. Now, finally, the next series of the cult drama has officially been announced. Creator Chris Carter will oversee ten new episodes, with From The North favourite Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny reprising the roles of Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. FOX Broadcasting Company president David Madden said: 'Iconic characters, rich storytelling, bold creators – these are the hallmarks of great TV shows. And they are some of the reasons why The X-Files has had such a profound impact on millions of fans worldwide. Chris' creativity, along with the brilliant work of David and Gillian, continue to propel this pop culture phenomenon and, we can't wait to see what fresh mysteries Mulder and Scully uncover in this next chapter of The X-Files.'
The British media finally seemed to have noticed the forthcoming return of Twin Peaks with a whole plethora of articles related to the cult drama appearing over the last few days. These range from the woeful - a wretched cut-and-paste job from the Gruniad Morning Star continuing their current obsession of not bothering with journalism and getting all of their 'news' from Twitter which, should you feel inclined to having your intelligence insulted, you can check out here - to the slightly more worthwhile. There's a broadly decent piece in the Daily Scum Mail - almost certainly the only time the word 'decent' and that wretched arse-rag have been mentioned in the same sentence in a very long time - interview with David Lynch containing details on some of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that almost derailed the production. And then there was speculative - but fascinating - article in the Torygraph about the real-life case which 'may have', but almost certainly didn't, inspire the original.
And then, of course, there's the new trailer, released this week. And, if this hasn't whetted your appetite dear blog reader then, I dunno, sod off and watch Britain's Got Toilets instead.
Fans of The Blacklist - and, this blogger is certainly one of them - can rest easy as the James Spader-led drama has been picked up by NBC for a fifth twenty two-episode series to premiere in the autumn, according to Entertainment Weekly. This renewal comes in spite of the series' ratings having dropped from highs of fifteen million viewers in earlier years to an average of nine million over the last several months. While The Blacklist has been renewed for at least one more series, the fate of its spin-off The Blacklist: Redemption is less clear at the moment. NBC is expected to make a decision on the future of The Blacklist: Redemption ahead of its annual Upfront presentation to the press next week. NBC has made a slew of renewals and cancellations recently, ordering more episodes of the Taken TV spin-off, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago PD. Science fiction thriller Timeless and DC Entertainment's first-ever half-hour, live-action comedy series Powerless have both been dropped, however.
Entertainment Weekly has revealed that independent studio IM Global and games developer and publisher Rebellion have struck a deal to turn the iconic comic book character of Judge Dredd into a live-action TV show called Judge Dredd: Mega City One. The potential drama is set in a future where the East Coast of the US has become a crowded and crime-ridden megalopolis. So, not necessarily the future in that case. The plan is to make the series as an ensemble drama about a team of Judges - futuristic law enforcement officers invested with the power to be judge, jury, and executioner - as they deal with the challenges the future-shocked Twenty Second Century throws at them. The character of Dredd - who is known for his incorruptibility, harsh attitude towards law-breaking perps and upper face-concealing helmet - was created by the writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra in 1977 and first appeared in the comic 2000 AD, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year. Judge Dredd has twice been adapted for the big screen. Sylvester Stallone played the titular character - really, really badly - in 1995's Judge Dredd, while Karl Urban portrayed the role in 2012's Dredd. Although the latter was a box office disappointment, the Alex Garland-scripted film has gathered a substantial cult following of fans thanks in large part to its reasonably faithful representation of the original material. While the TV show is still in the early stages of development and no cast or network affiliation has yet been announced, this week's news will be celebrated by many who were left wanting more onscreen Dredd after the 2012 film. Attached as executive producers of the new show are IM Global Television president Mark Stern, who developed Battlestar Galactica, Helix and Defiance at Syfy, IM Global Television CEO Stuart Ford and the owners of Rebellion, Jason and Chris Kingsley, who along with Ford were also executive producers of the 2012 Dredd film.
A doctor has won the BBC's MasterChef title, with a menu of 'East meets West' dishes inspired by her Pakistani heritage. Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed, from Watford, beat off fellow-competitors Giovanna Ryan and Steve Kielty. Saliha impressed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace as 'a class act.' She said that she wanted to combine her love of cooking with her medical career, by helping people with special dietary conditions find their ideal foods. The junior doctor and mum-of-one, who battled from sixty four amateur cooks to take the prize, swapped on-call shifts with colleagues to ensure she could take part in the contest. In her career, she specialises in gastroenterology - but she also dreams of writing cookbooks and tackling obesity. On her win, Saliha said: 'To be the MasterChef champion is fantastic and wonderful. Adjectives are not sufficient. This is definitely the coolest thing I've ever done in my life! It involved a lot of hard work and early starts - late nights cooking after thirteen-hour long shifts, no holidays, no breaks, no sleep - but it was well worth it!' Friday night's final on BBC1 saw the trio tasked with preparing a three-course meal in three hours for the judges to sample. Saliha's three courses were: Venison shami kebab, with cashew and coriander green chutney, chana dal and a kachumbar salad - in memory of her grandmother's house in Pakistan, Kashmiri-style sous-vide duck breast, with crispy duck skin, freekeh wheatgrain, spiced with dried barberries, walnuts and coriander, a cherry chutney and a duck and cherry sauce. The dish was 'clean, crisp, refined and beautiful,' according to John Torode. The dessert was saffron rosewater and cardamom panna cotta, served with a deconstructed baklava, including candied pistachios, pistachio honeycomb, filo pastry shards and kumquats - which was inspired by her childhood love of baklava. Saliha's meal was praised by Gregg Wallace as: 'East meets West' and 'simply stunning - beautiful art on a plate.' Fellow judge Torode said: 'She's walked in here and taken her food culture apart and put it back together in a modern and very exciting way.' Saliha's love of cooking was influenced by her family and she was also encouraged by a teacher, who, at fifteen, entered her into the school Chef of the Year competition, which she won. 'I'm from a big Pakistani family and we use food as a way of bringing everyone together,' she said. 'I had very passionate grandmothers who cooked traditional Pakistani food and my mum is also an excellent cook. We love to feed people - it runs in our genes.'
Celebrity chef James Martin made his name as the presenter of BBC1's Saturday Kitchen for ten years before hanging up his apron in 2016. Now reports suggest that the chef will return to screens to present a 'brunchtime' ITV show to rival Saturday Kitchen. Saturday Morning With James Martin will be another challenger to the BBC's collection of cookery programmes, which have been a major success for the broadcaster in recent years. Last year, the producers of The Great British Bake Off, the most-watched TV show in Britain, revealed the series was moving to Channel Four after they got their greed right-on. Ten of the eleven most-watched TV programmes in 2016 were Bake Off episodes, with nearly sixteen million people viewing the final in October. Martin's rival Saturday morning show will be presented from the chef's kitchen at home. He left the Saturday Kitchen last March after a decade on the programme. The BBC initially replaced him with guest presenters, but in March this year it confirmed Matt Tebbutt would be the regular host. Other recent hosts include Michel Roux Junior, John Torode and Angela Hartnett. Martin said that he was 'really excited' to work with ITV. His new series is one of three commissions announced by the channel, following his daytime series James Martin's French Adventure. He will also front James Martin's American Adventure, which will be broadcast during the day and in peak hours. 'ITV is just such a wonderful broadcaster and an absolute pleasure to work with,' Martin slurped. 'Me and my team feel right at home here and are really excited about growing our relationship with the new projects we have coming up. Being back on Saturday mornings feels really exciting. Not a day has gone by in the last year without someone asking me if I'll be back at that time. But it was really important to me to do things differently, so the new show will take some unexpected turns – watch this space.'
The final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Five programmes broadcast, week-ending Sunday 7 May 2017:-
1 Britain's Got Toilets - Sat ITV - 10.94m
2 Coronation Street - Fri ITV - 7.64m
3 EastEnders - Fri BBC1 - 6.75m
4 Little Boy Blue - Mon ITV - 6.73m
5 Peter Kay's Z-List Celebrity Car Share - Tues BBC1 - 6.65m
6 Emmerdale - Fri ITV - 6.42m
7 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.99m
8 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 5.73m
9 MasterChef - Thurs BBC1 - 5.67m
10 The Durrells - Sun ITV - 5.52m
11 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.51m
12 Grantchester - Sun ITV - 5.37m
13 Keith & Paddy's Worthless, Unfunny, Shat-Stinking Picture Show - Sat ITV - 5.25m
14 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.10m
15= Babs - Sun BBC1 - 4.97m
15= Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.97m
17 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.80m
18 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 4.64m
19 Six O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 4.57m
20 Panorama Special: Madeleine McCann - Ten Years On - Wed BBC1 - 4.47m
21 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.27m
22 Ten O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 4.17m
23 Our Fiend Victoria - Tues BBC1 - 4.10m
24 Pointless - Mon BBC1 - 4.07m
25 Benidorm - Wed ITV - 3.94m
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. They do not, however, include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. Doctor Who recovered well from the previous week's series low, with a one-and-a-half million timeshift over the initially-reported overnight audience figure. MasterChef's three weekly episodes attracted 5.67 million, 5.55 million and 5.03 million viewers respectively. It was disappointing to see ITV's latest wretched, laughless pile of diarrhoea Keith & Paddy's Worthless, Unfunny, Shat-Stinking Picture Show pull in more than five million people (with, one presumes, nothing better to do with either their time or their intellects) for its opening episode. And, speaking of 'why would anybody watch this?'-type nonsense, BBC2's top-rated programme of the week was coverage of World Championship Snooker (3.19 million licence fee payers who, it would seem, can't afford proper sleeping pills). That was followed by Gardeners' World (2.64 million). Bake Off: Crème De La Crème was watched by 2.51 million, The Last Kingdom by 2.23 million, Great British Menu by 2.06 million, Dara & Ed's Road To Mandalay by 1.95 million and Mexico: Earth's Festival Of Life by 1.63 million. The latest episode of Versailles attracted 1.54 million viewers, Trust Me, I'm A Vet, 1.40 million and Dad's Army, 1.39 million viewers. Gogglebox - 3.58 million - was, as usual, Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast. The Island With Bear Grylls followed with 2.35 million. Then came The Supervet (1.93 million), First Dates (1.63 million), Born To Kill (1.59 million) and One Born Every Minute (1.49 million). The Yorkshire Vet was Channel Five's top performer with an audience of 2.20 million, ahead of Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! (1.81 million), Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords (1.28 million), Spectacular Spain With That Awful Polizzi Woman (1.19 million) and GPs: Behind Close Doors (also 1.19 million). NCIS was watched by seven hundred and sixty four thousand. Football On Five: The Championship had seven hundred and fifty one thousand punters watching yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies dramatic and thrilling last-day clinging of the title thanks to a three-nil victory over Barnsley and Aston Villains hilarious eighty ninth minute equaliser against Brighton & Hove Albinos. And dear blog reader, truly, it was glorious in this blogger's sight. And, speaking of yer actual fitba, sexy Premier League action again dominated Sky Sports 1's top-ten. The Arse giving The Scum a jolly good walloping was seen by 1.35 million punters whilst the game between Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws and Southampton drew eight hundred and seventy two thousand. Coverage of West Hamsters United Versus The Sottingtot Hotshots was seen by seven hundred and twenty five thousand whilst, Sheikh Yer Man City's clash with Fat Sam's Crystaline Palacers had five hundred and ninety eight thousand. Hartlepool's sad-but-inevitable demotion from the Football League, despite a last-day victory over Doncaster Rovers, drew two hundred and forty four thousand viewers. On Sky Sports 2, Live ODI Cricket: England Versus Ireland action attracted one hundred and eighty six thousand punters. Fight Night: Joshua Versus Klitschko had seventy two thousand. Live Indian Premier League Cricket topped Sky Sports 3's list with one hundred and twenty one thousand. Live EFL: Nottingham Forest Versus Ipswich Town drew one hundred and twenty thousand. Gillette Soccer Saturday was, as usual, top of the shop on Sky Sports News HQ, with three hundred and fifty seven thousand punters and a further three hundred and eighteen thousand watching the Sky Sports 1 simultcast. Sunday's Gillette Soccer Special focusing on the last day of the Championship race attracted two hundred and fifteen thousand. There wasn't an F1 Grand Prix this week so Sky F1's ratings aren't worth bothering with. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by the opening episode of the much-trailed and rather sexy Jamestown (a whopping 1.60 million viewers). Hawaii Five-0 was seen by eight hundred and fifty five thousand, The Flash by seven hundred and ninety two thousand, Modern Family by seven hundred and thirty thousand, NCIS: Los Angeles by seven hundred and twenty seven thousand, Supergirl by five hundred and fifty five thousand and Arrow by five hundred and fifty two thousand. On-the-verge-of-cancellation-so-don't-get-too-attached-to-it The Blacklist: Redemption had five hundred and three thousand whilst the latest episode of Funny As A Geet Nasty Waaart On The Knackers Micky Flanagan's Thinking Aloud continued to shed viewers faster than a snake sheds its skin, being watched by four hundred and fifty seven thousand. Which, admittedly, is still four hundred and fifty seven thousand too many but it does, rather, restore ones faith in some of the viewing public knowing a pile of steaming vomit when they see one. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the latest episode of Billions (four hundred and forty two thousand) whilst Blue Bloods was seen by three hundred and twenty three thousand. Silicon Valley had one hundred and sixty nine thousand, The Trip To Spain, one hundred and forty six thousand, Veep, one hundred and thirty three thousand and Midnight Sun, ninety four thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of Elementary was seen by nine hundred and four thousand whilst Criminal Minds had eight hundred and fifty five thousand. Blindspot drew seven hundred and thirteen thousand, Grey's Anatomy, five hundred and seventy six thousand, Madam Secretary, five hundred and eight thousand and the thoroughly rotten Scandal, three hundred and eighty five thousand. Sky Arts' the second episode of Wor Geet Canny Brian Johnson's A Life On The Road was watched by sixty six thousand viewers whilst Slash: Raised On The Sunset Strip drew fifty eight thousand. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and forty seven thousand viewers). Lewis was seen by six hundred and ninety four thousand and Foyle's War by six hundred and one thousand. The movie Lethal Weapon 4 headed ITV4's weekly list with two hundred and eighty six thousand punters. The Chase: Celebrity Special was seen by two hundred and eighty four thousand. ITV2's most-watched broadcasts were for the latest episodes of the channel's pair of worthless rancid, stinking piles of fetid swill Z-List Celebrity Juice (1.43 million brain-damaged morons) and Britain's Got More Toilets (nine hundred and seventy thousand planks). Family Guy (seven hundred and seventeen thousand) and Take Me Out: The Gossip (six hundred and eighty two thousand) completed ITV2's list of woeful shame. Harlots headed ITV Encore's top ten with one hundred and eighty three thousand viewers, followed by Poirot (seventy eight thousand), Churchill's Secret (thirty one thousand) and Vera (thirty thousand). The Only Way Is Essex was seen by nine hundred and twenty four thousand of the sort of people who enjoy such risible exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. BBC4's list was topped by the welcome return of the superb Hinterland (seven hundred and ninety one thousand viewers) and An Art Lovers' Guide (five hundred and seventy three thousand). Next came Britain's Nuclear Bomb: The Inside Story (five hundred and seventy two thousand), The Celts: Blood, Iron & Sacrifice With Alice Roberts & Scottish Neil Oliver And His Lovely Hair (five hundred and fifty eight thousand), Arena: Ken Dodd's Happiness (four hundred and sixty four thousand), Wild Ireland: The Edge Of The World (four hundred and forty six thousand) and Timeshift: Sailors, Ships & Stevedores (four hundred and thirty eight thousand). Classic Albums: Carly Simon's No Secrets drew four hundred and thirty five thousand and The Good Old Days, four hundred and six thousand. 5USA's Person Of Interest was viewed by seven hundred and sixty four thousand viewers and NCIS by five hundred and forty thousand. NCIS also featured in the weekly most-watch programme lists of Channel Five, CBS Action (one hundred and one thousand), the Universal Channel (one hundred and thirty four thousand) and FOX (nine hundred and six thousand viewers). The return of Prison Break came second in FOX's viewing figures with six hundred and eighty three thousand. Bull had five hundred and three thousand. 24: Legacy continued with four hundred and five thousand whilst Outcast was seen by one hundred and sixty thousand. The Universal Channel's Chicago Justice attracted three hundred and twenty one thousand and Chicago Med, two hundred and eighty eight thousand. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had two hundred and twenty three thousand and Bates Motel, one hundred and seventy five thousand. On Dave, bloody unfunny nonsense Taskmaster drew eight hundred and sixty nine thousand, followed by the movies Demolition Man (three hundred and ninety three thousand) and Kill Bill Volume One (three hundred and eighty two thousand) and Would I Lie To You? (two hundred and ninety seven thousand). Channel staples Top Gear and Qi Xl attracted two hundred and twenty one thousand and two hundred and nineteen thousand respectively. Drama's Dalziel & Pascoe was watched by five hundred and four thousand viewers. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries was seen by four hundred and fifty seven thousand, Taggart by four hundred and forty thousand and New Tricks, by four hundred and thirty three thousand. The Red Tent drew three hundred and fifty three thousand whilst the start of a complete rerun of Life On Mars had three hundred and thirty three thousand viewers. Alibi's highest-rated programme was Murdoch Mysteries (two hundred and eighteen thousand) whilst Quantico had one hundred and fifty eight thousand, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, one hundred and eight thousand, Father Brown, ninety six thousand and Death In Paradise, ninety four thousand. On the Sony Channel, Saving Hope drew fifty eight thousand and Orange Is The New Black, forty three thousand. Yesterday's repeat run of The Two Ronnies Sketchbook continued with two hundred and forty nine thousand, whilst A Very British Murder With Lucy Worsley attracted two hundred and five thousand. Steptoe & Son was seen by two hundred and four thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Divers, with that dreadful woman who's always whinging about wanting 'all the gold', was watched by one hundred and seventy one thousand viewers. Cooper's Treasure had one hundred and sixty seven thousand, Deadliest Catch, one hundred and sixty three thousand and The Last Alaskans one hundred and eleven thousand punters. Naked & Afraid lost approximately half of its audience in one week, being watched by but seventy eight thousand whilst From The North favourite Wheeler Dealers was seen by sixty six thousand. Wheeler Dealers also topped the weekly lists of Discovery Shed (twenty six thousand) and Discovery Turbo (thirty five thousand). Discovery History's Gunslingers headed the top ten-list with twenty seven thousand. World War II - The Complete History attracted twenty three thousand and both Tony Robinson's World War I and Time Team had twenty thousand. On Discovery Science, How It's Made was seen by forty seven thousand viewers. On Quest, Mighty Trains was watched by two hundred and ninety eight thousand. Pick's Britain's Most Evil Sods had three hundred and eighty one thousand and Highway Cops drew two hundred and eighty six thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by the third episode of Genius with one hundred and eighty seven thousand viewers, followed by Car SOS (ninety four thousand) and Dawn Of The Nazis (fifty nine thousand). National Geographic Wild's Animal Fight Club was watched by sixty one thousand and Lions On The Edge by twenty five thousand. The History Channel's weekly list was topped by Vikings (one hundred and fifty five thousand) and Forged In Fire (one hundred and four thousand). On Military History, Ancient Aliens was watched by thirty five thousand punters. JFK Assassination: The Definitive Guide had thirty one thousand. Evil Up Close, Britain's Darkest Taboos, The Jail Atlanta: Sixty Days In and Snapped were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with seventy one thousand, sixty five thousand, sixty two thousand and forty four thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. Murderisation Comes to Town, Forbidden: Dying For Love and Murderisation On CCTV headed Investigation Discovery's list (sixty five thousand, fifty seven thousand and forty eight thousand). The latest of GOLD's Mrs Brown's Boys repeats had four hundred and eleven thousand. Meanwhile, Henry IX continued to lose viewers - understandable, since it's about as funny as a good hard kick in the Jacob's Cream Crackers with a hobnail boot - to such an extent that it dropped out of the Channel's top-ten completely. So, jolly well done viewers. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for The Middle (three hundred and forty nine thousand). Your TV's repeat of Bones series three continued with one hundred and four thousand. On More4, The Good Fight was the highest-rated programme with six hundred and eleven thousand. Selling Houses With Amanda Lamb had four hundred and thirty five thousand. E4's list was topped, as usual, by The Big Bang Theory, the latest episode seen by 2.30 million viewers, the largest multi-channels audience of the week. Hollyoaks drew 1.05 million viewers and Made In Chelsea, 1.01 million. Sleepy Hollow, headed Syfy's top-ten with one hundred and forty two thousand. The Fog was The Horror Channel's most watched broadcast with one hundred and ten thousand in a top ten which also includes the likes of Star Trek: Voyager (ninety two thousand), The 4400 (seventy six thousand), Bogeyman (eighty five thousand) and The Devil May Call (seventy two thousand). Treasure Hunt topped Talking Pictures list with thirty thousand. Fury drew one hundred and ninety seven thousand punters on Spike. Tigers About The House was watched by forty six thousand on Eden. Dogs: The Untold Story and Lone Star Law were the Animal Planet's most-watched programmes with forty two thousand and forty thousand. Grimm on W attracted five hundred and eighty two thousand punters. On the True Crime channel, Cutting Edge had ninety one thousand punters. Very Bad Men was seen by fifty six thousand. True Entertainment's M*A*S*H was watched by one hundred and two thousand. Elvis: The Early Years had ninety three thousand and The Avengers, eighty two thousand. That Bloody Annoying Oliver Fellow's Super Food attracted eighty five thousand on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Married By Mum & Dad (one hundred and eighteen thousand). Shameful waste-of-oxygen Geordie Shore on MTV was viewed by seven hundred and ninety thousand people who enjoy watching attention-seeking glakes swanning around Th' Toon like the own the gaff.

The BBC is fond of teasing us with a glimpse of what's to come on our screens over the next few months and it's at it again with a trailer showcasing all the 'Pure Drama' we have to look forward to. Kicking off with a brief clip of Babs, the trailer highlights some of the returning TV favourites. There's plenty of shots of Doctor Foster's Suranne Jones, as well as steamy Poldark sequences and a shot from Peaky Blinders. There's a fresh look at the likes of The A Word and Top Of The Lake: China Girl. The trailer also shows off some of the new dramas coming to the BBC this year including a glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch in The Child In Time, the one-off drama which stars the Sherlock actor as a children's author struggling to cope with the grief of his young daughter's mysterious disappearance. Hayley Atwell also stars in the trailer for Howards End, the adaptation of EM Forster's 1910 novel, while Sean Bean is back on the small screen for that miserable old Red Jimmy McGovern's new series Broken. Which is sure to be a barrel of laughs. Plus, Game Of Thrones' Kit Harington and yer actual Mark Gatiss are telling the story of Guy Fawkes in Gunpowder, Carey Mulligan looks like a woman on a mission in new David Hare thriller Collateral and there's a sneak-look at JK Rowling's Strike adaptation. We also get to see Kat and Alfie in their EastEnders spin-off Redwater, as well as some BBC icons such as EastEnders and Doctor Who.
International ballroom champion Shirley Ballas has been named as the new head judge on Strictly Come Dancing. Nicknamed 'The Queen of Latin,' the fifty six-year-old will replace Len Goodman when the popular BBC show returns this autumn. Highly-regarded in the world of ballroom, Ballas has numerous titles to her name and is also the mother to Dancing With The Stars professional champion Mark Ballas. Although not widely known to UK audiences, Ballas has been frequently seen on Dancing With The Stars, the US version of Strictly - on which Mark appeared for ten years - giving masterclasses and commentary. 'I am so excited and over the moon to have been given this wonderful opportunity,' she said. 'I can't wait to get in to the ballroom and be part of the incredible and respected judging panel. Strictly is so loved by the British public, I have always been a massive fan. I just can't wait!'
How many of the dramatic clichés which regularly crop up in both US and UK crime drama are even remotely accurate? That question was posed by the Digital Spy website to former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton. Sutton's observation may surprise you.
ITV News has been found to be very in-breach of Ofcom rules after it broadcast the infamous 'chestburster' scene from Alien on a Saturday morning. The clip was shown on 28 January in an obituary for the actor Sir John Hurt, who had died that week and starred in the film's most shocking scene. However, the broadcast came at 9:25am, immediately after a block of children's television programmes. Ofcom said that the content broke its rules on the protection of minors. The Ridley Scott movie sees Sir John's character, Kane, writhe on a table as a blood-soaked alien punches out of his stomach, killing him very dead. The regulator received five complaints - from people with, presumably, nothing better to do with their time - about the clip, which is often voted as one cinema's most memorable moments. 'The report contained graphic images from a film that was not appropriately scheduled,' Ofcom said, adding that audience figures for ITV News showed nineteen thousand children, aged four to fifteen, watched the bulletin. The majority of whom probably said 'Woah! Cool!' when the stomach-bursting occurred. ITV, displaying the sort of lack of backbone we've all come to expected from TV companies when criticised by Ofcom, a politically appointed quango, elected by no one, grovellingly apologised saying that the clip was shown 'in error.' It said that the editorial decision to refer to Alien - rated fifteen in UK cinemas - was 'made in good faith,' but it accepted 'that ITN had failed to consider sufficiently the suitability of the material for children, given the violent imagery and time of broadcast.' It added that the error was 'recognised' shortly after broadcast and the clip was not repeated in subsequent pre-watershed bulletins. ITV also said that, although news bulletins were not of particular interest to children, the chosen clip was 'unsuitable for children who may have been available to view at this time and was, therefore, wrongly scheduled.' Ofcom said it 'welcomes the admission' and acknowledged ITN was introducing further compliance measures to ensure appropriate clips from films and dramas were shown in future news bulletins.
Kiefer Sutherland's big TV comeback role is continuing as Designated Survivor has been renewed for a second season on ABC. The political thriller stars Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, a low-level US cabinet member who is suddenly promoted to President after an attack wipes out everyone above him, and follows him as he struggles to adapt to his new role as Commander-in-chief. Chap could've probably used Jack Bauer in such a situation.
Rylan Clark-Neal's chat show Up Late With Rylan has been extremely axed by Channel Five after failing to bring in any viewers. TV 'bosses' (that's tabloid-speak for executives only with less syllables) have decided not to bring back the show, which was first broadcast in May and June last year. An alleged 'source'alleged told the Sun: 'Rylan's show failed to pull in great ratings so bosses have decided to rest it. He enjoyed making it but, unfortunately, that's where the show ends.' Up Late With Rylan went out at 11pm from Monday to Thursday and featured guests including odious greed bucket (and drag) Alesha Dixon, Leigh Francis in his Keith Lemon persona, Amanda Holden, Holly Willoughby and Katie Price. A line-up from hell if ever there was one so it's hardly surprising no one watched it. Only two hundred and thirty five thousand viewers tuned-in for the first show and ratings for the rest of the series failed to improve on that. Last year, Clark-Neal admitted that he 'hated' the first show because 'everything went wrong.' He said: 'Monday night – I hated it, I'm not going to lie. Because everything was brand new. The set – everything went wrong. I brushed up against the wall – it was that new, I got gold paint up my arm for the first part and people rushing in and wiping me! Yesterday, we watched the show back, it was a TX pilot really.' Last year Channel Five's Director of Programmes, Ben Frow, hinted that the show would be returning to our screens. He said: 'I think it was a great thing to do. He is a truly talented, amazing and very, very nice person. I was delighted we were able to pull it off. We'd been talking about it for months so it was great to do it. It will come back in some form or other It's quite a tough gig but I really believe in Rylan. Going forward, I do think he'll be one of the great talent entertainers of the country.' Given the show's cancellation one rather has to wonder how much longer Ben Frow will be Director of Programming at the channel.
Have you ever had a hankering, dear blog reader, to hear the OED and Countdown's Susie Dent use the naughty 'f' word (and several variants) more times in three minutes and forty eight seconds than even Gordon Ramsey having a serious attack of Tourette's could manage? Yeah, this blogger too. If so, then check this out.
Police in the Republic of Ireland are 'no longer' investigating a claim that Stephen Fry uttered 'blasphemous remarks' on a TV show. Irish media suggest that the Garda dropped the case as there was 'no injured party.' A lone viewer - who, sadly, has not been named and shamed over this ludicrous malarkey and who, frankly, should be sodding-well ashamed of themselves - had whinged about comments made by Fry in 2015. During a TV interview, Stephen was asked what he would, hypothetically, say to God, should He/She-or-It exist and the pair met. Stephen replied that he would ask why he should 'respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world full of injustice.' He later said that he had not meant the comments to be 'offensive towards any particular religion.' News of the Irish investigation on Saturday caused outrage and incredulity on social media and elsewhere. The clip of Stephen's interview was watched more than seven million times on YouTube. A controversial law against blasphemy was introduced in Eire in 2009. It carries a maximum penalty of a fine of twenty five thousand Euros. Speaking to the Irish Independent newspaper, the stinking grass who Copper's Nark'd Stephen up to The Law weaselled: 'I did my civic duty in reporting it. The guards did their duty in investigating it. I am satisfied with the result.' The paper says that no publicised cases of blasphemy has been brought before the courts since the law was introduced. In the TV show, The Meaning Of Life, hosted by Gay Byrne, Stephen had been asked what he might say to God at the gates of Heaven in the very unlikely event that he found himself there. Stephen, who is famously atheist, said: 'How dare you create a world in which there is such misery? It's not our fault? It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?' In 2009 the then government of Ireland said the law was 'needed' because the republic's 1937 constitution gave only Christians legal protection of their beliefs.
The actor who plays Prince William in a new BBC drama has said that he is 'surprised' by the - wholly media-created - 'controversy' which it has, allegedly, caused. BBC2's King Charles III, which was shown on Wednesday, imagined events after the death of the Queen. It has ruffled feathers - of, admittedly, 'the usual suspects' - for raising the question about Prince Harry's paternity and showing Princess Diana as a ghost. Oliver Chris, who plays William, told BBC Breakfast people may find the Diana scenes 'difficult to watch' but that they are handled 'very sensitively.' King Charles III has been adapted from the acclaimed and award-winning play of the same name by Mike Bartlett. This week, the Scum Mail on Sunday ran a typically shitehawk front page story 'voicing concerns' from Diana's 'friend' Rosa Monckton (no, me neither) that the Prince Harry paternity suggestion was 'deliberately causing pain to a real living person in a salacious fashion' and also pulling in some atypical anti-BBC quotes from a couple of gobshite louse Tory MPs. So, no obvious - and quite sick - agenda going down there, then. Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Tuesday, Chris said that he had found the controversy 'really surprising.' He was the only one that did, admittedly, as this is the Scum Mail on Sunday we're talking about. Asked whether showing the ghost of Diana was insensitive, he replied that one of the themes of the play and the TV adaptation was to depict the 'friction' between the lives of the real people in the royal family and their institutional roles. 'We can only, as the subjects, imagine what that might be like, which is exactly what this does,' he said. 'And I think it would be strange if Diana was not a part of the story because she's such a big part of the princes' and Charles' psychology. I understand how people might find that difficult to watch. I personally felt that what we see in King Charles III is this really extraordinary, intelligent addition to the debate about our monarchy and I feel that the presence of Diana is done very sensitively. I think it's quite a tasteful addition to this controversial, provocative, thought-provoking story.' He described the drama as 'quite a pro-monarchist film because it upholds the pillars of our society.' He said: 'I would like to think that certainly if William saw my portrayal he would see that it's done with an awful lot of respect and admiration.' Chris also paid tribute to his co-star, Tim Pigott-Smith, who plays King Charles and who died last month shortly after production has been completed. 'He was a great friend and a real mentor. For him to be taken from us before he even got to see the film - it's one of those cruel jokes in life. I still can't accept it. It's so recent and such a shock. As a final testament to his abilities I think he gives a most extraordinary detailed, nuanced and beautiful performance of this man that we all know and think we know, and maybe love or don't love.'
An Israeli news presenter understandably got somewhat emotional when she discovered that her show was being axed whilst live on-air. Presenter Geula Even was broadcasting on Israel's Channel One when the news broke that the government was shutting down the state-run Israel Broadcasting Authority, which oversees her programme. 'We are now getting breaking news, a statement in parliament,' Even began. 'Actually, tonight will be our last news programme. So, the rest of this programme is irrelevant.'
CBS has cancelled Two Broke Girls after six series. Deadline reports that the cancellation was due to a breakdown in negotiations between CBS and Warner Bros TV over money.
'It was a story that needed to be told,' says Maxine Peake. 'It's a story about a swathe of society that has been ignored and bullied.' The actress is referring to Three Girls, a new BBC drama based on the true stories of victims of grooming and sexual abuse in Rochdale. Peake plays Sara Rowbotham, the sexual health worker who realised that the girls were being abused and reported it to the authorities - and was repeatedly ignored. 'The powers that be weren't encouraging her, they were shutting doors, they were telling her to be quiet, they weren't interested,' says Peake, who met the real-life Sara in preparation for the role. 'Nobody seemed interested in helping these girls who were in desperate situations. These were really vulnerable young women - the lack of care for them I found mind-blowing.' As the title suggests, Three Girls focuses on the young victims who were groomed in Rochdale in the five years between 2008 and 2012, for which nine men were convicted and sentenced. The judge at the time, Gerald Clifton, said the men - eight of Pakistani origin and one from Afghanistan - treated the girls 'as though they were worthless and beyond respect.' He said: 'One of the factors leading to that was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion. Some of you, when arrested, said [the prosecution] was triggered by race. That is nonsense. What triggered this prosecution was your lust and greed.' The drama - which will be shown over three nights next week - has been made with the full co-operation of the victims and their families. It comes as the ITV soap Coronation Street also has a running storyline about child grooming involving sixteen-year-old Bethany Platt and a 'boyfriend' in his mid-thirties.
Two real-life brothers, an actress who has played two previous roles in EastEnders, a bloke from Benidorm and a bearded dragon called Rooney - this is the new 'not-to-be-messed-with' EastEnders family. The Taylors will, we are assured, make 'quite an entrance' when they arrive in Albert Square this summer, giving the resident Walfordians 'a rude awakening.' EastEnders executive producer Sean O'Connor describes them as 'noisy and brash' who 'lack cash' but 'have love and warmth in spades.'
Olivia Benson won't be hanging up her badge on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit quite yet. The police procedural drama has been given a recommission by NBC for a nineteen series. SVU is now just one series away from tying the record for longest-running US TV drama, currently held by Gunsmoke and SVU's predecessor Law & Order.
Ben Whishaw and Russell Tovey are just two of the names set to lead an A-list cast in BBC4's Queers. The series will feature eight fifteen-minute episodes which have been curated and directed by Mark Gatiss, each of which sees new and established writers respond to the fiftieth anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts between men. Whishaw will feature as a World War I soldier who is returned home from the trenches in The Man On The Platform, while Tovey's segment, More Anger, sees him appear as a gay actor in the 1980s. Alan Cumming, Rebecca Front, Gemma Whelan, Ian Gelder, Kadiff Kirwan and Fionn Whitehead will all also feature in one of the eight monologues which cover events including 1957's Wolfenden Report, gay marriage, the HIV crisis and the 1967 Sexual Offences Act itself. Queers is produced in partnership with The Old Vic Theatre, which will stage all eight of the monologues across two evenings in July in the run-up to the television broadcast, part of the BBC's Gay Britannia season this summer.
Former Sun editor the odious scumbag Kelvin Mackenzie is to leave the paper after making controversial comments in a column about Everton footballer Ross Barkley. The worthless, sneering louse Mackenzie was very suspended after comparing the player - who has a Nigerian grandfather - to a gorilla. A spokesman for the Sun said that Mackenzie 'remained suspended' but would not comment on reports of his departure. According to the Financial Times, however, the terms of Mackenzie's exit are currently being negotiated and he will not be asked to contribute to the newspaper again. In his column, the horrible Mackenzie said that looking at Barkley's eyes had given him 'a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo.' His eyes made him 'certain not only are the lights not on, there is definitely nobody at home,' he wrote. Alongside the article was an image of a gorilla next to a picture of the midfielder. The paper subsequently grovellingly apologised for the article, published on 14 April, saying it was 'unaware' of Barkley's heritage. The implication being that if Ross Barkley didn't have any African ancestry then the Sun would have stood by Mackenzie's spiteful, sneering, bully-boy article and would have defended its own use the gorilla photograph. The Sun's snivelling apology claimed that as soon as Barkley's 'background' was drawn to its attention, the article was removed from its website. Perhaps significantly, however, the apology did not extend to other elements of the article, in which the odious rotter Mackenzie suggested that the only people in Liverpool who could earn as much as footballers were drug dealers. Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson had called for Mackenzie to be sacked over the column, describing it as 'a racial slur' and 'a disgrace.' Barkley's lawyers also made a formal complaint about the piece. At the time, Mackenzie claimed that he was 'unaware' Barkley had a Nigerian-born grandfather and denied the column was 'racist.' The Sun's publisher, News UK is, of course, part of News Corp, run by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch. Ofcom is currently examining an eleven billion smackers bid from Twenty First Century FOX, also run by billionaire tyrant Murdoch, of broadcaster Sky, of which it already owns thirty nine per cent. The BBC's media editor said billionaire tyrant Murdoch and the company 'hoped' that by showing they were willing to sack a long-standing louse such as Mackenzie they will 'send a signal' to Ofcom that they are fit and proper to own Sky outright. When, of course, they are not a fit and proper organisation to run a piss-up in a brewery. Mackenzie was editor of the Sun when it published its infamous front-page article blaming Liverpool fans for the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in which ninety six people died. Mackenzie - after years of arrogant and sneering dismissal of all criticism of the piece - subsequently claimed that he was 'completely duped' and that he had been the victim of a 'black' operation to smear the fans and protect police incompetence which caused the tragedy. One or two people even believed him.
A police force is using the critically-acclaimed TV drama Line Of Duty to attract candidates to work in its anti-corruption unit. North Wales Police Twitter account asks: 'Were you a fan of Line Of Duty? If so, we have the perfect job for you as an Anti-Corruption Unit Investigator.' A spokesperson for North Wales Police told Recruiter: 'Line Of Duty was a popular TV programme and lots of people were talking about it and, with the job coming up being in professional standards, it seemed like a natural thing to do.'
Yer actual Maisie Williams is set to join the cast of new X-Men spin-off movie, New Mutants. Writer and director Josh Boone set his sights on Maisie last year but could only confirm the casting when the movie was green-lit recently. New Mutants will focus on the 'angst-driven' adventures of a group of teenage mutants. Anya Taylor-Joy, whose credits include The Witch and Split, will also star in the film, which is due out next year. Maisie will play the character Wolfsbane, a Scottish girl 'who is struggling to mesh her religious beliefs with her ability to transform into a wolf,' The Hollywood Reporter states.
Scotland Yard is facing an investigation after a BBC camera operator's foot was run over by a police car carrying Jeremy Corbyn to a meeting to agree Labour's general erection manifesto. Officers from the Metropolitan police's 'royalty and specialist protection unit' were driving the party leader to the meeting, which was the subject of intense media interest after a draft of the manifesto was leaked, when the vehicle was mobbed by journalists. In the melee, the BBC camera operator Giles Wooltorton's left foot was run over by the front wheel of the Corbyn vehicle. Wooltorton was taken away by ambulance with a swollen and bruised foot. Officers were speaking to journalists who witnessed the incident at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in Central London. A Met police spokesman said that the incident, which happened on Thursday morning, had been referred to the directorate of professional standards, which is responsible for the conduct of officers. The spokesman said: 'Officers from the Met's royalty and specialist protection unit were carrying out operational work in Savoy Place when it is believed a member of public was injured by one of the vehicles. London ambulance service attended and took the injured man to a South London hospital with non life-threatening or life-changing injuries. As is routine, the MPS will refer the incident to the directorate of professional standards.' The camera operator was hurt as the car drove in through a side entrance to the building in Savoy Place while much of the media was waiting on the street at the front. The BBC's political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, tended to Wooltorton immediately after the incident - which, no doubt, some of the glakes ho lick Corbyn's arse on a regulat basis will regard as 'bias' of some description - and he was then treated by paramedics. A senior Labour source said that the party was 'looking into' the incident. Although, given the rank and disgraceful incompetence with which the Labour Party is currently being run, don't hold your breath on them coming up with any coherent policy on injuring journalists.
UKiP MEP Jane Collins could face bankruptcy after she failed to pay damages to Rotherham's three Labour MPs over rather unwise remarks she made about the town's child abuse scandal. Collins, MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, was ordered to pay a total of three hundred and fifty eight thousand smackers in damages and costs after a long-running legal battle ended at London's High Court in February. But, she appeared in court in Hull for a further hearing on Monday of this week after she did not meet a twenty one-day deadline to cough up the damages. Sir Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley, John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne and Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, extremely sued Collins for libel and slander over a speech she gave at UKiP's conference in September 2014 – a month after a report found that around fourteen hundred children in the area had been systematically abused between 1997 and 2013. The High Court heard that Collins alleged each of the MPs 'knew' many of the details of the exploitation yet 'deliberately chose not to intervene.' Collins also expressed the opinion that they had acted out of 'political correctness, political cowardice or political selfishness' and were each guilty of 'misconduct' so grave that it 'was or should be criminal,' as it 'aided the perpetrators.' Collins argued that it was a political speech which did not contain any specific allegations of fact but rather 'expressed an opinion' to the effect that the MPs were 'likely' to have known that sexual exploitation was 'a serious problem' in the area. But, the judge didn't buy it and found her very guilty ... of being a silly gobshite. Mr Justice Warby ordered Collins to pay a total of one hundred and sixty two grand in damages to the MPs and one hundred and ninety six thousand knicker in costs. She was given twenty one days to pay the damages and an interim payment of one hundred and twenty thousand notes costs but, she failed to do so. On Monday, Collins appeared at a private hearing at Hull County Court to discuss a demand for payment issued by the MPs' lawyers. A spokeswoman for Collins said that the judge has now ordered an examination of her assets should take place before 8 June. The spokeswoman said Collins will face bankruptcy proceedings if it is found that she cannot make the payments owed. A further court hearing will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London later this year to discuss how Collins intends to pay.
Three-time Tour De France winner Chris Froome says he was unhurt after claiming to be 'rammed' by a car driver while training in Southern France. The Briton, who rides for Team Sky, posted a picture on Twitter of his damaged bike and said that he will report the incident to local police. 'Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement!' the thirty one-year-old wrote. 'Thankfully I'm okay. Bike totalled. Driver kept going!' The picture Froome posted was geotagged from Beausoleil in France, which is near his Monaco home. Froome is not taking part in the current Giro D'Italia but is likely to race in June's traditional week-long Tour De France warm-up event, the Criterium Du Dauphine, which he has won three times. This year's Tour De France takes place from 1 to 23 July and Froome will be aiming to win the event for a fourth time and third in a row. The incident follows the death of Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi after he was involved in a collision with a van during a training ride in April.
There's a fascinating interview with the Goddamn Modfather his very self, Paul Weller, on the BBC News website which you can check out here in which Paul talks about his new CD and his future availability for Bond themes and The Eurovision Song Contest.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies' manager, Rafa The Gaffer Benitez, can expect up to one hundred million knicker to spend during the summer on new players following 'positive' discussions with owner Mike Ashley reports have suggested. Benitez guided The Magpies back to the Premier League at the first attempt. And, truly, it was glorious in Th' Toon Army's sight. However, he was said to be seeking 'assurances' that he would be able to strengthen his squad again after the club's promotion. In a club statement, Ashley said that Rafa and managing director Lee Charnley can have 'every last penny the club generates' to build for next term. Benitez added: 'I'm pleased with how the meeting went and the positive approach we are all taking together to build on what we have started this season. There will be challenges ahead of course, the summer will not be easy, but the hard work has been going on for some time and we can now continue positively with the development of the squad ahead of the start of the new season.' The former Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws, Moscow Chelski FC and Real Madrid manager signed a three-year contract to remain at Newcastle in May 2016, despite the club dropping into the second tier, and the Spaniard led them to the Championship title on Sunday.
The English Football League recorded its highest cumulative attendances for almost sixty years in 2016-17, with more than eighteen million fans watching matches. Crowds attending Championship, League One and League Two games were up by eleven per cent on the 2015-16 campaign and the most since 1958-59 when 18.8 million punters turned out. The figure was boosted by almost two million fans of Newcastle United and Aston Villains attending home fixtures. However, there was a three per cent rise for the sixty seven clubs in the EFL this season and last. In the Championship, more than eleven thousand supporters went through the turnstiles, with Newcastle boasting the biggest average attendance of more than fifty one thousand (the highest for a non-Premiership or Division One side since 1975) and The Villains second with more than thirty two thousand. League One and League Two champions Sheffield United and Portsmouth had the highest average crowds in their respective divisions - The Blades with just under twenty two thousand and Pompey recording close to seventeen thousand. The three highest cumulative attendances came in the post-war period from 1948 to 1950, when more than twenty three million people watched games in tiers two to four each campaign. 'It is clear to see that the EFL continues to be one of the most watched football competitions and our clubs deserve huge credit for continuing to find new and innovative ways of encouraging supporters through their turnstiles,' EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said. 'We know that supporters continue to be the lifeblood of our game and the long-term future of the football in this country is looking very healthy, with more and more people choosing to follow their local clubs week in, week out.'
Italian football authorities may face disciplinary action over the treatment of Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari. Muntari was sent-off after leaving the field claiming that he was racially abused during a Serie A game. He was initially banned for one game but had this overturned by the Italian Football Federation after the outcry over the decision. 'We have a committee in charge of monitoring this and the committee will take action,' FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura told BBC Sport. 'What matters is that the committee has to act and the sooner the better. I have my personal feelings on anybody that is treated like he has been treated, on the pitch and off the pitch but I'm not here for my personal matters. I'm here to make sure that FIFA takes, through the committee, the appropriate action for any single discriminatory action.' On Tuesday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that he would speak to ex-Portsmouth player Muntari, who believes world football's governing body, and European equivalent UEFA are 'not taking racism seriously.' 'We will work together,' said Infantino, who also said that he intends to talk to the head of FIGC, Carlo Tavecchio. 'Unfortunately idiots, there are always idiots everywhere but we have to fight them. We have to work on the people.' FIFA was criticised for disbanding its anti-racism task force last September. The organisation defended this decision at the time, with Samoura then saying that it had 'fulfilled the mandate' for which it was set up in 2013 - which was to provide recommendations for 'a strong programme' to tackle racism. A number of these have been put into action, including the introduction of an Anti-Discrimination Monitoring System to assess eight hundred and fifty high-risk matches for potential discriminatory incidents during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and friendlies. Speaking ahead of this week's FIFA congress meeting in Bahrain, Samoura adopted a different stance to Infantino, saying: 'I don't have to call people anytime that they have been victim of an abuse.' She continued: 'We've been regularly publicising the action of the committee on every action that relates to racism, homophobic chants and any kind of discrimination. We have monitoring too on anti-discrimination. We have heavy sanctions every time we have been receiving reports.'
A convicted murderer being held at a maximum security prison in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was caught by guards trying to escape while dressed in a skirt, with blonde wig and fake breasts. Fifty five-year-old Francisco Herrera Argueta had disguised himself as a female visitor as part of an audacious escape bid, in which he attempted to walk out of the prison with the families of other inmates when visiting hours drew to a close. Argueta put on blusher and painted his nails pink to complete the look - but, he failed to fool prison guards, who noticed his 'funny walk' and that he 'spoke with a hoarse, male voice.' The former gang leader did manage to pass through several security filters on the way to the exit, but was finally rumbled when a guard asked him to remove his sunglasses. 'The make-up couldn't hide the fact that he was a man,' said police spokesman Bayron Sauceda. Argueta, in prison for murder and firearms offences, now faces addition punishment for his attempted escape and could be transferred to El Pozo, Honduras' most dangerous prison.
An arsonist who started a fire with a 'homemade flame-thrower' tried to escape going to prison by jumping out of a court dock as he was jailed for four years. Shayne Bott launched himself over the barriers of the dock at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday as Judge Maria Lamb sentenced him for setting his own house on fire. Bott, was told he was 'dangerous' and posed a risk of 'serious physical harm' to others, moments before he tried his audacious escape from the court room. However, he was nabbed by the bobbies, restrained and taken straight to the cells. He had previously pleaded very guilty to a charge of arson and being reckless as to whether life is endangered. After the blaze took hold Bott's partner, Nicola Temple, ran outside the flat and was able to 'cushion' his fall as he leaped from a first floor room and landed on top of her. Temple hopes their relationship will continue after Bott gets out of The Big House.
A twenty seven-year-old man has been charged with using drones to smuggle cannabis, steroids and mobile phones into Birmingham’s Winson Green jail. West Midlands Police said that Michael Tovey is accused of using two drones to fly contraband into the prison's exercise yard on 29 October and 6 November last year. In the first charges of their type brought by West Midlands Police, Tovey faces a total of thirteen counts of conveying banned items into a prison. It is alleged that Tovey attempted to drop a consignment into an exercise yard near N and P wings containing four phones, SIM cards, Black Mamba, steroids and cannabis.
A Michigan man with a 'self-professed fetish for rough-running cars' will avoid prison and, instead, receive mental health and sex offender treatment, along with five years probation it has been reported. Jordan Haskins was sentenced on Monday on eight felonies. Haskins is described as 'an habitual offender' with a criminal history of multiple incidents involving a fetish he refers to as 'cranking.' The act entails removing a vehicle's spark plug wires to make the vehicle run roughly to help him 'reach sexual self-gratification.' Circuit Judge Robert L Kaczmarek handed down the sentence of long-term probation with mental health and sex offender treatment over prison time. 'It's something I don't think we understand as attorneys, but he's going to benefit from treatment and counselling,' Haskins' attorney, James Hession, said in a previous interview. Hession added that his client will not have to register as a sex offender. In his preliminary evaluation, Judge Kaczmarek indicated Haskins could be sentenced to long-term probation and mental health treatment rather than prison, according to court records. In April, Haskins pleaded very guilty to six counts of unlawfully driving away an automobile, one count malicious destruction of property and one count breaking and entering into a building with intent to commit unlawfully driving away an automobile. The felonies against Haskins stem from two vehicle incidents, one involving cranking and the other joyriding. In the first case against him, police say Haskins on 20 November 2016 had broken into and 'cranked' in a Saginaw County-owned maintenance truck. In the second case, police claim that on 6 February Haskins broke into the body shop of Martin Chevrolet in Thomas Township and took four vehicles for joyrides. 'This person took some vehicles from the body shop and drove around the back lot area, damaging the vehicles and jumping over hills,' Thomas Township Police Sergeant Al Fong said at the time. Hession previously said Haskins, who is a former Republican candidate for a Michigan House seat, is 'a bright man brought down by untreated compulsions.'
A woman who took her friend's BMW and 'raced it like a lunatic' during a ninety miles per hour police chase shouted 'you're joking' as she was very jailed for four months. Judge Sean Morris told Yasmin Katir that being a mother did not give her a 'get-out-of-jail-free card' and that he needed to send a harsh and memorable message to the public about dangerous driving. Jailing her for four months, he told Katir: 'Anyone who drives like a lunatic when there are blue lights behind must understand that they put life at risk. I'm not bothered about your life. I'm bothered about innocent lives and a policeman's life. You are so lucky that you are not here on a manslaughter charge. You could so easily have been.' He added that the video footage of the police chase was 'terrifying'.
And, on a similar theme, a woman who deliberately ploughed into a cyclist after being confronted about using her mobile phone behind the wheel has been jailed for three years. Justine Henshaw-Bryan chased Damien Doughty through Stoke Newington, sending him flying into a tree. Henshaw-Bryan, who is due to give birth in November, claimed that her then-boyfriend told her to follow the cyclist, but the judge rejected her claim. Doughty was badly hurt, spending three days in intensive care. Sentencing Henshaw-Bryan at Wood Green Crown Court, Judge Gregory Perrins said her actions could have killed Doughty. 'This was a calculated attempt to run him over and use your car as a weapon,' the judge said. 'It would have been obvious that to do so would have carried significant risk of injury.' The court heard how the pair nearly collided on Stoke Newington High Street on 10 February 2016, when Henshaw-Bryan pulled out in front of the cycle courier whilst using her mobile. Doughty confronted the driver over her use of the phone, at which point she shouted at him, the court heard. Angered by the exchange, he kicked her wing mirror when they met at the next set of lights. He was then chased down Victorian Grove and hit by Henshaw-Bryan's car. Henshaw-Bryan, from Hackney, who was driving with her then-boyfriend in the car, claimed it was he who grabbed the wheel and aimed the car at Doughty. She alleged she had been a victim of domestic violence while in the relationship, but Judge Perrins said he 'did not accept' she had been frightened of her boyfriend. Henshaw-Bryan, who was found extremely guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, was also banned from driving for four-and-a-half years.
Michael Parks, who was named by directors Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith as one of their favourite actors, has died at the age of seventy seven. Smith broke the news, describing Michael as 'the best actor I've ever known' and 'the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform.' Smith had cast him in Red State and Tusk, while he appeared in both of Tarantino's Kill Bill films. Tarantino described Michael in 1997 as 'one of my favourite actors in the world.' Parks made his name on US TV in the 1960s and with film roles including Adam in John Huston's 1966 epic The Bible: In the Beginning... He had the lead role in TV series Then Came Bronson in 1969 - which Tarantino described as 'the most naturalistic acting I've ever seen on a TV show.' He was likened at the time to James Dean - but never had a major breakthrough and his career rather faded thereafter. There were suggestions that he was shunned by Hollywood studios - which has been attributed to him speaking out about the violence in Then Came Bronson, a contract dispute with Universal, or being difficult to work with. Something of a career revival began when David Lynch cast him as the villainous Jean Renault in the second season of Twin Peaks. A fine singer, Michael sang the theme song for Then Came Bronson, 'Long Lonesome Highway', which became a top twenty hit in the US in 1970. LP he recorded under MGM Records include Closing The Gap (1969), Long Lonesome Highway (1970) and Blue. His other film credits included Django Unchained, Grindhouse, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and Argo. Director Robert Rodriguez, who cast him in From Dusk Till Dawn, said in 2011: 'He was always considered to be the actor who should replace James Dean when James Dean passed, and his naturalism was just amazing to watch.'
Geoffrey Bayldon has died at the age of ninety three, his agency has confirmed. Geoffrey was known - and loved - by millions for his performance in the title role in TV series Catweazle and as The Crowman in Worzel Gummidge. The actor's film credits included To Sir, With Love, a memorable performance opposite his friend Jon Pertwee in Amicus's The House That Dripped Blood and The Pink Panther Strikes Again, as well as big-screen versions of Porridge and Steptoe & Son. Geoffrey was, reportedly, considered for the role of The Doctor in Doctor Who twice. When the series was initially commissioned, in 1963, he turned down an offer of the lead role. He was, he said, worried about being typecast playing old characters (despite him only being in his late thirties at the time) and not wanting to commit to the then untried series. When William Hartnell left the role in 1966, Geoffrey was again considered to play The Doctor, but the part went, instead, to Patrick Troughton. It was not until 1979 that Geoffrey eventually did appear in the long-running popular family SF drama when he played Organon The Astrologer in the Tom Baker story The Creature From The Pit. But, we shouldn't hold that against him. He also played The Doctor in a number of fan-created audio dramas. Of his more than two hundred roles on television, he remains most associated with the eccentric - and inept - Norman magician Catweazle, thrust into the 1970s and forever desperate to create a spell that would return him home, appearing in twenty six episodes for the titular series during 1970 and 1971. Geoffrey was born in Leeds in January 1924. After studying at the Hull College of Architecture and a period in the Royal Air Force, he fulfilled his dream of becoming an actor, training at The Old Vic Theatre School. Geoffrey had a successful theatre career before finding regular employment on the small screen, spending seasons at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre - where he played Duncan to Laurence Olivier's Macbeth in 1955 - and in regional reps in Glasgow and Birmingham. He was to become a virtually omnipresent face on British television from 1950's onwards - one of those reliably brilliant character actors who seems to have been in everything. His TV credits over the following six decades included Sword Of Freedom, The Miser, The Case Of The Frightened Lady, An Age Of Kings, The Victorians, The Massingham Affair, The Woman In White, Z Cars, The Vise, Man From Interpol, The Adventures Of Alice, The Arson Squad, You Can't Win, Bootsie & Snudge, The Avengers, No Hiding Place, Sergeant Cork, Danger Man, Vendetta, The Saint, The Newcomers, Theatre 625, Boy Meets Girl, The Doctors, The Adventures of Black Beauty, Special Branch, Armchair Theatre, The Adventures Of Robin Hood (as Count De Severne), The Wednesday Play, Space: 1999, The Tomorrow People, Tales Of The Unexpected, If There Weren't Any Blacks You'd Have to Invent Them, Miss Nightingale, Comedy Playhouse, Edward The Seventh, Killers, Devenish, The Famous Five, The Duchess Of Duke Street, Cribb, Juliet Bravo, Bergerac, Crown Court, Blott On The Landscape, Hold The Back Page, Star Cops, Rumpole Of The Bailey, The Chronicles Of Narnia, All Creatures Great & Small and Fort Boyard. He remained a well-known character actor working well into his eighties, with appearances in the likes of The Return Of Sherlock Holmes, Campion, Van Der Valk, Magic Grandad, Soldier Soldier, Wycliff, Midsomer Murders, Where The Heart Is, New Tricks, Heartbeat, Casualty, Waking The Dead and My Family (his final screen appearance, in 2010). He also took part in a number of BBC Schools programmes, where he displayed a number of otherwise unexploited talents (such as singing). Geoffrey also made numerous film appearances during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, including his debut, an uncredited role in 1952's The Stranger Left No Card, Hammer's Dracula, A Night To Remember, Libel, The Longest Day, Becket, Where The Spies Are, King Rat, To Sir, With Love, Casino Royale (as Q), The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins, Ringo Starr's T-Rex movie Born To Boogie, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Asylum, Tales From The Crypt, A Dandy In Aspic, Otley, the notorious soft-core Au Pair Girls, The Slipper & The Rose and The Monster Club. In 2004, after many years of successful television work he appeared in the film Ladies In Lavender. In 1993, he played Simplicio in the Open University video Newton's Revolution. In 1986 Geoffrey provided the vocals on Paul Hardcastle's 'The Wizard' which was also used for a while as the theme for BBC1's Top Of The Pops.