Sunday, September 17, 2017

Is The Sky The Limit?

Multiple endings will be filmed for the final episode of Game Of Thrones in an effort to stop the storyline leaking. HBO's President of Programming, Casey Bloys, says that even the cast of the popular drama won't know how it ends. 'I know in Game Of Thrones, the ending, they're going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really knows what happens. You have to do that on a long show. When you're shooting, people know,' he told an audience at a US college. 'So they're going to shoot multiple versions so that there's no real definitive answer until the end.'
The seventh series of Game Of Thrones suffered several high-profile leaks although, to be honest, the only people who were obsessed about such nonsense were the media. Most normal viewers just waited patiently until 2am each Monday morning and watched the thing on Sky. Hackers released scripts, HBO documents and unbroadcast episodes from other TV shows. Four naughty people were very arrested in India after a pirated episode was uploaded from an online streaming service in Mumbai. Another episode was mistakenly released early in Europe, copied and shared online. The seventh series of Game Of Thrones was illegally downloaded 'more than a billion times' according to data seen by piracy tracking firm Muso. Casey Bloys added that as well as keeping the storyline secret, it will be 'incredibly hard' to keep everyone happy with the ending. 'Finales are tough,' he told students at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 'If you think about Six Feet Under, that was a pretty good finale. But if you think about Seinfeld, if you think about The Sopranos, if you think about Breaking Bad - everybody has an opinion about how a show should end. The thing that was interesting about The Sopranos was it did make you think. In a way everybody got their own version of it. I think [Tony Soprano] was probably shot, but I don't think David [Chase] has told anybody what really happened in his mind. But I think that's his point. It can be whatever you think it should be as a fan.' It is currently unclear exactly when the final series of Game Of Thrones will be broadcast. The Hollywood Reporter suggests that production on the final six episodes will start in October and will carry on until the middle of 2018. 'Our production people are trying to figure out a timeline for the shoot and how much time the special effects take,' said Bloys. That could mean fans have to wait until 2019 to see the final series.
Earlier this week, David Lynch excited fans of Twin Peaks: The Return - of whom this blogger is, of course, one - by revealing that he is 'open' to making more of the series. His and co-creator Mark Frost's revival of the Twin Peaks franchise was twenty five years in the making and broke new ground for television when it was broadcast - to huge critical acclaim, albeit, less than stellar ratings - over the summer. The 3 September finale - which this blogger thought was pure dead sexy, so it was - concluded in true Twin Peaks fashion, with more questions than answers as Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) once again seemingly found himself stranded in an alternate reality. (Or someone else's alternate reality, no one is entirely sure on that point. Or, several others for that matter.) Such a deliberately ambiguous conclusion naturally loans itself to continuation with another series or perhaps a movie, but Lynch has told Entertainment Weekly that there are 'no plans' for either at this point. The filmmaker went on to say: 'Even if there was more, it would be four years from now before anyone would see it. We'll just have to wait and see.' As for what a potential continuation would entail, Lynch would only say: 'I can't talk about that.'
The first official synopsis for the forthcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, Twice Upon A Time has appeared and Radio Times has made a really big deal out of trying to decode it. Albeit, the synopsis doesn't really tell the reader anything that the previously-released trailer didn't.
For her first role since travelling through time and space in Doctor Who, yer actual Pearl Mackie will jump back sixty years to appear in Harold Pinter's 1957 play The Birthday Party. From January, Pearl will be seen as Lulu an will appear alongside Toby Jones, Zoe Wanamaker and Stephen Mangan at The Harold Pinter Theatre in London. The play will be directed by Ian Rickson and will run until April. In an interview with BBC News, Pearl says that she has been struggling with how the character - and the things she goes through - will fit with her own feminist ideals. She also talks about her departure from Doctor Who, says that she wants to 'tell more political stories in the future' - and suggests that Peter Capaldi's successor, Jodie Whittaker her very self, will be 'phenomenal' in the role.
Former Doctor Who showrunner Russell Davies is arguing that it is 'high time' an actress of Jodie Whittaker's calibre has been cast as The Doctor. In a recent interview with the Radio Times to promote the Doctor Who poetry book Now We Are Six Hundred, Big Rusty was full of praise for Jodie while admitting that he 'understood' why some fans object to such a massive change. 'What a happy time,' Rusty said. 'I understand people's fears and doubts, I can be as traditional as you like. And yet that clip [featuring the debut of Jodie in the role] showed what a good idea it was in ten seconds. That's an amazing piece of work. Which just proves that it's time, the idea's time has come. When these things are in the air, it's magical that they happen. It's just wonderful.'
Not only can Gotham fans expect to see a lot more of Jerome when the show returns for its fourth series later this month, but there's also a new partner in crime to look forward to. Trailing Jerome's descent into crime and chaos – and The Joker – executive producer John Stephens told that the character is 'set to form an alliance. You're gonna see him in a new position this year and he's gonna form an alliance with a character who he has not been near at any time soon,' he revealed.
As previously announced, yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch will be starring in the BBC's much-anticipated adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel The Child In Time. BBC1 has scheduled The Child In Time to broadcast on Sunday 24 September at 9pm, following an Antiques Roadshow fortieth anniversary special.
Mike Bartlett is riding high at the moment thanks to his BBC drama Doctor Foster, so naturally everyone wants to work with him. He's certainly been able to draw in some considerable talent for his new BBC1 drama Press, which has confirmed David Suchet, Charlotte Riley and Ben Chaplin are to feature. The six hour-long episodes will focus on the people behind two competing newspapers, following their lives and dilemmas amid the fast-paced news environment. Riley will play the Deputy News Editor of fictional broadsheet the Herald, while Chaplin takes on the role of the editor of fictional tabloid newspaper the Post. Suchet, meanwhile, plays the role of the Chairman & CEO of Worldwide News, owner of the Post. Who is, obviously, not based on anyone in particular. Oh no, very hot water. Also cast are Ellie Kendrick, Brendan Cowell, Priyanga Burford, Paapa Essiedu, Shane Zaza and Al Weaver. Bartlett said: 'I'm so happy to be working with the incredible [director] Tom Vaughan again, and the talent of this amazing cast make me feel like the luckiest writer around. Press is a series packed full of stories and now we have the very best people to tell them.' Riley added: 'I am delighted to be working with Mike Bartlett again, and with Tom Vaughan on a truly brilliant piece of writing. Mike is a phenomenal storyteller and I am excited to be part of this project.'

Here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Four programmes broadcast in the week-ending Sunday 10 September 2017:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show - Sat BBC1 - 10.29m
2 Doctor Foster - Tues BBC1 - 8.72m
3 The Great British Bake-Off - Tues Channel Four - 8.59m
4 Coronation Street - Wed ITV - 7.62m
5 Strike: The Silkworm - Sun BBC1 - 7.31m
6 EastEnders - Thurs BBC1 - 7.23m
7 The X-Factor - Sun ITV - 7.00m
8 Emmerdale - Thurs ITV - 6.24m
9 Victoria - Sun ITV - 5.98m
10 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.94m
11 World Cup 2018 Qualifier: England Versus Slovenia - Mon ITV - 5.71m
12 BBC News - Sat BBC1 - 5.49m
13 Cold Feet - Fri ITV - 5.33m
14 Celebrity MasterChef - Wed BBC1 - 5.07m
15 Fake Or Fortune? - Sun BBC1 - 4.73m
16 Six O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 4.67m
17 Ambulance - Thurs BBC1 - 4.57m
18 Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.53m
19 Safe House - Thurs ITV - 4.32m
20 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 3.95m
21 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.74m
22= Who Do You Think You Are? - Thurs BBC1 - 3.64m
22= Long Lost Family - Wed ITV - 3.64m
24 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.62m
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. Don't ask this blogger why, dear blog reader, they just don't all right? ITV's The X-Factor had an audience of 6.48 million viewers for its Saturday, episode, over a million punters down on the final and consolidated ratings for the equivalent episode in 2016 (which had 7.56 million). Although some smear of no consequence at the Gruniad Morning Star claimed, before a single episode had even been broadcast, that Strictly Come Dancing was 'in a fight for its survival', the launch show - comfortably - attracted the largest audience for any TV show of the week and one which was only marginally, lower than the equivalent episode last year (10.43 million). Still, what do you expect from the Gruniad, dear blog reader, accuracy? On BBC2, Dragons' Den had a total audience of 2.46 million punters. University Challenge (2.21 million), Nadiya's British Food Adventure (1.95 million) and Saving Lives At Sea (1.86 million) followed. Mock The Week and Mountain: Life At The Extreme were both watched by 1.85 million, Gardeners' World by 1.75 million, Mastermind, by 1.74 million, This Farming Life by 1.61 million, Antiques Road Trip by 1.59 million, World's Busiest Cities by 1.56 million and Only Connect also by 1.55 million. The Bog Family Cooking Showdown had 1.53 million, Tribes, Predators & Me, 1.40 million and The Twenty First Episode Race For Space, 1.29 million. Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast was, of course, for The Great British Bake Off - down by around two hundred thousand punters on last week's series opener but, nevertheless, still an 'uge figure for C4. Gogglebox (2.76 million) and the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service (2.32 million) followed. Educating Greater Manchester had 2.31 million, Grand Designs, 2.28 million, Z-List Celebrity With Bear Grylls, 2.19 million, Nine-Nine-Nine: What's Your Emergency?, 2.14 million and From Russian To Iran: Crossing The Wild Frontier, 1.63 million. Lego Masters drew 1.62 million, Location, Location, Location, 1.56 million, Naked Attraction, 1.43 million and The Great British Bake-Off: An Extra Slice, 1.39 million. Channel Five's top performer was Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away!, with an audience of 1.76 million. Cruising With Jane McDonald, GPs: Behind Closed Doors, All New Traffic Cops and The Murder Of Tia Sharp: My Daughter rounded-off Five's most-watching list with audiences of 1.51 million, 1.34 million, 1.23 million and 1.17 million. Z-List Celebrity Five Go Motorhoming was watched by 1.06 million. All of whom should be sodding-well ashamed of themselves. With The Premier League back on this week after the international break, Sky Sports Premier League's top-ten was headed by yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies victory at Swansea with three hundred and four thousand, plus six hundred and ninety eight thousand on Sky Sports Main Events. Burnley Versus Crystal Place Nil had two hundred and eighteen thousand (plus three hundred and eighty four thousand on Main Event) and Sheikh Yer Man City's five-nil hiding of the Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws, two hundred and ten thousand (with five hundred and ninety thousand on Main Event). The Sky Sports Football Channel's Live EFL: Sheffield Wednesday Versus Nottingham Forest attracted one hundred and forty six thousand punters whilst Live World Cup Qualifier: The Republic Of Ireland Versus Serbia attracted eighty six thousand (with an additional one hundred and ninety two thousand on the Main Event channel). Another World Cup game, Moldova Versus Wales topped the Sky Sports Mix channel with three hundred and eighteen thousand. On Sky Sports Cricket the channel's highest audience of the week was for Saturday's coverage of Live Test Cricket: England Versus West Indies at Lord's had two hundred and seventy nine thousand, plus a further one hundred and fifty eight thousand on Sky Sports Main Event. Gillette Soccer Saturday attracted three hundred and seventy six thousand punters on Sky Sports News HQ, plus two hundred and six thousand on the Premier League channel and one hundred and ninety three thousand on Sky Sports Football. Paddock Uncut: Italy was seen by fourteen thousand punters on Sky Sports F1. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by Zoo (five hundred and nine thousand), the third episode of the much-trailed The Last Ship drew four hundred and twenty nine thousand viewers. The Simpsons was seen by three hundred and forty seven thousand. Sky Atlantic's list was, sadly, missing in action this week so, whilst this blogger would love to inform all dear blog readers, how many punters Game Of Thrones, Ray Donovan, Ballers and the Twin Peaks: The Return finale were watched by, sadly, he can't. Jolly bad show, Sky Atlantic. Though, one imagines, this will likely cause billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch to take someone to the woodshed from a severe talking-to. On Sky Living, Chicago Fire drew by four hundred and forty seven thousand whilst Nashville had three hundred and thirty six thousand. My Kitchen Rules Australia attracted two hundred and twenty seven thousand and How To Get Away With Murder was seen by one hundred and seventy six thousand. Sky Arts' Laurel & Hardy: Their Lives & Magic was viewed by sixty seven thousand viewers. The film Chocolat had sixty two thousand. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (seven hundred and sixty three thousand viewers). Foyle's War was seen by six hundred and forty five thousand. Cycling: La Vuelta A Espana Highlights drew five hundred and thirty two thousand on ITV4. If don't you want to know the result, dear blog reader, look away now. Chris Froome won. Next ... The fantastically violent Clint Eastwood movie The Gauntlet was watched by three hundred and ten thousand. ITV2's entire top-ten was made up of episodes of Family Guy, with the most-watched being seen by six hundred and thirty three thousand. The Americans headed ITV Encore's top ten with seventy seven thousand viewers, followed by Poirot (sixty nine thousand) and Vera (fifty seven thousand). Worthless, shallow smear of appalling shite The Only Way Is Essex was viewed by eight hundred and forty four thousand of exactly the sort of specimens who enjoy such risible exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. Similarly tripe conceits, The Real Housewives Of New York and There's Something About Megan were seen by three hundred and seventeen thousand and two hundred and thirty two thousand viewers who all need to take a good, long, hard look at themselves in the mirror, frankly. BBC4's list was headed by the latest episode of the popular Italian import Inspector Montalbano (nine hundred and sixty five thousand punters, the largest multichannels audience of the week). Britain's Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates & Rogues had five hundred and ninety five thousand and Andrew Marr's The Making Of Modern Britain, five hundred and seventy six thousand. The Normans drew five hundred and forty four thousand and India's Frontier Railways, five hundred and twenty nine thousand. The documentary Timeshift: The Joy Of (Train) Sets was seen by four hundred and sixteen thousand. Scotland's War At Sea drew four hundred and fourteen thousand, Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions attracted three hundred and forty five thousand. 5USA's latest Chicago PD episode was viewed by five hundred and forty one thousand punters, NCIS: Los Angeles by five hundred and thirteen thousand, Castle by four hundred and nineteen thousand and NCIS: New Orleans by three hundred and ninety seven thousand. NCIS topped the most-watched programme list of CBS Action (one hundred and thirty seven thousand). Judge Judy attracted seventy one thousand on CBS Drama. Once again, we'll have to leave aside for a moment the question of how, exactly, Judge Judy qualifies as 'drama'. For the FOX Channel, American Horror Story: Cult was watched by four hundred and thirty one thousand. American Dad! had two hundred and twenty six thousand and Lucifer, two hundred and twenty three thousand. The return of Private Eyes was seen by two hundred thousand viewers on The Universal Channel, followed by NCIS (one hundred and twenty six thousand) and the movie Romeo Must Die (one hundred and ten thousand). On Dave, Red Bull Soapbox was watched by three hundred and fifteen thousand, Would I Lie To You? by two hundred and ninety eight thousand, Not Going Out by two hundred and seventy eight thousand and Qi XL, by two hundred and fifty eight thousand. Drama's Inspector George Gently was seen by six hundred and seventy seven thousand viewers and Death In Paradise by four hundred and thirteen thousand. Father Brown was watched by three hundred and forty seven thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme of the week was Rosewood (two hundred and seventy five thousand) whilst Death In Paradise had one hundred and eighty three thousand and Silent Witness, one hundred and fifteen thousand. Sony TV's top ten was headed by Godzilla (thirty three thousand). Yesterday's repeat run of Fawlty Towers continued with two hundred and fifty one thousand, whilst John Surtees: One Of A Kind attracted two hundred and thirty six thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Divers was seen by one hundred and eighty one thousand viewers. Garage Rehab had one hundred and seventy three thousand, Deadliest Catch, one hundred and sixty five thousand, Misfit Garage, ninety six thousand and Diesel Brothers ninety two thousand. From The North fave Wheeler Dealers appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (forty six thousand) and Discovery Turbo (twenty nine thousand). Discovery History's Chasing Classic Cars headed the top ten with fifteen thousand. Weapon Masters attracted fourteen thousand as did both The Viet'Nam War and Battlefields. On Discovery Science, How It's Made was seen by seventy one thousand viewers. On Quest, Aussie Gold Hunters was watched by two hundred and seventy four thousand. Pick's Warehouse Thirteen had an audience of two hundred and eighty thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by Inside 9/11 and Air Crash Investigations, were watched by forty four thousand and forty two thousand respectively. National Geographic Wild's Turf Wars: Lions & Hippos was viewed by forty nine thousand. The History Channel's most-seen programmes were Forged In Fire (two hundred and six thousand) and American Ripper In London (one hundred and forty seven thousand). Ancient Aliens on the Military History channel was seen by twenty eight thousand punters and One Hundred & Two Minutes That Changed America by twenty two thousand. Homicide: Hours To Kill, I Survived 9/11 and The First Forty Eight were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with sixty four thousand, sixty thousand and forty nine thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. Faking It: The Tears Of A Crime, Coroner: I Speak For The Dead, Murder Among Friends and Shattered headed Investigation Discovery's list (one hundred and fifty thousand, ninety nine thousand, ninety three thousand and eighty thousand respectively). GOLD's the documentary The Story Of Only Fools & Horses had five hundred and twenty seven thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers with two hundred and ninety five thousand. Your TV's repeat of Bones series five continued with seventy eight thousand viewers. On More4, Outlander was the highest-rated programme with six hundred and forty one thousand. Grand Designs had three hundred and seventy two thousand and Four In A Bed, three hundred and fifty three thousand. E4's list was topped by Hollyoakes (1.03 million). The latest episode of Midnight Texas, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and fifty four thousand. The Horror Channel's weekly list was topped by five episodes of Star Trek: Voyager (one hundred and fifty six thousand), the channel seemingly still having run out of actual horror movies to show. Hostel had one hundred and twenty four thousand, an episode of The Invaders, one hundred and fourteen thousand and The War Of The Worlds, one hundred and seven thousand. The History Of Rover, Too Many Crooks and A Chump At Oxford topped Talking Pictures list, with eighty five thousand, seventy thousand and sixty five thousand respectively. On Forces TV, Hogan's Heroes was seen by twenty two thousand. The A-Team had one hundred and ninety four thousand on Spike. Life In The Great Wetlands was viewed by twenty eight thousand on Eden, whilst Seven Ages Of Starlight had twenty five thousand. Pit Bulls & Parolees was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with thirty thousand. MasterChef Australia on W attracted two hundred and ninety nine thousand punters. True Crime's Psychic Detectives was seen by sixty two thousand viewers and Very Bad Men by sixty one thousand. On True Entertainment, Taggart, was watched by one hundred and twenty two thousand. A repeat of an old episode of MasterChef drew eighty one thousand on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Outdaughtered: Busby Quints and Ninety Day Fiance: Happy Ever After? (with one hundred and sixty six thousand and one hundred and forty four thousand viewers respectively). Shameful waste-of-oxygen spew Geordie Shore on MTV was viewed by five hundred and ninety four thousand geet planks whilst equally worthless Teen Mom UK had three hundred and five thousand. Ghost Adventures was seen by two hundred and seventy nine thousand on Really. Which, given that ghosts do not exist, should probably think about changing its name to No-Not-Really. My Knight & Me had ninety thousand viewers on Boomerang. Crash Of The Century and Nova topped PBS America's weekly list with sixteen thousand viewers each. Probably not the same sixteen thousand viewers, though, cos that would be against the laws of the universe. On Cbeebies, Peter Rabbit was seen by four hundred and fifty six thousand, Go Jetters by four hundred and forty three thousand and Sarah & Duck by four hundred and forty one thousand. Alvinnnn!!! & The Chipmunks had two hundred and seventeen thousand on the Pop Channel. Five Star's most watched show was Home & Away with four hundred and eighty five thousand. On AMC, Fear The Walking Dead was watched by eighteen thousand. Hardcore Pawn drew one hundred and eleven thousand punters on Blaze. Life Of Kylie attracted one hundred and twenty five thousand viewers on E! Dance Moms had one hundred and fifty thousand on Lifetime.

Politicians and social media companies must clamp down on the increasingly 'explicit and aggressive' abuse suffered by BBC journalists, according to the chairman of the public broadcaster. David Clementi said that it was entirely unacceptable for politicians to 'stand by and watch' heckling at press conferences and said that the corporation's female journalists in particular were being 'targeted' by abusers both on and offline. Speaking at The Royal Television Society convention in Cambridge, he said: 'Speaking to our journalists, I have become increasingly aware of the abuse that some of them -particularly female journalists - are subject to on an almost daily basis.' He did not name any of those targeted, but Laura Kuenssberg has frequently been the victim of sick sexist abuse online and the broadcaster is understood to have given her access to a bodyguard during the general erection campaign. The BBC political editor was hissed at and booed - by worthless bullying scum, admittedly - at both the Labour and UKiP press conferences this year and has also received criticism from Conservative supporters, with the Daily Torygraph asking if she is the 'most divisive woman on TV today.' So, in other words, if everybody is shooting at her, she's probably doing something right. In his speech, Clementi said that some of the abuse occurred 'in plain sight, at press conferences and political gatherings on all sides. Politicians cannot stand by and watch – they must confront any abuse, and make it clear that it is intolerable,' he said. 'The journalists of the BBC, when abused simply for doing their job, should know they have the determined support of the board to stamp it out.' As well as calling for politicians to stand up against the abuse of journalists, Clementi called for Facebook and Twitter to do more. 'These days, there is much more abuse. It is increasingly explicit and aggressive, and much of it occurs online,' he said. 'I welcome the work the government is doing to tackle this and I'm following closely the efforts of Twitter and Facebook, amongst others, to clamp down on the perpetrators. I hope the social media platforms do even more.' Other BBC journalists who have been subject to abuse include Emma Barnett, the Radio 5Live presenter, who was sent antisemitic messages after she tripped up Jeremy Corbyn with a question about the costs of a childcare pledge. Clementi hit back at calls from the vile and odious rascal Bradley, the lack of culture secretary and private TV and radio companies for Ofcom to introduce more quotas on the type of content the BBC should broadcast, such as religious programmes and news and current affairs. Ofcom's draft operating licence for the BBC, which is due to be finalised in the autumn, proposes cutting the number of radio programming requirements from more than two hundred to twenty. 'I am concerned about quotas that relate to hours of broadcasting, since the driver here is around quantity not quality,' he said. 'A charter which places distinctiveness at its heart and then backs it up with a licence full of hourly quotas is a contradiction that is likely to lead to failure. Quotas relating to resource, and in particular to financial spend, are likely to be better drivers towards distinctiveness, although even they can never be guarantors of desired outcomes.'
The media regulator - a politically appointed quango, elected by no one - has found that Channel Four News 'seriously breached the broadcasting code' by naming the wrong man as the Westminster terror attacker and has heavily criticised the programme for 'a string of major mistakes' in recent years. Ofcom has taken the highly unusual step of forcing Channel Four News to make a grovelling on-air broadcast of the outcome of its investigation. Which, given the regular 'considerably more smart and right-on than everyone' attitude of Channel Four News and its presenters, is funny, actually. The programme reported that Abu Izzadeen, an Islamist activist formerly known as Trevor Brooks, was the person responsible for the terror attack who had been shot dead by police. During coverage of the attack in March, which left four people dead, Simon Israel, Channel Four News' senior home affairs correspondent, identified Izzadeen as the attacker. Later in the programme Jon Snow, the particularly smug and up-his-own-arsehole newsreader, interrupted the broadcast to issue a correction saying that Izzadeen's brother had been in contact to say that Izzadeen was, in fact, still in prison. 'Sorry to cut you off. We've got a little bit more on this fast-developing story about today's attack in Westminster,' weaselled Snow. 'Channel Four News has been contacted by Abu Izzadeen's brother, who tells this programme that he is in fact still serving a prison sentence. That from Yusuf Brooks, brother of Trevor Brooks, also known as Abu Izzadeen.' Snow apologised to viewers - although, pointedly, not to Izzadeen and his family and friends - at the end of the programme, which was subsequently pulled from the Channel Four+1 service. 'We found Channel Four News committed a serious breach of broadcasting rules, after it wrongly identified the Westminster terror attacker,' said Ofcom in a statement. 'Channel Four News incorrectly referred to the same person throughout its report and subsequent steps to mitigate the error were insufficient.' In a statement, the broadcaster said that the mistake came during 'a fast-moving story' and that Channel Four News had 'moved swiftly to correct and clarify the facts as conflicting information came to light. We note that Ofcom acknowledges Channel Four News made appropriate corrections while on air; removed the programme from other platforms and carried a full correction and apology the following day,' said a spokeswoman whilst, seemingly ignoring the fact that the channel had just been given a thoroughly embarrassing pants-down hiding from the regulator over its - many - failings. 'We are working with Channel Four News to review and improve their existing editorial and oversight procedures,' the hapless spokeswoman added. Channel Four News said that it had not made an apology or offered payment for reputational damage done to Izzadeen in the case of mistaken identity. The spokeswoman added that the programme had not received any request or demand for financial amends or an apology from or on behalf of Izzadeen. The programme also said that no action was taken against Simon Israel over the fiasco and that he continues to report in the same role. The media regulator took the highly unusual step of ordering Channel Four News to broadcast its decision because it is the latest in a string of accuracy lapses in recent years. It is very rare for Ofcom to order such a public broadcast of a decision – especially against one of the UK's most high-profile and respected news organisations. The last time Ofcom did so was in 2015, when it told the Russia Today channel to make two on-air broadcasts after the TV company was found to have misleadingly reported that the BBC's Panorama had faked pictures of a chemical attack in Syria. 'This is the fourth time in three years we have found Channel Four in breach of its requirement to report news with due accuracy,' said Ofcom. 'We are particularly concerned that another serious breach has happened, given Channel Four's previous assurances to Ofcom that improvements to its compliance processes were being made. Considering the seriousness of this breach, we are requiring Channel Four News to air a summary of our breach decision.' The spokeswoman for Channel Four News, which is produced by ITN, said: 'Channel Four News takes its obligations under the Ofcom Broadcasting Code extremely seriously and is committed to providing audiences with high-quality, accurate and impartial news programming. We have participated fully in Ofcom's investigation and note the regulator's ruling which takes into account the immediate steps taken to correct and clarify the error during the course of the programme.' Ofcom said Channel Four News' recent serious breaches of the broadcasting code were firstly a 2014 news report covering the publication of The Ellison Review into possible corruption and the role of undercover policing by the Met during the Stephen Lawrence case. Short interview clips with five supposedly random members of the public asking whether they trusted the police turned out to all be from the same organisation, with which the reporter had links. Secondly, a 2014 report on Russia's assertive military and foreign policy that included an audio clip supposedly of an RAF pilot intercepting and warning a Russian military plane in British airspace. It turned out to be an intercept of a Latvian cargo plane. And, finally, a 2015 report into the aftermath of the Shoreham Air Show crash reported the names of two members of the public that had died before their deaths had been officially confirmed. According to Ofcom records it appears to be the first time in a decade that it has forced one of the UK's main news broadcasters to air a decision about a major breach of the TV code. In 2008, the BBC was forced to do so for a broadcast of Live Earth the previous year for six uses of 'motherfucker' and 'other variants of the word fuck.' In 2007, Channel Four was forced to do so after Ofcom received almost forty five thousand complaints about bullying in Z-List Celebrity Big Brother relating to Shilpa Shetty, Jade Goody, Jo O'Meara and Danielle Lloyd.
Twenty First Century FOX's bid to buy Sky faces further hurdles after the lack of culture secretary said that she was 'minded' to refer the deal to regulators over concerns about broadcasting standards and whether billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch is a 'fit and proper person' to run either a broadcaster or, indeed, a piss-up in a brewery. The vile and odious rascal Bradley removed her tongue from billionaire tyrant Murdoch's arse long enough to note that she had already said she was 'minded' to refer the eleven billion plus knicker deal over 'concerns' about media plurality. FOX currently owns thirty nine per cent of Sky but wants full control of the satellite broadcaster. For its own nefarious purposes (and, so they get to see episodes of Game Of Thrones before anyone else in the UK. Probably). However, there are fears that such a move would give billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's family, which controls Sky, too much sway over the UK media. And, potentially, The World. Sky said in a - rather whingy - statement: 'We are disappointed by this further delay. Nevertheless we will continue to engage with the process as the Secretary of State reaches her final decision.' They forgot to add, 'after all the support we've given the Tories over the years, we are Goddamn pissed-off at this malarkey.' Twenty First Century FOX also said that it was 'surprised' the vile and odious rascal Bradley was 'unable to form an opinion' after 'receiving independent advice' and having more than four months to consider the case. 'We urge the Secretary of State to take a final decision quickly,' the broadcaster added. The decision on whether to refer the deal to the Competition and Markets Authority has been delayed several times, as the vile and odious rascal Bradley squatted on a fence and listened to 'further arguments' about the case. However, in a statement to the Commons on Tuesday she said that none of the representations she received had 'allayed' her concerns. 'I have the power to make a reference if I believe there is a risk - which is not purely fanciful - that the merger might operate against the specified public interests,' the vile and odious rascal Bradley said. The vile and odious rascal Bradley has already indicated she would refer the proposed tie-up to the CMA on grounds it could threaten media plurality. This is because the Murdoch family owns controlling stakes in both News Corporation, which owns UK newspapers such as the Sun and The Times, as well as FOX, which operates in both film and TV (you might have noticed). However, on Tuesday the lack of culture secretary said that she was also 'minded' to refer the deal over concerns about broadcasting compliance procedures and 'corporate governance failures' at FOX in the past. You know, phone-hacking, naughty goings on with female employees, all that sort of malarkey. Sky shares fell four per cent when the news of the vile and odious rascal Bradley's statement became public before recovering slightly to close down 1.6 per cent. FOX said that it 'still expects' the deal to 'close' by the end of June 2018, barring 'any further delays' to the process. Quite how they believe this, unless someone has tipped them the wink about such an eventual outcome - which would, of course, be extremely illegal - they didn't say. The shadow lack of culture secretary, yer man Tommy Watson - power to the people - welcomed the vile and odious rascal Bradley's statement and praised her as 'a good 'un.' He said: 'I welcome the Secretary of State's decision, or I should say, the fact that she says she is "minded to" make that decision, to refer the bid on broadcasting standards grounds as well as on media plurality grounds. I think it is the first time a minister in the current government has ever stood in the way of what the Murdochs want and, frankly, [is] not before time.' Avaaz, a US group that has been campaigning against the proposed FOX-Sky merger welcomed the vile and odious rascal Bradley's comments. 'It's a great day for democracy and a bad day for Rupert Murdoch,' said senior campaigner Alaphia Zoyab. 'The public don't want this takeover and tens of thousands have called on the government to investigate properly.' The vile and odious rascal Bradley has given FOX and Sky ten days to get their shit together and respond.
Jezza Clarkson was supposed to be sidelined from filming The Grand Tour for two months after his recent bout of ill-health, but Jezza is no normal man (in any sense of the word.) Having been struck down with a life-threatening case of pneumonia over the summer, forcing him to immediately halt work on the second series of Amazon Prime Video's motoring series, Jeremy has made a speedy-enough recovery that he was officially signed off to return behind the wheel on The Grand Tour after just six weeks on the mend. The man's a miracle of medical science.
To the surprise of pretty-much no one, Pitch Battle has been very cancelled by the BBC after one series. The Saturday-night 'entertainment' show, fronted by Mel Giedroyc, debuted in June this year and saw vocal groups and choirs battling against each other in the hope of impressing judges Gareth Malone, Kelis and Will Young. Viewers of the series 'expressed some confusion' about the show being billed as an a capella competition when it featured backing tracks. Audience figures were, predictably, 'very disappointing' and a BBC spokesperson has now said: 'We are proud of Pitch Battle and would like to thank everyone involved in the show but we sometimes have to make difficult decisions in order to make room for new shows so it will not be returning to BBC1 next year.' Or, in slightly more truthful words, 'it was shit and no one was watching it, so we're shoving it into the gutter along with all the other turds.'
ITV is to make a three-part drama about a schoolboy who identifies as a girl. The mini-series, titled Butterfly, will tell the story of eleven-year-old Max, who chooses to live as a girl at home and decides he doesn't want to hide it from others. Broken and Marcella actress the Goddess that is Anna Friel will play Max's mother, Vicky. ITV's head of drama Polly Hill said it was a 'heartwarming and emotional script' about 'one boy's search to be recognised for who he really is.' Butterfly will be written by Tony Marchant, who has previously tackled family issues like ADHD (Kid In The Corner), adoption (Bad Blood) and fertility (The Family Man). In its announcement, ITV described Butterfly as 'a powerful family drama about this life changing decision in a boy so young.' Polly Hill said: 'Butterfly is a beautiful story about a young boy on the cusp of puberty who doesn't feel comfortable in his own body.'
Sleeping With The Enemy's Patrick Bergin is joining EastEnders. The actor will play Aidan Maguire, a prison friend of Phil Mitchell's who is described as 'a charismatic old-school villain.' The sixty six-year-old will start filming on the popular long-running soap this month and will appear on-screen towards the end of the year. Bergin said he was 'delighted' to join a soap he had 'watched and admired. It is an iconic show that has the ability to shape the way people think, whilst also telling big explosive stories that keep the audience gripped. I am really looking forward to seeing what they have in store for Aidan as it's bound to be dramatic.'
Christopher Eccleston is to play the title role in Macbeth in the 2018 summer season for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The actor is to make his RSC debut playing the Scottish King in The Scottish Play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, in the season which runs from 13 March until 18 September 2018. In joining the RSC the actor follows in the footsteps of his successor in the TARDIS, David Tennant, who played Hamlet in 2008 season at Stratford. Big Ecc himself played the lead in Hamlet in the 2004 West Yorkshire Playouse production of the play. The contemporary production of what is Shakespeare's darkest psychological thriller, will be directed by Polly Findlay and will also star Niamh Cusack as Lady Macbeth. The production will be broadcast live to cinemas on 11 April 2018.
Whilst many viewers were giggling over several examples of phallic bread during Tuesday night's episode of The Great British Bake Off, others were, according to several media sources, 'turning red with rage' over That Bloody Weirdo Noel Fielding climbing inside a fridge, anger which has now resulted in a possible Ofcom investigation.
During the episode, Fielding was seen declaring the remaining baking time while hiding in a fridge, which fellow host Sandi Toksvig then shut, apparently trapping Fielding inside. But the joke, which lasted all of five seconds, sparked 'a flurry of outrage' on social media, with viewers - none of whom you've ever heard of - 'branding' (that's tabloidese for 'describing' only with less syllables) Fielding's actions as 'irresponsible.' 'How stupid can you be?' one viewer ranted on Twitter. 'You should never shut people in a fridge even for comic effect! Children are watching this!' Won't somebody think of the children? Another Twitterer whinged: 'Well done Channel Four - showing a man hiding in a fridge. Children have died doing that. Not funny. My daughter loves to watch Bake Off. I've just had to explain why she should never climb in a fridge.' What a chore, eh? A parent having to tell their child that climbing into a fridge is a bloody stupid thing to do? This blogger shares your, no doubt massive pain, sir or madam.
Television regulators Ofcom - a politically-appointed quango, elected by no one - have confirmed they have since received twenty four whinges about the incident - from morons - with the watchdog yet to determine shortly whether it should be probed further or, you know, otherwise. The last time Bake Off was snitched-up to Ofcom by various disgraceful Copper's Narks was in 2014, when the regulator ultimately decided not to investigate the show's infamous 'Bingate' incident, despite eight hundred crass whinges from viewers with nothing more important to do with their time.
Daniel Dae Kim is reported to be 'in talks' to replace Ed Skrein in the Hellboy reboot. The Korean-American actor could step into the role which was left vacant following an outcry over a white actor playing an American-Asian character. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kim is 'being lined-up' to play Major Ben Daimio, who is Japanese-American in the original Hellboy comics. Skrein stepped down from the production last month 'so the role can be cast appropriately.' Skrein, who starred as the villain Ajax in Deadpool, said in a statement: 'It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voice in the arts.'
JJ Abrams, who launched the new era of Star Wars films with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to the series as director and co-writer of Star Wars: Episode IX. 'With The Force Awakens, JJ delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for,' Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said. 'I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.' Abrams is replacing Colin Trevorrow, who dropped out of the production last month.
The American-led Cassini space mission to Saturn has come to a spectacular end. Controllers had commanded the probe to be destroyed by plunging into the planet's atmosphere. It survived for about a minute before being broken apart. Cassini had run out of fuel and NASA had determined that the probe should not be allowed to simply wander uncontrolled among Saturn and its moons. The loss of signal from the spacecraft occurred right on cue. At mission control, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, the drop-off was timed at 05:55 local time. NASA's Earl Maize addressed fellow controllers: 'Congratulations to you all. This has been an incredible mission, an incredible spacecraft and you're all an incredible team. I'm going to call this end of mission. Project manager off-the-net.' The statement brought restrained applause and some comforting embraces. The loss of signal indicated that the probe was tumbling wildly in the planet's gases. It could have survived the violence for no more than about forty five seconds before being torn to pieces. And so ended one of the most successful space missions in history. In its thirteen years at Saturn, Cassini has transformed our understanding of the sixth planet. It has watched monster storms encircle the globe; it witnessed the delicate interplay of ice particles move through the planet's complex ring system and it revealed extraordinary new insights on the potential habitability of Saturn's moons. Titan and Enceladus were the stand-out investigations. The former is a bizarre world where liquid methane rains from an orange sky and runs into huge lakes. Cassini put a small robot - called Huygens - onto Titan's surface in 2005. It returned a remarkable image of pebbles that had been smoothed and rounded by the action of that flowing methane. Cassini also spied what are presumed to be volcanoes which spew an icy slush and vast dunes made from a plastic-like sand. On Enceladus, the observations were no less stunning. This moon was seen to spurt water vapour into space from cracks at its South pole. The water came from an ocean held beneath the icy shell of Enceladus. When Cassini flew through the water plumes, it showed that conditions in the sub-surface ocean were 'very probably' suitable for life. Today, scientists are already talking about how they can go back with another, more capable, probe to investigate this idea further. A great many of those researchers have been gathered this week at the nearby campus of the California Institute of Technology. They watched a feed from the control room at JPL on giant screens. Jonathan Lunine, from Cornell University, spoke for many when he said: 'I feel sad but I've felt sad the whole week; we knew this was going happen. And Cassini performed exactly as she was supposed to and I bet there is some terrific data on the ground now about Saturn's atmosphere.' Cassini has photographed many of Saturn's sixty two moons including the two-tone Iapetus with its walnut-like equatorial ridge around its equator, Mimas, which has a giant crater that instantly makes everyone think of The Death Star from the Star Wars movies, Hyperion, which displays clusters of bizarre pock marks akin to a sponge or wasps' nest, Atlas, which resembles a flying saucer, the potato-like Prometheus and Pan, which has a shape that would not look out of place in a ravioli dish. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint endeavour of Nasa, and the European and Italian space agencies. Numerous media outlets carried a collection of Cassini's final images which you can see, for example, here, here and here.
A sitar owned and played by yer actual Saint George Harrison is to be auctioned in the United States. The instrument, purchased from a shop on Oxford Street in 1965, was used by Harrison during the recording of The Be-Atles 'Norwegian Wood'. The Be-Atles were a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might have heard of them. The Indian string instrument, crafted by a well-known music shop in Kolkata, was later gifted to a friend of Harrison's then wife, Patti Boyd. Bidding for the sitar will begin on 28 September at fifty thousand dollars. Harrison first encountered the sitar in 1965, on the set of The Be-Atles' second film, Help! His flirtation with oriental mysticism first made itself known in 'Norwegian Wood', alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon's tale of an extra-marital affair. Acoustic guitar and muted bass were augmented by the sitar. 'We'd recorded the 'Norwegian Wood' backing track and it needed something. We would usually start looking through the cupboard to see if we could come up with something, a new sound and I picked the sitar up - it was just lying around; I hadn't really figured out what to do with it,' Harrison was quoted as saying in The Be-Atles Anthology. 'It was quite spontaneous: I found the notes that played the lick. It fitted and it worked.' The following year, Harrison gifted the sitar to George Drummond, a friend of Boyd, during the couple's honeymoon in Barbados. The Be-Atles recorded 'Norwegian Wood' - the first Western rock band to use the sitar on a commercial recording - in October 1965, heralding a short lived 'raga-rock' genre. A year later, Harrison travelled to India to learn how to play the instrument properly under the tutelage of the renowned sitar maestro Ravi Shankar. In an interview with the BBC's Mark Tully in April 2000, Shankar said that when he first heard Harrison playing the sitar on 'Norwegian Wood', he was not impressed. 'I couldn't believe it,' he said, 'it sounded so strange. Just imagine some Indian villager trying to play the violin when you know what it should sound like.' Harrison later agreed, saying the sitar on 'Norwegian Wood' was 'very rudimentary. I didn't know how to tune it properly, and it was a very cheap sitar to begin with. But that was the environment in the band, everybody was very open to bringing in new ideas.'
Benny Andersson has confirmed to a Swedish newspaper that plans for 'a virtual reality tour' featuring all four members of ABBA is 'in the works.' He told Expressen: 'We see each other every now and then, we've done a few different things and now we've got a project ahead of us.' The tour, featuring digital avatars of Benny, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog is planned to begin in 2019. 'It will take a bit of time, it takes time to digitalise a face,' he said, adding: 'It's fun that it's so technologically advanced. It will be interesting.'
A very naughty woman has been handed a four-month suspended jail sentence after admitting to stalking the actor Eddie Redmayne. Gaby Stieger, forty nine, repeatedly 'loitered' outside the Oscar winner's house in Southwark and sent him 'love letters' over a period of five years. She was also ordered not to have any contact with, or come within two hundred metres of, Redmayne or his immediate family. The interpreter pleaded extremely guilty to stalking at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. Stieger's prison sentence was suspended for two years. The mother-of-three from Colindale - who is definitely not mental, nor nothing - believed that she and Remayne 'had been married in a former life' and her face would 'contort with rage' whenever she spoke about his actual wife, Hannah Bagshawe. Magistrate Novello Noades, chairwoman of the bench, told Stieger: 'This is a very serious offence - which took place over a period of five years. There was significant planning involved, you moved from Germany to London to be near the victim. You obtained work in the film industry and near the victim's home in order to be in proximity to him.' She added: 'He told you he was distressed but you ignored him.' Redmayne described the distress the stalking caused him and his family in a statement read to the court. He said: 'I always try to be open and friendly as support [from fans] is what gives me a career. I deeply regret having met Gaby Stieger - she harassed myself and my family intermittently over five years, leaving us distressed, unsafe and deeply unsettled.'
A woman accused of stalking Prince George is 'a royal superfan' who is 'in love with their fairytale lives,' her mother has, allegedly, told the Sun. 'Unemployed holistic healer' Louise Chantry, aged forty, who the newspaper state 'was convicted of a hotel fraud this year,' was released on bail. Police arrested Chantry on Wednesday after she allegedly turned up twice in twenty four hours at George's new school. However, her mum Rhona Crawford reportedly said: 'She wouldn't have done any harm to George. He would have been safe with her. She just loves the royal family and loves kids.' One imagines The Royal Protection Service will have been entirely satisfied with this explanation.
A Romanian dish washer accused of smacking women on the bottom as he cycled past them on the street has appeared in court. Either to answer for his jolly naughty ways or to have his innocence proved. That's the justice system for you. Constantin Barbutu is charged with twenty one sexual assaults on nineteen different women over a six-month period. Police in Brighton believe that Barbutu is responsible for at least twenty four complaints about bottom slapping by women in the city between September last year and February this year. According to the Daily Scum Mail he is accused of 'cycling up to the women and spanking them before quickly riding away.' Andrew Walker, prosecuting, said: 'These are twenty one incidents of sexual assault which involves the defendant approaching female members of the public and striking their bottoms before making off.' Walker asked for the case to be referred to a crown court due to the likely length and complexity of a trial. 'Clearly, it is a serious matter,' he added.
A mother was reportedly 'horrified' when she 'spotted a naked man, drugged-up on "spice"' playing football in her back garden. Well, you would be, wouldn't you? The stranger had climbed over two gates and stood outside Dawn Owen's lounge window before he started playing kick-about in the back garden of her property in Lincoln. The sixty one-year-old had been 'startled' by the man moments earlier when he wandered through her home and made his way into the rear garden while she was hanging out the washing. He had 'a vacant look' on his face and acted like he had taken 'spice,' according to Dawn who was 'left terrified' by the encounter. Police arrived after Dawn's call and the man was, subsequently, nabbed by the Bobbies.
Captain Jamaal Lascelles scored his second goal in as many games as yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies beat Dirty Stoke to record their third successive Premier League win and climb into the top four. Excellent. Now, can we just stop the season at this point please cos, that'll do this blogger. Just seconds earlier, the defender had been arguing with referee Stuart Atwell over his refusal to award a penalty to United. That anger appeared to energise Lascelles to make sure he was first to the ball from the resulting corner. Christian Atsu put the hosts in front from a wonderful Matt Ritchie cross in the first half at a rockin' St James' Park, before Xherdan Shaqiri curled in an equaliser from long range. But Lascelles, who headed wide from a similar opportunity before the break, met another quality Ritchie delivery to win the game. While Lascelles will again hog the headlines for his heading prowess as United won three top-flight matches in a row for the first time since 2014, he will doubtless acknowledge Rob Elliot's contribution. The goalkeeper was powerless to prevent Shaqiri from levelling, but pulled off a superb one-handed stop from a Mame Biram Diouf header soon after. Magpies forward Joselu had several chances to put the game beyond his former side, but was wasteful and, when he did get the ball on target, found Potters goalkeeper Jack Butland in good form. At least Joselu put his heart into battling Stoke's defence. How Mark Hughes must have wished the same could be said of the much vaunted Jesé, who proved particularly disappointing. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Diouf spurned decent opportunities but Hughes was not fooled. 'Our loose passing played into Newcastle's hands,' the Dirty Stoke manager said. 'We didn't play particularly well.' It was Stoke's first loss in the league since an opening-day defeat by Everton. This is the first time since 2000 that Newcastle have won three of their opening five Premier League games. Their stay in the top four will probably be brief, but after what appeared to be a summer of frustration, disharmony and missed transfer targets for Rafa The Gaffer, he will be delighted by the performance of the squad at his disposal. The wonderful left foot of Ritchie laid on both goals for the hosts, with Atsu drifting in at the back post to poke home a well-weighted cross for the opener. Lascelles said after the game that Newcastle could have had 'three, four or five' goals, but it was his header that proved to be the winner from another teasing Ritchie delivery. The twenty eight-year-old former Bournemouth winger made three key passes as he and Ghana international Atsu drifted between the lines to cause Dirty Stoke problems, especially in the first half. Joselu, facing his former club for the first time since joining Newcastle in August, was one of those guilty of not putting more gloss on the scoreline, with only one of his five shots finding the target. Shaqiri's brilliance was a rare clinical moment for the visitors, who saw Diouf head wastefully wide when unmarked in stoppage time having earlier sliced off target from inside the area. Dirty Stoke have taken points off The Arse and The Scum in recent weeks, but Hughes called for his side to be more 'vigilant' after they were too easily prised open by Newcastle. Hughes opted for a back three, in which Kurt Zouma shone, as the Moscow Chelski FC loanee won one hundred per cent of his aerial duels and proved a starting point for Dirty Stoke to attack. But it was fellow defenders Bruno Martins Indi and Kevin Wimmer who struggled with Joselu's relentless running before the ex-Potters striker was replaced late on. Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, who was back in the dugout after missing the win at Swansea last week following surgery, said 'Normally I am a little bit more agitated, but today I have to be careful, it will take some time to heal, but at least winning is always easier.'
Elsewhere, Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Sheikh Yer Manc City stormed to the top of the Premier League with a six-nil rout of Watford at Vicarage Road. Aguero laid on a goal for Gabriel Jesus while Nicolas Otamendi and Raheem Sterling also scored in another stunning performance by Pep Guardiola's men. Victory means that City have now scored fifteen goals without reply in their last three games after big wins over Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws last week and Feyenoord in the Champions League in midweek. Watford had started the day hoping to reach the summit themselves but a quickfire double by Aguero either side of the half-hour mark soon erased that unlikely prospect. Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws endured more frustration, being held to a one-one draw by battling Burnley at Anfield. Scott Arfield put The Clarets ahead with their first shot on target and although Mohamed Salah quickly restored parity, Herr Klopp's men failed to turn their dominance into further goals. Philippe Coutinho, welcomed back to Anfield despite handing in a transfer request, was one of a number of home players who came close as they finished with thirty five shots but just nine on target. Roy Hodgson's first game as Crystal Palace Nil manager following the sacking for Frank De Boer, ended in a defeat to Southampton and lumbered The Eagles with another unwanted record. Steven Davis scored the only goal of the game after just six minutes when he tucked the ball home after Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey palmed a Dusan Tadic cross into his path. Their defeat means Palace have become the first top-flight team in history to lose each of their opening five league fixtures without scoring a goal. Huddersfield Town were forced to settle for a one-all draw at home to Leicester City after Elias Kachunga's second-half header was controversially ruled out for offside. Making his full Premier League debut, Laurent Depoitre had put The Terriers in front less than a minute into the second half but Jamie Vardy equalised for The Foxes four minutes later from the spot. Whinging David Wagner's men thought they had won it when Kachunga rifled home and video replays suggested the effort may have been wrongly disallowed. Gareth Barry made his record-equalling six hundred and thirty second Premier League appearance but that was the only redeeming feature of a truly dismal goalless draw between West Bromwich Albinos and West Hamsters United at The Hawthorns. Pedro Obiang hit the bar from long range while James Morrison should have scored for The Baggies in a game of little quality which will nonetheless have eased the pressure on Hamsters boss Slaven Bilic. Stottingtot Hotshots were frustrated by a disciplined Swansea as they lost ground on their title rivals. Spurs, who beat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League at Wembley on Wednesday, are yet to win a Premier League game in their temporary home. The hosts enjoyed seventy five per cent possession in the goalless draw in Saturday's evening game and managed twenty six shots, compared to Swansea's four, with the visitors playing with three centre-backs for much of the game.
Aiden O'Brien scored the only goal as Millwall beat leaders Dirty Leeds one-nil to end the only remaining unbeaten record in The Championship. The Lions dominated the match and O'Brien gave them a deserved victory in the seventy third minute when he tucked home a loose ball in the penalty area. His goal ended a run of six straight clean sheets for Dirty Leeds, who finished with ten men after defender Pontus Jansson went off injured with all three substitutes on the pitch. Cardiff are level on points with Thomas Christiansen's side after Sol Bamba netted a ninety fifth-minute equaliser to snatch a draw against Sheffield Wednesday. The visitors had looked to be on course for a third straight win following Gary Hooper's opener just before the break but they were denied at the death. Wolverhampton Wanderings moved above The Bluebirds on goal difference courtesy of Diogo Jota's double in a two-one victory at Nottingham Forest. The Portuguese midfielder opened the scoring two minutes after half-time and then netted an eighty first-minute winner after the excellently named Mustapha Carayol had drawn Forest level. The Middlesbrough Smog Monsters twice came from behind to beat Queens Park Strangers three-two to move to within a point of the play-off places. David Wheeler and Jamie Mackie scored either side of Lewis Baker's effort to put the visitors in control but goals from Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga won it for The Smoggies. Yanic Wildschut scored the only goal as Norwich became the first side to leave Sheffield United with three points this season. David Meyler rescued a late point for Hull after James Vaughan had given Blunderland hope of a first win in six games - The Mackem Filth having lost their previous four games in a row - while Reading also snatched a one-one draw at Brentford as Liam Kelly's penalty cancelled out Josh Clarke's early opener. Fourth-placed Preston Both Ends scored three second-half goals as they came from behind to win three-one and pile more pressure on Birmingham boss Hapless Harry Redknapp. Maxime Colin scored before the break to put The Blues ahead but goals from Daniel Johnson, Jordan Hugill and Tom Barkhuizen inflicted a fifth straight defeat on Redknapp's side. And, within a couple of hours, Hapless Harry got the old tin-tack. Which, admittedly, was very funny. Bristol City banged in four goals after the interval to hammer Derby County four-one. Gary Rowett's side took the lead through Matej Vydra's first-half spot-kick only for goals from Cauley Woodrow, Bobby Reid, Jamie Paterson and Famara Diedhiou to give the in-form Robins all three points. Goals from Stephen Warnock and Lucas Akins earned Burton Albinos a two-one win over Fulham, who had equalised through Oliver Norwood, while Cole Skuse and David McGoldrick struck as Ipswich beat bottom side Notlob two-nil. Albert Adomah scored twice as Aston Villains beat Barnsley to earn only their second Championship win of the season. The twenty nine-year-old capitalised on an error by Tykes goalkeeper Adam Davies to tap into an empty net, before doubling The Villains's lead from the spot after Keinan Davis was fouled. Davis himself made it three-nil after the break, heading home to spoil Barnsley's one hundred and thirtieth anniversary celebrations at Oakwell.
Shrewsbury pulled five points clear at the top of League One after a seventh win in eight games, this time winning two-one at Oldham Not Very Athletic. The in-form Stefan Payne slid in to open the scoring, though he injured himself in the process. Craig Davies equalised and then sent Eoin Doyle through to hit the post, but Jon Nolan's well-taken goal sealed the points for the leaders before Doyle was sent off in stoppage time. Second-placed Peterborough were controversially held to a one-all draw against Walsall and were joined on seventeen points by Bradford and Blackpool, who both won on Saturday. The Posh trailed to Erhun Oztumer's first-half goal and while they drew level through Gwion Edwards' mishit scissor-kick, then were left seething after a late Junior Morias goal was disallowed for offside. Blackpool were quickly into their stride against Oxford, Kyle Vassell opening the scoring from twenty five yards in the sixth minute and Callum Cooke also on target from long range ten minutes later. Despite James Henry's late consolation, Vassell scored again to make it three-one. Romain Vincelot headed the only goal midway through the first half for Bradford against a Rotherham team who had Joe Mattock sent off. Nick Powell scored but then went off injured before half-time in Wigan's three-nil win over Bristol Rovers. Powell curled home a free-kick after Ryan Sweeney was sent off and Will Grigg tucked away the second from Nathan Byrne's cross. Jamie Jones preserved the Latics' clean sheet with a penalty save from Ellis Harrison after Lee Evans handled Tom Nichols' free-kick, and Gavin Massey scored a late third with a solo effort. Portsmouth enjoyed a largely comfortable afternoon, beating Fleetwood four-one at Fratton Park. Brett Pitman book-ended the scoring, despite collecting a bloody nose as he nipped in ahead of defender Cian Bolger to head the opener. Jamal Lowe also scored twice. Devante Cole had briefly drawn Fleetwood level with the pick of the goals, a superb volley. MK Dons came out on top in a pulsating five-goal home encounter with Rochdale, helped by two goals form Gboly Ariyibi. The striker cancelled out Brad Inman's opener and then put the hosts ahead with a ferocious twenty five-yard strike. Matty Done equalised before half-time but Ryan Seager grabbed a late winner after being sent through by Ousseynou Cisse. Gillingham moved out of the relegation zone with their first win of the season, one-nil over Charlton as Tom Eaves turned in Max Ehmer's low cross. Southend scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half to draw two-two with Northampton. The Cobblers had led through Leon Barnett's effort, via a deflection off Nile Ranger and Matt Crooks' twenty-yard curler but Jason Demetriou's deflected effort and Anthony Wordsworth's deft finish levelled matters. Kwesi Appiah's solo goal was enough for AFC Wimbledon to win at Blackburn Vindaloos while Bury and Plymouth, both in the bottom three, drew nil-nil.
A stand which partially collapsed during an England international cricket match, injuring three people, had just passed a safety test, officials said. A hole appeared in one of the stands at Durham's Emirates Riverside stadium at about 9.30pm BST on Saturday during a Twenty20 match. No-one was seriously hurt, although one person was taken to hospital. In a statement, Durham County Cricket Club claimed that the stand had passed a safety inspection in the last week. About two hundred spectators in the stand were moved to other areas of the ground as a precaution by stewards and police. The ambulance service responded to a nine-nine-nine call from the ground and took one of the three injured fans to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary. The club statement said: 'During the course of the second innings between England versus West Indies at Emirates Riverside, three spectators were injured when a small section of the North-East Terrace flooring became unstable causing them to fall. Stewards took precautionary action and evacuated that area of the stand efficiently. The stand is a permanent fixture at the venue and had passed inspections in the week prior to the match.'
As an 'internationally renowned expert' and author of a 'critically acclaimed and best-selling' book on British horror movies (apparently!) yer actual Keith Telly Topping was due to appear on BBC Newcastle's Breakfast Show with Alfie Joey and Anna Foster on Friday morning talking about why horrors, thrillers, chillers and spookies are so addictive. However, due to the breaking news of the awful terrorist incident at Parsons Green Tube Station, the segment was called off half-an-hour before it was due to take place. Entirely understandable, obviously, the last thing anyone wants to be talking about - or listening to - whilst something awful has happened is a light-hearted piece on the subject of being scared. The real world, dear blog reader, is often far more horrible than any horror movie could ever be.
Grant Hart, the drummer, singer and songwriter with the influential 1980s indie rock band Hüsker Dü, has died after being diagnosed with liver cancer. The death of the fifty six-year-old from Minnesota was confirmed by his former band-mate, Bob Mould, on Facebook on Thursday. Hüsker Dü - Danish for 'Do you remember?' - rose to fame in the 1980s with their melodic take on punk rock. They had something a cult following in the UK, where they were regularly championed by the NME and John Peel. This blogger saw the band live at The Riverside in 1986. It was one of the loudest gigs Keith Telly Topping ever attended. And one of the best. Though their records didn't score highly on the mainstream charts, they were a hugely influential part of a new wave of independent American bands that was springing up across the US. These included fellow Minneapolitans Soul Asylum and The Replacements and Georgia-based R.E.M, while Boston's Pixies and the grunge scene centring on Seattle would draw inspiration from Hüsker Dü's music and independent ethic. Mould recalled meeting Hart whilst studying at university in 1978. The two met at a local record shop as punk music blared over the stereo, Mould said on Facebook. 'The next nine years of my life was spent side-by-side with Grant. We made amazing music together,' he said. 'The band was our life. It was an amazing decade,' he added, saying that Hart was 'a gifted visual artist, a wonderful story-teller and a frighteningly talented musician. Everyone touched by his spirit will always remember [that].' Grant was born in South St Paul, Minnesota, the youngest of three children. His mother worked at a credit union and his father was a teacher; it was 'a typical American dysfunctional family,' Grant recalled. When Grant was ten, his oldest brother, Tom, was killed in a car accident. Grant inherited Tom's drum kit and record collection and began learning to play drums and guitar. He cut his performing teeth playing in bands in high school. Grant first met the future Hüsker Dü bass player Greg Norton after he took a job at the Melody Lane record store. Later, he met Mould in 1978 while working at Cheapo Records in St Paul, where Mould was a student at the nearby Macalester College. 'One block from my dormitory was a tiny store,' Mould said. 'There was a PA system set up near the front door blaring punk rock. I went inside and ended up hanging out with the only person in the shop. His name was Grant Hart.' After an experimental gig at the local Randolph Inn with Mould and some of Hart's record store colleagues (as Buddy & The Returnables), the Hüsker Dü trio of Hart, Mould and Norton was born. As they worked up their material at local clubs in Minneapolis, the band were initially heavily influenced by punk and the hardcore rock coming out of California, but this was not particularly to Hart's taste. 'I didn't really enjoy playing hardcore,' he said later. 'It was just such a damn boring job for a drummer.' With his hippy hairstyle and fondness for playing in his bare feet, Grant did not look the part of a hardcore rocker either. Hüsker Dü released the live Land Speed Record on the New Alliance label and their first studio LP, Everything Falls Apart (1983), on their own Reflex Records, then signed to the prestigious California-based SST Records, formed by Black Flag's guitarist, Greg Ginn. The group moved beyond their limiting hardcore origins with Zen Arcade (1984), writing material that incorporated psychedelia, folk and rock'n'roll (the LP had been preceded by the single release of Hüsker Dü's scintillating cover of The Byrds' acid-rock classic 'Eight Miles High'). Hart wrote or co-wrote eleven of Zen Arcade's twenty three songs, including 'Pink Turns To Blue' and 'Turn On The News'. The following year, Hart was again in fine creative form with New Day Rising, contributing such highlights as 'The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill' and 'Books About UFOs'. The LP reached number ten on the independent chart in the UK (one place higher than Zen Arcade), where journalists had been quicker to appreciate Hüsker Dü's qualities than those in the US. Flip Your Wig (1985) did better still, reaching number one on the British indie chart and, in 1986, they signed to Warner Brothers. Candy Apple Grey (1986) was their first LP for their new major label partner and the singles from it, 'Sorry Somehow' and 'Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely', were both written and sung by Grant. The latter was subsequently covered by Green Day. Warehouse: Songs And Stories (1987) proved to be Hüsker Dü's last, with the Mould-Hart rivalry reaching a peak. Grant recalled that Mould had declared an equal songwriting split 'is never going to happen in this band.' The group split up acrimoniously following a tour in support of the LP, with Hart's heroin addiction being blamed, though the suicide of the group's manager, David Savoy, just before the tour began was a crippling blow. After Hüsker Dü split, Grant released the solo EP 2541 (1988), followed by the LP Intolerance (1989) and another EP, All Of My Senses (1990). In late 1989 he formed his own trio, The Nova Mob, who would release the CDs The Last Days Of Pompeii (1991) and Nova Mob (1994). Grant reverted to solo work and released the live CD Ecce Homo (1995) and Good News For Modern Man (1999). Hot Wax followed in 2009 and his last completed CD was The Argument (2013), a musical interpretation of a treatment of John Milton's Paradise Lost by the Beat poet William Burroughs. In October 2013, Gorman Bechard released a film biography of Hart called Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times Of Grant Hart. At the time of his death, Grant was working on a concept CD about Ted Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber. A collection of unreleased songs and live recordings from the early days of Hüsker Dü, called Savage Young Dü, is due for release in November. Grant is survived by his wife Brigid McGough Hart, his son Karl Turbenson, granddaughter Grace and siblings Nett Hart, Roxanne Hart and Craig Hart.
One of this blogger's favourite actors, Harry Dean Stanton, best known for his roles in movies like The Godfather II, Alien and Cool Hand Luke, has died of natural causes at the age of ninety one. The subject of the late critic Roger Ebert's 'Stanton Walsh Rule' which stated 'No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad,' Harry was famed for his ability to project his hang-dog, laconic charm into relatively minor roles, which ensured he worked continuously for his long career.
Directors who cast him include David Lynch, Sam Peckinpah, Ridley Scott, Alex Cox and Wim Wenders, yet, to the outrage of many, he was never nominated for an Oscar or any of the other principal acting awards. The Kentucky-born actor had a career which spanned more than six decades, appearing in dozens of films, including 1984's Paris, Texas and Repo Man. More recently, he appeared in thirty episodes of the hit HBO show Big Love and in this year's revival of the cult classic Twin Peaks: The Return. Stanton's last role was in John Carroll Lynch's Lucky, a film to be released later this month. Harry died at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles on Friday, his agent John Kelly said in a statement. He added that Harry was 'beloved in the entertainment industry' and earned a reputation for his 'meticulous preparation' and easygoing personality. Twin Peaks creator David Lynch, who had cast Stanton in his films The Straight Story, Inland Empire, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Wild At Heart said: 'There's nobody like Harry Dean. Everyone loved him. And with good reason. He was a great actor (actually beyond great) and a great human being.'
John Carpenter, who directed Stanton in Escape From New York, also paid tribute to the actor, calling him 'a wonderful man.' Harry had credited his close friend Jack Nicholson with giving him a key professional advice: 'Let the wardrobe do the acting and just play yourself.' 'After Jack said that, my whole approach to acting opened up,' he told Entertainment Weekly. Harry was born in West Irvine in 1926 to a tobacco farmer father. He followed his mother's profession, as a cook, when he joined the navy and was on-board a ship during the battle of Okinawa in 1945. He became interested in acting during his time studying journalism at the University of Kentucky. He started to attend acting classes at the Pasadena Playhouse in 1949 where he acted alongside Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall. Harry had ambitions to be a writer as well as an actor, but, as he told the Observer in 2013, he 'surrendered' to acting. In the ensuing two decades, Stanton secured a string of tiny roles in TV shows and low-budget films, including The Adventures Of Rin Tin Tin, Gunsmoke and Johnny Ringo. One of his earliest features was the Western The Proud Rebel (1958), in which he played the first of many villains, in this instance, framing Alan Ladd for starting a brawl. For most of the 1960s, Harry was a regular in TV horse operas like Laramie, Have Gun, Will Travel, Bonanza and Rawhide. In the cinema, he was noticed as an evil outlaw with an eyepatch in Monte Hellman's cultish low-budget Western Ride In The Whirlwind (1965), written by and starring Jack Nicholson. Harry was best man at Nicholson's marriage in 1962 and the pair lived together in Laurel Canyon after Nicholson's divorce in 1968.
One of Harry's more memorable appearances in this period was as a singing convict in the 1967 Paul Newman classic, Cool Hand Luke, in which he performed the gospel song 'Just A Closer Walk With Thee'. He also, reportedly, taught Newman the song his character sings in the movie, 'I Don't Care If It Rains Or Freezes, Long As I Got My Plastic Jesus'.
However, Stanton's weatherbeaten visage and anti-heroic mien suited 1970s cinema and the rise of the Hollywood new wave and his roles slowly increased in significance. He played one of the American soldiers in Kelly's Heroes, a gay hitchhiker in Two Lane Blacktop, Monte Hellman's existential road movie from 1971 and the outlaw Homer Van Meter in the John Milius-directed Dillinger in 1973. More cult roles followed: in Hellman's Cockfighter, the little-liked 1975 Farewell My Lovely remake and alongside Marlon Brando and Nicholson Missouri Breaks. He was convincing in Straight Time (1978) as an ex-con, bored with his middle-class existence, who, while lying beside his pool, asks Dustin Hoffman, planning a heist, to 'Get me outta here!' He also appeared in Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (1973). Stanton recalled that during the latter, he became friends with Bob Dylan. 'We hung out quite a bit during the shoot,' he said. 'Drove together all the way from Guadalajara, Mexico, to Kansas City together. We jammed together quite a bit.' Harry sang with Dylan and Joan Baez in the sprawling film that Dylan directed, Renaldo & Clara (1978). In John Huston's Wise Blood, Harry was excellent as a fraudulent blind preacher. He then proved his versatility in three comedies: as the smooth-talking recruiting sergeant in Private Benjamin (1980), who gets Goldie Hawn to sign up to the allegedly 'new' army; as the pathetic chain-smoking dognapping vet in The Black Marble (1980) and announcing that 'there are over one hundred bodily fluids and I have tasted each and every one of them,' as a medic in Young Doctors In Love (1982). Other than a walk-on role as an FBI agent in The Godfather Part II, commercially successful films seemed to elude Harry by that would change after Ridley Scott cast him as a crew-member of the Nostromo in the SF shocker Alien, overcoming Harry's own reluctance to take on 'a monster movie.'
Stanton went on to find work with a new generation of film-makers in the 1980s: the key role of Brain Escape From New York, a speed-sniffing car repossessor in Alex Cox's Repo Man and - rather against type - as Molly Ringwald's hopeless dad in the hugely successful teen romance Pretty In Pink. Harry's off-kilter performance in Repo Man, passing on his philosophy of life to his protégé (Emilio Estevez), perfectly gelled with the sensibilities of the tale involving punk-rockers and creatures from another planet. The same period also saw what will no doubt be regarded as Stanton's most emblematic role: the near mute Travis Henderson in Wim Wenders' Palme d'Or winning Paris, Texas. Having got drunk with his friend the writer Sam Shepard, Harry found himself offered the lead in the film - his first - at the age of fifty eight. He later told the Los Angeles Times he was 'finally playing the part I wanted to play. If I never did another film after this, I'd be happy.' In the movie, he is first seen walking alone in the Texan desert and does not speak for the opening twenty minutes. Harry's attraction to Eastern philosophy and spirituality may have helped his still, eloquent performance, brilliantly evoking an outsider, a voyeur of life. 'I can't relate to the Judaic-Christian concept at all,' he once claimed. 'It's a fascistic concept. All fear-based. All about there being a boss. Someone in charge. A creator.'
However, well-received as it was, Paris, Texas did not transform Harry into a leading man; rather it increased the popularity and budget of the films he was asked to take supporting roles in. He played Saint Paul in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation Of Christ, Toot Toot in Stephen King adaptation The Green Mile and began a profitable relationship with Lynch, first appearing in Wild At Heart in 1990. Harry continued to work steadily through the 1990s and 2000s, averaging two or three films a year - of often variable quality, it has to be admitted. These ranged from the Adam Sandler comedy Anger Management to the Sally Potter-directed drama The Man Who Cried, to the Kelsey Grammer submarine comedy Down Periscope. He had a long-running role in the HBO series Big Love, playing the self-styled 'prophet' Roman Grant.
As he moved into his mid-eighties, his output began to slow; however, he did have brief appearances in superhero movie The Avengers and Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths and recapped his role as trailer park owner Carl Rodd for Twin Peaks: The Return, in the process appearing in one of the most-acclaimed sequences of the much-acclaimed series, empathetically comforting the grieving mother of a child who had just been killed in a hit-and-run incident.
Apart from his busy film schedule, Stanton had a parallel career as a musician, on guitar and singing in The Harry Dean Stanton Band, which played their own attractive mixture of mariachi and jazz. He lived alone in a house on LA's Mulholland Drive, where his doormat reportedly read, 'Welcome UFOs.' In 1996, he happened to be home when burglars struck, tied him up and pistol-whipped him before stealing some expensive electronics and taking off in his car. They were soon apprehended after the car was traced by a tracking device. Harry, thankfully, suffered only minor injuries. Harry was phlegmatic about his place in the film industry eco-system, telling the Observer: 'In the end, you end up accepting everything in your life - suffering, horror, love, loss, hate - all of it. It's all a movie anyway.' Despite a number of relationships, notably with Rebecca DeMornay in the early 1980s, Stanton never married. He rarely talked publicly about his private life, though he once claimed that he had 'one or two children.'