Saturday, December 02, 2017

A Right Royal Malarkey

BBC America have released a teaser for the Doctor Who Christmas episode Twice Upon A Time via their Twitter feed to promote the broadcast of the special on Christmas Day.
Meanwhile, dear blog reader, the Radio Times have been getting Peter and David to look very festive.
This year's annual Doctor Who cover for the Radio Times appears on the issue covering 9 December to 15 December and features an image of yer actual Peter Capaldi. Inside the magazine there is a six page feature on the long-running BBC family SF drama, including interviews with The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) and David Bradley, plus an item on Radio Times coverage of the twelfth Doctor's era over the last few years. Speaking about the arrival of the new Doctor, The Moff explained why casting a woman hadn't occurred when he first took over, even though he had previously introduced a female Doctor in the form of Joanna Lumley in The Curse Of Fatal Death: 'If we'd replaced David Tennant with a woman it wouldn't have worked. It was too early. We could have replaced Matt Smith with a woman, given that his Doctor was more sexless and less of a lad, but then I got obsessed with seeing Peter in the TARDIS.'
Broadcast reports that the upcoming series of Doctor Who is being shot with different cameras to give the series 'a new filmic look.' The magazine claims that that the production house Films At Fifty Nine has supplied BBC Studios in Cardiff with Cooke anamorphic Prime lenses and Angenieux Optimo anamorphic zooms that will be used with Arri Alexa XT and Alex Mini cameras. Apparently. The intention is 'to bring an increased cinematic look' to the show which went into production at the end of October. Films At Fifty Nine hire client manager Dave Wride told Broadcast: 'The BBC have made a monumental leap here to enhance the look of Doctor Who and I'm sure the fans will not be disappointed with the distinctly cinematic results that this lens and camera combo will afford them.' The new lens is one of a number of changes being made by the new production team led by Executive Producers Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens, in what is expected to be a major reboot for the series. Earlier this month the Mirra reported that composer Murray Gold is also to leave after this year's Christmas Special, but this has not been confirmed by the BBC.
Denmark is the latest country to be added to the list of those showing this year's Christmas Special on the big screen, with the ticket sales site Kino now listing details about the presentation. The presentations take place in the usual CinemaxX København, CinemaxX Aarhus and CinemaxX Odense on 26 December at 4pm local time, 27 December (6:30pm) and 31 December (midday). Full details on how to book can be found via their website.
Lovarzi have launched the latest in their range of Doctor Who merchedise, a TARDIS Knitted Tie. Why in the name of blithering fek anyone would want a TARDIS knitted tie is another question entirely. But, perhaps, one best left for another day. According to the press release, the TARDIS has been an iconic symbol of Doctor Who since the show's first episode in 1963 (you knew that, right?); this 'exclusively-designed tie' is Lovarzi's 'celebration of the blue box that's as instantly-recognisable as The Daleks, Cybermen, and the Fourth Doctor's multi-coloured scarf.' It says here. The tie is made in Italy from high-quality wool and acrylic (and, definitely not in the Far East by impoverished eight year olds). It is 'soft, and resistant to fading' and 'available in blue and grey.' It comes in a black presentation box, foil-printed with the Doctor Who logo. Which, once you've decided to take the tie out and actually, you know, wear it, is a bit pointless, frankly. Maninder Singh Sahota, Director of Lovarzi, says: 'We've spent countless hours finessing our Doctor Who releases this year and I can't wait to unveil them to fandom. What better way to start our 2017-18 collection than with the TARDIS Ties, featuring one of the most beautiful and memorable designs in televisual history?' This is the second Doctor Who tie unique to Lovarzi, following a multi-coloured knitted tie in 2015. The TARDIS Knitted Tie is available now, priced the surprisingly expensive £24.99, from Lovarzi.
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Number One: Dave Gorman's throwaway comment on the latest episode of Modern Life Is Goodish: 'At the start of this show I told you that I was nine hundred and eighty pounds in the hole for buying my taxi and my mannequin. I also explained how I succeeded in earning one hundred and eighty pounds working the strip clubs. And, if you're tuning in late I am aware that's going to sound very confusing!'
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Number Two: An uneven - though occasionally brilliant - episode of Have I Got News For You featured two highlights, both from the dazzling wit of yer man Richard Osman. Firstly describing President (and hairdo) Donald Trump's life as 'continuing to be a cross between Last Of The Summer Wine and The Omen!' And then, when presented with 'Anger after woman told she can't [blank] on EasyJet flight from Newcastle Airport' in the Missing Words round, suggesting 'is it take a dump on Sunderland?' Oh, if only it were Richard. And, in answer to the lovely Katherine Ryan's subsequent question about what pease pudding is, it's fucking horrible, Kat. That's all you need to know.
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Number Three: A great moment in the latest episode in Qi's O series. A list of obscure medical terms that are genuine organs found in different animals appeared on screen. These included such innuendo-delicious items as a 'sperm stomach' and a 'smart vagina'. 'Have you got a smart vagina?' Liza Turbuck asked Sandi Toksvig. 'It's terribly tidy,' Sandi replied. 'I have a woman in twice a week.' Well, that's honesty for you.
We all know that the very lovely Sandi has been doing a reet grand job hosting Qi and Qi XL since Stephen Fry stepped down from the gig in 2015. However, the Qi Elves have delivered a Christmas treat for Qi fans this week and reunited Stephen with long-serving panellist Alan Davies for a clip in which the two open their Christmas presents. Lucky Stephen gets with the collector's edition DVD of his whole time on Qi, whilst Unlucky Alan has to make do with the Boring: The Complete History Of Tunnel Digging & Hole Drilling box-set. And, he already had that, obviously. The video was made to celebrate the release of volumes three and four of The Complete Qi, meaning that the full four-volume box-set containing all thirteen of the Stephen Fry years on the popular comedy game show (series A to M) are now available to buy. For a bloody eye-watering price. The full box-set includes all one hundred and eighty six episodes with Stephen at the helm, as well as sixteen hours of bonus features, including: three hours of deleted material, two behind-the-scenes documentaries, and unbroadcast live episode of Qi, exclusive interview with Stephen and Qi creator John Lloyd, and the rudest pre-show banter.
Mrs Brown's Boys will return for two festive shows on the BBC, with other Christmas highlights including a Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders reunion. The comedy duo are together again for the first time in a decade, to mark their thirtieth anniversary. Victoria Wood is being celebrated with Our Friend Victoria, which will show clips of the late comedienne. So, that should be well worth avoiding. The two Mrs Brown's Boys episodes will be broadcast over Christmas and New Year. Our Friend Victoria will also include 'anecdotes from Wood's famous friends, including Dame Julie Walters, Anne Reid and Reece Shearsmith.' Shearsmith also returns with Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson in three new episodes of The League Of Gentlemen on BBC2. There's more comedy on BBC2 with Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How & Whom? - a documentary looking at the character's career. It will feature interviews from the team of writers and performers who created the Partridge character, including actor Steve Coogan, as well as archive footage from the past twenty five years. Other highlights of the Christmas schedule include Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders learning about their favourite tipple in Absolutely Champers, the Sports Personality Of The Year Awards ceremony, The Apprentice finale, Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show, Z-List Pointless Celebrities and Celebrity Mastermind. There's also David Walliams' Grandpa's Great Escape (use your remote control wisely, dear blog reader). Mary Berry will reunite with Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins for the first time since the trio left The Great British Bake Off. Big Christmas Thank You will see them visit a community centre in South Wales to bring festive cheer. Berry will make a special Christmas dinner for residents while Mel and Sue help give the centre a makeover.
The BBC iPlayer is upping its game in the battle to take on Netflix and Amazon - by dropping a raft of box sets on the service in time for Christmas. Releases will include Taboo, starring Tom Hardy, the first three series of Peaky Blinders and Golden Globe-winning drama, Wolf Hall. Every regeneration episode of Doctor Who since 2005 (all three of them) will also be on offer. The box sets will be available from 16 December with most series made available for thirty days. It is the first time the BBC has put so many complete series on the iPlayer in one go. Every series of both Line Of Duty and Happy Valley and series three and four of Sherlock will also be available. Classic Christmas EastEnders' episodes including such heart-warming family favourites as Den and Angie's divorce papers (1986) and Max and Stacey's affair (2007) are going to be available too. The full original series of 2001's The Blue Planet, 2006's Planet Earth, this year's Planet Earth II and 2011's Frozen Planet are also included. Comedy offerings include Miranda, Inside Number Nine, Fleabag whilst 'alleged comedy but actually about as funny as a good hard kick in the Jacob's Cream Crackers' highlights (and, one uses that word quite wrongly) Gavin & Stacey and Bad Education can be viewed. Though, this blogger wouldn't recommend either on a full stomach. BBC Director General Tony Hall has previously said that he wants to boost the iPlayer's profile. 'We need it to make the leap from a catch-up service to a must-visit destination in its own right,' he said. Charlotte Moore, director of content at the BBC, said: 'There is no need to go anywhere else this Christmas because we have an even richer offer across the BBC than ever before. We are always home to the very best British programmes during the festive season but with so much content to fit in, it's fantastic to give audiences a special gift on iPlayer to complement our schedule.'
'I run a factory full of blacklegged non-union labour. I live in a street full of men laid off or on strike. I get spat at, my windows are smashed, there's petrol thrown on my curtains, but for fear of you I clock in every fucking morning. Today two men were shot and burned on my shift and you ask me why I'm getting on the midnight train to Glasgow?' The Gruniad's Sarah Hughes's review of the latest episode of Peaky Blinders can be checked out here, dear blog reader. Whilst the Independent's review, by Christopher Hooton, is here.
One of this blog's most favourite Top Telly Things, The Curse Of Bigging Oneself Up On MasterChef: The Professionals struck again, big-style on Tuesday's episode. As usual, the episode opened with a handful of the chefs taking part talking on-camera about how much they fancied their chances in the competition. 'I'm very competitive, I'm not taking this lying down and I've got something to prove,' boasted Tom. At which point the overwhelming majority of the audience who watch this show regularly and know exactly what happens when the producers chose to include interview segments like that one thought, collectively, 'that's him going out in the first round, then.' And, so it proved. Contrast that with the two other chefs featured in the intro, Jon and Tasso, both of whom said that they wanted to do very well in the competition, rather than that they expected to. A necessary difference, one feels. In the event, both managed to progress - Tasso with two superb dishes, Jon with a rather shaky skills round but with a signature dish that actually shocked Marcus Wareing (in a good way, this time unlike that occasion when he was shocked in a very bad way last week). A reminder to all future MasterChef contestants, if any were needed, of what this blog has been highlighting for years now with regard to all of the various MasterChef formats. If you're contestant and you're asked during the pre-game interviews 'how good do you think you are?' unless you are pretty damn sure that you're going to get through the opening round do not, for the love of all that is tasty, big-up yer own bad self. Cos if you do and then it turns out that you're not quite as shit-hot as you think you are, you're only asking for national humiliation!
The mid-series finale of Gotham - Things That Go Boom - was broadcast this week. And it was thoroughly large. There's a well-written review of it which you can read here.
Here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Five programmes broadcast in the UK during the week-ending Sunday 26 November 2017:-
1 Blue Planet II - Sun BBC1 - 12.62m
2 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 11.29m
3 I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) - Mon ITV - 10.90m
4 Coronation Street - Wed ITV - 8.32m
5 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.06m
6 Michael McIntyre's Big Show - Sat BBC1 - 7.00m
7 Emmerdale - Wed ITV - 6.90m
8 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 6.85m
9 The Apprentice - Wed BBC1 - 6.57m
10 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.29m
11 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.19m
12= The X-Factor - Sun ITV - 5.11m
12= BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.11m
14 Howards End - Sun BBC1 - 4.89m
15 Pointless Z-List Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.65m
16 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.61m
17 Elizabeth & Philip: Love & Duty - Mon BBC1 - 4.15m
18 Love, Lies & Records - Thurs BBC1 - 4.14m
19 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.04m
20 The A Word - Tues BBC1 - 3.99m
21 Would I Lie To You? - Mon BBC1 - 3.95m
22 The Martin Lewis Money Show Live - Tues ITV - 3.90m
23 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.75m
24 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 3.75m
25 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.65m
These consolidated figures - published weekly by those smashing people at 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 programmes on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. Why? They just do, all right? Don't which at yer actual Keith Telly Topping, dear blog reader, he doesn't make the rules. The return of Sir David Attenborough to BBC1 continues to dominate all before it. ITV's entire twenty most watched broadcasts of the week were episodes of just three programmes, I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want), Coronation Street and Emmerdale, almost certainly meaning that this was the first week since it began in 2004 that an episode of The X Factor didn't feature in the channel's top twenty in a week where a new episode was broadcast. The Sunday night Strictly Come Dancing results episode had a consolidated audience of 11.08 million punters. The X-Factor, on the other hand, drew a total of but 4.87 million viewers for its Saturday episode. One imagines that's not really the sort of figure that either Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads or ITV (or, more specifically, ITV's advertisers) would consider to be an acceptable audience whatever they might be telling the Gruniad Morning Star to the contrary. Peaky Blinders - rightly - topped BBC2' weekly top thirty with 3.31 million viewers, ahead of MasterChef: The Professionals which continues to do excellent business for Beeb2, with the three nightly episodes attracting audiences of 3.21 million (Tuesday), 3.10 million (Wednesday) and 3.10 million (Thursday). University Challenge had 2.86 million punters. Rugby Union coverage drew 2.53 million, followed by Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain (2.12 million), Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two (2.11 million), Nigella (She Has Her Knockers): At My Table with, 2.08 million, Rick Stein: The Road To Mexico (2.02 million) and The Apprentice - You're Fired!, two million. Z-List Celebrity Antiques Road Trip was watched by 1.70 million, Dad's Army by 1.49 million, the woefully unfunny Motherland, also by 1.49 million, Expedition Volcano, by 1.48 million and Qi, by 1.26 million. Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast, now that The Great British Bake Off, has finished, was for Gogglebox with 2.76 million. Coastal Railways With Julie Walters (2.43 million) and F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Live (2.20 million) came thereafter. Guy Martin Versus The Robot Car had 2.09 million viewers, The Secret Life Of Five Year Olds, 1.96 million, The Secret Life Of The Zoo, 1.90 million, Jamie & Jimmy's Friday Night Feasts, 1.51 million, Ugly House To Lovely House With George Clarke, 1.44 million, Grand Designs: House Of the Year, 1.35 million, First Dates, 1.28 million, The Last Leg With Adam Hills, 1.26 million and Trump: An American Dream, 1.23 million. Channel Five's top performer was the forty third terrestrial showing of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, with an audience of 1.79 million. Sinkholes: Buried Underground, Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railways Journeys, the movie A Christmas To Remember and Jo Brand's Cats & Kittens rounded-off Five's most-watched list with audiences of 1.74 million, 1.19 million, 1.18 million and 1.14 million. Premier League action was back on Sky Sports Premier League. Huddersfield Town's defeat by Sheikh Yer Man City was seen by three hundred and fifty seven thousand plus eight hundred and ten thousand on Sky Sports Main Events. West Hamsters United's clash with Leicester City drew two hundred and eighteen thousand and three hundred and twenty seven thousand on Main Event. The live rugby international between England and Samoa was Main Event's highest non-football related audience with three hundred and nine thousand (one hundred and twelve thousand also watched on Sky Sports Action). Gillette Soccer Saturday was watched by two hundred and eighty thousand punters on SS PL, seventy one thousand on Sky Sports football and an unspecified number of viewers on Sky Sports News (which didn't post any figures at all this week). Now that is unbelievable, Jeff. Live EFL, Sheffield United versus Birmingham City attracted one hundred and seventy eight thousand viewers of Sky Sports Football. Valencia against Barcelona had one hundred and thirty two thousand and Barnsley versus Dirty Leeds, ninety six thousand. Live Abu Djabi Grand Prix coverage, was Sky Sports Mix's, most watched broadcast with one hundred and nineteen thousand. The oddly addictive NFL Redzone had twenty nine thousand. Sky Sports Cricket's highest audience of the week was live coverage of the second India versus Sri Lanka test with twenty two thousand. And, one imagines the chaps over at Sky are now absolutely delighted that they didn't get the rights to The Ashes this time around. Once again, Sky Sports F1 didn't post any figures for this particular week. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by The Flash with eight hundred and twenty nine thousand viewers and Marvel's Inhumans, by seven hundred and fifty nine thousand. The - Very Unfunny - Russell Howard Hour continued with five hundred and eighty three thousand whilst Supergirl had five hundred and seventy six thousand. That rancid stream of festering spew Bounty Hunters, featuring odious, unfunny lanky streak of piss Bloody Jack Bloody Whitehall, was watched by five hundred and forty eight thousand. For shame, people of Great Britain, for absolute shame. Sky Arts' Landscape Artist Of The Year was seen by one hundred and seventy eight thousand viewers. Fairport Convention: Folk Heroes drew fifty two thousand. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by a repeat of Game Of Thrones with one hundred and five thousand. Curb Your Enthusiasm attracted ninety six thousand and Babylon Berlin, ninety four thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of The Good Doctor drew by nine hundred and ninety nine thousand whilst Criminal Minds, had eight hundred and nineteen thousand. Blindspot attracted six hundred and thirty two thousand and Grey's Anatomy, five hundred and thirty seven thousand. Collateral Beauty was the big movie of Sky Cinema Premiere, seen by three hundred and seven thousand. Twelve Days Of Giving drew one hundred and thirteen thousand. Endeavour was ITV3's top-rated drama (five hundred and seventy six thousand viewers). Midsomer Murders was seen by five hundred and thirty two thousand. Darts: Players Championship Live was seen by three hundred and ninety four thousand people on ITV4. ITV2's list of shame was headed I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) ... Extra Camp, watched by 1.12 million sad, crushed victims of society. We live in strange and troubling times, dear blog reader. Vera topped ITV Encore's top ten with sixty thousand viewers, followed by The Frankenstein Chronicles (fifty three thousand). Shallow and appalling tripe Tamara's World, was viewed by two hundred and sixty eight thousand of exactly the sort of specimens who enjoy such risible and ugly exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. Similarly wretched conceit, The Real Housewives Of New York was seen by two hundred and forty one thousand. Broken Britain in a sentence, dear blog reader. BBC4's top-ten was headed by the third episode of the current series of Detectorists (a superb 1.59 million) and the imported French drama Witness: A Frozen Death (1.20 million for the first episode, nine hundred and fifty four thousand for the second). The return of from The North favourite Digging For Britain attracted 1.09 million viewers. This blogger is not sure whether this is the first time ever that three BBC4 programmes during the same week have had an audience of more than one million but, if it has happened before, it's certainly not a regular occurrence. SAS: Rogue Warriors drew five hundred and forty four thousand, Top Of The Pops 1979, five hundred thousand and The Mekong River With Sue Perkins, four hundred and ninety six thousand. 5USA's latest Chicago PD episode was viewed by six hundred and twenty two thousand punters, NCIS: Los Angeles by five hundred and five thousand, Castle by four hundred and thirty five thousand, Bull by three hundred and ninety one thousand and Law & Order: SVU by two hundred and seventy three thousand. On Five Star, Home & Away scored five hundred and seventeen thousand. The A-Team had two hundred and ten thousand on the newly renamed Five-Spike. NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS were the most-watched dramas on CBS Action (one hundred and seven thousand and one hundred and four thousand respectively). Medium attracted seventy three thousand on CBS Drama. For FOX's sake, The Walking Dead's latest episode was watched by a whopping 1.54 million. The Gifted had three hundred and ninety one thousand, and Lucifer, two hundred and nineteen thousand. Major Crimes continued its repeat run on the Universal Channel with three hundred and fourteen thousand viewers. On Dave, Dave Gorman's Modern Life Is Goodish give the channel another bumper audience, six hundred and one thousand very discerning punters. On the other hand, laughless tripe Live At The Apollo had two hundred and eighty nine thousand. Qi XL drew, two hundred and forty thousand and Would I Lie To You?, two hundred and twenty seven thousand. Drama's really rather good Kiwi import, The Brokenwood Mysteries attracted six hundred and forty eight thousand viewers, The White Princess, six hundred and twenty six thousand thousand and Death In Paradise, four hundred and sixty thousand. Inspector George Gently was seen by four hundred and fifty nine thousand. Drama Channel staple, Father Brown (eighty four thousand) headed the weekly top-ten of Alibi. Sony TV's list was crested by Jumanji (sixty eight thousand), whilst Hustle drew fifty two thousand. Yesterday's Only Fools & Horses drew three hundred and sixty four thousand, whilst The Blue Planet attracted one hundred and ninety one thousand and Private Lives Of The Monarchs, one hundred and eighty thousand. Secrets Of War (one hundred and sixty eight thousand) followed. On Your TV, Body Of Proof brought in eighty nine thousand and Bones, seventy eight thousand. The Discovery Channel's Gold Rush was seen by four hundred and twenty two thousand viewers who, apparently, enjoy watching large shouty men with large shouty beards shouting at the camera. Fast N' Loud had two hundred and twenty one thousand, Finding Escobar's Millions, two hundred and ten thousand, Alaskan Bush People, one hundred and fifty five thousand and Mythbusters, one hundred and eight thousand. From The North fave Wheeler Dealers appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (forty two thousand) and Discovery Turbo (thirty thousand). Discovery History's Battle Castle With Dan Snow headed the top ten with twenty two thousand, the same number as watched The Crucifixion Mystery. On Discovery Science, How Do They Do It? was seen by thirty nine thousand. Salvage Hunters on Quest was watched by four hundred and twenty four thousand. Pick's Z Nation had an audience of two hundred and forty eight thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by The Long Road Home and WWII: Hell Under The Sea. They were watched by one hundred and thirty five thousand and seventy three thousand respectively. National Geographic Wild's Turf War: Lions & Hippos was watched by forty seven thousand. The History Channel's most-seen programmes were The Zodiac Killer: Case Closed? (one hundred and fifteen thousand) and WW2 Treasure Hunters (one hundred and two thousand). The Curse Of Oak Island on the Military History channel was viewed by thirty four thousand. Crimes That Shook Britain, Unusual Suspects, Col Case Files and Leah Remini: Scientology & The Aftermath were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with sixty four thousand, forty five thousand, forty thousand and thirty five thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. From The North's current favourite afternoon distraction, Homicide Hunter drew twenty six thousand. Horror At The Cecil Hotel, Six Degrees Of Murder, Dateline: Crime With Tamron Hall, Deadly Sins and Most Evil headed Investigation Discovery's list (one hundred and three thousand, seventy five thousand, seventy two thousand, sixty thousand and sixty thousand respectively). Deadly Women had fifty four thousand. GOLD's repeat run of Only Fools & Horses continued with one hundred and forty two thousand punters. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for The Middle with two hundred and eighty eight thousand. This, dear blog reader, is what Americans find funny, it would appear. Mind you, look at whom they elected as President and then tell this blogger it's a country that doesn't do irony. On More4, Four In A Bed was the highest-rated programme with three hundred and seventy three thousand. E4's list was topped, as usual, by The Big Bang Theory 2.23 million, by an 'uge distance the largest multichannels audience of the week. Hollyoakes had eight hundred and eleven thousand and Made In Chelsea, seven hundred and eighty four thousand. One hundred and seventy three thousand people - with, it would appear, nothing better to do with their time - decided they wished to be Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E! The latest episode of The Exorcist, headed Syfy's top-ten with two hundred and twenty thousand whilst a repeat of Merlin was watched by one hundred and eleven thousand. The Horror Channel's weekly list was topped an episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, attracting one hundred and forty eight thousand. The movie version of Vendetta For The Saint, Innocents In Paris, Too Many Crooks, The Big Trail and The Human Jungle topped Talking Pictures list, with sixty five thousand, sixty three thousand, sixty two thousand, fifty three thousand and forty seven thousand respectively. Attenborough & The Giant Egg was viewed by thirty one thousand on Eden. Alaska: The Last Frontier was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with forty eight thousand. Inside The Ambulance on W attracted two hundred and thirty two thousand punters. True Crime's Cutting Edge was seen by fifty nine thousand viewers. Deadly Women drew fifty three thousand. On True Entertainment, M*A*S*H, was watched by one hundred and forty two thousand punters. Rick Stein's German Bite had forty seven thousand on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Ninety Day Fiance (one hundred and twenty thousand). Dalziel & Pascoe was watched by eighty nine thousand on Home. The Ghost Army and Nova topped PBS America's weekly list with thirty six thousand and twenty nine thousand. Shameful pitiful and wretched toot Just Tattoo Of Us on MTV was viewed by one hundred and ninety six thousand planks whilst equally worthless Teen Mom 2 had one hundred and sixty six thousand. Motorway Cops drew one hundred and eighty nine thousand on Really. Wacky Races had ninety two thousand viewers on Boomerang. Satnfatnratnbatnsatnfatndickdastardy. As it were. Be Cool Scooby-Doo! attracted seventy one thousand. Zoinks! On Cbeebies, Peter Rabbit was seen by five hundred and twenty six thousand. Alvinnn!!! & The Chipmunks had one hundred and forty five thousand on the Pop Channel. On AMC, Abduction was watched by five thousand. Pawn Stars drew one hundred and ten thousand punters to Blaze. Britain's Next Top Model pulled in two hundred and twenty six thousand on Lifetime. The Robert Mizzell Show was seen by twenty nine thousand on Keep It Country. Knight Rider drew one hundred and eighteen thousand on Forces TV. Supercar: Millionaire Boy Racers attracted forty eight thousand on London Live whilst The Night Bus had forty three thousand. The Spitfire, drew one hundred and eighteen thousand to the Movies 4 Men channel. Rose Parade was watched by one hundred and seven thousand punters on Movies24.

A member of the British royal family is to marry an American it has been widely reported this week, dear blog reader. You might have noticed. Cos, that's always been such a massive success in the past, hasn't it?
Meanwhile, a BBC subtitles disaster randomly mentioned Hezbollah in the middle of Jeremy Corbyn's engagement congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. BBC News made a subtitles error when it misquoted Corbyn as appearing to make reference to Islamist group Hezbollah during a speech about Prince Harry's engagement. Speaking at an event in Glasgow, Corbyn said: 'Congratulations to Harry and Meghan. I wish them well. I hope they have a great time and great fun together and having met Harry a couple of times I'm sure they are going to have a great deal of fun together. What I would also like to say is that I really do admire the way that Harry and his brother have drawn attention to mental health conditions all across the country.' However, the BBC News broadcast of the speech saw the subtitles quote Corbyn as referring to 'Harry and Hezbollah' instead of 'Harry and his brother.' The mistake was quickly spotted and widely shared on social media. In a statement regarding the mistake, a spokeswoman for the BBC has weaselled: 'The voice recognition technology used when subtitling live news broadcasts misrecognised the phrase "his brother" leading to the error, which was corrected onscreen.'
The creator of Suits has said that the decision was taken to write Meghan Markle's character out of the TV series as long as a year ago. Aaron Korsh told Radio 4's Today programme that he 'took a gamble' on Markle's relationship with Prince Harry 'working out.' Markle plays the lawyer Rachel Zane in the popular American legal drama which has something of cult following in the UK on the Dave Channel. She confirmed this week that she would leave the show after announcing her engagement to the prince. In the interview, Korsh said: 'I knew from a year ago that this relationship was burgeoning. And, I had a decision to make because I didn't want to intrude and ask her, "hey what's going on and what are you going to do?" So, collectively with the writers, we decided to take a gamble that these two people were in love and it was going to work out.' Korsh added: 'What we decided to do [was to] say, "look, I would rather have good things happen to Meghan in her life" - which would likely mean her leaving the show. So let's plan on that and it's much easier to undo that, if it came to it, than to just plan on her staying forever and then finding out she's going to go. And the only way to write a character out like that would be if they got hit by a bus or something.' Markle has played the paralegal-turned-lawyer since the first series of Suits in 2011. The current series will be her last and - in instance of art imitating life - will show her character marrying her boyfriend Mike Ross, played by Patrick J Adams. After hearing news of the engagement, Adams joked on Twitter he thought his on-screen partner had just 'popped out for milk.'
Joining the ever-growing - and truly eclectic - list of celebrity Bedtime Story readers, Pearl Mackie will be heading over to the Cleebies channel on Christmas Eve to send us all off to sleep. Pearl will be reading Deborah Underwood's Interstellar Cinderella, a modern twist on the classic fairy tale.
Series two of the BBC's The Night Manager is moving a fraction closer, as the spy drama has secured a new writer. After The Night Manager series one wrapped in March 2016 with an impressive nine million viewers and much critical praise (including being named this blog's TV show of the year for 2016), there was always going to be a fairly good chance that a second series would be commissioned. However, with the plot of John le Carré's novel having been used up, series two will have to move beyond the page. According to Deadline, Matthew Orton has been brought on board to write episodes for the BBC and AMC collaboration. Orton made a name for himself by winning 2012's BBC Young Writers award for Primed and debut feature screenplay Clean, as well as writing several successful screenplays for the likes of FOX and MGM.
Aaron Sorkin has revealed how he would want a West Wing revival to progress. The West Wing - created by Sorkin and starring a superb ensemble cast led by the likes of Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Brad Whitford, Richard Schiff and Alison Janney - ran on NBC from 1999 to 2006 and followed the lives of staffers in the White House. It was, this blogger considers, the greatest TV drama in the history of the medium that doesn't have the words 'Doctor' and'Who' in the title. The drama was also one of the first series to create a 'box-set' audience and there have been calls for it to return ever since it ended. Albeit, to be honest, the eight years between 2006 and 2014 when Barack Obama was the actual US President were, effectively, The West Wing series eight. Now, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sorkin has revealed how he would want it to come back – including new cast additions. 'Sterling K Brown [of This Is Us and Black Panther] as the President and there's some kind of jam, an emergency, a very delicate situation involving the threat of war or something and [President] Bartlett, long since retired, is consulted in the way that Bill Clinton used to consult with Nixon,' he explained. Yeah, that sounds feasible. While one shouldn't get our hopes up too highly, this the second time in recent months that there has been talks of a potential West Wing revival. In August, Richard Schiff shared his thoughts on what a revival could like, telling Larry King: 'I did have a particular idea that I spoke with Aaron about. And I love my idea, I don't know if that's going to happen.'
Channel Five is to premiere a movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's Crooked House boasting an impressive all-star cast and crew. The channel is expected to broadcast Crooked House – adapted from one of Christie's lesser-known murder-mysteries set in the 1950s – in December. In an unusual move, the film's cinema release will then take place after the Channel Five broadcast. The story takes place in the aftermath of the death of wealthy Greek patriarch Aristide Leonides, who 'dies in mysterious and suspicious circumstances.' Max Irons will play Charles Hayward, while Stefanie Martini is Sophia de Haviland – but they are not the only big names on board. Glenn Close also stars as Lady Edith, alongside From The North favourite Gillian Anderson as Magda Leonides, Christina Hendricks as Brenda Leonides and Amanda Abbington as Clemency Leonides. Lord Snooty Julian Fellowes has written the screenplay alongside Tim Rose Price and Gilles Paquet-Brenner, with Brenner also directing.
The X-Files did not enjoy the greatest of revivals when it returned for a long-awaited tenth series in 2016. And, although the season saw an upturn as it progressed - particularly Darrin Morgan's superb episode - there were a lot of viewers who were a bit disappointed overall and whinged, loudly, to anyone that would listen (and, indeed, anyone that wouldn't). Chris Carter, creator of the SF series, acknowledged that series ten wasn't without its problems in a recent interview and addressed the criticism. 'We [relaunched] from a standing start after not having been on the air for twelve years – there was some reacquainting that had to be achieved,' he told TVLine. 'It was like old friends getting back together. We had to shake some of the stiffness out.' Series eleven apparently won't have any such teething problems, Carter claims. 'I think that we're all in fighting shape now,' he said. The series starts on Wednesday 3 January in the US with Channel 5 having confirmed the acquisition of British broadcast rights.
William Shatner has seemingly ended his online spat with Jason Isaacs, by unblocking him on Twitter and making a Harry Potter joke. Star Trek: Discovery's Isaacs announced that he had been blocked by Shatner on Sunday in a series of tweets. 'I've been blocked by William Shatner. The unkindest cut of all,' Isaacs wrote. 'In what way have I broken the prime directive Captain? Was it the end of sentence minor-key uptick? The quizzical eyebrow (and blue eyeliner)? The just too-tight uniform? Forgive me my sins - it's an homage, I swear.' After two days, Shatner unblocked Isaacs, writing: 'He who must not be named's bff is now unblocked.' And, this trivial horseshit constitutes 'news', apparently.
The Grand Tour is back for its second series soon and there are going to be plenty of changes. One is that Jezza Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May joke about is that the series is going to be 'more American.' Lamenting their inherently rubbish British features like terrible hair, teeth and fashion sense, the presenters get a Trumpian-style makeover. A previous teaser for the show included the trio auditioning for a new tame racing driver. Although Jezza, Hamster and Mister Slowly aren't against referencing their time on Top Gear, Clarkson says that he cannot bring himself to watch the BBC motoring show any more. And, he's hardly alone in that. 'It's in the same way as when somebody has a baby adopted, they don't go and peer through the windows of the house,' he said. 'And that's what it feels like for me. And I don't particularly want to see what its new parents are doing with it. That's what it feels like to me. It would be difficult to watch it, because it was so much a part of my life for twenty years.'
As if Steven Knight and the BBC hadn't spoiled us enough with the likes of Peaky Blinders and Taboo, they're now giving us a series of Charles Dickens adaptations. Or, at least, they will be the Christmas after next. And with Tom Hardy officially on board as a producer, could he be tempted to appear as the new Ebenezer Scrooge? A Christmas Carol will be the first adaptation from Hardy, Knight and co hitting our screens over the next few years and will be made up of three sixty-minute episodes. God bless them, every one. Knight will be taking on the story of cold-hearted Scrooge as he is visited by ghosts from the past, present and the future who attempt to save the spirit of Christmas. Naturally, Knight's adaptation of A Christmas Carol is expected to premiere at Christmas – but not until 2019. 'Any question about narrative storytelling is answered by Dickens,' Steven said of his source material. 'To have the chance to revisit the text and interpret in a new way is the greatest privilege. We need luck and wisdom to do this justice.' Hardy, whose production company Hardy Son & Baker are behind the drama, said it was 'extremely exciting' to be given the opportunity to adapt Dickens' classic works. 'A Christmas Carol is a fabulous magical piece of theatre and an embarrassment of riches for our creative team – from character all the way through to design,' he said. 'Here's to having a lot of intricate and wonderful fun. We feel very lucky.'
Also announced by the BBC this week is a forthcoming three-part adaptation of Andrea Levy's award-winning novel The Long Song. The tale, which follows the dying days of slavery in Jamaica, is ultimately a story of hope, passion and determination. Small Island's Sarah Williams will adapt the text.
The broadcast of ITV's upcoming drama inspired by the real-life Hatton Garden jewellery heist has been postponed. The four-part mini-series – which was due to premiere next month – has now been delayed until next year and will be replaced by a new thriller called Bancroft, according to Radio Times. And, whilst ITV hasn't yet given a reason for the delay, it has confirmed that the Hatton Garden drama will still be broadcast. 'We have rescheduled Hatton Garden, which will now be broadcast next year,' a spokesperson for the broadcaster said. Timothy Spall leads Hatton Garden's cast, which also includes Ken Cranham and Brian O'Byrne. The drama was written by Philomena writer Jeff Pope and Terry Winsor. The four-episode drama tells the inside story of how the men pulled off the heist, which saw them penetrate the vault of the Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Company in London's jewellery quarter in what ended up being the biggest burglary in the history of Britain, totalling around two hundred million knicker. Seven men were later found very guilty and sent to The Pokey for their naughty and nefarious thieving skulduggery. The story has already received one screen adaptation, with Larry Lamb starring in The Hatton Garden Job earlier this year, while Michael Caine is also set to play a part in yet another film inspired by the robbery, starring alongside Jim Broadbent and Ray Winstone. And, while we may not get to see Hatton Garden for a while yet, Bancroft will premiere on Monday 11 December at 9pm. The four-part series, featuring Cutting It star Sarah Parish as the lead, is described as 'a dark and compelling thriller, with a tortured female detective at its heart.'
Matt Smith may be departing the role of Prince Philip after the upcoming second series of The Crown, but he thinks the Duke of Edinburgh's youth is worth a TV show of its own. The new episodes of the Netflix drama will dig deeper to give viewers 'real context' for the man Philip is now, according to Smudger. 'This season, we understand the history and the context of the man that Philip is,' he told the Digital Spy website. 'Actually, you could make a TV show about Philip's life. There's enough in it. You could do a series [just] about that, to be honest with you. He was born on a kitchen table in Greece. He went on a boat to Italy. His sister died in a plane crash. I mean, you'll learn all this in the show – but there was tragedy after tragedy after tragedy in his life. That gives you a real context for the man that you know now – who is quite tough and stern and dry and funny.' Smudger has called Philip 'a cool cat' and 'a roguish, brilliant man,' but said that he 'wasn't particularly a Royalist before' he began work on The Crown. 'But, through my experience on the show, I've learned quite a lot about the history and heritage of Britain,' he added. 'My affection and my understanding of the characters and the psychology of the Royal Family has become enriched – and I guess I have ultimately became much more affectionate towards them than I had been before. I feel like I understand them more as people now, so I rather like it. I drive past the palace now and I smile.' Claire Foy, who reprises the role of the Queen, said that both Elizabeth and Philip will continue to 'find themselves torn between duty and personal ties' as series two unfolds. '[Duty] was more important than the individual and I definitely think that nowadays we are [concerned with] the individual as opposed to the community – and the whole and the collective,' Foy said. 'That's the way we're going. Hopefully, it will come back round to the fact that by looking after the individual, you end up looking after the whole, which I think is exactly right. I don't think everybody could be the Queen of England and it's very interesting to look back at her reign and see that she has genuinely given her life to something, which I think is very, very rare. Meanwhile, she's stayed in her marriage. She's a mother. She's dealing with a lot.'
Susan Calman has said she unfollowed the official Strictly Come Dancing Twitter account because of her 'sadness' at leaving the show and not because she had a falling out with anyone connected to the show. The Scottish comedian and presenter and her professional dance partner, Kevin Clifton, became the ninth couple to leave the BBC programme on Sunday. She later added she would still be watching the programme. Calman and Clifton lost out to Alexandra Burke and her dance partner, Gorka Marquez, in Sunday's dance-off. Calman also said her next ambition was to appear in Doctor Who. She tweeted: 'Now I've been on Strictly, this is the one burning ambition I have left. To be The Doctor. Or be in Doctor Who. Or, to be honest, just be allowed anywhere near Doctor Who in any way.'
House Of Cards is returning to production following the sexual harassment and assault allegations made against Kevin Spacey. The hit Netflix drama was forced to take a production break following the claims and Spacey has now been extremely dropped from the show. Pauline Micelli, the Senior Vice President at the show's studio, Media Rights Capital, recently wrote to staff to say that its hiatus was being extended. But production is expected to begin again on or around 8 December. Netflix previously announced that it 'will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey.' Micelli's letter addressed how 'stressful' a period it had been for everyone working on the show. 'These last two months have tested and tried all of us in ways none of us could have foreseen,' wrote Micelli. 'The one thing we have learned throughout this process is that this production is bigger than just one person and we could not be more proud to be associated with one of the most loyal and talented production cast and crews in this business.' In the letter, published in The Hollywood Reporter, she added: 'Our hope is that the entire crew will be able to reconvene when production resumes, but we want you to know that we will certainly understand if crew members need to find other work in the interim, which will prevent them from re-joining us. We sincerely appreciate all you have done.' She said that the writers are 'continuing their work' during the hiatus - presumably working on exactly how to write Spacey's character out. Spacey, who was artistic director at London's Old Vic theatre, is currently being investigated by Scotland Yard over two allegations of sexual assault. He also faces claims of 'on-set sexual misconduct' by members of the House Of Cards production crew. Initial allegations about Spacey were made by the actor Anthony Rapp in October.
Former Coronation Street actor Bruno Langley has admitted groping two women in a music venue. The women were assaulted at the Band on the Wall music venue on Swan Street in Manchester on 1 October. Langley, of Altrincham, admitted two sexual assaults and was sentenced to a twelve-month Community Order at Manchester Magistrates' Court this week. ITV said that he had left the soap's cast, but existing storylines meant he would be seen on screen until 24 December. The court heard that Langley had grabbed the crotch of one woman and touched the breasts and bottom of the other 'whilst drunk.' Prosecutor Karen Saffman said that the actor had been 'clearly intoxicated' when he approached the first woman, who was out with her husband. Reading from the woman's victim statement, Saffman said that Langley had 'properly grabbed' her crotch with 'a rough grab.' Saffman added that the woman 'was thinking about hitting him' but, instead, confronted him, asking: 'Did you do that on purpose?' She said Langley had not replied but a man who was with him apologised for the actor's behaviour. The court heard that the woman had then gone to the toilets where she was approached by his second victim who told her she had also been attacked. Saffman said Langley had also sexually touched two other women, but had not faced charges over those assaults. She added that while he was not charged, those incidents were 'indicative of his behaviour' on the night. Sentencing, District Judge Mark Hadfield said that he had to consider if he would pass a custodial sentence, telling Langley his actions had been 'quite disgraceful and degrading.' He said Langley had 'shown genuine remorse' - particularly after he got his ass sacked from Corrie, obviously - though his defence of being drunk at the time was 'not mitigation, [but] a further aggravating feature' and the 'consequences' of what happened were 'serious for all concerned, the two victims but also for you. You have lost your good name and I know nothing of showbusiness but, in the current climate, I suspect it may be very difficult for you to gain employment in that industry in the future,' he added. Langley was handed a twelve-month community order, including forty days of rehabilitation activity and was ordered to wear an electronic tag, observe a curfew and pay two hundred and fifty notes compensation to his victims. He also must sign the sex offenders register for five years. Langley, whose contract was extremely terminated after an internal inquiry in October, had played Coronation Street's first openly gay character Todd Grimshaw since 2001.
Matt Lauer, one of the most famous TV news anchors in the US, has been very fired by NBC over a sexual misconduct allegation. NBC said: 'On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we have decided to terminate his employment.' Lauer co-hosted The Today Show. NBC said that it had 'reason to believe' this 'may not have been an isolated incident.' NBC News chairman Andy Lack said that whilst it was the first complaint about Lauer's behaviour in his time there, more than twenty years, it represented 'a clear violation of our company's standards.' Last year, Lauer signed a new contract with the network worth a reported twenty million bucks per year. As well as fronting the talk morning show, he was chosen to moderate an election debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016. And he has conducted high-profile interviews, such as the one in which Charlie Sheen confirmed he is living with HIV in 2015. In an emotional video, The Today Show co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb said that they were 'heartbroken. As I'm sure you can imagine we are devastated and are still processing all of this,' Guthrie said. 'I'm heartbroken for Matt - he is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he has been loved by many people here. And I'm heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell.' She added: 'This reckoning that so many organisations have been going through is important, it's long overdue and it must result in workplaces where all women - all people - feel safe and respected.' Lauer's departure comes shortly after CBS sacked Charlie Rose, one of its leading anchors, last week amid allegations of sexual misconduct. In April, FOX News extremely sacked its best-known presenter, Bill O'Reilly. And last October, Billy Bush left The Today Show after a tape emerged of him making lewd comments with Donald Trump in 2005.
The author and radio host Garrison Keillor has been fired from his radio station amid a claim of misconduct. Minnesota Public Radio said that a colleague on Keillor's former show, A Prairie Home Companion, had accused him of 'inappropriate behaviour.' What, exactly, was inappropriate about it, they did not expand upon. Keillor told the Associated Press he had lost his job 'over a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.' The station said that it did not know of any allegations involving any other staff. MPR, nevertheless, said that it would end its contracts with Keillor and his companies, stop broadcasting his syndicated show The Writer's Almanac, stop rebroadcasting highlights from A Prairie Home Companion and separate from an online catalogue and website associated with him. MPR President Jon McTaggart said: 'Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances. While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service.' Keillor hosted A Prairie Home Companion - a variety show with a focus on the fictional town of Lake Wobegon - for forty two years. He went on to become a prolific author, writing a series of books set in Lake Wobegon, as well as other fiction and poetry. He also wrote opinion columns in the Washington Post. On Wednesday he wrote a column saying there was 'no reason' for Senator Al Franken, who is accused of sexual misconduct and was photographed groping a sleeping broadcaster, to resign. After being fired Keillor told the AP: 'It's some sort of poetic irony to be knocked off-the-air by a story, having told so many of them myself, but I'm seventy five and don't have any interest in arguing about this. And I cannot in conscience bring danger to a great organisation I've worked hard for since 1969.'
Loose Women suffered what was described as 'an awkward technical failure' on Thursday after all the studio lights were shut off for a few moments. The panel were interviewing former Emmerdale actress Lorraine Chase, who was commenting on panellist Ayda Field's husband, Robbie Williams. At that moment the studio was suddenly plunged into darkness. Sadly, the light came back on later.
Ofcom has launched a review of children's television programmes that could lead to the media regulator demanding that ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five spend more on young audiences. The regulator said it would review the 'range and quality of children's programmes' and highlight areas of concern. The review will encompass content shown by traditional broadcasters such as the BBC but also streaming services such as Netflix, although Ofcom does not regulate the US company. The findings will be 'alongside any proposed regulatory measures' next summer. The review is the first example of Ofcom using new powers that were handed to it by the government earlier this year. An amendment to the Digital Economy Act gave Ofcom the power to set conditions regarding children's programmes for the public service broadcasters, which include the BBC, ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five. Ofcom has already set targets for the BBC as part of its operating licence for the broadcaster: CBBC and CBeebies, its digital channels, must show at least four hundred and one hundred hours respectively of brand new, UK-commissioned programmes each year. Children's television has undergone a significant transformation due to the rise of global online services such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. The amount of television that children between the ages of four and fifteen watch has fallen by almost a quarter since 2010, while YouTube is a more recognised brand for content among twelve to fifteen-year-olds than the BBC and ITV, according to Ofcom. Spending on children's television by the main UK broadcasters has broadly halved over the past decade, although the BBC announced earlier this year that it would spend an extra thirty four million knicker on children's television over the next three years, pushing its annual budget to more that one hundred and twenty four million smackers. Alice Webb, the head of children's TV at the BBC, told the Guardian that broadcasters have a responsibility to make programmes especially for children in the UK and it was an 'absolutely core principle' for the broadcaster. A new survey by Ofcom found that while the majority of eight to fifteen-year-olds said there are enough programmes for children their age, twenty four per cent of eight to eleven-year-olds and thirty five per cent of twelve to fifteen-year-olds disagreed. Furthermore, thirty five per cent of eight to eleven-year-olds said that not enough programmes show children who look like them and forty one per cent of twelve to fifteen-year-olds said that too few programmes show children living in their part of the country. The Ofcom review will focus on audience behaviour and preferences, such as what children watch and how, the availability of programmes and what incentives the broadcasters have to invest in children's content.
The government has chosen the former chairman of Channel Four, Lord Burns, to be the new chairman of the media regulator Ofcom, a politically appointed quango, elected by no one. Burns will replace Patricia Hodgson in January if a pre-appointment hearing with the parliamentary digital, culture, media and sport select committee is successful. The government said in a statement that the committee's conclusions from the hearing next month 'would be considered carefully' before the appointment was formally approved. Burns is on course to be paid one hundred and twenty thousand knicker a year in the job for working up to three days a week. He was chairman of Channel Four for six years before it was announced in 2015 that he would leave as the government considered plans to privatise the broadcaster, which he opposed. It is understood that the government vetoed Ofcom's plans to allow him to extend his term in the job. Burns said that the privatisation of Channel Four would have 'little financial benefit' and questioned how the-then lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale, was handling the job. Burns will work alongside Sharon White, the chief executive of Ofcom, at a crucial time for the regulator. This year it began regulating the BBC and it is also helping the Competition and Markets Authority with its investigation into whether Twenty First Century FOX will be allowed to buy Sky. Burns held senior positions in the Treasury before moving to the private sector. He was chief economic adviser to the Treasury and head of the government economic service from 1980 to 1991, then permanent secretary to the Treasury between 1991 and 1998.
Archaeologists believe that they may have uncovered the first evidence of Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain in 54BC. The discovery of a defensive ditch and weapons led them to identify Pegwell Bay in Thanet, as the place they believe the Romans first landed. The ditch, in the nearby hamlet of Ebbsfleet, was part of a large fort, the University of Leicester team says. Its location was 'consistent with clues' provided by Caesar's own account of the invasion, the team said. Caesar's invasion, which ultimately ended in retreat, came almost one hundred years before Claudius's conquest in AD43. The five metre-wide ditch was discovered during an excavation ahead of a new road being built. The university said that its shape was 'very similar' to Roman defences found in France. It is thought it formed part of a large fort protecting Caesar's ships on the nearby beach. Born into a prestigious patrician family in 100BC, Caeser became one of the key figures in First Century BC Roman politics. He formed a political pact, known as The First Triumvirate, with Pompey and Crassus. After successful military campaigns against The Gauls he invaded Britain, where he was eventually forced into retreat. He defeated Pompey in a civil war and declared himself dictator, but was famously assassinated by Brutus, Cassius and other senators in 44BC. His adopted son Octavian became Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. Pottery found at the site was consistent with the 54BC arrival date and the team also found iron weapons, including a Roman javelin. Archaeologist Doctor Andrew Fitzpatrick said that descriptions from Caesar's account of the invasion - which describes him leading a force of about eight hundred ships, twenty thousand soldiers and two thousand cavalry - suggested it was the correct landing site. 'The presence of cliffs, the existence of a large open bay and the presence of higher ground nearby, are consistent with the 54BC landing having been in Pegwell Bay,' he said. 'It's a big force, and you need a big landing place, because simply to land that number of vessels you need a big front. We think that the location of the site fits very closely with what Julius Caesar gives in a series of clues - he doesn't tell us in detail, but he gives some snippets, and by piecing those snippets together we think it fits very well.' Fitzpatrick said that the low-lying, coastal nature of the site was 'defending the coast rather than looking inland,; which led them to believe it could be Caesar's base. Professor Colin Haselgrove, who led the investigation, said it was 'likely' treaties set up in the wake of Caesar's invasion made it easier for the Romans to conquer parts of Britain almost one hundred years later. He said: 'The conquest of South-East England seems to have been rapid, probably because the kings in the region were already allied to Rome. This was the beginning of the permanent Roman occupation of Britain, which included Wales and some of Scotland and lasted for almost four hundred years.' The findings will be explored further as part of a forthcoming episode of BBC4's Digging For Britain.
A man has been very arrested for allegedly stealing more than one hundred and twenty television sets from budget hotels across Southern India over a four-month period. A senior police officer told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that hotel staff 'never suspected' Vasudev Nanaiah as he was 'a decent and well-behaved guest.' Nanaiah would check in carrying 'a fairly large suitcase,' police said. He had been caught stealing a TV from a hotel in October and was out on bail when he was arrested again. Police alleged he went back to stealing within days of leaving prison. Deputy commissioner of police Chetan Singh Rathor said that if Nanaiah's suitcase was too small, 'he would assess the size of the TV set in the room and get a new one. He would walk in and out of the hotel on some pretext so many times that the hotel reception would not realise when he had walked out with the TV set never to return,' Rathor said. Nanaiah was caught after the man to whom he allegedly tried to sell the television sets snitched him up to the rozzers, right good and proper. Bangalore police have filed twenty one cases of theft and are hoping for a longer jail term. A court will decide whether he requires a psychiatric evaluation.
England have been drawn with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G at next year's World Cup in Russia. Gareth Southgate's men will begin their tournament against Tunisia on Monday 18 June in Volgograd. They will then face World Cup debutants Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on 24 June before playing top seeds Belgium four days later in Kaliningrad. Russia play Saudi Arabia in the opening game in Moscow on 14 June. There is no one group that obviously stands above the rest as being the toughest. In terms of ranking positions, Group B appears to be the most difficult. European champions Portugal, ranked third in the world, have been drawn with 2010 World Cup winners Spain as well as Iran - who went unbeaten in ten Asian qualifying matches - and Morocco, who topped an African group that featured Côte d'Ivoire. Group F also looks tricky for the reigning champions. Germany, who beat Argentina 1-0 in the 2014 final, will likely face three robust examinations against Mexico, Sweden and South Korea as they try to retain the title for the first time since Brazil did so in 1962. Resurgent Brazil - thrashed seven-one by the Germans in the 2014 semi-final in Belo Horizonte - have also been handed what looks like a quietly exacting group. Alongside Brazil in Group E are Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia while Lionel Messi and his Argentina team-mates play debutants Iceland - who reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 - Croatia and Nigeria. Egypt and Uruguay complete Group A with Russia and Saudi Arabia, Group C consists of France, Australia, Peru and Denmark and Group H features Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan. England will know all about Belgium, given the large number of their squad who play in the Premier League. Moscow Chelski FC's Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne of Sheikh Yer Man City are both enjoying superb seasons so far while The Scum's Romelu Lukaku recently became the country's leading all-time top scorer. England have not lost to Belgium in their past eleven meetings - and their only defeat against them in twenty games was in 1936. Although, it should be noted that this current side is the best Belgian squad in the country's history. The Three Lions have met Tunisia twice before, drawing a friendly in 1990 and beating the North Africans in their opening game of the 1998 World Cup in France. Tunisia's coach Nabil Maaloul says he 'knows all about' England's players and when asked about whether he was happy to be in the same group as them, he said: 'Yes and we will win.' England have never met Panama at international level and won't be overly familiar with their players with only three of their current squad playing in Europe. The Panamanians sealed their place at a first World Cup at the expense of the USA when they defeated Costa Rica two-one.
Gary Lineker was busy hosting the World Cup Draw, but amid carrying out his duties, he still found the chance to have a bit of a dig at Diego Maradona. 'Diego has picked out Croatia to play against his Argentina,' Gary said. 'But, Diego has always been good with his hands.'
In fact, dear blog reader, the undoubted highlight of the World Cup draw, by a mile, was Maradona's snazzy tie.
Well, that and the fact that he was accompanied on-stage by an Ooompa Loompa, seemingly.
Jack Butland should be England's number one choice as keeper because Wankhands Joe Hart is making 'terrible mistakes,' says 1966 World Cup winner Gordon Banks. Hart is currently on-loan from Sheikh Yer Man City at a West Hamsters United side currently in the Premier League relegation zone. Wankhands Hart has won seventy five caps - and made almost as many bloody awful smug shampoo adverts - but Banksy (who knew a thing or two about shot-stopping) told BBC Sport: 'I don't think he is playing well, especially when they kick it to him and he can't pick up. I see him make terrible mistakes, lots of times he is lucky they don't score.'
If you're good enough, you're old enough is a common phrase in sporting parlance and Irish Premiership club Glenavon FC have taken it to heart by playing a goalkeeper in their first team at the age of fourteen. Conner Byrne made his debut for the Lurgan team as they triumphed against derby rivals Portadown on Monday night to reach the Mid-Ulster Cup final. The head of Glenavon's academy, Ryan Prentice, said that he was 'delighted' the teenage shot-stopper had been picked by first team manager Gary Hamilton. Prentice believes the youngster is more than capable of handling the physical demands of the modern game. 'I think it's fantastic for Conner as a player to play in the first team and credit should be given to the manager for taking the chance on youth, as it doesn't always happen at other clubs,' he said. 'He's tall, brave and dedicated to training and works very hard with the coaches. The physical side has to be managed, but the flip-side is that the game is not as physical as it maybe was twenty or thirty years ago, when goalkeepers got clattered. He's also marshalled by experienced players who will look after him. For example, the club's first team coach Kris Lindsay, who has vast experience as an Irish league player, was playing in the game against Portadown - so he was keeping an eye out for him too.' Youth has been at the heart of Glenavon's progress under Hamilton recently, with Bobby Burns, eighteen, and Mark Sykes, twenty, among the players making an impact in the first team. However, Byrne's selection is on another level in terms of age. Prentice said that the Glenavon boss had watched the boy's development 'for a number of months,' before taking the plunge. 'Our academy went through a big change about four-and-a-half years ago, with a number of us coming into the academy to restructure it, that is no criticism of what went before,' he said. 'We had various trials and that's when Conner arrived. Gary Hamilton has been aware of him for about a season-and-a-half, he regularly watches our games and has been aware of his progress. Conner has been doing very well, he has played with the under-twenty team before and has been training with the senior squad for a number of months. He has always played at a level ahead of his age.' One of Northern Ireland's most famous goalkeepers, Pat Jennings, was eighteen when he began his football career in England with Watford, while Italian international Gianluigi Donnarumma is a current star between the sticks after making his debut for AC Milan at sixteen. But Prentice says that it is important not to get carried away about his prodigy's prospects. 'You don't want to speculate at this stage, it's easy to get ahead of yourself,' he added. 'If he continues to work hard, it would be nice if he could make a living out of football.'
A war crimes appeal hearing in The Hague was cut short dramatically when one defendant drank what he said was poison upon hearing the verdict. Slobodan Praljak, seventy two, was one of six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders up before the court. He was sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment in 2013 for crimes in the city of Mostar. On hearing that his sentence had been upheld, he told the judge, 'I have taken poison.' It was later confirmed that he had died. The six were attending the final appeals judgment to be handed down by the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Though allies against the Bosnian Serbs in the 1992 to 1995 war, Bosnian Croats and Muslims also fought each other for a period of eleven months, with Mostar seeing some of the fiercest fighting. Praljak stood and raised his hand to his mouth, tipped his head back and appeared to swallow a glass of liquid. Presiding judge Carmel Agius immediately suspended the proceedings and an ambulance was called. Praljak, the former commander of the main staff of the Bosnian Croat defence forces, was very jailed for crimes against humanity. Informed that soldiers were rounding up Muslims in Prozor in the summer of 1993, he had failed to make any serious efforts to stop the action, the UN war crimes tribunal found. He had also failed to act on information that murders were being planned, as well as attacks on members of international organisations and the destruction of the city's historic Old Bridge and mosques. Those appearing with him included Jadranko Prlic, the former Prime Minister of the Bosnian Croats' breakaway statelet. Set up by mandate of the UN Security Council in 1993, the ICTY is due to close when its mandate expires at the end of the year.
Scum Mail Online, the sister website of the Daily Scum Mail, has grovellingly apologised and agreed to pay 'substantial damages' to a school teacher whom their former columnist, That Awful Hopkins Woman, falsely accused of taking her class to a Donald Trump protest in Westminster. The apology to Jackie Teale, the teacher, was published on the Scum Mail Online website on Tuesday morning and posted by Hopkins on her Twitter account. It said that Hopkins was 'wrong' to state that Teale had taken her class to the protest and that she had, actually, taken a banner made by some of the twelve-year-old pupils in her class. 'We apologise to Ms Teale for this error and have agreed to pay Ms Teale substantial damages and legal costs,' Scum Mail Online said. The apology appeared the day after it emerged that Hopkins had left the website after two years. The website claimed that Hopkins's contract had not been renewed 'by mutual consent' and declined to provide further details. Her last column was published on 5 October. One of Hopkins' most controversial pieces involved comparing African migrants crossing the Mediterranean with 'cockroaches' and calling for gunboats to stop migrants reaching their destination. The United Nations said the column – which appeared in the Sun in April 2015 – was a clear example of hate speech and used language similar to that used by those behind the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Her weekly show on the radio station LBC was stopped in May after Hopkins posted a tweet about the Manchester Arena attack which called for 'a final solution' for Muslims in Britain. It provoked a backlash on social media because of the phrase's connections to the Holocaust. Hopkins subsequently claimed that the post was 'a typo' and replaced 'final' with 'true.' One or two people even believed her.
Daveigh Chase, the creepy little girl from The Ring, was busted for joyriding in a car that was reported stolen according to the TMZ gossip website. Chase was a passenger in a BMW police officers pulled over on Tuesday evening in Hollywood. Law enforcement 'sources' allegedly told the website that even though Chase wasn't driving the car she was arrested for driving in a car without owner's consent, which is a felony. The driver was also arrested.
A former Scotland Yard detective has told BBC News he was 'shocked' - and 'stunned', probably - by the 'uge amount of pornography viewed on a computer seized from the Commons office of senior Tory MP Damian Green. Neil Lewis examined the device during a 2008 inquiry into government leaks and has not spoken publicly before. He claimed that 'thousands' of thumbnail images of - let it be noted, entirely legal - pornography were on it. Two points to make here; firstly, is it just this blogger or does anyone else sense the pungent whiff of a set-up here? No related to Green necessarily but to the BBC. There is, as of yet, no independent confirmation that the claims made by Lewis are true and, unless some comes to light, the BBC are, effectively, standing naked in the wind with only their report of Green's denial that he had ever watched or downloaded pornography on the computer as a buffer against potential libel action. And, secondly, are there any other entirely legal things on Green's computer that we should be told about? Anyway, fellow Tory MP Andrew Mitchell defended Green on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, saying: 'It is the misuse of entirely legal information to blacken the name of a serving cabinet minister.' But Lewis said that a check of the computer's Internet history over a three-month period showed pornography had been viewed 'extensively.' Well, be fair, we've all done it. Haven't we? On Tuesday, Scotland Yard confirmed that its department for professional standards was 'examining' allegations that Lewis had disclosed confidential information. A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: 'Confidential information gathered during a police inquiry should not be made public.' But, it often is. Usually in the pages of one of billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's newspapers. Lewis, who retired from the Metropolitan Police in 2014, said that although 'you can't put fingers on a keyboard,' a number of factors meant he was 'sure' it was Green, the MP for Ashford, who was accessing all the naughty whatsists. His analysis of the way the computer had been used left the former detective constable 'in no doubt whatsoever' that it was Green - who was then an opposition immigration spokesman but is now the first secretary of state and, effectively, Theresa May's deputy. 'The computer was in Mister Green's office, on his desk, logged in, his account, his name,' claimed Lewis, who at the time was working as a computer forensics examiner for SO15, the counter-terrorism command. 'In between browsing pornography, he was sending e-mails from his account, his personal account, reading documents. It was ridiculous to suggest anybody else could have done it.' Similar material had also been accessed on Green's laptop, he claimed. A Cabinet Office inquiry, set up last month to investigate allegations that the sixty one-year-old had made 'inappropriate advances' to a political activist, Kate Maltby, is also examining the pornography claims. The inquiry is believed to centre on the ministerial code, which sets out the standards of conduct expected of government ministers. The code says that they are expected to demonstrate 'the highest standards of propriety' and contains reference to the Nolan Principles that holders of public office should be 'truthful.' A spokesperson for Green said: 'It would be inappropriate for Mister Green to comment on these allegations while the Cabinet Office investigation is ongoing, however, from the outset he has been very clear that he never watched or downloaded pornography on the computers seized from his office. He maintains his innocence of these charges and awaits the outcome of the investigation.' During his time on SO15, Lewis reportedly worked on some of Britain's most high-profile terrorism inquiries, including the 21 July 2005 attack on London's transport network when he took a lead role examining digital devices. He also worked on Operation Miser, an investigation into Home Office leaks that began in October 2008 and resulted in Green's Commons office being searched by police. Lewis's job on the investigation was to search for material relating to documents that had been disclosed without authorisation from the Home Office, on computers allegedly used by Green. In accordance with standard police practice, Lewis carried out the examination on digital copies he had made of the computers' hard drives. When he ran a 'gallery view' of images viewed on the desktop computer in Green's Portcullis House office he noticed 'a lot of pornography thumbnails which indicated web browsing,' that he later confirmed by an examination of the computer's Internet history. The pornography was not 'extreme,' as some media reports have suggested said Lewis, who previously served in the Met's obscene publications unit. The matter was not referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision. The former detective said after the leaks inquiry ended he was ordered by the force to delete the data on the computer copies he had made. 'Morally and ethically I didn't think that was a correct way to continue,' he said. The officer erased the data, as instructed, but kept the copies knowing experts could retrieve the information if they had to. However, he now believes the items may have been destroyed. When he left the force after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Lewis said that the only police notebook he took with him was the one he had used during Operation Miser. 'This one case, Operation Miser, I have never been comfortable with,' he said, claiming that the Parliamentary authorities should have been informed about the 'extensive' time Green allegedly spent looking at pornographic material. 'If a police officer does that, or anyone else, you'd be dismissed, you'd be thrown out.' The MPs' code of conduct states that members should always behave with 'probity and integrity, including in their use of public resources.' The pornography allegations were first alluded to by Bob Quick, a former Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, in written evidence to a Parliamentary committee in 2009. He said that the discovery of 'private material' on Green's office computer had 'complicated' the inquiry into Home Office leaks. In 2011, Quick expanded on the matter in a draft statement for The Leveson Inquiry into press ethics, but it was removed from the final version, only to resurface last month in a Sunday Times article. Green responded to Quick's assertions by accusing him of spreading 'disreputable political smears,' an attack that, the BBC states, 'so infuriated Lewis' that he approached the former counter-terrorism chief to offer his support. '[Green's] outright denial of that was quite amazing, followed by his criticism of Bob Quick,' said Lewis. 'I think [Green] should have resigned a long time ago.' Sir Paul Stephenson, the Met Commissioner during the leaks investigation, told the BBC that he had been briefed about the pornography in 2008 but considered it to be 'a side issue.' Meanwhile, David Davis has reportedly warned Downing Street not to sack Green as a result of 'a wrongful attempt by former officers to do him down,' alleged 'sources' allegedly 'close' to the Brexit Secretary have allegedly told the BBC. One alleged 'source' allegedly said that Davis 'might' be willing to resign over the issue, although another alleged 'source' allegedly 'stressed' that 'no threat' had been made. Green, just to repeat, claims that he has never watched or downloaded pornography on the computer in question. The Brexit Secretary feels that he 'has a dog in the fight' because Green was his subordinate on the Conservative shadow home affairs team in 2008 when the material was allegedly discovered on Green's computer, the BBC's deputy political editor John Pienaar said. Allegedly 'informed' alleged 'sources' have allegedly suggested that a Cabinet Office report into Green's conduct - which ranges wider than allegations of viewing pornography and covers accusations of inappropriate conduct - 'could' be placed on the Prime Minister's desk early next week.
The editor of GQ has criticised Jeremy Corbyn - on the day the Labour leader appears on the magazine's cover. Dylan Jones said that Corbyn's photo shoot was 'as difficult as shooting any Hollywood celebrity.' Jones claimed that despite the Labour leader's 'rock star persona' he was 'underwhelming' in person. The editor - of course - has faced 'a backlash' from lots of Corbyn's arse-licking Middle Class hippy Communist fans on Twitter with some Corbyn supporters accusing him of 'political bias' and carrying out 'a hatchet job.' Which some dear blog readers will notice that said by Middle Class hippy Communists about pretty much any criticism made of their beloved Jezza - no matter how mild, or deserved, or what the context is. Because, obviously, Jezza can do no wrong. Tragically, Jones did not take the opportunity to ask that Corbyn's arse-licking fans grow the fek up. An opportunity missed, one could suggest.
And, speaking of Jezza Corbyn and his whinging acolytes, an episode of Newsnight which - on presumably accidentally - played the wrong clip of Corbyn responding to the budget was the most whinged about programme on the BBC in the past fortnight. The BBC has revealed it received one hundred and seventy seven whinges about Newsnight on the evening of the budget, which showed Corbyn responding to the spring budget rather than November's. The BBC said that the mistake was due to human error and apologised, adding that the human who erred has been given a jolly good talking-to. In a response to the complaints, the corporation said: 'The programme team has edited the version of the programme available on BBC iPlayer to make sure it includes the correct clip. We apologise for this mistake, and the programme team have put actions in place to make sure this clip isn’t incorrectly used again.'
Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse called it 'the biggest tragedy' he has seen in the city's history. It was a disaster that spread out over three city blocks; twenty buildings were damaged to varying degrees and three of them, along the city's main downtown business district, were destroyed. 'I can tell you the extent of the damage is everything you'd ever think you can see in a fire,' said Mayor Morse. 'From houses being destroyed, to smoke damage that's still going to cost thousands of dollars and the inconvenience of trying to clean your house and go home and not smell like it's a fire.' The fire's origin, authorities say, was in the rear of a property on Remsen Street, where they say John Gomes had a fire going in a steel drum in his backyard. They claim that he was trying to bend metal to 'mould it into a sword.' The problem, however, was that at the time winds were gusting up to thirty miles per hour. 'We often tell people we don't allow open burns in the city and they often say, "What's the worst thing that could happen?"' Morse said. 'This open burn just caused millions of dollars in damage and has destroyed half of our downtown.' After Gomes admitted to police what he had been doing (and why) they extremely charged him with Arson Fourth Degree, a felony and Reckless Endangerment, also a felony. 'The reality is if you have half-a-human-heart, you have to have some kind of remorse of what just happened,' Morse stated. 'Even if you're argument is I didn't mean to do it, I don't know if Gomes meant to do it but it happened and the results are horrendous for our community.' Gomes was arraigned in Cohoes City Court on Thursday evening and sent to be banged up the Albany County Jail as he was unable to raise fifteen thousand dollars bail.
Things went horribly wrong for a Michigan man who tried to pay for a parking ticket in pennies. It all started when Anthony Sevy got a ten dollar parking ticket in Royal Oak, near Detroit, reports WJBK. He went to pay the ticket with his credit card and was told there would be an added $1.75 service fee. Sevy - perhaps understandably - wasn't happy with that, his attorney told WJBK, so he left and later came back with rolls of pennies. 'The clerk wasn't too happy about that, they refused to allow him to pay with penny rolls,' attorney Jonathan Marco said. Surveillance video from inside the district court shows what happened next. Sevy and a court officer appear to get in an argument before Sevy was reportedly asked to leave. On Sevy's way out of the building, a court officer grabbed him from behind and choked him until he passed out. That's when Sevy defecated himself, his attorney told WJBK. Now, Sevy is extremely suing the court officers. 'I don't think anyone paying in penny rolls, whether it's a preferred thing to do for a court clerk, warrants this type of this assaultive behaviour and violation of constitutional rights,' Marco said.
There are a lot of ways tourists manage to piss off their hosts in foreign countries, from swimming blackout drunk across historic bodies of water to donning banana suits at some of the world's most revered ancient sites. And, while most obnoxious Americans get off with a simple warning or a few dirty looks, a couple visiting a holy temple in Thailand may face much more serious consequences. Earlier this week, a couple of American tourists in Bangkok were reportedly arrested for taking a photo of their bare asses in front of Bangkok's Wat Arun, a popular Buddhist temple, the Bangkok Post reports. Joseph and Travis Dasilva, a married couple from San Diego, have each been fined one hundred and fifty three dollars for the, if you will, bumfie, but they could still face up to twelve years in The Big House if the police pursue further charges. The Daslivas ran a since-deleted joint Instagram account called Traveling [sic] Butts, racking up fourteen thousand followers with photos of their bottoms in full view at various tourist attractions across the globe. Thailand, however, has pretty strict decency laws, especially when its religious sites are involved. The Dasilvas were put on a police watchlist after authorities noticed their photo and were very arrested at the airport on their way back to the US.
A Minneapolis woman was charged with second-degree murder on Monday, accused of killing a Thanksgiving guest apparently for smoking crack in her apartment without asking or offering to share. When police arrived at the apartment of Anenia Marie Hare, they found Edward Caliph face down on the living room floor near a broken window. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. After she was arrested, Hare told police that she had invited Caliph for Thanksgiving dinner, but 'before they started to eat, she looked over and saw the victim lighting up a crack pipe,' according to the criminal complaint. She said that she 'got angry' because he did not ask her permission and 'did not offer her any' of the drug. Hare told police that she tried to appear intimidating by standing in front of the apartment with an antenna in one hand and a butcher knife in the other and told him he couldn't leave. Caliph then allegedly yelled for neighbours to call nine-one-one, then broke out a window with a vacuum cleaner. Hare told police that she grabbed him around his shoulders and fell on top of him as he fought to get the knife out of her hand. She said that after he was face down for awhile, 'he started snoring. I just grabbed him by the front and he went down. To me it just felt like I put him in a sleeper hold or something,' she told police.
At a time when issues of sexual harassment and consent are - rightly - in the news and with the holidays just around the corner, the Girl Scouts of America have released a recommendation about how parents can help young girls handle affection. A 'reminder' post on the GSUSA website tells parents, 'She doesn't owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays. Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn't seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she "owes" another person any type of physical affection when they've bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life,' the piece reads.
A man from Washington State accused of crashing a vehicle because he was having sex while driving drunk pleaded not guilty to multiple charges. KOMO-TV reports that Michael Tonkin entered his plea on Monday. State police say a three-month-old baby was in the back seat of the vehicle which crashed while Tonkin and a woman were allegedly having sex in the driver's seat. Witnesses reported seeing both adults emerge from the car naked after the crash. Tonkin suffered an injured wrist, the twenty two-year-old female broke her pelvis and the baby was unharmed in a car seat.  
A woman from Lebanon County Pennsylvania has been accused of hitting a co-worker in the head with a bar code scanner at work, causing a severe head injury, state police say. Glory Cintron-Segarra was very charged with aggravated and simple assault and harassment after the incident on Friday morning in Union Township. She is accused of hitting a twenty two-year-old female co-worker, in the head 'several times' with a radio frequency barcode scanner. The victim suffered severe head trauma and was taken to Penn State Health, police said.
A thirty three-year-old woman from Tewksbury, New Hampshire has been accused of trying to pick up her niece from cheerleading practice while drunk and then repeatedly fleeing from the police who attempted to pull her over, according to the Lowell Sun. Andrea Rego was arrested following a police pursuit in which she alleged stopped her vehicle twice for police, only to accelerate away as soon as a police officer got out of his cruiser to approach. Officers began seeking Rego when they got a call reporting that a drunk woman was trying to pick up her niece from cheerleading practice. When an officer arrived at the scene, a witness told police that the child's mother was en route to pick her up and that the intoxicated aunt was leaving the area in a Chevrolet Trailblazer. Officer Christopher Lefebvre pulled the Trailblazer over but the vehicle accelerated away once Lefebvre got out of his cruiser. The Trailblazer was pulled over again but when Lefebvre got out of his cruiser for a second time, the Trailblazer once again sped away, leading a by now presumably jolly pissed-off Lefebvre in hot pursuit. When he finally caught up with Rego she 'smelled of alcohol' and was unsteady on her feet as she was very arrested. Police found an open bottle of Caldwells Vodka in the Trailblazer. Once at the police station, Lefebvre attempted to give Rego a field sobriety test, demonstrating a part of the test known as the 'one leg stand.' Rego agreed to take the test, but instead of performing the one leg stand an officer demonstrated for her, Rego attempted part of a field sobriety test known as the 'nine step walk and turn,' even though Lefebvre hadn't asked her to or explained how that part of the test worked. Rego then refused to continue and also refused a Breathalyzer, according to a police report. Rego initially faced a second-offence drunk driving charge, but police later learned that she had previously been convicted of two drunken driving offences and submitted a new criminal complaint charging her with operating under the influence of liquor. She is additionally charged with open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, operating with a suspended license and marked lanes violation. Rego remains behind bars, because she is currently serving a sentence at MCI Framingham in connection with an unrelated case.
Two people were arrested after a Louisiana woman allegedly had sexual intercourse with a dog. According to jail booking records, twenty four-year-old Celina Cabrera and forty two-year-old Booker Thomas were taken into custody earlier this week after an officer received a complaint that Cabrera was allegedly having sex with Thomas' dog. Thomas allegedly filmed the sexual encounter. Cabrera has been charged with 'crimes against nature' (yes, it's a thing, apparently. Well, in Louisiana, anyway), while Thomas has been charged with 'principal to crimes against nature.' A city spokeswoman told KXXV-TV that Cabrera is employed as a Caddo Parish Animal Shelter kennel worker, but has been 'on administrative leave' since before her arrest.
Two men were reportedly arrested for committing a crime in the parking lot of the Glendale Police Department. To make matters worse, it happened in the police chief's parking space. According to Glendale police, two men pulled into the lot for a municipal court hearing on 16 November, drove beyond the 'DO NOT ENTER' signs and parked in the police chief's spot. A city worker soon noticed that the car and the strong scent of marijuana coming from it. Police say that ganja and heroin were 'in plain view' in the vehicle's centre console. It didn't take long for police to take the two men into custody. For stupidity quite apart from what they were carrying.
Fifteen men and one woman have been jailed after admitting their part in a mass brawl at a boxing event in Leeds, with kids gettin' sparked and aal sorts. The fighting erupted at Elland Road stadium and 'took over the whole venue,' Leeds Crown Court heard as numerous people decided to re-enact local boys The Kaiser Chiefs' 'I Predict A Riot', seemingly. It's not very pretty, I tell thee. Security staff were 'unable to stop the brawling' between rival groups from Leeds and Wakefield on 18 February. One man even punched his own friend before apologising and shaking hands and a woman was punched and knocked out. The incident involved up to fifty people. Well, be fair, there's no much else to do in Yorkshire of an evening, is there? Many who were caught on CCTV pleaded very guilty to violent disorder and other offences. Referring to 'serious mob violence,' Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said that it was 'a miracle someone was not seriously injured.' Footage of the fifteen-minute fight at the boxing event held in the Centenary Pavilion at Leeds United's stadium shows chairs being hurled and a woman being knocked to the floor. Philip Adams, prosecuting, said that before the event, for which about seven hundred tickets had been sold, there had been 'an exchange of insults' on social media. He added: 'The boxers came from different towns and brought support on the night from Leeds and Wakefield. The organisers attempted to separate the two groups of supporters.' Following a minor incident between a boxer and a rival trainer a chair was thrown into the ring. Almost immediately widespread fighting broke out. 'The security guards were powerless to stop the fighting,' said Adams. 'Some of the women joined in the fighting. Others climbed into the ring with children to avoid it. Members of the security team did their best to usher people outside. Children and injured people were escorted to the cloakroom. Sporadic fighting continued outside until the police arrived.'
A seventy-year-old woman living in a Vermont retirement home passed her time experimenting with homemade ricin, even testing it on fellow residents, the Justice Department said on Friday. No one had apparently been killed by Betty Miller's activities at the bucolic Wake Robin retirement home in Shelburne, which advertises a population of 'vibrant, engaged people and a community in which you can be yourself.' But Miller was nevertheless very arrested by FBI agents on Thursday amid fears that she had stockpiled a weapon of mass destruction. The FBI was alerted to 'a dangerous substance' at the home earlier this week and discovered a bottle labelled 'ricin' in MIller's residence. Tests confirmed that it contained the deadly substance. 'Miller stated that she had an interest in plant-based poisons and had conducted Internet research on how to make them,' the FBI said in a statement. 'She stated that she manufactured ricin in the kitchen of her Wake Robin residence and, to test its potency, placed the ricin in the food or beverages of other residents.' An FBI team returned for a search of her apartment and found more ricin and components from plants, including apple, yew, cherry, castor and foxglove, which all can be used to produce poisonous substances. Officials stressed that 'any threat posed by the substances in Miller's apartment has been neutralised.' Wake Robin called the case 'an isolated incident. The toxic substance was contained; no residents were evacuated,' the retirement home said in a statement. 'The resident of the apartment in question is now involved with the criminal justice system and will not be returning to Wake Robin.'
An Oklahoma City woman is out on bail after she was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill an officer investigating her family suspected of running a drug trafficking ring in the city. In one of the finest examples of nominative determinism in the history of people have names that reflective their vocation, Margery Weed, aged fifty four, was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County Jail. According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Oklahoma City Police began an investigation of the threats after an officer - who is investigating a number of members of Weed's family - was contacted by Weed through Facebook.