Saturday, December 16, 2017

Seeing Is Believing

TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Number One: Yer man Tennant's curiously orange hair on Have I Got News For You. You're havin' a laugh, Dave, right? Apparently, this caused quite a stir on social media. Particularly due to the fact that The Doctor is now, finally ginger.
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Number Two: Yer man Tennant's assessment of a recent space story and a recent US political election on Have I Got News For You: 'This week, Donald Trump has announced plans to go to The Moon. Leading half-a-million angry Clangers to sign a petition. And, the Republicans lost a seat in the Senate this week when the voters of Alabama rejected Roy Moore, a right-wing, homophobic, evangelical child-molester. He's so vile even Putin didn't want to help!' 'In America, on CNN, they say alleged child-molester,' noted Paul Merton for the benefit of the BBC's nervous lawyers. 'But, you go for it!' 'Come and get me, Roy!' shouted David, defiantly. 'I wouldn't say that,' added guest Joe Wilkinson.
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Number Three: Tennant's second bit of prime Trump-bashing. 'He said the goal of the new mission [to The Moon] would include "long-term exploration and use of its surface." He's going to open a golf course, isn't he?'
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Number Four: A great bit in the latest episode of Qi called Operations; following a lengthy - and very funny - if you will dissection of the Medieval anatomical drawing The Wound Man (first published in 1491), Sandi Toksvig noted that there was also a contemporary female equivalent, Disease Woman. 'Is Marvel running out of Superheroes?' asked Rhod Gilbert. Sandi went on to note that, nowadays, in the US they have a really in-depth and complex system of categorising injuries called The ICD-10 System which has over one hundred and forty thousand detailed codes of medical complaints which are extremely specific. 'These include: bitten by [an] Orca; forced landing of spacecraft injuring occupant; asphyxiation due to being trapped in a car trunk; burned due to water-skis on fire and my absolute favourite, hurt at opera!' The first such attempt to categorise injuries in Great Britain was The Bills Of Mortality. Causes of death in those included such, to modern ears hilarious, descriptions as 'lethargy' ('that's the way I want to go!' suggested Alan Davies), 'frighted', 'killed by several accidents' and 'suddenly'! 'Wound Man would've read that and gone "Yep, I've had that, I've had that, I've had that ...' added Bill Bailey (on terrific form, as usual). There was also the story of Boston Corbett, the Union solider who, famously, shot and killed Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Fanatically religious, in order to avoid sexual temptation and 'remain holy,' Corbett reportedly castrated himself with a pair of scissors. He then, it is alleged, ate a meal and went to a prayer meeting before seeking medical treatment for the wounds to his groin. 'He cut his own testicles off with scissors to avoid temptation?' asked Rhod, his eyes watering at the very prospect. 'Why didn't he just walk down a different street?' Sandi answered that Corbett believed eunuchs were more likely to get into heaven. 'I like him, I wish more men would take this path,' suggested Katherine Ryan.
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Number Four: Another one from Qi. 'How many stars are there in Orion's Belt?' Sandi asked the panellists before becoming concerned that Canadian-born Katherine might not understand the question. 'Do you call it Orion's Belt?' Sandi queried. 'Yeah,' replied Katherine. 'We have the same solar system!'
The actual answer is, of course, 'at least nine, it just looks like there are only three because, like the cows in Father Ted, they're "far away!"'
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) took the opportunity at this week's Doctor Who Christmas special press screening to say what he really thinks about the long-running family SF drama which he has overseen for the last nine years reports the Radio Times. And, truly, it was glorious in our sight. At the Q&A which followed the episode's first public screening, the departing showrunner gave an impassioned off-the-cuff speech to the assembled press and punters setting out exactly why he believes Doctor Who to be the greatest television show ever made.
'It's worth saying, because I don't think it's ever said enough. The reason Doctor Who is as successful - I mean humanly successful - for so long in such an enduring way and I'm just gonna say it because I don't ever say it, but now I'm leaving I'll say it, it is actually the greatest television show ever made. I'm gonna prove it to you. There are probably press here who are "No, it's The Wire." It's not The Wire. It's not I, Claudius. It's not The Office. It's not even Blue Planet. It's Doctor Who and I'm gonna prove to whoever is doubting me the hardest that they're wrong to doubt me. How do you measure greatness? Do you measure it by ratings? Do you measure it by reviews? Christ no, of course you don't. Do you measure it by perfection? Is Doctor Who perfect every week? No, it's not. It really isn't. It can't be. Because every episode of Doctor Who is an experiment and if you experiment every single week, sometimes you get a face full of soot and you're blinking the smoke away and you look a bit ridiculous. That happens. Perfection is the refinement of boredom, it's doing the same thing all the time perfectly. Doctor Who, by always being different, can never be perfect. But yes, how do we measure its greatness? There are people who became writers because of Doctor Who. Loads of them. There are people who became artists because of Doctor Who. There are people who became actors because of Doctor Who. Two of them have played The Doctor. There are people, believe it or not, who become scientists because of Doctor Who. That seems improbable given we said the moon was an egg, you'd think they'd have a problem with it. But, people become scientists, people change their view of the world and what they're capable of, because of a silly show about a man who travels around in time and space in a police box. So, never mind the reviews. Never mind anything. Never mind the ratings. Never mind any of that. Count the scientists, the musicians, the scholars, the writers, the directors, the actors, who became what they are because of this show. Count, as you might say, the hearts that beat a little faster because of Doctor Who. I do not even know what is in second place, but without doubt and by that most important measure, Doctor Who is the greatest television show ever made.' This blogger has absolutely no intention of editorialising Steven's comments. Well, except to add, ahem, 'yes, what he said.'
Yer actual Peter Capaldi was unable to attend the event but did send along a message which left barely a dry eye in the gaff. 'I'm really sorry I can't be with you tonight. I'd like to thank all my friends on Doctor Who for sharing their good humour, talent and life with me over the last four years. And particularly, Steven Moffat, who has brought so much to Doctor Who, even more than might be realised today, but will be seen clearly in the future. I'd like to thank everyone who loves the show for sharing it with me and sharing the boundless generosity of spirit that it embodies. I wish Jodie and the new TARDIS team all the best for the future - and the past and everything in between - and look forward to watching them journey to new and wonderful places. For me, it's been an amazing trip. I went to the end of time, I met fantastical creatures ... and I blew them up. But now it's over. Time I was off.' Not yet, Peter, but it soon will be.
Meanwhile, following the press event, the first - spoiler-free(ish) - preview of Twice Upon A Time has has appeared on the Radio Times website.
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) also spoke to Doctor Who Monthly about his final story: 'I must be honest, everyone's watching for the last minute,' he said. 'And people are going to absolutely love Jodie. Then they'll notice that, at the same time, they miss Peter, but it's not like it'll be a grieving process. Or rather, with a new Doctor, it's always grieving and falling in love simultaneously.' Discussing the handover to his successor Chris Chibnall, Steven admitted the process was emotional: 'It's an odd feeling. It's just weird. You suddenly realise that the new guy, the new showrunner, has to come barrelling through the door and take over. It's a slightly bewildering feeling. But it's an amazing process.' And, although Steven wasn't on set for filming on Jodie's first scene as The Doctor, he has seen the finished product. 'It's slightly strange and very, very good. Jodie put a smile on my face immediately. She was funny from the off. I thought that was great.'
He has written for Doctor Who many times since 2005, but while Mark Gatiss's future involvement with the BBC's popular long-running family SF dram is now in doubt, he has insisted that he will always have more ideas for stories. Yer actual Gatiss has previously admitted that he is currently 'unsure' if he will continue to contribute to the series when it relaunches next year under Chris Chibnall. Speaking to the press on-set of this year's Christmas special, Mark said: 'It's been a privilege to write so much of it, and also to be in it. There was a point, I remember, having a very early meeting with Russell about my first script [The Unquiet Dead]. I sort of said, "I want to be in it as well!" but you have to play a long game.' Gatiss, of course, went on to appear on the show several times, making his third on-screen appearance in the upcoming Twice Upon A Time.
'I've broken it down here, a list of costs pertaining to the assassination of a dear friend. A normal dispatch is five hundred pounds cost, but you're going to have to add another hundred to that because Tommy Shelby, like me, is from an oppressed people. Then, I need you to put another ton on top of that because his brother is a fucking animal and he will come after me. And then, you will need to put another hundred on top of that because, well, you are a fuckin' Wop, mate ... Crack on!' This week's episode of Peaky Blinders - The Duel - was probably the highlight of the fourth series of the BBC gangster drama so far. Highlights included the astonishingly violent opening gunfight sequence (which took up around eight minutes of screen time), Polly and Tommy's clever ruse which few saw coming, Arthur's harrowing descent into addiction and, best of all, Tom Hardy dropping the c-bomb! Reviews can be read here in the Gruniad, here in the Torygraph, here in the Indi and here in inews. Summation: It was all a bit tasty, dear blog reader. 'In order to qualify as my seconds, right, they would first have to qualify as being Jewish. And, in order to do that, they would have to replace their natural Italian arrogance with a Jewish air of absolute certainty. see, my good friend Thomas Shelby, he will know the difference ... You will have to add another ton onto your bill. For being a c*nt, mate, alright?'
There was yet another hilarious episode of From The North fave Dave Gorman's Modern Life Is Goodish broadcast this week, which included a completely 'this will only make sense if you've actually watched the episode' closing thought: 'So, what have we learned tonight, ladies and gentlemen? Well, we've learned that when the most remarkable co-incidence you have ever experienced in your life happens to you, you stretch everything you can to build a show around it!' Indeed, he did. And yes, Mrs Gorman has got very nice knees. Now, go watch the episode and that will all make sense, dear blog reader. As the show ended, Dave's continuity announcer noted that next week's episode will 'be an emotional show as it will be the last ever one of the series.' One presumes that, if Modern Life Is Goodish is, indeed, ending - after five great series - it is because Dave (Gorman rather than Dave the channel) wants to create a different TV format for his next show rather than because Dave (the Channel rather than Dave Gorman) is cancelling it due to lack of interest. Meanwhile, Dave (Gorman, rather than Dave the Channel) has recently been interviewed by the Den Of Geeks website. And a very good interview it is too. Although they do highlight that moment in a previous series of Modern Life Is Goodish where Dave (Gorman, not Dave the channel) talked about receiving social media criticism after he'd made a mistake in one of his tweets about a Star Wars character, in which someone snarled: 'Dave Gorman, call yourself a geek.' To which Dave pointed out that, actually, he never has ('I last watched an episode of Doctor Who in 1984!')
Keith Telly Topping was jolly proud of himself when getting another couple of questions right on this week's episode of From The North fave Only Connect. Not unexpectedly, they were the football one and the Cluedo®™ one. (And, he spotted the very subtle Half Man Half Biscuit reference as well!)
Sophie Turner has revealed that, during the read-through for the final series, the cast of Game Of Thrones 'burst into tears.' Well, yes, sadly the thought of fast-approaching unemployment can, indeed, be quite emotional.
Despite being broadcast nine months ago in the US, Feud: Bette & Joan finally made it to the UK this week as the BBC2 showed the first two episodes of the eight-part series. Ryan Murphy's anthology follows the infamous tension between Hollywood legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on the set of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in 1962. And, jolly brilliant it was too with superb central performances from Susan Sarandon (as Davis), Jessica Lange (as Crawford) and Alfred Molina played Bob Aldrich. Reviews have, broadly, been extremely positive (see here and here, for example).
Several months ago, it was widely reported in the media that Edd China, one half of the presenting duo of From The North favourite Wheeler Dealears, had decided to leave the production after thirteen years. Which, frankly, made this blogger almost as depressed as he was when the news broke that The Smiths had split up in 1987! Well, okay, maybe not quite that bad, but it was something of a shock. There were allegations - subsequently confirmed - that Edd's decision had, in fact, been prompted by a change of production company and that Edd felt the new producers were attempting to 'dumb down' the format of the show to save money. In the months since then, dear blog reader, something of a minor war of words has broken out between Edd and his former partner on the show, Mike Brewer. See, for example, Mike allegedly calling Edd 'a traitor' here and, Edd's response, here. Well, now the first trailer for the new series of Wheeler Dealers has appeared on Discovery (the - fourteenth - series begins in the UK in early January). It features Mike and Edd's replacement, someone called Ant Anstead. Whether Wheeler Dealers continues to be a From The North favourite without, in this blogger's opinion, the best reason for watching it, time will tell. But, one can't help but feel roughly the same as when Clarkson, Hamster and Cap'n Slowly left another wildly popular car show and were replaced by Chris Evans, Joey from Friends and ... some other people.
How ironic it was to see three fantastic examples of Twenty First Century Woman - Hermione Cockburn, Rachael Stirling and Helen Pidd - on a 2016 episode of Christmas Pro-Celebrity University Challenge repeated this week on BBC4 being entirely unable to name the woman who fell in front of the King's horse in 1913 and, ultimately, helped to get their entire gender the vote. For shame, ladies, for shame! That one's going to follow all three of you through the rest of your careers, one imagines.
A new game has been released by the BBC. Doctor Who Time Vortex VR gives players the chance to pilot the TARDIS through the depths of the space-time vortex inside a virtual reality version of the show's title sequence. Which is nice. The game is a VR reboot of the successful Time Vortex 360 mobile game released earlier this year. As they 'speed through time,' players will 'tackle hazards and obstacles emerging from the future ahead of them and will need to quickly react by physically turning around to evade threats from the past.' As players progress through the game, they are 'transported into different time zones from past eras, from the current vortex to re-imagined designs from the 1960s and 1980s.' The game is available to play using cardboard headsets, Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive via ones web browser. Apparently. However, those without headsets can still play the game with mobiles and tablets running newer versions of Android or iOS and the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari. A full list of all supported devices is available here. To play, fans simply need to visit Like the 360 game, the VR version is an endless runner, which gets more and more difficult the longer people play, taking them on a visually intense journey through the iconic vortex from the show's opening credits. Using the device's accelerometer, players control the game by physically moving around, even giving the player the ability to turn around and travel backwards in time.
So, dear blog reader, here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Five programmes broadcast in the UK during the week-ending Sunday 10 December 2017:-
1 Blue Planet II - Sun BBC1 - 11.91m
2 Strictly Come Dancing - Sun BBC1 - 11.76m
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) - Sun ITV - 10.36m
4 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.14m
5 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.55m
6 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 6.99m
7 Emmerdale - Fri ITV - 6.63m
8 Michael McIntyre's Big Show - Sat BBC1 - 6.36m
9 The Apprentice - Wed BBC1 - 5.92m
10 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.62m
11 Attenborough & The Giant Elephant - Sun BBC1 - 5.38m
12 Pointless Z-List Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 5.17m
13 Six O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 5.09m
14 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 4.95m
15 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.83m
16 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.80m
17 Love, Lies & Records - Thurs BBC1 - 4.22m
18 The Real Marigold On Tour - Mon BBC1 - 4.05m
19 The ONE Show - Thurs BBC1 - 4.01m
20 Paul O'Grady For the Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV- 3.87m
21= The A Word - Tues BBC1 - 3.86m
21= The Chase Z-List Celebrity Special - Sun ITV - 3.86m
23 The Martin Lewis Money Show - Tues ITV - 3.75m
24 Ten O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 3.73m
25 Would I Lie To You? - Mon BBC1 - 3.56m
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 whinge at yer actual Keith Telly Topping, dear blog reader, he doesn't make the rules, all right? The Saturday night Strictly Come Dancing episode had a consolidated audience of 11.73 million punters. MasterChef: The Professionals topped BBC2' weekly top thirty, the three nightly episodes attracting 3.38 million (Thursday), 3.17 million (Tuesday) and 3.15 million (Wednesday). Peaky Blinders broke the MasterChef stranglehold on BBC2's list, also attracting 3.17 million punters. University Challenge drew 2.85 million, Nigella (She Has Her Knockers): At My Table, 2.33 million, Match Of The Day: FA Cup Third Round Draw, 2.28 million, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, 2.23 million, Rick Stein's Road To Mexico, 1.85 million, The Apprentice - You're Fired!, 1.81 million, Z-list Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, 1.78 million and Only Connect, 1.65 million. Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain was also watched by 1.65 million, Mastermind by 1.59 million, John Noakes: TV Hero by 1.54 million, Wild Cameramen At Work by 1.49 million and the latest episode of Qi by 1.21 million. Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast was for Gogglebox with 2.64 million. Coastal Railways With Julie Walters (2.14 million) and The Secret Life Of The Zoo (1.57 million) came thereafter. Great Canal Journeys had 1.56 million viewers, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, 1.55 million, The Snowman & The Snowdog, 1.45 million, Britain's Wildest Weather, 1.42 million and Kirstie's Homemade Christmas, 1.37 million. The Last Leg With Adam Hills drew 1.29 million. Channel Five's top performer was Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End, with an audience of 1.61 million. Brunel: The Man Who Built Britain, Sinkholes: Buried Underground and All New Traffic Cops rounded-off Five's most-watched list with audiences of 1.58 million, 1.51 million million and 1.34 million. On Sky Sports Premier League, local derbies dominated the schedules and brought in some bumper audiences for the various Sky Sports channels. Up on Merseyside, Liverpool's one-all draw Everton was seen by seven hundred and nineteen thousand plus 1.76 million punters on Sky Sports Main Events. The Scum's defeat at home to Sheikh Yer Man City had six hundred and five thousand and 1.58 million on Main Event and West Hamsters United surprise victory over Moscow Chelski FC drew two hundred, two thousand plus three hundred and ninety thousand on Main Event and a further sixty eight thousand on Sky Sports Mix. Gillette Soccer Saturday was watched by two hundred and forty seven thousand punters on SS PL, one hundred and fifty eight thousand on Sky Sports Football and three hundred and seventy eight thousand on Sky Sports News. Live SPL, Hibernian versus Glasgow Celtic attracted one hundred and sixty four thousand viewers of Sky Sports Football. Birmingham against Wolverhampton Wanderings was seen by seventy one thousand and plus three hundred and twenty eight thousand on Main Event. Hamilton Makes History was Sky Sports F1's list-topper with eight thousand. Real Madrid Versus Sevilla was Sky Sports Mix's most watched broadcast with sixty two thousand. The Cricket Report had thirty four thousand and NFL Redzone, thirty two thousand. Sky Sports Cricket channel's coverage of the second test between New Zealand and West Indies was watched by fifty six thousand. Meanwhile BT Sports Ashes coverage attracted one hundred and seventy one thousand. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by The Flash with nine hundred and forty three thousand viewers and Arrow, with eight hundred and forty nine thousand. Supergirl continued with eight hundred and twenty six thousand whilst DC's Legends Of Tomorrow had seven hundred and seventy seven thousand and Marvel's Inhumans, six hundred and seventy eight thousand. That rancid stream of festering spew A League Of Their Own was watched by four hundred and twenty five thousand people who should be bloody well embarrassed to show their faces in public after such malarkey. For shame, people of Great Britain, for absolute shame. Sky Arts' Landscape Artist Of The Year was seen by one hundred and eighty nine thousand viewers. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by a repeat of Game Of Thrones with one hundred and seventeen thousand. David Attenborough's Galapagos attracted eighty nine thousand and Babylon Berlin, fifty seven thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of The Good Doctor drew by 1.06 million whilst Criminal Minds, had eight hundred and ninety three thousand. Blindspot attracted five hundred and thirty one thousand, Grey's Anatomy, five hundred and three thousand and Madam Secretary, four hundred and sixty one thousand. Life was the big film of Sky Cinema Premiere, seen by three hundred and twenty nine thousand. 9/11 drew one hundred and ninety one thousand. Agatha Christie's Marple was ITV3's top-rated drama (six hundred and three thousand viewers). Foyle's War was seen by five hundred and sixty seven thousand and Endeavour, by five hundred and thirty six thousand. The - two worst - James Bond movies Octopussy and A View To A Kill were seen by five hundred and thirty nine thousand and five hundred and two thousand punters on ITV4. The channel's continuity announcer, incidentally, described A View To A Kill as 'Roger Moore saving the world in the classic globe-trotting adventure.' Rumours that random drug tests are soon to be introduced by ITV cannot, at this time, be confirmed (but, it is likely). Another, this time great, Bond movie Live & Let Die, had four hundred and twelve thousand viewers. ITV2's list of abject shame was dominated by 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, seven episodes of which were in the channel's top ten. Sunday's was the most-watched with 1.48 million sad, crushed victims of society. Every single one of whom needs to take a good, hard look at the themselves in the mirror for any - albeit slight - traces of dignity or self-worth. Vera topped ITV Encore's top ten with seventy two thousand viewers, followed by The Frankenstein Chronicles (sixty six thousand). Shallow and appalling tripe Tamara's World, was viewed by two hundred and seventy five 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 fifty seven thousand. Broken Britain in a sentence, dear blog reader. BBC4's top-ten was headed by the latest - superb - episode of the current series of Detectorists (1.30 million), by Witnesses: A Frozen Death (seven hundred and forty eight thousand) and by From The North favourite Digging For Britain (seven hundred and thirty three thousand). Invasion! With Sam Willis drew seven hundred and seven thousand, Armada: Twelve Days To Save England, five hundred and forty six thousand and How The West Was Won With Ray Meares, four hundred and seventy thousand. Buddy Holly: Rave On attracted four hundred and sixty three thousand. 5USA's latest Chicago PD episode was viewed by five hundred and ninety seven thousand punters, Castle by three hundred and eighty one thousand, Bull by three hundred and seventy six thousand, NCIS by three hundred and twelve thousand and Law & Order: SVU by two hundred and eighty five thousand. On Five Star, the movie The Expendables 3 scored two hundred and twenty one thousand. The Shannara Chronicles had two hundred and nine thousand. Knight Rider was seen by one hundred and ninety four thousand on Five-Spike. NCIS was the most-watched broadcast on CBS Action (ninety four thousand). Medium attracted fifty one thousand on CBS Drama. For FOX's sake, The Walking Dead's latest episode was watched by a whopping 1.28 million. The Gifted had three hundred and thirty five thousand and Family Guy, two hundred and twenty eight thousand. Chicago Med continued its repeat run on the Universal Channel with three hundred and eighteen thousand viewers. On Dave, From The North favourite Dave Gorman's Modern Life Is Goodish give the channel another bumper audience, five hundred and seven thousand very discerning punters. Wor Geet Canny Ross Noble: Off Road had three hundred and forty six thousand and Would I Lie To You?, two hundred and eighty five thousand. Not Going Out drew two hundred and thirty six thousand and Qi XL, two hundred and seven thousand. Drama's The White Princess was viewed by five hundred and eighty thousand whilst the, really rather good, Kiwi import, The Brokenwood Mysteries attracted five hundred and forty nine thousand viewers, Death In Paradise, five hundred and twenty one thousand and Inspector George Gently, three hundred and seventy three thousand. The latter two Drama Channel staple also headed the weekly top-ten of Alibi - Inspector George Gently with ninety six thousand and Death In Paradise with eighty four thousand. Another long-term Keith Telly Topping favourite, Hustle topped Sony TV's list with thirty eight thousand. Yesterday's Private Lives Of The Monarchs drew two hundred and fifty seven thousand, whilst Machines Of War attracted two hundred and four thousand, The Blue Planet, two hundred and one thousand and Porridge, one hundred and sixty three thousand. On Your TV, Bones brought in eighty one thousand and Behind Mansion Walls, seventy nine thousand. The Discovery Channel's Gold Rush was seen by three hundred and fifty nine thousand viewers. Fast N' Loud had one hundred and eighty two thousand, Finding Escobar's Million, one hundred and seventy thousand, Alaskan Bush People, one hundred and twenty four thousand and Mythbusters, one hundred and nineteen thousand. From The North fave Wheeler Dealers appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (twenty eight thousand) and Discovery Turbo (twenty nine thousand). And, there's a new series starting in the New Year. Hurrah! But, Edd China's not in it. Boo! Discovery History's Ultimate Warfare headed the top ten with twenty three thousand. Tony Robinson's Wild West and Industrial Revelations both attracted twenty one thousand. On Discovery Science, Sinkholes: Swallowed Alive was seen by thirty three thousand and Aliens On The Moon by twenty five thousand. Salvage Hunters on Quest was watched by two hundred and fifty eight thousand. Pick's Z Nation had an audience of two hundred and fifty five thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by The Long Road Home and Big, Bigger, Biggest. They were watched by one hundred and twenty two thousand and sixty nine thousand respectively. National Geographic Wild's Africa's Predator Zones was watched by thirty eight thousand. The History Channel's most-seen programme was The Lowe Files (seventy two thousand) and The Zodiac Killer: Case Closed? (sixty one thousand). History's Lost & Found on the Military History channel was viewed by thirty one thousand. Crimes That Shook Britain, Leah Remini: Scientology & The Aftermath, The First Forty Eight and The Eleven were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with sixty six thousand, fifty thousand, thirty eight thousand and thirty seven thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. From The North's current favourite afternoon distraction, Nightmare In Suburbia drew twenty nine thousand. Grave Secrets, Deadly Women, Horror At The Cecil Hotel, Home Alone and The Murder Castle headed Investigation Discovery's list (seventy five thousand, seventy three thousand, seventy two thousand, seventy two thousand and sixty three thousand respectively). GOLD's repeat run of Only Fools & Horses continued with one hundred and fifty five thousand punters. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for The Middle with three hundred and one thousand. This, dear blog reader, is what Americans find funny, it would seem. Mind you, look at whom they elected as President and then tell this blogger that it's a country which doesn't do irony. On More4, David Jason's Secret Service was the highest-rated programme with six hundred and eighty five thousand. Britain's Big Freeze was viewed by four hundred and four thousand. E4's list was topped, as usual, by The Big Bang Theory 2.31 million, by an 'uge distance the largest multichannels audience of the week. Hollyoakes had nine hundred and thirty three thousand. One hundred and fifty three thousand people - with, it would appear, nothing better to do with their lives - decided they wished to be Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E! The Exorcist and Merlin headed Syfy's top-ten with two hundred and seven thousand and one hundred and twenty thousand respectively. The Horror Channel's weekly list was, as usual, topped by five episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, one of them attracting one hundred and fifty five thousand. Jigsaw, Always Rains On Sunday, A Family At War, Scales Of Justice and She topped Talking Pictures list, with eighty one thousand, eighty thousand, sixty eight thousand, sixty one thousand and fifty six thousand. The Blue Planet was viewed by twenty nine thousand on Eden. Alaska: The Last Frontier was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with thirty one thousand. Sherlock on W attracted an audience of one hundred and thirty seven thousand punters. True Crime's Despain was seen by sixty thousand viewers. Killer Kids drew fifty five thousand and Deadly Women, fifty three thousand. On True Entertainment, A Christmas Wedding Date, was watched by one hundred and sixty seven thousand punters. Jamie's Family Christmas had seventy thousand people with nothing better to watch on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Ninety Day Fiance (one hundred and forty thousand). The Inspector Lynley Mysteries was watched by ninety one thousand on Home. Nova and The Magic Of Houdini With Alan Davies topped PBS America's weekly list with thirty one thousand and twenty eight thousand. Shameful pitiful and wretched toot Teen Mom 2 on MTV was viewed by two hundred thousand planks whilst equally worthless Just Tattoo Of Us had one hundred and eighty one thousand. Wanted Down Under drew two hundred and thirty nine thousand on Really. Cocktail was watched by forty three thousand on Rishtey Cineplex. Tom & Jerry had eighty one thousand viewers on Boomerang. The Wacky Races drew sixty nine thousand. On Cbeebies, Go Jetters was seen by five hundred and thirty four thousand. Sarah & Duck had five hundred and thirty two thousand, Peter Rabbit, five hundred and thirty one thousand and The Nutcracker, five hundred and twenty nine thousand. Alvinnn!!! & The Chipmunks had an audience of two hundred and two thousand on the Pop Channel. On AMC, Abduction was watched by five thousand. Pawn Stars drew one hundred and twenty one thousand punters to Blaze. Britain's Next Top Model pulled in one hundred and sixty six thousand on Lifetime. Knight Rider drew sixty four thousand on Forces TV. UCMMA - Warrior Challenge In The Cage was seen by eight thousand on Front Runner. Honeytrap attracted sixty thousand on London Live whilst Why Don't You Speak English? had fifty four thousand. Crash Landing, drew ninety eight thousand to the Movies 4 Men channel. Both Black Sea and Captain America: The First Avenger were viewed by four hundred and forty one thousand on Film4.

On a somewhat related note, this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing has had its highest ever consolidated average ratings in the show's history - with eleven million people regularly tuning in on Saturday nights. Beating last year's 10.9 million average, new viewing figures show that the BBC1 dancing competition is seemingly more popular than ever, while its ITV competitor The X Factor has been pulling in its own lowest audience figures for its most recent series. Despite various revamps, 2017 has seen Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's singing contest have its worst ever set of ratings, with but 6.3 million people on average tuning in per episode, and the final – which was won by someone called Rak-Su, apparently – being watched by a mere 5.2 million. In 2010, The X Factor was neck-and-neck with Strictly in the media-created 'Saturday night ratings war' and would regularly beat the BBC1 show on Saturday nights, but it seems times have changed with the dance show now massively outdoing its rival.
Derek Jacobi has joined the cast of Good Omens as Metatron. The best-selling novel, co-written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, is currently being adapted by Gaiman for a six-part miniseries for Amazon Prime. Jacobi joins the previously announced David Tennant, Michael Sheen and Jon Hamm for the drama, which is due to be broadcast in 2019. Neil announced the news by sharing a picture on Twitter of himself with Jacobi.
ITV has confirmed there will be a third series of Victoria after this year's Christmas Day special. Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes will both be back as the Queen and Prince Albert in the series, which begins in 1848. According to Daisy Goodwin, the drama's creator, that year marked 'a hugely dramatic and eventful time for both the royal family and Europe.' 'We look forward to regaling audiences with the next part of the illustrious Queen's reign,' said ITV's Polly Hill. Hill, who is ITV's head of drama, added: 'We're delighted that the nation has taken Victoria to its hearts.' Comfort & Joy, the two-hour Christmas special, will be broadcast on Christmas Day.
Great news, everyone! Vic & Bob's Big Night Out is returning for a full series, following news that it's coming back for a Christmas special. They would not, it would seem, let it lie. Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer are partnering with BBC2 to bring back the cult 1990s Channel Four sketch series Vic Reeves Big Night Out, now rebranded to reflect the fact that Bob should always have got equal billing, if only for creating The Man With The Stick. Vic - Britain's top light entertainer and signer, remember - told the Sun: 'We're going to start writing a full series of Big Night Out in January. We'll spend next year on it. Vic & Bob's Big Night Out is pretty much like Shooting Stars without the guests,' he added. 'TV audiences are a lot older now so if you do a bit of nostalgia, it's always going to appeal to them.' The half-hour Christmas special will be broadcast on Friday, 29 December at 9pm on BBC2 and will feature Vic and Bob revisiting some of their classic comedy characters along with special guest Matt Lucas. 'This is the show we wanted to perform back in the 1980s,' Vic recently claimed. 'Now the time is right. We will be increasing our respective heights in order to perform some of the more intricate and challenging moments.' Vic Reeves Big Night Out originally ran for a mere fifteen episodes on Channel Four in the early 1990s, but its anarchic, free-form comedy and memorably daft moments proved pivotal for establishing the Vic and Bob partnership. Since then, the pair have gone on to make classic telly comedy in The Smell Of Reeves & Mortimer, Shooting Stars, the remake of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and other favourites.
After finishing ninth at this year's Eurovision Song Contest, Australia - which, as you might have noticed, is not in Europe - is 'upping its game for 2018.' Jessica Mauboy will represent her country in next year's Eurovision in Lisbon next May, broadcaster SBS announced on Monday. Mauboy, who is the first indigenous artist to reach number one in the Australian CD charts, said that she would 'sing my heart out for Australia.' She added: 'I'm so proud to be officially representing my country and a little bit nervous - mainly about the dress!' The singer previously appeared at the 2014 Eurovision semi-finals in Denmark, performing the song 'Sea Of Flags' during the interval. Like many modern Eurovision contestants, Mauboy first came to fame on reality TV, coming second in the 2006 series of Australian Idol. After the show, she released a live CD, The Journey, which reached the top five thanks to the popularity of her cover of Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful'. Her debut single, 'Running Back', followed a year later, featuring a guest appearance by Flo Rida. It was certified double platinum and saw Mauboy win her first Aria - Australia's equivalent of a Brit Award. Since then, she has sold more than three million CDs globally, while her songs have been streamed more than one hundred and fifty million times. Which is a lot. She also starred in the 2012 film The Sapphires, playing the role of Julie McCrae, one of four Australian women who travelled to Viet'nam to sing for troops during the war. The film won Mauboy an Australian Film Critics Association Award for best supporting actress and led to her being cast in the lead role of the TV series The Secret Daughter. Australia - despite, you know, still not being in Europe - has been part of the Eurovision Song Contest since 2015, when it was given a 'wild card' entry for the show's sixtieth anniversary. The competition has a huge fan base in the country, where it has been screened for more thirty years, with viewing figures regularly topping three million. Mauboy, whose mother is from the Indigenous KuKu Yalanji tribe and whose father is from Timor, said that she had wanted to represent Australia at the contest ever since her performance in 2014. 'I am a deeply a competitive person when it comes to music,' she said. 'I almost feel like I was the permission for Australia to become properly involved. A year after that, the gate was opened for Australia [and] I almost feel like I've been waiting for this, like it's unfinished business.' The singer has yet to unveil the song she will take to Portugal, but said she intended to compose it herself. 'I want my culture, background and history to definitely affect and be part of the song that I want to write,' she told SBS. 'I think as someone who represents Australia as a whole, within the song I really want to go deep and be able to tell a story, but also have something that sounds like it's just been taken from the radio or a music video. I want to keep the vibe of it being music and that being the heart of it.' The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest will be held on 12 May.
Netflix has defended a - frankly, rather horrible - tweet which revealed that fifty three people had watched its new Christmas film every day for eighteen days in a row. 'Who hurt you?' read the tweet, addressed to them. The tweet caused controversy, with some people on social media that you've never heard of saying it was 'creepy' of the networking platform to keep such close tabs on its audience and mock their choices of viewing since, after all, they had paid for the privilege of watching whatever the Hell they liked on Netflix. In a statement, Netflix said that the privacy of its members was importantto them. Or or two people even believed them. 'This information represents overall viewing trends, not the personal viewing information of specific, identified individuals,' claimed a representative, somewhat unconvincingly. Netflix 'has been studying its user-data closely for some time,' the statement added, but does not 'often' share it. Except now, when it has. When the platform first decided to start producing its own material, it mined its user-data to see what the most popular content was among its existing customers as a guide to what sort of programmes it should be making. At that time it discovered that the most searched-for and viewed material included that which featured Kevin Spacey, the director David Fincher and BBC political dramas - and that led directly to the re-make of the 1990 BBC political thriller House Of Cards, involving both Spacey and Fincher. 'Netflix, like any company these days, keeps a sharp eye on what its users like so that it can offer them more of what they like,' said technology commentator Kate Bevan. 'What is a bit creepy, however, is extracting data points with no context and offering up data that should be anonymised in a way that could identify individuals.'
The actress Salma Hayek has described Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein as 'a rage-fuelled monster,' alleging that he sexually harassed and threatened her. Writing in the New York Times, Hayek claimed that Weinstein once told her: 'I will kill you, don't think I can't.' Holly Baird, a spokeswoman for Weinstein, disputed Hayek's account. Dozens of actresses, including Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have now accused Weinstein of various forms of harassment or assault. Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex. Writing in the New York Times, Hayek described working with the film mogul on what she called her 'greatest ambition' - telling the story of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. She wrote that, after striking a deal with Weinstein for the rights of the movie which would eventually become 2002's Frida, she was forced to repeatedly refuse sexual advances. 'No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman,' she wrote. She went on to accuse Weinstein of threatening to shut the film down unless she filmed a nude sex scene with another actress. 'I had to take a tranquilliser, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse,' she wrote of her 'emotional turmoil' at filming the scene in question which she thought was unnecessary. 'As you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.' Weinstein's spokeswoman said in a statement: 'Mister Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female co-star and he was not there for the filming. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.' Frida would eventually gather six Oscar nominations, including a Best Actress recognition for Hayek. Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault and harassment, but has 'unequivocally denied' any and all allegations of non-consensual relationships.
A mother has called for 'a lewd and offensive' pantomime starring The Krankies and John Barrowman, to be axed. Whether she wants it to be axed with an actual axe is not, at this time, known. Natalie Wood made a whinge about a production of Dick Whittington at Manchester Opera House, claiming that it was 'too smutty' for children. During the show, she added, Barrowman reportedly fondled his co-star Janette Krankie's breasts and also invited audience members to chant 'Alice loves Dick.' Heh. Dick, y'see, cos it's his name, right? Wood, who sounds like a right laugh and who attended the show with ten family members - including six children aged three to twelve - snitched to the BBC that the show 'crossed the line' from innuendo to 'raw' vulgarity. Among the moments she took issue with was one where Wee Jimmy Krankie, played by Janette Krankie, poked her finger out of her trousers, emulating a penis. 'The main issue for us was the actual fondling of Jimmy Krankie's breasts and all the different cheap smutty jokes,' Wood whinged. 'Normally we share the jokes from the show afterwards - these kind of jokes you would have to discourage the children from repeating and or acting out,' she said. A local primary school teacher, who wished to remain suspiciously anonymous, told the BBC that she was also 'concerned' about the pantomime after seeing it with her class. 'I've seen a lot of pantos in my time but this was a step too far - all the staff agreed it was wholly inappropriate,' she whinged. 'I felt really uncomfortable watching it with my class. They were all gasping and saying "this is really rude."' In her letter to the theatre, Wood whinged that her children had 'copied' some of the jokes in the show. 'My children were repeating "Alice loves Dick" and sticking their fingers out of their trousers for a pretend penis throughout the evening. This is not acceptable and my children required far too much explaining about adult humour for a family show.' Promoters Qdos Entertainment said: 'In-keeping with the tradition of pantomime, the script does make use of double entendre and part of that is a play on the names of the characters. None of the humour within the show is intended to cause offence of any kind.' And, this utter trivia constitutes 'news', apparently.
Billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch has agreed to sell sixty six billion dollars worth of Twenty First Century FOX's assets, including a Hollywood film studio and his thirty nine per cent stake in Sky, in a deal which transforms his media empire. The takeover involves the eighty six-year-old tycoon and his family taking a 4.25 per cent stake in Disney, gaining control of assets including Avatar, X-Men, The Simpsons and Modern Family as well as the FX and National Geographic businesses. Billionaire tyrant Murdoch will retain control of FOX assets including the profitable, and controversial, FAUX News channel. Which, presumably, Disney didn't want as they are people with a moral compass. 'We are extremely proud of all that we have built at Twenty First Century FOX and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry,' said billionaire tyrant Murdoch. Disney chief executive, Bob Iger, has signed a contract extension to continue to run the business until 2021. James Murdoch the Small, the chief executive of Twenty First Century FOX has not been named in the new corporate structure and is expected to leave to 'pursue other business interests' when the deal is completed. 'We are honoured and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building,' said Iger. 'The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from Twenty First Century FOX reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before.' The transaction also marks a pivotal moment for the Murdoch dynasty with the departure from the business of James, who is also chairman of Sky. The move paves the way for his elder brother, forty six-year-old Lachlan to inherit executive control of the Murdoch empire. Lachlan is co-chairman of Twenty First Century FOX and News Corp, the separately-listed business which owns the Murdoch newspaper assets including The Times, the Sun and the New York Post. The deal will not, for now, impact the proposed takeover by Twenty First Century FOX of the sixty one per cent of Sky which it does not already own. The Competition and Markets Authority will continue to investigate the deal as a billionaire tyrant Murdoch-brokered takeover, pending FOX's Sky stake officially changing hands. 'While Twenty First Century FOX's existing plans to acquire Sky remain in place, we expect the current investigation to continue,' said a spokesman for the department of digital, culture, media and sport. Disney and FOX said that they expect the £11.7bn deal to buy the remaining sixty one per cent in Sky will be 'cleared and completed' by June next year. Twenty First Century FOX said that it intends to spin-off the remaining assets as a separate business, called New FOX, which will include FOX Broadcasting network and stations, FAUX News, FOX Business, FOX sports and its regional network of stations in the US. 'The new FOX will draw upon the powerful live news and sports businesses of FOX, as well as the strength of our broadcast network,' said billionaire tyrant Murdoch. 'It is born out of an important lesson I've learned in my long career in media: namely, content and news relevant to viewers will always be valuable. We are excited by the possibilities of the new FOX, which is already a leader many times over.' Under the terms of the deal, which will cement Disney's place as the world's most-powerful entertainment brand, Disney is paying $52.4bn in stock, including $13.7bn in debt – the total value of the deal is sixty six billion bucks. FOX shareholders will own about twenty five per cent of Disney, with the billionaire tyrant Murdochs' seventeen per cent stake in Twenty First Century FOX translating to just over four per cent. 'Through today's announcements we are proud to recommit to that promise and enable our shareholders to benefit for years to come through ownership of two of the world's most iconic, relevant and dynamic media companies,' said billionaire tyrant Murdoch. Disney has said that the deal will generate two billion dollars in savings. 'When considering this strategic acquisition, it was important to the board that Bob remain as chairman and chief executive through 2021 to provide the vision and proven leadership required to successfully complete and integrate such a massive, complex undertaking,' said Orin Smith, lead independent director of the Disney board.
Senior executives at Twenty First Century FOX are alleged to have agreed for millions of dollars in alleged 'bribes' to be paid to South American football officials to secure major broadcast deals, according to US prosecution documents unmasked by sworn testimony. The documents form part of the sprawling investigation into corruption in world football and, for the first time, reveal the executives' alleged role in the scheme. The three men were named in a previously unreported court filing, which alleges they took part in a bribery-for-broadcasting-rights scheme that is detailed by the US justice department in separate documents that shield the identities of certain organisations and individuals. US prosecutors say that the multimillion-dollar payments helped an offshore partnership involving FOX - T&T Sports Marketing Limited - obtain the lucrative rights to televise South America's premier club competition, the Copa Libertadores, which is watched by over a billion football fans worldwide and has launched the careers of numerous international stars including Pelé and Neymar. Neither FOX nor any of the identified executives have been charged by US authorities. Yet. FOX Sports said in a statement that it 'did not participate in any wrongdoing,' but declined to answer a series of detailed questions submitted by the Gruniad Morning Star. The company and the three executives have been accused of involvement in bribery via an ongoing civil case brought against FOX and others by a rival broadcaster, Gol TV, which is based in Florida. The company claims to have 'unfairly lost out' on media rights due to the alleged kickbacks. FOX Sports said that it was 'vigorously defending' the complaint. However, the criminal trial of three former South American soccer chiefs in New York, as well as hundreds of pages of court documents connected to the civil case, company records and contracts reviewed by the Gruniad, 'has shed new light' on the FOX executives' alleged role in the scheme, the paper claims. Torneos y Competencias, the Argentinian media company which partnered with FOX through T&T, is also being sued in the separate civil case. But Torneos has already admitted wrongdoing for its part in the scandal as part of the criminal investigation and has agreed to pay US authorities a large fine in order to avoid prosecution. As part of this written deal, known as 'a deferred prosecution agreement,' FOX's former business partner has signed off on a series of 'agreed facts' between the company and the US government, which the parties agreed are accurate for the purposes of the prosecution. These facts include anonymous references to individuals allegedly involved in the scheme. US prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to halt the separate civil case as their investigation is ongoing, but were denied by a judge. As a result, Torneos had to testify under deposition about some of the anonymous identities contained in the agreement. It identified Carlos Martinez, the chief executive of FOX Networks in Latin America, Hernan Lopez, who departed last year as head of FOX International Channels and James Ganley, the former chief operating officer at FOX Pan American Sports, which has been wholly owned by FOX since 2011 and was partly owned by FOX before then. Bribes for the Copa Libertadores were paid, at times, 'with the agreement and support' of these executives, according to the 'agreed facts' with the DoJ. Lawyers for Lopez said: 'Mister Lopez built his entire career on a foundation of respect and integrity and he never authorised or was aware of any improper payments on his watch.' Lawyers for Ganley said that their client 'has a well-earned reputation as a highly accomplished and ethical business executive. He has never been involved in any wrongdoing and has never been accused of wrongdoing. Any contention to the contrary is flatly false.' The revelation that the DoJ and Torneos 'agree' on the men's alleged involvement follows witness testimony in a trial in New York by former Torneos CEO Alejandro Burzaco. The testimony also named the three men. Burzaco has already pleaded guilty to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies in the case, and has been assisting US prosecutors with the investigation. The executives' alleged role in the football rights scheme involves a complex network of offshore companies, contracts and payment structures that changed over time. It revolves, in part, around FOX's ties to FOX Pan American Sports, a Latino sports TV venture based in Florida which was created in 2002 with backing from private equity investors. By 2005, according to company filings, FOX owned thirty eight per cent of FPAS, which in turn owned half of T&T, while the other half was owned by Torneos. FOX's involvement stepped up later that year as FPAS increased its ownership stake in T&T to seventy five per cent. Ganley became a director of T&T on 28 April 2005, according to company records. Ganley is a Florida-based cable TV veteran whose dealings with FOX date back more than twenty five years. He was chief financial officer of a pay-per-view television distributor that was bought out by News Corporation in 1992. In 1997, he was chief financial officer of an advertising firm that partnered with billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's company to create FOX Television Sales, selling advertising for FOX channels. Documents indicate that after joining as a director at T&T, Ganley signed off on multimillion-dollar payments from T&T to another offshore firm, Somerton, which US prosecutors claim was an offshore shell company delivering bribes. The controller of Somerton has already pleaded very guilty to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and two counts of money laundering conspiracy. In a contract 'seen by' the Gruniad bearing Ganley's signature and dated 10 November 2006, the former FPAS chief operating officer signed off on a one million dollar annual payment to Somerton, in five blocs of two hundred thousand bucks, in exchange for 'consulting services' related to the Copa Libertadores. The contract-mandated payments were made each year between 2007 to 2014. Another contract, introduced at the ongoing trial, dated 21 January 2008 was also signed by Ganley and instructs T&T to pay Somerton $3.7m, ostensibly to assist T&T in re-negotiating rights to the Copa Libertadores. However, according to Burzaco, who was shown the contract by prosecutors during his testimony, the money was 'intended as a one-off bribe' to five senior officials at Conmebol, South American football's governing body. This included payment to Julio Grondona, Sepp Blatter's number two at FIFA and head of football in Argentina until his death in 2014 and the then Conmebol president Nicolás Leoz, who has been indicted and is currently fighting extradition. The officials had agreed to extend T&T's rights to the tournament until 2018 without hearing any other bids, according to Burzaco and were 'already receiving their annual bribes to ensure support of T&T.' 'Is this a real contract?' Burzaco was asked by assistant US prosecutor Sam Nitze as the 2008 contract was presented to the New York jury. 'It's not a real contract, sir,' Burzaco replied, before identifying Ganley's signature. Securing the extended rights to the tournament was a major financial coup for Torneos and FOX, Burzaco said, and allowed the broadcaster to significantly expand its reach in the region. The civil suit alleges that T&T made payments to Somerton and another shell company created to pay bribes, until 7 December 2012. Hernan Lopez, the former CEO of FOX International Channels, signed on as a T&T director in June 2010. Martinez, the current CEO of FOX Latin America, followed two years later on 31 October 2012, according to records. Billionaire tyrant Murdoch's company eventually took over FOX Pan American Sports completely in December 2011, paying four hundred million bucks to buy out the remaining two-thirds of the company. Ganley stayed on as a T&T director under the new ownership structure for almost a year, records show. The move was hailed inside the company as 'a great success.' News Corporation said in company filings that it was one of the main reasons for a ten per cent boost in overall revenues the next year. At the same time, the company was working to recover from a wide-ranging scandal in its British newspaper division over the hacking of phones, bribing of public officials by tabloid reporters and other alleged and nefarious skulduggery and rotten doings. At the end of 2012, according to allegations in the civil complaint, Carlos Martinez, the FOX executive and then a T&T director, signed documents that 'restructured' how T&T paid bribes. According to the complaint, the documents moved the payments to shell companies to a company with a similar name registered in the Netherlands. That company, the civil complaint claimed, was owned by Torneos. It was administered by Mossack Fonseca, the legal firm at the centre of The Panama Papers scandal. It was, according to the civil complaint, used to receive payment for Copa Libertadores rights from the Brazilian broadcast giant Globo, and to pay out bribes through shell companies. The alleged illicit purpose of the Netherlands company was, allegedly, supported by the testimony of Argentinian former CEO Burzaco. During his four days of evidence at the trial, Burzaco claimed that Lopez and Martinez were 'aware' that the Netherlands company was 'involved' in the payment of bribes in exchange for Copa Libertadores rights. Under oath, he placed the two FOX executives at a meeting in Miami in September 2014 between himself and Juan Ángel Napout, the former head of football in Paraguay, who is currently very on trial and Luis Bedoya, the former head of Colombian football, who has already pleaded extremely guilty to multiple corruption charges. Burzaco told the court last month that 'none of those present' wanted to amend 'the structure of illicit payments' run through the Netherlands company: 'The five persons that we were having lunch together at Milos restaurant in Miami Beach, knew that funding for the bribe payments under the Conmebol Copa Sudamericana [another club tournament T&T acquired the rights to] and Copa Libertadores contracts, was coming from Globo payment to T&T Netherlands, and from them to the [football] executives.' He added: 'So me, Hernan Lopez, Carlos Martinez and me nor Juan Ángel Napout, nor Bedoya wanted to modify that structure.' Burzaco has confessed to paying tens of millions in bribes and also testified that he was, himself, offered a bribe to hand over the Copa Libertadores rights. The bribe was offered by the owner of the TV station suing FOX, he said. At certain points, Burzaco alluded to a close relationship with Martinez and Lopez. The latter was a rising star in FOX television and climbed to the position of chief executive of FOX International Channels, before departing the company in a January 2016 shake-up. He had been credited with spearheading a successful expansion into new markets. On his way out, Lopez received financial backing from FOX for a new podcasting start-up company based in Los Angeles. His lawyers told the Gruniad that the departure was 'amicable and had nothing to do with any investigations.' Martinez is the current president of FOX's Latin American television division, having climbed the company's ranks over several years. Burzaco was asked, under cross-examination, about a series of 2011 e-mails with Lopez in which Burzaco offered to broker a meeting with the then president of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, by using his connections with Grondona, the Argentinian football chief who was Blatter's number two. Burzaco also recalled a meeting where the FOX executives, Lopez and Martinez, met José Maria Marin, the former head of Brazilian football, who is currently on trial and Marco Polo Del Nero, who replaced Marin after his arrest and has also been indicted in the case. Both are accused of accepting multimillion dollar bribes in exchange for tournament rights, including the Copa Libertadores. Burzaco said the meeting occurred at the Waldorf Hilton hotel in London on May 2013 as the group visited the city for the Champions League final that year between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. The meeting's purpose, Burzaco said, was for FOX to forge 'stronger link[s]' with officials in Brazilian football. At a meeting straight afterwards, where Lopez and Martinez were not present, according to Burzaco's account, the Brazilian officials complained to him that their annual seven-figure bribe payments for the Copa Libertadores rights had not yet been paid. Shortly after, the US government announced its investigation into FIFA and corruption in world football, following a dramatic morning raid at a hotel in Zurich in May 2015, Conmebol announced that it was 'reviewing' its rights contracts for events including the Copa Libertadores. T&T's contract was subsequently cancelled and FOX signed a direct agreement with the governing body.
In a marvellously sneery think-piece in the Gruniad, Marina Hyde ask a very interesting question related to the proposed TV adapatation of The Bad Boys Of Brexit. 'Speaking of Norma Farage, I have left it as long as I could, but now have to ask: is it possible he has genuinely bumped off a screenwriter? If not, what of The Bad Boys Of Brexit, the landmark US TV series based on Arron Banks's book of the same name? By way of a recap, it was reported back in August in various newspapers that a major US TV studio was to sign "a sixty million dollars deal" to bring it to the small screen in a six-part series. At the time, that would have given The Bad Boys Of Brexit the same budget as Game Of Thrones, suggesting that either Nigel's CGI dragons were going to be absolutely insane, or that the production planned to build a scale model of the Sunderland count on Hollywood's most expensive piece of back-lot real estate. According to a very well-briefed report in the Daily Express at the time: "Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey or Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch have been tipped to play Misterr Farage." On the bright side, they could probably get Spacey now. The book's publisher, Iain Dale, explained hotly that he was going out to Los Angeles in October to do the deal. Since then ... it's been frightfully quiet. Iain does not seem to have made the trip to LA and things are getting rather tight given we were told shooting was starting in the New Year. Is The Bad Boys Of Brexit's screenwriter floating face down in a pool somewhere, even as Norma prepares to descend the stairs for his big comeback? One to keep an eye on, certainly.'
A row has broken out over advice given to police in England and Wales telling them not to stop and search people only because they smell of cannabis. The advice was first given to police last year and was reiterated by an Inspectorate of Constabulary report on Tuesday. The advice says that officers should look at 'other factors' like behaviour as well as merely getting a hit of that sweet, sickly smell. But some officers, including the chief constable of Merseyside Police, said they disagreed. And, they can do that because ... it's The Law. The College of Policing said that it plans to 'review' the guidance. Police officers can use stop-and-search powers if they have 'reasonable grounds' to suspect that someone is carrying items such as drugs, weapons or stolen property. Last year, they were given new guidance by the College of Policing that the smell of cannabis on its own would 'not normally' justify stopping and searching someone or their vehicle. But the Inspectorate of Constabulary said that many officers were 'unaware' of the guidance and it is now urging forces to 'encourage' officers to 'not rely on a smell alone.' However, Chief Constable Andy Cooke, of Merseyside Police, said that he would not be giving that advice to his teams. He tweeted: 'I disagree. The guidance in my view is wrong and the law does not preclude it. Smell of cannabis is sufficient to stop search and I will continue to encourage my officers to use it particularly on those criminals who are engaged in serious and organised crime.' Matt Locke, of Northumbria Police, described the guidance as 'inconsistent,' adding that it was 'a bit of a dog's dinner.' Mike Cunningham, HM Inspector of Constabulary, responded to questions on social media about the 'guidance' by saying that the smell of cannabis 'can be reasonable grounds' to search but it will be 'for the officer to explain.' He added that the advice 'encourages multiple grounds' to merit a stop and search. The row came after the Inspectorate of Constabulary analysed more than eight-and-a-half thousand stop and search records and found almost six hundred were conducted solely because police could smell cannabis. Searches based on other grounds, such as the suspect's behaviour, result in more arrests, the report said.
A project searching for intelligent life in the cosmos is going to check the first known interstellar asteroid for signs of alien technology. The odd-shaped object - described by yer actual David Tennant as 'looking like a space-turd on Have I Got News For You, which led to plenty of subsequent Doctor Poo jokes from Merton and Hislop! - was detected as it sped towards the Sun on 19 October. Its properties suggested it originated around another star, making it the first such body to be spotted in our own cosmic neighbourhood. An initiative backed by billionaire Yuri Milner will use a radio telescope to listen for signals from it. The team's efforts will begin on Wednesday, with astronomers observing the asteroid, which is currently speeding away from our Solar System, across four different radio frequency bands. The first set of observations at the Robert C Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia is due to last for ten hours. Previous observations of the object, called Oumuamua, have 'noted' its strange, elongated shape, making it look a bit like a cigar. Milner's Breakthrough Listen programme released a statement which read: 'Researchers working on long-distance space transportation have previously suggested that a cigar or needle shape is the most likely architecture for an interstellar spacecraft, since this would minimise friction and damage from interstellar gas and dust.' Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center [sic], who is part of the initiative, said: 'Oumuamua's presence within our Solar System affords Breakthrough Listen an opportunity to reach unprecedented sensitivities to possible artificial transmitters and demonstrate our ability to track nearby, fast-moving objects.' He added: 'Whether this object turns out to be artificial or natural, it's a great target for Listen.' Professor Andrew Coates, from UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Dorking, who is not involved with Breakthrough Listen, told BBC Surrey: 'I believe there is an experiment being done to actually listen to this object to see if there are any potential signs of life on it. I think this is most unlikely because it's left over from the beginning of that planetary system elsewhere. Much better ways of looking for life are actually missions like our ExoMars project, which is going to be going to Mars in 2020, drilling underneath the surface to look for signs of life. We're building the camera system for that.' He added: 'But, as this thing is passing through very quickly, why not have a listen just in case?' Other researchers who have carried out observations of the asteroid with ground telescopes say that, apart from its shape, it closely resembles natural objects found in the outer parts of our Solar System. It has a reddish colour, which is often indicative of organic compounds that have been irradiated by cosmic rays. Measurements suggest it has a dense structure and is comprised of rock and metal, but with little - if any - water-ice. Although Oumuamua formed around another star, scientists think it could have been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any particular star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounter with our Solar System. The asteroid's name, Oumuamua, means 'a messenger from afar arriving first' in Hawaiian.
An Egyptian pop singer has reportedly been extremely jailed for two years after she ate a banana 'suggestively' whilst wearing skimpy clothing in her music video. Shaimaa Ahmed, who is commonly known by her stage name Shyma, was jailed for 'inciting debauchery' after the video showed her standing before a classroom of young men. In the clip, a blackboard behind her is scrawled with the words 'Class #69', and she proceeds to eat an apple and a banana while pouring milk over the fruit. s you do. The video, which was filmed for her song 'I Have Issues' prompted huge controversy in Egypt's largely conservative society – and was widely discussed on TV before prosecutors ordered her arrest. Now, an Egyptian court has very jailed the singer for two years – although she can appeal the verdict to a higher court. The video's director was also fined and sentenced to two years in his absence. The ruling follows a similar case from November, which saw a Lebanese singer interrogated by Egyptian authorities for wearing a pair of shorts on stage. Haifa Wehbe claims she was 'called for interrogation' after the performance at the American University of Cairo. Her manager was called by authorities to 'warn' him that the singer must pick outfits which 'take into account the traditions and customs of Egyptian people.'
This, dear blog reader, is why yer actual Keith Telly Topping never eat bananas. Apart form the fact that the smell of the damn things makes him physically vomit, they are nothing but a timebomb for innuendo and The Clergy have issues with them.
Right, dear blog reader so, that's the Stately Telly Topping Manor Christmas tree sorted for another year.
Disgraced former z-list celebrity publicist and convicted sex offender Max Clifford has died in hospital, aged seventy four, after collapsing in prison. Clifford collapsed in his cell at Littlehey Prison in Cambridgeshire on Thursday of last week and again on Friday, his daughter said. He was taken to hospital where he suffered a cardiac arrest. He had been serving an eight-year sentence for historical sex offences. In May 2014, Clifford was extremely jailed after being convicted of a number of charges under Operation Yewtree - the Met Police investigation set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile fiasco. During this trial, evidence was given concerning Clifford's 'manipulative behaviour,' including how he promised to boost the careers of aspiring models and actresses in return for sexual favours.
Keith Chegwin, who has died this week aged sixty after suffering from the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, was a child actor whose boyish good looks and infectious enthusiasm were the perfect ingredients for children's television. He was first seen as a presenter playing up his persona as a cheeky-chappie Scouser alongside millionaire egotists and nutter Noel Edmonds in the Saturday-morning show The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, which ran for six series from 1976 to 1982. Keith was invited to join the programme after having his own idea for a children's chat show turned down by the BBC. In a live broadcast, Edmonds presented a mix of cartoons, videos, celebrity interviews and a children's phone-in to swap their toys, while Chegwin honed his interviewing style by leaving the studio to chat with the public in the Swaparama outside broadcast element of the show. Within two years, he had landed his own programme, Cheggers Plays Pop (1978 to 1986), an oddly addictive format in which two schools competed against each other. Questions about contemporary music were interspersed with physical It's A Knockout-style tasks involving balls and inflatables, plus a studio performance by a family-friendly chart act. It was like a cross between We Are The Champions and Pop Quiz and brightened up a few wet Wednesday teatimes in mid-November with Cheggers' own infectious enthusiasm for even the most mundane of segments. Becoming a perennial of children's TV, Keith also co-hosted Saturday SuperStore (1982 to 1987), a replacement for Swap Shop following Edmonds's move to peak-time shows. Chegwin answered viewers' letters and went out on location with his Delivery Van Roadshow. However, his long run at the BBC then came to an end and, in 1992, he revealed to Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan on This Morning that he had become an alcoholic. He said that making the confession made him stop drinking and turn his life around. He was soon back on-screen doing his well-honed vox-pops with the public, turning up unannounced for the Down Your Doorstep feature on Channel Four's The Big Breakfast in the mid-1990s. 'Wake up you beggars – it's Cheggers!' was his usual greeting. Keith was born in the Walton district of Liverpool, to Margaret and Colin Chegwin, the younger brother of Janice (Long), who became a popular Radio 1 DJ and Jeffrey, his twin. He sang in working men's clubs with The Happy Wanderers concert party from the age of eleven and, on appearing in the children's TV variety show Junior Showtime, was spotted by June Collins – mother of Phil, though we should probably try to forgive her for that crime against humanity – who was an agent for the Barbara Speake Stage school in Acton. She invited Keith to audition for the West End musical Mame (1969), starring Ginger Rogers; he was hired but was unable to appear because of licensing laws for child performers, so he trained at the school instead. Chegwin appeared on TV as a child actor in episodes of The Liver Birds and The Adventures Of Black Beauty (both 1972), as well as the 1973 pilot of Open All Hours and had a regular role as Raymond Clarkson in the ITV sitcom The Wackers. Roman Polanski directed him as Fleance in the extremely bloody 1971 film adaptation of Macbeth. Chegwin also supplemented his acting career with a parallel stab at being a pop singer. He released a couple of solo singles (included the 1973 Andy Bown-composed 'I'll Take You Back' and is reported to have sang - briefly - with the chart band Kenny (although, as far as anyone is aware, he's not on any of their hit singles like 'The Bump' and 'Fancy Pants'). He also made a few singles for Pye Records during the height of his fame on Swap Shop and a single called 'More To Love' with his brother, Jeff, in 1981. After presenting the talent show Sky Star Search (1989 to 1991), Cheggers hosted revivals of two game shows – Sale Of The Century, in 1997 and It's A Knockout, from 1999 to 2001. Then, he made headlines for presenting – nude, apart from wearing a pith helmet – The Naked Jungle (2000), a one-off version of Mr & Mrs with naturist couples collecting fig leaves as they competed against each other. The series triggered Chris Smith, the then lack of culture secretary, to say in parliament: 'We have noted in recent days considerable concern about some of the content on television, particularly in relation to Channel Five.' Chegwin was knocking on people's doors again at breakfast-time for a stint on GMTV (2000 to 2007) and took part in Twatting About On Ice (2013) and Z-List Celebrity Big Brother (2015). In 2006 he was perfectly happy to make a lampoon his own public image on the Ricky Gervais sitcom Extras. His autobiography, Shaken But Not Stirred, was published in 1995. Keith and his first wife, the Swap Shop and Tomorrow's World presenter Maggie Philbin – whom he married in 1982 – were seen as a golden showbiz couple as the time. The marriage ended in divorce in 1993 after Chegwin began a relationship with the family's nanny, Maria Fielden, whom he later married in 2000. He is survived by Maria and their son, Ted, as well as Rose, the daughter from his first marriage.
The renowned scientist and TV presenter Heinz Wolff has died, aged eighty nine. The German-born inventor and professor, famed for hosting BBC2's long-running science show The Great Egg Race, died of heart failure, his family said. A former advisor to the European Space Agency, Wolff became emeritus professor at London's Brunel University, working on projects linked to ageing populations. His son, Laurence, paid tribute to his humour, curiosity, and enthusiasm. Speaking to BBC News, Laurence said that his father had 'touched so many people through his ingenuity in terms of his inventing ... and his great belief in educating about science and technology.' He had 'a natural sense of fun and he knew that was also a way of engaging people. People would stop him in the street and they would say, "you got me into science."' A Jewish refugee, Wolff moved to the UK from Berlin at the age of eleven on the day World War II broke out in September 1939. After attending school in Oxford, he worked in haematology at the city's Radcliffe Infirmary, where he invented a machine for counting patients' blood cells. He later went on to graduate from University College London with a first-class honours degree in physiology and physics. Wolff moved into television in 1966, first appearing on Panorama, where he produced a pill that could measure pressure, temperature and acidity. However, he became best known for hosting BBC2's The Great Egg Race from 1977 until 1986 - instantly recognisable for his trademark bow tie and eccentric hairstyle. The show challenged contestants to invent useful objects with limited resources. Friends and colleagues also recalled Wolff's love of practical jokes, particularly one instance when he arrived at his eightieth birthday party on a scooter propelled by fire extinguishers. Professor Julia Buckingham, vice-chancellor and president of Brunel University, said: 'Heinz's remarkable intellect, ideas and enthusiasm combined to make him the sparkling scientist we will so fondly remember. He was a wonderful friend and supporter to staff and to students - and an inspiration to all of us.' Alongside his television appearances, Wolff continued in his efforts to advance human progress through his scientific work. He was made an honorary member of the European Space Agency in 1975 and his work into how humans could survive hostile space environments led to Doctor Helen Sharman becoming the first British astronaut and the fifteenth woman in space in 1991. Laurence Wolff said that this space work - known as Project Jupiter - had been greatly valued by his father, who wished to 'inspire young people' and use science to 'entertain as well as educate.' He also described how Heinz Wolff's early interest in science had been stoked by his own father, who had him taking part in chemistry experiments at the age of four. He added: 'The person that people saw when they met him was the person we knew at home. His sense of humour, his curiosity, his enthusiasm. That was our father.' Wolff was also a noted supporter of local charities throughout his life, including spending more than twenty five years as a trustee and then Life President, of the Hillingdon Partnership Trust. He was married to his wife, Joan, until her death in 2014 and is survived by two sons and four grandchildren.
'Please tell me that's not your penis,' a cliffhanger line from the soap opera Shortland Street, has won New Zealand's annual quote of the year competition. It was blurted out by the character Chris Warner, when a nude picture his son had sent to his girlfriend popped up on the family iPad. Massey University said that the phrase received eighteen per cent of the seven thousand two hundred and thirty eight votes cast. The dramatic moment, which was broadcast in February, soon went viral, even catching the attention of newspapers in the UK (where the show is also broadcast on some obscure digital channel) and the American chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live! which did a - not even remotely funny - spoof of it featuring Alec Baldwin. Massey University holds the phrase competition every year. Organiser Heather Kavan said that there were 'many reasons' for the Shortland Street line's appeal. Although, the fact that it includes the word 'penis' was probably the most embiggened of them. 'The quote is highly entertaining. The suspense is laughably theatrical, rather than anxiety-inducing and, therefore, many people enjoy hearing it again,' she claimed. 'And, of course, Chris Warner's [played by the actor Michael Galvin] delivery is part of the magic, along with Harry Warner's uncomfortable facial expression and the closing music.' She also said that it 'brought attention' to the serious topic of sexting among young people. 'The quote dramatises the risk of storing photos of one's private parts. That's immensely topical. Even whistle-blower Edward Snowden and US comedian John Oliver have chatted about the security of so called "dick pics,"' Kavan added.
Iain Lee has said that the word 'bullying' is 'a bit strong' to describe what happened to him during the recently completed series of 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) in which he finished third. Some people that you've never heard of on social media had complained about the way the radio host was treated by several of his fellow contestants - most notably odious shortarse Dennis Wise, Rebekah Vardy, Amir Khan and Jamie Lomas - and an unspecified number of complaints have reportedly been made to Ofcom about the subject. In a series of tweets and during an interview on spin-off show 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): Coming Out, Lee has denied it amounted to bullying. He also asked his supporters not to send abusive messages to anyone connected with the show. 'There was no bullying whatsoever,' he said. He went on to clarify his position in a series of tweets. 'Bullying is a strong word. But I was unaware of a lot of what was said behind my back and also what some people said about me after they'd left,' he noted. ITV's sick Victorian freak show for people who are either short of cash or desperate to get themselves on TV ended earlier this week. It was won by some Made In Chelsea-type individual. Apparently.
A recording of Morrissey's hugely contentious interview with a German newspaper has been made public. Der Spiegel put the audio online after the singer claimed - rather unconvincingly - that the paper had 'not conveyed' his views 'fairly.' In the interview, the former Smiths singer gave his opinions on a number of subjects including sexual harassment and the disgraced former actor, Kevin Spacey. The audio, as presented by Der Spiegel, appears to broadly support the way in which Morrisey's comments were initially reported by the publication rather than Morrissey's assertion that he had been misrepresented. In the recording, Morrissey suggested that Spacey - the subject of multiple sexual harassment allegations - has been 'unnecessarily' attacked. Morrissey is also heard describing Germany as 'the rape capital of Europe.' Elsewhere in the interview, he is asked whether he would press a hypothetical button which would cause the death of US President (and hairdo) Trump. 'In the interests of the human race I would, yes,' he replied. 'I think he's a terrible scourge.' Morrissey can also be heard calling the recent decision to replace Spacey in an upcoming film with another actor 'absurd.' He goes on to suggest that the actor Anthony Rapp's claim that Spacey made a sexual advance towards him when he was aged fourteen 'doesn't quite ring true.' Rapp's initial allegation led to a string of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment against Spacey, the most recent coming from the King of Norway's former son-in-law. A spokesman for the actor said last month that he was 'taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment' in the wake of the allegations. 'I hate rape and I hate attack and I hate any sexual situation that is forced upon a person against their will,' Morrissey goes on to tell Der Spiegel's interviewer, comments which did appear in the original article. 'But in many, many situations, if you look at the circumstances, you think that the person who is called the victim is merely disappointed.' The fifty eight-year-old was widely condemned after initial reports of the interview, which were based on German translations of his words. In an angry Internet statement this week, titled The Slander System, Morrissey claimed that he had been 'foolish' to speak to Der Spiegel in the first place and that he would not be speaking to the print media ever again. He also claimed that the newspaper had refused his request for 'an unchopped, un-fiddled-with' recording of the interview.