Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Not, Necessarily, In The Right Order

'Here, crime-fighting means emptying an ocean of shit with a teaspoon!' Saturday evening saw one of those TV-related dilemmas which, in a pre-recording devices era, would have been the cause of major trauma and more than a few tears being shed. Thank God, therefore, for the invention of video-on-demand as BBC2's Feud, which this blogger had been really enjoying for the previous four episodes, found itself up against the long-awaited return of From The North favourite Engrenages. Yes, dear blog reader, Spiral is extremely back for a sixth series and, it was - as expected - every single bit as brilliant as ever. As usual, Gilou (Thierry Godard) got all the best lines! Check out this terrific review of the opening two episodes at The Arts Desk website.
On the Christmas episode of Qi XL - O Christmas - Sandi Toksvig asked the question: 'Which king appeared on the first British Christmas stamp?' The answer of course, as Alan Davies correctly noted, was King Wenceslas on the 1966 threepenny stamp as designed by the then-six year old Tasveer Shemza as part of a competition run by the Post Office in conjunction with Blue Peter. Well, Alan noted that after his first guess, George V, got him a klaxon and some minus points. Sandi then slightly screwed up the info by suggesting that the competition - devised by the then-Postmaster General, yer actual Anthony Wedgwood Benn - had taken place in 1963. It was, of course, a couple of years later than that after Labour had won in the 1964 general erection. A now grown up Tasveer was in the Qi audience and revealed that, actually, she had based her (rather charming) design on her own father, the artist and writer Anwar Shemza. Sandi then added that it is somewhat ironic to think that stamps with festive designs are a more modern invention than The Daleks. This led to a discussion about whether Alan would like to play The Doctor. Remember, of course, that during the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the BBC's long-running family SF drama Doctor Who was off-air, Alan was a regular feature in many speculative media articles about the potential return of the series, as previously noted on this blog. Although, those said rather more about the narrow thought processes of journalists writing such rank speculative bollocks than it did about people who were actually in the running for the role. 'No,' Alan replied reasoning, not in the least bit inaccurately, that filming on the drama 'takes up a year of your life. And, everyone around you is painted blue ...' Then he paused. 'The truth is, Sandi, if they asked me, I'd probably do it!' Unfortunately for you, Alan, they've asked Jodie Whittaker instead. This time around, anyway.
Eric, Ernie & Me - the story of writer Eddie Braben's golden partnership with Morecambe and Wise - was broadcast on BBC4 last week, the latest in a long-line of BBC biopics on 1960s and 1970s nostalgia figures (recent examples include The Road To Coronation Street, An Adventure In Space & Time and We're Doomed). And, very good it was too - three excellent reviews of the drama can be gandered at here and here and here. There were terrific central performances from Stephen Tompkinson, Neil Maskell and, especially, Mark Bonnar who had Eric Morecambe's voice and mannerisms captured perfectly. It was also nice to see one of this blogger's favourite actresses, Life On Mars's Liz White, in the sympathetic role of Braben's patient wife, Deirdre. As this blogger enjoyed it so much it almost seems churlish to point out that there were a handful of errors in the chronology of the story - the most obvious one being Glenda Jackson (played by Lisa Jackson) and her wonderful Antony & Cleopatra sketch which occurred in 1971 in real-life but cropped up much later in the narrative here. There was also the final scene and end caption which seemed to imply that the 1977 Morecambe & Wise Christmas episode (the one watched by most of Britain) was the last time Eddie worked with the duo. In actual fact, although Eddie remained a BBC writer for another couple of years, in 1980, he rejoined Eric and Ernie at Thames and continued writing for them right up to Eric's death in 1984. But, as this blogger noted, these were very minor niggles - indeed, possibly they were there deliberately for nit-pickers such as this blogger; there to show that, like Eric's version of Grieg's Piano Concerto by Grieg (conducted by Andrew Preview), all the notes were there 'but, not necessarily in the right order'!
And, speaking of Eric and Ernie, there's fascinating series of blog posts at the BBC's R&D website on efforts to reconstruct a damaged film copy of one of the otherwise lost 1968 episodes of The Morecambe & Wise Show found in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, dear blog reader, here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Seven programmes broadcast in the UK during the week-ending Sunday 17 December 2017:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing - Sun BBC1 - 13.01m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.31m
3 The Apprentice: The Final - Sun BBC1 - 7.99m
4 Michael McIntyre's Big Show - Sat BBC1 - 7.45m
5 Bancroft - Thurs ITV - 7.24m
6 Emmerdale - Thurs ITV - 7.05m
7 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.01m
8 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 - Fri ITV - 6.01m
9 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.87m
10 BBC Sports Personality Of The Yard - Sun BBC1 - 5.48m
11 BBC News - Sat BBC1 - 5.31m
12 Pointless Z-List Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 5.15m
13 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.79m
14 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.61m
15 Paul O'Grady For The Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV - 4.49m
16 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 4.41m
17 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.29m
18 The Real Marigold On Tour - Mon BBC1 - 4.17m
19 Love, Lies & Records - Thurs BBC1 - 4.13m
20 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 4.12m
21 The Apprentice: You're Hired - Sun BBC1 - 4.06m
22 The A Word - Tues BBC1 - 4.00m
23 ITV News - Mon ITV - 3.94m
24 Would I Lie To You? - Mon BBC1 - 3.89m
25 The Chase - Tues ITV - 3.83m
26 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.71m
27 MasterChef: The Professionals - Tues BBC2 - 3.62m
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? Dunno, they just don't, all right? MasterChef: The Professionals topped BBC2's weekly top thirty, the three nightly episodes attracting 3.62 million (Tuesday), 3.27 million (Thursday) and 3.21 million (Wednesday). Peaky Blinders was seen by 3.16 million punters. Nigella (She Has Her Knockers): Christmas Table drew 2.76 million, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, 2.26 million, Z-List Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, 2.08 million, The Apprentice - You're Fired!, 2.04 million, Mastermind, 1.92 million, the opening episode of Feud: Bette & Joan, 1.90 million, Rick Stein's Road To Mexico, 1.89 million and Only Connect, 1.86 million. Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain was watched by 1.65 million, Match Of The Day 2 by 1.62 million, The Sweet Makers St Christmas by 1.47 million, the latest episode of Qi by 1.44 million and James May's Toy Stories by 1.31 million. Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast was for Gogglebox with 2.73 million. Coastal Railways With Julie Walters (2.44 million) and Inside Bentley: A Great British Motor Car (2.15 million) came next. The World's Most Expensive Presents had 1.74 million viewers, The Secret Life Of The Zoo, 1.68 million, First Dates, 1.62 million, Nine-Nine-Nine: What's Your Emergency?, 1.52 million and The Last Leg With Adam Hills, 1.48 million. Channel Five's top performer was the movie Agatha Christie's Crooked House, with an audience of 2.48 million. Police Interceptors, Ben Fogle: Return To The Wild and Concorde rounded-off Five's most-watched list with audiences of 1.33 million, 1.33 million million and 1.28 million. Brunel: The Man Who Built Britain attracted 1.22 million and Jo Brand's Cats & Kittens, 1.13 million. On Sky Sports Premier League, Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws' thorough pants down hiding of Bournemouth was seen by four hundred and forty eight thousand plus nine hundred and ninety three thousand punters on Sky Sports Main Events. The Scum's victory at West Bromwich Albinos had three hundred and eighteen thousand plus six hundred and thirty five thousand on Main Event. Leicester City against Crystal Palace was seen by seventy eight thousand on Sky Sports Mix, one hundred and thirty thousand on Premier League and three hundred and twenty two thousand on Main Event. Gillette Soccer Saturday was watched by two hundred and twenty three thousand punters on SS PL, three hundred and ninety eight thousand on Sky Sports News and three hundred and seventy six thousand on Sky Sports Football. Live SPL, Hearts versus Glasgow Celtic attracted one hundred and thirty two thousand viewers of Sky Sports Football. A repeat of the Singapore Grand Prix was Sky Sports F1's list-topper with sixteen thousand. Darren Gough In The Zone had thirty five thousand on Sky Sports Cricket. Cricket Masterclass had thirty four thousand. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by The Flash with eight hundred and fifty nine thousand viewers and Marvel's Inhumans, with six hundred and seventy thousand. The Russell Howard Hour continued with six hundred and sixteen thousand whilst DC's Legends Of Tomorrow had five hundred and seventy two thousand and Supergirl, five hundred and twenty one thousand. A "best of" episode of that rancid stream of festering spew A League Of Their Own - a contradiction in terms if ever there was one - was watched by three hundred and fifty nine thousand people who should be bloody well embarrassed to show their faces in public after choosing to have their intelligence insulted by such crass malarkey. For shame, people of Great Britain, for absolute shame. Sky Arts' Andre Rieu was seen by one hundred and eight thousand viewers. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the opening two episodes of The Tunnel: Vengeance with two hundred and thirty thousand and one hundred and sixty four thousand. A Game Of Thrones repeat attracted one hundred and seven thousand and Blue Bloods, fifty four thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of The Good Doctor drew nine hundred and seventy seven whilst Criminal Minds, had nine hundred and six thousand. Blindspot attracted six hundred and twenty nine thousand, Grey's Anatomy, five hundred and eighty one thousand, Chicago Fire, four hundred and fifty three thousand and Madam Secretary, four hundred thousand. Smurfs: The Lost Village was the most-watched film of Sky Cinema Premiere, seen by eight hundred and seventy thousand. Fist Fight drew two hundred and ninety eight thousand. Tommy Cooper Forever was ITV3's top-rated programme (six hundred and sixty four thousand viewers. Just like that). Foyle's War was seen by six hundred and fifty five thousand and Agatha Christie's Marple, by six hundred and one thousand. Mamma Mia! pulled in five hundred and eighty two thousand. The James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only was viewed by five hundred and thirty seven thousand on ITV4. ITV Racing, had four hundred and sixteen thousand viewers whilst another two Bond movies, Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me were watched by three hundred and eighty three thousand and three hundred and sixty one thousand. ITV2's list of abject shame was dominated by Z-Lit Celebrity Juice with 1.37 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. The 2006 movie The Holiday had 1.01 million. Vera topped ITV Encore's top ten with one hundred and twelve thousand viewers, followed by Heartbeat (forty nine thousand). Shallow and appalling tripe The Only Way Is Essexmas, was viewed by seven hundred and sixty eight thousand of exactly the sort of thoroughly worthless specimens who enjoy such risible and ugly exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. Similarly wretched conceit, Ferne McCann: First Time Mum was seen by four hundred and eighty three thousand. Broken Britain in a sentence, dear blog reader. BBC4's top-ten was headed by the latest - superb - episode of Detectorists (a heart-warming 1.47 million), Roy Orbison: Love Hurts (seven hundred and fourteen thousand) and From The North favourite Digging For Britain (seven hundred and eleven thousand). The latest two episodes of French import Witnesses: A Frozen Death drew seven hundred and seven thousand and six hundred and eighty five thousand people who enjoy watching Spiral's Audrey Fleurot in any old toot. And, hey, why ever not? Invasion! With Sam Willis had five hundred and seventy three thousand, Armada: Twelve Days To Save England, five hundred and sixty thousand and a welcome repeat of Brian Cox's The Science Of Doctor Who, five hundred and ten thousand. 5USA's latest episode of Bull was viewed by three hundred and twenty five thousand punters, Castle by two hundred and eighty one thousand, Chicago PD by two hundred and fifty eight thousand and NCIS by two hundred and fifty four thousand. On Five Star, The Shannara Chronicles scored two hundred and eighty thousand. Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! had two hundred and forty six thousand. The classic 1960 movie Spartacus drew two hundred and sixty six thousand on Five-Spike whilst Knight Rider was seen by one hundred and eighty two thousand. NCIS: Los Angeles was the most-watched broadcast on CBS Action (one hundred and twenty six thousand). Medium attracted fifty thousand on CBS Drama. For FOX's sake, The Walking Dead's latest episode was watched by a whopping 1.39 million. The opening episode of the much-touted The Orville - which this blogger thought was quite entertaining although not, perhaps, as mad-brilliant as one or two dear blog readers had previously suggested - had seven hundred and sixty two thousand and The Gifted, three hundred and four thousand. Chicago Med continued its repeat run on the Universal Channel with three hundred and fifteen thousand viewers. On Dave, worthless puddle of unfunny piss Taskmaster attracted seven hundred and seventy five thousand whilst From The North favourite Dave Gorman's Modern Life Is Goodish had four hundred and forty five thousand far more discerning punters. No justice, dear blog reader. Would I Lie To You? was seen by three hundred and sixty one thousand and Qi XL by two hundred and thirty five thousand. Drama's Death In Paradise was viewed by five hundred and fifteen thousand whilst the, rather good, Kiwi import, The Brokenwood Mysteries attracted four hundred and ninety five thousand viewers, Miss Marple, four hundred and twenty nine thousand and Inspector George Gently, three hundred and seventy six thousand. Two Drama Channel staple also headed the weekly top-ten of Alibi - New Tricks with seventy one thousand and Dalziel & Pascoe with seventy thousand. S.W.A.T - Firefight topped Sony TV's list with fifty one thousand just ahead of The River Murders with fifty thousand. Yesterday's Walking Through History drew two hundred and twenty five thousand, whilst Private Lives Of The Monarchs attracted one hundred and ninety six thousand, David Starkey's Monarchy, one hundred and seventy four thousand and Porridge, one hundred and sixty one thousand. On Your TV, Bones brought in one hundred and fifteen thousand. The Discovery Channel's Gold Rush was seen by five hundred and one thousand viewers. Finding Escobar's Millions had two hundred and nine thousand, Fast N' Loud, one hundred and seventy eight thousand, Alaskan Bush People, one hundred and forty one thousand and Mythbusters, eighty one thousand. From The North fave Wheeler Dealers appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (twenty one thousand) and Discovery Turbo (thirty four thousand). And, there's a new series starting in the New Year. Hurrah! But, Edd China's not in it. Boo! Discovery History's The Jesus Conspiracy headed the top ten with thirty two thousand. Battlefield had thirty one thousand and both Hitler's Henchmen and Nazi Killer Bugs attracted twenty six thousand. On Discovery Science, How It's Made was seen by forty five thousand and NASA's Unexplained Files by thirty five thousand. Salvage Hunters on Quest was watched by two hundred and ninety eight thousand. Pick's Brit Cops had an audience of two hundred and sixty six thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by Drain Alcatraz and The Long Road Home. They were watched by one hundred and thirty nine thousand and one hundred and seventeen thousand respectively. National Geographic Wild's Whales Of The Deep was viewed by fifty six thousand. The History Channel's most-seen programme was The Zodiac Killer: Case Closed? (one hundred and four thousand) and The Lowe Files (fifty four thousand). Ancient Aliens on the Military History channel was watched by thirty four thousand. Crimes That Shook Australia, Britain's Darkest Taboos, From The North favourite Homicide Hunter and On The Case With Paula Zahn were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with eighty five thousand, forty five thousand, thirty seven thousand and thirty five thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. An episode of The First Forty Eight also drew thirty five thousand. Whether those thirty five thousand people were the same thirty five thousand who watched On The Case With Paula Zahn is unknown at this time. It's unlikely but, given the subject matter, not entirely outside the bounds of possibility. Home Alone, Grave Secrets, The Murder Caste, Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall and Britain's Deadly Women headed Investigation Discovery's list (seventy eight thousand, fifty eight thousand, fifty three thousand, fifty two thousand and forty eight thousand respectively). GOLD's - seemingly never-ending - repeat run of Only Fools & Horses continued with two hundred and twelve thousand punters. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for The Middle with two hundred and thirty five thousand. On More4, David Jason's Secret Service was the highest-rated programme with five hundred and seventy two thousand. That Awful Keith Woman's Coastal Villages was viewed by four hundred and eighty six thousand people who deserve nothing but withering contempt. A repeat of the Father Ted Christmas special drew four hundred and sixty nine thousand. E4's list was topped, as usual, by The Big Bang Theory 2.06 million - by an 'uge distance the largest multichannels audience of the week. Hollyoakes had nine hundred and forty seven thousand and Made In Chelsea, nine hundred and thirty eight thousand. One hundred and fifty four 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 several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, one of them attracting two hundred and thirty four thousand. No, dear blog reader, this blogger has no idea why either. The most watched movie of the week on the channel was Don't Blink (one hundred and eighty nine thousand). Episodes of Tell Me Another, The Human Jungle and Scales of Justice and the movies The Wrong Arm Of The Law and Chase A Crooked Shadow topped Talking Pictures list, with seventy one thousand, seventy one thousand, sixty five thousand, sixty four thousand and sixty three thousand respectively. Madagascar was viewed by forty seven thousand on Eden. Alaska: The Last Frontier was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with forty four thousand. Tipping Point and Sherlock on W attracted audiences of one hundred and fifty five thousand punters and one hundred and fourteen thousand. True Crime's Deadly Women was seen by sixty seven thousand viewers. The Boczkowski Case drew sixty three thousand and Crime Town, sixty two thousand. On True Entertainment, M*A*S*H, was watched by one hundred and fifty three thousand punters. That Worthless Phlegm Jamie Oliver's Affordable Christmas had eighty three thousand people with nothing better to watch on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Ninety Day Fiance (one hundred and fifty five thousand). Death In Paradise was watched by one hundred and sixty three thousand on Home. Nova and Ancient Bible Destinations Of Greece topped PBS America's weekly list both with seventeen thousand. Shameful and wretched arse Teen Mom 2 on MTV was viewed by two hundred and four thousand planks whilst equally worthless Single AF had sixty eight thousand. Helicopter ER drew two hundred and thirteen thousand on Really. Sansui Color's Stardust Awards was watched by nineteen thousand on Rishtey Cineplex. Be-Cool, Scooby-Doo! had eighty six thousand viewers on Boomerang. Zoinks! The Wacky Races drew eighty one thousand. On Cbeebies, The Snow Queen was seen by eight hundred and fifty six thousand. Topsy & Tim had six hundred and seventy one thousand, Something Special, six hundred and fifty one thousand and Go Jetters, five hundred and forty eight thousand. Alvinnn!!! & The Chipmunks had an audience of three hundred and nineteen thousand on the Pop Channel. On AMC, Grey's Anatomy was watched by seven thousand. Pawn Stars drew eighty five thousand punters to Blaze. Britain's Next Top Model pulled in one hundred and ninety five thousand on Lifetime. The A-Team drew fifty one thousand on Forces TV. Bike World was seen by four thousand on Front Runner. Why Don't You Speak English? attracted forty two thousand on London Live whilst Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men had forty one thousand. Contract To Kill, attracted one hundred and thirteen thousand to the Movies 4 Men channel. Commando was viewed by six hundred and twenty thousand on Film4.

Also, here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Five programmes during the week-ending Sunday 24 December 2017:-
1 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.85m
2 Michael McIntyre's Big Show - Sat BBC1 - 7.00m
3 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 6.74m
4 Emmerdale - Tues ITV - 6.69m
5 Not Going Out - Sun BBC1 - 5.63m
6 Pointless Z-List Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 5.25m
7 Six O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 5.20m
8 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.06m
9 Maigret - Sun ITV - 4.75m
10 The Royal Variety Performance -Tues ITV - 4.56m
11= Love, Lies & Records - Thurs BBC1 - 4.54m
11= Birds Of A Feather - Mon ITV - 4.54m
13 The Real Marigold On Tour - Wed BBC1 - 4.41m
14 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.32m
15 Would I Lie To You? At Christmas - Mon BBC1 - 4.32m
16 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.26m
17 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.24m
18 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 4.22m
19 Mary, Mel & Sue's Big Christmas Thank You - Sun BBC1 - 3.95m
20= Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 3.93m
20= MasterChef: The Professionals - Thurs BBC2 - 3.93m
22 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.88m
23 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 3.88m
24 All Star Musicals - Sun ITV - 3.81m
25 Mary Berry's Christmas Party - Mon BBC1 - 3.75m
These consolidated figures - published weekly by the British Audience Research Bureau - include all viewers who watched programmes live and on various forms of catch-up TV and video-on-demand during the seven days after initial broadcast. They do not, however, include those who watched programmes on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. Et cetera. Aside from Thursday's final of MasterChef: The Professionals, the two other nightly episodes of the popular cookery show attracted 3.37 million (Wednesday) and 3.23 million (Tuesday). Peaky Blinders broke the MasterChef stranglehold on BBC2's list, the series finale of the gritty period gangster drama picking up 3.56 million punters. Inside The Christmas Factory drew 2.91 million, the very disappointing Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely Champers, 2.89 million, an episode of Christmas University Challenge, 2.32 million, the return of The League Of Gentlemen, 2.14 million (the subsequent two episodes attracted 1.91 million and 1.90 million), Dad's Army, 2.01 million, the latest Only Connect, 1.88 million, Rick Stein's Road To Mexico and Absolutely Fabulous both 1.78 million and Saturday Night Fever: The Ultimate Disco Movie, 1.52 million. Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast was for Gogglebox 2017 with 2.61 million. Old People's Home For Four Year Olds (2.09 million) and The Secret Life Of The Zoo (1.78 million) came thereafter. Child Genius Versus Z-List Celebrities had 1.71 million viewers, The Undateables At Christmas, 1.69 million and both The Last Leg With Adam Hills and First Dates, 1.64 million. Channel Five's top performer was Cruising With Jane McDonald, with an audience of 1.98 million. The Yorkshire Vet, GPs: Behind Closed Doors and Jane & Friends rounded-off Five's most-watched list with audiences of 1.30 million, 1.19 million and 1.08 million. On Sky Sports Premier League, Leicester's last-minute draw with The Scum was seen by five hundred and seventy eight thousand, The Arse's three-all draw with Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws had three hundred and thirty nine thousand and the goalless bore-fest between Everton and Moscow Chelski FC drew an audience of two hundred and seventy two thousand insomniacs. All three would, no doubt, have had many additional viewers on the Sky Sports Main Event channel but, tragically, someone at Sky Towers apparently forgot to submit their figures for this particular week - presumably, they had something more important to do like last minute Christmas shopping? Gillette Soccer Saturday was watched by two hundred and seventy two thousand punters on SS PL, one hundred and fifty three thousand on Sky Sports Football and three hundred and ninety four thousand on Sky Sports News. Barcelona's hammering of Real Madrid at the Bernabéu in La Liga attracted two hundred and seventy seven thousand viewers to Sky Sports Football. Bristol City's hilariously funny defeat of The Scum in the League Cup was seen by two hundred and ten thousand. Malaysia Grand Prix highlights coverage was Sky Sports F1's list-topper with ten thousand. The Cricket Report had twenty five thousand and The Oval: One Hundred Not Out, twenty two thousand on Sky Sports Cricket. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by the frankly awful Ratburger with 1.14 million viewers (a repeat later in the week attracted eight hundred and ninety eight thousand) and that sick stream of festering spew A League Of Their Own with seven hundred and eighty nine thousand people who should be bloody well embarrassed of themselves. The not-much-better Russell Howard Hour had five hundred and eighty five thousand and, completing Sky 1's list of abject shame, the return of laughless disgraceful horrorshow (and drag), Trollied, was watched by four hundred and eighty five thousand. Sky Arts' Music Legends We Lost was seen by ninety six thousand viewers. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by The Tunnel: Vengeance with one hundred and seventy nine thousand. Repeats of Game Of Thrones dominated the rest of the top ten, the most-watched episode attracting ninety nine thousand. On Sky Living, The Good Doctor drew nine hundred and seventy five thousand whilst Grey's Anatomy, had six hundred and thirty seven thousand. Blindspot was seen by five hundred and thirty seven thousand, Chicago Fire by four hundred and seventy four thousand and Madam Secretary by four hundred and twenty four thousand whilst the return of the worst-acted drama series in the history of the medium, Scandal, was viewed by two hundred and seventy six thousand. The Lego Batman Movie was the big film of Sky Cinema Premiere, seen by 1.22 million. John Wick: Chapter Two drew five hundred and eighty two thousand. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (1.07 million viewers). Grantchester was watched by five hundred and nine thousand. The movies Lethal Weapon 3 and The Fugitive were seen by four hundred and thirty seven thousand and four hundred and eight thousand punters respectively on ITV4. ITV2's list was also headed by movies, Casino Royale (the 2005 version rather than the 1967 one) and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (the 2005 version rather than the 1971 adaptation), watched by 1.20 million and 1.08 million. Vera topped ITV Encore's top ten with seventy one thousand viewers, followed by The Good Karma Hospital (sixty three thousand). Tamara's World, was viewed by three hundred and forty six thousand of exactly the sort of people who enjoy such ugly exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. A repeat of similarly wretched conceit, The Only Way Is Essexmas was seen by two hundred and forty six thousand. BBC4's top-ten was headed by The Two Ronnies Christmas Show (eight hundred and ninety four thousand), The Story Of 'A Fairytale In New York' (seven hundred and three thousand) and Invasion! With Sam Willis (six hundred and fifty eight thousand). Top Of The Pops 2 Christmas Special drew six hundred and twenty one thousand for their seasonal helping of Wizzard, Slade and that bloody awful song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The 1974 Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? Christmas special had five hundred and sixty nine thousand and Armada: Twelve Days To Save England, five hundred and twenty five thousand. MR James: Number Thirteen attracted four hundred and fifty eight thousand. 5USA's latest NCIS: Los Angeles episode was viewed by three hundred and eighty two thousand punters, Bull by three hundred and seventy thousand, Castle by three hundred and forty seven thousand, The Mysteries Of Laura by two hundred and fifty one thousand and Chicago PD by two hundred and forty eight thousand. On Five Star, the movie We're The Millers scored four hundred and forty four thousand. Fifty Shades of Grey had two hundred and thirty two thousand people who enjoy a jolly good spanking. The woefully misnamed Laugh Out Loud was seen by two hundred and fifty three thousand on Five-Spike. NCIS was the most-watched broadcast on CBS Action (ninety eight thousand). Judge Judy attracted sixty seven thousand on CBS Drama. The movies Sweet Home Alabama and Coyote Ugly on the Universal Channel had one hundred and thirty seven thousand and one hundred and nineteen thousand viewers respectively. On Dave, worthless stream of laugh-free spew Taskmaster attracted eight hundred and ninety seven thousand whilst the final episode of From The North favourite Dave Gorman's Modern Life Is Goodish had four hundred and fifty seven thousand. The Top Gear Middle East special drew four hundred and fifty five thousand and Qi XL, two hundred and seventy one thousand. Drama's Death In Paradise was viewed by three hundred and ninety five thousand. The Two Ronnies attracted three hundred and thirty eight thousand viewers and Porridge, three hundred and thirty five thousand. Although, what either of those two - let it be noted, superb - comedy shows were doing on a channel called 'Drama' is a probably question well worth asking. Next should we, perhaps, expect to see episodes of Doctor Who turning up on Discovery Science? The weekly top-ten of Alibi was headed by Murdoch Mysteries with one hundred and seventy seven thousand, Miss Marple with eighty eight thousand and Sherlock, with sixty eight thousand. Yesterday's Private Lives Of The Monarchs drew two hundred and thirty thousand, whilst Top Of The Pops 2 attracted one hundred and ninety eight thousand, Steptoe & Son, one hundred and ninety two thousand and Castles: Britain's Fortified History, one hundred and ninety one thousand. On Your TV, Bones brought in ninety six thousand. The Discovery Channel's Gold Rush was seen by four hundred and ninety seven thousand viewers. Fast N' Loud had two hundred and five thousand, Finding Escobar's Million, one hundred and fifty nine thousand, Alaskan Bush People, also one hundred and fifty nine thousand and Mythbusters, eighty three thousand. Wheeler Dealers - as usual - appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (thirty two thousand) and Discovery Turbo (fifty three thousand). Discovery History's Inside Raising The Concordia headed the top ten with twenty six thousand. Jesus Code had twenty four thousand and In Search of Eden twenty one thousand. On Discovery Science, Food Factory was seen by thirty one thousand. Salvage Hunters on Quest was watched by two hundred and forty eight thousand. Pick's Caught On Dashcam had an audience of two hundred and ninety six thousand. FOX, Sony TV, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, The History Channel, Military History, The Horror Channel, AMC, Lifetime, Film On Four and the Crime & Investigation Network were just some of the many channels which, like Sky Sports Main Event, didn't bother to get any figures in to BARB this week. For which, one trusts, all of them will have ended up on Santa's 'Extremely Naughty' list this year. The Krays: The Prison Years, Home Alone, Grave Secrets and Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall headed Investigation Discovery's list (seventy six thousand, seventy thousand, sixty four thousand and fifty seven thousand respectively). GOLD's repeat run of Mrs Brown's Boys continued with two hundred and ninety seven thousand punters. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Your Face Or Mine? with two hundred and fifty nine thousand viewers. 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 that it's a country which doesn't do irony. On More4, David Jason's Secret Service was the highest-rated programme with four hundred thousand. E4's list was topped by The Big Bang Theory 2.10 million, the largest multichannels audience of the week. Hollyoakes had 1.03 million. Total Divas on E! was seen by one hundred and eighteen thousand viewers. The Librarians and The Exorcist headed Syfy's top-ten with two hundred and one thousand and one hundred and fifty nine thousand respectively. Heavens Above!, Dick Powell Theatre, The Night My Number Came Up and Albert RN topped Talking Pictures list, with sixty eight thousand, sixty six thousand, fifty eight thousand and fifty six thousand. Deadly Sixty was viewed by thirty three thousand on Eden. Pit Bulls & Parolees was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with twenty seven thousand. Gangsta Granny on W attracted an audience of two hundred thousand punters. True Crime's Hatton Garden: The Heist was seen by fifty seven thousand viewers. Deadly Women drew fifty one thousand and Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force, forty thousand. On True Entertainment, M*A*S*H, was watched by one hundred and forty thousand punters. Delia Smith's Christmas Collection had sixty five thousand viewers Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Ninety Day Fiance (one hundred and twenty six thousand). DIY SOS: The Big Build was watched by fifty seven thousand punters on Home. How To Start A Revolution and Frontline topped PBS America's weekly list with twenty four thousand and twenty three thousand. Teen Mom OG on MTV was viewed by one hundred and ninety nine thousand planks. Antiques Road Trip drew two hundred and five thousand on Really whilst Murder Made Me Famous had two hundred and three thousand. Tom & Jerry attracted seventy six thousand viewers on Boomerang. On Cbeebies, Topsy & Tim was seen by five hundred and seventy six thousand. Sarah & Duck had five hundred and seventy five thousand, Peter Rabbit, five hundred and sixty four thousand and Octonauts, five hundred and forty five thousand. Alvinnn!!! & The Chipmunks had an audience of one hundred and forty nine thousand on the Pop Channel. American Pickers drew ninety five thousand punters to Blaze. Knight Rider had sixty two thousand on Forces TV. We Still Kill The Old Way was watched by forty two thousand on London Live. Battle Of Midway, drew one hundred and twenty seven thousand to the Movies 4 Men channel.

For those Doctor Who fans still - impatiently - waiting the consolidated audience figures for Twice Upon A Time, although they won't be officially confirmed for another week (Christmas Day falling on a Monday this year accounts for the longer-that-usual wait), this blogger can confirm that the final figure will be around 7.92 million, slightly up on last year's Christmas special, The Return Of Doctor Mysterio (which was watched by 7.83 million). In fact, this is the largest consolidated, plus-seven audience for a Doctor Who Christmas episode since 2014's Last Christmas (8.28 million). The 7.92 million figure for Twice Upon A Time is a near two-and-a-half million timeshift increase on the overnight figure of 5.66 million. An additional six hundred thousand viewers have accessed the episode on the BBC iPlayer to date. Doctor Who was the fifth highest rated show on Christmas Day behind Call The Midwife with 9.57 million, Mrs Browns Boys with 9.04 million, Strictly Come Dancing with 8.3 million and EastEnders with 8.1 million. The highest rated show on ITV was Coronation Street with 6.99 million. The full ratings for Christmas Day (and beyond) will be featured in the next From The North update once the figures for week-ending 31 December are published by BARB next Monday.
From The North favourite yer actual Gillian Anderson is leaving The X-Files at the end of its upcoming series. Gillian stated in October that series eleven of the SF drama 'will be the last' for her, although she later appeared to walk back the certainty of stepping away from the show for good. With the launch of the new episodes only days away, however, Gillian told TV Insider that she is hanging up her FBI badge in order to devote more time to other projects, like American Gods and, potentially, more episodes of The Fall. 'I've said from the beginning, this is it for me,' she said. 'I was a bit surprised by people's [shocked] reaction to my announcement because my understanding was that this was a single season.' Does the departure of Dana Scully mean that The X-Files will be put to rest once again after the latest series? According to creator Chris Carter, probably not. 'There are a lot more X-Files stories to tell,' Carter said. 'Whether we get to tell them is a question mark. The truth is out there.'
Great news, everyone! The Royal Mail are celebrating Game Of Thrones with a new stamp collection. Ten stamps feature various characters from the houses of Stark, Targaryen, Lannister and Tyrell. And five more on a seperate Stamp Sheet feature characters such as The Night King and White Walkers, plus the coveted Iron Throne its very self. Like the fantasy drama, they stamps are bound to be popular with rabid 'I'll buy anything, me'-type fans. So, if you want one it might be an idea to pre‐order before 23 January to avoid a crushing disappointment. Particularly if you've ever had the urge to lick Emilia Clarke's backside for a mere sixty fifty pee. Bargain.
Neil Cross previously confirmed that Luther's Idris Elba will be back for a fifth series; now the writer and drama creator is hinting that it could be Luther's final bow. Although, given that every series of Luther since the second has been touts as 'possibly the last one,' this blogger assumes that this is merely a case of the old 'treat every day as your last then, one day, you'll be right' thing. The four-part series of the award-winning drama will be the 'biggest' yet, according to Cross and he revealed that it is 'likely' to be on our screens in late 2018. 'Idris and I talked seriously about what we wanted to do and what I can say is that season five is huge,' Cross told the Digital Spy website at the launch of his new BBC1 series Hard Sun. 'It's going to be the biggest we've done. We're really excited by the script and the story – and Idris and I are very aware that whenever we've done another series, we're like, "That's it." Idris has a big career. We leave and then we all start missing it in a couple of weeks and I start stockpiling Luther ideas and making Luther notes. And we know that we always come back – so we want to come back and do one more really big series. What happens after that, we haven't decided.' Cross could not disclose which cast members – other than Elba, obviously – would be returning to the series. 'I don't think I can say anything about who's coming back, but it's written, we're casting now, we're in pre-production now and we start shooting in January,' Cross continued. 'So hopefully it will be back next year – late next year.' And on the subject of a film adaptation of the series, Cross said that such a conceit is 'absolutely' a possibility at some point in the future.
Doctor Foster fans are used to waiting a long time for more drama from the series – there were nearly two years between series one's shocking finale in 2015 and the much-anticipated series two premiere in September 2017. But Suranne Jones, appearing on The Graham Norton Show said that there are currently 'no plans,' for any hypothetical third series, 'because everyone is busy and I am working all of next year so I just don't know.' Doctor Foster writer Mike Bartlett has previously suggested that a third series of the drama is 'certainly possible,' but that 'a lot of conversations' need to be had first. 'You can see the ending,' Bartlett said. 'Tom's gone. So there's a question mark. In a way that is a question mark at the end. I think it works as an end to this series and all the things that have been going on. Clearly there's potential there. But, obviously, there would have to be lots of conversations.' During her appearance on Norton's show, Suranne also talked about the show's success and how it differed to every other project she had worked on before. 'It just went crazy,' she said. 'I've never done a show before where people got so behind it. You couldn't binge watch it so I think it had that "water cooler" effect and people loved it. People are quite disappointed that I am quite nice when they meet me and not mad like my character.'
Sarah Lancashire's new drama may have seen her reunite with Happy Valley director Euros Lyn, but he wants potential viewers to know that Kiri 'isn't depressing.' The four-part Channel Four drama was written by National Treasure's Jack Thorne and examines the abduction and death of a young black girl - the title character - shortly before she is to be adopted by her white foster family. So, that sounds like a bundle of laughs. Lancashire's social worker, Miriam, is blamed for Kiri's disappearance, leading to her becoming the target of intense media scrutiny but, Lyn explained, there are glimmers of light in the series. 'It's a dark tragedy, but it's not a misery-fest because there is such amazing humour threaded throughout it,' he promised at a Q&A following a screening of the first episode. 'Ultimately, it's about the triumph of the human spirit and that warmth Jack has towards his characters and all our actors have brought to their performances. It's about the power of optimism and hope.' As well as an exploration of social services, Kiri becomes a whodunnit and Lancashire said that she was 'surprised' by the reveal of the killer's identity, with Lia Williams adding: 'I was given three episodes out of four, so I guessed and I got it wrong.' 'There is a drive that will hopefully keep the audience hooked and wanting to know what happened. But more than that, it's about the uncovering of human nature and the truth of what it's like to be alive,' added Lyn.
The government is giving broadcasters including Channel Four and ITV an extra sixty million knicker to help them make more home-grown children's programmes. The money will be targeted at commercial channels to help them compete with BBC children's shows. Teletubbies creator Anne Wood welcomed the funding, saying that programme-makers 'desperately need more support.' The sixty million smackers pot will be spent over three years and will come from the 2010 licence fee settlement. The lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Bradley said that it would give the children's TV sector 'the boost it needs to create innovative content for a wider audience that would otherwise not be made.' The money will be available for programmes shown by commercial public service broadcasters - including ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five - as well as other 'free and widely available' channels and streaming services and, potentially, other online platforms. Teletubbies creator Anne Wood, who leads the Save Kids' Content UK campaign, said that she was 'deeply grateful' for the move. 'It shows the government's awareness of the issue and the importance of children's television culture to children in this country,' she told BBC News. 'We in the children's production sector have never had such difficult times raising finance. We desperately need more support.' The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the fund could be used to pay for up to fifty per cent of the production and distribution costs of original TV shows. Programmes from new and diverse backgrounds and those made in the nations and regions, will be 'a particular focus,' it said. The government said that the fund would 'stimulate greater variety in a market where the BBC is often the dominant buyer and broadcaster' of children's shows. Spending on first-run home-grown children's programming by public service broadcasters fell by twenty six per cent to eighty four million notes between 2006 and 2016. In 2016, CBBC and CBeebies accounted for eighty seven per cent of all such children's programming. Although ITV no longer has the daily offering of children's TV shows that many children of the 1970s and 1980s will remember, it does screen a range of children's programmes on its channels, often to be seen on ITV early on weekend mornings. It recently announced a new show, Spy School - described as 'an entertainment game show' challenging child contestants 'to solve puzzles and crack codes' - that will be broadcast from 7 January. Its other popular shows include the animated adventures of Mr Bean, a new version of Thunderbirds Are Go, the Saturday morning show Scrambled! and the comedy Bottom Knocker Street. The announcement of the extra funding comes after media watchdog Ofcom was given new powers to set quotas for children's shows on public service broadcasters.
More than one hundred and twenty seven thousand people contacted the BBC's Action Line service for sexual abuse support in 2017, after dramas like Three Girls and Apple Tree Yard. The number of people using the service, which offers information for audiences affected by issues in BBC programmes, has risen by more than fifty per cent in the last year compared to 2016. Plots in Eastenders and The Archers also prompted calls and online visits. The BBC said it was 'pleased' so many had received support. Hospital drama Holby City raised issues around LGBT domestic abuse, bullying, bereavement, cancer and organ transplant, resulting in over six thousand viewers seeking support and information. Meanwhile Radio 4 soap The Archers' storyline about character Kirsty Miller's late miscarriage prompted seven thousand and twenty four Action Line page-views online. And Eastenders Ted Murray's battle with PTSD generated just under four thousand calls and website visits. 'It is important that we tackle difficult subject matters,' Piers Wenger, the Controller of BBC Drama, said. 'The BBC's public service role means we're uniquely placed to help audiences deal with these difficult issues.' The Action Line had more than four hundred and thirty one thousand visits or calls in total to the service in 2017 - over one hundred and fifty thousand more than the year before. In May, the BBC broadcast Three Girls, starring Maxine Peake, based on the true stories of victims of grooming and sexual abuse in Rochdale. Another popular drama was the four-part TV adaptation of Louise Doughty's novel Apple Tree Yard, about a woman's affair with a stranger, which featured a rape storyline. But, news programmes and documentaries also used the line throughout the year, including the BBC2 series Hospital and A Time To Live, about palliative care. More than two hundred viewers contacted the Action Line after She Spoke The Unspeakable, a programme highlighting the subject of female genital mutilation. 'It is important that we continue to cover such difficult issues and that we can provide free off-air information to help those affected to find organisations willing to offer support and help,' said Keith Jones, from the BBC's audience services.
The Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb and The Be-Atles drummer yer actual Ringo Starr have been knighted and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell made a dame, in the New Year Honours. Sir Ringo's honour for services to music - given under his real name, Richard Starkey - was leaked to the media before the announcement. It comes twenty years after Be-Atles bandmate Paul McCartney was very knighted and adds to the 1965 MBE received by all four Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them).
Hugh Laurie has been appointed a CBE in the New Year Honours list. The fifty eight-year-old, born in Oxford, has enjoyed a successful career spanning more than thirty five years as an actor, comedian, writer and musician. Already an OBE, the father-of-three is being given the upgraded honour for his services to drama. He is best known for his comedy partnership with Lord Stephen Fry, whom he met at university and for his roles in sitcom Blackadder and US drama House. Huge his very self, born in June 1959, studied at Cambridge where - in addition to being a talented rower who represented Cambridge in the Boat Race in 1980 - he became the president of the university's renowned Footlights amateur drama club. He met Fry there and, shortly after, a professional partnership was born. Fry and Laurie's stage success led to their TV sketch show Alfresco, which also featured the likes of Emma Thompson, Ben Elton and Robbie Coltrane. It was crap. Laurie also played amiable idiot George, the Prince Regent and his descendant the equally numbskullish Lieutenant George in the third and fourth series of Blackadder in the 1980s. On the big screen, Laurie has appeared in films such as Maybe Baby, Sense & Sensibility and The Man In The Iron Mask. In 2004, Laurie landed the lead role in US medical series House, which saw him win a litany of industry prizes including Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild awards and People's Choice awards. In recent years, skilled musician Laurie released two blues CDs, both of which reached the top three in the UK charts. You knew the vast majority of all that, right?
Doctor Who is ending 2017 with one final farewell to a dearly departed Doctor. A video shared by the official Doctor Who account on New Year's Eve marked the end of an era in perhaps the most poignant way possible - by physically dismantling Peter Capaldi's TARDIS. Albeit, with the caption 'Doctor Who will return in 2018.'
Toby Hadoke has produced his annual tribute to all those from the world of Doctor Who whose deaths were reported in 2017.
The body of a man wearing only his socks has been found on a beach in North Tyneside. He was found by a dog-walker at about 8am on Brown's Bay in Whitley Bay on Saturday. Northumbria Police said they are treating the death as unexplained. The man has not been formally identified. The area has been cordoned off by police who have been asking residents with houses facing the bay if they have CCTV footage. It is not yet clear whether the man died on the beach or was washed on to it by the tide.
Drunk tanks may have to become the norm in towns and cities to keep 'selfish' revellers out of A&E, the head of the NHS in England has said. Simon Stevens - who sounds like exactly the sort of bloke who never gets invited to all the cool kids parties - said that he would be 'closely monitoring' how the mobile units cope on New Year's Eve before deciding whether they should become a regular feature. Drunk tanks provide a safe place for those who have over-indulged to be checked over and sleep it off. They are often used over the festive period to stop people ending up at A&E. There are around sixteen mobile units - also known as Booze Buses - across the UK, according to a recent survey and a number of cities operate them all year round, including Newcastle, Cardiff, Manchester and Bristol. Stevens said that he 'may' start recommending others follow suit, given an estimated fifteen per cent of attendances at A&E are due to alcohol consumption. This rises to about seventy per cent on Friday and Saturday nights. He said that he was thinking about the move after spending time with ambulance crews in London and the West Midlands in recent weeks. 'I've seen first-hand how paramedics and A&Es are being called on to deal with drunk and aggressive behaviour.' But Doctor Katherine Henderson, a consultant in emergency medicine from Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, said that it 'might be better' to 'have a conversation' about people drinking less on a night out. Yeah. Well, good luck with that, Katherine. She told the BBC: 'By making this facility, it's like saying "you can depend on the NHS to provide you with a safe place to sober up." You're saying "there's a safety net for you," rather than saying "how are you going to get yourself and your friends home safely?". Henderson also said that she was 'concerned' NHS frontline staff were working in the mobile units, when 'they could be helping others.' But, she - seemingly rather reluctantly - conceded that 'the last thing' busy hospitals needed was more patients coming in to A&E. 'We are seeing people who are so intoxicated that they need to be on a trolley - which takes up a whole cubicle space; people who need cleaning up - which takes up a lot of nursing time; and people with serious injuries, who may be difficult to spot among the many that are extremely drunk. It's something we just don't need.' In Newcastle on an average Friday and Saturday night, a Safe Haven van already operates to help vulnerable people - not just people who are pissed as a fart. Dame Vera Baird, the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, whose office part funds the van, said: 'It's a safe location to help anybody who needs any support. It saves an enormous amount of money and time.' Professor Simon Moore, from Cardiff University, is currently carrying out a study into the impact of different types of drunk tanks based in six cities in relieving pressure on the emergency services. He said: 'The very, very drunk with head injuries and similar will still need to go to A&E, but the health service is very risk-averse so they have a tendency to refer to A&E if they suspect something is wrong. So all you need is a good trained person - a paramedic or nurse - in the city centre to say "we can hold off for a bit, this person is going to be fine in an hour or so" and then they can go home and sleep it off.' Professor Moore said that it should be 'a joined-up service' referring people for treatment for their underlying drink problems. In Northern Ireland, Belfast operates an NHS-run unit and an SOS bus, which helps anyone who is vulnerable. In Scotland, there are no drunk tanks in operation and the Scottish government said they had 'no plans' to introduce them. Bristol launched the UK's first drunk tank three years ago in a partnership between the police, ambulance and local hospital. Known officially as an Alcohol Recovery Centre, it is a state-of-the-art medical facility contained in a sixty feet-long converted articulated lorry. The vehicle has beds and seats as well as two showers. It comes with medical drips, oxygen, blood testing equipment and a pump system for the worst-affected revellers. It is staffed by paramedics who provide basic treatment, although those who need it can still be sent to A&E. Since it was launched, other cities including Manchester, Cardiff and Newcastle, have tried out their own versions. The National Institute for Health Research is now 'looking at how effective' they are at dealing with drunks. As the nation prepared to see in the new year, Simon Stevens - still, apparently, rather bitter about his lack of invites to parties - reminded revellers to be responsible. 'When the health service is pulling out all the stops to care for sick and vulnerable patients who rightly and genuinely need our support, it's frankly selfish when ambulance paramedics and A&E nurses have to be diverted to looking after revellers who have overindulged. NHS doesn't stand for 'National Hangover Service,' he added.
A witness has described watching a 'ferocious' fire which destroyed about fourteen hundred cars break out just metres in front of her. The huge blaze engulfed the multi-storey car park in King's Dock - next to the Liverpool Echo Arena - on New Year's Eve. It forced the cancellation of a horse-riding show at the venue and left hundreds stranded overnight. The blaze is believed to have started accidentally. No casualties have been reported and no animals were hurt. Sue Wright was among hundreds of motorists whose vehicles were ruined in the fire. She and her family, including her husband, former England footballer Mark Wright, had been attending the Liverpool International Horse Show. Wright said she saw an old Land Rover - thought by firefighters to be the source of the blaze - with its engine on fire. 'The flames were just shooting out of the engine and coming past the tyres,' she said. 'It looked like a ball of fire on the front of the car and it was producing a lot of smoke. We just left everything in the car - handbags, telephone, cash - and just went. It was all insignificant as long as everyone was okay and we could get the horses out. I saw one car on fire but it was clear it was ferocious and spreading.'
Thousands of people were evacuated from a beach after an Australian New Year's celebration went extremely wrong. Local media quoted witnesses describing how the family-friendly fireworks show quickly turned to chaos. A few minutes into the show at Terrigal Beach in New South Wales, an apparent malfunction caused fireworks to go off at random, some towards the beach. Thousands of people on the beach had to be moved to safety and police sealed off the area. Two pyrotechnicians jumped off the boat to get ashore and were later treated by paramedics for minor injuries.
And finally, dear blog reader, as this is From the North's first bloggerisationism malarkey for the new year, Keith Telly Topping would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous 2018. Some hope.

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