Sunday, August 18, 2019

It Is A Glorious Thing To 'Stablish Peace

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has always insisted that he planned to end the popular period gangster drama with series seven, 'when the air-raid sirens of World War II start.' But now, he is considering another idea: what if the story continues, in some form, beyond 1939? 'I'm interested now in the Second World War,' he told press ahead of the BBC debut of Peaky Blinders' fifth series next week. 'I mean [the Shelby brothers] wouldn't fight in the war but they would live through it. And, I'm starting to think that maybe there is something to be had there.' Asked if this would be a Peaky Blinders spin-off, he said: 'Something like that.' Considering all of the bombings and explosions which would, potentially, be seen on-screen he added that such a proposed production 'would be expensive.' The idea is clearly still in its early stages and Knight was unable to confirm if he would bring back the same characters. 'I don't know,' he said adding that, at this stage: 'It's just a thought.' As for the long-mooted prospect of a Peaky Blinders movie, Knight said he was 'still open' to the idea of a feature film. 'I would never rule anything out, because you might as well do stuff rather than not do stuff,' he explained. 'So I wouldn’t rule it out. I want to get these series finished first but, yeah, who knows?' Peaky Blinders series five will premiere on BBC1 on 25 August.
The first look at HBO's forthcoming Game Of Thrones prequel has leaked online. Like a big leaking thing in all its leakage. In a photo that has surfaced on Twitter, Naomi Watts can be seen in costume on the show's 'top secret' set in the Italian town of Gaeta. So 'top secret' in fact, that Independent has just revealed to everyone that's interested (and, anyone that isn't) exactly where it is. The photograph was reportedly taken last month ahead of the completion of filming in Northern Ireland. Watts plays 'a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret' and her appointment 'brings a particular gravitas to something many may have written off as a cash in,' according to some louse of no importance at the Indi. Fans have speculated that Watts 'could' be playing Nissa Nissa, the wife of ancient hero Azor Ahai. He was The Lord Of Light who, according to legend, created a magical sword called 'Lightbringer' which was used to defeat The White Walkers. While a title of the series is yet to be confirmed by HBO, unconfirmed reports have suggest the prequel will be titled Bloodmoon. Not much is known about the storyline, but author George RR Martin recently revealed some details of what to expect when the show arrives. Watts' co-stars include Naomi Ackie, Josh Whitehouse and Miranda Richardson.
Alfie Allen has revealed how the creators of Game Of Thrones once pranked him with a fake script that prematurely killed off Theon Greyjoy. But, the joke ultimately ended up being on showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss, because Allen simply took the alleged development in his stride. 'I kind of just took it on the chin and got on with it,' Allen explained on a broadcast of The Late Late Show With That Odious, Unfunny Plank James Corden. Allen recalled how fellow cast members told Benioff and Weiss, some three weeks after Alfie had received the bogus script, that they should probably call him because 'he might be tearing his hair out.' 'But I wasn't, I was sunbathing,' claimed Allen, who also revealed that the naughty pair had, later, played a similar stunt on Kit Harington. Who promptly burst into tears. Allegedly.
The Metro - so, not a real newspaper - claims that production on series three of From The North favourite Killing Eve has begun with 'fans spotting the crew getting to work in a London pub.' The crew was spotted in New Maldon. 'Several locals have taken to Twitter to share their excitement at filming in the neighbourhood.' Indeed, if the over-excited Twitter-gushing the Metro quotes are anything to go by, 'excited' is an 'uge under-statement. 'Coming in their own shorts' might be a slightly more accurate description.
From The North's TV Comedy Line Of The Week goes to From The North favourite Qi XL and the final - sixteenth - episode the P series (broadcast over eleven months after the series began last September and six months since the standard-length edition of this episode was first shown in February). On the subject of queuing, Sandi Toksvig told the audience: 'In 2018, Amazon opened its first "queue-free shop." The idea [is that you] scan your phone as you walk in and there are video cameras and senors that watch as you take items off the shelf and they charge you automatically, you don't have to wait in line to check out. On the very first day that people went to visit, they queued for two blocks to get into the shop.' From The North's TV Lack-Of-Comedy Line Of The Week goes to the same episode and pretty much anything said by That Bloody Holly Walsh Woman. Jesus, she is about as funny as a really nasty skin infection on the genitals. Mind you, the episode also saw Susan Calman getting shut in a post box so, you know, swings and roundabouts.
The Daily Scum Express's David Mitchell and Victoria Coren: Inside The TV power Couple's Marriage suggested from its title that it was going to be an in-depth profile of David and Victoria's home life. But, of course, since this is the Daily Scum Express, it was nothing of the sort. In fact, it's a short, not particularly good, cut-and-paste job which includes no original reporting, merely bits of interviews from other media sources (mostly Radio Times). The author of this risible excuse for 'journalism,' one Frederica Miller, also claims: 'Coren Mitchell hoisted BBC quiz show Only Connect until 2016.' From The North favourite Victoria also hosted it, as well, Frederica. Although her considerable hoisting abilities are, of course, second to none. Interestingly, Victoria continued 'hoisting' the popular BBC2 intelligence quiz in 2017, 2018 and 2019 too, though Frederica seems not to have noticed this.
For those dear blog readers who might have been wondering what Matt Smith is up to these days now that his stint on The Crown has come to an end, From The North has good news. Smudger is, apparently, currently filming Edgar Wright's new psychological horror movie Last Night In Soho in, well, Soho. Or, very near it anyway. Anya Taylor-Joy is also appearing in the movie.
Smudher's TARDIS predecessor national heartthrob David Tennant appears to be returning to his Broadchurch roots, starring in Channel Four's upcoming drama Deadwater Fell about a small community rocked by a heinous crime. So, no typecasting there, then. However, this time around David's character is at the centre of a dark mystery. There has been no confirmed release date for the new yet. The plot: 'Tom is a well-liked GP in a small Scottish village, Kirkdarroch, where he lives with his wife Kate, a primary school teacher, and their young daughters. Kate's best friend and colleague is Jess, who moved to the village six years ago, marrying Steve, the local police sergeant. However, one night the illusions of happiness and contentment are shattered as the community is drawn to Kate and Tom’s family home in the forest by the flicker of flames and the smell of smoke. Amid the confusion of the house fire, Kate and her three children are found dead, and Tom, who is found alive, is rushed to hospital. It soon becomes apparent, however, that Kate and her children weren't killed in the fire and the village realise that something unspeakable has happened.' Deadwater Fell is written by Daisy Coulam, who was also behind ITV's Grantchester. Fresh from his success playing the demon Crowley in Good Omens, David plays Tom, the affable GP with a seemingly perfect marriage and life. Anna Madeley, Cush Jumbo and Matthew McNulty are also in the cast.
Another former TARDIS occupant, yer actual Christopher Eccleston's memoir, I Love The Bones Of You: My Father & The Making Of Me, is due to be published by Simon & Shuster on 19 September. Like many people, perhaps, when the book was first announced last year this blogger had assumed Big Ecc's autobiography would be three hundred pages of whinging and score-settling. However, it seems Chris's ambitions lie in other directions, which is good news. 'Drawing on his memories, Chris will describe a vivid life of growing up in a Salford, working-class household in the 1970s with his siblings, a loving mother and the totemic figure of his hardworking, serious-minded and socialist father - Ronnie,' read the synopsis. 'How his life changed from a potential future as "factory fodder" in his native North West, to a deep-rooted desire to perform on stage and what developed into a burgeoning acting career - from his stunning film debut Let Him Have It; to the BBC's landmark drama miniseries Our Friends In The North; his remarkable relaunch of the iconic Doctor Who franchise and many more BAFTA-nominated roles over the past three decades such as starring in the current production of Macbeth for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford and, playing the role of the grandfather in the BBC1 hit drama series The A Word. Along this path of fame and fortune also lay a man still bonded to his home city, his politics, his family and especially his beloved parents. Chris will discuss openly the loss of his father and his family's struggle to cope with his condition over the past decade of his life as they watched his health deteriorate. A journey thousands of British families travel on each year. A heart-rending, honest and often touching memoir of a man embedded in his roots and mourning the loss of the father who nutured [sic] those roots.' All of which sounds far warmer and much more readable than this blogger had previously suspected it would be. Good on ya, Chris, you've got at least one sale. Probably.
Production has begun on the upcoming seventh series of From The North favourite Endeavour. The popular ITV crime drama, a prequel to Inspector Morse, was renewed for a new set of episodes in February 2019 and the production's official Twitter account confirmed that the first read-through took place on Friday 9 August. 'Let production commence on Endeavour series seven,' the tweet read. 'Exciting first update from the episode one read-through.' The plot for the new series of three episodes has, so far, been kept under wraps, but it would appear to be the first one to take place in the 1970s - series six having been set in the summer of 1969. Last year saw Morse and Thursday investigate the death of a librarian, with links to a potential widespread criminal conspiracy and the murder of George Fancy (Lewis Peek). Russell Lewis has returned to write the scripts of the series. Additionally, despite rumours that the popular drama was nearing its end, ITV has already renewed Endeavour for an eighth series to be broadcast in 2021. The drama series is produced by Mammoth Screen and stars Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, Anton Lesser, Sean Rigby, James Bradshaw, Sara Vickers, Abigail Thaw and Caroline O'Neill. ITV said that series seven's three episodes would 'take on a more serialised tone,' forming an interconnecting story. 'The narrative design of this series gives us the opportunity to deliver a particularly distinctive story shape,' Lewis said. 'Though each film can be enjoyed as a standalone, we have approached Endeavour 1970 as three panels of a triptych or - in musical terms - a grand opera that unfolds across three acts. Whether it wears the mask of comedy or tragedy remains to be seen.' The new episodes find the team reunited at Castle Gate CID, with Chief Superintendent Bright back in charge. However, the events of the past year have left their mark and the new series will, reportedly, see 'old friendships challenged and new relationships blossom.' In the dawn of women's liberation, social progression and scientific growth, the 1970s begin for Oxford's finest with the discovery of a body at the canal towpath on New Year's Day. Series star Shaun Evans is directing the opening episode.
There's a fascinating piece on Jeff Pope's latest ITV true-crime drama adaptation, A Confession, starring Martin Freeman on the BBC News website which you can check out here, dear blog reader. 'Modern policing is broken. It's not fit for purpose, politics plays too big a part and there's not enough emphasis on solving crime,' says Pope, the writer of the movies Philomena and Stan & Ollie and the TV dramas Hatton Garden, Little Boy Blue, Mrs Biggs and Appropriate Adult.
Dear blog readers are also urged to check out a exquisite think-piece by Sy-Fy Wire's Sara Century on From The North favourite Doom Patrol, which you can read here. 'Shedding old skin to become something better, accepting and forgiving ourselves for the way trauma changes us and the way our great struggles might even come to define us (and change us for the better) are the messages at the heart of Doom Patrol's first season,' writes Sara. 'Through an active, challenging and painful growth process, each member of the team becomes a better person. Though their insecurities take on literal and monstrous proportions, it is the radical act of letting go of ancient anger and biases to embrace something new that brings about their greatest triumphs.' Spot on.
Whilst everyone with any taste eagerly awaits Netflix's recently announced but, still a distance off actually being made, adaptation of The Sandman, the Fansided website is reporting that one of the most important characters' in Neil Gaiman's acclaimed comic series is to make her screen debut before The Sandman series gets off the ground. At least, in animated form. 'Possibly the most popular of The Endless is Death, the second oldest of the siblings,' the article notes. 'She's the embodiment of the end of all things, sure, but she's also a cheery goth girl who's a lot more easy-going than most of her siblings. If you see her, it probably means your life is over, but at least she's gonna be nice about it ... We'll get a preview of what an animated Death would like when Wonder Woman: Bloodlines - a direct-to-video animated movie produced by DC - comes out this October. Included in the package will be a short film featuring Death (voice of Jamie Chung) helping an artist (Leonard Nam) come to terms with his artistic legacy. And his own demise.'
And, speaking of the Neil Gaiman oeuvre, American Gods had - and this is something of an understatement - 'a bit of a bumpy ride' in production terms before and during its second series. But after a return that gave the series a gritty, more ensemble feel than the first year, but not unpleasantly so and with an exciting and challenging series finale - things are looking good heading into the forthcoming production on series three. Ricky Whittle took time out from promoting the blu-ray release of series two to speak to the Bleeding Cool on what fans can expect. Confirming that he begins work on the new series 'at the end of September,' Ricky discusses the 'incredible stories' being told in the episode scripts that he has seen so far, observing The Writers' Room, how this series' Shadow Moon will be different from the man we've previously seen and why believes 'For me, season three is going to be - by far - the best season yet.' Fansided also had a piece on the series, observing that 'American Gods just might have a drama-free start to its third season, a marked contrast from what we saw go down ahead of season two. After a rough patch, is Starz's drama about the Old Gods fighting the New back on track?'
The infamous Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? cheating scandal is being adapted into a TV drama starring Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant. Matthew Macfadyen will play Charles Ingram, the so-called 'Coughing Major', in Quiz, with the Fleabag actor Sian Clifford as his wife, Diana. The drama will be broadcast on ITV, which also shows Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - said to be the 'most successful game show of all time.' Ingram, a former army major who won the top prize on the show in 2001, was found extremely guilty in 2003 of cheating his way to the one million knicker top prize. Ingram listened for coughs from Tecwen Whittock, a college lecturer who sat in the audience, to steer him to the correct answers. Michael Jibson will play Whittock on the dramatisation. ITV has released an image of Macfadyen and Clifford in their new roles. And, in the dock. The drama is directed by Stephen Frears, whose credits include A Very English Scandal and the film-length biopic The Queen. Helen McCrory, Mark Bonnar and Aisling Bea will also appear in the production, which is written by James Graham, whose play of the story hit the West End in 2018. The playwright said: 'I was gripped by this story over fifteen years ago and I'm still gripped now. It's a very English heist.' ITV's head of drama, Polly Hill, said the three-part series would be 'an extraordinary and thoroughly British story and is going to be a real treat for our audience.' Sarah Barnett, president of the Entertainment Networks Group at AMC Networks, said: 'If this tale was invented you'd think it too preposterous - the fact that it is true and told so brilliantly, makes for an unmissable three-part TV event that will entertain and enthral American audiences every bit as much as their British counterparts. Quiz has the most remarkable bunch of talented people attached, both in front of and behind the camera and we at AMC are delighted to be part of it.' Filming is currently under way in London.
An all-star cast has been announced for upcoming series Doctor Death, a drama based on the Wondery podcast of the same name which attracted over fifty million listeners. Jamie Dornan is billed to be starring as the prodigal Doctor Christopher Duntsch in the series, which is based on true events. Duntsch was considered to be one of the greatest upcoming neurosurgery practitioners among the Dallas medical community, but when a series of patients who entered his operating room for what appeared to be fairly routine surgeries died or were left disabled, two fellow surgeons set out to stop him. Golden Globe Award winner Christian Slater will play the 'brash and impulsive' vascular surgeon Randall Kirby, who forms an unlikely double act with the 'quiet and methodical' neurosurgeon Robert Henderson, played by Alec Baldwin. The drama is produced by Universal Content Productions and is currently in the process of being picked up by a major channel or a streaming service. Doctor Death is not the first true-crime podcast to have been brought to life on the small screen, with Wondery's Dirty John having been shown on Netflix in the UK. Dornan previously revealed he likes playing characters who are 'difficult to figure out,' having taken on the problematic billionaire Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades franchise, serial murderer Paul Spector in BBC2's The Fall and the unnerving Liam in Death & Nightingales. 'There's a lot about Liam that is hard to work out and you have many questions - I like playing characters like that,' he said at the Death & Nightingales Q&A. 'If they are showing goodness or kindness on the screen or on the page, are we meant to believe that that is sincere, or is there something behind that? I love the idea of playing that.'
And speaking of Doctor Death, the wicked and naughty crimes of Harold Shipman and the societal issues surrounding his murders, are set to be explored in a new three-part BBC4 documentary. Filmmaker Chris Wilson will examine how the doctor managed to get away with his wicked and naughty crimes for over two decades, getting an insight from the police officers who initially investigated the case, as well as lawyers and doctors to unveil a complex picture of Britain's most prolific serial killer. Wilson will also speak to the family and friends of some of Shipman's victims, many of whom have never spoken on record about his wicked and naughty crimes before. Given our ageing population and increasing dependence on medical professionals and caregivers, the series will ask what can be learned from this case to prevent such heinous crimes ever happening again. 'There have been many films about Harold Shipman. Most attempt to take us "inside-the-mind" of a serial killer. But none have fully explored the historical, cultural and social context that enabled a medical professional to take the lives of hundreds of trusting patients over more than two decades,' explained Wilson. 'It's a chilling story about power, authority and an astonishing betrayal of trust - one that, for me, remains as pertinent today as it was twenty years ago.' The Harold Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story follows BBC4's acclaimed The Yorkshire Ripper Files, which was broadcast in March this year. Commissioning Editor Abigail Priddle said: 'As The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story so powerfully showed, no crime or criminal exists in a vacuum and this critical re-examination of these terrible events will endeavour to reveal the systematic failings and cultural attitudes that allowed Shipman to go undetected for so long at such terrible human cost.'
Amanda Holden has reportedly overtaken Holly Willoughby as the UK's top earning female TV star. This is Great Britain in 2019, dear blog reader. A right load of old effing toot.
And, speaking of grossly over-paid women, The Duchess of Sussex's old TV show Suits has made a joke about her new role as a royal. Meghan first shot to fame as lawyer Rachel Zane in the US legal drama, starring from its launch in 2011 until her final episode in 2018. Rachel's on-screen husband Mike Ross, played by Patrick J Adams, also left, but returned for an episode of the new series and was asked how Rachel is doing. 'If I told you how good, you probably wouldn't believe me,' he replied. The TV show's official Twitter account continued the joke: 'Turns out Rachel is doing REALLY well.' Indeed. Her entire lifestyle is now subsidised by the British taxpayer, it really doesn't get much cushier than that, dear blog reader. Adams was among the Suits cast invited to the royal wedding last May, when Meghan married Big Hazza at Windsor Castle. Meghan announced she was quitting the USA Network drama shortly after getting engaged, in order to commit to royal engagements. And, because she didn't need the money any more now we're paying for her.
Ishaan Khatter, Tabu and Tanya Maniktala are set to appear in A Suitable Boy, BBC1's forthcoming six episode adaptation of Vikram Seth's novel. The series is filming at a number of locations across India - including Lucknow and Maheshwar - ahead of a 2020 premiere. A Suitable Boy tells the story of spirited university student Lata (Maniktala); coming of age in North India in 1951 at the same time as her country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general erection. Lata's mother is determined to find her a husband - the titular suitable boy -  but Lata, torn between family duty and the excitement of romance, embarks on her own, epic journey of love and self-discovery. Connected to Lata through their siblings' marriage, the wayward Maan (Khatter) is determined to enjoy life to the full whatever the consequences, much to the concern of his politician father. But could his infatuation with beautiful courtesan Saaeda Bai (Tabu) be a step too far? The great Andrew Davies has written the adaptation, which is being produced for the BBC by Lookout Point. Mira Nair is directing.
Sky1's much-trailed - and, rather interesting looking - new comedy series Brassic will premiere on Thursday 22 August at 10pm, it has been announced. Brassic 'follows a group of working-class friends finding unconventional ways to win at life in Northern suburbia.' But, don't let that horribly sneering description put you off, it does actually look - on the evidence of the trailers - to be quite funny. The series, which was created by Joe Gilgun and Danny Brocklehurst, is produced by Calamity Films and stars Joe Gilgun, Michelle Keegan, Damien Molony, Ruth Sheen, Tim Key, Tom Hanson, Aaron Heffernan, Ryan Sampson and Parth Thakerar.
A serving police officer is appearing on the Nigerian version of Big Brother despite bosses refusing her permission. The Metropolitan Police said that it was 'carrying out an internal investigation' after PC Khafi Kareem went on the programme 'without authority.' Scotland Yard said the twenty nine-year-old had been granted unpaid leave 'for an unrelated reason.' A spokesperson for Kareem said she would 'comment on the matter when she can.' Television channel Africa Magic said Kareem joined Big Brother Naija to 'do societal good.' A profile of Kareem on its website reveals she would spend the prize money, reportedly worth thirty million naira (that's about sixty eight thousand knicker), on hosting a travel show in Nigeria, as well as 'investing in charitable causes.' On the show, Kareem and seven other contestants are currently nominated for eviction. Her social media pages have been promoting posts encouraging viewers to 'save' her. The off-duty officer has also posted a statement requesting that the Sun newspaper withdraw an article that alleges she faces the sack for having sex with another contestant on the show. She said that the paper had not contacted her for her side of the story and the article, which she described as 'a defamatory outburst,' was 'damaging' to her image. 'Khafi's side of the story is deliberately and conveniently omitted; this comes from a repressive culture of shaming and characterising women for their sexual decisions and life choices,' a statement on her Twitter feed reads. The Met said Kareem had been granted unpaid leave ahead of appearing on the show, but her request to take part in the programme was denied. A spokesman said: 'A PC, attached to the Met's transformation command, requested permission to take part in a reality television entertainment show in Nigeria. Permission was not given. The Met is aware that the officer has since appeared on the show without authority. The Met does not support the officer's appearance nor does she represent the Met whilst appearing on the show.' The force added that any officer found to have breached police standards of professional behaviour could 'face misconduct proceedings.' In its statement Africa Magic said: 'Police officer Khafi Kareem believes that you can have it all if you believe in yourself. She is not only hoping to win the prize money but she wants the exposure that being in Big Brother Naija House brings so that she can do societal good. What people don't know about her is that she is secretly talented in spoken word, singing and dancing. She is an Ekiti native who resides in London.'
A Dalek enclosure outside a science-fiction museum in Northumberland has 'escaped extermination' by council planners. For the moment, at least. Neil and Lisa Cole, who run the Museum of Classic Sci-Fi in Allendale, were told to remove a shed housing a homemade replica of the Doctor Who arch-villain. Northumberland County Council planners claimed that the shed 'did not fit the character' of the couple's Grade II-listed home. But councillors defied them to give the structure a twelve-month reprieve. Art teacher Cole teamed up with members of an after-school club to build the Dalek. The museum features props, costumes and artwork, from a host of science fiction films and TV series. The Coles said that the Dalek could not be stored in their cellar alongside the other exhibits because of its size. And, because Daleks, traditionally, have a bit of trouble with stairs. They were told they should have applied for planning permission (the Coles this is, not the Daleks) and if a retrospective application was lodged it would likely fail. However, Northumberland Council's Tynedale local area planning committee has slapped down such highly dubious nimby-style jobsworth nonsense and voted to allow the shed to remain for a year. Cole said that he was 'pleased' with the decision, but would still appeal to the National Planning Inspectorate. A year was not enough time to replace the wooden shed with a permanent stone structure, he claimed. 'We are in a remote local area that has just two of its local business and we have brought in two thousand people since October,' he claimed. 'These are people who would never have come to the area if it were not for the museum.' Mrs Cole added that the future of the museum would be in doubt if they had to remove the Dalek permanently.
Listeners to Radio 4's Desert Island Discs have, according to the Gruniad Morning Star, 'split into factions this weekend' as fans of its latest presenter, Wor Geet Canny Lauren Laverne, have mounted a high-profile defence of her in the face of calls for Radio 4 bosses to 're-think' her appointment as Kirsty Young’s successor. Albeit, not 'calls' by anyone that actually matters. The outpouring of Wor Geet Canny Lauren Love on social media has come from the likes of Matt Lucas, Irvine Welsh, Robert Webb and Caitlin Moran and prompted Wor Geet canny Lauren, to post a warm message of thanks on Twitter on Friday night. 'Today has been an entirely unexpected inventory of who is in my corner. I have to say I couldn't be happier. In fact it's been the best day in ages. Isn't it funny how it goes that way sometimes? Thanks very much to everyone who has been so kind,' Wor Geet Canny Lauren wrote. Radio critics such as The Sunday Times veteran whingers Gillian Reynolds and the Torygraph's Charlotte Runcie - so, as noted, no one that actually matters - had already 'expressed doubts' about the future of the music-based interview format with Wor Geet Canny Lauren at the helm. Then The Spectator magazine weighed in. In a piece published online columnist Melanie McDonagh (no, me neither) suggested Wor Geet Canny Lauren had 'no enthusiasm' for classical music. 'There's no getting away from it,' sneered McDonagh, 'Lauren is lightweight and uncerebral. Her capacity to come up with the forgettable phrase is quite something.' For which read, Wor Geet Canny Lauren 'is a Working Class girl from Sunderland who used to be in a punk rock and/or roll band and doesn't talk proper like what we expect from people on the BBC.' Because, that's what this nonsense is really all about. Unsurprisingly the wretched McDonagh's worthless, hateful, offensive comments have prompted an avalanche of social media support for Wor Geet Canny Lauren. Other vocal defenders include David Lammy MP, the broadcasters Sara Cox and Mark Kermode and two former Desert Island Discs guests - singer Tracey Thorn and composer Nitin Sawhney. 'I am very much in your corner,' Thorn told Wor Geet Canny Lauren, while Sawhney added that Wor Geet Canny Lauren was: 'A great interviewer has compassion, empathy, interest in their subject, sharp wit and an ability to extract the heart and soul of a personal journey. All traits of yours.' The nub of McDonagh's sneering, class-based argument is that Wor Geet Canny Lauren's appointment was 'a vain effort to attract younger listeners.' The steaming pile of rancid diarrhoea also claimed that the speech radio station's new controller, Mohit Bakaya, is 'looking for another presenter.' Another female Radio 4 presenter with a regional accent is also a target for criticism from McDonagh. Who is, obviously, not a sneering, disgraceful Tory twat. Of goodness me, no. Very hot water. Kathy Clugston's new role chairing Gardeners' Question Time was described as 'the worst appointment Radio 4 has made in its apparent effort to alienate its listeners.' Young stepped down from the Desert Island Discs role after twelve years because of her struggle with a chronic health condition, fibromyalgia. Her departure was lamented by Reynolds, among many others. The critic has since admitted that when Young first took over from Sue Lawley as the host of Desert Island Discs in 2006 she was 'not convinced.' Reynolds wrote: '[Young] asks questions with the answers already built in, cuts across what the interviewees are saying, doesn't pick up what's being said, seems to attach no significance at all to the choice of records.' Young has also spoken in the past of her 'harsh reception' in 2006: 'I knew it was coming, but it's not very nice when you get hit in the face with a concrete slab and that's what it felt like,' she once told John Bishop. The programme, which asks its guests to imagine they are castaways on a remote island, with only eight records to listen to, was the creation of Roy Plomley and was first recorded in a bomb-damaged Maida Vale studio in January 1942. Sir Michael Parkinson took over the role following Plolmey's death in 1985 before Lawley became the first female host three years later. The Observer's radio critic, Miranda Sawyer, has welcomed the arrival of Wor Geet Canny Lauren. 'Since she began sitting in for Kirsty Young, Laverne has been good, but she's really hit her stride in the past few episodes. Last week's interview with Bob Mortimer was a delight: good questions, easy atmosphere, excellent interviewee. And great listening from Laverne,' wrote Sawyer in February.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge has revealed she came up with the 'vision' for her next movie after fearing she would never have another original idea. 'The day I wrapped Fleabag, I went to bed thinking, "I'm never going to have another idea again,"' the actress and writer told The Hollywood Reporter. 'I woke up with the vision of this film.' She wants to write and direct it, which would be her first directing credit. The BAFTA-winning star said that she did not intend to act in the film. But the Fleabag and Killing Eve creator admitted that she would 'probably end up in it.' She also said that it would need 'a meaningful cinema release' - ruling out making it for the likes of Amazon, which carries Fleabag in the US and Netflix. Waller-Bridge is also working on the script of the next James Bond film, which is currently in production. Asked about reports that actress Lashana Lynch would be given the 007 codename in Bond Twenty Five, she replied: 'The whole thing has potential to birth new iconic characters all the time.' Waller-Bridge will shortly return to the London stage to perform the original one-woman Fleabag show from which the BBC sitcom sprang. It will be followed in November by the publication of Fleabag: The Scriptures, a book containing the scripts with previous unseen annotations. 'I've been milking it since 2013,' the thirty four-year-old joked during an interview last week. 'I'm getting as much out of [the character] as I can.'
Peter Murphy, the former singer in Bauhaus, is being treated after a heart attack. The sixty two-year-old Godfather of Goth, was reportedly taken to hospital and is said to be in a stable condition. He experienced shortness of breath before a gig in New York on Tuesday, according to his representatives. Cardiologist Jason Song said: 'He had two stents placed in his right coronary artery and was started on medications to manage his heart condition.' Murphy's family added in a statement: 'We would like to thank the fans for their undying support and hope that Peter will be back on stage with a refreshed heart, stronger than before.' The Northampton-born singer had been preparing to perform the remaining dates of his residency at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan, but the concerts have been postponed indefinitely. Murphy formed Bauhaus in 1978 with guitarist Daniel Ash, drummer Kevin Haskins and bass player David J. They were credited with influencing subsequent Goth rockers including Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. The East Midlands outfit produced four LPs before splitting up in 1983 and another one in 2008 after reuniting for a second time. Since their early 1980s heyday, Murphy has put out ten solo LPs, with the last one, Lion, coming in 2014. In recent years, however, he has suffered a number of health problems. In 2010 he was forced to pull out of a tour for undisclosed reasons and in 2017 he postponed a residency in San Francisco due to a problem with his vocal cords.
Sales of DVDs, CDs and video games plunged by almost a fifth in the three months to the end of June, as consumers ditch physical products for online streaming. Specialist retailers including HMV and Game, as well as major supermarket chains Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury's - big sellers of physical entertainment products - reportedly bore the brunt of the fifty million smackers year-on-year fall in quarterly sales as Amazon increased its market dominance. Total sales of physical entertainment products fell by nineteen per cent year-on-year from two hundred and sixty three million knicker to two hundred and fourteen million in the second quarter, according to market research firm Kantar. Struggling HMV, which has shut twenty seven stores this year, suffered the biggest fall in market share from 17.7 per cent to 14.4 per cent. Game fell from 8.1 per cent to 7.6 per cent. The market share at Tesco, which has just announced four thousand five hundred job cuts, fell from 10.3 per cent to 8.3 per cent year-on-year. ASDA and Sainsbury's both recorded a fall in their market share fall from 7.3 per cent to 6.3 per cent. Morrison's was the only major supermarket chain to post a share rise, albeit just 0.3 per cent to 3.3 per cent. However, while the high street struggles, Amazon's sales are booming. Amazon now accounts for one in every four pounds spent on physical entertainment products by UK shoppers. In the same quarter last year the US giant accounted for twenty two per cent of spend. Fellow US giant eBay has also significantly increased its market share, from four per cent to 5.8 per cent year-on-year. 'Amazon and eBay are increasingly popular with shoppers wanting to get the latest release without leaving their homes, particularly if a traditional retailer has disappeared from their local high street,' said Claire McClelland, consumer specialist at Kantar. In the video market, primarily DVDs, sales plunged twenty eight per cent - about thirty one million knicker - from one hundred and eleven million notes to eighty one million. Kantar said the 'tough comparison' against blockbuster sales of hit film The Greatest Showman were to blame for twenty two million quid of the fall. 'There's a lot of competition out there for DVD retailers, particularly in the form of online streaming services,' said McClelland. 'No longer just for young people, older generations are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and more confident at using these platforms and they are buying DVDs less often as a result.' Sales of CDs fell eleven per cent in the quarter from eighty million knicker to seventy one million, partly due to a lack of 'big name' music releases and exacerbated by the HMV store closures. Video game sales fell fourteen per cent to sixty two million notes.
Brexit uncertainty isn't just affecting British companies - it is also hitting the convention circuit. The London Film & Comic Con has announced that it is cancelling its winter event, which was set to take place in late November. The convention, which is well known for flying popular US actors from SF fantasy films and TV series to the UK for - very expensive - fan autograph sessions, says that it has been affected by the weakness of the pound. 'Running our larger events we are very dependent on the pound to the dollar exchange rate and recently the pound dived to its lowest rate in decades, which means that most US guests' costs have risen dramatically and this looks likely to stay this way until we all find out where we stand with Brexit in the coming months,' Jason Joiner, the managing director of LFCC owner Showmasters wrote in a Facebook post to event attendees. 'This is a decision we have properly thought through and we do feel with all this uncertainty in the world and with the exchange rate fluctuation these issues are unlikely to stabilise before the Brexit outcome in October and most likely until the end of the year.' LFCC said that it will automatically issue refunds on tickets for the winter convention that have already been purchased.
A male model in Katy Perry's 'Teenage Dream' music video has alleged that the singer exposed his penis to an entire party of people, which he claims amounts to sexual assault. Josh Kloss, who appeared in the video, wrote on Instagram that Naughty Katy Perry was 'cold' to him when 'others were around but warm and friendly' when they were alone. He also claimed that she invited him to a strip club, but he turned it down. Kloss claims that he and Naughty Katy Perry 'ran into each other several times' after Naughty Katy Perry's divorce from Russell Brand and that was when she, allegedly, committed sexual misconduct. 'This one time I brought a friend who was dying to meet her,' Kloss recalled. 'It was Johny Wujek's birthday party at Moonlight Rollerway. And when I saw her, we hugged and she was still my crush. But as I turned to introduce my friend, she pulled my Adidas sweats and underwear out as far as she could to show a couple of her guy friends and the crowd around us my penis. Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed I felt? I just say this now because our culture is set on proving men of power are perverse. But females with power are just as disgusting,' he wrote. Kloss claims that he made a total of six hundred and fifty dollars from his work in the video. 'I was lorded over by her reps, about not discussing a single thing about anything regarding Katy publicly. And a couple interviews they edited and answered for me,' he alleged. 'So, happy anniversary to one of the most confusing, assaulting and belittling jobs I've ever done.' Naughty Katy Perry's thoughts on these unsubstantiated allegations - and, more importantly, those of her (one presumes, extremely expensive) lawyers - are not yet known. But, it shouldn't be too long.
The government is considering giving powers to fine video-sharing apps and websites to the UK's media regulator. The proposal would see Ofcom - a politically-appointed quango, elected by no one - able to impose multi-million pound fines if it judges the platforms have failed to prevent youngsters seeing pornography, violence and other 'harmful' material. The regulator would take charge of the matter from 19 September 2020. The move is designed to meet the UK's obligations to the EU but may not be required if Brexit occurs in October. Even then, it would only be an interim measure until a separate online harms regulator was appointed at a later date. 'The implementation of the AVMSD is required as part of the United Kingdom's obligations arising from its membership of the European Union and until the UK formally leaves the European Union all of its obligations remain in force,' said a spokesman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 'If the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, we will not be bound to transpose the AVMSD into UK law.' The Torygraph was first to report the scheme. It said that the proposal was 'quietly' agreed before Parliament's summer break and would give Ofcom the power to fine tech firms up to five per cent of their revenues and/or block them in the UK if they failed to comply with its rulings. The watchdog has said that it is 'ready' to adopt the powers. 'These new rules are an important first step in regulating video-sharing online and we'll work closely with the government to implement them,' a spokeswoman told the BBC. 'We also support plans to go further and legislate for a wider set of protections, including a duty of care for online companies towards their users.' But TechUK - the industry group that represents the sector - said it 'hoped' that ministers would take a 'balanced and proportionate approach' to the issue. 'Key to achieving this will be clear and precise definitions across the board, and a proportionate sanctions and compliance regime,' said its deputy chief executive Antony Walker. The Internet Association added that it 'hoped' any intervention would be proportionate. 'Any new regulation should be targeted at specific harms and be technically possible to implement in practice - taking into account that resources available vary between companies,' said Daniel Dyball, the association's executive director.
Writing his first column for The Athletic website, Rafa The (Former) Gaffer Benitez took the opportunity of responding to various comments made by Lee Charnley which appeared in Sunday's Newcastle United match programme regarding his recent departure from this blogger's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies and subsequent move to China: '"Wherever you go, go with all your heart,"' Rafa wrote. 'I would like to start my first column for The Athletic with this quote from Confucius, the Chinese philosopher and politician. People in Newcastle have been talking about my decision to move to China without knowing what happened behind the scenes during my three years at St James’ Park. I haven't wanted to say too much about that - I've encouraged supporters to get behind Steve Bruce and his new team - but I've been made aware of what Lee Charnley, Newcastle's managing director, claimed in the club's match programme last weekend and I think it's important I address that. Hopefully, it will be the last time I have to do so. In the future I want to write about football and nothing but football. When I joined Newcastle in 2016, I did it with all my heart. I could feel the history and see the potential of the club and I wanted to be part of a project and to stay close to my family on Merseyside. I tried to do my best every day, even staying when we went down to the Championship and saying no to other offers - bigger offers than the one I recently accepted with Dalian Yifang, by the way. If I was only interested in moving "for money," as Charnley stated, I could have done it much earlier. Over my long career and especially in my time at Newcastle, I've always shown commitment to my club, its city and its community and I've done it with professionalism and honesty. I want to remember the good moments I spent in the North-East - and there were many of them - and not have to keep denying things about my time there or about my departure. Newcastle's board had a year to sort out my contract but, when we met after the end of last season, they didn't make me a proper offer. They told me they didn't want to invest in the academy or the training ground - if they like, I can explain the reason why Mike Ashley refused to do that. Their idea of a project was a policy of signing players under twenty four and, in my opinion, the budget available was not enough to compete for the top ten. After that meeting, I knew they would not come back with a serious offer and, when it arrived, nineteen days later, it was for the same salary as three years earlier and with less control over signings. Charnley's comments in the programme about having a deal agreed for Joelinton in February explains a lot that I couldn't understand at that time. After three years of unfulfilled promises, I didn't trust them. When we finished tenth in the Premier League in our first season back, all players and staff were paid a bonus - aside from my coaching team. That felt like a punishment for me not signing an extension. So, by the end, I knew there would not be a proper offer and they knew I was not signing. I couldn't explain that in public because I was not allowed to talk to the press without their permission, so I was waiting until late June, like every fan, hoping there would be good news about Newcastle's prospective takeover. The time was passing and we were losing job opportunities in Europe. I couldn't wait forever. I'm a family man and I have a responsibility to them, my staff, Paco, Antonio and Mikel and their families, too. I don't like to gamble with the future of my people. In front of us we had three options: nothing serious from Newcastle, the hope of a possible takeover or a different project. Yes, it was a big offer in China - I have never denied that - but it was also another continent and another league, from a club giving us a lot of recognition and respect. That decision wasn't easy, but it was clear. So, here we are in the Chinese Super League with an ambitious club that has a big company in Wanda behind it. At Dalian, we are trying to build something important in this massive, fascinating country. It is another level, another way of doing things, another culture, but they believe in us, they listen to us and their priority is not just to make a profit. They are investing big money in developing a new scouting department, they are building a new training ground for the academy, the under-twenty threes and, obviously, the first team. And, yes, they are using our experience to guide them. The CSL has sixteen clubs so that means thirty league games plus the cup (we are in the semi-finals) and the Asian Champions League, if you qualify. The Chinese Federation tries to promote young players, which means the top teams like Guangzhou Evergrande, who have had the best young Chinese players for years, can manage better than us. We can't compete with them at the moment, but our target this year is to finish in the top ten (we are sixth) and we are improving and growing. They expect us to leave a legacy, the basement on which to build something. The whole experience is a challenge, none bigger than the language. I have worked in Spain, Italy and England, but this is very different. Here, you need a translator for everything: to transmit your thoughts in training sessions, team talks and to the media, down to working on computers. But there is a rich culture here; the city, the food, the life are all nice. And, as I say, we have been treated with nothing but respect. Over the coming weeks, I will talk more about that and more about what's happening in the Premier League but, as I have started with Newcastle, I will finish with them, too. What can I say about them? Before their first game, I wished the players, fans and Steve Bruce all the best and I meant it sincerely, because they deserve it. Arsenal was their first match of the season and their first with a new manager, so we have to give them time. The signings we made to take us from the Championship have more experience in the Premier League now. I think the combination of 'our' young players, like Jamaal Lascelles, Isaac Hayden, DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo, the new squad members like Miguel Almiron and Sean Longstaff, together with the experience of Paul Dummett, Matt Ritchie, Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schär, Florian Lejeune, Federico Fernandez, Jonjo Shelvey, Ki Sung-Yeung, Ciaran Clark, Karl Darlow and Christian Atsu will be enough to stay up. The new players will have to make the difference if they want to finish better than tenth, but they will need - and they will have - support from the fans, even if they are not happy with how things have been done, because they know the club is bigger than anyone. They have to be United; Newcastle United. On Sunday morning, I switched on my television in Dalian and there was a documentary about Alan Shearer being shown. Can you believe that? It's true. I saw joy in the faces of Newcastle fans after every goal. I didn't need the reminder, because I was there so recently, there with all my heart, but it made me think again about that history and potential. And it made me consider something else: what would an eighteen-year-old Newcastle supporter think about his club now?' Rafa's comments were, subsequently, widely reported in the Torygraph, the Gruniad Morning Star, the Daily Mirra, the Sun, the Independent, the Evening Chronicle, Ninety Minutes, talkSport and ITV. Among many, many other media outlets. So, there you have it, dear blog reader - ultimately, it's a question of whom Newcastle United supporters feel is more trustworthy in their claims; Rafa - adored and missed by pretty much everyone - or weaselling and shifty-looking crass Ashley apologist Charnley. It's a toughie, isn't it?
Super Cup champions Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws maintained their winning start to the season with victory over Southampton at St Mary's. Sadio Mane scored the opener for Herr Klopp's side in a two-one win, having scored twice as The Reds beat Moscow Chelski FC on penalties in Istanbul on Wednesday night. Roberto Firmino added a second, before Adrian's error gifted Saints striker Danny Ings a goal late on. Teemu Pukki scored a hat-trick as last season's Championship winners Norwich City bounced back from their opening-day defeat by Liverpool to record a three-one win over this blogger's beloved (though tragically unsellable and probably relegation-bound) Newcastle United. The Finnish striker, now with four goals in two Premier League matches, produced a stunning first-half volley before securing The Canaries' first points with two more goals after the interval. Newcastle did get a consolation goal in stoppage time through Jonjo Shelvey but this disjointed and toothless display from The Magpies will only ramp up the pressure on Steve Brucie (nasty to see him, to see him, nasty) and do little to quell the mutinously sour mood around St James' Park at the moment. Championship play-off winners Aston Villains' wait for a first win of the season goes on, as they lost two-one at home to Bournemouth. Joshua King's second-minute penalty and a debut goal for Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson put Eddie Howe's visitors in control, though Douglas Luiz's strike from range handed The Villains a second-half lifeline. Brighton & Hove Albino's summer signing Leandro Trossard cancelled out Javier Hernandez' opener as The Seagulls earned a draw with West Hamsters United at The Amex Stadium. Trossard had earlier seen a first-half goal ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside, but levelled just four minutes after The Hamsters' sixty first-minute opener. Meanwhile, Bernard's tenth-minute goal was enough to earn Everton a narrow victory at home to manager Marco Silva's former side Watford. Earlier on Saturday, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winning goal as The Arse beat Burnley two-one at The Emirates Stadium. The Gunners initially led through Alexandre Lacazette's opener on his return from injury, but Ashley Barnes levelled for the visitors before half-time. In Saturday's late game, Gabriel Jesus had an injury-time goal ruled out by VAR as Sheikh Yer Man City dropped points at home for the first time since December 2018 with a two-two draw against Stottingtot Hotshots. Raheem Sterling headed City ahead in the first half, but Erik Lamela swiftly equalised. Sergio Aguero flicked home before Lucas Moura headed a second equaliser in soon after coming on of substitute. Jesus then appeared to score in injury time, but it was - rightly - ruled out for a handball by Aymeric Laporte. New handball rules introduced this season state that any goal resulting from handball, accidental or otherwise, must be ruled out. It was a frustrating result for Sheikh Yer Man City in their first home game of the season, particularly after beginning their title defence with a five-nil win at West Hamsters United last weekend.
AZ Alkmaar will launch an investigation after part of the roof at the AFAS Stadium collapsed on Saturday. The Dutch Eredivisie club's general manager, Robert Eenhoorn, confirmed that there were no injuries sustained when a large section of the roof fell onto seating below amid high winds. AZ were not playing at the time and visit RKC Waalwijk on Sunday. 'This surprised us all. We are very shocked but especially happy that there was no human suffering,' said Eenhoorn. 'In the coming days we will conduct a study with experts in this field. Only when that investigation has been done can we elaborate on the matter. It is much too early for that now.' AZ's next home game is a Europa League third-round qualifier against Ukraine's FC Mariupol on 15 August. However, Eenhoorn said it is too early to confirm whether that match will be able to go ahead at the ground.
ITV have announced they will broadcast three La Liga matches live on ITV4 at the start of the new season. The broadcaster showed live top-flight Spanish matches at the end of last season after previous rights holders Eleven Sports cut short their agreement. ITV will also show weekly La Liga highlights throughout the season on both ITV and ITV4. Live coverage begins with Barcelona's trip to Athletic Bilbao on Friday. Barcelona's first home game against Real Betis on 25 August will also be shown live, before Real Madrid's trip to Villarreal is broadcast on the following weekend.
Porto were knocked out of the Champions League after losing to Russia's FC Krasnodar on away goals, while last season's semi-finalists Ajax survived a scare to make the final play-off round. It is the first time that 2004 winners Porto have missed out on the Champions League group stages since the 2010-11 season. The Portuguese side led one-nil from the first-leg, but were three-nil down after thirty four minutes at the Estadio do Dragao. Despite second-half goals from Ze Luis and Luis Diaz they lost three-two. Ajax came from a goal down to beat Greek Champions PAOK three-two at home, to win five-four on aggregate. Dusan Tadic missed a penalty in the thirty second minute after Diego Biseswar's opener, but the Serbian made amends as he scored from the spot just before half-time. Nicolas Tagliafico doubled Ajax's lead with eleven minutes left, before Tadic scored a second penalty in the five minutes from time minute to make it three-one, with Biseswar getting his second for the visitors in injury time. The Dutch champions will next play Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia for a place in the Champions League group stages. Elsewhere, former champions Red Star Belgrade beat FC Copenhagen seven-six on penalties in a shootout which saw nine out of the twenty two penalties taken missed. The game had earlier ended one-all (two-two on aggregate) in Denmark. Club Bruges are also through after a dramatic three-all draw with Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine, to win four-three on aggregate. The game saw both teams have a player sent off and both also score injury-time goals.
French second division side AS Nancy could face disciplinary action after their match against Le Mans was stopped by the referee due to homophobic chanting by a section of fans. Referee Medi Mokhtari briefly halted the game in the twenty seventh minute at Nancy's Stade Marcel Picot. Players went over to their fans to ask them to stop, while the stadium announcer warned the game would be suspended. The match resumed after a minute. 'These songs have no place in a football stadium,' said Nancy president Jean-Michel Roussier after the match. Mokhtari's actions were praised by sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who also commended the LFP, the league's governing body. 'I extend my congratulations to referee Mehdi Mokhtari and the delegate of the LFP Alain Marseille who took their responsibilities and decided to interrupt the football match between Nancy and Le Mans for homophobic insults,' she tweeted. 'It's a first. And a last, I hope.' Marlene Schiappa, France's gender equality minister, tweeted: 'Congratulations to referee Mehdi Mokhtari for having bravely interrupted the match against homophobic songs sung at Nancy-Le Mans. Football is an exciting sport. It must remain so for all.'
Three people have been killed and about ten injured in rioting between fans of rival football clubs in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa. The violence reportedly broke out ahead of the planned derby game between the Motagua and Olimpia clubs on Saturday evening. It began when crowds threw stones at the Motagua team bus, injuring three players with shards of broken glass. Fighting continued both inside and outside National Stadium after officials cancelled the game. 'Three people died and seven were shot and stabbed. One of them is a boy. Three of the injured adults are in critical condition,' local hospital spokeswoman Laura Schoenherr told Reuters new agency. More than ten thousand people were already in the stadium when the trouble erupted. Many were caught in a stampede as police used tear gas to tackle the berserk rioters. The Motagua club tweeted pictures of the damage inside the bus after the attack and of the wounded players being treated in hospital. Those players were named as Emilio Izaguirre, Roberto Moreira and Jonathan Rougier. Former Glasgow Celtic player Izaguirre, a Honduran national, recently joined Motagua on a one-year deal. The club blamed members of the Ultra-Faithful Olimpia fan club, saying: 'This has to be severely sanctioned by the authorities.'
Scotland manager Shelley Kerr admits she would 'do things differently in hindsight' after some players were reportedly 'reduced to tears' at a meeting the day after The Scotch were knocked out of the World Cup. Kerr admits that she, along with some of her backroom team, 'had a few drinks' with dinner before the debrief. Some players are said to have considered their Scotland futures after the meeting but Kerr insists that the squad is fully behind her. 'There were a few hard and fast conversations,' she told BBC Scotland. 'That will happen in a performance environment. On reflection would I do things differently? Yeah of course. Maybe the timing because the emotions - certainly the circumstance - were so unique.' Scotland lost the opening two games of their first World Cup against England and Japan before conceding three goals in the final sixteen minutes to draw three-three with Argentina when victory would have earned a last-sixteen place in the competition. Kerr is understood to have blamed the players in 'a heated and emotional meeting' in Paris the following day, but she denies suggestions that 'too much alcohol' had been taken. 'The staff were working around the clock and the day after, when the tournament finished, myself and some of the staff went out for a meal and we had a few drinks,' she said. 'You're on time off but of course I can see the perception.' The Scottish FA are 'aware of the matter' and have 'had conversations' with Kerr and certain players. The governing body is believed to want all parties to get together before the next squad gathering with a view to clearing any lingering issues and sorting this shit out. Kerr named her squad on Thursday for the first Euro 2021 qualifier against Cyprus on 30 August, with injured duo Lana Clelland and Christie Murray the only two members of the World Cup squad not involved. When asked about suggestions that some teams had considered whether they wanted to be part of her plans, Kerr said she would 'continue with the squad' that went to France. 'We'll address, we'll debrief,' she said. 'I've spoken to a lot of the players directly and indirectly and I've got a positive feeling about the Euros. That's what we need to focus on now.'
Great Britain were disqualified from the men's four by four hundred metres relay at the European Athletics Team Championships after a reserve shot putter was named in the line-up by mistake. Youcef Zatat, who did not travel to Poland, was included in the quartet instead of sprinter Rabah Yousif. UK Athletics performance director Neil Black blamed 'a technical error.' He told the BBC Sport website: 'It's absolutely gutting, for the athletes in particular.' Youcef Zatat tweeted that he 'definitely' would have run in the relay. As a result of the increased attention, he joked that he was now taking 'bookings for club appearances and other public events.' He added: 'As funny as this has been for me I feel for the guys who went all that way to not run.' Britain finished fifth overall with three hundred and two points. Italy won the relay race and finished fourth in the overall standings with three hundred and sixteen points. Twelve points were available for each event's winner, with eleven available for second place - meaning Britain would still have finished fifth even if they had won the relay and Italy had come second. Black added: 'There was a technical error with the declaration process. We're exploring what happened. The athletes were absolutely amazing. We informed the athletes and they took it on the chin.' Quite why he came up with the ludicrous 'technical error' bollocks and did just say 'someone cocked it up and wrote the wrong name in' is not, at this time, known. Though, we can probably guess. Britain's men won the silver medal in the four by four hundred metres relay at the 2018 European Athletics Championships, and took bronze at the World Athletics Championships in 2017.
Caroline Lucas, the Green party's only MP, has grovellingly apologised after her proposal for an all-female cabinet of 'national unity' to block a no-deal Brexit was criticised for including only white politicians. The MP had suggested a 'cabinet of national unity' involving SNP leader Wee Jimmy Krankie, Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, Yvette Cooper, the former shadow home secretary and Jo Swinson, the leader of the Lib Dems. And, herself, obviously. However, Lucas was criticised for missing out senior black politicians, such as Diane Abbott, amid wider scepticism about the viability of the ridiculous proposal. Lucas claimed that she had wanted to 'start a debate' about how to stop a no-deal Brexit, but subsequently released 'a statement of regret' saying that she should have included BAME women as well. Personally, this blogger really rather likes the idea of an all-female cabinet. Women, by and large are far more sensible, reasonable and willing to compromise than the majority of us men. And, as someone who voted to remain, he is also totally behind the concept of everyone in Britain doing whatever they can to avoid the disaster of a no-deal Brexit. What this blogger is a bit less clear about is why an MP such as Caroline Lucas who represents a party which has only one MP believes that she has the right to a place in such a hypothetical cabinet of national unity. As Lucas clearly does since her original opinion piece written in the Gruniad stated: 'I have reached out to ten women colleagues from across the political spectrum at Westminster and Holyrood - Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Independent Group for Change and independent - asking that we join together to stop the dangerous pursuit of a crash-out Brexit' [my emphasis]. Personally, Keith Telly Topping doesn't think that the votes of thirty thousand people in one Brighton constituency gives an individual the right to call the shots about whom should be running the country. Lucas might like to work on getting the Greens a slightly larger parliamentary representation before she begins making plans for a coup d'état.
Meanwhile, veteran Conservative MP Ken Clarke has said he 'would not reject an offer' to become caretaker prime minister if it was 'the only way' to stop a no-deal Brexit. Seems everybody wants that gig even though no one has actually been elected to the job - including a hairdo currently sitting in the big chair, in theory, doing it. Britain in 2019, dear blog reader, no one knows who the fek is in charge. And still, somehow, the wheels haven't (quite) come off yet. It can't be too much longer, though.
This week marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Woodstock Festival in America. But what is often overlooked is that the most famous resident of Woodstock at the time, Bob Dylan, wasn't actually there. Instead, he was travelling to the Isle of Wight. Fifty years on and the BBC has been to meet the group of friends who managed to convinced Dylan and The Band to forego Woodstock for a field in Wootton and helped to stage the biggest pop festival that Britain had seen to that date.
Of course, the BBC News website also published a lengthy piece on Woodstock this week. Thankfully, the rather rose-tinted and gushing tone about how 'rilly great' the whole thing was got somewhat under-cut with thoughtful a final paragraph: 'While the festival-goers we spoke to remembered Woodstock positively, not everyone looks back so fondly on the weekend. American journalist Hendrik Hertzberg wrote in 1989 that the only true ecstasy to be found at Woodstock was "getting the hell out of there." He recalls traversing "a thick, slippery, brown river of boots and muck", spending hours queuing for the toilet and dodging "chemically disoriented" passers-by. This sentiment is echoed by Mark Hosenball who wrote an article in 2009 titled I Was At Woodstock. And I Hated It". Rather than an attendee at the centre of a hazy hippie-haven, he sees himself as victim of a "massive, teeming, squalid mess [of] ... colossal traffic jams, torrential rain, reeking portable johns, barely edible food, and sprawling, disorganised crowds."' As this blogger has previously noted, the greatest tragedy of Woodstock was that they had six hundred thousand lice ridden hippies in one place at one time and no one had the wherewithal to point a thermonuclear missile in their general direction. The Who were good, mind. Especially the bit where Pete Townshend kicked yippie rabble-rousing agitator Abbie Hoffman up the arse and told him to 'get off my fucking stage!' Never trust a hippie, dear blog reader. They take drugs and they smell.
Of course, Woodstock wasn't the only rock and/or roll gig that was taking place that particular weekend in 1969. And now, a bandstand where yer actual David Bowie played that very weekend - soon after the release of his first hit single 'Space Oddity' - has been protected with a Grade II listing. The late singer performed from the stand to a small audience in Croydon Road Recreation Ground on 16 August 1969. Bowie, who died in 2016 (you knew that, right?), is believed to have written the lyrics to 'Life On Mars?' from its steps some months later. The 1905 bandstand is in Beckenham, where Bowie lived with his then lover, Mary Finnigan, at the time. Soon after 'Space Oddity' had hit the charts in July 1969, Bowie and his friends organised the Growth Summer Festival. The bandstand was the centrepiece of the one-day festival, which Bowie helped to organise, compere and perform at even though it took place just a few days after the death of his father. The event was designed to raise money for a permanent base for his and Finnigan's Beckenham Arts Lab project, which began life as a folk club in the backroom of the nearby Three Tuns pub. It subsequently inspired Bowie to write the song 'Memory Of A Free Festival'. Historic England's chief executive Duncan Wilson said: 'It is a rare survival from an historic iron foundry in its own right. But its significance as a site that inspired David Bowie shows us how powerful our historic places can be and how important it is that we protect them so they will continue to inspire people for years to come.' The first bandstands in England were built in the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens in Kensington, West London, which opened in 1861. The Beckenham bandstand, owned by Bromley Council, has been Grade II listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England. It is thought to be the only surviving example from the McCallum and Hope Iron Foundry in the country. The festival, now in its fiftieth year and known as Bowie's Beckenham Oddity, takes place on Saturday.
Recently, dear blog reader, From The North received an e-mail query for a new dear blog reader. One who had stumbled across From The North via a recent article concerning the discovery of a rare early stereo copy of the Please Please Me LP by The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s you might've heard of them) being sold for mucho-filthy lucre. In which, this blogger explained, painfully slowly and not for the first time, that stereo copies of Please Please Me are not, in and of themselves, even remotely rare. The LP was, after all, one of the biggest selling of the 1960s, it topped Record Retailer's LP chart for thirty weeks, an unprecedented achievement for a pop LP at that time and it remained on catalogue as a vinyl LP for over three decades. And, importantly, from round about the late 1960s onward, virtually all copies of it that were sold were stereo copies. Our e-mailing dear blog reader, however, still appeared a little confused and wanted to know if this blogger thought his copy of Please Please Me - which was, 'according to the record was made in 1963 and has been in the family for many years' - could be valuable if he sold it. This blogger's reply was simple. 'Get the record out of the sleeve and have a look at the label. It will be black; but what colour is the writing on it? If it's gold, then you may have a valuable item, though this blogger wouldn't swear to it as there are several variants and other factors like condition will also determine any potential resale value. If it's yellow or silver (or, indeed, on any label other than Parlophone) then it will likely be worth a couple of quid. If that (depending on how often you've played it).' It turned out, of course, that the label's lettering was silver which means that the record was an imprint from sometime in the late-1970s or 1980s. So, for future reference, if any dear blog readers have a stereo vinyl copy of The Be-Atles' Please Please Me LP and its label looks like this -
then you may - may - be sitting on a goldmine and you might want to seek professional advice; although as always with record collecting that will also depend on what sort of condition both the record and the sleeve it's housed in are like. And, even more importantly, finding someone who is prepared to take it off your hands (any record is only ever 'worth' what someone else is prepared to pay you for it and how much you need whatever monies are on offer. In strictly scrap value terms, what you've actually got is twelve inches of plastic plastic with a hole in the middle in a cardboard sleeve; the raw materials are only worth pennies). On the other hand, if your record's label looks like this -
or this -
or even this -
... or any other variant then, sorry, but your hopes of riches beyond the dreams of avarice and early retirement on the proceeds of a sale might have to go onto the back-burner for a bit. A tragedy, but them's the breaks, dear blog reader. Like a very wise man once said, 'life's a bitch and then you die.'
The Dream Chaser spaceplane, which will ferry cargo to the International Space Station, now has a rocket to launch on. Sierra Nevada, the private company which builds the spaceplane, has chosen the Vulcan rocket as its ride into orbit. The company hopes to start launching missions by 2021, to deliver supplies to astronauts on the ISS. Neither the Dream Chaser vehicle, nor the Vulcan rocket, has yet flown to space. Sierra Nevada was recently awarded the contract by NASA to re-supply the ISS. It joins two other private companies which already ship cargo and experiments to the station - SpaceX and Orbital ATK. The Vulcan Centaur rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, is currently in production. Under its NASA contract, Dream Chaser has to fly a minimum of six missions to the ISS. The first of these will serve as the Vulcan Centaur's second 'certification flight' - which will validate the rocket. 'Our first launch is 2021, so we can't wait to have the first successful mission,' said Sierra Nevada Corp's chief executive Fatih Ozmen at a news conference in Louisville, Colorado. '[Dream Chaser] is the only privately-owned, commercial spaceplane in the world that exists that is runway- and landing-capable and reusable.' Dream Chaser will deliver more than twelve thousand pounds of cargo to the space station, remaining attached for up to seventy five days as an orbiting laboratory. When the missions end, the vehicle will return through the atmosphere and land at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. The Vulcan Centaur will use BE-4 engines developed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's space company Blue Origin. Tory Bruno, chief executive of ULA, said the Vulcan was currently 'on time' for its journey to the launch pad in 2021. But, he added that if a delay did arise, ULA would use its Atlas V rocket as a back-up. Dream Chaser was designed as a crew vehicle. Sierra Nevada Corp competed for the NASA contract to send astronauts to the ISS, under the agency's Commercial Crew Programme. The contract eventually went to Boeing and SpaceX, but Sierra Nevada made it to the final round. And the company still wants the spaceplane to fly astronauts one day. 'The bridge to a crewed vehicle is not that far,' claimed John Curry, programme director for Dream Chaser. "The capability is there and we're more than happy to do it, whether it's for NASA or for somebody else. Crewed missions are coming, we just need to build it and they will come.'
A NASA facility in Alabama - where the cowshit lies thick - that developed the giant rocket for the Apollo programme in the 1960s will play a key role in sending astronauts down to the Moon's surface in 2024. The Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville will lead the development of a vehicle that will land astronauts on the body for the first time since 1972. The decision was announced by NASA's administrator Jim Bridenstine. But it's a disappointment for Texas, which was also in the running. The White House wants to send a man and a woman to the South Pole of the Moon in five years, under a programme called Artemis. Huntsville is known as Rocket City, because of its long association with the space programme. It was there that the huge Saturn V launcher, which took humans into orbit and beyond during the Apollo programme in the 1960s and 70s, was designed, built and tested. Bridenstine made the announcement at the Marshall facility in front of a test version of the forty five metre tall hydrogen tank for the Space Launch System rocket, which will launch the astronauts on their journey from Earth in 2024. 'This was not a decision that was made lightly. A lot of hard work has been done here in Huntsville over well over 10 years now regarding landing systems,' Bridenstine said on Friday. But not everyone will be happy about the decision. Before the formal announcement, Texas legislators including Senator Ted Cruz had written an open letter to Bridenstine pushing for NASA's Johnson Space Centre, based in Houston, to lead the lander development. Maybe, if they had made it a closed letter and, you know, stuck a stamp on it, the outcome might have been different. Perhaps we'll never care. Responding to a report that Marshall would be announced as the lead, the lawmakers said: 'While the Marshall Space Flight Centre specialises in rocketry and spacecraft propulsion and is undoubtedly the leader in these areas, it is the Johnson Space Centre, which has been, and continues to be, ground zero for human space exploration. We are deeply concerned that NASA is not only disregarding this history but that splitting up the work on the lander between two different geographic locations is an unnecessary and a counterproductive departure from the unquestionable success of the previous lunar lander programme.' Responding to the whinging, Bridenstine pointed out that of three hundred and sixty three jobs associated with the lander, one hundred and forty would be based at Huntsville, while eighty seven would be at Johnson Space Centre. He also said that Johnson would be 'leading work' on the Gateway, a small space station in lunar orbit where astronauts will dock before going down to the lunar surface. Last month, NASA called on industry to submit ideas for an initial version of the lander that could take two astronauts down to the Moon in 2024. Eventually, it wants to build a lander split into three stages that can ferry four people down from Gateway to the lunar surface.
If you happen to be in the outer reaches of the solar system then it is generally a good idea to steer clear of Uranus, which is a place of methane winds and temperatures so cold they would freeze your extremities in a second. So one can only imagine the nightmarish situation Jupiter faced when it smashed into a planet of roughly the same size and mass as the ice giant. A new study has found that the largest planet in our solar system had 'a terrifying close encounter' with 'a planetary embryo' with a similar mass to Uranus. In a paper published in the journal Nature, scientists said that 'a giant collision' could explain the structure of JupiterIn their paper, scientists wrote: 'We show that a sufficiently energetic head-on collision between a large planetary embryo and the proto-Jupiter could have shattered its primordial compact core and mixed the heavy elements with the inner envelope.' This means Jupiter was 'mixed' as the object it collided with was absorbed into its core. 'We suggest that collisions were common in the young Solar system and that a similar event may have also occurred for Saturn, contributing to the structural differences between Jupiter and Saturn.' Earth ha also been hit by some truly epic disasters which threatened to derail the evolution of life. Scientists recently revealed new details of how this planet survived a 'cataclysmic past' which ended with an 'apocalyptic' event which melted the entire surface of our world. In the era just after Earth formed, the solar system experienced 'giant planet migration' in which the biggest planets - including Saturn and Jupiter - began to move away from the sun. We don't fully understand what caused this phenomenon, but we know it sent huge waves of comets, asteroids and even small proto-planets into the inner solar system. A team from the University of Colorado has now sketched a new outline of the story of this era and claimed it happened much earlier than previously expected - about 4.48 billion years ago. The cataclysm 'began with the comets that came screaming into the inner solar system' said geologist Stephen Mojzsis. 'The next wave was planetesimals left over from the formation of the inner planets,' he continued. 'The last group to arrive were the asteroids, which continue to leak toward us today.' Researchers simulated the planets' movements and analysed meteors on Earth to discover evidence of when this gigantic bombardment took place. The results pointed to four-and-a-half billion years ago, give or take, whereas previous estimates had suggested the cataclysm happened about 3.9 billion years ago. It is crucial to pinpoint this date because life could have only evolved once the bombardment had ended. Mojzsis said that the findings 'open up a new window for when life may have evolved on Earth' and suggest 'our planet may have been calm enough to support living organisms as early as 4.4 billion years ago.' The oldest known fossil discovered on Earth is just three-and-a-half billion years old. 'The only way to sterilise the Earth completely is to melt the crust all at once,' Mojzsis added. 'We've shown that this hasn't happened since giant planet migration commenced.'
Radiation levels near the site of a deadly rocket explosion in Russia's far North spiked sixteen times above normal, Russia's weather service has said. Rosgidromet measured radiation levels in the port city of Severodvinsk after the blast. Even at the higher levels, the radiation would have 'posed little damage to humans,' nuclear experts claim. One or two people even believed them. Although, clearly, MSBNC's Rachel Meadows wasn't one of them! And, indeed, nor was anyone else with half a brain in their skulls. Five Officially-released figures suggest that scientists were killed and three injured in the accident on Thursday at a military facility in the White Sea. A 'nuclear-powered engine' was, allegedly, being 'tested' near the village of Nyonoksa, to the West of Severodvinsk, Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom said. Readings for gamma radiation at six testing stations in Severodvinsk, a city with a population of one hundred and eighty thousand people, ranged from four to sixteen times the normal rate of 0.11 microsieverts per hour, Rosgidromet said. A reading of 1.78 microsieverts per hour was detected at one station, 'well above normal' but, allegedly, 'below dangerous levels.' The weather service's findings contradict initial reports from Severodvinsk officials. Authorities in Severodvinsk, about thirty miles East of Nyonoksa, said that radiation levels shortly after the blast were 'higher than normal for about forty minutes' but soon 'returned to normal.' In contrast, Rosgidromet said the spike lasted for two-and-a-half hours. The explosion sparked panic among locals, with some rushing to buy medical iodine, which can limit the effects of radiation. Pharmacies' stocks of iodine were reported to be running out in the cities of Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk. On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to elaborate on the details of the test, only telling reporters 'accidents, unfortunately, happen.' Big fan of Elvis Costello, this guy, seemingly. He said, however, that Russia's nuclear engineering sector 'significantly outstrips the level that other countries have managed to reach for the moment.' There were conflicting reports about the possible evacuation of residents of Nyonoksa on Tuesday. Some locals told Russian media that they were asked to leave their homes on Wednesday ahead of planned 'military exercises.' Severodvinsk officials, quoted by the Interfax news agency, appeared to confirm the evacuation order in a later statement. However, other Russian officials were quick to dismiss reports of an evacuation, with regional governor Igor Orlov calling them 'complete nonsense.' Later on Tuesday, Interfax quoted the local government of Severodvinsk as saying that the military had cancelled plans to 'conduct work' on the testing grounds in Nyonoksa. Initially the defence ministry claimed that the explosion on 8 August had involved a liquid-fuel rocket engine and gave the death toll as two, without specifying who the victims were. Later, Rosatom said the test had involved a 'radio-isotope propellant source' and had taken place 'on an offshore platform.' The engineers had completed testing, but suddenly a fire broke out and the engine exploded, throwing the men into the sea, Rosatom said. The explosion sparked speculation that the accident involved a nuclear-powered cruise missile known as the Burevestnik or 'Skyfall'. President Vladimir Putin the Butcher of Grosny had previously described the missile during a speech to the Russian parliament in March 2018. A tweet by US President Donald Rump suggested that Russia was, indeed, testing such a missile system, saying the US was 'learning much' from the explosion. In the tweet, posted Monday, Rump wrote that the US was developing 'similar, though more advanced, technology' than the Russians. Which is jolly comforting, isn't it?
A Russian passenger plane has made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Moscow after reportedly striking a flock of birds. Really hard. At least seventy four people were injured in the incident, which saw the plane land with its engines off and landing gear retracted, emergency officials said. Thankfully, no humans were killed. Although, the birds didn't come out of the collision feeling all that clever. The Ural Airlines Airbus 321 was travelling to Simferopol in Crimea when it hit the flock of gulls shortly after take-off, disrupting its engines. State media has dubbed the landing the 'miracle over Ramensk.' The Kremlin on Thursday hailed the pilots as heroes for 'saving people's lives and landing the plane.' A spokesman said they would receive state awards 'soon.' The airline said the plane was 'significantly damaged' and would not fly again. An official investigation is under way. The plane had more than two hundred and thirty passengers and crew on board when the birds were reportedly sucked into its engines and the crew immediately decided to land. An unnamed passenger told state TV that the plane started to shake violently after take-off. 'Five seconds later, the lights on the right side of the plane started flashing and there was a smell of burning. Then we landed and everyone ran away,' he said. Air transport agency Rosaviatsia said the plane landed in a cornfield about a kilometre from the runway at Zhukovsky International Airport, with its engines off and landing gear retracted. Passengers were evacuated from the plane, with seventy four then seeking medical assistance, according to Russia's emergencies ministry. Nineteen children were among those reported injured. One person remains in hospital, according to Russian media reports. Ural Airlines Director General Kirill Skuratov told the news agency that passengers who wanted to continue with their trip would be 'put on alternative flights.' Russian media compared the incident to the US Airways flight that carried out an emergency landing on the Hudson River shortly after take-off in 2009. But, while the crew were hailed as heroes in Russia, they have been added to a blacklist on the website of the Ukrainian NGO Myrotvorets, affiliated to the country's security services. It accused them of 'knowingly - and on multiple occasions - making illegal crossings of the state border of Ukraine.' Russian forces annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March 2014 - a move condemned internationally. Collisions between birds and planes are a common occurrence in aviation, with thousands reported every year in the US alone. However, they rarely result in accidents or cause damage to the aircraft. Though such incidents seldom end well for the birds involved.
Three men have been very arrested after an attempted cash machine theft in County Cavan. A digger remains at the scene in front of a hotel on Main Street in the town of Virginia. Gardaí said that officers attached to Cavan/Monaghan Garda Division, supported by national units, 'intervened in an attempted ATM robbery.' A twenty eight-year-old man was arrested at the scene, while a sixty one-year-old man was arrested during a follow up operation at a property near Moynalty in County Meath. During the separate operation, gardaí also uncovered more than three hundred thousand Euros and removed a number of vehicles for further examination. Meanwhile a third man, aged twenty five, who had previously fled the scene, was subsequently arrested on Wednesday afternoon at the hotel where the attempted robbery occurred. There have been more than a dozen cash machine robberies on both sides of the Irish border this year. In Northern Ireland, police announced in March that they had formed a team of detectives to investigate the raids. Among the incidents in the Republic, was the theft of two cash machines containing 'substantial sums of money' in Kells, County Meath, in April. The machines were ripped from the walls of both the Bank of Ireland and an Allied Irish Bank on John Street, leaving both buildings badly damaged.
Police in South Wales have warned people who mocked the hairstyle of a wanted drug dealer online that they could find themselves facing prosecution. A - hair-raising - mugshot of Jermaine Taylor, from Newport, was published by police on Facebook after he breached his licence conditions. It prompted hundreds of jokes, puns and memes among the nearly ninety thousand comments left on the Gwent Police Facebook post. Police later said that 'offensive' comments could leave people facing action. One contributor joked that police should look in Edinburgh, which hosts the fringe festival, while another said officers were 'combing the area.' On Monday, Gwent Police said: 'We're really grateful to everyone who is assisting us in locating Jermaine Taylor, and we must admit a few of these comments have made us laugh. However, when the line is crossed from being funny to abusive, we do have to make sure we are responsible and remind people to be careful about what they write on social media.' Police said that Taylor had breached his licence conditions following his release from prison in December 2018. He was given a three-year sentence at Cardiff Crown Court in September 2017 for being concerned in supplying controlled drugs.
Britain is experiencing a cauliflower shortage after extreme weather killed off much of this year's crops. Which is, obviously, a tragedy of almost Bee Gees-style proportions. How will Middle Class vegetarians cope? Heavy rainfall in June destroyed crops in Lincolnshire and alternative European supplies wilted in last month's heatwave. Cauliflower prices are reported to have 'soared' and some farmers have suffered financial losses after the destruction of their crops. The shortages were described as 'very concerning' by a spokesman for the Brassica Growers Association. Particularly for people that, you know, actually eat cauliflower. For everyone else, it's not such a big deal. Other brassica - including cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts - are also said to be in short supply. Fortunately, tetties are unaffected. So, chips it is, then ...
Reports of a rotting chicken and a dog with missing fur are two examples of the nine-nine-nine emergency call system being misused. They have been highlighted by Thames Valley Police as the force launches a campaign to encourage people to use online reporting or the non-emergency one-zero-one phone number instead. They say that eighty per cent of the calls to nine-nine-nine are not emergencies.
A police officer in Iowa who is accused of asking a confidential informant to take off her clothes, 'keep drinking' and let him slap her face and spank her was extremely arrested on suspicion of sexually motivated assault, according to police. Officers were called to a location in Des Moines after a crying woman called nine-one-one, according to a statement from the Des Moines Police Department. When police arrived, they found the woman and a man who was identified as a Renton police officer. The man was very arrested and booked into King County Jail on suspicion of second-degree assault with sexual motivation, according to the statement. The Seattle Times reported that it is 'not naming the man because he has not yet been formally charged.' According to a probable cause statement outlining police's case against the officer, he texted a woman he later identified as his confidential informant and told her he needed to talk to her about her case. He said it was 'important and confidential' and sent a 'pin drop' of his location. The woman got a ride from a friend to the officer's location in a neighbourhood park, where the two sat at a picnic table and drank wine. The officer told the woman it was important for her to 'keep drinking so he could get the answers he needed for his case,' police allege in the court document. After a few hours of drinking, the officer asked the woman to take off her clothes and get on her knees, according to the document. He also asked if he could slap her and then slapped her on her 'face and buttocks a few times,' the document alleges. As he began to hit her harder, the woman told him he was hurting her and pleaded with him to stop, police allege. She was crying and trying to put her clothes back on, police said, when the man suggested they find a motel. The woman told Des Moines police that she pretended to be looking for a hotel on her phone but was actually trying to send an 'SOS' to her friend, saying, 'He hit me,' the court document claims. When the officer noticed the woman trying to move away, he yelled, 'Get back here now' and ran after her, according to the court document. She banged on the front door of the nearest home and screamed until the resident opened the door and called police, the document says. Des Moines police said the officer was 'heavily intoxicated and wearing an inside-out T-shirt and shorts and no shoes.' He identified himself as a police officer and said the victim was his confidential informant who 'just showed up' and 'started freaking out and ran off,' Des Moines police said. He claimed that he ran after her 'to calm her down.' When told he would have an opportunity to give a statement, he said that he would wait until he had spoken with his union representative, the court document says.
Two people have been questioned by police after a car was reportedly driven into the River Tyne near Blaydon. Emergency services were called at about 5pm on Monday after receiving reports a black Renault Clio was in the water near Scotswood Bridge. Northumbria Police said that the eighteen-year-old driver and his seventeen-year-old passenger were subsequently located and later released pending further inquiries.
A forty six-year-old woman was extremely arrested in East Arkansas on Monday after she reportedly held four minors at gunpoint last week, police said. Wynne police officers responded to 'a suspicious persons call,' according to a news release by the department. When police arrived they found four minors lying on the ground with a woman, identified as Jerri Kelly, holding a gun as she stood over them, the release states. According to police, the children told officers they were selling discount cards for a school athletic program. Authorities investigated the incident and arrested Kelly, booking her into Cross County jail. Kelly is charged with four counts each of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor, according to police.
A waiter near Paris has reportedly been shot dead by a customer who was alleged to be angry because his sandwich was not prepared quickly enough. Police say that a murder investigation has been launched after the incident on Friday evening in the Eastern suburb of Noisy-le-Grand. The suspect fled the scene and has not yet been caught. Ambulance crews tried to save the twenty eight-year-old waiter, who was in the shoulder, but he died at the scene. His colleagues told police that the customer had 'lost his temper' at the pizza and sandwich shop because of the length of time it had taken to prepare his meal. The killing has shocked (and stunned) local residents and shopkeepers. 'It is sad,' one twenty nine-year-old woman allegedly told French media. 'It's a quiet restaurant, without any problems. It just opened a few months ago.' Some residents, however, said that there had been an 'upsurge of crime' in the area with an increase of drug-dealing and drunkenness on the streets.
Kathrina Saucier, of Cornwall, Ontario was reportedly arrested on 13 August and charged with three counts of assault with a weapon, as well as possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. It is alleged that, during an altercation with three individuals known to her, Saucier 'made a gesture towards the individuals while brandishing brass knuckles.' Police were contacted and an investigation ensued. She was taken into custody, charged accordingly and released to appear in court in September.
Hadrian's Wall has been listed as number five in Lonely Planet's The Ultimate United Kingdom Travel List. According to Lonely Planet: 'Exploring sections of the wall is easy thanks to good rail and road access (including buses), but if you're up for an adventure, you can complete the national Hadrian's Wall Path walking trail along its length in about a week.'
Peter Fonda, who has died from lung cancer aged seventy nine, co-starred, with Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider (1969), Hopper's low-budget cult movie which captured the mood of the American counter-culture at the end of the 1960s. Cast as Wyatt, aka Captain America, astride a powerful Harley Davidson motorbike, Fonda was the more laconic of the long-haired pair as he and his hippie friend Billy hit the road from California to Florida via New Orleans blowing the proceeds of a big drugs sale. Having made two earlier anti-establishment films with Roger Corman, The Wild Angels (1966) and The Trip (1967), Fonda was lionised as an idealistic emblem of an America in the throes of profound social upheaval. The Wild Angels included Fonda's memorable - and, subsequently, much sampled - 'we wanna be free to do what we wanna do,' speech. Although a scion of a remarkable Hollywood dynasty, headed by his father Henry, with his sister Jane and daughter Bridget, Fonda had suffered a bruising childhood against which he aggressively rebelled. Now, after Easy Rider (which earned him a fortune), he found himself typecast in low-budget films as a drug-taking biker. 'I was Captain America and where can you go with that? You can only ride so many motorcycles and smoke so many joints,' he mused years later.
It was almost thirty years later that he reclaimed his place in the limelight, winning a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a remote, uncommunicative bee-keeping grandfather trying to keep his family together in Ulee's Gold (1997), a role he modelled on his father. That success provided a certain symmetry in a life that had been dominated by - and at odds with - Henry Fonda. But they were closer than they realised. For, as one critic pointed out, Easy Rider fitted into the American legend of its own idealism that Henry had done so much to incarnate. Much ink has been used over the significance of Easy Rider, which has been identified along with the same year's Woodstock festival as 'one of the defining American cultural landmarks of the late 1960s.' Acclaimed by critics and (mainly young) audiences around the world, it certainly represented the highlight of Fonda's pinballing career. Remarkably it was his own idea, one that occurred to him in 1967 while promoting The Wild Angels, the earlier 'biker flick' which had done spectacularly well at the box office. Fonda realised that such road trip scenarios were. effectively, the new Westerns, 'two cats just riding across the country' and – having hatched the notion of two drug-dealing bikers setting out from Los Angeles for retirement in Florida after a hugely lucrative cocaine deal – cast himself as producer before telephoning Hopper at 4.30am one morning to invite him to direct. Terry Southern, who had written The Cincinnati Kid and Doctor Strangelove, would script it (although he dropped out at an early stage and authorship was the subject of extensive litigation) and it was co-produced by Rayburt (Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider) largely with the money they had made from the TV series The Monkees.
Filming was fraught. There were screaming matchs, and with the pugnacious Hopper off his face on drugs for much of the time, Fonda locked himself in his trailer and supposedly became so paranoid about Hopper's capacity to enforce his director's writ with violence that he hired bodyguards. It was only after the wrap party that they realised they had forgotten to shoot the vital closing campfire scene in which Fonda famously declared 'We blew it!' and had to film it later. There was an extensive press debate later over what the remark actually meant. With its musical smorgasbord soundtrack from groups like Steppenwolf, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, The Band and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the film might have become, as one Hollywood historian noted, 'an anthem for a generation,' but for Fonda it was also an act of personal catharsis. By co-starring in Easy Rider, he was striving to break free from his famous actor-father and superstar sister. At twenty nine he remained troubled by unhappy memories of his childhood and the home life created by his cold, distant father while head of the Fonda acting dynasty. In 1950 when Peter was ten, his mother committed suicide. Less than a year later the boy severely injured himself playing with an antique gun that went off, damaging his kidneys and liver and suggesting to some that this act was itself suicidal. Years later, Peter Fonda complained about being 'excluded' from the life of his family and blamed his disillusion and anti-Establishment views on his experiences with his father. Never comfortable with the Hollywood machine, he believed that challenging the industry norms with Easy Rider would point him towards success on his own terms. The film having made him a multi-millionaire, Fonda could afford to spend the ensuing decades picking projects that largely kept him out of the limelight. But his film choices proved uninspired - albeit, The Hired Hand, Outlaw Blues and, particularly, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974) have all subsequently acquired cult status - his first marriage failed and by the 1990s his career seemed to be in terminal decline. But in 1998 came his Oscar nomination for his role in the small-scale drama Ulee's Gold that signalled his return to the Hollywood glare. The New York Times called his performance 'quietly astonishing' and the finest work of Fonda's career.
Peter Henry Fonda was born in February 1940 in New York, but had a peripatetic upbringing as the family moved according to the dictates of his father's acting career. When Peter was seven, the Fondas settled in Greenwich, Connecticut and the boy attended several boarding schools in New England, spending the holidays with his maternal grandmother as his mother, Frances, was mysteriously absent. Henry Fonda told his son that she was in a hospital, but Peter later realised that 'hospital' meant 'asylum' and that the heart attack that supposedly killed her was in fact suicide. Before her death, Henry had told Frances that he intended to divorce her to marry another woman, Susan Blanchard. While the newly-weds were away on their honeymoon, Peter shot himself with a .22 calibre pistol and nearly died on the operating table, but insisted later that it was an accident rather than a suicide attempt. Soon after his stepmother moved out five years later, Peter, now fifteen, was sent by his father to live with relatives in Omaha. He thrived at school and was accepted at the local University, where he began to seriously consider an acting career. Emerging after his third year '[like a hand-grenade with the pin pulled,' he joined a summer stock repertory company in upstate New York before landing a part in a Broadway play. New York drama critics named him the most promising new actor of 1961. On the strength of that accolade, Fonda moved to Hollywood and guest starred on television shows like Naked City, The New Breed, Wagon Train and The Defenders as well as appearing in a string of unmemorable teen-flicks including Tammy & The Doctor (1963). Determined to overcome the expectations of the Fonda name, he worked on and off Broadway and in edgy, experimental films such as Lilith (1964) and The Wild Angels (1966) directed by Roger Corman, the guru of low-budget, underground film making. Through his friendships with members of The Byrds, Fonda visited The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) in their rented house in Benedict Canyon in Los Angeles in August 1965. While John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Fonda were under the influence of LSD, Lennon heard Fonda describing his near-death experienced when he had shot himself as a child: 'I know what it's like to be dead.' Lennon was, reportedly, annoyed at having his pleasant trip disturbed by such notions and had Fonda thrown out of the gaff though he later used this phrase as the tag line for his song, 'She Said She Said'.
By the time he starred in Corman's The Trip (1967), Fonda had already been a keen user of the fashionable psychedelic drug for a couple of years and it was in the prevailing acid-fuelled spirit of peace and love that he conceived Easy Rider and developed it with his friend Dennis Hopper. Although Hopper claimed otherwise, it was Fonda and not his renegade friend who thought up the story and put it together. 'I called and hired him,' Fonda insisted. 'I think he resents that fact, but I will say, I can't think of a director who would have been better.' It was also Fonda's idea to hire the then virtually unknown Jack Nicholson to play the stoned lawyer that the two protagonists in Easy Rider meet on their cross-country adventure. Nicholson was cast only because Fonda's first choice, Rip Torn, demanded too much money. As co-producer, Fonda raised three hundred and fifty thousand dollars to make the film, which grossed a phenomenal sixty million bucks at the box office. Although hailed a cult hero, he earned a reputation for being difficult to work with and following his involvement in Dennis Hopper's virtually incomprehensible The Last Movie (1971), found that in conservative Hollywood, he had squandered all his artistic capital. Of his many indifferent road movies and one-dimensional cameos, only Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, in which he played a renegade motorist opposite Susan George, proved of much enduring interest. Fonda directed and starred in the 1971 Western, The Hired Hand. He took the lead role in a cast that also featured Warren Oates, Verna Bloom and Beat Generation poet Michael McClure. The film received mixed reviews at the time and failed commercially on its initial release, but many years later, in 2001, a fully-restored version was shown at various film festivals, gaining critical praise and was re-released by the Sundance Channel on DVD. Fonda later directed the 1973 science fiction film Idaho Transfer. The film received mixed reviews and had a limited release but it has since acquired a strong following. That same year he co-starred with Lindsay Wagner in Two People for director Robert Wise, in which he portrayed a Vietnam War deserter. It led to Fonda making a series of action movies: Open Season (1974), with William Holden; Race With The Devil (1975), fleeing devil worshippers with Warren Oates; Ninety Two In The Shade (1975), again with Oates, for writer-director Thomas McGuane; Val Guest's Killer Force (1976); Futureworld (1976), a - far less successful - sequel to Westworld and Fighting Mad (1976), a reuniting with Roger Corman and directed by Jonathan Demme.
Outlaw Blues (1977) was a drama, with Fonda playing a musician opposite Susan Saint James. Fonda returned to directing, with the controversial Wanda Nevada (1979), wherein the thirty nine-year-old Fonda starred as the love interest of the then thirteen-year-old Brooke Shields. His father, Henry, made a brief appearance as well, the only film in which they performed together. Fonda appeared in the 1981 hit film, The Cannonball Run, as the chief biker, a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of his earlier motorcycle films and the film was a huge box office success that year. By the time he appeared in Escape From LA in 1996, Fonda's name had slipped to eleventh on the credits. In 2007, Fonda made a notable return to the big screen as the bounty hunter Byron McElroy in the remake of the 1957 Western, 3:10 To Yuma, together with Christian Bale and Russell Crowe. The film received two Academy Award nominations and positive reviews. He also appeared in the last scenes of the biker comedy Wild Hogs as Damien Blade, founder of the biker gang Del Fuegos and father of Jack, played by Ray Liotta. Fonda also portrayed Mephistopheles, one of two main villains in the 2007 film Ghost Rider.
In 2011, Fonda and Tim Robbins produced The Big Fix, a documentary that examined the role of BP in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its effects on the Gulf of Mexico. At a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, Fonda stated that he had written to President Barack Obama about the spill and attacked him as 'a fucking traitor' for allowing 'foreign boots on our soil telling our military - in this case the Coast Guard - what they can and could not do and telling us, the citizens of the United States, what we could or could not do.' A lifelong Democrat (one of the few things he and his father agreed on), suffice to say Peter was noted a fan of the Rump administration, in particular the separation of children from their parents at the Mexican border, memorably writing on Twitter that: 'We should rip Barron Trump from the arms of First Lady Melania Trump and put him in a cage with paedophiles.'
As well as a ranch in Montana, Fonda bought an eighty-foot ocean-going yacht Tatoosh on the proceeds of Easy Rider and sailed it extensively in the South Pacific. His memoir Don't Tell Dad appeared to favourable reviews in 1998. Peter Fonda married first, in 1961, to the model Susan Brewer. The marriage was dissolved and in 1975 he married Becky Crockett, a descendant of the frontiersman Davy Crockett (that marriage, too, was subsequently dissolved). In 2011 he married Margaret DeVogelaere, who survives him with the two children of his first marriage, including the actress Bridget Fonda, as well as two stepsons, a stepdaughter and his sisters, Jane and Amy.
A new, semi-regular From The North feature for you all, now. Did You Know? Number one: During the early 1970s, before superstardom came a-beckoning, top pop-star yer actual David Bowie used to supplement his meagre earnings from selling not many records by being the model for the Valiant comic's character Adam Eterno. True story.
And from that, dear blog reader, to this ...
This blogger is indebted to his old mucker Danny for the following gem.
On a somewhat related theme, numerous media reports suggest that that former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl has had her waxwork removed from London's Madame Tussauds 'because bosses at the attraction reportedly believe she "may no longer be relevant."' Well, it's either that, or Wor Geet Canny Cheryl needs to send the waxwork out on tour in her place.
On the bus to ASDA to do some shopping earlier this week, this blogger found himself doing a crossword. Fourteen across was, of course, piss-easy. So, he entered the correct answer - 'THE'. Oddly, Keith Telly Topping then struggled with all of the connecting clues, he has no idea why.
The acclaimed playwright Alun Owen didn't actually invent the word 'grotty' when he wrote the screenplay for A Hard Day's Night in late 1963, dear blog reader. The term - a shortened form of 'grotesque' - had, apparently, already been part of Merseyside slang vocabulary for some years prior to that. But Owen was - via George Harrison's deliciously dry-as-a-bone delivery of 'grotty' in that scene where some advertising men think he's a shirt model - the first person to push the word into a wider public consciousness. Although, ironically for Owen, the Oxford English Dictionary's first citation of 'grotty' comes not from Owen's A Hard Day's Night script but, rather, from the king of the 1960s movie tie-in John Burke's subsequent novelisation of A Hard Day's Night published by Pan in 1964 to cash-in on the success of the movie. This blogger mentions all of this because, sadly - and not for the first time in living memory - yer actual Keith Telly Topping has, himself, been feeling more than a touch grotty this week. At first this blogger thought it was just the first signs of 'getting old' but it has gone on a bit longer than he had initially anticipated. Keith Telly Topping thinks, therefore, that he may have contracted a touch of The Dreaded Lurgy. And, as a consequence, might soon die. Just, you know, to keep you all informed, dear blog reader.

And finally, dear blog reader, this week yer actual Keith Telly Topping found himself involved in a fascinating - entirely friendly, let it be noted - discussion with one of the moderators at Wikipedia about exactly what 'proof' is required to change an existing entry. It concerned a point which has rather bugged this blogger, a line in the page for George Harrison's 'Something' relating to Frank Sinatra's cover version of the song. The entry states: 'During his live performances, Sinatra was known to mistakenly introduce 'Something' as a Lennon/McCartney composition.' 'Known' by whom, it doesn't say. This is, indeed, a very widely-held belief, it's one of those things that has been said so often and by so many people that it appears to have become established as a 'fact' - indeed, during The Beatles Anthology in 1996 even Paul McCartney repeated it, jokingly thanking the late Frankie for attributing to him a song which he didn't write. But, just because something is oft-repeated and by lots of different people, that doesn't, necessarily, make it true. The 'proof' that Wikipedia uses in its 'references' section for this particular claim is a line from a 2006 article in the Los Angeles Times by one Richard Abowitz. In this, Abowitz states: 'It is said, Sinatra would often mistakenly introduce 'Something' as his favorite [sic] Lennon/McCartney song. But Sinatra gave proper attribution to George Harrison on-stage at Caesars Palace in 1978 before performing 'Something'. That performance is now available for the first time as a bonus DVD included in the box-set that came out last month, Frank Sinatra: Vegas.' Again, 'it is said' is a rather vague claim in what is supposed to be a statement of record. Said, by whom, when and where are, this blogger would suggest, entirely legitimate questions to ask? A three hour trawl of the Interweb by this blogger found plenty of references to Frank Sinatra, allegedly, having said that 'Something' was his favourite Lennon/McCartney song - dozens of them, in fact - but not one of them actually appears to link to an interview, a contemporary live review or, even, a performance clip of Sinatra doing just that. A small cross-selection of these references can be found here, here, here, here, here, here and here. The later, an article in the NME, alleges: 'There is nothing more heartening than that famous story of Frank Sinatra telling Paul that his favourite Lennon/McCartney song was George's 'Something'.' A famous story, yes - or, rather, an interesting new variant on a famous story - but, again, remarkably short on detail of when this (alleged) conversation took place. It is, of course, perfectly possible that Frank did, indeed, say this at some shows which were not recorded, this blogger is perfectly open to that possibility. But, until someone can actually produce a documented incident of Sinatra saying what has been claimed then one potential conclusion is that this may well be an urban myth. One which, by its constant repetition has, erroneously, been accepted as a 'fact'. Sinatra, as it happens, was usually highly accurate - and very generous - in crediting the writer or writers of the songs he performed in addition to the arranger of his own versions; thus a regular introduction to a song like 'I've Got You Under My Skin' from Frank would go something along the lines of: 'Words and music by Cole Porter, arrangement by Nelson Riddle.'
     Sinatra clearly adored 'Something' - he is also reported to have described it as 'the greatest love song written in the last fifty years.' There is, for instance, a famous performance of the song at the Royal Albert Hall in London in the summer of 1970 at a concert which was filmed by the BBC and broadcast on Boxing Day of that year. The song was very new then, The Be-Atles' (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) own version had only been out a for few months since the release of Abbey Road the previous September, Shirley Bassey's cover was just about to make the charts and whilst Sinatra had begun to include a version of the song in his stage set his own studio version would not be recorded until a couple of months later. 'Gee, that's a good song, that 'Something',' Sinatra notes at the conclusion of his performance. 'If I ever get to learn that, I'll be a smash!'
Anyway, this blogger had proposed changing Wikipedia's line to 'Sinatra is often claimed to have mistakenly introduced 'Something' as a Lennon/McCartney composition though this may be an urban myth.' This kept the basic integrity of the sentence but introduced the notion that, actually, there is - at least, to the best of this blogger's knowledge - no specific proof that Sinatra ever said what has been claimed. Wiki, ultimately, decided to reject the proposal on the grounds that this blogger was including 'original research' which had 'no supporting evidence.' Fair comment. This blogger did point out that the link Wikipedia were currently including - to the LA Times - is equally unsubstantiated merely stating that 'it is said' without providing any evidence as to whom it had been said by. And, also, that it's very difficult to produce supporting evidence to prove something never happened. But, seemingly, that cut no ice with the chaps at Wiki. This blogger should add, again, that the conversation between Wiki and himself was entirely amicable and friendly, they just weren't having it, that's all! So, there you go, dear blog reader - it is, seemingly, damned hard to change an entry on Wikipedia even when you are fairly certain that it contains, if not a factual inaccuracy then, at the very least, a claim which, though a widely-held belief, seems to be unsubstantiated. Which is useful to know the next time some tells you that they read something on Wikipedia so, 'it must be true.' For what it's worth, this blogger really likes Wiki and often uses it as a point of reference. But, importantly, only when there is a supporting, secondary source available for the same 'fact'.
     Incidentally, if there is anyone out there who does have a specific - documented - instance of Frank Sinatra describing 'Something' as his favourite Lennon/McCartney song, please do let this blogger know as he will have some significant humble pie to serve to those very nice people at Wikipdeia for ever having doubted them. Alternatively, of course, there is just the possibility that, one day in the future, some spotty researcher will stumble upon this article and suggest yer actual Keith Telly Topping as a reference on Wikipedia. You know I believe. And how.
Postscript: During a - lengthy - Facebook thread about this subject, one of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's dear Facebook fiends, Ian, recalled hearing a live recording of 'Something' from the 1970s in which Frank, allegedly, did credit 'Something' as a Lennon/McCartney song. Unfortunately, tracking down which specific LP this was has, thus far, proved impossible. So, the hunt continues. By the way, dear blog reader, does anyone else reckon that, in the photo above, as soon as Frankie has concluded whatever it is that he's telling George, you just know the next thing he's going to do is turn to Patti Harrison and say, in his finest Joey Tribbiani-style voice, 'Hey, How you doin'?!'