Monday, September 14, 2009

Triumphs And Old Ghosts

It's the start of another week so it is, dear blog reader. Just in case you're one of those people who are never too sure what day it, actually, is. Monday. Anyway, that was really a rather decent weekend all round; This blogger's lovely Durham boys won the cricket County Championship (we'll just draw a discreet veil over the current activities of England's one day side if we may), then Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though seemingly unsellable) Magpies beat Cardiff City to remain at the top of the league. (Not the best league, admittedly, but the second best league, at least. And, as Buzz Aldrin, astronaut, will quite rightly tell anyone that listens, 'second comes right after first'). And, perhaps most importantly nobody of any real significance died. Would that Keith Telly Topping had more weekends like that, dear blog reader, life would be far nicer and more enjoyable.

However, we have to start the latest bloggerisationisms with a necessary bit of balance to all this outrageous good cheer and triumpantalist malarkey. In his excellent book of sometimes savage, but always honest, TV critique, Dawn Of The Dumb, yer actual Charlie Brooker - in his usual pithy way - describes the occasion in 2004 when a rather mild anti-George Bush joke at the end of one of his Screen Burn pieces on the Gruniad Morning Star website brought Chas death-threats and howls of rank and furious indignation (mostly very badly spelled, let it be noted) from the militant-scum fag-end of right-wing America. This blogger had always been rather dis-chuffed and jealous about this, frankly. Because, let's face it, Keith Telly Topping has been trying to get a similar reaction out of some of you dear blog readers, for years. Nowt. Not a sausage. That was until last week when he got closer than ever before to some real, honest-to-God - anonymous - Internet abuse. It all occurred over the recent description on this blog of the late John Lennon as 'a self-confessed alcoholic Scouse junkie wife-beater.' This, it would seem, brought a hilariously overblown e-mail direct to Keith Telly Topping's in-box from Canada (of all places - I always though the Canadians were a rather chilled out lot) asking Keith Telly Topping how dare he say this outrageous malarkey about 'a living icon'? Resisting the temptation to write back to my new Canadian friend and point out that John lennon isn't, actually, a living icon - if anything, he remains a very dead one - Keith Telly Topping read on. Who the hell was this Keith Telly Topping person anyway, the e-mail asked? Clearly some 'semi-litrat [sic] nobodie [sic]' with 'an ax [sic] to grind.' Well, clearly. The e-mail concluded with the not-so-veiled threat that if there was not an instant 're-traction' [sic] to this slur upon memory of 'a peace loving man' (and 'instant' was in bold and underlined, so I got the notion that this was probably the crux of the e-mailer's point) then the e-mailer would, personally, sue Keith Telly Topping and/or report him 'to the relevent [sic] authorities. For slander.' Once Keith Telly Topping had stopped laughing, he replied, pointing out that there were a couple of rather basic flaws with the scenario that his new - anonymous - Canadian friend was proposing. Firstly, written defamation is classed as libel, not slander, legally, they are two completely different things; secondly someone who is not the subject of an alleged libel cannot sue over it; thirdly, ignoring number two for a second, the dead - under British law - cannot be libelled. And, lastly, and possibly most importantly, the statement in question was, actually, true and that, if required, Keith Telly Topping could provide the e-mailer with relevant quotes from numerous interviews in which Good Old Peace-Lurvin' John freely admitted being exactly what Keith Telly Topping described him as. So, sent it off ... Didn't even get the courtesy of an acknowledgement of receipt. God save us all from armchair lawyers, eh? Why is everybody so bloody rude these days with the least amount of provocation? Keith Telly Topping was thinking about this over the weekend when reading a couple of particularly vociferous articles in The Times (including that bizarre anti-Stephen Fry rant which this blogger highlighted in an earlier blog update). It's like all of those shrill voices which pop up every now and then to berate some hapless individual for not including 'IMHO' at the end of an opinion ventured. Well, of course, it's in someone's opinion, you numskull - those are what makes the world go round, after all. And, I've never liked the concept of anyone being 'humble' about what they actually believe in either. No matter how effing barmy it/they may be. You've got nothing to be humble about - your opinion, dear blog reader, is equally valid to that of anyone else - including, and perhaps, especially, Keith Telly Topping's. Even if it is a contrary and flawed one. As Keith Telly Topping's opinions frequently are.

Right, having kicked-off the week in a right stroppy - albeit amusingly self-depracating - mood(!), let's be having some Top Telly News:

We'll start with the ratings: Jane Marple failed to hold favour with viewers last night, with half a million fewer viewers tuning in to the second episode of the current series. Between 8pm and 10pm, Agatha Christie's Marple was watched by an average of 4.5m, down from just over five million the previous week. Audiences instead went for BBC1's Waking the Dead, which was four hundred thousand viewers up from the previous week. Over the hour from 9pm, 6.5m (twenty seven per cent audience share) tuned-in to the second episode of the thriller, compared to 6.1m the previous week. That was helped by a strong lead in from a special episode of Casualty, which was watched by 5.4m. BBC2's 8pm documentary, Last Chance to See fronted by that-bloke-in-The Times' 'most annoying Brit' Stephen Fry, continued to perform well, with 3.1m watching over the hour, before Dragon's Den on Tour was seen by 2.4m between 9pm and 10pm. Later, Melvyn Bragg's long-running South Bank Show returned for its final series with eight hundred thousand viewers, a six per cent audience share, between 10.15pm and 11.15pm. The programme, about the Wagner family, beat Channel 4's feature-length documentary premiere Mad Hot Ballroom, about New York schoolchildren preparing for the city's annual ballroom dancing championships, which averaged four hundred thousand viewers between 10pm and 12.10am. The ballroom film had another thirty seven thousand viewers on Channel 4 +1. But the South Bank Show predictably lost out to BBC2's Match of the Day 2, which had just over two million viewers, a twelve per cent share, between 10pm and 10.50pm.

Meanwhile, a total of five and a half million viewers watched illusionist Dazzling Dezza Brown on Friday night as he explained (sort of!) how he correctly predicted the lottery, giving Channel 4 one of its best rating programmes of the year. Derren Brown: How to Win the Lottery drew 4.4m for the hour between 9pm and 10pm, peaking with 4.6m between 9.15pm and 9.30pm, winning the slot. A further four hundred and forty thousand viewers tuned in to Channel 4+1 at 10pm to watch how Brown claim that he used either the theory of collective consciousness to predict the numbers or, alternatively, rigged the draw via an insider, hypnotism and some fake balls. The programme was replayed at 11.35pm, drawing another six hundred and forty thousand viewers (who had, presumably, just got back home from the pub). Another one hundred and two thousand tuned in on C4+1 at 12.35am. In total, the figures translate into one of the biggest ratings hits for Channel 4 so far in 2009. The broadcaster attracted its biggest audience this year for the launch of Celebrity Big Brother, when 5.6m turned in January.

Joe Calzaghe has reportedly revealed his affections for Kristina Rihanoff to friends. According to the Sunday Mirror however, Rihanoff has been asked to keep her relationship with the former boxer platonic until the filming for Strictly Come Dancing ends. A friend said: 'The chemistry is extraordinary between the two of them. It's totally electric. It's all Joe can do to somehow keep himself in check. He has a constant urge to carry her off to bed - but the BBC have asked her to keep it platonic while the show is on. He's telling everyone that she's a top girl who is absolutely irresistible.' Meanwhile, Rihanoff admitted that she felt she had 'won the lottery' when she was partnered with Calzaghe on the dance show. Well, after she got lumped with John Sergeant last year, I'd've said that's a pretty decent metaphor, personally. Calzaghe has previously denied rumours that he is dating Rihanoff. Keith Telly Topping would like to see whom the BBC intends to send around and face a man who can, quite probably, kill them with his bare hands if he decides that he doesn't wish to comply with their request to 'keep it platonic.'

Ali Bastian has revealed that she has now left The Bill and is 'excited' to take part in Strictly Come Dancing. The actress has been training for the dance show while playing PC Sally Armstrong on the ITV police drama. She told the Sunday Mail: 'The last few weeks, I've been doing both at the same time, so it's been quite mad. We were filming a riot a week ago and I was in proper helmet, riot shield and jumpsuit, so I'm really enjoying the transition to high heels and sequins! The decision was already made but the timing has been perfect. I had my last scenes in The Bill on Thursday and it's been hard to say goodbye to everyone because I've had such a good time. But I'm so excited about Strictly. Right now, I'm just enjoying every moment and we'll just have to see what the future holds.' Bastian admitted that she is scared of dancing in front of a live audience, saying: 'The millions of viewers is the frightening part I'm trying not to think about.'

And, in yet more Strictly news, small-but,beautifully-formed judge Bruno Tonioli has said that Alesha Dixon will bring 'energy' to the show. The People reports that Tonioli avoided talking about former judge Arlene Phillips by praising Dixon. 'I loved Alesha when she competed,' he said. 'She's so bubbly and she'll bring energy that hopefully I can use too. She just needs to be herself. You can't try to be somebody else on Strictly. The public may or may not agree with you, but they have their say by picking up the phone.' Tonioli added that he was looking forward to the series, especially because Footballers' Wives stars Zoe Lucker and Laila Rouass are contestants this year. 'I'm looking forward to the battle of the bitches,' he said. Except, he pronounced it 'beeeee-chethhh.' 'I really hope they will be as feisty and bitchy as they were on Footballers' Wives.'

Of course, as soon as that total plank Keith Telly Topping has suggested that no one of any significance had died over the weekend comes the very sad news of the demise of writer and musician Jim Carroll, best know for The Basketball Diaries, in New York aged sixty following a heart attack. Carroll's 1978 book, which was subsequently made into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was about his formative years as a star player and drug user. The poet, who was also linked with The Doors and Lou Reed, appeared in several of artist Andy Warhol's films. Patti Smith said he was 'the best poet of his generation.' Smith told the New York Times that his work was 'sophisticated and elegant.' His self-titled band was later formed with the assistance of Smith and their debut album was called Catholic Boy. Carroll returned to writing on a full-time basis in the mid-1980s, but his debut novel remained unfinished.

Six CBS-branded channels will launch in the UK later this year after the US giant's international arm struck a joint venture deal with multichannel operator Chellomedia. The new channels will replace Zone Romantica, Zone Thriller, Zone Horror and Zone Reality, plus Zone Horror+1 and Zone Reality+1, although their new themed brands have not been revealed. They will air programming from CBS Studios International's catalogue of more than seventy thousand hours of drama, reality and long-form content, including Dynasty and the original re-mastered series of Star Trek. The channels will also acquire third party programming. Chellomedia's international broadcaster arm, Chello Zone has agreed a fifty-fifty joint venture with CBS International and will continue to operate the channels. It will form a a new board with representatives from CBS and Chello Zone, to guide strategy and direction for the new venture. CBS Studios International president Armando Nuñez said the CBS brand was recognized around the world. He said: 'This venture opens a new distribution outlet for our vast library of content, and complements our strong ongoing licensing of programming in the UK and around the world.' Chellomedia president and Liberty Global chief strategy officer Shane O’Neill added: 'This UK partnership marries our channel expertise with one of the world's largest libraries of high quality and globally popular programming; we are delighted that CBS and Chello Zone are entering into this prestigious partnership on our UK entertainment television channels.'

The director of the BBC's 2012 coverage has revealed that the corporation may broadcast selected footage in 3D. Roger Mosey said a range of options were being considered to highlight the spectacle of the event and improve the viewing experience of those watching. He also revealed that the next generation of high-definition cameras may cover the games, despite the fact that the majority of homes will lack the necessary equipment to get the most out of such a move. 'There could be a limited number of cameras and big screens that will give us a taste of the future,' he said. Speaking at the IBC technology conference in Amsterdam, Mr Mosey added: 'Nobody would expect the games of 2012 to be comprehensively in 3D because the technology will be nothing like widespread enough; but it would be a shame not to have any images of London that were part of an experiment with what will be one of the next big waves of change. The Olympic stadium may only exist in its full eighty thousand plus capacity for a relatively short period. Not to have that at all in 3D would be, at the very least, a major gap in the archive.' Are they mad? Usain Bolt's awesome enough in 2D without subjecting viewers to him in another dimension. That could cause a negative reality inversion. Or something.

The BBC has commissioned a new drama from Tiger Aspect set against the backdrop of the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981. The Royal Wedding is centred around the Craddock family in a small Welsh village which is struggling with the economic problems of the early 1980s. The ninety-minute drama, commissioned by BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow and BBC Drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson, will star Darren Boyd and Jodie Whittaker. It has been written by double BAFTA-winner Abi Morgan, who wrote the controversial and admired human trafficking drama Sex Traffic. Morgan said: 'The Eighties was my decade. It spanned from the start of my teenage years to my leaving home. A maelstrom of disastrous haircuts, awkward fumblings, teenage rebellion, heartbreak and pop. The world was in turmoil and the long hot summer of '76 seemed well and truly over.' Well yeah, Abi, it was indeed. The long hot summer of '76 ended sometime around, you know, the end of September 1976 when it became 'the short - and somewhat cooler - autumn of '76.' That's how it normally works most years. 'Britain was rioting. Maggie (Thatcher) had taken on the miners and initially lost. We knew worse was to come. Royal Wedding feels like the final party before everything went wrong. It is the decade from which we have yet to recover and yet it is veiled in a warm nostalgia, an innocence that still haunts. For that one day in July it felt like fairytales and happy endings were possible.'

BBC executives are considering the part- privatisation of the corporation's lucrative commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, as part of a wide-ranging review, the director general, Mark Thompson, has told the Guardian. Among the options under consideration is a stockmarket listing of the business, which had annual revenues of about one billion pounds last year. BBC Worldwide sells the rights to popular shows such as Strictly Come Dancing to international buyers. 'One of the things we should look at over this period is whether one hundred per cent ownership of Worldwide is essential going forward,' Thompson said. If the BBC decides to go ahead with a part-privatisation, investors could buy shares while the corporation would keep control of the commercial arm, which also publishes magazines and licenses merchandise from popular programmes such as Top Gear and Doctor Who. It would be the first significant privatisation for years and comes amid pressure on the BBC from both sides of parliament to share the benefits of its guaranteed licence fee.

Channel 4 presenter Paul O'Grady is expected to decide this week whether to stay with the broadcaster or move to a rival such as Sky, where he has been wooed with an offer that is thought to include a new peaktime weekend show. O'Grady publicly fell out with Channel 4 earlier this month when he criticised the broadcaster for asking him to slash the budget of his weekday teatime chatshow by fifty per cent in an attempt to cut costs. The presenter said he would rather walk away from the show than do it 'on the cheap.' Over the past several weeks, O'Grady is understood to have been holding talks with a number of rival broadcasters, including Sky and ITV, and according to sources is expected to decide towards the end of next week whether to stay at Channel 4 or move. Sky is said to be making a big push for O'Grady, offering him either a Friday or Saturday night peaktime show.

Mackenzie Crook has revealed that his son told him to accept a part in the television series Merlin. The Mirror reports that six-year-old Jude is a big fan of the show and was 'star-struck' when he met Colin Morgan, who plays the role of Merlin. 'He has met everyone from Johnny Depp to Al Pacino to Steven Spielberg, but he has never been more star-struck than when he met Colin,' Crook joked. The Office star, who will play an evil warlock on the show, said that 'playing baddies is the most fun. My children have seen me as a skeletal pirate, a vampire and Gareth Keenan,' he explained. 'Dad is far more scary in real life.' Crook also revealed that he enjoys the Arthurian legends which appear in Merlin. 'They are our equivalent of the Greek and Roman myths,' he said. 'Timeless stories that tap into the soul of the British.'

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has revealed the band was 'really nervous' about playing the UK leg of its world tour, which started on Saturday. Well, Keith Telly Topping would be too in their shoes. After all, there's a distinct possiblity that some people might finally realise how bloody boring they are. The Dire Straits for the Twenty First Century. Pass the valium. Pass out.

Did you enjoy Eamonn Holmes’s week-long stint hosting This Morning alongside fiancée Ruth Langsford, dear blog reader? Well, don't get too carried away by it. The Ulsterman reckons he can't bear working with the missus-to-be for too many days on the trot and a week is the absolute limit. 'One day is great and it's a tremendous privilege to work with someone you love, but one day is enough,' whined Eamonn, who usually hosts the show with Ruth on Fridays, but is covering for Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby while she finishes off her X Factor duties. 'I think you have a responsibility as a real-life couple to reveal a bit of your lives to viewers and not pretend that you're just colleagues. We offset each other well on screen because we know each other, although there are sometimes fireworks in the ad breaks.'

Tamzin Outhwaite has said that she would consider returning to EastEnders. However, Bang Showbiz reports that the actress, who played Mel Owen in the soap, is enjoying working on different shows at the moment. 'I love EastEnders and had a great time there,' she said. 'I don't think it'd be a bad move to go back, but I'm on a different career path and I'm trying different things. It's got some great actors in it, but I don't think the time's right for me.' Outhwaite added that her priorities changed after she gave birth to her daughter Florence last year. 'I'm more likely to choose a job because it's closer to home,' she told Now magazine. 'Nothing matters as much as my baby.'

A tall ship used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie trilogy has been raided whilst it was docked in Scotland. And, you thought piracy on the high seas ended in the Eighteenth Century, dear blog reader? Avast, ye land lubbers and Cap'n Keith Telly Topping shall tell 'ee the whole story. Seemingly, thieves targeted HMS Bounty while she was berthed at Custom House Quay in Greenock, Inverclyde, at about for in the morning on Saturday. A sum of cash between fifty and one hundred pounds was taken, along with several items of clothing with the Bounty's insignia. A survival suit, book, life ring and an American flag were also stolen. These were later recovered nearby. Police have appealed for anyone with information about the theft to come forward. So that the scurvy dogs can be keel-haul'd within in inch of their lives and then sunk into Davy Jones' locker, no doubt. Arrrgh. HMS Bounty is a replica of the original Bounty, famous for its ill-fated trip to Tahiti and the West Indies in 1789. A mutiny took place during the expedition, which saw Captain William Bligh and eighteen crewmen set adrift. The replica was built in 1962 for the film Mutiny on the Bounty. You know, the one starring Marlon Brando. It has since been used as The Edinburgh Trader in the last two Pirates of the Caribbean movies, starring Johnny Depp. The ship was berthed in Greenock during a tour of several UK ports. Bet that's going to win back all the hearts and minds of those stout-hearted American patriots who are currently boycotting all Scottish products in a protest over the freeing of the Lockerbie bomber. Sometimes, it makes you proud to be English. Though, not often.

As footage of the weird and wonderful inventions that defined Tomorrow's World is released online from the BBC archives this seems as good a time as any to remember just how much of the technology we take for granted these days was demonstrated to the British public for the very first time by Raymond Baxter or Judith Hann on Tomorrow's World. The birth of colour television technology, the home video recorder, the home computer, the mobile telephone and the compact disc player all made their TV debuts on the show. As presenter Maggie Philbin writes on BBCi: 'I would love to say I recognised their significance immediately but often the technology was fragile or incomplete - a mixture of space age and Stone Age - and the real potential was hidden. "This may not look like a very futuristic car," I declared in 1986, bouncing along in a very ordinary looking saloon, "but there's a computer with a bubble memory in the boot." Now, just about every car has sat-nav.'

We're going back to Pepperland at last, it seems: Sadly, no, it's not a sequel but, rather a 3D remake of The Beatles' 1968 film Yellow Submarine has been announced as being in pre-production accoridng to Disney Studios. It will incorporate the sixteen Beatles songs and recordings from the original animated film. Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook said the new film will be directed by Robert Zemeckis using the same motion-capture effects employed in Polar Express. Oooo ... okay, good luck to them, but if it's crap then the world is going to know about it. Looms large in Keith Telly Topping's legend does Yellow Submarine. How can anybody not love a film that starts with the words 'Once upon a time ... or maybe twice'?!

Ofcom has censured ITV for including the c-word in an edition of daytime talk show The Jeremy Kyle Show. In an episode broadcast in July, an interviewee referred to his partner as 'a fat, lazy cunt.' Producers noted the language in the edit and omitted it from the main show, but the exchange was then used in a brief 'tease' earlier on in the show. This preview was added by a different team after the main programme edit and the language was missed by the two compliance advisers who checked the show. ITV has since asked producers to ensure that the same team edits the main programme and any teases. Ofcom received only one complaint about the language, which it said backed up ITV's assertion that it was not easily audible during the heated exchange. Separately, Ofcom has called a meeting with Virgin Media to discuss its compliance record after upholding complaints about Living 2's daytime broadcast of an episode of Most Haunted which featured sixteen variants of the f-word. It said the incident, the latest of several such occurrences of pre-watershed swearing on Virgin's stable of channels, raised questions about the broadcaster's vow to improve compliance procedures. Recent rulings against Virgin Media have centred on episodes of To the Manor Bowen on Virgin 1 and Brit Cops: Frontline Crime on Bravo.

Susan Boyle has been mobbed by fans in Los Angeles as she arrived ahead of her highly-anticipated performance on America's Got Talent. The Scottish singer and Britain's Got Talent runner-up was reportedly greeted by thousands of screaming fans and chants of 'We love Susan' as she entered the terminal building at LAX airport. According to The Mirror, the forty eight-year-old was stunned by the reception and said: 'Oh my word, is this really for me?' That was pretty much Keith Telly Topping's reaction the last time he was going through immigration at LAX and four members of FBI were there waiting for him. Nice guys. Very friendly. How we laughed about it after the anal cavity search.

Alexandra Burke was reportedly pelted with stones as she drove home to her flat. The singer, who won The X Factor last year, asked the talent show's executives to move her from the London apartment after the incident. She is now living in a flat that Lemar from Fame Academy had previously resided in, reports the News of the World. A friend said: 'It all happened when she got back from recording her album in LA. This gang wouldn't leave her alone and it took a real toll on her. One day Alex was driving her Mini Cooper convertible with the roof down to her flat when these lads just started throwing stones and hurling abuse at her and a friend. They were shouting, "Oh, you think you're so fucking amazing because you went on the fucking X Factor." One of the rocks hit her friend. Alex was horrified and realised she had to get out of there.' That all sounds a bit rough for Islington.

Jackiey Budden criticised her daughter, Jade Goody, and swore in front of her grandchildren while drunk on holiday in Tenerife, say press reports. According to the News of the World, the fifty one-year-old also reportedly lashed out at her daughter's widower Jack Tweed and made fun of her own mother. Budden declared that Goody was 'in her own fucking world,' continuing: 'When she went to Belfast she saw a photo of the fucking Mona Lisa and she said it was "Pistachio." Where'd she get that from? Where's East Anglia? Do I need a passport? That's only a bit. She had to go to Newcastle to do a film premiere and she went: "Do I need euros, Mum?"' No, we've reverted to the stale stottie as currency now, hen. Budden also laid into her grandchild Freddie, saying: 'Jade's youngest one Fred, he tried to be a big man. I said, "You know what, you better fuck off now." I did, Jade's little one. I said, "You better fuck off." I said, "I don't care you're only four, I'm telling you now, fuck off Fred. Don't be eleven when you're four or I'll treat you back as eleven." And they'll respect you to the max for that.' She continued: 'You wanna call me a bad granny then fucking start. It ain't gonna change me. If he comes and does it again I'll tell him to fuck off same way.' I'm beginning to see a trend emerging here, dear blog reader. Don't know about you. Budden also stated that Tweed had 'shagged away' his grief. Finally, she made jokes about her mother: 'My mum's eighty six and she's got dementia and she's lost. I'm sorry, I don't mean to laugh. When Jade was alive she idolised mum. My dad's pulling his hair out, but I laugh at her. I can't help it.' Budden’s spokesman subsequently denied that she had used expletives in front of her grandchildren, saying: 'Jackiey was enjoying a joke with friends and not all of it should be taken seriously.'

A cage-fighter has claimed that Alex Reid started the brawl at a recent cage-fighting event. Speaking to the News of the World, Tony Giles said the argument began when Reid referred to the traveller and his friends as 'pikeys. I went over to speak to him and asked him to apologise and he didn't,' Giles explained. 'I challenged him to a cage-fight and he refused that too. We were both screaming at each other. Really in each other's faces. Within seconds the gipsies had all stripped to the waist. Then the fists started flying, left, right and centre.' Giles described the fight as 'the most explosive mass brawl' he had ever seen, and added: 'Reid took a series of ferocious smacks in the face. Bang, bang, bang. I don't know who hit him but he must have a sore hand by now.' Giles continued: 'One minute, Alex Reid was telling us how hard he was. The next, he was running out of the door leaving Jordan behind. Some boyfriend. She had to be helped out by security guards. She was literally picked up and bundled out of the door.' However, Reid's spokesperson denied that he had been involved in the trouble.

Charlotte Church has reportedly become the new face of Iceland. The supermarket chain this is, not the country. Keith Telly Topping believes that Bjork still has that job nailed down for another few years. Anyway, according to the People, Church has signed up to a two hundred and fifty thousand pound deal with the supermarket and has already started filming a series of television adverts. 'Charlotte's perfect for the role,' an Iceland source said. 'She is a mum, down-to-earth, and has a huge following of fans who are also Iceland's target shoppers.' Obese and common as muck, you mean?

Meanwhile, Kerry Katona has reportedly moved into the loft space of her house, which she calls her 'panic room.' Or, what most normal people call their 'attic.' According to the News of the World, the disgraced ex-reality TV star and singer has locked herself among the rafters after being told by her bank that she cannot remortgage her one million pound Cheshire home or open a new account. She can, apparently, be heard walking around and talking to herself in the loft. Muttering about the manifest unfairness of Charlotte Church getting her old job, seemingly.