Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Don't Know What I Want But I Know How To Get It

Let's start off the latest batch of Top Telly News with a personal quickie. And a desperately sad one at that. Yer Keith Topping has finally been forced to admit abject defeat in terms of any vague and lingering hope of him making it out to California for the Gally convention next February. After ten consecutive appearances, this will be the second year in a row that I've missed. The credit crunch, sad to report, has crunched just that little bit too hard upon my poor old bank balance (or, you know, lack of it) yet again.

Ah well, never mind. Newcastle in February as opposed to Los Angeles. It's not that bad ...

No, actually, on reflection, it is.

Anyway, if you fancy a thoughtful and stimulating read (... then what the Hell you doing in here, is the obvious next question?) then you could do an awful lot worse than to check out Paul Cornell's blog posting on his favourite general stuff of the year. Top quality, Mr C.

Right, now some proper news: Or, this, at least. Rhydian Roberts has said that Robbie Williams' duet with Olly Murs on last Saturday's X Factor final was 'a car crash.' The pair sang Williams' trademark hit 'Angels' on the show, but while Murs was voted second ahead of Stacey Solomon, he lost the final vote to the eventual winner Little South Shields Joe. Whilst describing McElderry as a 'deserving' and 'highly likeable' winner, Roberts told iVillage concerning Murs: 'I could see that no-one wanted the title more than he, and no-one tried harder on the Saturday night performances than he did. The Robbie duet however, was tragic! This was such a shame for Olly on the biggest night of his life to have to prompt his idol and hope that he remembered the words to his own song. They did get it back but the remainder of the song looked like two guys doing drunken karaoke on a night out.' Given that yer Keith Telly Topping actually attends the BBC Newcastle Christmas Party tonight and, is scheduled to take part in some genuine drunken karaoke, believe me when I tell you, dear blog reader, Olly and Robbie were so much better than what I'm expecting tonight!

Roxanne Pallett has reportedly pulled out of her starring role in pantomime after her best friend died. The former Emmerdale actress, who is said to be 'devastated' by the sudden death, was due to appear in performances of Cinderella at Newcastle's Theatre Royal this weekend. According to the Daily Mail, twenty six-year-old Pallett has now returned home to Carlisle, where her best friend also lived, to be with her family. It is currently unclear when - or even if - she will return to the show.

Hannah Waterman has reportedly fallen out with Loose Women's Sherrie Hewson on the latest celebrity edition of Come Dine With Me. The former EastEnders actress was upset when Hewson refuses to eat her broccoli and stilton soup, reports the Mirror. Hewson apparently then made matters worse by giving the thirty four-year-old contestant a book about the menopause as a gift. 'I thought maybe it would be okay in ten years time but at thirty four I was slightly offended,' said Waterman. 'She managed to stab the knife into me twice.'

Simon Cowell has, yet again, 'blasted' (that's tabloid-speak for 'criticised', in case you were wondering, although they never use the latter word, mainly because it's got three syllables) the campaign to make Rage Against The Machine number one for Christmas, comparing its organisers to Ebenezer Scrooge. What, you mean rich? Like you, Si? Self-described 'music fans' have launched an attempt to end The X Factor's dominance over the festive charts by calling for a mass download of the US band's 1992 expletive-strewn single 'Killing In The Name'. If the campaigners are successful then Little South Shields Joe will be the first X Factor winner in five years to miss out on having the Christmas chart-topper. Although, he may be slightly consoled by the fact that what many critics consider to be the greatest single of all time ('Strawberry Fields Forever'/'Penny Lane') also only made number two in the UK charts, being kept off top slot by Engelbert Humperdinck. Although, to be honest, there the similarities between Little South Shield Joe and The Beatles would appear to end. Speaking to the Daily Star, Cowell insisted: 'We've got five hundred thousand singles going out on Wednesday and Joe will be number one.' In which case, why worry? 'Why not let the kid have his moment?' Cowell continued to whinge. 'It's all very Scrooge.' And telling people what records (or downloads) they should and shouldn't buy isn't? How very curious. Does anybody else think that, just maybe, Simon protests a bit too much. And that, actually, he's utterly delighted with all of the additional publicity this story is generating? If I didn't know better, I'd swear to God he was on a cut of 'Killing In The Name's royalties. And, anyway, isn't Simon Cowell traditionally the great champion of the 'give the people what they want' school of music? Initial sales figures released earlier this week indicated that Rage Against The Machine has a narrow lead over McElderry although, personally, I doubt that will last. And, just to make this absolutely clear I, myself, will not be downloading 'Killing In The Name' - chiefly because I've had the song on CD since about 1993. Mind you, I won't be buying Little South Shield Joe's single either. A marginally more interesting point is that even if 'The Climb' sells a million on CD and in downloads - which it could well do - that will still mean that only one-in-nineteen of the people who watched the last ten or fifteen minutes of The X Factor final will have purchased it. Maybe that's what is getting Simon Cowell's knickers in a knot. Sometimes, you can take a horse to water but a pencil must be led. Meanwhile, 'Killing In The Name's author, Tom Morello, has said that beating the X Factor single to the Christmas number one would be 'a wonderful dose of anarchy.' I wanna destroy, passers by!

The divine and radiant Keira Knightley has said that she does not expect to get good reviews for her professional stage debut later this week. The actress told the BBC that she expects to be 'burned alive' by the critics for her performance in Moliere's The Misanthrope. Not from this one you won't, Keira love. You could stand there and say nowt for two hours and Keith Telly Topping would still give you a standing ovation.

Nicole Kidman reportedly refused to discuss her thoughts on the subject of Scientology during a recent interview with Andrew Marr. The actress, who was a member of to the religious group whilst she was married to Tom Cruise, appeared on Sunday's The Andrew Marr Show to discuss her upcoming musical, Nine. According to The Times, the segment was cut from the final edition of the BBC show but was later posted onto the programme's website. The clip shows Marr saying that he wanted to chat about 'one of the things you haven't talked about,' before suggesting that some people view Scientology as a 'bullying cult.' Kidman responds: 'I just don't... This is just so not... I'm here to publicise Nine. If I was here to do an exposé on myself then I'd be like, "Let's go," but I have no interest in discussing any of that.'

Paul Gascoigne has reportedly been arrested for being drunk and disorderly. According to the Press Association, a police spokeswoman said that the former-footballer and all-round oaf was taken into custody in the early hours of this morning following a disturbance in Newcastle City Centre. Nowt to do with yer Keith Telly Topping, dear blog reader. I was comfortably tucked up in my pit snoring my head off at the time. Honest. It is believed that Gascoigne was arrested in the Jesmond area of the city at around 2.15am and later received a fixed penalty notice at a police station. The police representative would not confirm how much the notice was for, but fines for disorderly behaviour usually range between fifty and eighty smackers. The ex-England international has allegedly struggled with an alcohol problem in recent years, causing him to check into rehab on more than one occasion.

Jeremy Kyle's chatshow has reportedly been banned from two NHS hospitals after complaints from patients about the programme. According to the Mirror, the Aintree Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has opted to stop The Jeremy Kyle Show from being played on the sets in communal areas and waiting rooms. A spokeswoman said: 'Patients have a right to a calm atmosphere. Some will be very apprehensive in waiting rooms and we have to be sensitive to how they feel.' The public sets in University Hospital Aintree and Walton Hospital in Liverpool will be permanently switched to BBC1, though bedside TVs are said to be unaffected. A source said: 'It was the constant arguing between guests on the show which was upsetting people, some of whom were ill and did not appreciate the bickering.' ITV reportedly described the decision as 'entirely a matter for the trust.'