Monday, January 04, 2010

Week Two: Survival Of The Wobbliest

Word up, dear blog reader. A rather fine article by Andrew Billen in The Times suggests that [Spooks] will return for its ninth series in the autumn. That's the first time yer Keith Telly Topping has seen that actually confirmed anywhere, although he was very much hoping that would be the case: 'BBC1 is Popular's stable and it will be boosted by a World Cup (June, shared with ITV) in which England has a sporting chance. With no more Robin Hood, wider hopes will rest on Doctor Who in the lead-up to Easter, recast with its youngest ever doctor, twenty seven-year-old Matt Smith, and featuring a script by Richard Curtis involving Vincent Van Gogh. In the autumn Strictly Come Dancing returns, presumably with the oldest ever presenter. Entering series six is The Apprentice with the alluring Karren Brady replacing withering Margaret Mountford, although fans will have to wait for the election to be over in June to watch it, such is the BBC's concern that Lord Sugar might represent free advertising for Labour, whose leader ennobled him. That election will also mark, in all probability, the last outing as results anchorman for David Dimbleby, raising the possibility that Question Time will need a new chair too. In drama [Spooks] will return (autumn). Ashes to Ashes (spring) is back for a final season and there is a second run of the critically mauled but respectably rated Survivors (12 January). The better loved Lark Rise to Candleford is back for a third helping from 10 January. The police procedural serial Five Days from 2007, which span off this year into Hunter, returns with a story about an abandoned baby in early spring. Its new top cop is played by Suranne Jones, so good in ITV's Unforgiven earlier this year.' It's an excellent piece on forthcoming attractions in 2010 and well worth a few moments of your time.

Keith Telly Topping is also given to believe - from a separate source - that another series of Waking the Dead is currently in production and that, too, will return sometime during 2010. Definite confirmation on that, dear blog reader, as soon as I can get it.

Speaking of really fine bits of writing on the subject of TV, I love this rant by Michael Simkins of the Independent on the problem of advertising the next programme in the middle of the current one: 'In case you hadn't guessed, Channel 5 had decided in their wisdom to insert a miniature moving image of the comedian and talk show host at the bottom of the screen to advertise their next programme – a quiz show called Heads or Tails in which contestants spin a coin to win a great deal of money (or as near as Channel 5 can get to a great deal of money). Thus, his tiny frame stomped and mugged across Emma Thompson's heaving bosom just as she was waving goodbye forever to her true love from the platform of a rain-soaked omnibus. If I hadn't been weeping beforehand, I soon was ... Never mind the viewers' sensibilities. Never mind that we might be rapt in the drama already transmitting, or wish for a moment or two to savour its conclusion before being hurtled into the next offering. All that matters is to keep us watching, even if it's only people winning a few bob by answering some fatuous questions.'

And, so to the next batch of Top Telly Tips:

Friday 8 January
From this week, Qi has moved into it's new pre-watershed slot of 8:30 on BBC1. So, everyone will have to be on their best behaviour, no doubt and they can all save the fruity language for the considerably naughtier XL editions on Saturdays. Tonight, Stephen gallantly grapples with Girls and Boys and is joined by Sandi Toksvig, Ronni Ancona, first timer Jack Dee and Alan Davies. Marvellous.

You'll need to get ready for the return of Dancing on Ice - 9:00 ITV - with an action-packed launch show on Friday. Radio Times are still advising that viewers will 'find out which celebrities will be putting their skates on this year,' (even though the competitors were announced weeks ago) and meet the new judge for the first time. Plus, 2009 champion Ray Quinn reunites with his skating partner of last year Maria Filippov for what's described an amazing ice duet, there is a spectacular daredevil display from this year's skating partners, and we celebrate the first four series of the show with some dazzling guest appearances from past contestants. Presented by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. Those of you who are only going to be watching in the hope that potential ice queen Heather Mills comes a significant cropper, you are very bad people. (But, you know, me too...)

Also at 10:00 on BBC2 there's Nurse Jackie which is rapidly becoming a bit of minor cult hit for the Beeb. If you haven't caught it so far, dive in with both feet and don't ask too many questions.

Saturday 9 January
In So You Think You Can Dance - 7:00 BBC1 - Cat Deeley presents an entertainment series wherein the judges, 'Bitchy' Arlene Phillips, 'Nasty' Nigel Lythgoe and 'Your husband's more famous than you are even though he spent most of his career on the treatment table' Louise Redknapp search for Britain's favourite dancer. The final fourteen are tested to the limit as they are put through their paces by world class choreographers in a variety of dance genres. The finalists take to the floor hoping to impress the judges and to win valuable viewer votes. One boy and one girl will take their final bow and dance their way out of the contest. Sort of Strictly without the charisma but also, without Brucie's rotten jokes.

Nearly a year before Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States, film-makers Amy Rice and Alicia Sams began to roll cameras on the young senator. By the People: The Election of Barack Obama - 7:30 BBC2 - features intimate footage of Obama, his family and his young election team. This unique film documents the behind-the-scenes story of the passionate campaigners who helped a young African-American freshman senator reach the White House. Unfortunately, of course, The West Wing got there first and this film, at times, looks uncannily like an uncompleted episode from the fictional political drama's final season. Still, if nothing else it shows a politician who is charismatic, personable and seemingly genuine in his wish to make the world a better place. Makes such a change from the rotten scum we've got ourselves lumbered with on all sides. I wonder if the Americans are taking applications for refugees?

Sunday 10 January
We're back in the familiar Sunday realms of family-friendly costume drama, starting with Lark Rise to Candleford - 8:00 BBC1. In the first episode of this third series of the show, a handsome young journalist, Daniel Parish, arrives in Lark Rise with exciting news for the Timmins family: Emma is set to inherit a fortune, enough to move the family to a big house in Candleford. Will the Timmins turn their backs on Lark Rise forever? Daniel plans to write their rags to riches story for his newspaper, but Dorcas (the fabulous Julia Sawalha) is suspicious of his motives, and when the article is published, it sends shockwaves through the community.

Meanwhile, Wild at Heart - 8:30 ITV - the Stephen Tompkinson vehicle set on an African nature reserve also returns for a new series. Once, brilliant described by Harry Hill thus: 'Wild At Heart is not always "just animals escaping from their pen-Where is he?-Don't know?-Better go after him-Oh, there he is-Will you marry me?-Not sure!-Please!-Okay!-The monkey's got diarrhoea-I'll be with you in a minute-We're going to have to close down due to lack of money-Who's this coming down the road?-Oh it's Hayley Mills." Although it's often just that.' Tonight, Danny and Alice have been working hard on a project to rehabilitate a group of circus elephants, but they need the help of Vanessa and Rowan to move the herd to a new home. Rowan is surprisingly co-operative - but he has an ulterior motive. Meanwhile, Caroline and Du Plessis are finally getting married, but an old friend of Caroline's does his best to come between them. Can Du Plessis ensure that the wedding goes ahead?

Monday 11 January
In The British Family: Our History - 9:00 BBC2 - Kirsty Young begins a four-part history of how British families have changed since the Second World War by looking at the subject of marriage. Using vibrant archive footage and bittersweet interviews, she examines how, from the 1940s to the late 1960s, marriage was transformed from a sometimes stifling institution into a more equal relationship. She discovers that although many marriages are now happier, the growing tide of divorce continues unstemmed.

Tonight also sees the return of Law & Order: UK - 9:00 ITV - the crime drama based on the hit US series. A tragic communication error between police officers leads to the death of gay PC Nick Bentley when he is caught in the crossfire of armed drug-dealers. Ronnie Brooks and Matt Devlin investigate, but one of the dealers claims that a second police officer, Ray Griffin, was standing nearby doing nothing while Bentley bled to death. When Griffin is linked to an extreme religious group which discriminates against homosexuals, it appears the tragic error might not have been a mistake after all. When all is said and done, this still has a terrific cast - particularly Bradley Walsh playing completely against type. It got something of a cult following last year and it's nice to have it.

Following previous travelogues in China and India, Paul Merton in Europe - 9:00 Five - is a new series following the comedian Paul Merton as he travels, fairly obviously, through Europe. Beginning in Germany, Paul meets the leader of a political movement known as the Apple Front, before enjoying a 'chess boxing' match in a Berlin sports hall. Next, he meets a former truck driver who practises the dying art of giant bunny breeding, and samples the delights of naked bowling. The first leg of Paul's tour ends with a bizarre spa treatment in a hotel on the Austrian border. I like Merton a lot and his dry humour loans itself well to this kind of sub-Michael Palin type of show. This one looks to have some potential, both comic and in terms of actually having something worthwhile to say.

Tuesday 12 January
The BBC were hoping for a Doctor Who-style hit when they revived another one of their classic Telefantasy formats, Terry Nation's Survivors - 9:00 BBC1 - last year. They didn't quite get that, either critically or commerically, but they were rewarded with a regular audience and some positive comments. Personally, I rather liked Charlie Brooker noting that the series trod a strange netherworld between twee BBC home counties middle-class family values and mad post-apocalyptic savagery. The first series ended with ninety-nine per cent of the population are dead, Abby (the occasionally terrific but, mostly, woefully over-the-top Julie Graham) has been kidnapped and Greg (the excellent Patterson Joseph) lying badly wounded. So, you'd've thought that things can only get better for our motley band of survivors? Anya realises that they will need medical equipment to save Greg's life and she leads Al and Tom (Max Beasley, acting his little cotton socks off and, by a distance the best actor on the show) into a hospital, where they face both the threat of disease and a raging fire. So, this one is, essentially, a remake of the original series' Lights of London two-parter. Elsewhere, Abby finds herself a prisoner of Whitaker, the obsessive leader of the Laboratory scientists. For the most-part, yer Keith Telly Topping enjoyed Survivors last time around - some annoyingly silly conceits notwithstanding. So I'm looking forward to seeing if they can maintain an audience and build on it.

At the same time over on Five, the latest (tenth) series of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation kicks-off which I know will be a popular choice for many dear blog readers. In this opening episode, the Las Vegas CSIs investigate the death of a movie starlet in a highly suspicious car accident. Elsewhere, Sara Sidle (po-faced, but fun Jorja Fox) returns to the team in the wake of Riley's sudden departure. So, yes, you get to find out what she and Grissom have been up to off-screen. It's a good episode, there's plenty going on, Larry Fishburne gets lots to do and there's a very nice subplot about Catherine getting hassled for not being Grissom and turning to Nicky for help.

In My Big Fat Diet Show - 8:00 Channel 4 - Anna Richardson shows viewers how to drop a dress size in two weeks. Not sure what viewers who, like yer Keith Telly Topping, don't wear dresses are supposed to make of all this but, never mind, we'll forgive them a hugely sexist pre-series blurb just this once. The halfway mark of the challenge has been passed, so Anna and the girls pay another visit to the Calorie Club. Matt Dawson cooks 'skinny girl's fish and chips,' and clinical psychologist Henck van Bilsen meets food addict Alpa Joshi. So ... yet more food fascism brought to you, dear blog reader, by a commerical network that's still perfectly happy to feature adverts for McDonalds and Marks & Spencer's instant heart-attack range. So, just to sum up then, this would appear to be a programme made entirely for fat women to feel guilty about their bodies bookended by marketing designed to provide them with plenty of comfort food. Somebody, somewhere, wants a ruddy good horsewhipping for thinking this was, remotely, a good idea.

Wednesday 13 January
BBC4 come up with what looks like a great documentary in The Man Who Shot the 60s - 9:00. Brian Duffy was one of the greatest photographers of his generation. Along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan he defined the image of 1960s London and was as famous as many of the stars he photographed from his Kensington studio. Socialising with actors, musicians and royalty, together they represented a new breed of photographer and found themselves elevated to celebrity status. Duffy is probably most famous for his iconic cover shot of David Bowie's Aladdin Sane LP. Then suddenly in the 1970s he disappeared from view and burned all his negatives. With the first ever exhibition of his work due, Duffy has agreed to be filmed to talk about his life, his work and why he made it all go up in flames.

The Persuasionists - 10:00 BBC2 - is a new sitcom from the BBC whose recent forays into this area have veered between the very good - Miranda - and the really, spectacularly terrible - Big Top. Marketing an unusual dairy product is the challenge for HHH&H's best creative minds, but the client is terrifying and Greg is too scared to even stay in a meeting with him. Can Emma help or will creative Billy have to break a golden rule of advertising and actually meet the client? Sounds dreadful. Mind you, so did Miranda's 'twenty words or less' description so we'll give this one a go. It features lots of people you've never heard of ... and Iain Lee whom Keith Telly Topping considers to be the least funny man in the history of the universe and with the smuggest boat-race in Christendom (or, TV anyway). So, this looks really promising.

Tonight also sees the return of NCIS - 9:00 - the drama following the US Navy's dedicated federal agency. The murder of a petty officer uncovers an internal plot to sell highly classified military information. Meanwhile, new agency director Leon Vance reveals the real reason he disbanded Gibbs's team. Good little show, this. Decent ensemble cast, lead by the excellent Mark Harmon, with a nostalgia figure for the baby boomers (David McCallum), some clever plots and, like most of the better US series, it doesn't take itself too seriously.

Thursday 14 January
Material Girl - 8:00 BBC1 - is a new drama about dreams, love, clothes and how we all use them to run away from who we are and towards who we should be. It's Paris Fashion Week and Ali Redcliffe has a huge flare-up with her boss, leading fashion designer, Davina Bailey. Back in London, the renowned Marco Keriliak offers Ali the chance of a lifetime: to set up her own label. But her friends all tell her he's a nightmare. Probably not the ideal time to take a chance on love with new man Chris. Stars Lenora Critchlow, Michael Landes and Dervla Kirwan. This is, obviously, a British attempt to do something like Ugly Betty. Having seen a few clips, I've got my doubts about this one from the off. And, some stray rumours coming out of the production suggest that it could be spectacularly bad. I mean 'this year's Bonekickers' bad! So, if it is, that'll be a bag of popcorn at the ready and settle down for car crash telly. That's always entertaining.

There's a new series of Build A New Life in the Country - 8:00 Five - the property and lifestyle show presented by Charlie Luxton. Lisa and Michael attempt to convert a four hundred-year-old barn into an eco-friendly family home. You'll notice, it's very seldom Chris and Tracey from Blaydon doing up their one bedroom council house on a budget of twelve pee on these sort of shows? Odd that. Anyway, the project begins well, but progress is slow thanks to problems with planning permission, bad weather, illness and damp. Oh dear. How sad. Will the couple manage to complete the build before another winter arrives? If they don't, will they die of hypothermia? Does anybody actually care in the slightest? Tune-in and find out.

And, lastly, a quick soap round-up. In Coronation Street - 8:30 ITV - resentment against Sally eventually becomes critical. Ah. Poor Sally. Otherwise, it's all questions tonight. Will Dev be a smash hit at the kids' party? And will Joe get Gail to sign on the dotted line? Meanwhile, over in EastEnders - 7:30 BBC1 - it's the reading of Archie's will. And, the question on everyone's lips is who will get The Queen Vic? Bradley realises how far Max has fallen and Bianca and Ricky set the date for their wedding. Meanwhile Jane gets rid of Ian's dirty little secret ... but for how long?

Dear blog readers are advised to check out The Doctor's Facebook Page. Now, that's funny! There's one for The Master as well.

Gavin & Stacey is set to become a permanent Christmas fixture with a festive special every year. BBC chiefs have held 'secret talks' with writers Ruth Jones and James Corden to bring back the romantic couple and their barmy families next Christmas. Obviously so secret that the Mirror knows all about them. A top BBC source said: 'No one at the BBC wants to let this hit go - it has become a flagship of our Christmas schedule.' Writer/stars Jones and Corden had vowed that the third series which ended this Christmas would be the last. But our BBC source said: 'Talks have already started for a one-off special next Christmas.' NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! They promised us it would be the last one. The lying bastards!

Muslim writers have heavily criticised Lynda La Plante after she crassly claimed they found it easier to get scripts commissioned by the BBC than she does. A row broke out yesterday after the creator of Prime Suspect alleged that the corporation favours Muslims by complaining that its drama commissioning team would rather read a script by 'a little Muslim boy' than one she had written. 'If my name were Usafi Iqbadal and I was nineteen, then they'd probably bring me in and talk,' the scriptwriter, who has mainly worked for ITV, told the Daily Telegraph. But Muslim writers hit back, accusing La Plante of 'old-style racism' for reinforcing stereotypes. Max Malik, a novelist and playwright, called her comments 'divisive, unhelpful and discouraging for young writers.' Malik, who won the Muslim Writers' Award two years ago, added: 'She's trying to force me and my ilk into a corner. I don't call her a ginger-haired, middle-aged, female writer. That would be insulting.' Sarfraz Manzoor, journalist, broadcaster and author of the memoir Greetings from Bury Park, said La Plante should 'get that chip off her shoulder and return to the real world rather than playing the misunderstood victim in the fantasy world in which she is currently residing.' He added: 'I would love to meet the Muslim writers whose output is currently clogging up the television schedules: can she name any of these mythical individuals. Or are her comments simply a headline-grabbing way to yet again bash the BBC and blame Muslims?' A BBC spokesperson denied that it based its commissioning decisions 'on the ethnicity or the age of a writer,' adding that executives in its drama department were tasked solely with finding scripts that are 'innovative and challenging for audiences to enjoy.'

Equality minister Harriet Harman has attacked the BBC for 'not valuing' older female newsreaders. Oh Christ, has somebody set that bitter wannbe TV reviewer off again? How massively satisfying it is to know that, in just a few short months, Hattie is going to be taking up her next challenging job - asking 'do you want fries with that?' Harman told the BBC's World This Weekend that female newsreaders had to be ten years younger than male equivalents. She said: 'It's essentially an old-fashioned attitude that thinks you can't value the experience and wisdom of an older woman.' The BBC has pledged to appoint more older female news readers following criticism for ageism. Harman said: 'I think that the broadcast media finds it possible to value the older man but I don't think they find it possible to value the older woman. A former senior BBC executive said to me: "the thing is, the way we saw it was that as male presenters got older they become an authority and as female presenters got older they became a problem." To be a BBC news presenter as a woman you have to be ten years younger than the men. They should be very careful about it and I think they should be anxious and worried about it... and I think they're wasting a lot of talent and annoying a lot of viewers.' Hatty clearly missed the announcement that Julia Somerville is due to return to the BBC as a TV news presenter after an absence of nearly twenty three years and will join Westminster correspondent Carole Walker, former ITN newsreader Fiona Armstrong and BBC World presenter Zeinab Badawi on the TV news service. More baseless accusations and trying to score cheap political points by bashing the Beeb from a politician utterly desperate to keep her fingertips on a job that she's been done - spectacularly badly - for the past few years. It looks, dear blog reader, like the BBC is going to be treated as a political football by all the parties during the forthcoming election campaign and get the shit kicked out of it from all sides. How fantastically novel.

Kirstie Allsopp has criticised EastEnders producers for airing an anti-gay tirade prior to the watershed. The presenter was referring to Zainab Masood's confrontation with homosexual Christian Clarke in the New Year's Day episode of the BBC1 soap. During the argument, Zainab - whose son Syed is having an affair with Christian - said: 'Take your perverted obsession elsewhere. What you do makes me feel sick.' Allsopp, who front Channel 4's Location, Location, Location, said that the script was 'totally unsuitable for 6.30pm.' The thirty six-year-old wrote on Twitter: 'I don't want kids watching that kind of rant - in time they'll know about bigots but please not yet.' Why not? To paraphrase Russell Howard, when you're six your priorities in life are custard and jumping. Whether somebody takes it up the bum or not is, frankly, pretty low on your list of 'things to give a monkeys about.' The BBC defended the script, a spokesperson telling the Digital Spy website: 'Since this storyline began, EastEnders has always shown a balance of opinions to ensure that we capture the many different views of the characters involved. Zainab has always been an extremely opinionated character but her views do not go unchallenged and it is within these conflicts that the drama unfolds.'

Bev Callard has been accused of persuading her best friend to invest one hundred thousand pounds in her failing pub just eight weeks before closing its doors. The actress, who plays Liz McDonald on Coronation Street, became friends with Ethna Carlin in 2001 when they both lived in Marbella, on Spain's Costa del Sol. Carlin said that she was approached for the cash in 2008 and was promised a contract and shares in The Gallery pub, in Hale, Cheshire. However, she told the News Of The World: 'Just weeks later she closed down leaving me with absolutely nothing ... but she's still coining it in on the telly. She should have realised it would be virtually impossible to turn things round. I would never have believed she was capable of doing this to me. We were so close, like two sisters.' Carlin claims that her one-time friend said that she was bankrupt and has refused to repay any of the cash, adding: 'All I want is a public commitment to pay me back over the long term. That way I can rebuild my life too.' Callard and her partner, Jon McEwan, said in a statement: 'Ethna did invest money into our business, which unfortunately went under causing great losses to many people including ourselves. We are working very hard to get back on an even keel and did not declare bankruptcy because we felt that would have been an easy way out. We both appreciate the fantastic support we've been given by the people around us. It's times like this that you find out who your friends are.'

Amanda Holden's family goldfish are named after her Britain's Got Talent colleagues according to the People. They're also said to be fans of Big Top. But then, given that they've only got an attention span of fifteen seconds that, probably, sounds about right.

Louis Walsh has claimed that he is frustrated by ITV's refusal to promise more investment in The X Factor. According to the People, ITV has still not signed a deal for the next series of the talent show because executives are concerned about the cost of making it. 'The X Factor is ITV's crown jewel so they need to sort it out,' Walsh said. 'I have no doubt it will be back on our screens this year because it is so huge. But ITV need to realise that and sort the problem out. Costs are going to rise because successful TV shows cost money, but it is worth every penny to ITV.' Walsh added that Cowell's alleged demand for an extra three million pounds is necessary. 'Simon wants what is best for the show,' he claimed. 'He is not an unreasonable man. He knows what it will cost to make The X Factor even better next year and ITV have to realise that at the moment they have a great show to boast about. 'The BBC don't have it. Strictly Come Dancing was terrible last year because it hasn't changed in seven years. We have to change The X Factor to keep it fresh and to find different ways of it appealing to the viewers, because they are the ones who choose what to watch.' However, an ITV source said: 'We have only got a limited amount of cash to spend on The X Factor because we have to invest in other programming. We have had to sack valuable people and cut costs to keep ourselves going as a business. It's been very tough and we need those demanding cash on Simon's behalf to understand we can only go so far. More money will be spent on X Factor, but there have to be limits.'

CNN has apologised after the comedian Kathy Griffin swore live on national television. Griffin was appearing at the network's New Year's Eve celebrations when she joked that she didn't know how to say 'Balloon Boy' Falcon Heene's name. According to Us Weekly, she said: 'Fal... Fucking? Falcon? How do you say it?' Her fellow television presenter, Anderson Cooper, immediately responded by describing her as 'really terrible.' And, having seen a bit of Kathy Griffin's act in the past, keith Telly Topping can confirm this to be, broadly speaking, true. Contactmusic reports that CNN has now released a statement apologising for the naughty swear word, adding that it 'regrets that profanity was used during our New Year's Eve coverage.' During 2008's New Year's Eve broadcast, Griffin caused controversy by joking that a male crowd member was a sex worker.

The BBC's new talent show format So You Think You Can Dance got off to an encouraging start on Saturday night, according to overnight figures. The first episode of the series, which is fronted by Cat Deeley and features Nasty Nigel Lythgoe and Arlene Phillips as judges, charted the audition phase and boot camp stage. Overall, the seventy five-minute episode averaged 6.44m but more crucially, the audience grew steadily throughout the episode. At 6pm, just over four and a half million viewers were watching but by 7.15pm this had built to over eight million. Immediately afterwards on BBC1, the second Total Wipeout Celebrity Special pulled in an audience of seven and a half million. A new series of The National Lottery: In It To Win It - fronted by Dale Winton - followed at 8.15pm with 5.81m, then a feature-length episode of Casualty attracted 6.62m between 9.05pm and 10.55pm. Live coverage of the FA Cup third round game between Reading and Liverpool averaged five million for ITV between 5pm and 7.15pm, peaking with 6.79m around 7pm. The network's new dating show, Take Me Out launched with a disastrous 3.62m at 7.15pm, then an hour later, the latest edition of All Star Mr & Mrs was viewed by 4.18m. Piers Morgan on Las Vegas, featuring interviews with Paris Hilton and Sylvester Stallone, interested 3.34m from 9.20pm. One has to wonder if Piers will be so quick to brag about the ratings for that one in relation to his on-going slanging match with Jonathan Ross? Keith Telly Topping has his doubts, personally.

The widely-reported New Year's Eve punch-up between Katie Price's boyfriend Alex Reid and her former lover, Dane Bowers, was sparked after the singer 'ticked her off' for letting her children stay up late according to the Mirror. Bowers is said to have 'rounded' on the model for letting Junior and Princess see in the New Year, screaming at her: 'Why are you letting the kids be up well past midnight?' Then he reportedly set his sights on Alex, calling him 'a big ponce' before taking a drunken swing at the cage fighter. But, he missed. This was the final straw for Reid - already furious over Dane's verbal attack on his woman - and he 'floored' the record producer with a single right hook. Shocked Dane, thirty, told friends the next day that he was 'really pissed off' at the beating, adding: 'I didn't deserve to be beaten up.' And as 'a make-up artist pal' tried to cover up his bruises, Channel 4 bosses were alleged to have held an emergency meeting to decide whether Dane and Alex - reportedly due to enter the Celebrity Big Brother house tonight - should be allowed on the show. They fear that police could still take action over the incident if they receive a complaint, even though Bowers has not reported it and said that he does not plan to. Upset Price, has contacted Bowers since the fight and has also told 'pals' (his or hers, they didn't elaborate) that she is petrified of what will happen when they next come face to face. Yesterday, the 'shocking details' of the 'explosive bust up' between cross-dressing Reid and Another Level singer Bowers were 'revealed for the first time' by an excited newspaper which once, let us remember, used to have John Pilger as one of its staff writers. Price had reportedly invited Bowers, who once infamously made a sex tape with her, to the fancy dress party in the hope that it would end the bad-blood between the two men ahead of Celebrity Big Brother. Ah, the lifestyles of the rich and bone-ignorant, ladies and gentlemen. Doesn't it make you proud to be British?