Friday, April 09, 2010

Kiss This!

We begin today with some terrible news, which yer Keith Telly Topping is, genuinely, sad to have to report. Paddy McGuinness has announced that Take Me Out is almost certain to return for a second series. There is no God.

Bones' one hundredth episode, broadcast in the US this week, was a witty and clever little piece of fluff; an effective flashback to Brennan and Booth's first case working together five years ago which included lots of fun observations and an ending that, in many ways, defines exactly why the series has become so very popular with its audience. And, it was nice to see little Zack return as well, even if it was only for one episode. When it's on form, this show really does feature one of the best ensemble casts anywhere on television. It's come a long way from its unpromising beginnings as a basic CSI-clone featuring a lead actor who many, yer Keith Telly Topping included, though had, at best limited abilities. And I couldn't be more happy to have been proved very wrong indeed.

EastEnders will face a 'value-for-money' review from the BBC Trust, it has been reported. It gets more viewers than any other show on the BBC - what's to review? The Gruniad Morning Star reports that the corporation is looking to strip its two hundred million drama budget. Other continuing dramas such as Doctors, Casualty and Holby City will also be under scrutiny. BBC Trust chairman Michael Lyons announced: 'In the coming year, we will continue our drive to ensure that the BBC offers high quality and distinctive programming and that it provides excellent value for money, through a number of major editorial, service and value-for-money reviews. The trust has set itself an ambitious agenda of planned activities for 2010-11 which we believe will make the BBC even stronger, and will ensure that the public can be confident that the BBC is being run in their best interests.' Or, in other words, 'we're scared every time the Daily Mail have a pop at us so we're actively being seen to chip a few million off the budget of our highest rated show ... because we have the collective backbone of a jelly.' Cowards.

Coronation Street actor Bill Tarmey has reportedly decided to quit the ITV soap. The sixty nine-year-old, who has played viewers favourite Jack Duckworth on the serial for more than three decades, is apparently departing due to his deteriorating health and to spend more time with his family. Tarmey told the Mirror: 'People often ask if I like Jack Duckworth. I always reply, "Like him? I bloody love him." I've had the most amazing thirty years playing Jack. Because of him I've made fantastic friends and travelled all over the world. I'll be sorry to say goodbye.' It is thought that the programme's bosses attempted to persuade the actor to stay. A show insider added: 'Bill was told they would rather see him finish with a bang than a whimper. They promised him a fantastic exit and Bill was delighted. 'It will be the end of an era when Jack Duckworth finally leaves Weatherfield for good. But one thing's for sure - his will be a very memorable exit.'

Hollyoaks newcomer Sheree Murphy has been ordered to keep quiet when she attends the Grand National tomorrow, according to a report. The actress is said to have faced a difficult week at the Channel 4 soap after starting to lose her voice while filming scenes as Anita Roy's (Saira Choudhry) long-lost mother Eva. Murphy will be judging the Matalan Style Competition at Aintree but has apparently been warned to keep her voice down to avoid making the problem worse. A source told the Mirror: 'She has promised to try and stop talking, and definitely no cheering. She's naturally chatty so it's killing her.'

Former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren has died, aged sixty four. According to the Independent, who called him 'the Godfather of punk', McLaren had been battling cancer for some time, although his condition rapidly deteriorated over recent weeks. He died yesterday in Switzerland. His body is expected to be brought home to be buried in Highgate Cemetery. The Times described McLaren as 'the impish visionary behind the punk movement that traumatised and thrilled Britain.' McLaren also managed a number of other bands, including The New York Dolls and Bow, Wow, Wow before producing his own records including the hit single 'Buffalo Girls' and the much-sampled 'Double Dutch' from the 1983 LP Duck Rock. Born in North London, McLaren was raised by his grandmother in Newington Green, after his war-deserter father left home when he was two. Having been expelled from several art colleges, he opened a clothes shop - Let It Rock - on the King's Road, with his then girlfriend Vivienne Westwood in 1971. The couple's son, Joe Corre, went on found the lingerie company Agent Provocateur. However, Maclom's lasting notoriousness stemmed from his period as manager, impresario and, occasionally ham-fisted genius behind the legendary punk band The Sex Pistols. Influenced by the anarchist Situationalist movement, elements of pop and trash art, a liberal splash of Dadaism, left-wing politics and, not least, an insatiable thirst for money and self-publicity, McLaren's concept for the Pistols as 'an affront to pretty much everything' struck a huge chord with Britain's largely disaffected and bored youth in the late 1970s. He also had an occasionally fascinating solo musical career himself, was the effective star of Julien Temple's 1979 movie The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle and featured on Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack in 2008. A year earlier he had pulled out of a scheduled appearance on the reality show I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!, after changing his mind about the show. Before embarking on his career in music, McLaren famously opened his clothes shop - later renamed Sex - on the King's Road with Westwood. It became ground-zero for the initial London punk scene. Music journalist Jon Savage said: 'Without Malcolm there would not have been any British punk. He's one of the rare individuals who had a huge impact on the cultural and social life of this nation.' Savage, who wrote England's Dreaming, widely considered to be the definitive history of the Pistols and British punk said that McLaren was 'a complex and contradictory' character who had influenced British culture in many ways. He said: 'He could be very charming, he could be very cruel, but he mattered and he put something together that was extraordinary. What he did with fashion and music was extraordinary. He was a revolutionary.' Writing in the Mirror - a newspaper that once devoted front page headlines urging its readers to 'Punish the Punks' - Tony Parsons wrote that 'Malcolm McLaren gave punk rock its sense of mischief, he gave punk its sense of humour and he gave punk its outrage. Without art school graduate Malcolm – a crucial ten years or so older than the Sex Pistols – punk rockers would have been just a bunch of dumb yobs kicking in the doors of the establishment. Malcolm made us feel like rebels, revolutionaries, anarchists.' John Lydon whose fractious relationship with McLaren - the Artful Dodger to McLaren's Fagin - was at the heart of so much Pistols folklore was, nevertheless, moved to comment: 'For me Malc was, above all else, an entertainer and I hope you remember that,' before adding 'I'll miss him. And so should you.' Yer Keith Telly Topping will be dragging out his copy of Never Mind The Bollocks and jacking the volume right up to eleven for 'New York', 'Submission' and 'Pretty Vacant' tonight in tribute. Tarra, Malcolm. Thank you. For my life, effectively.

Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria-Parker has said she is 'confused' about recent assault claims made by a former co-star about the show's creator. Nicollette Sheridan, who played Edie Britt, is suing Marc Cherry for twenty million dollars over claims he assaulted her on set. Speaking on Ryan Seacrest's Kiis FM show in the US, Longoria-Parker said Cherry 'couldn't hurt a fly.' She also said Sheridan, who left the show in 2009, was 'a sweet girl.' In a legal action filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Sheridan has alleged Marc Cherry hit her in the face in September 2008 after she queried the script. The actress claimed when she reported the incident to the ABC network, Cherry killed off her character. 'It's a big lawsuit, it's a big deal,' Longoria-Parker said. 'I love the show so much that I would hate for anything to really tarnish the reputation of the show. I really would like all of it to go away.'