Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Back In The Party Chambers, Laughter Echoes Loud

Yer Keith Telly Topping's beloved Ideal concluded its sixth series on BBC3 yesterday with another completely bloody bonkers episode. One in which the Low Triad's kidnap of Keith and Psycho Paul's incompetent attempts at a rescue plan battled for prominence with the daft shenanigans of Nicky's housewarming Hallow'een fancy dress party. And, if you've never seen Ben Crompton dressed as Frankenstein's monster, Tom Goodman-Hill as the Wolf Man, Emma Fryer as Snow White and Alfie Joey as the Wicked Witch of the West, ladies and gentlemen, trust me, you've never lived. Plus a guest appearance by Mark Radcliffe. What more could you ask for? As previously noted, Goodman-Hill recently posted on Twitter to suggest that the show has already been recommissioned for a seventh series next year. Which, although unconfirmed at this time, is still one of the best bits of TV news of the year. Ideal, dear blog reader, one of British TV's great undiscovered gems.

Highlight of last night's MasterChef: The Profesisonals was, yet again, another moment of quality unrestrained rudeness by Monica Galetti, telling some hapless chap called Richard who'd made his ravioli wrong 'I dislike that so much I'd like you to eat it!' As shattering and deliberately spiteful blows to an individual's sense of self-worth go, that's pretty near the top of the tree, I'm sure you'll agree dear blog reader. In fact, if you freeze-frame the episode on BBC iPlayer you can actually see the exact split-second that she rips his heart from his chest and throws it, still beating, into the bin with the words 'you won't be needing that again.' Somebody give this woman her own show, for God's sake, she's TV dynamite!

Time Warner chief executive Jeff Bewkes has advised ITV against plans to erect a pay wall around its online content as advertising revenues will bounce back. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Bewkes expressed his belief that ITV will benefit from an advertising boom as long as its video on-demand content remains available for free. The ITV player catch-up service is currently available without charge, but ITV boss Adam Crozier last month said that the broadcaster could soon start charging for its online content, including previews or alternate endings for Coronation Street. However, Bewkes believes that the advertising market for broadcasters will recover as the economy picks up, meaning there is no need to start charging for online content. The executive also doubts the benefits of turning the 'home TV set into a pay phone' by imposing micropayments for content. 'Don't worry about [the advertising market]. The recession will end and the ad market will recover,' said Bewkes. 'Don't take the short-term events in advertising and forget the underlying value of your programming or the strength of the model when you put the network or the programming on-demand.' Bewkes said that broadcasters providing their VOD content for free on a variety of connected platforms will be well placed to benefit when the ad market recovers. He also believes the ITV should use the benefits of online video players, such as targeted advertising, to expand its on-demand content rather than restrict it behind a pay wall. 'If they took the ITV schedule and offered it on demand then their viewership would go up and they'd have more viewership and more advertising. So there's no reason not to do it,' he said.

Lord Sugar has been on the attack, and this time he's not stripping the skin off some terrible Apprentice contestant. The Mirror reports that Sugar has told the Culture Secretary, the vile Jeremy Hunt, to 'mind his bloody business' over BBC finances. 'Go and learn how to fill out expenses form, because he made a cock-up of it twice,' said Sugar, very satisfyingly. 'Once you're forgiven, but twice you think "Are you that clever to be a minister?"' Sugar, the former government's business tsar, said the BBC was 'incredible value.' Which caused some shit of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star, it's sinister agenda painted, quite literally, an inch thick, to quip 'Not least with shows such as The Apprentice, presumably.' Yes, mate, that's absolutely right. And Top Gear. And Strictly Come Dancing. And Doctor Who. And Newsnight. And University Challenge. And EastEnders. And [spooks]. And Dragon's Den. And MasterChef. And Qi. And Mock The Week. And Match of The Day. And The Ten O'Clock News. And The Culture Show. And most of the rest of the output on four superb television channels which are the envy of the broadcasting world, seven national radio stations and dozens of regional ones and so much more besides, including a news website that puts the news gathering of you lot to absolute shame. Unlike, just for example, you Communists who are a running joke with pretty much everybody. Off with you, now, you dreary little individual back into bed with your chums at the Daily Scum Mail where between you, you can cook up some more rancid, scum-flecked anti-BBC stories which will, no doubt, be enjoyed by many of your hummus-munching readers as much as their goose-stepping bullyboy readers. Christ, the Guardian makes me sick. They don't even have the guts to be proper radicals, they're just a bunch of phoney middle-class liberals. University education bellends who would crap in their own pants and run a mile if they ever saw a council estate and who, for some bizarre reason, have an axe to bury in the head of the BBC. Just like The Government, in other words.

Glee creator Ryan Murphy is reportedly planning to write an episode dealing with the issue of gay suicide. Several young people in the US have killed themselves recently after being bullied over their homosexuality. Glee actor Matthew Morrison has now revealed that Murphy is hoping to tackle the problem on the show. 'Ryan wants to do an episode about it, which I think is very smart of him,' Morrison told E! Online. 'As a cast I don't know much we can do. That's why I think an episode would be great. Ryan is very current with staying on the times, so I think it would be this season if it were to happen.' Kevin McHale, who plays Artie, added: 'It's sad that it's taken these past few weeks and horrible tragedies to really let people know what's going on. I think being in our position and Ryan taking that on is great. Hopefully we can move the general public and let the kids and the parents watching the show know that everybody deserves to be loved.' Heather Morris and Jessalyn Gilsig also supported an episode focused on the issue. 'What's unique about Glee is we have this audience of kids and adults,' Gilsig said. 'Just as it's important to send this message to the kids about bullying and the effect it can have, we have to send it to the parents. We have to send it to the teachers. It's the adults who have to start taking responsibility and managing this behaviour and educating youth on acceptance, empathy and compassion.' Murphy has previously revealed that Glee's second season will focus on 'tolerance.'

Representatives for Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Love-Hewitt and Josh Holloway have all dismissed a report that the trio will star in the forthcoming Dallas reimagining. All three were previously rumoured - by the Daily Scum Mail admittedly - to be 'in talks' to appear in the series. Quite where the Daily Scum Mail got this gem from, as previously noted, they didn't say. Presumably, because it's all a load of made-up crap. The Gossip Cop website has reported that a spokesperson for 24 actor Sutherland has announced that there is 'no truth' to the story. Yep, well, that sounds about standard for the Daily Scum Mail, frankly. A representative for Hewitt also claimed that the rumours were 'not true' and a source for Holloway confirmed that the casting was 'not happening.' Former Lost actor Holloway was previously linked to NBC's remake of The Rockford Files.

ABC is reportedly working with writer Greg Poirier to develop a new spy drama. Deadline claims that the National Treasure: Book of Secrets author is working on a pilot script for the series. The show will feature a female lead character and is being described as a cross between Taken and The Bourne Identity. The Gates creator Grant Scharbo will produce the show alongside his partner, Gina Matthews. Director Steve Schill is also expected to work on the pilot. ABC is believed to be in the process of recruiting writers for potential future episodes. The network is already developing two other spy-based series for next season, with remakes of Charlie's Angels and 1994 movie True Lies in the works.

Lie To Me actor Tim Roth has promised that there will be more scenes between Cal and Gillian in the future. In an interview with Fancast, Roth explained that the show will explore both the positive and negative sides of the relationship. 'There's some good stuff coming up between me and Kelli [Williams],' he said. 'Stuff of every kind. Not just the nice stuff, because we can get very confrontational as well. We're mixing it up, and I think the audience will get a big kick out of that.' All of this comes just twenty four hours after the new - third - series of Lie To Me kicked-off in the US with an excellent episode, In The Red, which involved Cal in a botched bank robbery. The actor told the website that he enjoyed exploring the back story of his character in the new episodes. 'The horizons are broadening and the writing is very tight,' he claimed. 'It's the show we were aiming at and now we finally get to do. Hopefully the audience will get a kick out of it.'

Cheryl Cole has reportedly been targeted by death threats from fans of The X Factor's Gamu Nhengu. Tabloid reports alleged that 'angry viewers' have 'blamed' the Girls Aloud singer for not choosing Nhengu as one of her top three and accused her of making 'the biggest mistake of her life.' Bigger than marrying Ashley Cole? Come on, get a bit of perspective, people - as big mistakes go, that's a World Class example. According to the Sun, one of the warnings said: 'Every1 [sic] has a bullet for you.' Given the level of literacy involved, it's probably from a student. The sender, who circulated the message to phones via BlackBerry Messenger, went as far as to claim that if he (or she) could not get to Cole, he (or she) would 'drop' a girl with the same name. So, if you're out there and you're called Cheryl Cole and you haven't already changed your name (and, if you haven't then one has to wonder what's been stopping you) here's the perfect excuse. It continued: 'I've never felt like dis [sic] over xfactor until u [sic] told gambu she is not going to the live show.' Capital letters notwithstanding. 'Dat [sic] cheryl was da [sic] biggest mistake of your life. U [sic] want to act innocent on tv like you don't know wat [sic] ur [sic] doing. But we all know how racist you are.' The message, apparently sent from Tottenham in North London, added: 'Wat[sic] u [sic] have now done is fuck up every white girls lives who's silly mothers dat [sic] named der [sic] child cheryl. Cuz [sic] I'm just going to fuckin [sic] bang drop dem [sic] and dey [sic] won't even know why.' I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest Grade F in your English GCSE, was it? Bless. Cole was also warned not to visit the area because she would be 'punched until she bleeds. You are a hater,' it said. 'You can't sing 2 [sic] save your life. So to make yourself happy you want to get rid off all the good singers you know will make you look shit. Nobody wants to buy ur [sic] album.' The message was concluded with the street name Supa Capone and the words: 'Find Me.' That shouldn't be too difficult, there can't be many Supa Capone's in the phone book, surely? A twenty five-year-old who received the message told the paper: 'There was something very chilling about it - the way he said he'd never felt like that before. It seemed obsessional, like he was unstable.' Well, that would certainly be a decent description for a viewer of The X Factor, to be fair. ' What if some poor girl is attacked just because her name is Cheryl?' Scotland Yard and X Factor bosses are said to be investigating the message. Although quite what form X Factor 'bosses' investigations will take and what they intend to do should they discover something that the actual police do not is not speculated upon in the newspaper. Cole herself was unavailable for comment but, as our photo shows, she was last seen heading for the hills.

And, in a related story, several newspapers are this morning reporting that Gamu Nhengu has been refused the right to remain in the UK following a Home Office investigation. The singer has apparently been told to return to her home country of Zimbabwe within days after immigration officials discovered that her mother had claimed sixteen thousand pounds in benefits to which she was not entitled. Nokutula Ngazana is said to have claimed child tax credit and working tax credit during her eight-year stay in the UK, even though her visa conditions prohibited her from having access to benefits. Nhengu - who was applying to remain in the UK after her family's right to stay expired in August - must now leave Britain of her own accord, along with her mother and her two brothers, or face deportation, according to - yes, you guessed it - the Sun. A UK Border Agency spokeswoman confirmed: 'The applications made by Ms Ngazana and her family were considered in line with the published immigration rules. Ms Ngazana's application was refused as it did not meet all of the conditions for approval. Skilled workers are not allowed recourse to public funds. Her family, who had applied as her dependants, were therefore also refused. Where people are found to have no right to remain in the UK we expect them to leave voluntarily.' Ngazana and Nhengu arrived in Scotland in 2002 and set up home in Clackmannanshire, where they still live today. Ngazana studied at Stirling University and qualified as a nurse. Immigration Minister Damian Green was reportedly consulted on the issue before an official letter was sent to the family. A spokesman for the Home Office said that the decision to axe Gamu from X Factor was 'the business of the television show.' He could not say whether the omission by Cheryl Cole had been decided after talks between immigration officials and the programme's bosses or not.

Meanwhile, X Factor reject Anastacia Baker has claimed that Cheryl Cole is 'two-faced.' Blimey, it really is a bad week for 'the nation's sweetheart,' isn't it? Baker, who was not selected by Cole to make the live shows and is, however, not at all bitter, twisted and jealous, suggested that the judge had already made up her mind which three acts would go through even before the Judges' Houses performance. Baker was previously axed at the same stage of the competition by Cole in 2008. Speaking to the Sun about her departure this time, she 'blasted' Cole. Which is, of course, tabloid-speak for 'criticised' only with less syllables: 'Cheryl is two-faced and completely heartless. She couldn't even say anything bad about my performances. She said I was so strong and I was ready for it. So why then tell me "No?" When she looked at me she had no emotion.' Baker said that Cher Lloyd and Katie Waissel, who 'messed up' their Judges' Houses auditions and didn't complete their songs, should have been punished for failing to perform. 'I've been to Cheryl's house before and messed up like Cher and Katie. But anybody who messed up in 2008 didn't get through,' she said. 'It's like they've made their decisions before you even get there.'

And, speaking of Waissel, here's a delightful story that will warm the cockles of yer frozen, hollow hearts, dear blog reader. A former work colleague of the wannbe pop star has said that she is 'all talk.' The twenty three-year-old singer, used to work for the Daily Lies' parent company Northern & Shell as a sales rep. According to the tabloid, she landed the job after 'begging for a chance,' describing herself as potentially 'the best sales rep of all time.' However, according to the article, Waissal apparently spent most of her time on the job writing poetry, slagging off her co-workers and on one occasion playing the banjo at her desk. How very Deliverance of her. 'She made it perfectly clear that she considered people who had nine-to-five jobs as robots,' said the - anonymous - 'source'. Allegedly. 'Katie actually believed she would end up on the covers of the magazines she worked for.' Waissal left the company after only a month in the job. 'When she actually realised she had to work, she couldn't cut it,' added the insider. 'It was just like on X Factor when she broke down. She gives it the "big-un" but she's all talk.' As character assassination go, that one's almost the Lee Harvey Oswald of tabloid exclusives. And, equally open to conspiracy theories.

And, finally on the subject of The X Factor - and, astonishing as it is to believe, there are actually other things going on it the TV world at the moment - Kym Marsh has revealed that she is annoyed Cheryl Cole is mentoring the girls on The X Factor this year. Although, what the hell it has to do with her, your guess is as good as mine, dear blog reader. The Coronation Street actress wrote in her New magazine column that she was 'disappointed' the Girls Aloud singer had been given the 'strongest' group of contestants again. Personally, yer keith Telly Topping couldn't give a stuff, he'll be watching Strictly, Merlin and Casualty on the other side.

Harry Hill has been forced to drop a parody Smiths medley from his new CD after guitarist and co-writer Johnny Marr refused to give his permission. The TV Burp comic had recorded versions of the Smiths greatest hits in the ukulele style of George Formby as a hidden track on the forthcoming Funny Tunes. But now, just over four weeks before release, the medley – which mixed 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now,' 'Girlfriend In A Coma' and 'Panic' – has been dropped. Quite right too. You don't mess with perfection, even if you are Harry Hill.

The nefarious influence of Wikipedia strikes again. Several obituaries of the late Sir Norman Wisdom in yesterday's newspapers included the claim that the comedian co-wrote the lyrics to Dame Vera Lynn's wartime hit, '(They'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover.' Of course, he did no such thing – the words were written by Nat Burton. So, you might wonder, why did the Mirror suggest otherwise? Possibly because it said so on Wikipedia for a time yesterday – a 'spurious" piece of "vandalism', according to the online encyclopedia of everything which was removed at about 3.30am this morning. The Independent made the same bluinder, as did, very amusingly, that bastion of truth of integrity the Gruniad Morning Star. This blog, please note, did not! Only Norman, it would seem, could get a last laugh that big.

The legendary Granada TV sign that was taken down in September by ITV could reportedly find a new home in a Manchester museum. Last week, ITV removed the giant red letters from its Quay Street building in Manchester, where they had been in place for more than fifty years. The broadcaster said that the action was taken due to health and safety concerns as the sign had become 'extensively corroded,' but the move was met with genuine and sincere outrage from the public. According to the Manchester Evening News, Manchester's Museum Of Science And Industry has now offered to house the iconic sign. MOSI director Tony Hill said: 'The Granada sign is synonymous with the Manchester skyline. If ITV don't want the sign anymore we would definitely be interested in looking after it.' Jack Hale, a founder member of the Manchester Modernist Society, said that MOSI could provide a fitting home for what is viewed as an important part of the city's history. 'It's genuinely iconic for the North-West. It means a lot to a lot of people. The story struck a chord with everyone because the sign brings back a lot of memories,' Hale said. 'I hope the sign will be repaired and put back on the building but at the very least, it should be cleaned up and put in a museum. I think MOSI would make an excellent new home for it.' ITV management said that work to examine the giant letters would start soon, and no decision had been made as yet on the sign's future.

Balding former TV magician and nasty little Tory toerag, Paul Daniels, has admitted that he is not taking Strictly Come Dancing too seriously. Which is probably just as well as he's not likely to be in it for too much longer.

Kerry Katona has suggested that she does not see the attraction of Gavin Henson. Katona apparently feels that the Strictly Come Dancing star's Welsh accent was a possible reason for her apathy towards him, reports the Sun. So, pig-thcik ignorant and racist. Smashing.

And, finally, for the latest blog update we have today's Seperated At Birth quiz. As usual, dear blog reader, all that you have to do is to correctly identify which is which. Therefore, allow yer very Keith Telly Topping to introduce today's two similar items on From The North's conveyor belt of crass originality. And, they are ... Christine Bleakley and, an orange. God, these are getting tougher.