Friday, December 31, 2010

It's The Same Old Song (But A Different Meaning Since You've Been Gone)

As this is going to be, almost certainly, the last that From The North has to say for itself before this year is through, yer Keith Telly Topping would like to wish all of his dear blog readers a very safe and healthy New Year. And to note that it's genuinely nice to see 2010 is ending with a few of life's remaining certainties still in place. One of which is that nations may rise and nations may fall but Daybreak is back on its knees once again. The average overnight audience for the last four episodes of ITV's disastrous breakfast show - up to 29 December - have been five hundred and eighty seven thousand, four hundred and eighty eight thousand, four hundred and twenty thousand and a new all time low figure of four hundred and five thousand on Wednesday. Yes, it is a holiday week admittedly and it is likely that a fair number of people who would normally watch television between seven and eight in the morning - when they're on their way out to work, for instance - will instead be tucked up snugly in bed sleeping off a hangover. But, just for comparison during the same period, the BBC's Breakfast on opposite Daybreak had still been pulling in audience figures of around 1.2 to 1.3 million. The odds on Adrian and Christine not lasting very long into 2011 just took a bit of a tumble.

Now, perhaps, we're starting to see why the BBC's Only Fools and Horses prequel Rock & Chips was initially announced as getting a series on the back of its - very successful - pilot but then that order was reduced to just two 'special' episodes. The first of these, broadcast on Wednesday night, pulled in an audience of just over five million, a whopping 2.3m less viewers than the pilot achieved earlier in the year. Astonishingly, it was even beaten by the latest Agatha Christie's Marple, which achieved its own highest ratings for nearly two years for the episode The Blue Geranium, 5.19m. One supposes that an episode starting at 8pm and finishing at 10pm, as this Marple did, would tend to get a better audience than something starting at 9pm and finishing at 11pm, as most of the last half-dozen episodes have. Still, not even an all-star cast that included Toby Stephens and Donald Sinden could beat BBC1's Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice, which averaged 5.4 million viewers between 8pm and 9pm. Once again it was a particularly a poor evening for Channel Four with nothing they broadcast achieving an audience of over one million viewers. They've actually had a terrible Christmas period (even worse than usual), with Channel Five often outperforming them. On Wednesday, for instance, Most Shocking Celebrity Moments picked up Five's best prime time ratings, averaging one and a half million, which was more than Peep Show and Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights got on Channel Four put together! BBC2, by contrast, had rather a decent night with the Springwatch Christmas Special (1.8m), Les Mis at Twenty Five: Matt Lucas Dreams The Dream (1.5m), Arena's Rolf Harris documentary (1.6m) and the extended Qi: XL Christmas Special (1.7m) all performing at or above the average for their respective slots.

James Buckley has insisted that he is 'originally presenting' Del Boy Trotter in Rock & Chips. The actor dismissed suggestions made in several reviews that he copies Sir David Jason's portrayal of the wheeler and dealer in later life. Although to be honest, there's wouldn't be anything wrong with that if he did. Robert DeNiro copied Marlon Brando's mannerisms as Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather II and it's one of the greatest performances in the history of film. Although, it should be noted that Buckley isn't DeNiro. Not even close. Buckley told the Press Association: 'I wasn't trying to do a David Jason impression, but there are very small traits of Del Boy that I tried to put in the part.' Buckley, twenty three, also said that, while Jason's support is appreciated, he hopes Rock & Chips establishes itself as more than a mere spin-off. Although, given the ratings for last night's episode, Jimmy, I wouldn't hold your breath on that score. The actor continued: 'It's lovely to have a bit of support from someone like David Jason but this is something we're doing now and it's our own thing. We're making it for the British public, for fans of Only Fools And Horses and for new fans of Rock & Chips.' Of whom there are, it would seem, not as many as you might think.

Kylie Minogue has claimed that she prefers 'complex' men. Yer Keith Telly Topping wishes it to be known that he's always considered himself rather complex. Anyway ...

The media regulator Ofcom is this week expected to recommend that Rupert Murdoch's eight billion pound plan to buy out BSkyB should be subject to a further six-month long inquiry – and in so doing will hand the lack of culture secretary the vile and odious Jeremy Hunt the toughest political decision in his time in office. On Friday, Ofcom's chief executive Ed Richards will send over the conclusions of 'a public interest' inquiry into whether News Corporation's buyout of Sky will damage media plurality in the UK – and while the document will initially remain confidential most expect the regulator to demand a further investigation by the Competition Commission. That leaves Hunt – the cabinet minister suddenly brought into the inquiry after Vince Cable's much publicised 'war on Murdoch' comments – with about ten working days to decide whether to follow Ofcom's advice or not. Although his discretion is free, it will be a major surprise if he deviates from the interim verdict. At issue is whether, by controlling one hundred per cent of BSkyB, Rupert Murdoch (seen, left, in a classic 'Smithers, have Ofcom killed' pose) will have a disproportionate influence over the British media – in which News Corp has unprecedented cross-media power with titles accounting for thirty seven per cent of the newspaper sales and control of the biggest broadcaster by turnover in the UK. Critics – an unlikely alliance of normally competing Fleet Street owners, including the companies behind the Daily Scum Mail, the Daily Torygraph, the Daily Mirror and the Grunaid Morning Star along with the BBC - argue that the power and influence of a company with at least seven a half billion pounds of UK turnover will inevitably lead to the diminution of rivals. Contact between the owner of the Times and the Sun and Ofcom in the run-up to Christmas left insiders at News Corp's Wapping headquarters braced for a referral. But that has not stopped sniping between the two with News Corp complaining that Richards did not attend any pre-Christmas case conferences between the two sides according to the Gruniad Morning Star. Even Vince Cable's spectacular fall from grace just before Christmas, when the Liberal Democrat business secretary was stripped of his responsibilities for media regulation after he was secretly recorded saying: 'I have declared war on Rupert Murdoch and I think I am going to win,' is not expected to have changed that outcome because of the quasi-judicial nature of the Ofcom examination. So sensitive is Ofcom's work on the Murdoch enquiry that Richards has had to take personal responsibility for it. The regulator only took Christmas Day and Boxing Day off to conclude an inquiry that has taken two months to tackle issues of Murdoch power over the British media that have been rumbling on for years. Ofcom has only to meet a fairly low threshold to conclude that the Murdoch merger needs to be examined further. A lawyer advising one of the newspaper groups opposing the deal said: 'All the regulator has to prove is that there is a potential for a reduction in plurality in the UK. If there is such a potential then it has to recommend that it be referred to the Competition Commission.' The regulator's conclusion passes to the vile and odious Hunt and he then has about ten working days to decide what to do – a decision that in law he must take alone, and not in consultation with David Cameron or other members of the cabinet. James Murdoch, who runs News Corp's operations in Europe and Asia, and his team are hoping they will be given the chance to 'make representations' to Hunt. Before Christmas Labour queried whether the vile and odious Hunt was 'a fit and proper person' to adjudicate, given that he has said: 'It does seem to me that News Corp do control Sky already, so it isn't clear to me that in terms of media plurality there is a substantive change.' However, Sir Gus O'Donnell, the cabinet secretary, said he was satisfied that the vile and odious Hunt had not pre-judged the issue. If held, a Competition Commission inquiry would amount to a more exacting test of the issues. The second regulator would not necessarily follow the judgment of Ofcom. As in Ofcom's case, the commission's verdict is not binding on the vile and odious Hunt.

Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs may compete with each other for ratings in 2011, a source claims. The Daily Torygraph reports that the two period dramas, which both launched this year, could be broadcast in conjunction with each other next autumn. 'The BBC and ITV would never schedule Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs against each other on the same day at the same time - that would be suicidal for both of them,' an 'industry source' allegedly claimed. Although, seemingly, it's an industry source without an acutal name. 'The next series of both could well end up going out very near to each other in next autumn's schedules. And people will certainly be comparing the ratings.'

Bookmakers odds on Simon Cowell's being award a knighthood in the New Year's honours list have, apparently, been slashed. For services to his own ego, no doubt. Of course, whether he gets one or not, he's still likely to be hearing the words 'A rise, sir Simon?' shortly from Dannii Minogue anyway.

Hustle actor Matt Di Angelo has admitted that he is still impressed by his co-stars in the BBC con-men drama. Although, it's noticable that this isn't something Robert Vaughan, Robert Glenister or Adrian Lester ever seem to say about him. Despite him giving them every opportunity to. The actor told TV Choice that working on the series has been 'like a crash course in acting. I've been quite lucky in what I've done,' he said. 'I haven't done masses of work but I always get paired with a really impressive actor.' He added: 'Robert Vaughn is stupidly famous. He tells anecdotes [about] Steve McQueen and Paul Newman. Robert will quite happily sit there and talk, and Kelly Adams and I just bug him with questions, to the point where he just gave us two autobiographies!' Di Angelo also revealed that he has become 'paranoid' about being scammed since joining the cast as conman Sean Kennedy. 'I know if someone's trying to pull a fast one, but I've had watches taken off my wrist without realising it before,' he confessed. 'I'm quite paranoid and I keep my eyes open, so I haven't been done too badly. But it does make you think.'

Victoria Wood has praised the stars of new BBC2 drama Eric and Ernie. The one-off special will focus on the early friendship between famous comedy double-act Eric Morecambe (played by Daniel Rigby) and Ernie Wise (Bryan Dick). 'I helped with the casting of this drama,' Wood told What's On TV. 'Daniel and Bryan are amazingly good. Looks-wise, we've tried to match three boys for each characters. But we did it on ability too. Bryan's a brilliant dancer and Daniel has Eric to a tee.' Wood, who plays Morecambe's mother Sadie and serves as executive producer, revealed that she was keen to focus on the early days of the comic duo. 'It was my idea to do this story,' she said. So, this then would be a play wot you wrote, would it, Victoria? That's casting and the script you were responsible for. Anything else? Did you make the tea as well? 'It's a story that nobody knows,' she continued. 'It's fascinating because you think of Morecambe and Wise as these middle-aged men skipping and hopping in suits, but they were friends from when they were kids.' She added that the special will be 'a very celebratory story. They didn't fall out,' she claimed. 'It's not one of those terrible stories where there's a horrible thing to uncover. There is no dark side.'

People watching television over the Internet without a valid TV licence have been prosecuted for the first time, the BBC has revealed. According to the Daily Torygraph, the BBC told the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee that it has already secured prosecutions for viewers accessing web-TV services. In a written response to questions from MPs, the corporation said: 'There have been successful prosecutions of people watching online without a licence.' Current TV licensing rules stipulate that a licence is required to watch television content 'as it is being broadcast,' whether that is on the TV set, online or via mobile platforms. However, there is a grey area around whether people need a licence to access catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer, offering on-demand access to shows that have already aired. In June, the lack of culture secretary the vile and odious Jeremy Hunt said that the changing way people are watching TV, particularly in terms of online viewing, could soon make the annual licence fee obsolete. He added: 'We support the principle of the licence fee and always have done. But we also recognise, as technology changes, we may need to adapt the way it's collected. It is not going to be possible to have a tax every time anyone buys a computer.' However, the BBC told the committee that the currently low proportion of online viewing means the licence fee is a long way off from being under threat. 'The question of whether such viewing should result in a licence being levied on devices other than TV sets is a matter for the government,' said the corporation. 'Given that only 0.3 per cent of people consume TV only via the Internet in a week, and across a year that number is virtually zero, we think it unlikely that online and mobile television viewing is a significant threat to the licence fee at present.'

Davina McCall has stated that she does not plan on presenting any new series of Big Brother if the long-running reality show returns on either Five or Sky. According to The Press Association, McCall said: 'It would be very difficult for me to step back in time. I spent a year saying goodbye and I feel like I've emotionally said goodbye.' The presenter added that she plans on working to take her mind off the reality show, which would normally be taking place in the summer, with the Celebrity edition usually commencing in January. 'In January I'll be absolutely manic with Got To Dance. And as for May, we're going away for the whole of the summer holidays with the kids.'

Stargate producer Joseph Mallozzi has ruled out the possibility of producing a fourth series in the franchise. Writing on his official blog, he dismissed speculation that a new spin-off was being developed to replace the recently axed Stargate Universe. 'A new Stargate series isn't even being considered,' he claimed. 'There are no plans to create or move forward on a new series. We love the one we have now.' He added that the sets for SGU will remain standing while the possibility of a renewal is explored. 'All options are being considered at this point, but a third season would be ideal,' he said. 'We're investigating all possible avenues.' Mallozzi revealed confirmed that the show's cancellation had led to a Stargate Atlantis straight-to-DVD film being 'indefinitely' shelved.

In Thursday's Gruniad, critic Stuart Heritage names his five TV turkeys of the year. Not a bad selection, actually, although yer Keith Telly Topping personally felt that Stuart could've been far harsher on The Ludicrous Ms Dahl. But, this blogger feels compelled to quote, in full, his bit on the subject of Piers Morgan's Life Stories: 'It may have already been a year-old at the start of 2010, but that didn't make Piers Morgan's Life Stories any less painful to watch this time around. A chat show where all form of wit and insight was jettisoned in favour of a blisteringly concentrated effort to make the interviewee burst into tears at the earliest opportunity – which they obviously would, because being trapped in such an enclosed space with Morgan's braying spacehopper of a head will do that to you. Watching an entire episode was more an unnecessary test of endurance than anything else. The low point was the episode where Cheryl Cole cried for an hour to promote her new album. The highpoint was the knowledge that Piers has now upped sticks to CNN to see if he can make Afghan president Hamid Karzai weep as easily as, say, Ulrika Jonsson.' What he said, dear blog reader!

The new series of Shameless reportedly will feature a number of Doctor Who dream sequences, with Frank Gallagher imagining himself as The Doctor. The comedy will see Frank (David Threlfall) make-do with a grimy portaloo as his makeshift TARDIS, according to the Sun. It will also feature Frank's estranged wife Monica (Annabelle Apsion) as his assistant. The new series further sees Monica attempt to wrestle her husband and family back from librarian Libby Croker (Pauline McLynn).

Matt Smith has reportedly said that he would be happy for singer Florence Welch to appear in an episode of Doctor Who. According to Now magazine, Welch - who performs as Florence and the Machine - has told Smith that she would like to guest star on the show. Smith reportedly said: 'We'd have some fun and games - me and Karen [Gillan] are like naughty children as it is.' Asked if he would ever quit the show out of fear of being typecast, Smith said: 'Playing the Doctor hasn't prevented Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant from taking on other parts.' Expect the Daily Lies to suddenly produce some quotes from a - nameless, of course - BBC 'insider' when they run a story that Florence will be appearing in the next series of Doctor Who just like they did when Matt casually mentioned in an interview earlier in the year that he'd like to see Eric Cantona turn up in an episode. Go on, Daily Lies, I dare ya. I double dare ya!

Big Fat Cuddly Clare Balding has revealed that she is looking forward to working alongside Chris Evans on new Channel Four show Famous and Fearless. The duo will present the show, which sees celebrities compete in a variety of extreme sports to win money for their chosen charities, live from Liverpool's Echo Arena. 'It's a great concept and it will be very exciting,' Balding told the Mirror. 'I have done a lot of live TV in the past but I haven't done the big arena thing before.' She continued: 'Working with Chris will be mad too. We worked together when I used to do the sport on his Radio1 show and we all know how off-the-cuff he is.'

Holly Willoughby has said that she plans to wear clothing that covers her 'up to [the] neck' on the new series of Dancing On Ice. The presenter caused controversy in the past by wearing low-cut dresses that some viewers deemed inappropriate. And that others thought were really rather nice. However, when asked what she would be wearing when the show returns in the New Year, Willoughby vowed: 'Something baggy and up to my neck to cover myself up. A smock with a rollneck probably.' The twenty nine-year-old - five months pregnant with her second child - also told the Mirror that she is looking forward to reuniting with judge Emma Bunton, who is also expecting. 'Each week we can have a little update on how we're getting on,' Willoughby added.

Lawyers for Michael Jackson's estate have expressed their outrage at an upcoming Discovery Channel show, which will feature a re-enactment of the late star's autopsy. TMZ website reports that co-executors John Branca and John McClain have written to the network's president regarding the programme, which is due to be broadcast in the UK next month. The letter accuses the channel of 'shockingly bad taste motivated solely by your blind desire to exploit Michael's death, while cynically attempting to dupe the public into believing this show will have serious medical value.' In particular, a print advertisement, which shows a sheet-covered body wearing a rhinestone-jewelled glove, has prompted criticism. Although Branca and McClain have reportedly accepted that there is no legal precedent to stop the show, they are appealing that Discovery voluntarily withdraw the programme.

Coronation Street's Sally Webster is reportedly set to imitate Hilda Ogden in a plot to put off potential buyers for her home. Sally resorts to desperate measures when her estranged husband, Kevin, decides that he is selling their home. The Sun claims that Sally, played by Sally Dynevor, will be seen donning a hair scarf and rollers and pretending to be dating her scruffy neighbour Eddie Windass. 'These scenes will provide the comedy Corrie is famous for and make a great change from the tragic scenes concerning the tram crash,' an alleged 'insider' told the paper in that way that normal people don't. 'To see Sally in her normally pristine home surrounded by household rubbish, dressed like Hilda Ogden, draped round the unkempt Eddie and talking like a dirty-mouthed trollop will be absolutely fantastic.'

Joe McElderry has admitted that he will not be get drunk at any New Year's celebrations. Although, next year, once his next couple of singles have flopped, he's been dropped by his record label and he's back stacking shelves at Morrison's, it might be a different story.

Television doctor Chris Steele will not face possible prosecution over claims that he drove away from the scene of a road accident, it has been confirmed. Steele, the resident medic on ITV's This Morning, was accused of a number of driving offences following an incident in July in the Burnage area of Greater Manchester. He strongly denied all of the charges, which included allegations of failing to stop at the scene of an accident, failing to report the incident to police and driving without due care and attention. The doctor was initially scheduled to appear in front of Manchester magistrates next year, but the Crown Prosecution Service has now decided to drop all the charges against him after reviewing the evidence put forward by police. Alan Richardson, the CPS reviewing lawyer, said: 'With regards to the case involving Dr Steele, I have reviewed the file of evidence passed to me by Greater Manchester Police and have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. I have therefore decided to discontinue the case and I have notified Dr Steele in writing via his solicitor.' Discussing the CPS's decision, Steele told the Manchester Evening News: 'It's great news. The whole thing has been a real worry and I'm relieved the charges have been dropped.' Steele first appeared on daytime magazine programme This Morning more than twenty years ago, and has remained a regular contributor ever since.

US Sitcom producer Aron Abrams, whose credits include Everybody Hates Chris and Third Rock From The Sun, has been found dead in a hotel room. Police discovered the body of the fifty-year-old in the Fairmont Orchid hotel in Hawaii on Christmas morning. He had been on holiday with his wife, and police do not suspect foul play. A post-mortem will be conducted tomorrow. Abrams also wrote for the animated series King Of The Hill, on which he was a consulting producer, and worked as a producer on the family sitcom Grounded For Life.

A hunger strike threatened by Gwynfor Evans was a major factor in the decision to establish Welsh-language channel S4C, secret government papers have revealed. Evans, the former leader of Plaid Cymru, declared in 1980 that he would starve himself to death unless the government agreed to provide a dedicated TV channel for Welsh speakers. According to BBC News, newly-released minutes of cabinet meetings reveal that Margaret Thatcher's government was concerned about the MP's protest. The previously-unseen documents show that the then home secretary William Whitelaw felt that the creation of S4C would 'have the advantages of persuading Mr Gwynfor Evans, the leader of Plaid Cymru, to withdraw his threat to fast to death.' However, the then Secretary of State for Wales Nicholas Edwards was keen to outwardly stress that the change in government policy had been 'made in response not to violence but to moderate opinion following very wide consultations in Wales.' Before the 1979 general election, both the Conservative and Labour parties pledged to introduce a Welsh-language channel, but the Tories changed their position after securing power, instead arguing that content should be split between two existing channels. Following protests from Evans and others, Whitelaw announced on 17 September 1980 that the government would establish a single channel for Welsh speakers. The secret records - released for public viewing at the National Archives - reveal that Whitelaw warned of 'a difficult and emotionally-heightened atmosphere if Mr Gwynfor Evans the leader of Plaid Cymru, died or became seriously ill as a result of his proposed hunger strike in protest against the decision not to allocate a television channel exclusively to Welsh-language broadcasting.' However, even after the announcement was made the documents indicate that Whitelaw still maintained to his cabinet colleagues that 'the previous plans were preferable.'

Ricky Gervais has claimed that he is now in the 'privileged' position of 'being an artist.' Speaking to the Sun, the stand-up comedian - with far too high an opinion of himself, seemingly - compared his 'reputation and expertise' to that of 'a master craftsman.' He explained: 'For the first years of being famous I was scared of using the word "art" because I thought it was pretentious. But now I think it's my responsibility to consider myself an artist because that's why I'm doing it and it's being honest. I can't apologise for that.' Gervais continued: 'Art, TV, furniture making. Most tables are rubbish. But when you see a really brilliant table that the guy spent four years making and he was a master craftsman and it's lasted seven hyundred years, you want to cry.' Gervais concluded: 'It brings a lump to your throat, and yes, I want to bring a lump to your throat.' What a tool.

An Australian man claims to have spotted his missing wife on BBC1's Antiques Roadshow, almost thirty years after she mysteriously disappeared. Mother-of-two Lynette Dawson vanished from Sydney in 1982 and was presumed dead by authorities, despite her body never being found. Her ex-husband Chris Dawson now claims that a woman seen on an edition of Antiques Roadshow filmed in Padstow, Cornwall in 2006 was his former wife. Dawson, who has since remarried, saw the mysterious woman after a friend recorded the programme for him, reports the Cornish Guardian. In an e-mail to his daughter, Dawson said: 'The show was filmed in Padstow, Cornwall, in England, and the likeness to your mum is uncanny. It has given us a strong sense of hope that at last her whereabouts may be known.' However, Lynette's sister Patricia Jenkins does not believe that the woman is her sibling. She said: 'There is no way this is Lyn. Just the clothes tell me it's not her. She would never wear anything frilly or lacy. I have compared the jaw line and nose. Lyn came from a loving family and her disappearance left her adored daughters, who were two and four at the time, to grow up never knowing their mother or their mother's love.' Jenkins is calling on anyone in the Padstow area who may know the mystery woman to come forward with information. 'We want to put this desperate claim to rest. Any information would help. How long have you known her? Do you know her family?' she said. 'Does she have an Australian accent? All this would be such a help to us. Everyone in the family believes she is dead, it's just a horrible reality.'

Some sad news to end the year. Bobby Farrell's agent has said the frontman of seventies chart-toppers Boney M has died while on tour in Russia at the age of sixty one. John Seine said Bobby was found dead in his hotel room in St Petersburg by hotel staff after he failed to respond to a wake-up call. He said Farrell had performed as scheduled on Wednesday night, but complained of breathing problems before and after his show. Boney M, based in Germany, broke into the charts with a couple of classic slabs of Eurodisco 'Daddy Cool' and 'Sunny' in 1976 and then had a string of massive hits across Europe over the following three or four years including 'Ma Baker', 'Belfast', 'Rasputin', 'Rivers of Babylon' (and its b-side 'Brown Girl In The Ring') and 'Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday.' The brainchild of producer Frank Farian who was repsonsible for most of the vocals which Farrell subsequently sang when the group toured, the original Boney M disbanded in 1986. In 1978 Boney M became the first Western music group invited by a Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev, to perform in the Soviet Union. A Soviet military plane flew the performers from London to Moscow, where they sang for an audience of two thousand seven hundred Russians in Red Square (although they were, apparently, instructed not to sing 'Rasputin' under any circumstances). Born Roberto Alfonso Farrell in Aruba in the Netherland Antilles in October 1949, Bobby left Aruba at the age age fifteen to become a sailor. He lived in Norway and the Netherlands before moving to Germany in the early seventies. There, he worked mostly as a DJ until producer Farian spotted him - according to legend dancing in a nightclub - and thought Bobby was the ideal frontman for live performances for the new studio group that he was putting together. Ironically, Bobby died in St Petersburg on 29 December just as Grigori Rasputin - that infamous 'lover of the Russian queen' - did ninety four years earlier to the day. Bobby Farrell - there was a cat that really was gone. And now, sadly, he is.

Which brings us - for the final time in 2010 - to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day. And, I've been planning this one for a while, dear blog reader. After the success - well, three appreciative e-mails, anyway - of this slot's previous Motown Special yer Keith Telly Topping thought he'd give you a soultastic soundtrack for all that ringin' out of the old and ringin' in of the new. From Detroit to your heart, ladies and gentlemen, let's get this party started, Martha.Keepin' the groove steady, Eddie. Tired yet, dear blog reader? No. Thought not. Here's The Marvelettes. And, we can but follow that up with Levi and the boys doin' their moves. And a genuine twenty-four carat masterpiece.Then, we need Brenda to tell us what actually does become of the broken hearted with a song that's been covered by just about every band I've ever admired! (Well, The Clash and The Jam both did it, anyway!)Motown lovers will know, of course, that Carolyn Crawford was something of a one hit wonder. But, what a hit it was. Smokey at his finest. Still not flagging? Okay, have a bit of The Elgins. Righteous. As, indeed, is the next one. Tell 'em all about it, Diana.Course, there's also this daft idea that Motown didn't have any white artists on their various labels. Nonsense, they had plenty. Chris Clark, for one. Dorsey Burnette for another. Then there was Bruce Channel, The Underdogs, Wes Henderson of The Vancouvers, several members of the Funk Brothers and, of course, yer Keith Telly Topping's particular favourite R Dean Taylor. Right, well yer Keith Telly Topping could go on with this all night, frankly - I haven't got to 'Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)', or 'Nowhere To Run', or 'This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)', or 'Love is Like An Itching In My Heart' or 'Get Ready' or 'Mickey's Monkey' or any other of a couple of hundred others I could have chosen yet. But, it's nearly 2011 so let us conclude 2010 with a happy memory of little chap we sadly lost this year. Incidentally, he was ten when he record that! I hope to see you all in 2011, dear blog reader. Thanks for your continued support.