Friday, January 28, 2011

Where Did All Those Yesterdays Go?

Jeremy Clarkson has claimed that people on television are now in danger of being punished for their thoughts. His comments follow the recent controversy surrounding Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray, who were criticised for making sexist off-air comments about female assistant referee Sian Massey. Gray was fired, while Keys resigned. Speaking at Wednesday night's National Television Awards, Clarkson said: 'There's a saying from Monty Python - heresy by word, heresy by being and heresy by thought. I think we've arrived at the stage now where you actually can be busted for heresy by thought. That's a terrifying way to live. We try very hard not to be sexist but people think, "Women can't drive," or, "That bloke's a minger." You should be allowed to think what you think.' The fifty-year-old went on to say that he does not feel a greater need to include more women on Top Gear because of the recent debate. 'We don't feel under pressure,' he insisted. 'I just think, "We've got a guest and if it's a man it's a man and if it's a woman it's a woman."' Jezza also continued his war of words with CNN chat show host the vile and odious Piers Morgan. Clarkson, who famously punched full-of-his-own-importance Morgan, really hard in his smug mush, after an altercation at the British Press Awards in 2004, said that he is pleased the former tabloid editor - sacked in 2004 after publishing faked photographs of supposed abuse of prisoners by British soldiers - is working in the US because it means he is far away. 'I am utterly thrilled that Piers Morgan has a job that is three thousand miles from where I am,' he said. When asked if he would ever consider guesting on Morgan's chat show, the Top Gear presenter added: 'If CNN recorded in my back garden I would not go on it.'

Sacked football pundit Andy Gray plans to sue Sky Sports for three million pounds for unfair dismissal and breach of contract, it has been claimed. According to the Mirra, the ex-footballer was with his legal team on Wednesday discussing a possible lawsuit against his former employer after he was fired following off-air sexist comments that he made in discussion with presenter Richard Keys. It is claimed that Gray is seeking payment for the remainder of his contract, believed to be in the region of £1.7 million a year. Gray yesterday issued a statement through his lawyers Schillings, which read: 'I am very sorry that certain comments made by me have caused offence. Such comments were made off-air to work colleagues, and were of course never intended to be broadcast. I was very upset when the comments were brought to my attention, and it was my intention to apologise on Monday night when I was back on air for the Bolton v Chelsea game. Sadly I was unable to do so as I was suspended from the show by Sky Sports and have now been sacked. Football is my life and I am devastated by losing the job that I love. I am equally upset that third parties have been dragged into this issue.' A 'source' allegedly added: 'He feels very down and a little embarrassed about everything. Exactly how you'd feel if you had just been sacked from a job you loved. It doesn't feel like he got a second chance or was allowed to apologise.' Without wishing to prejudge the issue, and of course not being in a position to know exactly what the specific clauses of Mr Gray's contract with Sky were, it's difficult to see how he can possibly win this. Sky's dismissal was for gross and serious misconduct in the workplace, something which Gray has, himself, freely admittedly. And, he could hardly do anything else since he was recorded doing so on at least two occasions. His only defence appears to be that these comments were made off-air and 'not intended for broadcast.' Keys quit his job at Sky Sports on Wednesday for his own comments about female assistant referee Sian Massey, adding that 'going forward without Andy would have been almost impossible.'

To call it car crash radio hardly does it justice. Richard Keys' appearance on talkSPORT on Wednesday morning was like a multi-vehicle motorway pile-up with blazing oil tankers and nuclear waste trucks involved. But, the cars kept smashing into one another for a full hour. It was ironic that Keys should choose a channel whose slogan is 'For men who like to talk sport' to make his public mea culpa for crass, idiotic sexism. Hosts Paul Hawksbee and Andy Jacobs did a decent job, asking some fairly tough questions and pursuing Keys' 'dark forces' line with some tenacity. But ultimately all they had to do was continue to hand Keys rope as he spent sixty incredible minutes stringing his career up by the gonads. Keys wanted us to know how very, very, very sorry he was - in fact the word appears in the interview transcript twenty nine times. He wanted us to know he had got it wrong (thirty four times) and he apologised (twenty six times). But he also wanted us to know how shocked he was by the 'firestorm' of controversy, he wanted us to know that he was the innocent victim of 'dark forces', that 'with success comes envy.' He revealed that he had been stopped from making his apology public, that Karren Brady doesn't have an answer phone (very wise in these phone-hacking times it should be noted) and that he, Richard Keys, had played 'a major part' in launching the careers of a list of broadcasters that included Gaby Logan, Kelly Cates, Kirsty Gallacher, Claire Tomlinson, Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer. It was an object lesson in how to say sorry twenty nine times without ever seeming particularly contrite. And, as the Gruniad Morning Star's Richard Williams pointed out, it sadly demonstrates why agents and publicists are sometimes a necessary evil. Keys doesn't have an agent, and it showed. Nuts magazine, meanwhile, responded to Keys' so-called 'lads-mag defence' with an argument that, frankly, shows the kind of wit the disgraced former Sky Sports presenter and his guffawing cohort Gray could never hope to emulate. A day after Keys claimed that sexist comments he and Gray made off-air were merely 'lads' mag banter,' Nuts distanced itself from the former front man by expertly picking apart the holes in his apology. Pointing to a YouTube clip - one of two posted involving the TV men - which showed Keys denigrating a former girlfriend of co-presenter Jamie Redknapp, Nuts editor-at-large Pete Cashmore made it clear that Nuts would 'never speak of "smashing" a woman or referring to her as an "it," and welcomes the presence of our sisters on the sidelines of our nation’s football matches.' Rite on, brother. With Keys having resigned following a destructive five days which began when a transcript was leaked of a conversation between the presenters during Saturday's game at Molineux, Cashmore went on to gleefully suggest that Keys might like to 'spend his newly-acquired free time gaining an understanding of what does constitute lads' mag humour. As the leaders in the sphere known by many as "lads' mags," we at Nuts magazine would like to condemn, in no uncertain terms, Richard Keys' comments that his recently-leaked behaviour constitutes examples of "lads' mag humour,"' Cashmore said. 'Quite why Mr Keys thinks this way is unclear to us. At Nuts, we do not seek to insult or denigrate women. Instead, we believe that we celebrate them, their beauty, wit and intelligence. If there is a target of ridicule in Nuts, it is ourselves and our manifest lack of the aforementioned qualities. We can only assume that, if Mr Keys seeks to in any way equate his own attitudes with our own, then he must not be a Nuts reader. On the evidence of the last few days, we're quite happy that this is the case.'

Gary Lineker, meanwhile, is rumoured to have been mooted by the Sky Sports top brass as the top target to replace Richard Keys. But there understood to be little or no chance whatsoever of Lineker breaking his two million pounds-a-year contract at the BBC until after the London Olympics, in which he is due to play a central role. Far more likely is that former GMTV presenter Ben Shephard is promoted to the top anchor role, especially as Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis brought him to Isleworth in the first place as a potential long-term successor to Keys.

The acting head of the Metropolitan Police is likely to face questions later about the investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World. Acting commissioner Tim Godwin appeared before the Metropolitan Police Authority on Thursday morning. This came a day after the force said it was launching a fresh investigation after receiving 'significant new information.' There has been much criticism of Scotland Yard's handling of the case from many over those involved in the saga over the last five years. Meanwhile, the BBC claims to have seen documents which suggest hacking may have still been going on as late as last year. A number of public figures have launched civil legal actions against both the News of the World and the police amid allegations the practice of phone hacking was widespread. Scotland Yard's decision to reopen the hacking investigation follows a NoW internal inquiry that led to the sacking of its head of news, Ian Edmondson, on Tuesday. Former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott repeated his call for a judicial review into the force's handling of the case. 'I can't trust them to carry out a proper inquiry and that's why I asked the courts for a judicial review on the Metropolitan Police and the way they've conducted investigations,' he told BBC's Newsnight. Alastair Campbell also criticised the police. 'Why was none of this done before, either by the newspaper group or by the police? Both of them, I think, still have a lot of things to answer,' he said. 'I'm very pro-police. I don't like sitting here attacking the police, but their investigation so far has been absolutely woeful, and it's absolutely right another set of officers comes in and looks at this.' BBC business editor Robert Peston said that he had learned News International, which owns the paper, uncovered four e-mails clearly showing that Edmondson had full knowledge of illegal phone hacking. The details were then passed to police. The new documents seen by the BBC relate to the hacking of a phone owned by the interior designer Kelly Hoppen, allegedly by reporter Dan Evans, who was suspended from the paper last year. Both Hoppen and her stepdaughter, the actress Sienna Miller, are taking action against the newspaper. A NoW spokeswoman confirmed Edmondson's sacking, and said that the paper would take 'swift and decisive action when we have proof of wrongdoing.' Edmondson was suspended from active duties last month after he was identified in court documents as having instructed the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to access phone messages. Mulcaire was jailed for six months in January 2007 alongside the newspapers royal editor Clive Goodman, who was sentenced to four months, for hacking into the mobile phones of royal aides. At the time and ever since, News Corp have maintained that the actions of Mulcaire and Goodman were without sanction that that Goodman was merely one 'rogue' reporter. Over the last few weeks, that defence has begun to implode like a sack of wet cardboard. A 'source' at News International told the BBC: 'We have decided to root out and hunt down anyone connected with this practice. We are determined to end this.' The source insisted that no other newspaper executive, present or former, was implicated in the new evidence, but the BBC's home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds said this may not be the case. 'I've been told by two sources that Edmondson has evidence himself that might implicate other senior people at the News of the World, so clearly this has opened a whole can of worms,' he said. The new Met inquiry follows the resignation last week of Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman Andy Coulson, who said the media storm surrounding ongoing hacking claims had distracted him from his work. Coulson edited the News of the World from 2003 to 2007 and resigned following the convictions of Goodman and Mulcaire. However, he has always denied having any knowledge of hacking, and a 'source' close to him has told the BBC he is not implicated in any way by the new evidence which has come to light. How he knows that, the source did not elaborate. Both News International and reporter Dan Evans are defending the legal actions currently being taken against them.

Simon Cowell has said that there will be big news revealed about the US X Factor in 'two weeks time.' Cowell also insisted that no contracts have been signed for judges on either the British or American programmes. 'We are in the process of going through all the shows. I think there are going to be a few surprises. I genuinely do. I don't think there's one set way of doing it. I am in conversations with ITV and FOX,' he said backstage at the O2 following the National Television Awards. 'The most important thing is to make a commitment to the people who watch the shows and make sure they are better than last year's. We are going to make an announcement soon. We have to make sure all the shows will be back bigger, better, stronger, different. No-one has been contracted yet, apart from me.' Speaking about how he would prevent the show's format from growing tired, he added: 'I've got some ideas and I'm trying to make a show I'd like to watch. It has got to be different, full stop.'

More than seventy years after the BBC first began television broadcasts, the British love affair with the medium may have finally reached its peak according to a report. Viewers notched up an average of four hours and two minutes a day of live TV watching in 2010, an increase of eighteen minutes year on year, according to a report published this week by commercial TV marketing body Thinkbox. Viewers were also exposed to an average of forty six adverts per day, an increase of three per day compared with 2009. Thinkbox, which uses figures based on BARB ratings, said that a number of factors including the bad weather and the economic downturn, as well as new technology such as on-demand TV services, had fuelled a rise in overall viewing. Commercial TV recorded bumper viewing – thanks to hits such as ITV's The X Factor. Viewers watched an average of one hour and four minutes more commercial TV per week year on year in 2010. However, Thinkbox predicts that the four-hour-a-day mark 'might be the peak' amount of live TV people will watch, although the statistics do not take into account programming viewed on devices other than traditional TV sets. BARB does not measure viewing on devices such as mobile phones and tablet computers, but estimates that only one per cent of TV viewing happens in this way at the present time. This rises to two per cent among sixteen to twenty four-year-olds. According to BARB, the amount of timeshifted viewing, using digital personal video recorders such as Sky+ and Freeview+, increased from six per cent in 2009 to 7.6 per cent last year. 'Whatever technology is over the horizon we are confident that people's love of TV will remain,' said the Thinkbox chief executive, Tess Alps. 'Far from threatening TV viewing almost every new media development is boosting TV advertising's effectiveness.'

BBC1 will broadcast a new Saturday night game show called Don't Scare The Hare it has been announced. The series, which is hosted by Jason Bradbury, pits two teams of contestants against each other. However, the teams also have to avoid scaring a four foot animatronic robot Hare as they complete physical and mental challenges. Successful contestants can win fifteen grand. Miranda Hart has signed up to narrate the game show. BBC Entertainment's executive editor Alan Tyler said: 'Don't Scare The Hare cleverly captures the spirit and fun of interactive family video games that has been sweeping the nation. We're excited about bringing this experimental new format to early Saturday evenings on BBC1.'

Steve McFadden has revealed that he was shocked by the controversy the EastEnders baby swap storyline caused. The veteran actor, who plays Phil Mitchell, said that he couldn't get his 'head around' viewers who couldn't separate the show from real life. 'When they did that story, I was playing Captain Hook and guess what, Captain Hook got eaten by a crocodile. It's terrible!' he told the Digital Spy website. 'Take from that what you think. It's pretend! When my daughter and children used to see me do storylines about crack or alcohol it would be concerning that she was watching me doing this stuff. I would have to say to them, "We're just pretending." And kids get that. But sometimes adults don't seem to be able to get that. I find it hard to get my head around. We're just pretending. It's not a public information film.'

Bradley Whitford is to make a guest appearance on USA drama In Plain Sight. Entertainment Weekly reports that the actor will play a military officer summoned as a star witness in a trial involving a military contract company. Whitford previously played Josh Lyman on NBC's The West Wing and also starred in creator Aaron Sorkin's next project Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. He also played detective Dan Stark in recently-axed FOX series The Good Guys. His new role will see him reunited with former West Wing co-star Mary McCormack who played Kate Harper on the political drama from 2004 to 2006.

A man who died after a jousting re-enactment for a TV show was wearing an unsuitable helmet and had his shield set up wrongly, an inquest has heard. Paul Allen, fifty four, died after a splinter penetrated his eye socket and lodged in his brain as he was being filmed for Channel Four's Time Team programme. Allen, of Heyden in Cambridgeshire, died on 20 September 2007. The accident had happened a week earlier at Rockingham Castle in Northamptonshire. Allen had never jousted before despite practising with a lance and shield, the inquest at Kettering Magistrates' Court heard. He was hit by the splinter from a balsa wood tip designed to break on impact with the opponent's shield for safety reasons. The inquest heard it broke off as planned but a small piece of wood flew up through the eye-slit of his helmet. Allen was airlifted to hospital where he had an operation to remove the splinter but he died from cardio-respiratory failure and a severe penetrating brain injury, the inquest heard.

Digital channel Dave has commissioned a second series of its stand-up show One Night Stand. Another five episodes have been ordered, featuring Chris Addison, Dave Gorman, Mark Watson, Greg Davies and Jason Byrne. Each will return to theatres in or near their home town – Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Shrewsbury and Dublin respectively. The hour-long shows will also feature two support acts; while a fourth, newer comedian will take to the stage at each gig, but not appear on TV – only online. Series two, which airs from April, follows the success of last year's debut run featuring Ben Elton, Johnny Vegas, Sarah Millican and others. The shows averaged more than fifteen per cent higher audience than Dave's average viewing figures for the slots. UKTV's Jane Rogerson called the show 'a format that genuinely brings a fresh perspective to the busy world of stand-up,' adding: 'You can't bottle the energy, warmth and cracking comedy created when you put these big-name comedians in front of a home crowd.'

The government was accused of damaging Britain's reputation overseas as the BBC said cuts to the World Service mean it will lose at least thirty million listeners. Peter Horrocks, the BBC's global news director responsible for implementing the cuts, which will see six hundred and fifty jobs lost, said they risked damaging the World Service's reputation and the positive benefits it brought to Britain. People who listened to the World Service were likely to trade with Britain, Horrocks added. 'We made that case to ministers. We explained in great detail the impact of the decision,' he said. Politicians from all sides condemned the cutbacks and trade union officials said they would ballot for strike action if the job losses involved compulsory redundancies, while also criticising BBC management for not fighting harder to protect the World Service from government cuts. In the Commons, Billy-Fizz Hague, the foreign secretary, was forced to defend the government's decision to cut the World Service's budget after being condemned by Labour MPs. He blamed the BBC pension deficit and Foreign Office spending cuts required by the 'vast public deficit inherited from the previous government.' In other words 'it's everybody's fault but ours.' What a little cheapskate toerag. The BBC, let us remember, is being forced to implement the cuts after the World Service's funding from the Foreign Office was reduced by sixteen per cent in the government's comprehensive spending review in October. From 2014 the World Service is to be paid for from the licence fee, rather than by direct Foreign Office grant, and the BBC has said it intends to reverse some of the cuts from that point. Programmes to be axed from the World Service's main English language radio station include Something Understood, Europe Today, World Of Music, Letter From, and Crossing Continents. The English language service will have a new schedule focusing on news output, with four daily programmes including BBC World Today and BBC World Have Your Say and a new morning show for Africa. World Service radio broadcasts to western Europe, Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union, Turkey, India and China will be among the casualties as the BBC axes six hundred and fifty jobs and looks to save forty six million pounds a year, twnty per cent of the World Service's two hundred and fifty three million pounds annual budget. Foreign language broadcasting to Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, the Caribbean and Portuguese West Africa are also closing. Shortwave broadcasts in Hindi, Mandarin and Swahili will also cease. Horrocks, briefing staff about the cuts, described it as an 'enormous shift' for the World Service, with more than twenty five per cent of its employees facing losing their jobs and four hundred and eighty posts to go over the next twelve months. An estimated sixty eight jobs will go at the World Service's English-language service. Overseas, the brunt of the cuts will be borne by the Arabic and Russian services, with the latter set to lose forty five posts, about half of its staff. Horrocks told staff BBC management estimated that the cuts would result in the World Service losing more than thirty million listeners out of its global audience of one hundred and eighty million. 'Today is an extremely tough day for all of us but I assure you the World Service will get through this and continue to deliver brilliantly for our audiences. The task that we have is too important to fail,' he added.

Coronation Street actor Jack P Shepherd has insisted that his on-screen reaction to EastEnders' National Television Awards triumph should 'not be taken seriously.' On Wednesday night, Shepherd appeared to be annoyed after the Walford drama was named as the 'Most Popular Serial Drama' at the event. In fact, he gave a quite brilliant impression of that scene in Friends where Joey doesn't win the Soapie award. ITV's live broadcast of the ceremony showed the actor shaking his head and looking unhappy as the Albert Square cast stood up to collect their prize. However, speaking afterwards on ITV2's National Television Awards Party, the actor claimed that he was only being playful as he knew his reaction would be broadcast. He explained: 'That was just for the cameras. I knew they'd pan to Corrie eventually.' ITV's coverage of The National Television Awards, was watched by an overnight audience of six and a half million viewers. The ceremony averaged 6.5m for ITV between 7.30pm and 10pm, comfortably dominating prime time and with another one hundred and seventy thousand viewers watching in ITV+1. Good figures too, although still more than one million down on last year's NTAs which had a consolidated audience figure of 7.9m.

Being Human creator Toby Whithouse has admitted that the show is influenced by the cult 1998 drama Ultraviolet. The Channel Four serial, which focused on a paramilitary police unit fighting a secret war against vampires, starred Susannah Harker, Jack Davenport and Idris Elba and ran for six episodes. 'Ultraviolet was a brilliant piece of television and a massive influence on Being Human,' Whithouse told SFX. 'I would love to have written on that show. It was terrific, one of the most underrated shows of the last twenty years.' He argued that the show 'should have run for a dozen runs' but admitted that its continued existence 'probably would have put paid to Being Human. You could see its "family tree" of influences, yet it was totally original,' he insisted. 'I wish it had run and run and run.'

Christine Bleakley had her own Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on Thursday morning when the Daybreak host tried on a massive pink dress weighing around one-and-a-half stone. If you missed it, dear blog reader, then that's presumably because you're one of the vast majority of TV viewers who give Daybreak a miss each day. Good on ya. Bleakley collapsed into giggles after she was helped into the massive dress by mother and daughter team Norma and Emma Green from the Channel Four series about the over-the-top style on show at the weddings. She said: 'I've still got my jeans on just in case. Honestly, it feels about five or six stone, my hips have already got little cuts in them, isn't that incredible? So fair play, as we say in Ireland, to anyone who can wear a dress like this.' Christine, who is dating Chelsea and England footballer Frank Lampard, did not think he would be very impressed. She joked: 'My other half is currently running a mile, you know that?' As, indeed, are most of your former viewers, Christine.

Star Trek producer Brannon Braga has admitted that he regrets that an openly gay character was never featured in the series. Speaking to After Elton, Braga revealed that a decision was made not to portray homosexual roles on the Star Trek TV shows or movies in the late 1980s and 1990s. 'It was a shame. I'm talking about the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and there was a constant back-and-forth about, "Well, how do we portray the spectrum of sexuality?" There were people who felt very strongly that we should be showing casually, you know, just two guys together in the background in Ten Forward. At the time the decision was made not to do that and I think those same people would make a different decision now because I think, you know, that was 1989. I have no doubt that those same creative players wouldn't feel so hesitant to have been squeamish about a decision like that.' He continued: 'It was not a forward-thinking decision. Knowing the players involved, knowing the decision-makers, knowing it was that they felt reluctant about, you know, we're not saying "yes," we're not saying "no," we're not just not going to touch that right now.' Braga, who is now producing FOX's upcoming SF series Terra Nova, said that the show does not feature gay characters yet, but that could change. He explained: 'We are trying to build a society, you know, build a utopia really. I think we would like to portray an enlightened future. Even if it was a blighted future that we came from, in terms of the environment and the technology so that is something. I'm glad you bring it up because it's something we should be attending to.'

The BBC will be forced to axe some of its comedy hits because of budget cuts, a senior executive has admitted. Comedy commissioning controller Cheryl Taylor admits she already turns down 'great scripts and performers' because there aren't enough slots on air – and thinks the situation will get worst. The corporation has thirty three TV comedy series across its four channels, but using various scum politicians' favourite phrase of 'making some tough decisions,' Taylor says that some will have to go. In an interview with trade magazine Broadcast, she said: 'BBC2 in particular has had a gobsmacking year, but that leaves us with a problem - albeit a nice one. I'm looking at that list of hits from last year, thinking Which do you not give a second chance to?' We are in an enviable position in terms of plaudits, but an unenviable position of having to make some tough decisions.' Taylor said the first decisions on cuts would be made in the next fortnight.

P Diddy, who is - apparently - a rapper m'lud, has been confirmed to appear in an upcoming episode of Hawaii Five-O. The record mogul will portray NYPD detective Reggie Williams who comes to Honolulu in order to seek revenge against a man guilty of wronging his family, reports The Associated Press. The episode will also feature multiple songs by the artist, though it was not revealed which had been chosen.

The Home Secretary Theresa May has rebuked Tory MP Dominic Raab who accused feminists of 'obnoxious bigotry.' Well, he is a Tory MP, to be fair, it's a subject he's likely to be something of an expert upon. May, who is also minister for women and equality, said Raab was 'fuelling gender warfare' - to cheers from other MPs. Raab was asking May a Commons question about government plans to introduce shared maternity leave. He provoked a storm of protest in an article for Politics Home in which he said men were now the victims of 'flagrant discrimination.' Raab said men had a raw deal in the workplace, working longer and being at greater risk of losing their jobs. He told the BBC it was sexist to claim men had caused the recession and 'equality had to cut both ways.' Labour said the comments showed the Tories were out of touch and progress in equality was under threat. But the Esher MP was mercilessly slapped down by May when he raised the issue of maternity leave at equality questions in the Commons on Thursday. He said: 'Making maternity leave transferable would help eliminate anti-male discrimination in the workplace and give couples greater choice about how they address work/life balance together.' May agreed that flexible parental leave would 'give families the choice to decide which parent wishes to stay at home to look after the child in the early stages, beyond a period which will be restricted for the mother only.' She said it would also mean that 'in future the employer will not know whether it's the male or the female who is in front of him for employment who will be taking time off to look after a baby. I think that's an important step in dealing with discrimination,' the Conservative minister told MPs. 'We should be trying to get away from gender warfare and the politics of difference - but I might suggest to him labelling feminists as obnoxious bigots is not the way forward to do that.' May said the coalition would shortly be launching a consultation on its proposed legislation to promote 'shared parenting.'

Today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day is a disco classic with a real touch of soul. In more ways that one. Especially the lyrics and the moment when, in the middle of the second verse, it turns from a song of celebration into one of regret.