Sunday, April 03, 2011

Mettez Votre Pantalon Sur Vous Sont En État D'Arrestation

BBC4 look to have another winner on their hands in the shape of the superb French crime drama series Spiral the third series of which they're currently showing on Saturday nights. Police captain Laure Berthaud (the excellent Caroline Proust) seizes the opportunity to redeem her tarnished reputation with her colleagues when the mutilated body of a young woman is discovered, and immediately launches a search with her squad for the sadistic killer. Meanwhile, Judge Roban (Philippe Duclos) is investigating the case of a young boy bitten by a dog at a village Carnival which turns out to have far broader, and more political, implications then anyone could imagine. Whilst, at the same time, dealing with a family crisis when his ageing mother has a stroke. The series, which also stars Grégory Fitoussi, Thierry Godard, Fred Bianconi and Audrey Fleurot, began in France in late 2005 under the title Engrenages (the literal translation of which is 'cogs' or 'gears', but which also has slang connotations in the sense of figurative spirals, for example, into violence). Based around the investigations of Berthaud, the drama focuses on the grisliness of forensic, Twenty First Century police work (the subtitle of this series is The Butcher Of La Villete), but also reveals the bigger picture, and some disquieting underlying human truths. We meet flawed co-workers ('I have cocaine and hookers,' says Laure's loyal colleague Gilou, 'you have your blunders...') and honest, decent judges whose obsession with upholding the law has distanced them from relationships with actual people by both necessity and choice. There is corruption and dirty dealing and characters whose love for the law has been poisoned by office back-stabbing. It's made by Son et lumière for Canal + and the three series so have have gained large audiences in France as well as being sold to several other countries, including Italy, Japan and Australia. Spiral was first shown in the UK on BBC4 during the summer of 2006. It was the channel's first French-language drama series, attracting a modest but loyal audience (of around two hundred thousand per episode) and firm critical approval - including the appreciation of this blogger. If you've never seen it before, it's sort of a French version of something like Waking The Dead or The Killing but a splash of CSI and Law & Order and maybe some of the aesthetics of The Wire thrown in. All given a sexy twist of Gaelic flair to offset the gritty realism of the piece. David Ginola singing for Newcastle - that kind of thing. It's very well-made, beautifully acted, involving and complex, superbly characterised and damn tough (the current series - first shown in France in 2010 - involves a serial kidnapper and sexual murderer for example, so it's clearly not for the faint-hearted). Yes, it is a French production with English subtitles so, if you've got an intellectual block when it comes to anything not in English (or, anything that you have to use a bit of concentration to fellow) then you might struggle. But, trust me, if you like a bit of rough, gritty, though-provoking crime drama with a political dimension, some good action scenes and plenty of blood and snots, you'll get a lot out of Spiral. Apparently three further series of the drama have recently been ordered. BBC4 are currently showing a double bill of episodes on Saturday (it's a twelve-part series) with repeats in the wee small hours of Thursday morning (midnight till two). And, if you find yourselves hooked, dear blog reader, you can pick up the first two series on DVD for sixteen quid. If nothing else, quite apart from the quality of the drama, it'll improve your franglais. And, maybe convince you un peu, that la plume de ma tante est sur le bureau de mon oncle really is a euphemism for something. Et maintenant, c'était Keith Telly Topping avec ses bouts supérieurs de télévision si vous plait, ça va?

By the way, I don't know if I've ever mention this before, dear blog reader, but here's some Keith Telly Topping's Top Linguistic Tips. Should you ever happen to find yourself dans Paris - and hey, why not, it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world - and you don't speak much of the lingo, don't worry.There are, quite literally, but three phrases which are all you need to get by in France. 'Bonjour, je suis anglais. Parlez-vous anglais?' Or, 'Mademoiselle. Pardon, oú est mon steack-frites? Encore bière, Vite! Vite!' Or, 'Je suis très désolé j'ai la diarrhée.' One of those three should cover just about every eventuality you're likely to encounter. Although, to be fair 'Fichez-moi la paix! Allez-vous-en, sinon j'appelle un agent. Je ne veux pas le sexe pour l'argent,' might also come in handy if you find yourself in the Latin Quarter. Depending on why you're in Paris, I suppose.

To more mundane, British matters now and claims that X Factor 'bosses' are planning to axe Dannii Minogue and Louis Walsh from the show. Not with a literal axe, of course. Because that would be messy. And, possibly, illegal. The pair, who were previously reported to have been told that they would need to reapply for their jobs, will allegedly 'get the boot' to make way for a brand new judging panel. This is all according to the News of the World, of course so it might be true or it might not be. I suppose only those who've checked the messages left on their mobile phones recently will know that. Or, indeed, otherwise. The paper also claims that Cheryl Cole will not judge the singing competition this year in the UK and nor will Simon Cowell - despite recent reports suggesting the opposite. Lily Allen, Sharon Osbourne, Michael Buble, Lionel Richie and Ronan Keating are all said to be 'in the running' to join the programme, while the Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow maye serve as guest judges. However, ITV 'execs' are reportedly worried about the producers making such radical changes. 'If Simon and the other show bosses get their way this will be the most dramatic shake-up in X Factor history,' a 'source' allegedly told the newspaper. 'The producers are very excited by the idea of the show being entirely fresh. There is a view that Louis and Dannii are a bit tired and have offered all they can, especially Louis. But they'll be shocked to hear they may not be wanted. ITV is already taking a massive gamble by going ahead without Simon or Cheryl. Dispensing of Dannii and Louis would be madness. Viewers love Dannii especially. Simon has never understood how popular she is. It's important she is there, and for viewers to have a sense of familiarity.' Seperate reports over the weekend had suggested that Cowell would apparently make 'occasional appearances' on the show, both via satellite and in person, and would be on the panel for the final.

Several tabloids (and a couple of rather gleeful broadsheets) allege that Jeremy Clarkson has been cheating on his wife with a work colleague. The Top Gear host, who has been married to wife and manager Frances for eighteen years, has - allegedly - been having the affair while on the show's international tour in the likes of Australia, South Africa and Norway. According to the Sunday Mirra, which broke the story, Clarkson's relationship with the unnamed worker has 'become common knowledge' to many of the crew working on the Top Gear tour. Last month, they claim, the unnamed woman flew to Australia where she joined Clarkson at the Palazzo Versace hotel near Brisbane - known for its use in ITV's I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here. On 6 March, the newspaper continues, alongside other crew members, the pair jetted to Hamilton Island - a luxury resort on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef - where they stayed in a villa and took a helicopter to a beach. They then returned to Melbourne for the remaining Australian shows. The couple subsequently travelled to Johannesburg and Clarkson was 'spotted feeding the woman lettuce' at the Hotel Palazzo pool. Are we sure this wasn't just his pet rabbit and somebody's put two and two together and got five? That night, they reportedly returned to his hotel room separately. Finally, while staying at Oslo's Grand Hotel last week, the newspaper claims that the the pair 'enjoyed a drink on the rooftop bar and were seen kissing, before returning to his hotel suite where they spent the night together.' Former recruitment consultant Frances is credited as being the brains behind 'Brand Clarkson,' helping her husband to craft his carefully-honed image as a maverick outspoken right-wing libertarian eccentric who is also a devoted husband and father. Over the last twenty years Frances has worked side by side with Clarkson to transform him from a then virtually unknown motoring writer into a multi-millionaire international celebrity, best selling author and TV personality. Talking about his wife's role, Clarkson has said: 'What we've done, we've achieved together. We're very much a team. I certainly wouldn't do this on my own.'

And, on the subject of Jezza, the Independent's Paul Valley has written an egghead think piece about why Mr Clarkson is a danger to the nation. It's the usual hippy-Communist lice tripe but it did include one intriguing paragraph: '"I don't believe what I write," he once said to Alastair Campbell, "any more than you believe what you say." He has different faces for different audiences: the reactionary buffoon in his Sun column, the funny gin-and-Jagster on Top Gear, the droll raconteur on Qi. His failing is that, as the years pass, he has become a caricature of himself. None of this would matter were it not for the fact that some people mistake the cartoon for an archetype and take him at his word.' This is probably true. Some sad deluded people also probably mistake half-arsed bollocks like this to be intellectually stimulating critique as well. I pity them, personally. But, a tip Paul. None of us can control what people think of us. That's why Top Gear gets watched by about twenty times as many people each week as read the Independent. We are all just simple recidivists.

Ben Drew has been cast in Vertigo Films' upcoming remake of The project, to be directed by Nick Love, will see Drew play George Carter alongside Ray Winstone's Jack Reagan. The Sweeney. Based on the popular 1970s ITV police drama starring John Thaw and Dennis Waterman, The Sweeney centres on detectives in the London Flying Squad. Love and Trainspotting writer John Hodge's script brings the action into the present day. Love said of Drew's casting: 'I'm very excited about Ben playing Carter - he brings an intelligence and sensitivity that is crucial for The Sweeney. Ben is also one of the most promising and multi-talented young performers around. For me, Ray and Ben are the ultimate casting for a character driven action thriller set in London today.' Drew admitted that winning the part is 'a dream come true' as Winstone is one of his 'favourite British actors of all time.' Winstone himself added: 'I can't wait to work with Nick Love on The Sweeney, it was an inspired casting to have Ben Drew as George Carter, I'm a huge fan of his.' And, then he told the interviewer to 'Shut It!'

BBC bosses are reportedly hoping to sign up Chris Tarrant for the next edition of Strictly Come Dancing. According to the Sun, so this is almost certainly lies, the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host has topped a contestant 'wish list' drawn up by show producers ahead of the forthcoming ninth series. A 'source' allegedly argued that the sixty four-year-old would be 'absolutely fabulous' in the ballroom contest, adding: 'He loves a laugh but he's full of opinions. He's top of the wish list and he's keen. Bosses want pretty actresses like last year's champion Kara Tointon, but it's characters like Chris who really make it.' Winter Olympics veteran Chemmy Alcott, who is 'a close friend' of Strictly professional Brendan Cole, is also said to be 'on the verge' of securing a spot on the show, despite having broken a leg in a December skiing accident. Tarrant's ex-wife Ingrid has appeared on a number of reality shows, including last year's Celebrity Coach Trip, since the breakdown of their marriage in 2008.

Actor Charlie Sheen was reportedly booed off stage by fans on the first night of his Violent Torpedo Of Truth: Defeat Is Not An Option one-man show in Detroit. The former Two And A Half Men star had initially been greeted with rapturous applause, but fans reportedly began to walk out within fifteen minutes of the show beginning. Sheen had promised to tell 'the real story,' but critics said he instead gave 'a series of nonsensical rants.' The show ended after an hour when Sheen failed to return after a musical break. Entertainment Weekly described the show as 'an unmitigated disaster. The padded and disjointed show was a hodgepodge of video clips and Sheen-isms that felt hastily assembled and misjudged the patience of even the hardest of hardcore fans,' it said. The Hollywood Reporter was even harsher: 'Call it "tiger blood" or "Adonis DNA" if you will. Just don't call it entertainment.' Ouch.Sheen opened with a monologue saying: 'I am finally here to identify and train the Vatican assassin locked inside each and every one of you.' After talking about his 'napalm dripping brain' and describing himself as 'a giant and leaky bag of mayhem,' he added: 'Is anybody else as confused by this as I am?' He also showed film clips including one he wrote, produced and directed entitled RPG, but it was abruptly halted after booing from the audience. The forty five-year-old responded to one heckle by saying: 'I already got your money, dude.' Quality put-down! He later told the crowd the show was 'an experiment' adding: 'You paid your hard-earned money without knowing what this show was about,' he said. Fans walked out chanting 'Refund!' and were quick to express their disappointment outside. 'I was hoping for something. I didn't think it would be this bad,' said Linda Fugate from Detroit, who said she paid one ghundred and fifty dollars for two tickets. Mug job! 'I expected him to at least entertain a little bit. It was just a bunch of ranting,' said Rodney Gagnon, who travelled from Ontario for the show. Even bigger mug job! Others blamed the audience for the show's failure: 'I thought it was good. It was what I expected,' Lori Caputo of Battle Creek told USA Today. 'I was disappointed in everybody booing.' The Detroit performance was the first of twenty two sold-out planned shows in twenty US and Canadian cities. Sheen's publicist Larry Solters declined to comment after the show. Sheen was fired from the hit sitcom Two and A Half Men last month amid a frenzy of US media reports on his controversial personal life and threats of litigation. Meanwhile, former president Martin Sheen has spoken to the BBC about 'the roller coaster ride' his family have experienced in trying to support his son. 'Charlie is dealing with the most profound problems and addiction - there's no secret, his behaviour has been an example of that,' Martin told Kirsty Young on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. 'So if he had cancer, how would we deal with him? Well, he has another disease and it's equally as dangerous as cancer. And so we lift him up, we pray for him and be present [for] him and try to lead him as much as we can. But he's an adult and he needs a lot of help on a lot of different levels,' added the ex West Wing star. The seventy-year-old, whose film roles have included the greatest film ever made, Apocalypse Now and Badlands, continued: 'You know, he's been out there on his own for a very long time and as a family, well, you never get used to it. It's a rollercoaster ride that's been going on for some time. So we deal with it, every day.'

Speaking of which, if you want to check out former president Martin's appearance, on the long running radio show, it's available on iPlayer for the next week. For those overseas readers who may not be familiar with Desert Island Discs, look it up, you'll soon get the idea. It's a really great interview covering The West Wing, Martin's own addiction problems and his brush with death when making Apocalypse Now, religon, political activism, his relationships with Charlie, Emilio and his other children and many other subjects. The actor, for instance, tells Kirsty Young about the impact of the heart attack that struck him in March 1977 'out of the blue' while filming Apocalypse Now in the Phillipines, and prompted a big change in his own lifestyle and attitudes. Sheen stopped drinking and became a pacifist, he says, as a result of the experience and after reading Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, selected as his desert island book. His subsequent journey back to the Catholic faith, he added, was guided by the memory of his mother who had died suddenly when he was eleven. 'I have always felt her presence. Sometimes I even see her in other people. It is fleeting, mind you.' Martin's political activism, which has seen him arrested sixty seven times over the years, have caused him problems in Hollywood, he admits, but he has no regrets. 'I cannot not do it and be myself,' he said. Sheen also pays warm tributes to his wife of nearly fifty years, Janet, and his other famous son, Emilio Estevez, who directs him in a new film, The Way. 'When he was born I thought, "Here is the guy I have been waiting for all my life." He is a companion, a big brother almost. And that is the way it has always been.' With his fiftieth wedding anniversary due to be marked in December this year, the actor declined to explain the secret of a good marriage, but told Young that his wife is 'the most remarkable human being I have ever known,' adding that 'honestly, I still don't have a clue who she is.' His choice of music is pretty revealing too. Martin, for examples, chooses two songs by his friend and neighbour Bob Dylan: 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' and 'Subterranean Homesick Blues.'

A new television series describing the exploits of metal-detecting Britons has come under fire from archaeologists fearful that it will encourage treasure hunters who can damage ancient sites. The British Museum has become embroiled in the controversy after opening its archives to the programme-makers and providing expert help. Diana Friendship-Taylor, the chair of Rescue, otherwise known as the British Archaeological Trust, said: 'We are, frankly, astonished, that the British Museum is prepared to lend its considerable weight to the furtherance of a method of historical inquiry which belongs in the distant past, and which has as much relevance to the practice of modern archaeology as the use of the cranial trepanation has to modern medicine. The apparent endorsement of this destructive activity by a body such as the British Museum will do nothing to lessen its impact on our buried archaeological heritage.' She warned that the series would encourage more people to buy the equipment and go out in search of 'buried treasure.' Mind you, these are also the same sort of people who seem to object to the success of Time team because it lets the general public into a world of arcane and esoteric knowledge which, they appear to believe, should belong solely to the select few with letters after there name. While metal-detector enthusiasts have unearthed some of Britain's most valuable historical discoveries, their actions can create 'collateral damage' to the sites which they plunder, preventing 'serious archaeologists' from studying artefacts in-situ, according to Rescue. Of course, there is merit in this argument, as Time Team themselves are always mentioning, context is key. Much can be learned from the context in which an artefact is found. Britain's Secret Treasures, a series which is reportedly being developed by ITV, sets out to 'tell the stories of people who have struck gold,' such as Terry Herbert. He stumbled upon the Staffordshire hoard – the largest and most valuable collection of Saxon gold ever found. More than fifteen hundred items items of treasure dating from the seventh or eighth century were found buried in a Staffordshire field. Herbert ended up sharing three million smackers with the landowner when the hoard was bought by two West Midlands museums. The British Museum have dismissed the concerns about the TV series. 'The museum has made it clear that its co-operation is dependent on the issues involved in the discovery of objects by the public – especially metal detectorists – being dealt with in a responsible way,' it said. Rescue also questioned the effectiveness of the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme, which relies upon people reporting what they find. Rescue claims it does little to stop artefacts vanishing into private collections or being sold on the Internet. The controversy comes just weeks after heritage chiefs launched a national crackdown on heritage thieves. Illegal metal detecting, known as 'night hawking,' is certainly a growing problem. A 2009 survey found that more than a third of sites attacked by night hawkers between 1995 and 2008 were categorised as 'of national importance.' These are, in theory, legally protected.

Still on the subject of Time Team, Sunday's episode featured the mystery of the moat at Llancaiach Fawr manor house and was one that had the archaeologists scratching their heads is puzzlement. When a car park was constructed at the site of this Fourteenth Century Grade 1 listed manor house the work uncovered a moat. Or what they thought was a moat, anyway. That was, after all, to be expected at a medieval manor site. There was a slight problem, however. The moat ran in the wrong direction, away from the standing manor into a field to the west. So what could the feature possibly be? A Roman fort? A royal court? A chapel? A cattle enclosure? Tony Robinson earnestly told the audience that he hoped it wasn't the latter. The first trench went in over the - alleged - moat feature first mapped by the Royal Commission in the 1970s. An earlier dig in this area had discovered what could be stone walls. Phil was convinced that the team needed to think big, so the trench was a whopper. As the trench progressed it began to reveal what appeared to be lines of stonework but all in pretty poor condition. Perhaps geophys could help? Nope - poor old put-upon John Gater (looking far more forlorn than usual, which really is saying something) and his team got cracking over a wide area around the trench. And found nothing. The site director, Ben Robinson, was puzzled but didn't think the geophys was quite as discouraging as it first appeared. One feature did stand out - a large ditch-like feature running around the field. Ben was convinced this could be a boundary ditch, perhaps to an earlier settlement. With no sign of an earlier manor house in the field the team turned their attention to the rest of the landscape around the standing building. Stewart Ainsworth, now in his element, had been examining old maps of the area and discovered what appeared to be the evidence of an earlier settlement to the south of the manor. Back in the moat field further trenches investigating the boundary ditch eventually came up trumps - but not quite with what they expected. Phil was joyous when Bronze Age pottery began appearing. Settlement activity this old is very rare in Wales (indeed, one local digger said that he's never dug up an Bronze Age pottery in the area in fifty years of excavating) and suggested that humans had lived on, or near the site for thousands of years. Not quite what the twam had come to Llancaiach Fawr to find, but a great discovery nonetheless. Time Team in a nuthsell. As Mick Aston always says, one of the main reasons for the show's popularity is that its audience understands that it's not, necessarily, what they discover that is important, but rather the processes they go through to find whatever they find. Nowhere else in the world would a TV format like Time Team work. In an age of a generation with a seven second attention span, we need more TV shows that encourage us to think.

Sepp Blatter will this week meet the new Football Association chairman, David Bernstein, to try and secure England's vote for the FIFA presidency. Ironic, you may think, considering how reluctant he was to give England anything the last time FIFA were voting on something. Which, as it happens, is interesting. Because, his visit has come at the worst time in terms of his allegedly efforts to clean up the game. This weekend, fresh claims emerged over the controversial FIFA vice-president the vile and odious Warner's alleged involvement in a World Cup ticket scandal. You may remember that just before the World Cup bid for 2018 took place, in December, the BBC's Panorama programme in an episode about various alleged dodgy dealings within FIFA had claim that the vile and odious Warner was involved in the resale of World Cup tickets to touts as recently as the summer of 2010. The programme brought howls on indignation from England 2018 bid team and from the prime minister who would subsequently attempt to blame the failure of the bid on the programme. And, after the vote, in which Russia was awarded the hosting rights to the tournament, the vile and odious Warner took apparent pleasure in stating that the British media's less than servile and fawning attitude to FIFA was why the rest of the world would never vote for and England-hosted tournament. Well, perhaps now Panorama and the Sunday Times and all of the other parts of the British media which claimed the FIFA was a bent as a David Beckham free-kick might be vindicated. The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet says it has proof that Warner, whose support is key to Blatter's hopes of re-election, attempted to sell tickets on the black market, in direct contravention of FIFA rules. The paper, which has long been investigating Warner's activities, quoted a black-market ticket dealer as saying a deal was set up with Warner to provide tickets for South Africa. According to the paper, the Caribbean Football Union ordered tickets for several matches including the final. Dagbladet said it was in possession of the receipt for that order and claimed Warner's cut was sixty per cent, even though the deal eventually broke down. Essentially exactly the same claims which were made by Andrew Jennings in the Panorama programmes but, with additional, alleged, documentary evidence. The revelations will heap pressure on Blatter as he bids for a fourth term of office. Warner was publicly reprimanded by FIFA over a 2006 World Cup ticketing scandal involving his family but nevertheless kept his place on the FIFA executive committee. These claims will renew calls for action against the controversial Trinidadian who is one of the most powerful men in the world game - and one of the least liked in many quarters, particularly Britian. (The Daily Scum Mail's Martin Samuels memorably described Warner as 'the duplicitous, odious FIFA vice-president who has been allowed to rule the world from Trinidad and Tobago.') Blatter, who is taking on Asia's Mohamed bin Hammam in a fight for world football's top job on 1 June, will discuss his manifesto with Bernstein in a lunchtime meeting at Wembley. Bernstein has made it an aim of his chairmanship to rebuild bridges with FIFA and distanced himself from reports that the FA are keen to back any Blatter opponent in one of those 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' type of alliances that always produce good results. As the Western world's support of and arming of Sadam Hussain during the Iran-Iraq war, of course, proves. A number of influential figures in the English game favour Bin Hammam, who must convince FIFA's two hundred and eight nations that it is time to unseat Blatter after thirteen years in charge, and to elect a ninth FFIFA president. Warner was recently returned for a sixth time as head of Concacaf and he will determine where the thirty seven votes of the region will go. The support of Warner and of UEFA dead that oily little twat Michel Platini is seen as vital to both presidential candidates. Both have spoken recently of the need to rid the game's governing body of corruption.

Showing all of the tact and diplomacy for which he is, rightly, famous Fulham chairman Mohammed Al Fayed has told fans that they can 'go to hell' if they do not appreciate a new Michael Jackson statue at Craven Cottage stadium. Al Fayed unveiled the statue on Sunday prior to the west London Premier League team's match against Blackpool which the Cottagers won 3-0. The statue was commissioned following Jackson's death in June 2009 and was due to be erected at Harrods before Al Fayed sold the Knightsbridge store. 'Why is it bizarre? Football fans love it,' he said after the unveiling having, presumably, taken a poll on the subject. Outside the stadium, Fulham fan Michael Tune said: 'We're a laughing stock. It has nothing to do with football.' Another Fulham fan, who wanted to remain anonymous (presumably because he's a Fulham fan), said: 'It makes the club look silly. I thought it was an April Fools joke.' But Al Fayed said: 'If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell. I don't want them to be fans.' That's a really good idea, mate, piss off your own supporters. That always works when a Chairman tries it. Doesn't it Mr Ashley? 'If they don't understand and don't believe in things I believe in they can go to Chelsea, they can go to anywhere else,' he added. Al Fayed's decision to relocate the statue of Jackson to Fulham's stadium is likely to divide opinion. The singer was a friend of Al Fayed's but his only known link to the football club is that he attended one game as a guest of the chairman, against Wigan Athletic in 1999. Where he gave a stunning rendition of 'come and have a go if you think you're hard enough' at half time. But Al Fayed said: 'People will queue to come and visit it from all over the UK and it is something that I and everybody else should be proud of.' What, and stick around to watch a game afterwards? I very much doubt it, pal. Kit Symons, who played in the match Jackson attended in 1999 and is now under-eighteens manager at the Cottagers said: 'It is great. The big thing is it is obviously something that the chairman feels very, very passionately about and he has decided to erect this statue and fair dos to him.' Reflecting on the time of Jackson's visit, he added: 'It was just happy times. The chairman obviously used to bring high profile people down the games. Tony Curtis was here a few weeks after and it was just fantastic times.' Central defender Brede Hangeland said the decision to erect the statue was backed by the club's players. He said: 'Some of our players are Michael Jackson fans, some aren't, and that's the same in the general population. His music has been on in the dressing room a couple of times. I'm sure we won when his music was played! We have the deepest respect for everything about the chairman. If he wants to do this then it is all good.' Perhaps inspired by the statue, Fulham beat Blackpool 3-0 in the match which followed the unveiling. It was a thriller. Oh, suit yourselves.

Today's Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day is all about the Orbital. Starting with the shimmering, elegiac Glasontbury-rockin' beast that is 'Chime'.
Followed, inevtiably, by the devil that's in the detail. I've always felt that Orbital made the greatest TV soundtrack music never to be used on TV soundtracks. Take the Portishead-guitar majesty of 'The Box', the soundtrack to every late 60s ITC series of the imagination. Of course, there's only one place to finish. In relative dimensions. Or, if you prefer, here's the 2010 Matt Smith remix, in all it's green-laser glory!