Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Don't Criticise It! Legalise it!

Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and their former editor at the News of the Scum Andy Coulson all face embarrassing new allegations of dishonesty, corruption, lies and cover-up after the publication of an 'explosive' letter written by the News of the Scum's disgraced royal correspondent, Clive Goodman. In the letter, which was written four years ago but published only on Tuesday of this week, Goodman claims that phone hacking was 'widely discussed' at editorial meetings at the paper until Coulson himself banned further references to it. He goes on to states that Coulson offered to let Goodman keep his job with the paper even if he was jailed if Goodman agreed not to implicate the paper in hacking when he came to court and that Goodman's own hacking activities were carried out with 'the full knowledge and support' of other senior journalists, whom he named in the letter. The claims are acutely troubling for the prime minister, David Cameron, who subsequently hired Coulson as his media adviser on the basis that he 'knew nothing' about phone hacking. And, they confront Rupert and James Murdoch with the humiliating prospect of being recalled to parliament to justify the evidence which they gave only last month in the aftermath of Goodman's allegations. In a separate letter, one of the Murdochs' own law firms claim that parts of that evidence were variously 'hard to credit,' 'self-serving' and 'inaccurate and misleading.' Goodman's claims also raise serious questions about Rupert Murdoch's close friend and adviser, Les Hinton, who was sent a copy of Goodman's letter but failed to pass it on to police and who then led a cast of senior Murdoch personnel in telling parliament on several occasions (and the public at every given opportunity) that they believed Coulson 'knew nothing' about the interception of the voicemail of public figures and that Goodman was the only journalist involved. That 'lone rogue reporter' defence was what News International stuck rigidly to for four years from 2007 right up until January of this year when they suddenly changed their tune. The letters from Goodman and from the London legal firm Harbottle & Lewis are among a cache of paperwork published by the Commons culture, media and sport select committee. One committee member, the Labour MP Tommy Watson (power to the people!), said Goodman's letter was 'absolutely devastating.' He added: 'Clive Goodman's letter is the most significant piece of evidence that has been revealed so far. It completely removes News International's defence. This is one of the largest cover-ups I have seen in my lifetime.' Having been recently reading Fred Emery's superb book on Watergate yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self can only paraphrase Senator Howard Baker's much parodied comment in 1973: 'What we need to know is what did Rupert Murdoch know and when did he stop knowing it?' Goodman's letter is dated 2 March 2007, soon after he was released from a four-month stretch in pokey at Her Majesty's Pleasure. And, since he got done for hacking the voicemails of her grandson and some of his friends, one imagines that pleasure was very pleasurable indeed. The letter was addressed to News International's director of human resources, Daniel Cloke and copied to Hinton, and registers Goodman's appeal against the decision of Hinton, the company's then chairman, to sack Goodman for 'gross misconduct' after he admitted intercepting the voicemail of three members of the royal household. Goodman lists five grounds for his appeal against his sacking. He argues that the decision is 'perverse' because, he claims, he acted 'with the full knowledge and support' of named senior journalists and that payments for the private investigator who assisted him, Glenn Mulcaire, were arranged by another senior journalist. The names of the journalists have been redacted from the published letter at the request of Scotland Yard, who are currently investigating the affair. Goodman then claims that 'other members of staff' at the News of the Scum were also hacking phones.
Crucially, he adds: 'This practice was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the editor.' Which, at that time, was Andy Coulson. Goodman reveals that the paper continued to consult him on stories even though they knew he was going to plead guilty to phone hacking and probably go to jail and that the paper's then lawyer, Tom Crone, knew all of the details of the case against him. In a particularly embarrassing allegation, Goodman adds: 'Tom Crone and the editor promised on many occasions that I could come back to a job at the newspaper if I did not implicate the paper or any of its staff in my mitigation plea. I did not, and I expect the paper to honour its promise to me.' In the event, Goodman lost his appeal. But the claim that the paper induced him to mislead the court is one which may cause further problems for News International. Two versions of his letter were provided to the committee. One which was supplied by Harbottle & Lewis has been redacted to remove the names of journalists, at the request of police. The other, which was supplied by News International itself, has been redacted even more to remove not only those names but also all references to hacking having been discussed in Coulson's editorial meetings and to Coulson's offer to keep Goodman on staff if he agreed not to implicate the paper. The company also faces a new claim that it misled parliament. In earlier evidence to the select committee, in answer to questions about whether it had bought Goodman's silence, it had said that Goodman was paid off with a period of notice plus compensation of 'no more than sixty thousand' notes. The new paperwork, however, reveals that Goodman was actually paid a full year's salary, worth just over ninety thousand smackers, plus a further one hundred and forty grand in 'compensation' as well as thirteen thousand wonga to cover his lawyer's bill. Watson said: 'It's hush money. I think they tried to buy his silence. Murdoch's executives have always denied this.' When Goodman's letter reached News International four years ago, it set off a chain reaction which now threatens severe embarrassment for Rupert and James Murdoch personally. The company resisted Goodman's appeal, and he requested disclosure of e-mails sent to and from six named senior journalists on the paper. The company allegedly collected two thousand five hundred e-mails and sent them to Harbottle & Lewis and asked the law firm to examine them. Harbottle & Lewis then produced a letter, which has previously been published by the select committee in a non-redacted form: 'I can confirm that we did not find anything in those e-mails which appeared to us to be reasonable evidence that Clive Goodman's illegal actions were known about and supported by both or either of Andy Coulson, the editor, and Neil Wallis, the deputy editor, and/or that Ian Edmondson, the news editor, and others were carrying out similar illegal procedures.' In their evidence to the select committee last month, the Murdochs presented this letter as 'evidence' that the company had been 'given a clean bill of health.' However, the Metropolitan police have since said that the e-mails contained clear evidence of 'alleged payments by corrupt journalists to corrupt police officers.' The former director of public prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, who examined a small sample of the e-mails, said that they contained evidence of indirect hacking, breaches of national security and other serious crimes and that it took him just five minutes of reading to work that out. In a lengthy reply, Harbottle & Lewis said that it was 'never asked' to investigate whether 'crimes generally' had been committed at the Scum of the World but had been instructed only to say whether the e-mails contained evidence that Goodman had hacked phones with 'the full knowledge and support' of the named senior journalists. The law firm revealed that the letter which it eventually sent was the result of 'a detailed negotiation' with News International's senior lawyer, Jon Chapman, and that it refused to include a line which he had suggested in the final draft of the letter which would have said that, having seen a copy of Goodman's letter of 2 March: 'We did not find anything that we consider to be directly relevant to the grounds of appeal put forward by him.' In a lengthy criticism of the Murdochs' evidence to the select committee last month, Harbottle & Lewis says that it finds it 'hard to credit' James Murdoch's repeated claims that News International 'rested on' its letter as part of their grounds for believing that Goodman was a 'rogue reporter.' It says News International's view of the law firm's role is 'self-serving' and that Rupert Murdoch's claim that it was hired 'to find out what the hell was going on' was both 'inaccurate and misleading,' although it does add that Murdoch senior may have been 'confused or misinformed' about its role in this matter. So, despite everything, they're clearly still terrified of the old man. Harbottle & Lewis writes: 'There was absolutely no question of the firm being asked to provide News International with a clean bill of health which it could deploy years later in wholly different contexts for wholly different purposes. The firm was not being asked to provide some sort of "good conduct certificate" which News International could show to parliament. Nor was it being given a general retainer, as Mr Rupert Murdoch asserted it was, "to find out what the hell was going on."' The law firm's challenge to the Murdochs' evidence follows an earlier claim made jointly by the Scum of the World's former editor and former lawyer that a different element of James Murdoch's evidence to the committee was 'mistaken.' He had told the committee that he had paid nearly a million quid to settle a legal action brought by Gordon Taylor of the Professional Footballers Association without knowing that Taylor's lawyers had obtained an e-mail from a junior reporter to the paper's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, containing thirty five transcripts of voicemail messages. Crone and the former editor, Colin Myler, last month challenged this claim. In letters published by the committee, the former Scum of the World lawyer repeats his position. He says this 'For Neville' e-mail was 'the sole reason' for settling Taylor's case. Crone adds that he took a copy of the e-mail with him to a meeting with James Murdoch in June 2008 when he explained the need to settle: 'I have no doubt that I informed Mr Murdoch of its existence, of what it was and where it came from.' Myler, in a separate letter also published on Tuesday, endorses Crone's account. Their evidence raises questions about James Murdoch's failure to tell the police or his shareholders about the evidence of crime contained in the e-mail. Tom Watson said that both Murdochs should be recalled to the committee to explain their evidence. Hinton, who resigned last month, may join them. Four days after Goodman sent his letter to News International, Hinton gave evidence to the select committee in which he made no reference to any of the allegations contained in the letter, but rather told MPs: 'I believe absolutely that Andy [Coulson] did not have knowledge of what was going on.' He added that he had carried out a full, rigorous internal inquiry and that he believed Goodman was 'the only person involved.' Culture committee chairman John Whittingdale said that the committee would be asking Myler, Crone and Jon Chapman, News International's former legal director, to give more evidence. Speaking to the BBC, he said: 'When we have all that information and answers to the questions, I think that it would be likely that we will want to speak to James Murdoch again.' Watson, the select committee MP who has pursued phone-hacking most vigorously and for longest, said that he now takes everything News International says 'with a pinch of salt.' He told ITV News: 'They've hired a lot of PR people to handle their media. And what is interesting is, the Clive Goodman letter which I think is devastating and suggests that not just Andy Coulson, but everyone on the editorial team of News of the World was aware of phone hacking, in the version the company gave the committee they blacked out those lines, so I don't think they are being as honest as they say.' On the subject of Goodman's claims, Watson added: 'Let me be clear, if what Goodman says is accurate, then it's very, very serious for Andy Coulson and Tom Crone the lawyer. If it's not accurate, the central question is why did Les Hinton, the chief executive of News International at the time, on receiving this letter not mention it to a Parliamentary inquiry that he gave evidence to only days afterwards and why did he not immediately call in the police? After all there had been an allegation of widespread criminality in the organisation in 2007 and he didn't want to clear it up? That contradicts what Rupert Murdoch told us which us he takes a "zero tolerance" policy to wrongdoing in News Corp.' The BBC's Robert Peston blogged on the 'savaging' that Harbottle & Lewis have given the Murdochs: 'News International and the Murdochs have said they relied on the advice of Harbottle & Lewis in their failure to investigate the full extent of alleged criminal behaviour at the News of the World till this year. But Harbottle says that for a fee of ten thousand pounds it provided "very narrow advice" in a letter on whether the News of the World's royal editor Clive Goodman ... could make credible allegations in an employment tribunal that phone hacking was widespread at the now closed Sunday tabloid. Harbottle says this letter was never supposed to be published or given to the Culture, Media and Sport - which happened in 2009-10 - to reinforce News International's claims (of the time) that it had identified and dealt with limited examples of wrongdoing at the News of the World.' Commenting on the evidence from the select committee, a News International spokesperson said: 'News Corporation's board has set up a management and standards committee, chaired by independent chairman Lord Grabiner, which is co-operating fully with the Metropolitan police and is facilitating their investigation into illegal voicemail interception at the News of the World and related issues. We recognise the seriousness of materials disclosed to the police and parliament and are committed to working in a constructive and open way with all the relevant authorities.'
The Gruniad - whom it must, regrettably, be noted have done a superb job at uncovering this scandal from day one when no other newspaper wanted to touch it with a bargepole - have put together a list of what various Murdoch executives have said since the Clive Goodman e-mail, which apparently shows that phone hacking was widespread, was sent. If the e-mail's claims are subsequently corroborated, the denial statements by the likes of Les Hinton, well-known Crystal Tipps-lookalike, sour-puss and grumpy-face Rebekah Brooks (see right), Andy Coulson and Colin Myler will be seen in a very new light.

Strictly Come Dancing has reportedly asked Holly Valance and John Prescott to appear on the show. Former Deputy Prime Minister Prescott has turned down the opportunity, according to the Sun, but ex-Neighbours star Valance is likely to be on the celebrity line-up. Although long-time readers may remember that in 2003 Valance - or someone close to her - was telling the Daily Lies that she was 'in discussions' to take over the title role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, something which the executive producer of the show later responded to with the question 'who's Holly Valance'? So, you know, it might be an idea to take pretty much anything Ms Valance or any of her representatives claim with a vat of salt. Valance, who had a brief and unsuccessful pop career, will be paired off with a 'hot pro,' claims the tabloid report. But then, as noted, another tabloid report claimed she was going to be Buffy so, you know, again with the vat of salt. The Australian actress is currently dating billionaire property developer Nick Candy. Nancy Dell'Olio, Jason Donavan, football pundit Robbie Savage and Big Fat Russell Grant are also rumoured to be hitting the dance floor when Strictly returns later this year. In Robbie Savage's case, hopefully, face first. And hard. Christ, that's a desperate bunch of Division Two nobodies to be taking on X Factor if ever there were some. ONE Show host Alex Jones is also alleged to have signed a one hundred and fifty thousand smackers deal to stay on the BBC magazine show and to appear on Strictly in the autumn. All of this coming just days after another alleged Daily Lies 'exclusive' in which an 'insider' had allegedly claimed that Jones was about to get the tin-tack due to 'poor ratings.' Allegedly. Do we detect a pattern emerging here? In so much as one can trust what one reads in the Daily Lies about as far as one can comfortably spit. Bless 'em, they try their best.

In marginally related news, Danny Baker revealed on his Saturday morning 5Live show that he had been asked to take part in the next series of Dancing on Ice. He confirmed that he'd, graciously, turned them down but seemed utterly delighted that he was still thought of as enough of a 'celebrity' to be asked in the first place! 'It takes something special to make your eyes pop out on stalks when you get something in your in-box when they say "do you fancy doing this." yesterday I received an offer from ITV, do I want to be on the next series of Dancing on Ice! The idea of me on Dancing on Ice cheered me up no end! I still have worth! I still have currency! The good people who make Dancing on Ice thought "I know who'd be great on this series ..." It's not going to happen but I appreciate it more than they know.' Danny's co-presenter, Lynsey Hipgrave, noted that a professional skater had probably just breathed a sigh of relief!

Watching too much television could 'shorten your life,' a study - by 'some people or other' - suggests. Research carried out in Australia, and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that every hour of TV watched after the age of twenty five may shorten lifespan by twenty two minutes. How they work that out, I haven't got a bollocking clue but it sounds like another load of old nanny-state crap to yer actual Keith Telly Topping. According to one of the report's authors, Dr Lennert Veerman, from the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland, it puts long hours spent in front of the box 'in the same ballpark as smoking and obesity. While smoking rates are declining, watching TV is not, which has implications at a population level,' he said. Last year, another Australian study found an hour of TV a day allegedly led to an eight per cent increase in the risk of premature death. 'We've taken that study and translated it into what it means for life expectancy in Australia given how much TV we watch,' said Veerman. Australians, apparently, watch about two hours of TV a day. As a result their life expectancy at birth is reduced by 1.8 years for men and 1.5 years for women, according to the study. Britons watch more than three hours of TV a day, according to the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Too much sitting, as distinct from too little exercise, is associated with higher mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular disease. So, thus, it's not actually watching TV which's bad for you, it's sitting still. You could be reading or knitting or contemplating the inherently ludicrous and obscenely random nature of existence and have the same affect. Only, that wouldn't make a good headline for glakes like this so, instead, it's TV Kills! Wankers. 'Logically we know that physical activity is good for health and so it's not so strange that the reverse is not so good,' said Veerman. Who probably knows what he's talking about since he's got letters after his name and all that malarkey. The report was based on an observational survey conducted in 1999-2000 with more than eleven thousand participants aged twenty five and over. Participants reported the amount of time they spent watching TV or videos in the previous week, when it was their main activity (ie, not doing the cooking or the ironing at the same time). The report also showed that a person who watches an average of six hours of TV a day would live on average 4.8 years less than someone who watches none. Yeah. Whatever. Yer actual Professor Keith Telly Topping has a counter argument, dear blog reader. 'Watch more TV.' It's good for you and you can eat crisps and drink beer whilst you're doing it, something you can't do when you're jogging, for instance. And remember, this is not just yer actual Keith Telly Topping's ill-informed opinion - Mr Bonio out of U2 agrees. And he's an internationally renowned pop star and saviour of humanity.
The BBC is reportedly considering sharing terrestrial television coverage of the Olympic Games after London 2012 as part of its wide-ranging cost-cutting drive. According to the Mirra, the corporation will look to strike a deal with either ITV or Channel Four for joint coverage of the Rio games in 2016. The newspaper says that BBC 'bosses' are 'struggling' to meet the estimated one hundred million smackers cost of covering the games. A BBC 'source' allegedly said: 'The fee is huge and it won't all be prime time due to the time difference. Some of the execs here want to keep it to ourselves but can we really afford it? It could be the time to strike a deal with other broadcasters. There are more important sporting events to keep on the BBC - like Wimbledon, the Grand National and the World Cup final.' The report follows a recent announcement that the corporation will share coverage of Formula One from next season with pay-TV broadcaster Sky, in a deal that has angered some fans of the sport due to the loss of exclusive free-to-air coverage. The Summer Olympic Games are currently on a list of events protected by the government for transmission on free-to-air television due to their 'special national resonance.' However, that would not stop the BBC from agreeing some sort of deal with a fellow terrestrial broadcasters like ITV or Channel Four to share the cost of producing coverage of the games. ITV, for instance, previously shared Olympics coverage with the BBC for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. A source at ITV said: 'If any big sports rights are up for grabs, we are interested. We'd welcome talks with the BBC about joining together.' Channel Four has previously shown a strong interest in showing more sport and is the host broadcaster for the Paralympic Games in London 2012. It also submitted a failed bid for Formula One before the joint BBC and Sky deal was agreed. A BBC spokesman declined to comment on the report, saying: 'We never discuss rights or negotiations.' This week, the corporation announced plans to extend BBC3's transmission hours and launch a temporary digital radio station for coverage of the London Games next year. However, the BBC is, as we know, facing cuts of up to twenty per cent to its budget under the new licence fee settlement agreed last October.

BBC Worldwide has agreed the sale of its magazine business, which publishes titles including Top Gear and Radio Times, for one hundred and twenty one million wonga. Exponent, owner of online media jobs service Gorkana and former owner of The Times Educational Supplement, has acquired the lion's share of BBC Magazines. It is taking over all Worldwide's non-BBC-branded magazines outright as well as the rights to publish BBC-branded titles including Top Gear in a licensing and contract publishing deal. The deal will see the thirty four magazines published by BBC Magazines move to Exponent. Radio Times, which the BBC has published since 1923, will be among those sold outright along with a number of other titles deemed to be 'less closely aligned to the BBC' such as Olive and Gardens Illustrated. BBC and BBC programme-branded titles, such as Gardeners' World and BBC Wildlife, will be licensed to Exponent. While BBC Worldwide will not retain ownership of the titles it will keep 'a strong continuing editorial interest under licensing agreements.' The third category comprises titles including Top Gear, Good Food and Lonely Planet which will be retained by BBC Worldwide but published by Exponent under a contract publishing agreement. The private equity firm has also acquired BBC Magazines' stakes in Dovetail, the subscription fulfilment operation it runs as a joint venture with Dennis Publishing, and Frontline, the distribution joint venture it runs with Bauer Media and Haymarket Publishing. Separately, BBC Worldwide has agreed the sale of its fifty per cent shareholding in Worldwide Media, a magazine publishing joint venture in India, to a fellow shareholder, Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, owner of The Times of India. A subsidiary of BCCL is currently in the process of selling off Absolute Radio. Worldwide Media publishes titles including the Indian editions of Grazia, Hello, Top Gear and Lonely Planet.

Sky Living has bought the UK rights to Ringer, the US drama that marks Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar's return to a leading TV role for the first time since 2003. The thirteen-part series stars Gellar as recovering alcoholic Bridget, a woman on the run who takes over her identical twin sister Siobhan's life after she mysteriously disappears – only to find out that her sister was also leading a dark and dangerous existence. Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd plays Siobhan's husband, who becomes suspicious of his new wife's behaviour. The BSkyB-owned entertainment channel has signed a multi-year deal with CBS Studios International to broadcast the show in the UK soon after its debut on American network CW on 13 September. 'Securing Ringer exclusively for Sky Living demonstrates yet again our commitment to owning the very best in primetime US drama,' said Louisa Forsyth, acquisitions manager at BSkyB. 'Ringer is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated new shows of the season, by Sarah Michelle Gellar's avid global fanbase and critics, as well as eager new viewers,' added Stephen Tague, senior vice-president for Europe of CBS Studios International.

Morgan Fairchild has signed up to guest star in Bones. The actress will appear in the third episode of the new season, TV Guide reports. She will play Bianca, the CEO of a toy company. The character, who is described as 'clever and well-dressed,' becomes caught up in a murder investigation when the remains of one of her employees is discovered. Fairchild has recently guest starred in Chuck and previously had roles in shows such as Flamingo Road, Paper Dolls, Falcon Crest and Fashion House. She also played Chandler's mother Nora Bing in Friends.

The BBC has apologised in a dispute over its use of uncredited photographs taken from social networks such as Twitter during coverage of this month's UK riots. The corporation received a complaint from journalist Andy Mabbett after photographs of the Tottenham riots posted on Twitter on 6 August had been used by BBC News teams. In a posting on his Pigsonthewing blog, Mabbett criticised the BBC for saying that the images were just 'from Twitter,' rather than properly crediting them. Directly addressing the BBC, he said: 'You may have found them via that website but they would have been hosted elsewhere and taken by other photographers, whom you did not name and whose copyright you may have breached. You have done this with other recent news stories such as the Oslo attacks. This is not acceptable. In future, please give proper credit to photographers.' Mabbett also published a response from the BBC to his complaint, which said: 'Twitter is a social network platform which is available to most people who have a computer and therefore any content on it is not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain. The BBC is aware of copyright issues and is careful to abide by these laws.' In a BBC blog posting yesterday, BBC News social media editor Chris Hamilton accepted that the response sent to Mabbett was wrong. 'We've looked into the response that was sent by the team that deals with complaints for the BBC. It essentially stated such content was "not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain,"' he said. 'Unfortunately, this is wrong, and the response doesn't represent BBC policy. We apologise for any confusion it caused. Another direct response, and apology, is being sent to Mr Mabbett.' Hamilton added: 'In terms of permission and attribution, we make every effort to contact people who've taken photos we want to use in our coverage and ask for their permission before doing so. However, in exceptional situations, where there is a strong public interest and often time constraints, such as a major news story like the recent Norway attacks or rioting in England, we may use a photo before we've cleared it. We don't make this decision lightly - a senior editor has to judge that there is indeed a strong public interest in making a photo available to a wide audience.' Hamilton said that BBC News may sometimes be unable to get permission to use images from copyright holders as the people are unavailable, or do not want to be identified. He also said that there are times when it may be 'too dangerous' to trace the authors, which was 'a significant issue in our coverage of the recent Arab uprisings. Even when we do make contact, the copyright holder might give us permission, but ask not to be credited because it puts them in danger or they believe it will be used against them in some way,' he said. 'So, when we can't credit the copyright holder, our practice has been to label the photo to indicate where it was obtained, such as "From Twitter," as part of our normal procedure for sourcing content used in our output. We do want to acknowledge the value our audience adds to our output, and hope this sheds light on our editorial decision process made during exceptional circumstances.'

Tom Hanks has reportedly refunded two movie-goers who expressed disappointment at his latest release Larry Crowne. The Oscar-winning actor compensated the couple with twenty five dollars after striking up a conversation with them at a petrol station near his home in Pacific Palisades according to the National Enquirer. When Hanks was told by the pair that they believed his film 'wasn't that good,' the fifty-year-old is alleged to have replied: 'Gee, I'm sorry you were disappointed, how about letting me refund your ticket money?' Yer actual Keith Telly Topping thinks that's something of a dangerous precedent for Mr Hanks to set. He, for instance, would like to note at this point that whilst he is a huge fan of Mr Hanks' work generally, he found Forrest Gump to be a pain in the dong. That's three hours of my life and four quid I'll never get back. Unless, of course, Tom knows different. Mind you, that's nothing to how much time and money Steve Guttenberg owes me.

And finally, shameless self-publicist Katie Price has denied rumours that she will be on this year's Celebrity Big Brother. According to the Daily Lies, Price was rumoured to have 'stepped in at the last minute after another confirmed contestant pulled out.' Now, under normal circumstances we'd just put this down to the Lies usual habit of making up any old shit they feel like. But, given that they're now part of the umbrella organisation that actually makes Big Brother you'd've thought just for once they might have rung up someone to confirm or deny. Old habits die hard, it would seem.

After yesterday's Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day received such a slammin' feedback (thank you, Simon!) here's a little bit more reggae like it used to be. Starting with the epic Bongo Les and Herman. 'It is I!'
Time for a bit of heavy, heavy discipline. An'ting. Tell 'em all about it, Prince Far I.
And remember, don't criticise. Legalise it.
Lastly, a bit of Andy Capp. Riddim!
Gawd damn righteous. Straight up irie. Cha!