Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mercury Rising: One Day Like This A Year'd See Me Right!

A thirty five year-old-man has been arrested as part of the investigation into phone hacking at the Scum of the World, Scotland Yard has said. Unlike most previous arrests in relation to this ongoing fiasco, this one was not done by 'prior arrangement.' Instead, officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Weeting arrested the man at 05:55 after a swopping dawn raid on his gaff. It is not known whether the door was kicked in, officers were tooled up and packing heat, vicious police dogs were involved in the bust or, indeed, if someone told the hapless arrested chap to 'Get yer trousers on, you're nicked.' But, it would've been a geet good laugh if they had. The man was subsequently taken to a North London cop shop - presumably in a Black Maria with a blanket over his head after the bracelets had been administered - for 'questioning' on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages. A total of sixteen people have now been arrested on suspicion of phone hacking since Operation Weeting - Scotland Yard's fresh investigation into the illegal interception of voicemails - was launched in January. Former News International chief executive well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks and ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson are among those who have already been arrested as part of the inquiry. Both of which were really funny. The scandal has also led Met Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates to resign, and the Scum of the World to close down after one hundred and sixty eight years. To which ,there was uncontained joy throughout the land. The Gruniad allege that the latest man to be arrested 'is believed to be the deputy football editor of The Times, Raoul Simons.' Simons joined The Times from the Evening Standard in August 2009, but has been on extended leave since late 2010.

Meanwhile, in related developments James Murdoch is likely to be recalled to parliament to answer fresh questions after two former Scum of the World executives said on Tuesday they were 'certain' Murdoch was told of an 'explosive' e-mail which indicated that phone hacking at the paper went beyond the one rogue reporter defence which the newspaper continued to claim for at least another two years. Commons sources said that Murdoch would probably be 'ordered' to appear for a second time before MPs next month to 'clarify' whether or not he was told about the now-notorious 'for Neville' e-mail, the public disclosure of which blew apart the newspaper's long-standing defence that phone hacking was isolated solely to its royal editor, Clive Goodman and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. In a tense session before the culture, media and sport committee, Tom Crone, who left as News Group Newspapers' legal manager in August, said he had told Murdoch about the e-mail during a meeting in 2008. It was after hearing the news of the e-mail at the fifteen-minute meeting, Crone claimed, that Murdoch authorised a payment of four hundred and twenty five thousand smackers plus costs to Gordon Taylor, the Professional Football's Association executive. This contradicts James Murdoch's previous account of events given to the same committee two months ago. Giving evidence at the same session, Colin Myler, who became editor of the Scum of the World after Andy Coulson had resigned over phone hacking at the paper, said it was 'inconceivable' that Murdoch was unaware that the e-mail indicated hacking went beyond a single rogue reporter at the Sunday tabloid. Myler, how was also at the meeting in question, said: 'I had made the point very clearly in my opening statement to that hearing that the "for Neville" e-mail was clearly a significant development.' Murdoch responded to Crone and Myler's claims in a statement, insisting that he stood by his earlier testimony to the select committee. He said that his 'recollection of the meeting regarding the Gordon Taylor settlement is absolutely clear and consistent. I was told by Mr Crone and Mr Myler that there was evidence that Mulcaire had carried out [the interception of Mr Taylor's voicemails] on behalf of the News of the World. It was for this reason alone that Mr Crone and Mr Myler recommended settlement. They did not show me the e-mail, nor did they refer to Neville Thurlbeck [the Scum of the World reporter to which the e-mail allegedly referred],' he added. 'Neither Mr Myler nor Mr Crone told me that wrongdoing extended beyond Mr Goodman or Mr Mulcaire.' What Murdoch has yet to explain is why he believed Goodman, the newspaper's royal correspondant, would have asked Mulcaire to intercept telephone messages of Gordon Taylor. Because, if Goodman didn't, as indeed he had no reason to, then someone else did. If someone else did then, de facto, there were at the very least two people at the Scum of the World involved in such nefarious (and illegal) skulduggery, shenanigans and malarkey and, therefore, News Internationals previous - and, indeed, subsequent - defence that this was all the work of 'one rogue reporter' was fatally flawed. Yet they stuck to it from 2008 right up until January of this year when the details of the e-mail became public. Murdoch's statement is clearly at odds with the evidence given to the committee by Crone (and supported by Myler). They both can't be correct so one (or two) of them are, clearly, lying. One must observe that it really is a remarkable sight seeing these powerful men all of whom were, until just a few short months ago, singing from the same song sheet and denying that any of them knew anything about nothing are now, seemingly, scrambling around blaming each other. '[The e-mail] was clear evidence that phone hacking was taking place beyond Clive Goodman. It was the reason we had to settle the case and in order to settle the case, we had to explain the case to Mr Murdoch and get his authority to settle, so clearly it was discussed,' Crone told MPs. 'Since he gave us the authority we were asking for, I would take it that for the first time he realised News of the World was involved [in illegal voicemail interception] and that involvement involved people going beyond Clive Goodman,' Crone added. The existence of the 'for Neville' m-ail was first revealed by the Gruniad in July 2009. It appeared to show that the Scum of the World's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, was also implicated in hacking. The fact that a transcript of Taylor's voicemail messages were passed back to the Scum of the World, where they were transcribed by a junior reporter and then returned to Mulcaire, implied that there was wider knowledge of hacking within the newsroom. Crone also told the committee on Tuesday that Andy Coulson - the then editor of the newspaper - had wanted to rehire Goodman after he was released from his jail term in 2007. Crone claimed that Coulson had told him he hoped to 'persuade' News Internationals Les Hinton that Goodman could come back, not as a reporter but perhaps as a sub-editor or book 'filleter' or editor. Myler and Crone testified to MPs as Lord Justice Leveson opened his inquiry into media practices and ethics. It emerged that well known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks as well as a number of victims of media intrusion, including Madeleine McCann's mother, Kate, have offered to give evidence to the inquiry. In separate evidence to the Commons liaison committee David Cameron conceded that he had became too close to News International executives and said he could 'not guarantee that [he had] got absolutely right' his declaration of all meetings because it was difficult to recall all social occasions. Myler and Crone showed they meant business from the off on Tuesday. Crone, in particular, was having no truck with any MP who dared to suggest that he had been negligent in his former duties as the Scum of the World's legal manager, or that he had made any attempt to cover up what has been described as 'industrial-scale phone hacking' at the paper. At several points, his facial expression and the schoolmasterly tone of voice suggested clear exasperation with what he seemed to believe was the crass ignorance of the culture, media and sport select committee. Did they not know that hiring private investigators was commonplace in the media? Were they not aware that divorce cases up and down the land frequently relied on their activities? He robustly defended himself against every allegation they made, making it difficult for any of the MPs on the committee to land a punch, though the brilliant Tommy Watson (power to the people!) and the equally tenacious Louise Bagashite Mensch came close on several occasions. Crone told MPs that he was 'certain' James Murdoch was told about the explosive e-mail that was evidence that phone hacking at the Scum of the World was not confined to 'one rogue reporter.' Crone told him about it, he said, during a fifteen-minute meeting in 2008 which Myler also attended. This was the second time that Crone had made the claim that Murdoch knew about the so-called 'for Neville' e-mail. In a highly damaging broadside in July, Crone and Myler claimed in a statement to the media that the evidence James Murdoch gave to the culture committee in relation to the e-mail and the subsequent out-of-court settlement to Gordon Taylor was 'mistaken.' Once again Murdoch junior was quick to dismiss the idea. Later on Tuesday he issued a robust statement saying he stood by his original testimony to the select committee that he had not been aware phone hacking extended beyond Goodman and Mulcaire, both of whom had been convicted and jailed in relation to phone-hacking charges more than a year earlier. 'Neither Mr Myler nor Mr Crone told me that wrongdoing extended beyond Mr Goodman or Mr Mulcaire,' claimed Murdoch. He added: 'As I said in my testimony, there was nothing discussed in the meeting that led me to believe that a further investigation was necessary.' Crone had earlier told the committee that it was made clear to James Murdoch during the meeting what the e-mail 'was about' and 'what it meant.' He said that the e-mail was documentary evidence that at least one other reporter on the newspaper was 'aware' of phone hacking on the tabloid. It referred to a transcript of the voicemails of Taylor by a junior reporter, but it only emerged during the process of discovery by Taylor's lawyers. 'Up to then there was no evidence that the News of the World was implicated,' said Crone. 'The first I saw of that was that was the "for Neville" e-mail which reached us in spring 2008. We went to see Mr Murdoch and it was explained to him what this document was and what it meant.' At that meeting, Crone claimed, Murdoch authorised him to reach a settlement with Taylor, who was eventually paid a total of over seven hundred thousand pounds, including costs. In a bruising clash with Watson – the Labour MP who has led the charge over phone hacking and, more than anyone else has kept it in the public eye – Crone denied that Murdoch 'demanded' a confidentiality clause and authorised the large financial settlement in order to prevent the exposure of 'widespread criminality' at the Scum of the World. The former legal manager said that his priority had been to avoid cases being launched by four other individuals whose phones Mulcaire had admitted to hacking. 'The imperative or the priority at the time was to settle this case, get rid of it, contain the situation as far as four other litigants were concerned and get on with our business,' said Crone. In relation to his allegations that Coulson had wished to reemploy Goodman even after the latter had been sacked for gross misconduct once he had been jailed, Crone said: 'Clive Goodman was in a depressed state. He was quite pessimistic, quite depressed, worried about his family and his future. I was able to say to him that Andy Coulson was hoping to find a way of him coming back to the company.' Myler said there was 'no suggestion anyone tried to hide anything,' and reminded the committee about the failures of the original police investigation. He said that the police had 'devastating' evidence from the 'three bin liners' of documents taken from Mulcaire's home but had failed to do what they claimed to have done at the time – 'leave no stone unturned.' Myler continued: 'If we had known then what we know now, things would have been massively, massively different for everybody.' Myler claimed that he questioned Scum of the World staff named by Goodman as allegedly being involved in phone hacking. 'They denied all knowledge of his allegations,' he said. The committee was also told of the reasoning behind the extraordinary two hundred and thirty thousand pounds payout to Goodman, despite being found guilty of phone hacking and being jailed for the offences in 2007, because of 'a sense of family' towards staff at News International. John Chapman, a former head of legal affairs at News International publishing group, said that the former chief executive of the company, Les Hinton, had wanted to see Goodman's family 'didn't go without' on 'compassionate grounds.' There was a brief moment of levity when Chapman was asked whether he would expect such generosity if he had committed an offence and had been jailed. He paused, before answering 'no.' Chapman separately admitted that Rupert Murdoch had 'got it wrong' when he said the legal firm Harbottle & Lewis had made a 'major mistake' when it did not report evidence of illegal activities at the Scum of the World. However, Chapman defended his former paymaster by saying he had not been properly briefed on Harbottle & Lewis's review of internal e-mails.

Frank Skinner is to host a one-off comedy show about class for BBC2. Class Dismissed - snappy title - will feature a discussion on the 'comic goldmine' topic, as well as video inserts from stand-ups Roisin Conaty, Miles Jupp and Micky Flanagan. Top toff Jupp tries to masquerade as a Cockney, 'socially mobile' Flanagan tries to appreciate the arty tastes of the middle classes, and 'salt-of-the-earth' Conaty wonders if she could ever fall in love with an upper class person, 'when some of them don't even understand the concept of a fish finger.' The half-hour episode is to be recorded at TV Centre this week and broadcast later this autumn.

New Tricks finished its 2011 series with an overnight series average of 8.18 million. That's up on the previous year's 6.97 million and 2009's 7.15 million. Not only is that a stonkingly good average for any drama (which if it had achieved last year would have made it second only to Downton Abbey), but it's also higher than the final consolidated timeshifted series average for the past two years as well. (2010: 7.85 million, 2009: 7.94 million).

Matt Smith has won the Most Stylish Man award at the 2011 GQ Men of the Year awards. The citation reads: 'In addition to revitalising the Doctor (and sales of tweed jackets, while he's at it), Smith earned acclaim for his portrayal of Christopher Isherwood – all while dressing to perfection on and off screen.' The annual GQ Men of the Year awards gives GQ magazine readers the chance to vote for the most influential chaps (but, not chapesses, sadly) in a variety of fields over the past year. Winners are chosen from nominees in the fields of film, television, sports, music, fashion, theatre, literature and food through online voting by GQ readers. Winners are typically featured in an issue of GQ, as well as being honored at the annual Men of the Year awards show. Matt won the 2010 award for Best Actor which this year went to Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch.

Jesse Spencer has admitted that he found it 'difficult' when Lisa Edelstein announced that she had decided to leave House. Edelstein confirmed in May that she will not be reprising her role as Lisa Cuddy in the show's upcoming eighth season. Spencer has now told TV Line that he found Edelstein's departure tough as she was 'a big part of the show. When I first found out I was like, "Oh no, we've lost another cast member, that's really difficult,"' he said. 'I love Lisa and I think she's been such a big, big part of our show. And it's hard to lose someone like that.' Spencer added: 'At the end of the day, it's business. Unfortunately, that's the way the business went. And now we have new cast members, and we're going to have to start over.'

Some of the cast from Coronation Street have taken part in a groundbreaking ceremony near Salford's MediaCity, marking the start of construction on the soap's new home. The show, the world's longest running television drama, is due to relocate from central Manchester to a new 7.7-acre studio and production facility. William Roache and Michelle Keegan, who play Ken Barlow and Tina McIntyre, donned hard hats for the ceremony. The soap's new home is expected to be completed by spring 2013. The new studio and production facility will be based across the water from MediaCity, the planned new home of ITV Studios' production and management teams, regional news and support staff. William Roache, who plays the soap's longest-running character, said: 'It's over fifty years since I first walked on to a Coronation Street set. Now I'm here with Michelle, starting the build of our new home - the one that will take us well into this century - and it feels fantastic.'

Two contestants on Simon Cowell and ITV's 'crisis-hit' (according to the Gruniad) game show, Red or Black?, have been 'removed' from the final stages of the competition following an investigation into their backgrounds. In the wake of the tabloid storm over the former criminal bad lad Nathan Hageman scooping the first jackpot, co-producers Syco and ITV have made more detailed checks on the remaining contestants. The Gruniad claims that one contestant 'did not reveal when asked that he had a criminal record' and he will not appear on the show. It is understood that the contestant is yet to appear on-screen. A second contestant has also been removed although it is not yet known what, if any, crime they had committed. Apart from wanting to appear on Red or Black?, of course. That's got to be worthy of a two stretch at least? The two were due to appear on different episodes but will not be replaced due to the nature of the gambling show. Part of roulette-based Red or Black? is pre-recorded with the final broadcast live, giving the producers a small window in which to do more background checks on those taking part. 'Sources' allegedly told the Gruniad that the sheer scale of super-sized game show, with one thousand contestants taking part in the first stages, and the fast turnaround of the show means it is difficult to do very detailed checks on people. Syco and ITV have been in 'intense' talks after it emerged that Hageman was allegedly jailed for beating up his girlfriend in 2006, the paper claims. Although the producers knew that Hageman had served a prison sentence for assault it is understood that the full details were not known. Legally, the Gruniad claim, Syco and ITV found their hands were tied with regards to Hageman as he had clearly declared he had a criminal record as he had been required to do. Discussions between the two companies are said to be 'taking place' and talks 'will continue' after the series has finished about how producers can use discretion to choose contestants. However, broadcasters could face legal challenges from people who have a previous criminal record and who have served their sentences but find themselves banned from TV shows. Whatever way ones looks at it, that's discrimination. One 'source' allegedly said: 'It's a legal minefield for Syco and ITV.' The Daily Mirra reported that Cowell was 'seething' and 'livid' after it was agreed that Hageman had to be allowed to keep the prize. Which would've been a sight to see in and of itself, frankly. Hopefully, they filmed a seething Cowell at his most livid and will show it every Christmas. The Gruniad alleged that relations between Syco and ITV have been 'strained' after Cowell appeared to distance himself from the decision to allow Hageman to keep the prize. Sources also said Cowell had been advised that the only way of 'the no-win situation' was to see if two hundred and fifty thousand smackers of the million quid prize money could go to Hageman's victim. Although Red or Black? is a co-production between Syco and ITV, Cowell felt that with the crisis deepening he should speak about the issue and will do so at a press conference on Thursday. Just one series of Red or Black? has been ordered thus far and after the show finishes on Saturday night, Syco and ITV will sit down to discuss how the game show's format could change in the future, if indeeed it returns at all. Despite, or perhaps because of, the publicity Red or Black?'s ratings increased slightly after a bumpy start over the weekend and it averaged 5.2 million overnight viewers on Monday. Still well short of the sort of figures that ITV (and, more importantly, their advertisers) had been confidently expecting before the series began. It was off air on Tuesday due to England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales at Wembley – which had a peak audience of near nine million viewers – but will be back on ITV on Wednesday. An ITV spokesman said: 'ITV has reviewed the background checks on remaining contestants from Red or Black? As a result of this we have asked producers to remove two contestants from this week's shows. Red or Black? will continue on these two occasions with seven, rather than eight, contestants.' 'I'm desperate for this to be sorted out as soon as possible in the fairest possible way,' the Mirra quotes Cowell as saying. Seething, livid and desperate. This just gets more and more unimaginable. 'I am doing everything in my power to bring that about so that people can get back to concentrating on the show.' A 'source' allegedly close to the Syco boss allegedly added: 'It is felt a contribution to the person who suffered might be an appropriate way to address this problem. They need to stop the cheque, admit they made a bad error, apologise and move on.' Under pressure from a variety of campaigners to not pay out, a Red or Black? 'insider' allegedly told the Sun: 'Whilst producers were aware that Nathan had served a prison sentence for assault they were not fully aware of facts which have since emerged. As a result of this ITV is reviewing the background checks on all remaining contestants in the show.' Women's Aid are among the various organisations who have expressed their disappointment at ITV's decision to hand over the million quid. Although, frankly, what the hell it has to do with them is another matter entirely. This chap clearly did a very horrible thing several years ago, but he was arrested, taken before a court, punished with a sentence that - hopefully - befitted the crime, served it and, unless anyone is suggesting that he's reoffended since, appears to have attempted to rehabilitate himself into society. The cash will, one imagines, help that effort. Considerably. 'ITV should realise around fifty per cent of its viewers are women and one in four of those will have experienced domestic violence,' a spokesperson for the organisation said. 'What kind of message does this decision send out to them? We would ask ITV to reconsider and donate a substantial amount to a domestic violence charity instead?' I'm not sure, although I'm also not sure exactly what sort of message your comments are sending out, frankly. What are you saying here, that if Hageman's violence had been against a man, you wouldn't have been bothered? Isn't that a shade sexist? It's also noticeable that another organisation getting their snout in the trough over this fiasco has been those notorious Christians in search of filth, Mediawatch, whose allegedly 'furious' spokesman David Turtle (whom the Mirra misnamed as John Turtle) 'branded' the entire malarkey as 'sickening' and said that having a 'former violent crook' on the show was 'an insult' to the victims of crime. I'm not quite sure how, but I'm sure he had a fair idea. He added - by this time wax well and truly exploding in his ears: 'By accepting him they are condoning violence and the crime he committed. If Simon Cowell doesn't apologise for this, he too is condoning his crime. It is staggering they knew about his past and still allowed him on the show. What message does this send to victims of crime?' Again, I haven't got a clue what message that sends but, I have to observe, that's a very noble Christian attitude, isn't it? Matthew 7:1, Mediawatch. 'Judge not, lest yer be judged.' Or, indeed, what about John 8:7. 'Let he that is without sin cast the first stone.' redemption was a big concept in Jesus's household but not, it seems, with the tight-arsed bigots who act in his name. Ah, but it appears as though somebody at Mediawatch has suddenly realised what very shaky theological (let alone moral) grounds they were on in this regard as their website now includes the following comment: 'Our position is that it is appropriate for those who have a criminal record to appear on games shows as long as they are not directly profiting from their crimes. With regard to the broadcast of Red & Black [sic] on 4 September, we question the judgement of the producers who knew of the criminal record of one of the contestants and should have realised the consequences of a winner with a criminal background so early in the run of the programme. Could this have been a cynical ploy to generate publicity? In winning Red or Black? Mr Hageman has not profited from his crime, which was not mentioned during the broadcast, and he has every right to appear as a contestant on a TV game show.' There you go, a bit of Christian charity. Only, not when their Turtle is talking to the Mirra.

Andrea McLean has credited Loose Women for encouraging her to voice her opinion. The former GMTV weather girl currently shares anchoring duty of the ITV panel show with Carol Vorderman. Speaking about her fifteen years in the industry, McLean told the Mirra that she had come across 'some pretty tough people. There's been bullying, back-stabbing, rumours, betrayals, all sorts - especially in my early days. And every time I've just walked away. I don't suppose it's just in TV, but I have heard a lot of bitching and nastiness in my time,' she said. 'And it's not just women either – the men in TV can be just as bad. At times it felt as if people just didn't want me to get ahead so they made things difficult. Every time, I just sort of accepted it and kept on working and trying my best. I've always hated confrontation and thought tackling it head-on would make things worse. But you know what, it probably wouldn't have mattered. I probably could have said my piece and it would have been fine.' Recalling how she had joined the lunchtime series twelve weeks after the birth of her daughter Amy, McLean said that she was 'barely feeling human' at the time. 'And here I was, on the telly surrounded by these completely outspoken, opinionated women who just said whatever the hell they liked,' she said. 'I'd been brought up with the idea that you don't need to be the loudest in the room to be interesting. That you should be polite and nice to everyone, and keep things calm and pleasant, that you should avoid upsetting people at all costs. So that's what I did most of my life. But the girls on the show taught me that disagreeing with someone isn't the end of the world.' She continued: 'I love the show and everyone has changed so much from day one. We've all really lived and been through some tough times together and apart. God knows how many marriages we've chalked up between us and none of us is perfect. That's what makes us an interesting mix and, of course, it means we don't always agree. But I've realised you can have a spat or an argument - and we do - but at the end of the day, everything is fine, nothing has changed, because all you have is an opinion, so it doesn't really matter. It doesn't change anything. We love each other.' The forty one-year-old, currently working on her autobiography, added: 'Being with the girls has been a fantastic lesson, and this recent experience with being so poorly has just made it so much clearer for me. I'm just going to do and say what I like from now on. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to start being horrible to everyone. I've just let go of some of that anxiety about keeping everyone else happy before myself.'

Craig Charles has thanked Coronation Street bosses for giving him time off to film a new series of Red Dwarf. The new episodes of the SF comedy were confirmed by co-creator and chief writer Doug Naylor earlier this year. Charles previously revealed that he would spend three months shooting at the end of the year. 'It is exciting,' the actor told ITV's This Morning. 'The last series was 1998 - and we started it in '87. but I'll be back in the leathers, back in the dreadlocks. Everyone is back on board and they are building the sets now at Shepperton. It's going to be like the old days, we are going to rehearse, and record it in front of a live studio audience. Everyone's older, but I could still fit in the costumes!' He continued: 'We all really wanted to do it. The only problem was trying to get some time off Coronation Street, but they've been really good to me and given me the time off. It would've been terrible if they went off to do it without me!' Speaking about his role as cabbie Lloyd in the ITV soap, Charles told presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that he would have liked his late mother to see him in the Manchester serial. 'It wasn't really a big decision - it's one of those things as an actor, everyone wants to be in it,' he said. 'I didn't think I'd be staying this long but my mum had died and it was her favourite show and I just wished that she had been alive to see me in it. We used to watch it in the house - she'd always have it on, so it was one of those things that "my mum would would've been really proud of me, let's go and do that."'

Des Lynam has defended Ortis Deley following the latter's disastrous performance on Channel Four's athletics coverage. The former Match of the Day presenter criticised Channel Four for not supporting The Gadget Show host, who was unceremoniously dropped by the broadcaster last week. Lynam told the Gruniad: 'I blame the channel, absolutely. It was pretty dreadful to watch, but I feel sorry for the chap. He should never have been put in that position. Presenting a major live sports event is extremely difficult. You need a lot of experience of live TV, and you need to know your stuff on the sport. The first really major live event I presented was the Commonwealth Games in 1982. And I'd had thirteen years of live broadcasting, a lot of it in sport, by the time I did it.' The sixty eight-year-old added: 'You've got links to camera, links to your live commentators, links to recorded footage, interviews with studio guests. And all the time, in your ear, you've got five different conversations going on - "open talkback," it's called. It means you hear everything from the gallery. Not just what's intended for you. Producer, director, cameras, lighting, floor manager, everything.' Lynam added: 'They could have made life easier for him. They could have given him an autocue for the main links to camera, so that at least was secure. They could have helped him by cutting away to cameras in the stadium when he was in trouble, so he could look at his script in peace. The direction really could have helped him. Honestly, I feel sorry for the guy.'

The advertising watchdog has banned a mobile phone advert featuring an image of Jesus after receiving almost one hundred complaints that it 'mocked and belittled' the Christian faith. And, once again, let's recall Matthew 7:1. Christians! How many of them actually practice what they preach? Phones4U ran a national press campaign featuring a cartoon-like image of Jesus giving a thumbs up and promoting 'miraculous' deals on Samsung Android phones at Easter. The Advertising Standards Authority received ninety eight complaints that the adverts – two versions ran in national press – were offensive and the use of the term 'miraculous,' especially during Easter, was disrespectful to the Christian faith. Phones4U, which is known for its broadly cheeky advertising, said it had aimed to create a 'light-hearted, positive and contemporary image of Christianity relevant to the Easter weekend.' No it didn't, it was just looking to sell more phones but that's beside the point. The ASA said the imagery and text of the adverts 'gave the impression that they were mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs.' It added that they were 'disrespectful' to the Christian faith and were likely to cause serious offence. Honestly - given the amount of wars that have been fought over the years in the name of Christianity, trust me, there was very little danger of this ... trivia causing 'serious' offence to anyone who wasn't already out looking for it. The ASA - who seem to have a collective backbone the consistency of jelly in these sort of situations - banned the adverts from running. Phones4U said that, in hindsight, it understood the reaction and regretted any offence caused. The company, which had chosen to withdraw the adverts following direct complaints from the public, said it had no plans to run any similar campaigns.

An intruder who is alleged to have broken into Celine Dion's palatial gaff earlier this week was discovered treating it like his own home, police have said. The outrage! The suspect - since named as Daniel Bedard - was discovered upstairs at the property on the private island of Gagnon, near Montreal. A spokesperson for Laval police told the Winnipeg Free Press that the thirty six-year-old had drawn a bath and enjoyed a snack in the singer's kitchen. Franco Di Genova said: 'He opened the water faucets, was pouring a nice warmish bath [and] he even managed to eat some pastry that was in the fridge.' Dion, her husband and manager Réne Angélil and their three children were all believed to be out of town at the time of the incident on Monday evening. Di Genova added that Bedard had scaled the fence and tried to gain access through the door. When this failed, he used Angélil's car - which had the keys in the ignition and a garage door opener inside - to access the property through the garage. He also described how officers had apprehended Bedard, saying: 'The suspect was coming down the big staircase and was asking, "Hey, guys what are you doing here?" So the officers replied, "What are you doing here?" and they proceeded to put him under arrest.' Bedard was charged in a local court on Tuesday with offences including breaking and entering, theft of a motor vehicle and causing damage to property. He is next due to appear in court on 21 November.

When Polly Harvey became the first woman to win the Mercury Music Prize on 11 September 2001, she gave an emotional acceptance speech over the telephone from Washington DC. It's a moment she can barely remember. 'Ten years ago feels like such a surreal experience - I'm sure for everybody - that my only memory of the day really is being in the hotel room and watching television and seeing the Pentagon burning,' Harvey said after accepting the prize for a second time at a ceremony in London. Were it not for events in the US on that day ten years ago, her winning CD, Let England Shake, would be very different. Her eighth solo record is a song-cycle of visceral narratives about England in conflict, from World War I to fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. 'Obviously this record that I've won tonight with is largely about the wars that we are involved in,' said Harvey. 'Contemporary wars - but also, in a way, I wanted it to be timeless because we've always been involved in wars. But I think the greater urgency that I felt to write an album like this now is because of the result of what has happened in the last ten years.' The power of Let England Shake lies in the marriage of often brutal lyrical imagery with folk melodies and driving rhythm. 'I was writing in a very different way to how I'd ever written before - working largely on the words for a long time in advance and trying to get them to work in a strong way for themselves to begin with before even thinking of music,' she said. The strength of those lyrics is felt nowhere more forcefully than in 'The Words That Maketh Murder' - performed by Harvey earlier in the evening. 'I've seen and done things I want to forget, I've seen soldiers fall like lumps of meat,' it begins. 'Death lingering, stunk, flies swarming everyone,' it continued as Harvey strummed along on her autoharp while her band provided a shuffle backing. The singer wore a white leather bodice and a headdress of feathers - designed, she said, to reflect the themes of her record. Other performance highlights on the night included James Blake - described earlier on the red carpet by fellow nominee Tinie Tempah as 'the coolest man in pop' - whose blissed-out 'The Wilhelm Scream' crescendoed into a climax that bathed the Grosvenor House Hotel ballroom in sonic bubbles. Rapper Ghostpoet, meanwhile, energised a room full of music executives with a rendition of his single 'Cash And Carry Me Home' that contrasted with the sparse minimalism of the recorded version of the song. And it was left to Elbow's Guy Garvey to inject a large dose of sentimentality into proceedings as he pointed to the sky to implore 'Let's build a rocket boys' on 'Lippy Kids', the song that gave the band's latest CD its title. Asked by host Jools Holland - as all the acts were - to speak to the audience after their performance, Garvey said the band had enjoyed 'the best time we've had in the studio for twenty years on account of being honoured with the Mercury award in 2008' for their masterpiece The Seldom Seen Kid. The only one of the acts who declined to say a few words was Anna Calvi - nominated for her eponymous debut CD - whom some have described as a younger version of forty one-year-old Harvey. As yer actual Keith Telly Topping said on yesterday's Top Telly Tips on the radio a certain sign of growing old is that instead of, as a few years ago, you've got five or six of that year's Mercury nominees in your collection, these days, if you've heard of more than four of them it's a considerable surprise. So, it was with great relief that one of the four I did know - and the only one whose latest record I actually had - won. Well done Pol! I know who PJ Harvey is. And Elbow, of course (must get their latest at some stage) and Adele and I vaguely know who Tinie Tempah is although I'd be pushed to name one of his records. The rest? Might as well be saying 'doormat, Keith' I'm afraid. Including Everything Everything who, I'm told, come from about five miles up the road from here. Hell, dear blog reader, I'm forty eight next month, what can I say? Some of us survived glam, prog, punk, post-punk, mod, synth-pop, indie, post-indie, goth, shoegazing, soul, funk, house, reggae, rap, hip-hop, trip-hop, trance, Madchester, grunge, post-grunge, Britpop, dadrock, techno, hardcore, jungle, drum and bass, handbag, garage, contemporary R&B, jazz fusion, glam metal, thrash metal, death metal, black metal, nu metal and the English folk revival-revival. And then, sometime around 2006 we just went ... 'nah, sorry, that's me done. Can I have some milky cocoa and a pair of slippers now?'

So, anyway, we did Polly's greatest hits on Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day not that long ago. So, instead, here's one of this year's runners up (and former winners) with the most perfectly realised pop-song of the last ten years, recorded live in Studio One at Abbey Road with the BBC Concert Orchestra. And I'm still trying hard to work out how we've managed to get, what, nearly a year into this daily project and only now is yer actual Keith Telly Topping getting around of 'One Day Like This.' Sing, Guy. Sing for the world.