Sunday, December 04, 2011

I Do Not Believe It!

The trailer for Sky's forthcoming adaptation of Treasure Island is now doing the rounds, dear blog reader. Starring Eddie Izzard, Philip Glenister, Rupert-Penry Jones, Daniel Mays, Donald Sutherland and Elijah Wood, it looks really good. As, indeed, does this photo of The Edster with one of his co-stars.
'Four pound, fifty three!'

So, there yer actual Keith Telly Topping was, dear blog reader, walking down Northumberland Street on a Saturday dinner time minding his own business when he saw that there was this fellah in front of him. So, for no reason whatsoever, sharp a needle, early doors, back stick, over the moon, Brian, he decides to trip the chap up from behind. As you do. Well, as you do if you're a Chelsea centre half. A copper saw him do it, an'all. But, he got let off with a warning because, apparently, 'it wasn't a goalscoring opportunity.' Nice to know for future reference.
So, here's a rather, heart-warming happy story for Sunday, dear blog reader. Yer actual Bill Bailey has been reunited with his lost dog Teddi, a Bali Dingo rescued from Bali, after the hound escaped from Bill's palatial home in Hammersmith. The pet got almost four miles across London, before being found by a member of the public in Chelsea. Luckily, he wasn't eaten but was, instead, taken to Battersea Dog's home, who read the microchip Bill had put under the animals' skin. Bill said: 'I can't express enough how grateful we are to Battersea for reuniting us with Teddi. Our other rescue dogs, who are also from Bali, were lost without him – we all were. When Teddi went missing we put posters up everywhere, contacted Battersea's Lost Dogs And Cats Line and I even tweeted about it. But thanks to the microchip Battersea were able to get in touch and tell us they had Teddi – every dog owner out there should get it done.' Bill, of course, will next be seen on Christmas Day with a much-anticipated guest role in the Doctor Who Christmas special.
Stevie Wonder has revealed that he wants to compete in the next season of Dancing with the Stars. The legendary Motown singer, who will headline a New Year's Eve concert in Las Vegas, confessed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he wants to take part in the competition despite being, you know, visually impaired. 'Is there any truth to the rumour?' DeGeneres asked him. 'I'm losing weight,' Wonder replied. 'When I get to where I feel like I'm gonna look good enough for what I wanna do, I'll do that.' After DeGeneres insisted that Wonder already looks good, he added: 'I'll look good in the beginning and I'll look even better in the end.'
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping observes that if that cat can still groove like he did on Top of the Pops back in 1965, the other contestants don't stand an earthly. Workout, Stevie!

I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) winner Dougie Poynter has admitted that he felt like he 'didn't do anything' in the jungle. Maybe that was why you won, mate. Just a wild stab in the dark. Poynter was crowned King of the Jungle in last night's I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) but his victory over Mark Wright was almost three million overnight viewers down on the 2010 final, when Stacey Solomon won the ITV reality show. The episode pulled in an overnight audience of 9.67m from 9:30. A further two hundred and thirty thousand punters watched on timeshift. The ITV2 spin-off show I'm a Z-List Former Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! Now! was the most-watched multichannel programme of the night, with 1.61m viewers. Earlier on ITV, Harry Hill's TV Burp was watched by 4.53m at 7.30pm, and an additional two hundred and thirty nine thousand tuned in an hour later on timeshift. The X Factor semi-final had a 10.26m average, with three hundred and fifty seven thousand viewers opting to watch on ITV+1. On BBc1, Strictly Come Dancing's recently popularity continued, with an overnight audience of 10.33m from 7pm. Merlin followed with 5.66m and then Casualty picked up an audience of 3.84m. On BBC2 One Hundred Years of the Palladium got a ver respectable 2.29m and then Qi XL was watched by 1.81m.

Matt Smith has recorded a video extolling the virtues of Cardiff and Welsh locations for VisitBritain, as part of their Great Britain - You're Invited promotion to encourage more visitors to the UK. The video sees the actor speaking from the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay (seen most recently as a location in the episode The Girl Who Waited), enthusing about his 'second' home of Cardiff, its people, social activities and their passion for sport (such as the rugby at weekends). As well as Cardiff itself, the actor also reflects upon being The Doctor, and the varied locations in the surrounding area that have featured in the show: 'One of the virtues and benefits of filming Doctor Who in Wales is that it affords such a variety of locations - each one of those locations has such scale and it's very accessible. We shoot in a lot of quarries, a lot of forests, a lot of castles - Caerphilly Castle, Cardiff Castle - and then if you get out into the countryside there's some really wonderful beaches, and the landscapes of those beaches feel very panoramic, particularly filmically.'

Alex Jones has revealed that she was in pain on Saturday night's Strictly Come Dancing after sustaining a serious injury in rehearsals. Now she knows how the poor bloody viewers feel when her paint-stripper voice gets all screechy on The ONE Show. The presenter bruised her ribs while attempting a lift with partner James Jordan and spent two days visiting a physiotherapist for treatment. At least, that's her story. 'It was absolute agony and I have been in a lot of pain,' Jones told the Sunday Mirra. 'We tried to do a lift and I just felt a shooting pain in my back. I've been to the physio and they said I've badly bruised my ribs. Afterwards I could barely walk. Even after all these weeks my body is still not completely used to some of the movements and they can be a real strain, but this is by far the worst injury I've had.' Jones danced the American Smooth to Roy Orbison's 'Pretty Woman' on Strictly, receiving a score of thirty four out of forty.

Staying with Strictly, highly of the night came after Jason Donovan and Kristina Rihanoff dances a charming and almost faultless foxtrot based around Singin' In The Rain. As Brucie ushered them over to the judges Len, Alesha and Bruno were all blown away with routine and enthusiastic in their praise. Then, viewers were treated to a splendid shot of Craig Revel Horwood looking far more grumpy than usual. 'It's getting boring now, everybody's good!'
With comedy timing like that, give this chap his own show.

Dave Gorman has exposed the Mirra for 'cheekily' lifting one of his blog posts without permission. The tabloid yesterday ran two side-by-side opinion pieces asking: 'Does Jeremy Clarkson have a right to be so offensive on TV?' Mirra columnist Tony Parsons argued no; a piece by Gorman put the opposing viewpoint, leaving the reader with the impression that Dave had been commissioned to write a piece supporting free speech. Yet, as it turned out, the newspaper had simply stolen something Gorman had written online, and published them as a bylined, two hundred and fifty-word column. On his blog last night, Dave wrote: 'I was surprised this morning to find a couple of messages saying, "I liked what you wrote in the Mirror, well done." I was surprised because I hadn't written anything for the Mirror. It seems you don't have to these days.' He said that someone at the Mirra had clearly seen his post and simply 'cut and pasted it into the paper. Which is a bit cheeky of them to say the least.' Especially if they don't pay you the going journalistic rate, I'd've said. Gorman added: 'Oh well. As if we needed a lesson in not believing what we read in the papers at the minute.' In his original article, Gorman contrasted the Twitter support for Paul Chambers – prosecuted over his joke 'threat' to blow up Robin Hood Airport – and Clarkson's comments over the striking public sector workers. 'You have to defend the jokes you don't like as well as the ones you do,' he wrote. Gorman, who resigned from his column on the Scum of the World just a day before the phone-hacking scandal forced it to close, told the Chortle website that he wouldn't be taking any action against the Mirra.

Jason Gardiner has insisted that he chose to leave Twatting About on Ice following tabloid claims he was fired. It was announced over the weekend that Louie Spence and Katarina Witt would be replacing Gardiner and Emma Bunton as judges on the ITV skating competition, making Robin Cousins the only remaining original judge. The Mirra ran a report - possibly taken from Dave Gorman's blog, we'll get back to you on that one - suggesting that Gardiner was 'angry' after producers 'secretly auditioned' Spence for the role. 'I can assure you I am not upset nor was I fired from Dancing On Ice. Fact,' Gardiner wrote on Twitter. The judge had often caused controversy on the show with his harsh comments to contestants. He famously told former judge and current head coach Karen Barber: 'If your opinion still mattered, you'd be on the panel.' An ITV 'insider' allegedly said: 'There have been criticisms that Jason had got too harsh, with many viewers questioning whether he was qualified to criticise ice skating, but nobody will be able to say that about Katarina. She is an international superstar in the skating world, and the producers have approached her several times over the years so it's great to finally get her. Viewers don't mind fair criticism, but there is a real feeling that last year things went too far.'

Ryan Giggs's sister-in-law has reportedly signed up for Celebrity Big Brother. That's tasteful. Natasha Giggs, who had an eight-year secret affair with the footballer whilst she was married to his brother, Rhodri, will allegedly receive fifty thousand smackers to take part in the Channel Five reality show. A 'source' allegedly told the Sun: 'Bosses are hoping she'll dish the dirt on life with Ryan. If I was Ryan I'd probably avoid the TV and the papers for January.' One wonders if this was the same alleged 'source' who told the Daily Lies that prostitute Jenny Thompson, famous for sleeping with Giggs's team mate Wayne Rooney, had been 'lined up' for I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) two years ago. You know, the sort that doesn't exist. Producers apparently tried 'in vain' to secure the twenty eight-year-old Giggs for last summer's Celebrity Big Brother after she revealed her affair with Ryan in a newspaper. The 'source' allegedly added: 'She's been someone that's been a must-get since the show was relaunched. She didn't sign up then but she's agreed to do it now all that stuff has died down a bit.' Former EastEnders actress Natalie Cassidy and Loose Women's Denise Welch have also signed up for the show, the report adds. The alleged 'source' also allegedly claimed that it is 'amazing' how many 'US stars' are 'considering offers' for Celebrity Big Brother, which returns in the New Year. Amazing as in ... one?

Christine Bleakley has 'revealed' that she is 'excited' about 'having her life back' after leaving ITV breakfast flop Daybreak. Last month, it emerged that the Curiously Orange Bleakley and her co-host Adrian Chiles had been tin-tacked from the ITV breakfast show. Because it was crap and they were the reason why. However, speaking at the Women in Film and Television Awards earlier this week, Bleakley claimed that she is 'pleased' that she will no longer have to cope with early mornings. 'I feel good,' she said. 'I'm looking forward to having my life back again, I really am. It's difficult to explain, but anyone who does night shifts or those kind of hours will understand it does take its toll on you. So I certainly won't miss 3am starts.' Which does rather make one wonder why she agreed to do the show in the first place. Oh yes, I forgot. Greed. That's the reason.

From one cheese to another. Former Coronation Street actor Sean Wilson's cheese has been voted one of the best in the world. The actor, who played Martin Platt in the ITV soap for twenty years, established The Saddleworth Cheese Company in 2009. He produces a medium-soft blue cheese called Smelly Apeth, which triumphed at the World Cheese Awards last week at Birmingham's NEC, winning the 'Best blue cheese in silver foil' award. 'I am delighted it did so well and beat so many other great cheeses from around the world,' Wilson told the Daily Lies Sunday. 'I only entered it at the last minute after I tasted a batch and realised it was absolutely gorgeous.'

Sir Paul McCartney - a former member of The Beatles. Popular beat combo on the 1960s, you might've heard of them - has called for a privacy law after the police showed him evidence that his phone was hacked. The bassist believes that journalists from several newspapers were listening to his phone calls and messages around the time of his divorce from his second wife, Horrible Heather Mills, in 2008. He said the invasion of his privacy had had a lasting effect: 'I tend not to say much on the phone now. If I leave a message, it's benign. You edit yourself according to the new circumstances of the new world. I think it would be quite good to get some sort of laws.' McCartney, who married his third wife, Nancy Shevell, in October, told The Times that he knew his phone had been hacked because stories would emerge about personal details he had not told anyone. 'So I used to talk on the phone and say: "If you're taking this down get a life." It's a pity not to be able to talk freely on a private call.' McCartney had a meeting with the Metropolitan police after he expressed on US radio his intention to raise the matter with them. In August, Mills accused the Daily Mirra of intercepting a voicemail message left by McCartney on her phone following a row in 2001. The paper's former editor, Piers Morgan, criticised at her claim and suggested that Mills herself had hacked McCartney's phone. But a spokesman for McCartney told The Times that the singer-songwriter did not mean to imply that Mills had been involved in hacking him. McCartney is the latest in a series of high-profile victims of hacking. The Leveson inquiry into press regulation and media standards has been hearing evidence from a range of people, including the family of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and actors Sienna Miller and Hugh Grant. A spokeswoman for News International said: 'We are not able to comment on individual cases.' A, somewhat narked by the sound of him, Met spokesman said: 'We are not providing a running commentary on this investigation.' Oooo, get her.

Further sad news for the world of football. The former Brazil captain Sócrates has died at the age of fifty seven. He had been in a critical condition with an intestinal infection since being admitted to hospital on Friday in São Paulo. He, his wife and a friend were all reportedly taken ill after eating stroganoff last week, but his body was too frail to cope, having recently recovered from illness and he suffered septic shock which claimed his life in the early hours of Sunday morning. Sócrates, who was widely regarded as one of the greatest goalscoring midfielders ever to play the game, was moved onto life support on Saturday. He played in two World Cups, winning sixty caps for his country between 1979 and 1986 - many as captain - and scored twenty two goals. At six foot four he was known for his physical strength combined with a silky elegance on the ball for such a big man, as well as two-footed vision, a powerful shot and more tricks than Derren Brown. There have, frankly, been few better box-to-box playmakers in the history of the game. Easily recognisable for his beard and headband, he became the 'symbol of cool for a whole generation of football supporters,' according to the journalist Jonathan Jurejko. He looked more like a rock star than a footballer, with a towering awkward frame, straggly hair - and, of course, the instantly recognisable beard. The 1980s image of Sócrates is still plastered across retro T-shirts today, just like his hero Che Guevara, and his affect on a generation of football fans who fell in love with the Samba Boys of '82 is almost as revolutionary. His style of play was unmistakable; elegant and effortless almost to the point of nonchalance, and with a penchant for the back-heel that prompted Pelé to once remark that Sócrates played better going backwards than most footballers were going forward. Sócrates played for Botafogo and Corinthians in Brazil before an unhappy one-season spell in Italy at Fiorentina. He then saw out his career with Flamengo and Santos before retiring in 1989 at the age of thirty five. The first child of a self-educated intellectual father, a lover of the classics who named three of his sons after Greek philosophers, Sócrates was born in 1954 in Belém, the city on the banks of the Amazon estuary and capital of the North Brazilian state of Pará. Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira came to football relatively late, having trained as a medical student until he was nineteen. Nicknamed 'The Doctor', Sócrates subsequently continued his studies whilst playing for Botafogo Futebol Clube and became a doctor of medicine, a rare achievement for a professional footballer (he was a graduate of the Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto). In his early playing days he was notably unwilling to join in the wild celebrations of his team-mates when he scored a goal (of which there were one hundred and seventy two over the course of two hundred and ninety seven matches. He would have played many more but missed two whole seasons in 1978 and 1979 whilst completing his doctorate); so much so that the fans complained to the club president considering this aloofness as a sign of a lack of passion. The president, in turn, begged Sócrates to be more demonstrative and Sócrates obliged, in future, with parodic celebrations, kneeling on the ground, throwing up his arms and invoking success from whatever Gods there might be. A deeply intelligent man he was also a talented musician, playing trumpet in a salsa band, and was politically active. During his time at Corinthians he co-founded the Corinthians Democracy Movement, in opposition to the then-ruling right-wing military dictatorship in Brazil. Sócrates and his team mates protested against the regime's treatment of footballers, and showed support to the wider movement for democratisation, by wearing shirts with 'Democracia!' written on them during games. Sócrates stated in several interviews that his childhood heroes were Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and John Lennon. As if that wasn't cool enough for a footballer, he was also a heavy drinker and smoker - notoriously, being a forty-a-day man at the very time when he was captaining the 1982 Brazil side, one of the greatest teams never to win the world cup. That second group stage defeat to Italy is still the stuff of nightmares for lovers of the The Beautiful Game the world over. Just like Hungary in 1954 and the Netherlands in 1974, here was a team blessed with, quite literally, all the talents, except for the ability to win the biggest prize of all. Ironically, his younger brother, Raí was a member of the Brazil squad which did win the World Cup in 1994. Sócrates would later note: 'Titles are ephemeral. What matters in football is the passion, regardless of conquests.' He set up a sporting medicine clinic in Ribeirão Preto where he lived with his wife and six children. He was a columnist for a number of newspapers and magazines, writing not only about sports, but also medicine, politics and economics. He frequently appeared on Brazilian TV programmes as a football pundit. At the time of his death, Sócrates was writing a speculative novel about the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. In 2004, aged fifty, Sócrates made an appearance as a substitute for Garforth Town in the Northern Counties League after a one-off deal to become player-coach. He was taken to the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo with food poisoning on Friday, according to his wife. A hospital statement said on Saturday that the former footballer was 'in a critical condition due to a septic shock of intestinal origin.' Previously, Sócrates was taken to hospital twice in August and September this year with bleeding in his digestive tract. After these incidents he admitted that he had problems with alcohol, especially so during his playing career. In a recent television interview, Sócrates said he that had considered alcohol his 'companion' but believed its regular use had never affected his performance on the field. 'Alcohol did not affect my career, in part because I never had the physical build to play this game,' he said. 'Soccer became my profession only when I was already twenty four. I was too thin and when I was young I did not have the opportunity to prepare myself physically for the sport.' Football fans will prefer to remember those balmy nights in Spain in June 1982. And that goal against the USSR. Two body-swerves and a thunderous drive that almost burst the net. Magic.

Today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day comes from Adrian Sherwood and The Barmy Army. This one's for Sócrates.