Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Twenty Two Days Of Christmas: And The Boys Of The NYPD Choir Was Singing 'Galway Bay'

Have I Got News For You's Christmas week episode wasn't quite a special, per se, although Ian Hislop was on particularly menacing, spiky 'Bah Humbug!' form of the kind we know and love so much. Regardless of the time of year! On the subject of the Eurozone crisis, he noted that the French think Britain should be downgraded from Triple A to 'whatever the smaller batteries are called.'
Ian also claimed, somewhat unconvincingly, that he hadn't watched his long-time nemesis Piers Morgan at the Leveson inquiry. 'No, I didn't watch it. No interest to me watching him being sliced up by a QC. The fact that he made a fool of himself, I'm not going to watch that. All of it. On a loop. For hours!' Host Martin Clunes noting that Kim Jon-Il's death was particularly bad news for Mr Bonio out of The U2 Group since that means he's now 'the world's only shortarsed megalomaniac who wears sunglasses all the time' was also worthy of note. And the 'Tudor football' round was an unexpected bonus, too. As, indeed, was the Sun's obsession with the Krankies domestic arrangements.
Channel Four has released a video clip of its new satire on the phone hacking scandal that engulfed the UK newspaper industry this year. Written by Drop the Dead Donkey and Outnumbered co-creator Guy Jenkin, Hacks offers 'a satirical swipe' on the hacking affair that resulted in the closure of the one hundred and sixty eight-year-old Scum of the World in July, and the launch of a judge-led inquiry into press ethics. Various high profile figures such as Steve Coogan and Hugh Grant have seized on the opportunity to shine a light on the murkier aspects of the British media, while eighty-year-old newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch had to endure the 'most humble' day of his career in July while answering a klot of impertinent questions from mere MPs at parliament on the scandal. Hacks features an impressive cast including Claire Foy, Michael Kitchen, Kayvan Novak, Nigel Planer, Phil Davis, Alexander Armstrong, Gordon Kennedy, Russ Abbott and Celia Imrie.
'Any similarities to real events on real newspapers are entirely coincidental,' said Channel Four.

Tinchy Stryder (he's 'a rapper', apparently) has revealed that he has decided against appearing in Celebrity Big Brother. Sensible lad. It was reported earlier this month by various scum lying tabloids published by Richard Desmond that Stryder would feature on the Channel Five reality show in the New Year after 'bosses' decided they wanted a rapper in the house. To give it a bit of street cred with the baseball-cap-on-backwards youf demographic who, of course, watch Channel Five as their network of choice. However, he has now said that despite considering an appearance, he knew 'in his heart' that it was the wrong move for his career. Stryder told the Sun (not owned by Richard Desmond and, therefore, lovin' this the mostest, baby): 'I asked myself whether people I respect would go on a show and I decided that they wouldn't. I respect myself for making this decision because they offered me a lot of money. Then, when I decided to go back and say no to the show, the money doubled. But music is my first thing and I love the people that support me and just know in my heart it wasn't the right thing to do.' Respect, Tinchy. Former X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza, Nicola McLean, Lindsay Lohan, Natasha Giggs, The Only Way is Essex contestant Kirk Norcross and Loose Women's Denise Welch are among the other names rumoured to be taking part in the show. Hang on, I thought this was supposed to be Celebrity Big Brother?

EastEnders actor Tony Discipline is to stand trial for assault in August 2012. The actor, who plays Tyler Moon, is accused of breaking twenty one-year-old Hayden Deol's jaw and injuring his cousin, Sam Deol, in a scuffle near the London nightclub Merah in May. Discipline appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Friday to deny the grievous bodily harm and assault charges made against him. A four-day trial will be held from 13 August reports the Sun. Discipline was released on bail on the terms that he will not contact Deol or Deol's cousin.

Twatting About on Ice professional Sylvain Longchambon has been forced to abandon new partner Heidi Range after suffering an injury weeks before the show's return. The French skater damaged muscles in his right arm while training with the Sugababes singer, resulting in her now having to dance with a temporary partner for the beginning stages of the ITV contest. 'This is gutting news for everyone concerned,' an alleged source allegedly told the Sun. 'Heidi and Sylvain were to be the glamour couple of the new series. He hurt the muscles in his right arm while practising on the ice with Heidi. It is quite serious. Sylvain will be fine but it's not yet known how long he will be out. Producers are confident he will be able to recover in time to rejoin Heidi later in the series. But for now they are planning to draft in a standby professional skater to partner her until Sylvain is better.'

The Snowman is to be remade for Channel Four, it has been announced. The 1982 Christmas classic has been a yearly staple of the channel since its was first broadcast. It is to receive a 'fresh, not identical' remake in time for winter 2012. The original twenty six-minute animation film was based on a 1978 story by Raymond Briggs, and was directed by Dianne Jackson. The new version will be made using traditional animation techniques by most of the original creative team, and will cost two million smackers. It will be screened as part of Channel Four's thirtieth anniversary programming in November 2012. It will feature new elements of the story including a new boy, a snow dog as an extra character, and will see updated landmarks as they fly around Britain, such as the London Eye. The original film's theme song 'Walking in the Air' - sung by Peter Auty in the film but subsequently made famous by Aled Jones's cover version - will be replaced by a new song. Which, to be honest, is a little bit like remaking Jaws only without the shark. It will be produced by animation Camilla Deakin's company Lupus Films, who said: 'The music is still undecided. There is a lot of discussion. It will be up to date. Without being too aggressively so. We want to make sure this film is new and fresh, not identical. New characters, new settings and the music is another way to differentiate it.'

The trials and tribulations of the BT Family are set to draw to a close as Kris Marshall, the former My Family actor who plays Adam in the adverts, bows out after fronting the series for the best part of a decade. The British public was first introduced to the BT Family in 2005 with Marshall appearing opposite former [spooks] and Waking The Dead actress Esther Hall, who plays his on-off partner, Jane. Over the best part of six years the public has followed the ups and downs of the couple – as well as Jane's children from a previous relationship – including moving house, breaking up, getting pregnant and preparing for a wedding. However, after forty TV outings the BT Family will be given a major shake-up in a new campaign being prepared for early next year. Marshall is to be written out of the series and the role of Hall is understood to be significantly scaled back. BT is keeping the direction of the new-look Family advert campaign firmly under wraps with David James, marketing director at BT Retail, giving away little more than an admission that the 'story is now evolving' with new adverts in 2012 to include 'both familiar and new faces.'
'We can confirm that Kris Marshall will not appear in the new ads,' he said. 'Kris has been an integral part of the much loved and extremely successful BT Family adverts which have run over the last decade. Watch this space for more details on the new campaign in January.' As the Family has become increasingly well-known, BT has moved to make the storyline much more collaborative, asking members of the public what they think using social media. When BT asked the public to decide which outcome a cliffhanger storyline should take, more than 1.6m votes were cast on Facebook for Jane to become pregnant. 'The Family advertising campaign has been a real success for us over the last six years and the public has loved having a say in how the storyline progressed,' James said. BT's advertising agency AMV BBDO is working on the last of the traditional Family TV advert which is set to hit screens in mid-January. BT denied that the timing of the departure of Marshall had anything to do with the actor being banned from driving for six months. In November, Marshall was found by police asleep behind the wheel of his Jaguar in a Tesco carpark. He was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in charge of a vehicle after police spotted a key in the car's ignition. 'We decided to bring the campaign to a natural close with the wedding [storyline],' said a spokeswoman for BT. 'Our new campaign is an evolution of the old campaign and the focus will no longer be within a family setting.'

With temporary ice rinks appearing in towns and cities across the UK, the Society of Sports Therapists is reminding people that ice skating can be a dangerous sport. It warned of a risk of serious injury and advised people take precautions. It recommends jogging to warm up and avoiding the mulled wine. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said falling over and bumping into people was part of the fun, but there were safety precautions. The chairman of the society, Professor Graham Smith, told the BBC: 'It was not about going "bah, humbug." Have fun, but be careful.' He said: 'While it is a fun sport it can be very dangerous and should be treated with a large degree of respect, especially as for some, it is something that is done only once or twice a year.' By contrast regular skaters learn 'how to fall properly.' If you fall, he recommends tucking your arms in and rolling - rather than putting you hand out to stop the fall, which could damage the hand or be hit by another skater's blades. He said the hazards were greater for older people. He also warned people not to over-estimate their ability: 'You probably won't be able to recreate what you see during the Winter Olympics,' he said. So, remember dear blog reader, avoid Twatting about On Ice at all costs. It's hazardous to your health, and that's official.

And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's fourth-from-last Twenty Two Days of Christmas, dear blog reader. And it is, of course, Christmas Eve, babe. So what else could we possibly play? Yer men Spider, James, Jem, Andrew, Philip, Darryl, Terry and the guv'nor Shane. And, of course, Kirsty. The best, realist, most-heartbreaking and yet, life-affirming Christmas song ever written, whatever a few arseholes, scumbags and maggots at the Gruniad Morning Star might think. Although I am indebted to one of the people leaving comments afterwards for: 'This is precisely why I stopped reading the Guardian. Smug joyless poseurs.' Word, matey.