Tuesday, May 08, 2012

This Generation Rules The Nation, With Version

Doctor Who's executive producer Caroline Skinner has promised that series seven's opening story will be the 'biggest Dalek episode over.' Speaking to the Doctor Who Magazine, Skinner gave the following details for the first five episodes of the new series: 'Episode one is the biggest Dalek episode over. It's epic, alright: more Daleks than ever, on the biggest set Doctor Who's ever had. [Episode two is] just absolutely amazing. Chris Chibnall is hopping with delight, it looks so good. His riot of a story has been brought to life so joyfully by our fabulous cast. It's going to be the biggest VFX episode of the series. I'm confidently smug that [episode three] is going to be a winner. Chris Chibnall's script [for episode four] is a massive rollercoaster ride of a sci-fi story. It's also a beautiful piece of writing. It's all about Amy and Rory's relationship - full of warmth, love and a celebration of their time on the show. Chris will scare you to bits with this episode!' Discussing episode five's New York scenes, showrunner Steven Moffat recently hinted that viewers should expect 'tragedy.' The writer had previously announced: 'Amy and Rory will leave in a final encounter with the Weeping Angels. Not everyone gets out alive and I mean it this time.'

Reality met fiction head on in the latest Bones episode - The Suit On The Set - as a Hollywood film studio prepares to create a blockbuster out of one of Temperance's novels.
Here's the Top Thirty programmes for week ending 29 April 2012:-
1 Britain's Got Talent - ITV Sat - 11.42m
2 The Voice - BBC1 Sat - 10.51m
3 Coronation Street - ITV Mon - 9.64m
4 EastEnders - BBC1 Thurs - 8.74m
5 The Apprentice - BBC1 Wed - 7.62m
6 Emmerdale - ITV Thurs - 7.55m
7 Countryfile - BBC1 Sun - 7.16m
8 UEFA Champions League - ITV Wed - 6.41m
9 Silent Witness - BBC1 Sun - 6.23m
10 The Syndicate - BBC1 Tues - 6.04m
11 Scott & Bailey - ITV Mon - 5.97m
12 Vera - ITV Sun - 5.75m*
13 Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 Sun - 5.66m
14 Casualty - BBC1 Sat - 5.50m
15 Waterloo Road - BBC1 Wed - 5.46m
16 Have I Got News For You - BBC1 Fri - 5.37m
17 BBC News - BBC1 Sun - 5.23m
18 Holby City - BBC1 Tues - 5.13m
19 Ten O'Clock News - BBC1 Tues - 4.88m
20 Not Going Out - BBC1 Fri - 4.77m
21 Piers Morgan's Life Stories - ITV Fri - 4.73m*
22 Panorama - BBC1 Wed - 4.67m
23 Long Lost Family - ITV Thurs - 4.66m*
24 The National Lottery: In it To Win It - BBC1 Sat - 4.58m
25 Match of The Day - BBC1 Sat - 4.53m
26 Six O'Clock News - BBC1 Mon - 4.46m
27 New Tricks - BBC1 Thurs - 4.39m
28 Watchdog - BBC1 Thurs - 4.38m
29 The ONE Show - BBC1 Mon - 4.23m
30 Pointless Celebrities - BBC1 Sat - 4.18m
Those ITV shows with an asterisk do not include ITV HD figures which are unavailable at this time. So, anyway, that's over ten-and-a-half million viewers and the second most watched programme of the week for something which the Daily Mirra has this morning described as 'a show in crisis.' Ridiculous. As with virtually everything else the Daily Mirra reports. And, speaking of the Mirra, one wonders if its former  - sacked - editor, the vile and odious greed bucket Morgan will be doing quite as much crowing on Twitter this morning over his worthless chat show's performance opposite Have I Got News For You. Second, Piers. Look it up. It comes right after first. Ask Buzz Aldrin. BBC2's best performers of the week were, in order, The Hair Bikers' Bake-Ation (3.15m), Qi (3. 08m), John Le Mesurier: It's All Been Rather Lovely (2.60m) and The 70s (2.58m). The first two include BBC HD figures. Channel Four's highlight was the 2.87m who watched the second to last episode of Homeland. Channel Five also scored big with three of their imported US dramas, NCIS (2.21m), CSI (2.18m) and The Mentalist (2.04m).

The Voice coaches have reportedly been told to 'toughen up' by show producers. 'Bosses' are said to have informed coaches Jessie J (whom, if you believe today's Mirra is about to get the boot), will.i.am, Danny O'Donoghue and Sir Tom Jones to tell finalists 'the truth' about their performances rather than making sure to be overly pleasant in comparison to their X Factor and Britain's Got Talent rivals. 'The Voice originally sold itself as being the "nice" talent show and viewers loved that when it was coupled with the drama of the spinning chairs during the blind auditions,' an alleged 'insider' allegedly told the Sun. 'But once the show moved into its live stage, a lot of viewers have tired of it and criticised the coaches for being "too nice" to singers who just aren't that great. Bosses have now told them to toughen up, be meaner and to really speak their minds - even if it means upsetting people. The coaches made progress on Saturday, but there is still a long way to go.'

The Mirra's Jim Shelly of Olly: Life on Murs. And I quote: 'From the dumb pun of the title onward, Olly: Life On Murs was excruciating. Even the programme-makers saw their star subject didn't have enough substance to justify three episodes. Not since Mickey Rourke in Angel Heart have I seen someone who has so obviously, so eagerly, sold his soul for fame – not necessarily to the Devil like Mickey but to Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads and ITV2. Whatever he is doing or saying, he has no substance. He is like a ghost. Even in the throes of national fame, he had nothing interesting to say.' But, if you want a real laugh, have a read of some of the comments Jim's article gets from Oily's tens of fans. You will, trust me, be rolling around on the floor kicking your legs in the air like one of those robots off the For Mash Get S.M.A.S.H. adverts.
The chancellor, George Osborne, is facing pressure to appear in person before the Leveson inquiry into media ethics to explain his role in the appointment of former Scum of the World editor Andy Coulson as David Cameron's communications chief. It emerged on Friday that Osborne, who is understood to have persuaded Cameron to take on Coulson in July 2007 in order to sharpen up the Tories' press operations, would only be submitting a written witness statement. Quite why he has been allowed to do this, no one seems too sure. Cameron and several cabinet ministers, including business secretary Vince Cable, the lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Hunt, justice secretary Kenneth Clarke and education secretary Michael Gove, are all expected to appear in person. Paul Farrelly, the Labour MP who sits on the department of culture, media and sport select committee, and who has been one of the leading critics of News International and its political influence, said that Osborne should appear to explain the appointment. 'The recruitment of Andy Coulson to 10 Downing Street was clearly a colossal mistake. George Osborne was instrumental in that deployment,' he said. Coulson, who was taken on by Cameron having quit as Scum of the World editor after one of its single 'rogue' journalists was jailed in 2007 for phone-hacking, will appear before the Leveson inquiry on Thursday. He moved with the prime minister to Downing Street in May 2010 after the general election, eventually resigning in January 2011. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive, will appear on Friday. Farrelly said Leveson could summon Osborne. 'It's really important that this inquiry gets to the bottom of politicians' links with the press, including the Murdoch empire. George Osborne really should be examined in person about the reasons he felt Andy Coulson was an appropriate person to become the PM's chief of communications.' Farrelly pointed out that before he resigned, Coulson had been at No 10 for seven months while News Corp's buyout of BSkyB had been on the cards. Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott, who tabled parliamentary questions about Coulson's appointment, also said Osborne should appear. 'George Osborne recruited Andy Coulson to a key role at Cameron's right hand and worked with him every day at the heart of government. Nothing happens in No 10 or No 11 without Osborne's say so,' Oakeshott said. 'Leveson without Osborne would be like Hamlet without the prince.'

He is seen as cold, calculating and utterly focused on the case at hand, but despite some viewers' assumptions Sherlock Holmes is not an asexual character, says Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch. 'I see no reason at all why he shouldn't be sexual,' said Benny. 'Everyone recruited him to their perspective, their interpretation. I've had asexuals come up to me and thank me for representing asexuals. I don't know how that came about. I mean, the man's too busy to have sex. That's really what is it.' Cumberbatch claims that his character deliberately puts such thoughts to one side as part of his job. 'Not every man has a sex drive that needs to be attended to. Like a lot of things in his life where he's purposely dehumanised himself, it's do to with not wanting the stuff that is time wasting, that's messy. That goes for certain relationships, as well as sexual intimacy,' Cumberbatch told Indiewire. But the actor believes that there is one relationship in particular that demonstrates Sherlock's sexual side. Irene Adler (played by Lara Pulver) – the detective's respected female adversary – shares certain traits with him, and while romance is a step too far for Sherlock, Cumberbatch thinks Adler manages to put him in touch with a more animalistic side. 'It's never going to be romance with him,' said Cumberbatch. '[Sherlock and Irene Adler] play with each other like predators. It's pretty sick; they're both damaged people. There’s no sentiment. Is there a sexual element to it? Without a doubt there is. But it's a game of chess, and it's a very cruel, cruel game of love, if it is love.'

Big Brother has been given a new version of its iconic eye by Channel Five. Returning for a new series this summer, the reality show's new logo was unveiled during Home and Away on Monday evening. The multicoloured image is a face lifted version of the shiny 2011 eye, which marked the network's first year broadcasting the show after it moved from Channel Four. Channel Five's director of programmes Jeff Ford said: 'The Big Brother eye logo is one of TV's most iconic symbols, and this fresh new look reflects how the show itself is constantly evolving and reinventing itself. It will be front and centre of the new campaign as we ramp up the excitement ahead of the show returning to Channel Five this summer.' Big Brother's executive producer Susy Price added: 'We are delighted with this year's confident and playful re-versioning of the Big Brother eye. The multi-faceted concept reflects the ever-evolving personality of the programme and moves the brand forward for this exciting new series.' Big Brother returns for a marathon run this year, with January's celebrity version being followed by a ten-week series, and then a second celebrity edition for 2012.

Al-Jazeera English has closed its Beijing bureau after the Chinese authorities refused to renew the press credentials of its correspondent or grant a visa for a replacement, the TV station said on Tuesday. Journalist groups said the expulsion of Melissa Chan - who has been reporting from Beijing for five years - is 'a grave threat' to the ability of foreign reporters to work in China. The Chinese authorities have yet to make a statement about the closure of the bureau, but immigration officers say, privately, that Chan's visa has not been renewed because she 'violated regulations.' They did not elaborate. Al-Jazeera's coverage has also upset the authorities. Chan, an American citizen, was the first Beijing correspondent for Al-Jazeera English, a twenty four-hour news channel headquartered in the Middle East that was launched in 2006. In those early months, Beijing officials expressed hope that the non-Western media organisation and its ethnically Chinese reporter would provide a more positive view of their country than other foreign news groups. Since then, Chan has covered a range of stories, including several hard-hitting reports on secret 'black jails', the harrassment of Liu Xia, the wife of the Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, official corruption and the grief of families who lost children during the Sichuan earthquake. In a statement, Al-Jazeera English said its reporting from China has been first class and consistent with the channel's perspective in all countries. 'We constantly cover the voice of the voiceless and sometimes that calls for tough news coverage from anywhere in world. We hope China appreciates the integrity of our news coverage and our journalism. We value this journalist integrity in our coverage of all countries in the world,' said Salah Negm, director of news. Negm said Al-Jazeera English would try to reopen the bureau and called upon the Chinese authorities to accept that coverage is sometimes critical. 'We are committed to our coverage of China. Just as China news services cover the world freely we would expect that same freedom in China for any Al-Jazeera journalist.' The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said it was appalled by Chan's expulsion. 'This is the most extreme example of a recent pattern of using journalist visas in an attempt to censor and intimidate foreign correspondents in China,' the club said in a statement. 'The FCCC believes that foreign news organisations, not the Chinese government, have the right to choose who works for them in China, in line with international standards.' The last known expulsions of journalists took place in 1998 when both Yukihisa Nakatsu of the Yomiuri Shimbun, and Juergen Kremb of Der Spiegel were expelled. The Committee to Protect Journalists noted that foreign reporters are often threatened overs visas and subject to harassment and malware attacks in China, partly because they cover subjects that are censored in the domestic media. But the US-based group said the closure of a the Al-Jazeera bureau marked a disturbing development. 'We urge China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately grant Al-Jazeera English correspondents accreditation to report the news in China,' said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program coordinator. 'The refusal to renew Melissa Chan's credentials marks a real deterioration in China's media environment, and sends a message that international coverage is unwanted.' In the late nineties Henrik Bork, Beijing bureau chief of the Frankfurter Rundschau, was turned down when he tried to renew his visa, probably due to his critical coverage of the former prime minister Li Peng. He was allowed to return a decade later. Other high-profile cases include the expulsion of Andrew Higgins of the Independent in 1991, and two American reporters, Alan Pessin of the Voice of America and John Pomfret of the Associated Press, after their Tiananmen Square coverage in 1989. Ahead of the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese authorities relaxed reporting regulations. But in recent years, they appear to have taken a harder line against foreign journalists. Several news organisations have reported protracted delays in obtaining visas. Board members of the Foreign Correspondents' Club have been told their activities were unacceptable. Reporters were also called in and warned about their attempt to cover last year's 'Jasmine protest.' Most recently, about a dozen journalists were told their visa status was 'at risk' because they entered the hospital where the blind activist Chen Guangcheng was staying without the authorities' permission. A Gruniad reporter had his press card confiscated at the hospital as recently as last Thursday. It was, apparently, returned on Monday with a warning. According to the FCCC, twenty seven foreign reporters have been made to wait for more than four months for visa approvals over the past two years. Thirteen of these had to wait for more than six months and were still waiting at the time of the survey. Twenty eight permanent postings or reporting trips had been cancelled since 2009 because applications for the required journalistic visas were rejected or ignored by the Chinese authorities, the survey found. Police say there has been no change in government policy.

Is the time nearly done for ITV's Inspector Morse spin-off Lewis starring Kevin Whately? It’s creator Colin Dexter certainly seems to think so. The spin-off was first broadcast on ITV in 2006 with a successful pilot seen by 11.3 million viewers; the first full series was shown a year later on the broadcaster. Lewis stars Kevin Whately as DI Robbie Lewis, reprising his role from Inspector Morse, with Laurence Fox as DS James Hathaway. In a new interview with the Radio Times Colin Dexter, hints that Lewis's shelf-life may be running out. Dexter told the magazine 'I don’t think [it] can go on much longer. They'll probably do one more series. The first two were ridiculously complex.' Lewis is still a popular part of ITV's schedules with millions of viewers tuning in. However, ITV recently ordered Endeavour, the Inspector Morse prequel, to series following a pilot at the start of the year seen by more than eight million viewers. Endeavour starred Shaun Evans as a young Morse.

The actor behind ITV’s popular period drama Poirot is backing the transformation of a derelict east London dock into a new arts, enterprise and nature hub. He's spent twenty two years unlocking clues as TV detective Hercule Poirot, but now David Suchet is fronting a campaign to revive an historic dock in East London. Tucked away in the neglected industrial hinterland between Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park, Cody Dock on the River Lea has been forgotten and sealed off for decades. Now, without a penny of government money, the dock is being turned into a hub for London's creatives, ramblers and nature-lovers. The charity behind the plans, Gasworks Dock Partnership, is raising money for the scheme via Spacehive, a new crowd-funding website which enables anyone to pledge support for community building projects hit by the economic downturn. The concept is that 'many hands make light work', with projects attracting funding from a mix of individual supporters, businesses and grant bodies. Spacehive aims to help people to take planning into their own hands. Since launching just two months ago, the social business has enjoyed backing from an unlikely array of figures – including RIBA, Tesco and Stephen Fry. And now Suchet is involved, backing Cody Dock's transformation alongside alleged comedian Andi Orshi and Billy Bragg, the singer and activist. Bragg's grandfather worked on the dock when it serviced a thriving gasworks, before being closed in the early sixties. The two-and-a-half acre scheme would be the first spark of regeneration in the raw Lower Lea valley. While Canary Wharf Group has invested billions of private money in nearby Docklands and taxpayers have funded £9.3 billion of Olympic regeneration, the area near the mouth of London's second river has been neglected for decades. The aim is to open the dock before the Olympics. Over fifty six thousand quid has already been raised but with just thirty seven days left until their funding deadline they are reaching out to Londoners-at-large to help them raise the remaining eighty three grand. In 2007, Suchet spoke of his desire to film all the remaining Agatha Christie's Poirot stories and hoped to achieve this by the time of his sixty fifth birthday in May 2011. Despite speculation of cancellation early in 2011, ITV not long after confirmed that the Poirot saga would conclude with all the remaining books turned into TV movies across this year.

Meanwhile, BBC News has learned that tenants in East London are being evicted from their homes as landlords attempt to cash in on the Olympics. The housing charity Shelter claims that it has seen evidence of landlords acting unscrupulously and evicting people illegally. One estate agent said that properties typically rented for three hundred and fifty knicker per week were being marketed for six grand per week. Shelter fears that the problem will get worse as the Games approach. The BBC's Michael Buchanan says: 'The potential profits are leading to some private landlords telling their tenants they have to leave their homes, with little notice.' One alleged woman alleged told the BBC that she and her four housemates had been given two weeks to leave; another alleged couple had been given three weeks. Allegedly. All claimed that their landlords were 'seeking to capitalise on the Olympics.' Shelter says it has seen increasing evidence of landlords giving tenants little time to leave or increasing rents hugely during the Olympics and it worries the situation will get worse as the Games approach. The National Landlords Association - for there is such a beast - has condemned the practice, saying it is 'more beneficial' to landlords to have a good, long-term tenant in their property.

The second season premier of Sherlock drew big ratings for PBS on Sunday evening. Sherlock, the modern-day reworking of the sleuth by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, returned to PBS on Sunday evening for a second season. In the UK the second season was broadcast on BBC1 to huge ratings and impressive reviews in January – and third season has already been commissioned.
American fans of Sherlock had to wait a little longer for A Scandal in Belgravia starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Unless they were very naughty and bad and downloaded it in their naughtiness, of course. Or, you know, bought the DVD when it came out in February. Sunday night's opening episode was seen by 3.2m viewers, according to a press release by PBS, and that figure does not include timeshifting, DVR playback or online streaming meaning the actual figure could be considerably higher.

Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-face Scottish chef off Crossroads feels 'restless' with ITV while top executives at the broadcaster 'resent' the TV mogul's 'huge influence' over their network, biographer Tom Bower has claimed. Writing in the Radio Times about his new book on Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-face Scottish chef off Crossroads, Bower claims that the fifty two-year-old mogul and sour-faced Scottish chef is preparing for 'aggressive negotiations' with ITV over the future of his shows. His comments were published just days after it was reported that The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent boss was allegedly in alleged'secret' alleged negotiations with the BBC over an alleged new drama. Allegedly. Bower told the Radio Times that Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-face Scottish chef off Crossroads 'remains restless, not least about senior ITV executives who resent his influence over the network and publicity about his louche lifestyle.' With only one year to run on his ITV contract, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads and ITV's chiefs are said to be "positioning themselves" for aggressive negotiations over the network's most successful shows. 'Their respective strengths in their battle will depend on Britain's Got Talent's ratings and whether Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-face Scottish chef off Crossroads successfully reinvents The X Factor for the autumn series - or topples into decline.' Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-face Scottish chef off Crossroads, whose current series of Britain's Got Talent has been in a ratings battle with BBC1 show The Voice, was reported by the Daily Mirra to have told friends he feels 'betrayed' by ITV. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-face Scottish chef off Crossroads is said to have felt that the broadcaster was 'unsupportive' over Bower's biography, which revealed that Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-face Scottish chef off Crossroads had 'a fling' with Dannii Minogue. He is also said to have been 'angered' after ITV, which Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-face Scottish chef off Crossroads has worked with for more than ten years, poached a key executive from his independent production company.

Good news for the BBC's staff in Salford. Reports of crime in the area actually fell last year, when the BBC made its big move northwards, according to the Mirra. The paper reports that thefts are down from two hundred and seventy eight in 2010 to two hundred and seventy three last year – and even bomb hoaxes plummeted from six to just three. Maybe it isn't so grim up north after all.

As mentioned yesterday Channel Four's Homeland ended on a high with nearly 2.8m viewers for its feature-length finale, the drama's biggest audience of the series. The Claire Danes and Damian Lewis conspiracy thriller pulled in 2.78m (including C4+1 viewers), an eleven per cent share of the audience, between 9pm and 10.45pm on Sunday. It was half-a-million viewers up on the 2.2 million people who watched the opening episode on 19 February. The second series will begin in the US on cable channel Showtime on 30 September and has also been bought by Channel Four.
Homeland had the better of the World Championship Snooker on BBC2, where an average of 2.1m viewers watched Ronnie O'Sullivan take his fourth world title, including one hundred thousand punters on the BBC HD channel. The snooker peaked with 2.5 million viewers between 10.15pm and 10.30pm, but it was still not enough to topple the Channel Four drama. It was way down on the 3.4m average (and 6.4m peak) who watched John Higgins's win in the 2011 world final. Homeland was also, impressively, neck-and-neck with a Silent Witness repeat on BBC1, which drew 2.85m. BBC1's new natural history extravaganza, Planet Earth Live – 'like Springwatch but with fewer blue tits' according to some arsewipe of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star – began with 5.43m between 7.50pm and 9pm. The business end of the Premier League season brought big ratings for Sky Sports 1 on Sunday afternoon. Shekih Yer Man City's 2-0 win over yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though still unsellable) Newcastle, which put the team in the driving seat for its first top division league title since 1968 with one game to play, averaged 1.67m viewers from 1pm. The Scum's 2-0 win over Swansea proved even more popular, averaging 1.81m from 3.30pm.

Kerry Katona has claimed that Tulisa Contostavlos does not possess 'star quality.' Insert your own punchline here, dear blog reader.

Yer actual Blackburn Vindaloos have been relegated to the Championship after losing at home to Wigan Not Very Athletic, whose Premier League status was secure for next season as a result. Antolin Alcaraz headed the Latics to victory from a corner late on a rainy and rancorous night at Ewood Park. Only a win would have given Blackburn a chance of avoiding the drop but, as they have been for most of the season, they were sloppy, shot-shy and played like a team of girls whose arse had already fallen out for the fight at hand. It was a remarkable sixth victory in eight games for the Latics and leaves them five points clear of the relegation zone with one game left to play. The result brings about a disastrous conclusion to what has been a thoroughly turbulent season for the Vindaloos - and their manager Steve Kean - and an end to their eleven-year stay in the Premier League. The Scot has regularly been the focal point for abuse from frustrated Blackburn fans, unhappy with his management and the way the club is being run by the owners, the Indian poultry firm Venky's. Such vocal unrest has been the subject of much comment - mostly negative - in the press and on TV, mostly for journalists and broadcasters almost none of whom actually pay to watch football matches and yet seem to feel they have the right to tell working men and woman who spent thirty quid a week watching these jokers how they should be grateful and silent for what they receive. Sick and wrong, so it is. The unrest continued on Monday in the form of mass chanting throughout, two lone 'rogue' fans invading the pitch at the start of the second half and, presumably, the reason why a chicken draped in a Blackburn flag appeared in the Wigan box five minutes into the game and had to be caught by Latics goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

And, speaking of relegation, Dave Edwards claims that the Wolves squad are 'ashamed' of their performances this season after finishing rock bottom of the Premier League. And, so they damned well should be frankly. Wolves ended a run of nine successive home defeats with a 0-0 draw against Everton in Saturday's final home game. Midfielder Edwards admitted: 'We're ashamed, we're upset and we're disappointed at the way we've played. We've let the club down from the people at the top to [manager Terry Connor], because everyone loves him.' Wolves have picked up just four points in twelve games since Connor succeeded Mick McCarthy in February. He will find out after Sunday's final game of the season, at Wigan, if he will continue to manage Wolves in the Championship. The players have been unanimous in their support for Connor to continue and the manager said: 'It's very nice they should say that. I can't ask for any more in terms of their endeavour, their honesty and their approach to the games and training, to everything I've tried to do.'

Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul and Swansea's Michel Vorm have both been named in Netherlands' thirty five-man provisional squad for Euro 2012. Twelve players must be trimmed from Bert van Marwijk's squad by 29 May. There are five other British-based players in the squad, including Arsenal striker Robin van Persie. Everton's John Heitinga, Manchester City's leg-breaking thug Nigel de Jong, Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws's Dirk Kuyt and Stottingtot Hotshots's Rafael van der Vaart are in. Krul, twenty four, has won two caps and summer signing Vorm, twenty eight, has played nine times for his country. Van Marwijk said: 'We still have the Dutch play-offs, foreign leagues and cup finals as well as the final of the Champions League. Furthermore, there are players coming back from injuries. But it is a great opportunity to see these players close up.'

And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Which, given the previous story, ought really to be something Dutchie. And, why not? Bang-biddly-biddly-bong.