Wednesday, September 19, 2012

See Her Every Morning & I Give Myself A Warning

Karen Gillan has said that while not necessarily fatal (interesting use of the words 'not necessarily' there), the Ponds' exit from Doctor Who will be 'very final.' Gillan and co-star Arthur Darvill will exit the show when Amy and Rory are written out in mid-series finale The Angels Take Manhattan in ten days time. Asked about The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat's description of her final episodes as a 'love letter to the Ponds,' Gillan told The Big Issue: 'That doesn't necessarily mean death, but it will be pretty final. So yeah, you are going to cry. I hope so, anyway. I like making you cry. That makes me happy.' On the subject of how she would like Amy to be remembered, she said: 'I love this girl. I want to see her go out in flames of glory, where we see her at her absolute best. I just want people to look back over the Pond era fondly. I have had the best years of my life on this show, hand on my heart.' Moffat his very self has said that Rory and Amy get 'a fitting end' in their finale, adding that 'the most important thing about a story is how it finishes.'

BBC1's popular long-running drama New Tricks grew by three hundred thousand viewers on Monday night overnight data shows. Now into its ninth series, the crime series pulled in 7.42 million, its best audience since launching on 27 August. Meanwhile, ITV's Leaving dipped to 3.44m. Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs managed 4.14m at 8pm. Citizen Khan continued with 2.29m on BBC1 at 10.35pm, while Panorama could only managed a rather piss-poor 2.18m at 8.30pm. University Challenge anchored BBC2's schedule with 2.49m at 8pm. Sky Sports 1's Monday Night Football match, between Everton and yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle United, topped the multichannel lineup with 809k between 7pm and 11pm. Overall, BBC1 retained its primetime top spot with 22.6 per cent, edging ITV's 21.7 per cent.

In the US the excellent Leverage reached its mid-series break with two particularly fine episodes this weekend. In the former, Eliot, Parker and Hardison spend two days in Washington becoming involved in a fiendishly complicated case of biological terrorism whilst, in the latter, Nate and Sophie find themselves caught up in an - equally fiendishly complex - case of art fraud. The second episode was also notable for yet another Doctor Who in-joke from Dean Devlin and his team of writers. Longer-term viewers may recall an episode a couple of years ago where Parker and Hardison used the aliases 'Detective Moffat and Detective Davies' whilst Nate has also, at various times been 'Peter Davison', 'Sylvester McCoy' and 'Tom Baker'. There have also been a number of direct references to the show itself (Hardison's 'bow-ties are cool', for instance). Well, they're at it again it would seem. In the latest episode Sophie (the Goddess-like Gina Bellman) and Jim Sterling (Mark Sheppard) assume the identities of 'Agents Tennant and Smith.'
Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton has revealed that she is concerned about 'looking pale' alongside her Strictly Come Dancing co-stars. The gold medal winner, who has been partnered with Brendan Cole, said that she doesn't normally get the chance to splash on fake tan or feel glamorous, and admitted that the opportunity to dress up every Saturday night is spurring her on in training. 'I love dressing up and feeling glamorous is a whole new thing for me,' said Pendleton. 'I just really hope I can stay in the competition - the motivation to get a new dress each week should keep me going!' Speaking about her naturally pale complexion, she said: 'I might get a bit of a tan actually. I don't normally do that sort of thing, I'm quite pale normally, but I feel pretty paranoid stood next to some of these pro dancers. Especially the male ones!'

Bruce Forsyth has insisted that he will know the right time to retire from showbiz and when to quit Strictly Come Dancing. The eighty four-year-old presenter returns to anchor his tenth series of the BBC ballroom contest this autumn and the entertainer insisted that his family and friends wouldn't be afraid to step in if they thought he was no longer capable of hosting the show. 'I will know it's time to retire,' Forsyth told Daybreak. 'My loved ones, my darling wife, my agent, manager Jan and Ian, they will tell me. I've always told them if I look as though I'm over the hill, you know, just tell me - but I think I'll know myself.' Forsyth was given a knighthood in 2011 and has collected BAFTAs, NTAs and RTS awards during his extensive career on television.

The BBC's new director general George Entwistle has said he will put programme makers and delivering 'outstanding creative originality' at the heart of the organisation. In his first speech to staff since starting in the post on Monday he said he felt 'privileged' to lead the broadcaster. But Entwistle acknowledged criticism of the BBC and said 'we can do better.' He revealed plans to change management as part of a 'radical simplification.' Entwistle announced that chief operating officer Caroline Thomson, who was a rival for the top job, will leave the BBC at the end of September. This is a result of his plans to merge both the finance and operations divisions to one business division. 'I intend to change the way we're led to put the emphasis where it belongs - on creative people doing creative things; on our audiences and the exceptional quality of work they deserve,' he told staff across the BBC. All of which sounds great but, are you actually going to deliver, George? Entwistle said that his focus on creativity could not be in isolation of the BBC's financial challenges, with cuts of sixteen per cent already planned as part of the tragic Delivering Quality First initiative. He said he intends to involve front-line programme makers and content producers in making those savings, with the incentive that they will be able to put the money back into their output. Entwistle paid tribute to the success of the BBC's Olympic coverage, and said staff should aspire to recreate that atmosphere in other projects. 'Only the BBC can do things with the ambition, scale and quality that bring the whole nation together,' he said. Entwistle also acknowledged problems within the structure of the BBC, including 'internal competition, the duplication, the jockeying for position.' He continued: 'And at its worst, the leaking, the briefing against other people and other departments - and the sheer waste of energy and money that results.' He told staff he hopes to lead the BBC in a way that 're-invokes the pride I believe we all felt on our first day.' The next licence fee settlement will be a key issue for Entwistle, with negotiations on the future cost of a TV licence due to start in 2015-16. Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, outgoing director general Mark Thompson said he believed the corporation should not face further budget cuts, as it was 'getting very, very close to the edge.' However looking ahead, Entwistle said only one thing could guarantee the corporation's survival: 'Creative output of such outstanding quality that the British licence fee payer simply refuses to do without the BBC.' He continued that the organisation could not argue for a renewed licence fee in 2017 unless output was of the 'highest quality and our audiences love us for it.' Entwistle, who was previously the BBC's director of vision, has worked at the BBC for twenty three years. In his first interview, with this week's Radio Times, he revealed his passion for the BBC had started early. As an outraged six-year-old, he fired off a handwritten letter to the 'Derector of the BBC' after Tom and Jerry was bumped off the schedule because coverage of the 1969 budget overran. Entwistle said that his father had unearthed the letter, which was never sent, as he was applying for the Director-General job himself forty three years later.

Lord Justice Leveson has spent nine months interrogating the newspaper industry about ethics and relationships with the police and politicians, but now the tables may be turned. According to a rather shit-stirring piece in several national newspapers, it is claimed that he 'may' be summoned before a parliamentary committee to be questioned about his proposals for future regulation of the press. Paul Farrelly, a Labour MP on the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, told a gathering of Hacked Off campaigners on Monday night that Leveson may be 'invited' to make an appearance once his report offering the government proposals on the future regulation of the press is finalised later this year. 'We might have Lord Justice Leveson in front of us at the select committee to see why his model is better than others in the industry,' he said. It is understood that the committee is also going to summon Lord Hunt, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, at the same time to compare and contrast their models for a new regulatory system. The committee believes that asking Leveson to appear is 'within its remit' as he will be one of many offering proposals for a successor to the PCC. If he does attend a culture select committee hearing, Leveson will face questions from some new faces. Labour's Tom Watson (power to the people!) has resigned because of rules which prohibit frontbenchers from sitting on select committees and Conservative MP Louise Mensch's place has been vacated following her decision to quit parliament to live in New York. Tory MPs Damian Collins and Therese Coffey are also stepping down from the committee. Although, sadly, odious gasbag, horrorshow (and drag) Philip Davies isn't.

ITV looks set to win a renewal of all its broadcast licences covering England and Wales for a ten-year period from the end of 2014 to 2024, without any major changes to the current terms and conditions. The decision, expected from the government later this autumn, would give the company security, but could make it a more likely takeover target. The only outstanding issues are understood to be whether a new ITV franchise for Wales needs to be carved out, from the Wales and the West of England region, and an adjustment made in the Borders region, so that people in Southern Scotland can receive a Scottish news service from STV. The new lack of culture secretary, Maria Miller, is being urged by her senior civil servants to renew all the licences owned by ITV and the two other channel three companies STV, UTV and Channel Five for a ten-year period, without making any changes of substance to the current terms, conditions or statutory quotas on programme supply. 'Seeing everything is pretty calm at the moment, why upset the situation?' one allegedly senior Department for Culture, Media and Sport 'insider' allegedly told the Gruniad Morning Star, adding it was hoped an announcement would come before December. ITV owns all eleven channel three regional licences for England, Wales and the Channel Islands. In a submission to Ofcom's consultation on licence renewal earlier this year, the broadcaster proposed cutting the local content within its weekday evening regional TV news programmes and instead transmitting more aggregated output of interest to viewers across several regions. The broadcaster also proposed increasing the number of regional news programmes it broadcasts in England, Wales, the Scottish Borders and Channel Islands from nine back to the seventeen it offered before 2009. Channel Five, owned by media baron and soft-core pornographer Richard Desmond, has already said in public that it is happy to renew without changes to its public service broadcasting remit, to maintain its children's Milkshake service, news, and commitment to screen fifty per cent original UK content. All four companies have confirmed they wish to remain public service broadcasters and in talks with the government have made it clear they are not trying to cut their PSB commitments. In May, Ofcom presented three 'credible' options for commercial PBS licence renewal to former lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Hunt in a statutory report required under the 2003 Communications Act. They included renewal for ten years, an extension, to allow parliamentary debate about how PSB content should be delivered in a digital world and a licence auction to test 'fresh approaches to public service broadcasting.' 'We have received Ofcom's statutory report on the relicensing of Channels three and five. The Secretary of State is considering the options open to her and will make a decision in due course,' a DCMS spokesman said.

BBC presenter Jake Humphrey has announced that he is to leave the corporation to host BT Vision's Premier League coverage. BT will launch a new channel after acquiring the rights to seven hundred and thirty eight million smackers worth of Premier League football, starting from the 2013-14 season. The thirty three-year-old, best known for hosting the BBC's Formula 1 coverage, will anchor the new channel's live football coverage from next season which includes thirty eight live games a season over three years. He will continue to present the BBC's F1 coverage for the remainder of the current season. Humphrey started his career on CBBC and went on to become the youngest host of Football Focus, Match of the Day and Final Score and was one of the main broadcasters for BBC3 during the London 2012 Olympics. 'I'm incredibly excited to be joining the team at BT, not just because I get to fulfil a lifelong dream of presenting the Premier League but because of the fresh perspective that BT will bring to both sport and broadcasting in this country,' said Humphrey. A BBC statement read: 'We'd like to wish Jake all the best for the future, and thank him for his contribution to the BBC over the last ten years.'

Red Dwarf co-creator Doug Naylor has confirmed that the BBC was 'not interested' in reviving the show. New episodes of the SF comedy - which originally ran on BBC2 between 1988 and 1999 - will be broadcast exclusively on Dave from Thursday 4 October. 'Of course, BBC2 is where the whole thing started and obviously we want to get the biggest possible audience we can,' Naylor told the Radio Times. 'But no, the BBC hasn't approached us [about a revival]. The last one we did with them was series eight, which got eight million and was the most successful series we've ever done. And then we wanted to do a film, which took so long not to get anywhere!' Naylor explained that the long-mooted Red Dwarf feature film meant that the sitcom 'stepped off the TV merry-go-round. Once you're off, it's hard to get back on,' he said. 'I totally understand the channel controllers who want to encourage the next generation and who say, "We don't want you old farts back again, although we enjoyed you while you were here. And quite honestly, we don't know if the people who used to watch your show will still watch." But I think [Dave's first 2009 mini-series] Back to Earth proved that the Red Dwarf fanbase is still there.'

Former Sun editor and scum of humanity Kelvin MacKenzie will be no stranger to the tactic of doorstepping, so Channel Four News chief correspondent Alex Thomson sought to give him a taste of his own medicine when he turned up at MacKenzie's home to ask him about his notorious coverage of Hillsborough. MacKenzie was less than keen to talk ('I'm not going to do it, I will talk about it next week,' said the former Sun man) but a persistent Thomson wasn't taking 'no for an answer. So much so that he wedged himself in between MacKenzie and his car door, preventing the ex-editor from driving off. It's a sight to see, dear blog reader. Here's a taste of the pair's increasingly terse exchange. Kelvin MacKenzie: 'Can I close my own door?' Alex Thomson: 'Not until you have answered that question.' MacKenzie: 'It's not up to you to decide whether I answer the question.' Thomson: 'I just did, Kelvin.' MacKenzie: 'Please Alex, it's not reasonable.' Thomson: 'That's pretty rich coming from you Kelvin. The public are going to love that.' Indeed. Well, this member of the public did, anyway.
The Snowman producer John Coates has died. The filmmaker - who was in his eighties - died after battling with cancer, reports the Gruniad. He had been involved in a new version of the classic Christmas film for its thirtieth anniversary. Coates had recently been working with some of the film's original animators in London, but later became too ill to travel from Kent. Channel Four has confirmed that the new version - The Snowman & The Snowdog - will be broadcast this Christmas. Coates worked with The Snowman's original animator Raymond Briggs after reading the book. He convinced Channel Four to make it as one of the channel's first films in 1981. He was a former British army officer who served in World War II, and later worked as a film distributor in Asia. Coates also worked on The Beatles' animated movie Yellow Submarine, The Wind in the Willows and The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends. The Snowman co-producer Camilla Deakin of Lupus Film said that John had seen the finished version of the new edition. 'He was happy to see it, comfortable and very, very happy with it,' she said. Speaking last year about the project, John said: 'After thirty years, it's silly - why not have another one? We are hoping to repeat the success. We could fall flat on our faces. But it's a lovely story.'

Brian Woolnough, presenter of Sky Sports' Sunday Supplement and the chief sports writer of the Daily Lies, has died following a long struggle with bowel cancer. The sixty three-year-old hosted the Sunday morning football journalists panel show Sunday Supplement from 2007 after previously being the presenter of Hold the Back Page from 1994. Woolnough began his journalism career on Surrey's Esher News and Hemel Hempstead's Evening Post, before working his way up to the position of chief football writer for the Sun. He worked for the Sun for twenty seven years and moved to the Daily Lies in 2001. Woolnough is survived by his wife, Linda, and their three children.

Two masked robbers attempted to hold a heist in a German burger bar with a handheld gun. The pair left with a charity piggy bank, containing fifteen pence, and a chocolate bar each after setting off an alarm and fleeing the scene. Shopkeeper Mehdi Eghbali told a German newspaper that the robbers failed to 'get their hands on any large amounts of loot.' Except, obviously, he said it in German (das robbers 'erhalten Sie ihre hände auf jede großen mengen an beute' perhaps).
Eghbali said: "There was twenty cents in the piggy bank and the chocolate bars cost €1.20 each.' Police in the German city of Dusseldorf suggested that the duo were 'inexperienced' but had still committed a 'serious offence,' reports the Metro. They are appealing for witnesses to help unmask the robbers and punish them for their wicked and hellish crime.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self is on something of a Chicory Tip. As it were. No, not the famous one, the other one.