Sunday, December 30, 2012

Woke Up Sweating To This Modern Nightmare

A promotional trailer featuring forthcoming BBC1 programmes has been unveiled. The two-minute clip, entitled Love 2013, includes snippets of anticipated series and specials such as Doctor Who, Call The Midwife, Miranda, Natural World, Luther, Ripper Street, Death In Paradise and the second series of The Voice. Tom Odell provides the soundtrack to the video. The mood of the footage has, reportedly, been carefully synchronised to match the lyrics to his single 'Another Love', and concludes with the tagline: 'There's more to love in 2013.'
Saturday's overnight ratings brought a truly calamitous set of result for ITV, with only one of their shows managing to scrap above two million viewers in primetime and being beaten for the majority of the night, not only by BBC1 but, also, by both BBC2 and Channel Four as well. As Nelson Muntz might say, 'ha, ha.' BBC1's night was anchored by their revival of 70s staple yer actual Superstars, in which sixteen Olympians competed against each other in a variety of sporting challenges. Come on, you all know the rules of Superstars by now even if it hasn't been on telly for a few years. An average of 5.78m punters (with a peak of 6.5m) watched the programme from 6.45pm to 8.15pm. They saw superheavyweight boxer, the very impressive Anthony Joshua win the men's competition with some ease and rower Helen Glover narrowly pip Taekwando ace Jade Jones to the ladies title. All in all, it was really rather good fun. Especially the bit when Mo Farah capsized his canoe, which was almost reminiscent of the time Kevin Keegan fell off his bike in the original series. It was also a happy reminder of a golden age of endearingly naff, gloriously British television as the return of this Seventies classic saw some of Britain's finest medallists, lining-up to make chumps of themselves (or, in several cases, otherwise) in a mildly more sophisticated version of a school sports day, performed before small, but enthusiastic crowds in cold, wet, thoroughly miserable weather. Glover, a former junior international cross-country champions, hence her brilliance in the eight hundred metres, is the well-spoken ponytailed epitome of the sporting Englishwoman. Joshua, by contrast, is the Watford-born son of Nigerian immigrants. And, as both were crowned champion so Superstars, like the Olympics themselves during the summer, gave every race, class and gender in the country something to be proud of. Terrific. Thereafter, Lottery: Secret Fortune pulled in 4.30m, repeats of the two Christmas episodes of Mrs Brown's Boys maintained the momentum with 3.26m and 3.18m respectively and a goal-packed Match of the Day ended BBC1's night with a well-above-slot-average 3.96m (a peak of 4.68m at 22:40). By contrast it was a thoroughly rotten night for ITV. It started badly with Thirty Years of CITV's 1.96m and I Love You've Been Framed! getting a mere 2.43m, both of which were completely thrashed by Superstars. But then it got even worse. Dale's Great Getaway in which Dale Winton minced about in a format so lightweight as to be in danger of floating away completely was watched by a risibly small audience of 1.46m from 8.30pm whilst the film Love Actually could only manage 1.64m from 9.35pm. The majority of BBC2's schedule matched or bettered ITV's efforts, the Dad's Army movie pulling in 2.4m from 6.45pm (it was preceded by repeats of John Le Mesurier: It's All Been Rather Lovely - 1.65m - and Clive Dunn: A Tribute - 1.59m). Then, from 8.20pm Sue Perkins' delightful documentary Climbed Every Mountain: The Story Behind the Sound of Music topped the night with 2.46m, an audience higher than anything ITV managed all day.
Even in its unaccustomedly late slot of 11pm, Qi XL still managed to attract 1.04m for the extended repeat of its Christmas episode, keeping it within a couple of hundred thousand of what ITV was managing at the same time. Channel Four also got in on the act, with Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (1.86m) out-performing ITV for most of the three hour period that it was on. The whole evening was a real omnishambles for ITV. And, to be honest, it serves them damn well right for offering such a wretched schedule. But it's also a useful reminder that without its soaps and talent shows, ITV is up, as broadcaster, currently right up a creek and without any obvious paddles to hand.

Twenty four hours earlier, the overnight audiences for Friday continued to see the BBC - in this case, slightly - ahead of ITV in primetime. Pointless Celebrities (5.17m), the BBC News (7.10m), Celebrity Mastermind (4.08m), Holby City (4.74m) and the second episode of Restless (4.89m) anchored a generally decent night for BBC1 with only a piss poor showing for The ONE Show on Ice (2.57m) letting the side down. Their two ratings Juggernaut soaps aside - Emmerdale (6.83m) and Coronation Street (8.13m) - it was a rank arse night for ITV with You've Been Framed! posting a forgettable 3.77m, The Corrie Years being watched by but 2.47m and All New It'll Be Alright On The Night also failing to break the four million barrier (3.74m). Overall, BBC1 led primetime with 19.1 per cent of the audience share, ahead of ITV's eighteen per cent.

Speaking of Celebrity Mastermind, gosh wasn't the Goddess of Punk Archaeology Professor Alice Roberts looking particularly fine on Friday night's episode whilst answering questions on the Moomin books of Tove Jansson. Didn't win, but that didn't really matter. Well, except to her chosen charity, one imagines.
The weekend also saw a clutch of clip-shows from the BBC's premier comedy quizzes for Christmas. The first of two Qi compilations included several clips from one of the two episodes yet to be shown (which will, hopefully, appear early in the New Year) featuring Jezza Clarkson, Jason Manford and Sandi Toksvig. Looking forward to that one.
Of course, usually some of the most memorable bits of Qi are included in the end-of-year compilations (who can forget 'they say of the acropolis where the Parthenon is'?) The same isn't, always, true of the topical news quizzes. In an extended one-hour Mock The Week Christmas special there was, at least, plenty of previously unbroadcast material, including a funny bit with Dara O Briain wearing a very small hat. You probably had to be there.
And, in Have I Got News For You, once again, Bill Shatner commented on the shocking levels of prostitution in that sink of Bohemian depravity, Ilfracombe. And that's always good for a laugh.
Speaking of Qi, the XL edition of the Christmas episode was broadcast on Saturday night at some Christawfully obscure hour of the night featuring Danny Baker, Sarah Millican and Phill Jupitas being very amusing just in case you missed it, dear blog reader. The highlight was, possibly, Jupitas's allegation that Bob Marley could walk on water: 'Rita, me goin' for a run, 'pon de layke!'
Also, the bit when Phill and Danny started to riff - delightfully - on obscure 1970s pop music, Stephen Fry noting, wisely: 'It's like being in the room with Max Planck and Einstein when they're discussing physics!' Sarky bleeder!
Clare Balding has admitted that she is nervous about hosting a new Saturday night BBC1 show. The presenter, who was widely praised for her coverage of the Olympics on the BBC and the Paralympics on Channel Four during the summer, will front Britain's Brightest from January in a bid to find the most intelligent individual in the country. Well, that's Stephen Fry or, at a pinch, Professor Brian Cox, you don't need a TV show to work that out! 'I'm putting myself into a different genre - I'm therefore saying to the public, "Can you accept me in a completely different format?" and that is risky,' national treasure Clare told the Radio Times. 'And obviously because it's Saturday night, I've got to glam up a bit - there will be a few people who go, "Oh, I don't like what she's wearing."' Speaking of her successful year, she added: 'I think "ambitious" is one of those adjectives used for women in a derogatory way. Yet, I think ambition is crucial in life - you have to know what you might be capable of and push yourself slightly beyond it.'

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat talked about his rituals over Christmas (as well as watching Doctor Who of course) to the Standard. For example, on the subject of the inevitable requirements to put things together: 'Sue will tell me to assemble something. Maybe just put batteries into some toys. And I'll sit on the floor with a screwdriver, and do my daddy-thing.' One imagines that's not a euphemism for something. 'Slowly, by degrees, it becomes a compulsion. I find more and more things to assemble. And then I need more and more! I'm rummaging in the bins, trying to find the instruction manuals among all the scarves and Sue's new jewellery. They start calling me for Christmas lunch, but "No!" I cry. "Just one more thing. I need to assemble just one more thing." Then I'm breaking into the boys' Lego®™ kits and putting them together like a crazed junkie, destroying weeks of fun at a stroke. Somehow, though, before I can make it to Ikea to demand flatpacks at gunpoint, Sue will manage to get me to the dinner table to eat with the family.'

It was, of course, Gruniad Morning Star reader yer actual Karl Marx who said that history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce. Could the same be true of primetime period drama? The hit Downton Abbey has taken something of a battering, following poor reviews of the drama's Christmas Day special in which the nation's heartthrob Matthew Crawley met a grim and splatty end in a car crash. But as the impeccably mannered stars of Lord Snooty's Downton begin, perhaps, to lose their allure, those in search of an aristocratic fix may find themselves turning to the comic and oversized figure of Lord Emsworth, one of the greatest humorous creations of the novelist PG Wodehouse. A six-part BBC run of Blandings, based on Wodehouse's much-loved accounts of the fictional life and times of Blanding Castle's Ninth earl, is designed to introduce a new family audience to his work. Set in 1929, with a starry cast, Blandings will follow the fortunes of the amiable, befuddled Emsworth, played by Timothy Spall, and his beloved pig, Empress. The series, occupying a BBC1 Sunday evening slot from January, represents the biggest commitment to adapting Wodehouse's work for television since ITV's twenty three-episode Jeeves and Wooster, starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, in the early 1990s. It also takes the public obsession with the pre-war and the posh into entirely new terrain. Forever in search of peace and quiet, Lord Emsworth spends most of his life under siege from members of his unlovable household, who will be played by an all-star cast including Jennifer Saunders, Jack Farthing and David Walliams. And in an echo of Downton Abbey, which is filmed at Highclere Castle, the Berkshire home of Lord and Lady Carnarvon, the show was filmed at the four hundred-year-old Crom Castle, near Newtownbutler in Northern Ireland, home of Lord Erne. Walliams started reading PG Wodehouse, whom he describes as 'a comic master,' when the Fry and Laurie series was running. He said: 'Unlike some of the things I have done, this was not rude. It is family oriented. It's come at the right time. There is a big renaissance in costume drama, but there hasn't yet been a comic one.' According to Danny Cohen, the controller of BBC1: 'The British public have always adored PG Wodehouse's eccentric, imaginative world. It provides a form of sunshine when you read it and I think it can have the same effect on viewers via TV. There is a joyfulness I hope people will take to their hearts.' He added that period drama is liked because 'much of the interest stems from the production values' – from costumes to carriages. 'There is a lot of social satire. Class still dictates a lot of things in this country. Above all, these stories are very funny. Good humour lasts.' Blandings will only be one element in what promises to be a golden year for Wodehouse-lovers. A darker side of the Wodehouse legacy is also to be explored in a drama in March which will re-examine the controversial period that the author spent in Nazi Germany. Wodehouse was never publicly cleared of the taint of treason following his decision to accept Nazi requests to make wartime broadcasts to America from Berlin in 1941. The row which followed led to the writer moving to America in 1947. An Innocent Abroad will be broadcast in March. Producer Kate Triggs said: 'The film is all about a writer's life, the imaginative world of a writer. Wodehouse is a great example of that, he worked all the time, he was happiest writing.' But, she said: 'The man came crashing up against a massive European crisis which he was incapable of handling,' adding that actor Tim Pigott-Smith depicts Wodehouse 'with all the nuances, as a naive in the genuine sense of the word.' According to Richard Klein, the controller of BBC4: 'The film slowly explores, with tension and psychological insight, how PG Wodehouse got himself into a Woosterish mess and allowed himself to be used by an evil regime.' Wodehouse, successful in Britain and the US, aged fifty nine, was trapped in Le Touquet, the Normandy resort, when the Germans occupied France in 1940. With his wife, Ethel, he made two attempts to flee but left it too late, partly because they did not want to put Wodehouse's pekinese, Wonder, into quarantine. He was interned for nine months, mainly in Germany, at Tost in Upper Silesia. The offending broadcasts appear to be have been sparked by an enterprising American journalist, Angus Thuermer, who tracked the writer down for an interview. This alerted the German foreign ministry to their important internee, and started a political game. The allegation made by his critics was that Wodehouse bought his release by agreeing to broadcast on German radio. Triggs gives a different account: 'The American element was very important. He got a lot of letters from the US after the Thuermer interview. In his life he had always written back, now he couldn't. He saw the broadcast as a way of doing that.' Wodehouse was released from the internment camp in June 1941 and was put up in the Adlon hotel, Berlin, close to the Reich Chancellery. The film shows Wodehouse being persuaded to write and record five broadcasts for his American fans. They adopted the light-hearted tone of a diary he had kept at Tost, which he read out to patriotic Englishmen with him. But they were made at a critical point in the war, when Hitler's generals were preparing the invasion of the Soviet Union and discussions were under way about America coming into the war. The coup involving the author was taken up by Joseph Goebbels's propaganda ministry, and Wodehouse was vilified by the British government and the press. Triggs believes that elements of the British establishment regretted their pre-war strategy of appeasement of Nazi Germany and took out their feelings of guilt on Wodehouse. 'One of the questions the film raises is whether or not an artist has a responsibility to reflect what is going on around him. I think he had every right to live in the world he lived in, the past.'

King of the Mods yer actual Sir Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour De France and an Olympic gold and, deliciously, pissed off some lice of no importance at the Daily Scum Mail in the process, has been knighted in a New Year Honours list dominated by London 2012 medallists. The cyclist appears on a special list drawn up to recognise seventy eight Games heroes. Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey becomes a dame after taking four golds while the most decorated sailor since Nelson, Ben Ainslie, is also knighted. Katherine Grainger, Victoria Pendleton, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and David Weir become CBEs, and Andy Murray is one of a whole host of an OBE. The men behind Britain's cycling and rowing successes, performance directors Dave Brailsford and David Tanner, were also knighted. Away from the games, there are OBEs for the actor Ewan McGregor and fashion designer Stella McCartney, while illustrator Quentin Blake was knighted on the list for those not involved in London 2012. There is also a knighthood for the industrial designer, Kenneth Grange, the man behind the UK's first parking meter, the InterCity 125 train and the Kodak Instamatic camera. Singer Kate Bush and artist Tracey Emin are made CBEs, an honour also bestowed on former Strictly Come Dancing judge, faceache (and drag) Arlene Phillips, for her 'services to dance and to charity.' But, not television. Comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd, eighty two, who co-wrote TV shows including 'Allo 'Allo and Are You Being Served is among the OBEs. Sarah Storey, who is expecting her first child, is honoured for services to para-cycling after her London medal haul took her gold medal total to eleven, which equals Tanni Grey-Thompson and Dave Roberts as one of the country's most successful Paralympians. The thirty five-year-old from Disley in Cheshire said: 'I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud.' Some of the biggest names of London 2012 received CBEs - the UK's most successful female rower, Katherine Grainger, the poster girl of the games, Jessica Ennis, and wheelchair athlete David Weir. He won four gold medals in the eight hundred, fifteen hundred and five thousand metres and the marathon at the Paralympics. Joining their ranks with his first honour is athlete Magic Mo Farah, who lifted the nation with his double gold in the five and ten thousand metres. His first came during a pulsating forty seven minutes in the Olympic Stadium on Super Saturday, 4 August, when Britain picked up three gold medals - Farah in the ten thousand metres, Ennis in the heptathlete and Greg Rutherford in the long jump, an achievement that earned him an MBE. Andy Murray was made an OBE in a year which saw him win Olympic gold and become the first British man to win a grand slam singles title for seventy six years when he triumphed in the US Open. Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, eighteen, now has an OBE to add to the MBE she won in 2009, the youngest person to do so aged fourteen. Some of the people who helped to make the games such a success were recognised, including Lord Coe, who becomes a Companion of Honour, a special honour given for 'service of conspicuous national importance' and limited to sixty five people at any one time. It is an exclusive club and now also includes Professor Peter Higgs, who predicted a new particle, the Higgs-Boson, in the 1960s, and this year the particle was proved to exist. But one name conspicuously missing from the list is film and theatre director Danny Boyle, whose artistic vision was so spectacularly realised in the Olympic opening ceremony but who is believed to have turned a knighthood down. A Cabinet Office spokesman said that an unprecedented number of sportspeople had received honours, with one hundred and twenty three awards compared to forty four in the last list. Of these, seventy eight were related to the Olympics or Paralympics. He added that there were four criteria in deciding which athletes should be awarded including longevity in the sport, general performance and how much they give back to the sporting community. The sporting honours committee also assesses what stage the individual is in their career in terms of whether they are likely to be competing for a further number of years. He added that seventy two per cent of the recipients are people who have undertaken 'outstanding work in their communities' either in a voluntary or paid capacity.

Caprice Bourret has reportedly joined the line-up of Tom Daley's ITV series Splash! Which, from the pre-publicity, sounds a completely and utter pile of shat. The American model is the latest alleged 'celebrity' to sign up for what has been described as a 'diving reality series', according to the Sun. However, Bourret is, allegedly, concerned that her whopping fun bags may make diving difficult. 'She is concerned hitting the water during a dive will hurt, as if you do have large boobs it can be quite painful,' an alleged 'source' allegedly said. In that way that normal people don't. 'The coaches have promised to teach her the right techniques to make sure she experiences as little discomfort as possible.' Olympic bronze medallist Daley will train a number of alleged 'celebrities' to dive efficiently in the programme, to be hosted by Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay. Which, at least means Caprice's chest won't be the only tits on display.

One of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's earliest sporting heroes the former England cricket captain Tony Greig has died aged sixty six after suffering a heart attack in Sydney. The South Africa-born Greig was diagnosed with lung cancer two months ago. Six feet six inches tall and a genuine all-rounder, he played fifty eight Tests for England from 1972 until 1977, including fourteen as skipper, before giving up the captaincy in controversial circumstances to join Australian media magnate Kerry Packer's breakaway World Series. He later became a popular television commentator in Australia and back in the UK with Channel Four. 'He was a massive character,' said BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew. 'Whatever he did, Tony was huge - as a character, as a man, as a cricketer.' Another former England captain, yer actual Ian Botham - who played his first two tests alongside Greigy - described Tony as 'an amazing guy, full of energy. He revolutionised the game and it had to be done,' he added. Greig's first inkling of illness had occurred earlier in the year when a bout of bronchitis showed unusual stubbornness. While commentating in the UAE and then at the World Twenty20 competition in Sri Lanka he underwent tests which uncovered a cancerous lesion in his right lung. Subsequent examinations and operations revealed the extent of the cancer and he was unable to fulfil his usual duties for Channel Nine in the Brisbane test against South Africa early this month. Channel Nine said that Tony had died on Saturday, after being rushed from his home to St Vincent's Hospital. Tony scored three thousand five hundred and ninety nine test runs at an average of 40.43 and took one hundred and forty one wickets with his tricky off-spin and medium pace at 32.20 apiece. He was named one of Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year in 1975. Greig had arrived in Britian in 1965 and played county cricket for Sussex between 1966 and 1978 after having a trial with them at the age of nineteen and scoring one hundred and fifty six on his début against Lancashire. He captained the side from 1973 to 1977 and his first class career ended with over sixteen thousand runs and eight hundred and fifty wickets. He qualified for England in 1970 due to his father's Scottish heritage. Tony's brother, Ian, subsequently followed him to the Uk and, also, played - briefly - for England. Greig's father had helped him decide between university study or pursuit of the Sussex offer. 'He used to slam into me for not reading enough, for being generally immature,' Tony recalled. 'He would look at me sometimes and say "when I was your age I was fighting a war." But in the end he grinned and said: "Go over to England for one year and see what you can do."' Tony told Channel Nine colleagues before having surgery last month: 'It's not good. The truth is I've got lung cancer. Now it's a case of what they can do.' He tweeted on Christmas Day: 'Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to you all. Would love to be at test but son Tom and I will be tuned-in.' Tony provoked controversy in 1976 when, as England captain, he said that he and his team intended to try and make the touring West Indies side 'grovel' in that year's Test series. In the event England were soundly beaten three-nil by Clive Lloyd's emergent world-beaters but the following winter Greig led England to their first series victory in India since the Second World War (a feat that has only been equalled twice since, once by Alistair Cook's side earlier this year). After presiding over three wins, six draws (including three in his first series after inheriting the captaincy from Mike Denness, against Australia in 1975) and five defeats he relinquished the job to Mike Brearley in 1977 although Tony did play in all five tests during that summer's triumphant three-nil Ashes victory over Australia. Having been one of Englad's few successes during the calamitous 1974-75 series down under when Dennis Lillie and Jeff Thomson wrecked havoc with a generation of England batsmen, the latter victory was especially sweet for Tony. He'd always been a rather controversial figure; in the 1974 tour of the West Indies his attempt to run out Alvin Kallicharran after the final ball of the day had been bowled almost caused a minor diplomatic incident. Nevertheless, that tour was also memorable for Tony's performance in the final test in Trinidad, taking thirteen wickets in the match to help England to victory. He was a central figure in recruiting several England players for the controversial World Series, which ran in opposition to test cricket from 1977 to 1979 and featured international stars earning much higher salaries. Although several players were banned from representing their country as a result (bans which were subsequently declared illegal), World Series Cricket helped to revolutionise the sport with increased player wages and presentational changes such as the introduction of coloured clothing and the white ball for one day matches. Tony lived in Sydney from the late 1970s until his death and became a popular voice around the world with his enthusiastic and opinionated commentary style for Channel Nine, often wearing a large panama hat and inserting his car keys into playing surfaces as part of his legendary pitch reports. These lectures' insights contrasted somewhat with the nature of his commentary, which carried both the entertainment value of the showman and the agitator's spice he had employed so often as a bowler, aggressive batsman, outspoken captain and pioneering silly point fielder. His description of moments such as Sachin Tendulkar's twin centuries against Australia in Sharjah in 1998 and Sri Lanka's World Cup victory in 1996 have stayed with all who heard them. 'He changed cricket in the way we know it now,' said Ian Botham. 'The players of today have a lot to thank Tony Greig - and Kerry Packer - for. Flamboyant is the word - he was larger than life and very much an extrovert. He made things happen.' England & Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke said: 'Tony Greig was a magnificent and fearless cricketer capable of changing games with ball or bat. He was a determined supporter of players' rights in his later years.' Former Australia captain Bill Lawry, a long-time colleague in the commentary box, said: 'He's been a great friend of mine for thirty three years. He's well-known right throughout the world, well loved and respected. World cricket has lost one of its great ambassadors.' Australian captain Michael Clarke said: 'I was only speaking with Tony a couple of days ago so news of his passing is absolutely devastating. He has been a great mentor for me. Cricket will be much poorer for his loss. We will never forget the lasting legacy Tony leaves us with.' The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard described Greig as 'a wonderful example of someone who came to Australia from somewhere else in the world and embraced his adopted country as his own.' International Cricket Council chief executive Dave Richardson said: 'Tony played a significant part in shaping modern cricket as a player in the 1970s and then provided millions of cricket lovers with a unique insight as a thoughtful and knowledgeable commentator.' Current England Test and Sussex wicket-keeper Matt Prior tweeted: 'Can't believe one of my heroes Tony Greig has passed away. One of the greatest voices in cricket and will be sorely missed.' Tony's long-time commentary partner, Richie Benuad noted: 'I first saw him playing when I was commentating in England with the BBC. When [Ian] Chappell took the Australian side over in 1972, I saw Tony play up at Old Trafford. He top scored in both innings of a game that England won. They wouldn't have won it without his contribution. In that game I was very impressed with this guy. I thought "there's a good player." He was also forthright in the commentary team. He did a variety of things. He was also doing the pitch reports. I don't know if you become completely famous for pitch reports, but he did, he got as close to it as anyone could possibly have done. The work he did there and the research he put into it by talking to people who knew about soil and weather and talking to curators, in particular John Maley, the curator who first invented drop-in pitches for World Series Cricket.' At the time of his death, Greig was with his family, including his second wife Vivian, his daughter Beau, his son Tom, and two adult children from his previous marriage - Samantha and Mark. Vivian offered thanks for the support and condolences offered by friends and well-wishers around the world, all of whom had been witness to Tony's influence as a cricketer and broadcaster.

Over half of Britons will shun New Year's Eve celebrations this year, according to research. Post Office Home Insurance found that around fifty six per cent of people will be abandoning the traditional night out in favour of settling down at home alone or with loved ones. A further sixteen per cent will throw a party at home or go to one at a friend's house rather than spend a night on the razzle. For those who are staying indoors, fifteen per cent say it is to save money. However, studies have shown that a party at home could be more costly than a night out. Those who plan to go out on the town typically aim to spend seventy six quid, while those hosting a house party expect to spend more - around one hundred smackers. More than two thousand adults took part in the survey across the UK. Post Office head of insurance Paul Havenhand said: 'The traditional big night out steps aside for a quiet night in, with many people opting to stay indoors to avoid the crowds, the cold weather and save a bit of money on New Year's Eve. However, if you are hosting a party at home, our research shows it can be a slightly more costly way of bringing in the new year, with bills mounting up for food, drink and entertainment.'

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day it is, I'm afraid, yet another case of Jam today and Jam tomorrow. Harsh.