Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Pussies Galore

Yer actual Jenna-Louise Coleman has suggested that Doctor Who's forthcoming fiftieth anniversary will be 'incredibly memorable' for long time fans. Well, i should bloody well hope so, it's going to go down like a flan in a cupboard if it isn't. Doctor Who, just in case you've been living in a cave for the last forty nine years and two months, began on 23 November 1963 with the episode An Unearthly Child, which saw The Doctor kidnap two school teachers in his TARDIS for the very first time. Current showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has promised that Doctor Who will 'take over television' during its anniversary, but has so far revealed only that the episodes will 'be full of tremendous surprises.' Coleman - who plays The Doctor's new (twice-dead) companion, Clara - has since offered her own hints about the golden anniversary to the Sun's TV Magazine. '[I'm] so very excited. Fifty years of Doctor Who and still going strong,' she declared. The actress went on to say: 'It was amazing to see the response over in the US. The fans are mega-fans and its really rocketed in popularity over the past few years. I've been walking past the news stands in New York with Matt [Smith's] face gracing the covers of magazines. Steven texted me saying this will be something we will talk about in our dotage and he is right, we will. So watch this space!' Coleman appeared in Doctor Who's festive special The Snowmen as the Time Lord's latest companion, a character whom the actress described as 'a perfect match' for Smith's Doctor. 'They are both as stubborn as each other and they challenge each other. It's almost more of a reluctant friendship,' she explained. 'They are totally bemused by each other but are drawn together like magnets - they can't help liking each other but are constantly trying to work the other out.'

Wor deed canny Kevin Whately has revealed that he will be taking a year's break from Lewis, and that afterwards he may decide not to return. The sixty one-year-old actor, who stars with Laurence Fox in the ITV drama, has said that the final episode of the latest series - which starts on 7 January - 'does have a resolution.' Speaking to the Sun, Whately said: 'I told ITV to treat it like any other episode so that we may or may not come back. But ITV wanted a resolution. And so where I am is that I want 2013 off and so does Laurence.' However, he also revealed that 'a couple' of Lewis episodes could be made in 2014, despite him being happy 'to not work.' He said: 'I genuinely like the fact I don't know what is going to happen [in 2013] and I really am perfectly happy to not work.' Whately also revealed that co-star Fox is planning on moving to America with his wife Billie Piper and two sons with the hope of making it in Hollywood.

Miranda and Mrs Brown's Boys continued to produce impressive rating figures for the BBC on New Year's Day and kick ITV's arsehole into the bargain. The Miranda Hart sitcom pulled in a stunning 9.04 million at 9pm and Brendan O'Carroll's Irish family comedy was watched by 8.1m, both slightly down on their highly-rated Boxing Day outings but way above the slot average. The BBC1 studio sitcoms achieved almost triple the audience of ITV's woefully dreadful music 'special' (and, I - and they - use that word quite wrongly) Gary Barlow and Friends, which attracted a piss-poor 3.03m between 9pm and 10.15pm. ITV's sycophantic brown-tongued lick-fest Royal Babies also, very satisfyingly, had a low audience of 3.02m crushed victims of society at 7pm. BBC2's showing of Nature's Weirdest Events (2.96m) helped it gain an unexpected 8pm lead over Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (2.92m) on ITV. Queen Victoria's Children, BBC2's 9pm documentary, managed a decent 2.44m before Charlie Brooker's 2012 Wipe (see below) picked up 1.29m. Earlier in the evening, Disney's family film Up! made its terrestrial premiere on BBC1 with an astounding 7.19m, securing a big primetime win for the channel. EastEnders - 9.09m - was the most watched show of the night. Overall, BBC1's average of 29.2 per cent was nearly three times ITV's woeful 10.3 per cent.

EastEnders took the top spot in the final consolidated Christmas Day ratings, with ITV's Downton Abbey down over two million viewers on last year's festive special. The Albert Square soap had final figures of 11.2 million viewers, a 34.1 per cent share of the audience, in the newly-released figures which include 'timeshift' viewing by households watching over the following seven days on personal video recorders or devices such as Sky+. EastEnders also topped the Christmas Day overnight ratings, averaging 9.4 million viewers on the day. ITV's Downton Abbey, which was the most-watched Christmas show of 2011 when timeshift viewing was added, slipped from second to sixth in 2012, beaten by a trio of BBC1 shows, Call the Midwife 10.18m), The Royle Family (9.9m) and Doctor Who (9.87m) as well as ITV's Coronation Street (9.84m). The Lord Snooty drama, which climaxed with the death of the character of Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens, had a total of 9.69m viewers, down from last year's 11.6 million. Downton averaged 7.3 million in the overnight ratings for Christmas Day. Call The Midwife had the most timeshifted viewing, with an extra 2.9 million viewers on top of the 7.3 million people who watched it on Christmas Day, lifting it to second place in the festive chart with 10.18 million. The Royle Family and Doctor Who boosted their overnight audiences by 2.2 million and 2.3 million respectively.

In addition to all that, the Doctor Who Christmas Day special attracted almost 1.5 million programme requests on BBC iPlayer last month, helping the catch-up TV platform enjoy another record-breaking festive period. BBC iPlayer launched on Christmas Day in 2007, but celebrated its fifth birthday as the number one video on-demand brand which is available on more than six hundred and fifty devices. In October, iPlayer attracted two hundred million requests for TV and radio for the first time in a single month, including a spike in demand on mobile devices. Christmas is typically a hugely popular time for iPlayer, as people use the platform to catch up on the glut of television content from the BBC. Doctor Who episode The Snowmen was the most popular TV show on iPlayer over Christmas, attracting one million four hundred and sixty seven thousand two hundred and twenty requests. It was followed by the Christmas Day edition of EastEnders, at 1.4m requests, and the first episode of the new series of comedy Miranda, at 1.3m requests. Last year, 2 January was the best day that BBC iPlayer had ever seen, with 5.4m TV programme requests, but that was beaten on Tuesday when there were 6.7m TV requests. In total, there were seventy seven million requests for TV and radio programmes throughout the festive period (22 December - 1 January 2013), and that does not even include Virgin Media's cable TV data, which is not yet available. Dave Price, the head of BBC iPlayer said in a blog post that there was also 'a big spike' in installs of the BBC iPlayer mobile app on tablets and smartphones over Christmas, with the 'Nexus Seven, iPad and Kindle Fire HD proving popular.'

Meanwhile, BBC1 has cemented its position as the UK's most watched channel in primetime with its best annual audience share for the period 7pm to 11pm since at least 2008. The annual primetime shares (based on overnights) are as follows:-
2009 - 22.0 per cent
2010 - 21.7 per cent
2011 - 21.5 per cent
2012 - 22.6 per cent
2009 - 22.6 per cent
2010 - 22.1 per cent
2011 - 21.0 per cent
2012 - 19.7 per cent
For the first time in many years - if not ever - BBC1 beat ITV in every single quarter, including ITV's normally strong fourth quarter:
Q1: BBC1 - 21.6 per cent - ITV - 20.1 per cent
Q2: BBC1 - 23.3 per cent - ITV - 20.0 per cent
Q3: BBC1 - 23.7 per cent - ITV - 17.0 per cent
Q4: BBC1 - 21.8 per cent - ITV - 21.7 per cent
BBC1 beat ITV in nine out of the twelve months of 2012, the only months which ITV won being May (21.8 per cent versus 21.0 per cent), September (21.2 per cent versus 19.7 per cent) and November (24.6 per cent versus 20.6 per cent). Out of fifty two full weeks of the year, BBC1 won thirty five to ITV's fifteen. Two weeks were tied. Out of three hundred and sixty six days of 2012, BBC1 won two hundred and two primetimes, ITV won one hundred and sixty two and, again, two were tied. The only day which ITV had a higher primetime average than BBC1 was Mondays (22.7 per cent versus 21.3 per cent). BBC1 had a better average on every other day of the week. BBC1's biggest primetime share of the year was 65.8 per cent which occurred on both the days of the Opening and Closing Olympic Ceremonies (27 July and 12 August). BBC1's smallest primetime share of the year was 13.1 per cent on 29 August which was the day of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony. ITV's biggest primetime share of the year was 44.7 per cent on 19 June when they broadcast an England Euro 2012 match. ITV's smallest primetime share was 3.9 per cent on 12 August.

During his Wipe 2012 round-up of the year, yer man Charlie Brooker had the following brilliant mixture of pith, sarcasm and genuine warmth to say about the Olympics: 'Olympic fever was being accompanied by plenty of gaudy advertising which gave rise to another complaint about the games, that they were clearly going to be nothing but a depressing, logo-strewn corporate egg-and-spoon contest. The nation's ad-breaks creaked with one patronising faux-inspirational propaganda movie after another with legendary Olympians and Paralympians pimping various good and occasionally farting out corporate insignia willy-nilly as apparently random products and service jostled desperately to associate themselves with that wholesome Olympic glow. Given all this, the Olympics were, clearly, going to be ghastly and as the Opening Ceremony loomed, smartarses everywhere tried to work out what the emoticon for "sneering" was. Of course, in the event Danny Boyle's opening show was a heart-warming spectacle that made everyone in the country intensely patriotic. The next morning it was as if we cautiously realised that, since we hadn't totally balls'd the ceremony up, maybe, the rest of the games would be okay, too. Usually I find watching any sport less interesting than watching, say, cardboard exist. But, for some reason, I couldn't stop watching the Olympics. I think it's because I'm a nerd and it reminded me of video games thanks to the video game-style cut-scene the BBC displayed whenever its coverage booted up. And the electric colour tones and crisp overlaid graphics showing who was in which lane. And the high-score table and the Tron-style fencing tournament and the Velodrome coverage which looked like Battle of the Planets on wheels. And, the occasional weightlifting competitor who looked like an Endo Level Boss who might suddenly lob a bolder at you. As well as looking like a game, it was a game we were good at. The blanket coverage presented us with a wealth of fresh-faced, clean-living British youngsters apparently fixated on being "the very best they could be." Bastards! People even started talking about what inspiring role-models the Olympics were providing for a whole generation for once. I mean, compare them to the sort of gaudy role-models our youth are usually presented with like the nihilistic boozy attention-addicts on MTV's raucous sex-and-shrieking reality shows Geordie Shore and The Vallyes. At last, thanks to the Olympics, our young-folk were being represented by genuine achievers. They weren't dedicating their lives to pointless nonsense, they were doing "real things", like jumping over a bar into some sand or throwing a disc or a stick, really well. Once every four years. All our fears had been unfounded, the weather was great, the systems worked and it didn't feel like a big corporate shindig because it was all on the ad-free BBC. In fact, the only thing being advertised was Britain. The schedules heaved with emotive, triumphant, romantic slow-motion montages which managed to mythologise the games before they were even over. Patriotism was now at a peak, there was nothing the UK couldn't do. We were invincible, we were unstoppable, we were superior. We could do World War II all over again in our sleep if we wanted, we were the best nation on Earth. Then, we had the Paralympics which also defied expectations by being about ten thousand times better than many were expecting. In fact, if anything, they were even better than the Olympics because half these sports hadn't received anything like this much jubilant coverage before and the athletes were truly inspiring. The Paralympics changed the way we looked at disability forever. For instance, now when I see someone in a wheelchair, I think "bloody show-off!"'

Photos of the BBC's big new drama series for 2013 have been released to celebrate the upcoming year of TV. The latest shots include a first pictures from Peter Moffat's ambitious drama project, The Village. Starring John Simm and Maxine Peake, the series will follows the residents of one English village across the Twentieth Century and their turbulent lives.
Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson leads the cast of War of the Roses-set ten-part drama The White Queen. Max Irons will play Edward IV, who is crowned the King thanks to Warwick the Kingmaker (James Frain). However, Warwick's plans are altered after the King falls in love with commoner Elizabeth Woodville (Ferguson). Another new project coming soon to BBC1 is Mayday, which has been compared to Danish hit The Killing. Sophie Okonedo, Peter Firth, Sam Spruell and Aidan Gillen star in the new drama, which focuses on the disappearance of a young girl from an idyllic community. Spruell said last year: 'It's great, because [in] this quaint village suddenly the façade comes down and the monsters are shown. I think it could be really exciting.' Former Torchwood actress Eve Myles returns to the BBC in the title role of Frankie, a six-part series about a Bristol nurse who cares more for her patients than her own personal life. Dean Lennox Kelly will play Frankie's boyfriend Ian, while Derek Riddell will star as her team member and confidant Andy.
Returning shows in 2013 on BBC1 include the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, the third series of Luther, the second series of Call The Midwife and Death In Paradise and another run of The Voice.

Joey Essex, Caprice and Sugababes singer Jade Ewen are among the non-entities, has-beens and never-weres confirmed to be taking part in Tom Daley's forthcoming ITV fiasco Splash!
Miranda Hart has hinted at a likely fourth series of Miranda. The current third series had been rumoured to be its final run - albeit, not by anyone that actually matters - but Hart has now suggested that there is a chance it will return in the future. Hart was responding to comments from her co-star Tom Ellis about the show's future, although it is unclear what Ellis had actually said. She tweeted: 'Mr Ellis is not necessarily right that there will be no more show. Are you trying to put me out of work?!' Ellis recently told the Digital Spy website that he was not sure if the show would return, saying: 'I'm not sure what's happening with it in the future. I just don't know. I've said before and I'll always say it, as long as it's going and Miranda wants me to be a part of it, I'd love to be part of it, so watch this space.'

Yer actual Sir Dangerous Dave Attenborough has said that he doesn't plan to finish working any time soon, but believes that when he eventually does, the type of programme he is most closely associated with may cease to be made. The naturalist, who travelled to the remote Galapagos Islands this summer, made the comments while promoting his new Sky series Galapagos 3D. According to the Sun, Attenborough revealed that he doubts whether wildlife programmes like those he presents will continue to exist after he finishes working. The eighty six-year-old said: 'I'm a bit of a fossil in a way. The sort of films I make - there aren't many like them now. I'm not sure that particular style of programme will go on being made.'

Channel Four's Big Fat Quiz of the Year has sparked Ofcom complaints. The watchdog has confirmed that 'some' viewers voiced their disapproval, although the number of complaints and their details have not yet been stated. A Daily Scum Mail 'shock! horror! probe!' shitehawk 'exclusive' revealed that, actually, five people had complained 'although that number is expected to rise.' Well, it likely will do after the Daily Scum Mail has tried drumming up a bit of feigned outrage about it. It's probably reached eight by now. Margaret Morrissey, founder of campaign group Parents Outloud, whoever the hell she is, said: 'It is amazing this programme was ever broadcast. This was not live television, someone made the decision to allow this to go out at 9pm during the holidays when young children will still be up and watching television.' Yes. Won't somebody think of the children. Ah, but here's the drawback. It was, it seems, odious, unfunny smug streak of lame piss Jack Whitehall and loud unfunny lard bucket (and drag) James Corden who were the ones making 'jokes about the Queen, President Obama and Susan Boyle during the show' that so got on the Daily Scum Mail's tits. It's come to a sorry shite state of affairs, dear blog reader, when something happens which makes this blogger agree with the Daily Scum Mail. And, as a consequence, that makes this really pissed-off towards the pair of arsewipes responsible for such a situation. Ban the pair of them. And, cut off their googlies as well, for such a disgraceful happenstance and malarkey. Full-of-his-own-importance Whitehall apparently 'made a joke' about why the Queen had remained standing throughout her Diamond Jubilee celebrations, linking it to Prince Philip being hospitalised with a bladder infection. 'I'm just saying what everyone's thinking,' he said. Well, off with his head. The alleged comedians - although both are, actually, about as funny as a dose of the clap - also joked about the Twitter mistake made by Susan Boyle's PR team earlier this year, when they invited fans to join '#susanalbumparty.' Other guests on the quiz show's panel included Jonathan Ross, IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade, comedian Russell Howard and sports presenter Gabby Logan, who must have wondered who she'd annoyed to get that gig. The show was presented by Jimmy Carr. Whitehall admitted on Twitter that he and ludicrous oafish buffoon Corden had been 'so, so drunk' when they filmed the show. Oh, so that's all right then. A Channel Four spokesperson commented: 'Big Fat Quiz Of The Year is a well-established comedic and satirical review of the year's events with well-known guests and is broadcast after the watershed with appropriate warnings.' Or, in other words, 'shut the fuck up Daily Scum Mail, you don't frighten us like you do the BBC.'

A Tokyo-style 'cat café' could open in London in March 2013 if an IndieGoGo funding campaign is successful. Cat cafés allow customers to enjoy drinks and snacks while watching and playing with the resident pets. The idea of cat cafés originated in Taiwan and spread quickly to Japan, where their widespread success is linked with many urban landlords disallowing pets, as well as city-dwellers' long working hours. 'A cat café is just like a regular café,' says Lauren Pears, who is looking to bring the establishment to London as Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium. 'It sells coffee, tea, cakes and snacks but with a difference. It's full of cats. Cat welfare is really important to us. In particular, we want to make sure we can house cats who don't have a home to go to. We're also working with the Mayhew Animal Home to choose cats that will be happy in the environment that has lots of people in it, and we're working with them to define a really solid care plan to make sure they're cared for.' Pears says that approval for the café has already been granted by the Food Standards Agency, animal wardens and licensing offers. The campaign has forty five days left to raise a total of one hundred and eight grand. Pears is offering a number of incentives for contributions including high tea, free trial-run parties, VIP membership and venue hire.

All of which probably means that its high time for yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And, today, that features a tune from the very first film that yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self was ever taken to see by his parents. Followed, in very short order, for those keeping score by Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Yellow Submarine and, ahem, Diamonds Are Forever. I was a very forward child!