Thursday, April 04, 2013

Just As Every Cop Is A Criminal And All The Sinners Saints

Filming has been taking place for the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary special around Ivy Tower near Neath in South Wales this week. Although with filming taking place on private land there has been little activity observed by fans. However, the comings and the goings have been observed by lots of people on Twitter who just can't let Zygons be Zygons, it would seem.
Meanwhile there's this. What a very good question.

Jenna-Louise Coleman her very self has described working on Doctor Who as 'a mad adventure.' Coleman made her official début as The Doctor's new companion, Clara, in The Bells of St John, which kicked off the second half of series seven over the weekend. You might have noticed, dear blog reader. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self certainly did. Speaking to the Mashable website, the actress claimed that she never knows quite what to expect when going to work each day. 'Every day on the job is kind of mad,' Jenna declared. 'From battling Cybermen to being on a submarine to standing on a cloud. Normal life seems incredibly dull once you've been shooting Doctor Who.' Coleman also credited working on Doctor Who with helping her become more familiar with the series' immense mythology. 'It was never on when I was growing up,' she explained. 'Growing up in the UK, I watched bits and bobs, here and there; it's a wonderful series, really feeds your imagination.'

BBC2's Great British Sewing Bee started strongly on Tuesday night, overnight data suggests. An audience of 2.56 million tuned in at 8pm for the opening episode of The Great British Bake Off spin-off, which is hosted by Claudia Whatsherface. Later on BBC2 Keeping Britain Alive: The NHS In A Day attracted 1.90 million at 9pm. Meanwhile, on BBC1, the latest episode of drama series The Syndicate had an excellent audience of 5.28 million. Despite there being no British teams left in the competition, ITV's coverage of the UEFA Champions League still managed to pull in 4.24 million between 7.30pm and 10pm for the game between Paris St Germain and Barcelona. On Channel Four, Bedtime Live had seven hundred and eighty five thousand at 8pm, Sixteen Kids and Counting had 1.28 million at 9pm and the latest Shameless amused seven hundred and sixteen thousand at 10pm.

ITV have shifted Britain's Got Talent to an hour earlier in the schedules this year, meaning that the talent show will go head-to-head with BBC1's The Voice. Britain's Got Talent returns on Saturday 13 April and it will be broadcast at a new earlier time of 7pm. In response, the BBC has shifted its singing competition to fifteen minutes earlier in the schedules, meaning that The Voice will start on 13 April at 6.45pm. The two shows will overlap for a total of seventy five minutes between 7pm and 8.15pm. Doctor Who has moved to 6pm to accommodate The Voice's earlier timeslot. Last year, the two shows overlapped slightly, but managed to avoid heavy clashes in the schedules. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef from Crossroads actually had the barefaced cheek to accuse the BBC of 'playing silly games' with the scheduling, and has previously always insisted that he would prefer it if shows such as Strictly and The X Factor and The Voice and Britain's Got Talent didn't overlap. Commenting in 2012 on The Voice-Britain's Got Talent ratings battle, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef from Crossroads said: 'I just hope they don't play these silly games where [the shows] overlap each other. Because that is a ratings game and we've got to be responsible for stopping that.' When the shows clashed last year, The Voice usually won during the time period when the shows overlapped. However, the BBC series had a ratings slide during its live shows and launched to a smaller audience last weekend, losing out in a head-to-head with Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

TV dialogue of the week: From Scott & Bailey, Nicola Walker to Suranne Jones: 'Up yer arse, bitch!' And, there, in that one line, dear blog reader, literally a thousand pieces of slash fiction are being devised and written as we speak.
And, speaking of wondrous things, John Torode's chicken pot pie with coleslaw on Wednesday night's episode of MasterChef could certainly seem to qualify. Once again, as in previous weeks, the contestant who was shown bigging themselves up at the episode's opening and saying they felt they were the best thing since sliced gnocchi and had the ability to go all the way and win the competition was, inevitably, and hilariously, among the first out the door. The producers are going to have to stop doing that, it's becoming a bit obvious!
BBC1 has ordered more episodes of the crime drama Shetland. The show - based on Ann Cleeves's novels - will return for a new six-part series, comprised of three two-parters, Broadcast reports. Douglas Henshall will reprise the lead role of Detective Jimmy Perez for filming this summer, ahead of a 2014 broadcast. ITV Studios executive Elaine Collins said: 'I'm thrilled by the terrific response we've had to Shetland. The Scottish landscape is one of the most beautiful places on earth and I'm delighted to be given the opportunity to work again with Douglas Henshall and the team on Ann Cleeves's wonderful Shetland stories.' Shetland launched as a pilot two-parter last month, opening with 6.4m viewers. The new episodes will be based on Cleeves's stories Raven Black, Dead Water and Blue Lightning.

Odious workshy, injury prone greed bucket (and drag) Michael Owen has, reportedly, been 'targeted' by various reality TV shows after announcing his retirement from football. Although, as previously noted, most supporters of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies believed that Owen had effectively retired during the four years he wore a black and white shirt. The Little Shit revealed that he was quitting the sport earlier this month and, according to the ever reliable and trustworthy Daily Lies, Strictly Come Dancing and I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) producers are both 'keen' to sign him up. Owen has previous TV experience, having starred in the - thoroughly wretched - children's TV drama Hero to Zero in 2000 and his own even more wretched BBC series Soccer Skills in 1999. The Chester-born centre forward and malingerer scored one hundred and fifty eight goals for Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws and forty for England. He went on to play for Real Madrid, The Scum and Stoke City. And, occasionally, when he hadn't been injured tripping over a blade of grass, 'turn out' for Newcastle. 'Playing' however, it too much of a stretch. Although, to be fair to him, when his contract at United ended, having successfully helped the club to relegation to the Championship, he moved far faster than he ever did on the pitch to catch the first train out of town and go and sign for The Scum. When he announced his retirement, Owen said that he was planning to launch his own management company and admitted that he had an interest in 'the media side of football.'
Two men have been convicted of plotting to kill the singer and actress Joss Stone. Junior Bradshaw, thirty two, and Kevin Liverpool, thirty five, both of St Stephen's Close, Manchester, were accused of planning to kill, injure and rob Stone at her home in Devon. Although not, necessarily, in that order. Both had travelled to the county in June 2011 armed with an array of weapons and notes detailing their deranged plans to behead her. Liverpool was jailed for life with a minimum term of ten years and eight months at Exeter Crown Court. Judge Francis Gilbert QC told him: 'It was your scheme. This may have been the crazy scheme of a crazy person but it was a very real plan.' The sentencing of Bradshaw has been delayed until a later date for psychiatric reports. The jury took just over four hours to reach a unanimous verdict. Speaking outside court, Stone's mother, Wendy Joseph, said: 'Joss would like to thank everyone for their support and all their good wishes. The whole family is relieved the trial is over and these men are no longer in a position to cause harm to anyone.' Superintendent Steve Parker, Devon and Cornwall Police's senior investigating officer on the case, said: 'I've got no doubt that Liverpool and Bradshaw intended to harm Miss Stone and that without the vigilance of the public and the good work of our officers, they represented a serious threat to her.' The men set off from Manchester in the early hours of 13 June. Their Fiat Punto was laden with weapons including a samurai sword, hammers and knives. When they arrived in East Devon they drove around for several hours in a fruitless attempt to find Stone's home. At one point, they even stopped to ask directions from a local postman, the court heard. The pair were eventually reported to police after they stopped off in Cullompton and local residents became suspicious. Well, yes, two black men in Devon, one can see why that might have set alarm bells ringing. When officers stopped them and examined the car they found it full of weapons. The men were then arrested. During the trial, the prosecution said notes written by Liverpool found by Devon and Cornwall Police showed the accused wanted to behead Stone and dump her body in the river because of her 'links to the Royal Family.' That'll be her appearance in The Tudors, probably. Bradshaw told the jury he had 'never heard' of Stone until his arrest and he thought he was 'on a day out' with his friend. Likening Bradshaw to 'a goldfish in a bowl', consultant psychiatrist Michael Alcock said that Bradshaw suffered from disorganised schizophrenia.

A sixty six-year-old man has been charged with past sex offences as part of a probe related to the Jimmy Savile inquiry, the Met Police have said. David Smith is the first person to actually be charged as part of Operation Yewtree, set up in the wake of the Savile fiasco. The Metropolitan Police said that he was charged under the strand of the operation looking at complaints against people not connected to the late DJ. Smith was a chauffeur who drove for the BBC. However, it is not clear if he also drove for other employers, or that the offences he is charged with were in connection with work for the corporation. BBC Home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds quoted an alleged 'source' as saying David Smith was 'involved in driving guests for BBC programmes.' Smith, of Lewisham, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of fourteen, two of gross indecency with a boy under fourteen and one of a serious sexual offence against a boy under sixteen, police said. The offences are a;; alleged to have taken place during 1984. They all relate to a single victim, the Crown Prosecution Service said. Smith, who was arrested on 10 December 2012 and released on bail pending further enquiries, will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 8 May. Earlier, Alison Saunders, chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: 'The CPS has carefully considered the evidence gathered as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to David Smith, who was employed as a driver at the time of the allegations. The CPS received a file of evidence on 21 December 2012. Further enquiries were necessary and the result of those enquiries was received by the CPS on 18 March. We have concluded, in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors, that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, and that it is in the public interest for David Smith to be charged with five offences.' So far, eleven people have been arrested as part of Operation Yewtree.

The Daily Scum Mail has 'sparked outrage' (or, at least, a rather sickly feeling of abject disgust) with its front page, which appears to blame the killing of six children on the welfare state. The right-wing scum newspaper, which has frequently campaigned against what it sees as the generosity of the UK's welfare system, on Wednesday lead with the conviction on Tuesday of Mick Philpott - who killed six of his own children in a house fire - using the headline Vile product of Welfare UK. The first paragraph of the article, by Andy Dolan and Paul Bentley - which since appears to have been pulled and replaced with another article on Philpott on the scum newspaper's website - started: 'He treated his seventeen sons and daughters like cash cows - generating a staggering benefits income of sixty thousand pounds a year.' Then it all went a bit downhill. A bit judgemental, perhaps but, fundamentally, an accurate statement of fact. Its third paragraph described Philpott - who together with his wife, Mairead, and friend, Paul Mosley, was convicted of manslaughter at Nottingham Crown Court - as a 'drug-taking layabout, who embodies everything that is wrong with the welfare state.' The newspaper also features a column - by AN Wilson - which claims that Philpott's life 'shows the pervasiveness of evil born out of welfare dependency.' Wilson wrote that in addition to exposing the 'sheer nastiness' of the convicted, the trial 'lifted the lid on the bleak and often grotesque world of the welfare benefit scroungers - of whom there are not dozens, not hundreds, but tens of thousands in our country.' The front page sparked an angry response from many of those on the Scum Mail's own website's comment section, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and in the mainstream media. 'Regardless of the parent's behaviour, it is morally repugnant to use the deaths of those poor children to make a political point. Anyone jumping on this bandwagon should be ashamed,' wrote one Scum Mail reader. 'Irresponsible and Inflammatory sensationalist headlines,' wrote another. 'To assume that this evil act is a product of a broken welfare state is deeply offensive to people who, through no fault of their own, rely upon the state for their survival. If this propaganda were to be believed then I would be right to assume that people who are wealthy do not commit acts of fraud, or violence towards others? This article's intentions are clear, to incite hatred and to assist the government in creating social underclass.' Private Eye's Tom Jamieson wrote on Twitter: 'Mick Philpott no more sums up people on welfare than Lord Lucan does the wealthy. Those poor dead children. Shame on you Daily Mail.' Writer and columnist for the Independent Owen Jones said: 'The utter shameless, grotesque, vile mentality of a "newspaper" that uses the killing of six kids for political purposes and to inflame hatred.' The Mirra's David McDonnell added: 'Daily Mail in league of its own by politicising human tragedy of the six dead Philpott children into headline: Vile Product Of Welfare UK.' Former deputy prime minister John Prescott asked: 'Why are people shocked by the Daily Mail? It's the Daily Mail. They know outrage gives them more publicity. Just ignore them. If outraged by the Daily Mail, tell the Chair of the PCC's Code of Practise Committee. He's Paul Dacre. Editor of the Daily Mail.' Some on social media drew parallels between the Daily Scum Mail's coverage of Philpott's crimes with its reports on businessman Christopher Foster's killing of his family in 2008 in a shooting and arson attack.

Jane Henson, the former wife of Muppets creator Jim, has died aged seventy eight after a long battle with cancer. Jane Henson helped design many puppets for the hit TV show and also worked as a puppeteer. A statement from the Jim Henson Company - owned by the couple's five children - described her as 'an integral creative and business partner' in the Muppets franchise. Henson, born in New York in 1934, died at her home in Connecticut. She met her future husband in a puppetry class at the University of Maryland in the mid-1950s and the pair created the five-minute TV sketch show Sam and Friends, a precursor to the Muppets that featured an early incarnation of Kermit. Sam and Friends was first broadcast in 1955 and ran for six years, with Jane Henson giving up puppetry in the early 1960s to raise the couple's children. However, she went on to make occasional appearances in Sesame Street, which featured many of their creations. The Muppet Show made its TV début in 1976 and has enjoyed enduring popularity. The 2011 film The Muppets won an Oscar and was a box office hit, and Ricky Gervais has signed up to play the lead role in the sequel The Muppets ... Again, which is due for release next year. Henson separated from her husband in 1986, four years before his death from infection-induced organ failure aged fifty three. She went on to found the Jim Henson Legacy to preserve his artistic contributions.

The great Irish character actor, Milo O'Shea, has died after a short illness, his son has confirmed. He was eighty six. The Dubliner, who had a long career on the stage and screen, died in a New York hospital on Tuesday night. He is best remembered for his role in Franco Zeffirelli's film, Romeo and Juliet, the 1968 film Barbarella and for his performance as Leopold Bloom in an adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses. He also appeared in several hit US TV shows, including Frasier, Cheers and The West Wing. He also had a brief role in The Golden Girls in the 1980s. Milo O'Shea was born on 2 June 1926 in Dublin and educated at the Synge Street Christian Brothers School. Early acting successes at the Gaiety Theatre were repeated in London, where he made an impact in 1961 with Glory Be! at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East. His success as Bloom in Ulysses led to a starring role on Broadway in the drama Staircase, an early attempt to depict homosexual men in a serious way, and he co-starred alongside Yootha Joyce in the (rather terrible) BBC sitcom Me Mammy, which ran between 1968 and 1971. Created by his friend Hugh Leonard, this series featured O'Shea as a lecherous company executive, Bunjy Kennefick, whose jet-setting bachelor lifestyle is hobbled by his moralising Irish Catholic mother, played by Anna Manahan (who was actually only two years older than O'Shea). He took a memorable supporting role as the trial judge in the legal drama The Verdict (1982), starring Paul Newman, was outstanding as a paedophile priest in Neil Jordan’s 1997 film The Butcher Boy and, on television was cast as the Chief Justice Ashland in The West Wing. His CV also included appearance in Loot, Theatre of Blood, Steptoe and Son Ride Again, The Purple Rose of Cairo and, a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping, the TV movie And No One Could Save Her opposite Lee Remick. He played the villain, Durand-Durand, in Roger Vadim's futuristic fantasy film, Barbarella. In 2003, Milo starred in Puckoon, a movie based on a comic novel by Spike Milligan. The satire, set in a village divided in two by the partition of Ireland, was mostly filmed in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Irish Republic. Milo began his acting career as a schoolboy in Dublin. He moved to New York in the 1970s and lived there until his death. He is survived by his second wife, the actress Kitty Sullivan, his two sons and three grandchildren.

Even more sad news now, the author Iain Banks - another particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping - has revealed that he has terminal cancer and is unlikely to live beyond a year. The Scottish writer posted a message on his official website saying his next novel The Quarry, due to be published later this year, would be his last. The fifty nine-year-old's acclaimed novels include The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road, Espedair Street, Complicity and the Culture series. The statement said that his health problems came to light when he saw his doctor, suffering from a sore back. He was diagnosed with jaundice, before further tests established the full extent of his illness. In the personal statement on his website, Iain said that he had asked his partner, Adele, to marry him and was now on a short honeymoon. Banks' first novel the extraordinary The Wasp Factory was published in 1984 and introduced the Fife-born writer as a dark new force in British literature. Considered one of Scotland's foremost writers, most of whose books are set in his home country, the writer ventures further afield in his parallel career as a writer of science fiction under the guise of Iain M Banks. Using his middle name of Menzies - on the advice of his publisher who said it looked 'more American' for the US market - several of Banks' SF works are set in the Culture universe, a semi-anarchist utopia. His most recent work in the so-called Culture series - The Hydrogen Sonata - was released last year. In its review - the Independent praised Banks' 'taste for the absurd.' Fellow Scottish author, Ian Rankin, said the news of Banks' terminal cancer was 'just awful.' He tweeted: 'Typical of Iain to propose marriage to his partner Adele with the words "Will you do me the honour of becoming my widow?"' Banks, who lives in North Queensferry, said he had cancelled all future public engagements. He said: 'The bottom line now, I'm afraid, is that as a late-stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for "several months" and it's extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.' He said that the disease had spread to both lobes of his liver, and possibly his pancreas and lymph nodes. The author said there was 'little chance' of surgeons being able to remove the tumours because of how far they had spread. He has asked his publishers to bring forward the publication of his new book to 'give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.' Iain also praised NHS staff who have looked after him - and said he may undergo chemotherapy to extend his life when his jaundice clears up. He said: 'We're all just sorry the outcome hasn't been more cheerful.' News of his illness was described as 'terribly sad' by First Minister Alex Salmond. He said: 'Iain Banks is a remarkable writer who has made a lasting contribution to Scottish literature and culture, inspiring and enthralling readers for thirty years. My thoughts are very much with Iain, his wife and family and his friends at this very difficult time.'

An alleged comedian - although this blogger finds him about as funny as a genital wart - who 'warmed up' with the Shekih Yer Man City team on the pitch before a Premier League match has escaped prosecution. Simon Brodkin, star (if that's the right word) of BBC3's Lee Nelson's Well Good Show, was given a six-month conditional caution at North Liverpool Community Justice Centre. The stunt took place at Everton versus Sheikh Yer Man City's match at Goodison Park on 16 March. Brodkin, who is thirty five and not, remarkably, eight, had dressed as one of his characters. He was later charged with going on to the playing area, contrary to the Football Offences Act. At his court appearance earlier, Julian Peers, for the prosecution, invited District Judge Ian Lomax to take an 'alternative course to prosecution.' The judge agreed to the charge being withdrawn and Brodkin was given a six-month conditional caution. Raymond Shaw, defending, told the court that Brodkin wanted to apologise for the inconvenience he caused. 'It was intended to be a humorous act and intended to be funny,' the solicitor claimed. 'It is clear from the television footage that some of the players were amused but he didn't know it was a criminal offence. He expressed his remorse immediately when he was spoken to by the club and the police and he does so again now.'

Meanwhile, Sheikh Yer Man City's Carlos Tevez has been ordered to carry out two hundred and fifty hours of community service after driving while disqualified and without insurance. The twenty nine-year-old of Alderley Edge, was also banned from driving for six months and fined a grand. Which is about one two hundredth of his weekly wage, just as a matter of pure disinterest. He was arrested after breaking an earlier driving ban for failing to reply to police letters about speeding. Magistrates heard that Tevez does not have a UK licence because he has struggled to pass the theory test in English. The Argentinian striker was stopped by police on 7 March as he left the Mottram Hall Hotel and Golf Club in Cheshire, Macclesfield Magistrates' Court heard. Kate Marchuk, prosecuting, said: 'There had been a call from an anonymous caller, that the defendant had driven a white Range Rover to the golf club whilst disqualified.' In fact Tevez did not get into the Range Rover, but left the club at about 17:00 in a white Porsche Cayenne. He was stopped nearby and arrested for driving while disqualified and having no insurance. He told the officer: 'I only live down the road. Two minutes.' Tevez was taken to the police station and later bailed but at a second interview made no reply to police questions.

There is speculation that Adam Johnson's so far rather disappointing career at Sunderland football club might be about to take off. Especially as his new manager is, it is alleged, such a huge admirer of right-wingers. Anyway ...

The Rolling Stones their very selves are to perform in London's Hyde Park for the first time since a legendary free concert for an estimated two hundred and fifty thousand people in 1969. The outdoor gig will take place on 6 July, a week after the group's first appearance at the Glastonbury festival. The rock legends famously played in the park just two days after death of guitarist Brian Jones in July 1969. 'It seems like yesterday,' guitarist Keith Richards told the BBC. Although considering that, for Keef, at least ten of the intervening years are something of a blank, that's not, quite, the overstatement you may imagine if anyone else had said it. He added: 'All the gigs we haven't done or wanted to redo are popping up.' At the first Hyde Park gig, Mick Jagger wore a white dress on stage and read a Percy Bysshe Shelley poem dedicated to Jones. Thousands of butterflies were then released into the air. Most of them, having been cooped up in cardboard boxes for several hours, immediately died. 'I'll try and keep the poetry to a minimum,' Sir Mick told the BBC's Colin Paterson about their return. He did reveal that he still owns the man dress he wore, adding: 'I can still just about get into the zippers.' Unlike in 1969, this year's show will not be free - but ticket prices have not been announced. The group angered some fans when they charged up to four hundred and six smackers for shows at the O2 arena last year. The Hyde Park show will come a week after The Stones headline the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Sir Mick said that he would phone The U2 Group's singer Mr Bonio for 'advice' following the Irish band's 2011 performance. '"Don't do it!" might be his advice, but it's a bit late for that,' Sir Mick said. 'It is quite a difficult gig,' he added. 'U2 had terrible weather and that didn't help. You have to learn from their experiences.' Mr Bonio out of The U2 Group later said that the band gave a disappointing performance at the festival because they were 'a bit freaked out' by the conditions and the singer wore 'the wrong shoes' for the stage. The Stones have also announced a North American tour, beginning in May, but with more recovery time between gigs than in previous years. 'You gotta pace yourself,' the sixty nine-year-old singer said. 'We have enough time before we come back to England, so we'll be well recovered.' But he said the group had no current plans to tour the rest of the world. They will be supported in Hyde Park in July by The Vaccines, The Temper Trap and Gary Clark Jr.

Which brings us, neatly, to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And here's The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park. Hey, I don't just throw these things together you know.