Tuesday, April 16, 2013

They Crawl Out Of Their Holes For Me

Broadchurch's overnight ratings once again in the ratings on ITV on Monday. The crime drama's penultimate episode was watched by 6.93 million overnight viewers at 9pm. Earlier, James Nesbitt's Ireland had an audience of 3.37m at 8pm on the channel. On BBC1, The ONE Show pulled in 4.01m punters at 7pm, followed by Bang Goes The Theory with 3.14m at 7.30pm. John Sweeney's controversial Panorama special from inside North Korea was seen by a whopper audience of 5.06m at 8.30pm. The documentary series The Prisoners attracted 3.58m at 9pm opposite Broadchurch. On BBC2, the first semi-final of University Challenge, in which the very impressive University College London team bested New College Oxford, was watched by 2.97m at 8pm, while Paul Hollywood's Bread achieved 2.03m at 8.30pm. Lucy Worsley's Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History attracted 1.78m at 9pm. Channel Four's new series of The Hoarder Next Door had an audience of 1.76m at 9pm. On Channel Five, the natural world series Nature Shock opened to seven hundred and forty thousand punter at 8pm, while Robson's Extreme Fishing attracted eight hundred and eighty seven thousand at 9pm.

Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall has spoken of his excitement at the audience's reaction to the series. The writer said that the ITV drama has received a bigger response than any other he has worked on. In an interview with TV Choice, Chibnall said that the cast had also been 'overwhelmed' by the reaction to the series. 'Talking to David Tennant, he said, "I've not really experienced anything like this for a long time,"' the writer explained. 'It is the thing of people ringing you up and going, "I was in the doctor's waiting room and people were theorising about it'." What's exciting is it feels like people have taken ownership of the programme in a really positive way. They're really up for it and they're ready for it. We didn't realise they were ready for it.' He also urged viewers to watch Broadchurch live when it is first broadcast rather than catching up online later, as he feels the show is more effective that way. 'It's designed for those ad breaks. It's designed for a big cliffhanger at the end of the episode. It's designed to play at 9pm, in four acts. I think there's nothing quite like watching it live. Plus, we also have cliffhangers and reveals and twists that if you watch it three days later and you've been on Twitter, you're going to get it spoiled for you.' When asked whether the audience now has enough information to solve the mystery of who murdered Danny Latimer before next Monday, Chibnall said: 'Yes. You could piece a certain amount of it together. It's not a cheat. There are theories around which are close, and there are theories around which are not.'

The BBC has defended Have I Got News For You against claims - from scum with an agenda, of course - that it was 'disrespectful' to Lady Thatcher. The panel on Friday's show included former London mayor Ken Livingston. However the BBC was keen to point out that it was the media coverage of Thatch's death which was the butt of any jokes, not Thatcher herself or her legacy. Although, at one point, Paul Merton made an extremely funny jibe at Thatcher's political style after host Brian Blessed described Ian Hislop as 'a mine of information.' Merton replied: 'If Ian was a mine of information, Margaret Thatcher would have closed him down years ago.' The corporation said that it had received 'a number' of complains - from scum with an agenda - with 'some viewers' - again, scum with an agenda - 'disappointed' by the comments made about the late Lady Thatcher.' However the BBC complaints department pointed out that it was 'impossible to ignore' such a big story story. They said: 'HIGNFY's purpose is to be entertaining as well as satirical and it has a tradition of irreverence and sailing as close to the wind as possible on the subjects it covers. The very fact that the programme covered the death of Lady Thatcher was always going to infuriate some viewers, however they should know what to expect from the show after twenty three years. If you look closely at the content of the show you will see that at no point did we make fun of Lady Thatcher herself or put forward a critique of her record – everything was based around the reaction to her death by other politicians and public figures, and the row over the cost of the funeral.' Quite why the BBC felt the need to even address such ignorant bollocks from scum with a sick agenda is another matter entirely. As far as this blogger is aware Great Britain is still - in theory, at least - a democracy in which an individual's freedom of speech and of expression (so long as is doesn't break any law) is still allowed and, indeed, encouraged. Didn't we fight a war against people who wanted to silence all opposition and goose-step all over the freedom of the individual to think what he likes or did I imagine that?
Hannibal has been given a broadcast date in the UK. The American drama series - which premiered on NBC earlier this month - was recently revealed to have been picked up by Sky Living and will be shown on the channel from 7 May. The drama is based on the series of books by Thomas Harris about the serial killer Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal is set before the events of The Silence of the Lambs, which was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie in 1991. Mads Mikkelsen takes the lead role of Lecter, while Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Eddie Izzard, Gillian Anderson and Gina Torres are also among the cast. Sky Living director Antonia Hurford-Jones said: 'We are delighted to be adding Hannibal to our line-up of quality US drama on Sky Living. This series is perfect for Sky Living because it will appeal not only to our core female audience, but to a shared one too. Plus, it will complement our new original commissions which are starting to come through.'

Sir Bruce Forsyth has hinted further at a possible retirement from showbusiness in a new interview. The eighty five-year-old Strictly Come Dancing co-host revealed that he may leave the UK for six months every year, in order to avoid the cold winter months. Forsyth stated that he may head to Puerto Rico, the homeland of his wife of thirty years Wilnelia Merced. 'It's 85°F there. I don't know why I came back to this stinking cold place,' he told Radio Times. Err ... cos this is where all the money is, Brucie. Just a wild stab in the dark. 'I would contemplate just doing six months a year in this country. If this is going to be our regular winter, I'm going to vanish in October and come back at the end of May.' When reminded that he would miss Strictly in those months, he replied: 'Oh yes, but we'll forget about that.' Forsyth also hit out at people who criticised him during the finale of last year's series of Strictly Come Dancing. 'I got criticised last year because at the end of the final, when people started rushing on to the dance floor, I got rid of them,' Forsyth recalled. 'I just said, "Do I have to do everything?" which I thought was a bit of fun, but people said, "Why was he going so crazy?" I did it because I didn't want to spoil Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace's final moment - they did that wonderful lift from Dirty Dancing and well, you couldn't do that with all these people pushing in and getting their faces back on TV.' Forsyth added: 'And the year before last they said I had forgotten to announce the band, but it was a decision I made with the producer. We got a retraction, but it does drive me mad. It's the way they talk about the autocue, as well. How many newsreaders do you see every morning making a little slip-up? If anybody is doing anything live, it's going to happen but, of course, with it being me, and being eighty five, they call me a silly old fool. Any excuse.' Forsyth recently hinted at a reduced role on Strictly Come Dancing, admitting that he has struggled to cope with the demands of the BBC1 show as he has grown older.
James Harding, the former Times editor, is expected to be confirmed as the new BBC News director as early as Tuesday. The BBC declined to comment on the appointment, but the Gruniad Morning Star claims that his hiring will be confirmed to staff on Tuesday. Harding resigned abruptly as Times editor after five years in December, telling staff he did so after being told that proprietor billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch wanted to replace him. The Gruniad revealed in February that the then incoming BBC director general, Tony Hall, was talking to Harding about a senior role at the corporation. Hall started his new job on 2 April. Harding took a holiday immediately after the furore surrounding his Times departure, and has kept a low profile ever since. However, he is believed to have been approached about a number of potential jobs in the media and politics. Harding will take over a BBC News division still recovering from last autumn's Jimmy Savile fiasco. In a strongly worded report on the corporation's handling of the Savile fiasco published in December, the former head of Sky News Nick Pollard was particularly scathing about BBC News, saying Harding's predecessor Helen Boaden should have taken 'greater responsibility' as her division went into 'virtual meltdown' in October and November Boaden, who moved to a new BBC job as director of radio this week, offered to resign at the height of the fiasco last year, but the offer was not accepted by the former director general George Entwistle. BBC News is also adjusting to its recent move from Television Centre to its vast new double-atriumed newsroom in the new one billion smackers Broadcasting House redevelopment in central London.

Some Radio 4 listeners find The Archers so annoying that they turn the station off when the soap comes on, at least according to the typically full-of-its-own-importance piece in the Gruniad Morning Star written by some anonymous coward of no importance. But imagine being forced to listen to the everyday tale of country folk – along with the rest of the station's output, such as Just a Minute and the shipping forecast – at full volume, night and day. That is what one family faced from what the Sun describes as 'a nightmare neighbour' in Bristol, who also played the BBC World Service when Radio 4 shut down for the day. The man is, apparently, to appeal against the granting of an asbo against him.

An Australian woman has been found guilty of 'assaulting' a police officer with a quiche. Franklin Jane Bugmy was found guilty of the offence after authorities said she struck constable James Wheatley with the quiche. She allegedly also hit him with her pram at first. Which, probably, hurt a bit more than the quiche. The forty one-year-old was reportedly 'angry' about being given the wrong documents after she had been approached by police last year for an Apprehended Violence Order. However the mother denied the charge and insisted she was just trying to 'protect her child.' With a quiche. Well, you know what they say - give quiche a chance. Outside the court Bugmy said: 'They're saying I had room to move. I had no room to move. The quiche was thrown down to save my baby from tipping out of the pram.' But magistrate Geoffrey Dunlevy extremely disagreed and said that a police photograph showed she didn't have to hit the officer and the quiche had been thrown at him with 'a lot of power.' Bugmy will hear what her punishment is to be in three weeks' time. Which is no yoke. Hey, what can I say, I work with the material I'm given.

A Dutch top division football match was interrupted by a surprise cameo on Monday night. The Eredivisie game between Heracles Almelo and FC Groningen was a rather dull 0-0 before a cat made proceedings much more interesting. The referee had to halt the game for some time while the teams waited for the feline to leave the pitch. It was soon caught and removed by a steward just before half-time. It is not currently known to whom the cat belonged. Heracles were possibly affected by the interruption, as they went on to lose 2-0 at home. The black cat may have also provided some bad luck for Heracles (but, jolly good luck for Groningen), as the away team were awarded a penalty, when replays showed it should have been a free kick.

And, finally, Sally Bercow her very self, who is being extremely sued for libel over a tweet she posted, is not 'some kitchen table blogger', the High Court has heard. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping would like, therefore, to confirm that he isn't either. I do it in me living room. Where it's warmer.

Anyway, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a bit of top quality whinging about how thoroughly mean and nasty the critics can be. Oh, I know how you feel Gazza.