Monday, April 01, 2013

Week Fifteen: Wondering What Went Wrong

So, anyway, we start today's bloggerisationisms, dear blog reader, with something special for all yer actual Keith Telly Topping's fellow AI geeks out there in the Interweb. The Bells of Saint John had an audience appreciation index score of eighty seven on Saturday evening. The appreciation index (or AI, for short) - as you all should know if you've been reading this blog for any length of time - is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed a particular programme given as a score out of one hundred with one hundred being they rocked with laughter and nil being it was worse than Bobby Darvo's Rock With Laughter. In case you're wondering how this is measured, a company called GFK NOP Media supply the BBC Audience Research Unit with data measuring audience responses. The panel consists of approximately fifteen thousand adults (inclduing, as it happens, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self) and one thousand five hundred children who go online to complete the short questionnaire - which usually takes about five to six minutes - each day concerning their viewing habits. Most programmes return an AI score of somewhere around the eighty mark. Higher AIs tend to be achieved by programmes with a particular or specialist appeal. For any programme, a score in excess of eighty five is excellent. Any score in excess of ninety is exceptional. Any programme which falls below sixty has received a poor AI. Any score below fifty five is very poor. Doctor Who this week scored higher than most of Saturday's output. Other high scoring programmes were Casualty also with eighty seven, Richard Briers: A Tribute with eighty eight and Easter From Kings with eighty nine.

A documentary on BBC Radio 4 next Sunday will see cast and crew from 1960s Doctor Who recounting the early days of the show. In The Reunion - billed as a series which 'reunites a group of people intimately involved in a moment of modern history' - presenter Sue MacGregor brings together director Waris Hussein, actors Carole Ann Ford, William Russell and Jeremy Young, plus actor-turned-presenter Peter Purves to look back at 'the triumphs and disasters' of Doctor Who's formative period. A bit like ITV2's The Big Reunion, in fact, only with Doctor Who actors instead of members of Atomic Kitten and Liberty X. The forty five-minute programme will be broadcast on Sunday 7 April at 11.15am and should be available worldwide on Listen Again via the BBC iPlayer. It has been made by Whistledown, a company which has previously reunited Paul McGann and Richard E Grant, among others, for a special edition of the programme, broadcast in May 2008, centring on the cult movie Withnail And I.

BBC1 had the better of Sunday's overnight ratings with the opening episode of Peter Moffat's The Village pulling in an average of 6.35m punters (with a peak of 6.9m) against ITV's Foyle War which could only manage 5.14m in the two hours from 8pm, a considerable drop from the seven million who watched the previous week's episode. The ITV espionage drama's peak (5.58m) occurred at around 9pm. Countryfile (5.45m) and Antiques Roadshow (5.06m) pulled in their uses steady figures for BBC1 opposite ITV's absolute byword for shitty overhyped nonsense the risible Andrew Lloyd Webber: Forty Musical Years which had a laughably piss-poor audience 3.48m watching it. (That's still about 3.48m too many, frankly.) Still, the audience for the ridiculous pompous and full-of-its-own-importance show about the ridiculous pompous and full-of-his-own-importance gnome will have disappointed ITV royally. And that's a good thing. Rounding off the night was another slot-win for the Beeb, Match of the Day 2 being watched by 2.69m against Perspectives' 1.17m. Earlier, BBC1's coverage of The Boat Race (won by Oxford just in case you're bothered) peaked with 7.39m at 4.45pm, the day's highest peak on any channel.
Music mogul Simon Fuller has settled a copyright battle with us TV network FOX over the American version of The X Factor. The British creator of Pop Idol and its US version, American Idol, sued FOX and producers FremantleMedia, seeking a credit and fees from the American X Factor. The Hollywood Reporter said that papers had been filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court to dismiss the claim with prejudice, so no further legal action will be taken. FOX broadcasts both American Idol and the US version of The X-Factor. FremantleMedia produces both shows. Terms of the settlement are confidential. Both FOX and lawyers for Fuller declined to comment. The case followed a dispute between Fuller and Wee Sughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads in 2004 over similarities between Fuller's American Idol and Wee Sughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's initial UK version of The X Factor. Fuller sued Wee Sughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads for copyright infringement, over claims that The X Factor 'copied' the format of Pop Idol, which was screened in Britain from 2001 to 2003. Fuller settled that case in 2005, saying there was 'an agreement' that The X-Factor would not be shown in the US until 2011 - and that he would be granted an executive producer credit if it aired after that date. There was a further agreement, he claimed, that Wee Sughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads would remain a judge on Fuller's show American Idol for another five seasons.

Helen Skelton has appeared to criticise her former Blue Peter producer over 'stunts' on the long-running children's programme. The presenter described Alex Leger as 'a bully' whilst the pair were being interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. Skelton claimed that Leger often pushed the programme's presenters 'to the limit' while he in charge of production. However, Leger dismissed her statement, saying that he was 'just being persistent.' Skelton said: 'Alex Leger, you push people till they break and you know it. It's funny, we call him a bully, in the best possible way - but he and I did a film which involved me taking on a beard of bees. My face was stung and swollen. And afterwards, do you remember, Alex, you came over and you said, "The office wonder if we should do it again as they only went over your chest and neck and didn't quite cover your face."' Leger responded: 'I think I was joking.' Skelton replied: 'I don't think you were!' Woman's Hour host Jenni Murray later told Leger: 'From what Helen was saying you were a bit of a bully and you did make them do horrible things.' However, a BBC spokesperson played down Skelton's use of the word 'bully' after a bunch of tabloid scum newspapers tried to stir up some trouble over it, telling the Sun: 'The tone of the interview was very light-hearted.' That fact that Skelton followed the word 'bully' with 'in the best possible way' should, perhaps, have given that fact away already. Still, why write up what was, clearly, a light-hearted conversation as such when you can take it at face value and try to tar a man's reputation? Scum. Leger was Blue Peter's longest-serving staff member, having joined as a production assistant in 1975 and retired in 2011.

And, on that example of tabloid scummery, here, meanwhile, are yer actual Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 6 April
Having found himself a new companion in the shape of the twice-dead Clara Oswald, The Doctor asks where she wants to go in her first trip in the TARDIS. Her request for 'somewhere awesome' takes the pair to the rings of the planet Akhaten, inhabited by all manner of amazing creatures in Doctor Who - 6:15 BBC1. That sort of goes with the territory, of course. Clara meets the young queen, who is about to take part in a ceremony called The Festival Of Offerings - but what begins as a happy sing-song soon turns very grim indeed. Yer actual Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman her very self star in an episode written by [spooks] and Luther author Neil Cross. So, again, grimness is kind of a pre-requisite.
Or, if you're a total and utter glake, you could watch a repeat of You've Been Framed! on ITV at the same time.

Arne Dahl: The Blinded Man - 9:00 BBC4 - is the first of a two-part story in which a series of murders prompts CID Inspector Jenny Hultin to put together a team of detectives to catch the killer before there are more deaths and a national panic. One of them, Paul Hjelm, meanwhile is saved from a disciplinary hearing for shooting a hostage-taker after the chap made it known he was unarmed. Their pursuit of 'The Fat Cat Killer' soon exposes tensions within the newly formed group as some of them begin to fear for their lives. Arne Dahl's Swedish crime thriller, starring Irene Lindh. If you like The Killing, Wallander, The Bridge and Spiral, you'll almost certainly be glued to this.

In Walking Through History - 8:00 Channel Four - yer actual Tony Robinson embarks on an expedition (on foot, obviously) along Dorset's Jurassic coast to explore the county's hidden Second World War story. Starting beside the defences on Chesil Beach, old Baldrick's five-day walk encompasses stunning scenery and uncovers wartime acts of ingenuity and bravery as he heads east to finish in Swanage and Studland Bay. Tony discovers the crucial part a swannery played in developing a secret weapon and reveals the role of Dorset in protecting Britain from invasion during the conflict. From the producers of Time Team.

Oh, and The Voice continues - 7:00 BBC1. If anyone's bothered.

Sunday 7 April
Christopher Foyle is drawn into the strange murder of eminent art historian Professor Van Haren, who was really a former high-ranking Nazi hired by MI5 due to his expert knowledge of Soviet intelligence in Foyle's War - 8:00 ITV. Meanwhile, as Sam's husband Adam embarks on a busy career as a Labour MP, Sam worries whether she will be able to share some big news with him. Crime drama set in the 1940s, starring the excellent Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks and with guest-stars Tamzin Outhwaite and Rupert Vansittart. Last in the current series.

Once Upon A Time - 9:00 Channel Five - is, just in case you missed it last year, a rather appealing little fantasy drama set in a contemporary American town and the castles and enchanted forest of a fairy-tale land. With the breaking of the curse, the people of Storybrooke now remember their past lives and there are many joyful reunions, but living under the spell has changed them all. Regina is in trouble having lost all her powers and Mr Gold uses dark magic to set a soul-sucking wraith on her trail. Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle star.

The Middleton farm has fallen on hard times, so when Grace gives birth to new daughter Mary, feeding a new mouth proves more difficult than ever in the second part of The Village - 9:00 BBC1. John's heavy drinking only makes matters worse - leading to a shocking revelation about his past mistakes. The Allingham family is also thrown into crisis when Caro's mental health takes a downturn, while kind-hearted schoolteacher Gerard Eyre is confronted by the authorities about his refusal to sign up for the army. Maxine Peake, John Simm, Juliet Stevenson and Emily Beecham star in the period drama.
Monday 8 April
The Prisoners - 9:00 BBC1 - is a documentary following the vicious circle whereby convicts are released and - if they re-offend - end up back behind bars. Probably best not to re-offend, then in that case. Or, is that too easy a solution? The first episode follows repeat offenders from Holloway Prison, which holds more than four female prisoners. Jayde is just eighteen but has already been in jail six times. Stuck, she claims, in a cycle of re-offending, she manages just two weeks outside before returning to Holloway for her latest crime. Crystal, meanwhile, feels at home in prison - at twenty three she has been a regular inmate since she was seventeen. On release she returns to her sink estate but, fearing that this environment will cause her to relapse, she leaves to address her problems.

Files are piling up at the police station concerning the investigation into the murder of young Danny Latimer but, with no fresh leads or witnesses to the shocking crime, the case seems to be stalling and morale within the police is low in Broadchurch - 9:00 ITV. But still, Detective Inspector Hardy is shocked and stunned when he is told to scale back resources and feels that his hope of catching Danny's killer is slipping from his grasp. However, at the Broadchurch Echo, Maggie grows determined to solve a mystery that has taken a very personal turn for her. How will her efforts affect the official investigation? Yer actual David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Arthur Darvill, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Pauline Quirke, Vicky McClure, Carolyn Pickles, Will Mellor, Charlotte Beaumont and Tanya Franks star in this quality example of crime drama from Chris Chibnall.

Historic Royal Palaces chief curator and maker of some extremely fascinating documentaries for BBC4, Lucy Worsley, gets a transfer to Beeb2 and explores how the physical and mental health of Britain's monarchs has shaped the history of the nation in Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History - 9:00. Lucy (and her curiously sexy lisp) examines medical problems, doctors' reports, personal correspondence and possessions to gain an insight into the real men and women behind the royal portraits. She begins by examining the Tudor and Stuart dynasties, including the difficulty Henry VIII experienced producing a male heir, the cause of his daughter Mary I's phantom pregnancy and the special orthopaedic boots worn by Charles I.

Tuesday 9 April
Russell and the Las Vegas CSI team are called out to a cemetery where the Reverend Rick Renken has been found shot dead on the grave of their former colleague Warrick Brown in CSI - 9:00 Channel Five. A painkiller discovered in the victim's clothing leads the detectives to the home of Brown's widow, Tina, where evidence indicates a recent visit by Renken, whose less-than-holy background provides a clue for the investigators. Ted Danson, Elisabeth Shue, George Eads, Paul Guilfoyle, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, Wallace Langham, David Berman and Elisabeth Harnois feature.
In Pop! The Science of Bubbles - 9:00 BBC4 - Physicist Helen Czerski investigates the significance of bubbles, which can help to push back the boundaries of science, despite often being thought of as toys. She explores how a single one can reveal the workings of nature on a vast scale, and examines how globules of air formed as a result of breaking waves help oceans to breathe. The presenter also takes a look at the role bubbles are playing in the future design of ships and with new forms of medical treatment.

The live music extravaganza Later Live With Jools Holland returns - 10:00 BBC2 - moving from the recently closed BBC Television Centre at White City to a new studio in Maidstone. Joining Jools on the first show are indie band Suede, who play songs from Bloodsports, their first CD in eleven years, and Birmingham soul singer Laura Mvula performs a couple of songs from her début LP Sing to the Moon. Also appearing are Cat Power, aka American singer-songwriter Chan Marshall and teenage Irish rhythm & blues quartet the Strypes.
Dogging Tales - 10:00 Channel Four - is a True Stories documentary by photographer Leo Maguire, providing an insight into why men and women engage in and/or watch sexual activity in front of strangers in public areas after dark. Accompanying his participants to lay-bys, woods and picnic spots around the UK, they discuss their attraction to dogging and reveal how they were first introduced to it.

Wednesday 10 April
The last week of MasterChef heats before the knock-out round begins - 8:00 BBC1 - with five more hopefuls creating a dish from scratch and then taking on the palate test, in which they try to recreate John Torode's beef stir-fry with choy sum and peanuts - without the aid of a recipe. Two are then eliminated - inevitably, one of those will be the w=one who is shown at the beginning of the episode bigging him or herself up and coming across like they think they're the greatest things to his cusine since someone invented chips. This will leave three of the contestants to experience a busy lunchtime service at London's Rib Room Bar and Restaurant, after which it's back to the MasterChef kitchen to cook the two final courses that, they hope, will win them a place in Friday's quarter-final.

In 'a retrospective episode' (that's 'a flashback' to you and me, dear blog reader) set immediately after the events of series two, Rachel faces further accusations of masterminding the fatal attack on ex-lover Nick and finds comfort in the arms of ever-faithful Sean, agreeing to marry him in this week's Scott & Bailey - 9:00 ITV. Amid the wedding celebrations, Janet and Ade admit defeat and decide to split up for good, while Gill is duty bound to take action when she catches Pete in a compromising position. The detectives also investigate the case of a businessman suspected of murdering a tramp. The terrific Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp and Amelia Bullimore star, as usual.

Author Adam Nicolson examines the importance of writing throughout the Seventeenth Century and how, at a time of great social and political upheaval, it was used as a means of escape and of fighting for what people believed in The Century That Wrote Itself - 9:00 BBC4. From an ambitious shepherd to an imprisoned Quaker woman, the programme profiles those whose rising literacy levels resulted in them being able to rewrite the country's future as well as their own.

There's also Victoria Wood's Nice Cup of Tea - 9:00 BBC1. But, that'll be a right load of old effing shite, just like everything else that annoying, unfunny, full-of-her-own-importance woman has to offer. This blogger would sooner watch a repeat of Robbie Coltrane: B-Road Britain - 9:00 ITV3 - in preference. At least the title's funny which is one more laugh than you'll get from Wood any time before the end of the century.
Thursday 11 April
Andrew Graham-Dixon has ditched the luscious Lamborghini in which he spun through Italy with Giorgio Locatelli for a more low-key form of transport as he returns to what he does best: the art historian bringing new life to old masters on the second episode of the fascinating The High Art of the Low Countries - 9:00 BBC4. Arty Andrew his very self explores the countries of Holland and Belgium, famous for their tulips and windmills, but which were actually forged through conflict and division. He examines how a period of economic prosperity, driven by the secular middle class, led to the Dutch Golden Age of the Seventeenth Century, during which time the concept of oil painting was conceived, and the master painters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer found success.

Liz Bonnin delves into the world of inventors and innovations, revealing the people and technologies set to transform life in the Twent First Century in Tomorrow's World: A Horizon Special - 9:00 BBC2. She meets some of the world's foremost visionaries, mavericks and dreamers, from the entrepreneurs who are the driving force behind a new space race to Andre Geim, a Nobel Prize-wining physicist leading a nanotech revolution.

Trauma Doctors - 9:00 Channel Five - is a documentary following the work of a team of doctors diagnosing and treating patients at the Royal London Hospital in the East End. In the first episode, medics treat a nineteen-year-old woman who has suffered a serious spinal injury after being hit by a van, an elderly woman whose confusion inhibits the diagnosis of her illness and a forty five-year-old cyclist with a head injury whose loss of memory provides a vital clue.

Friday 12 April
Big shouty mad as toast living legend Brian Blessed is in the hot seat at Have I Got News For You - 9:000 BBC1 - for the second time, having first hosted the show back in 2008. Paul Merton and Ian Hislop poke fun at the week's headlines with the help of their celebrity panellists.
Lee, Lucy and Daisy go on a skiing trip to Eastern Europe, but as usual disaster isn't far behind in Not Going Out - 9:30 BBC1. The trio find themselves stuck in a cable car with a handful of other nervous tourists - one of whom just happens to be pregnant. Comedy, starring Lee Mack, Sally Bretton and Katy Wix.

Physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton (he told us why and apple falls down from the sky, remember) is considered to be one of the greatest minds of all-time, a rationalist who laid the foundations for many of the scientific and mathematical breakthroughs that shape the modern world, and his story is told in Isaac Newton: The Last Magician - 9:00 BBC2. Through interviews with experts and Newton's own writings as well as those of his Seventeenth and early Eighteenth Century contemporaries, this documentary reveals him to be an often divisive and solitary figure who also dabbled in heretical religion, alchemy and the occult.

The Security Men - 9:00 ITV - is a one-off comedy, written by Caroline Ahern and Jeff Pope. Four hapless security guards working the night shift in a shopping centre decide to switch off the alarms so they can let themselves into an electrical store to watch a boxing match on a decent TV. However, they later discover that a jeweller's has been broken into, and with the incident recorded on security cameras, they come up with an elaborate scheme in a bid to hold on to their jobs. The cast features Brendan O'Carroll, Ben Ryan Davies, Bobby Ball and Dean Andrews. And odious unfunny professional Norhterner Paddy McGuinness, so it'll probably be rubbish just because he's in it.

And so to the news: Hollywood actor Stephen Baldwin has avoided a jail sentence after admitting income tax evasion and throwing himself upon the mercy of the beak. In Rockland County Court, Baldwin admitted failing to pay New York state income taxes for 2008, 2009 and 2010. A plea bargain was reached to enable The Usual Suspects star's record to be wiped clean if he pays back three hundred thousand dollars within a year. Failure to pay within that time will result in a five-year sentence of probation. Baldwin's total bill including taxes, interest and penalties is four hundred grand but state Supreme Court Justice Charles Apotheker said that a hundred grand had already been repaid. The forty six-year-old actor said that he 'never intended' to avoid paying taxes and got into trouble by trusting others. 'Unfortunately, I got some really bad suggestions and advice from lawyers and accountants,' he said outside court. 'I just look forward to getting the three hundred thousand dollars paid in the next year,' he said. The actor is the youngest brother of the Baldwin acting dynasty which includes Alec, William and Daniel. Married with two daughters, he became a born-again Christian following the terror attacks on 11 September 2001. His early career included roles in acclaimed films such as Last Exit to Brooklyn and Born on the Fourth of July. More recently he has appeared in a number of TV reality shows including the US version of 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) in 2009 and Britain's Celebrity Big Brother in 2010. He is currently appearing in All-Star Celebrity Apprentice and also co-hosts a US radio show with conservative pundit Kevin McCullough.

Before the doors of TV Centre finally closed on Sunday, BBC staff paid their own special tribute. As Madness played in the horseshoe car park a few days earlier, several took a last look around the deserted corridors, unscrewing door signs and climbing onto balconies to soak in the atmosphere. Some made it up to the sixth floor, formerly home to the Beeb's top executive. Others went onto the roof, where they clung on for dear life in the rain to get some final photos. Another staffer got into a lift, his backpack bulging with stolen signage, only to be joined by Alan Yentob. No doubt lost in memories, the veteran creative director didn't see or chose not to comment on the illicit contraband. Earlier, Yentob reminisced about a bygone era offering a civilised contrast to scenes of drunken revelry. In the early years of Arena, it had a weekend repeat and the captions had to be inserted: 'I did it as a sort of party trick, I would be able to be at lunch [with friends] on Sunday and pick up the telephone and say shall we watch the programme. I would say "put the caption in, take it out", people would sit there and say, "amazing." I was home-working twenty five years ago!'

Fame has its price for Mary Beard, it would seem. Not long after being mixed up in the Gruniad Morning Star Guide with the philosopher Mary Warnock, eighty eight, the classicist who moonlights as a BBC2 presenter and Question Time pundit has now been confused in the latest edition of Broadcast with the seventy eight-year-old co-judge of The Great British Bake Off. Beard's role as 'consultant' to ITV2's dreadful alleged comedy Plebs – presumably she confirmed to the writers that reggae was ancient Rome's everyday soundtrack – is attributed instead to 'TV historian Mary Berry.' Oh, dear. This is a particularly cruel snub, as only last summer the Cambridge professor was holding down the all important number eight spot in the 'talent' category in Broadcast's alleged Hot One Hundred. Now, all they want from her is a Victoria sponge, it would seem.
Soon to be former Labour MP David Milimolimadi has resigned from the board of Blunderland FC because of new manager nasty Paolo Di Canio's 'past political statements.' Nasty Di Canio has previously claimed to be 'a fascist, not a racist.' So, that's all right, then, clearly. Milimolimandi, a former UK foreign secretary was serving as the club's vice-chairman, non-executive director and chief apologist. Milimolimandi wished the club 'all success in the future. It is a great institution that does a huge amount for the North East.' Nasty Di Canio was pictured in 2005 making a raised-arm salute to a group of supporters of notoriously somewhat to the right of Hitler Italian club, Lazio. He was given a one-match ban and fined seven thousand quid for the incident, and was also banned for a match following a similar incident earlier in 2005. In 2011, when Nasty Di Canio was appointed as Swindon Town's manager, the GMB union withdrew its sponsorship of the club, citing his odiously right-wing political views. Nasty Di Canio was a cult figure and scored forty eight goals in one hundred and eighteen appearances for West Ham after joining the London club for £1.7m from Sheffield Wednesday in 1999. He began his career at Lazio, and also played for Juventus, Napoli, AC Milan, Glasgow Celtic and Charlton Athletic before later returning to Lazio. He was a good player, an'all, make no mistake. Albeit, a bit of a nutter. Playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 1998, he pushed referee Paul Alcock to the ground after being sent off in a match against The Arse and was, subsequently, banned for eleven matches. The former England manager Steve McClaren, who left his role as coach of FC Twente in February, was initially linked with the Blunderland manager's post after Martin O'Neill was sacked on Saturday. But, McClaren's agent quickly ruled him out of the running, saying: 'You have got to be joking! It's bad enough him being remembered as "the wally with the brolly", but manager of Sunderland? No, that's much worse.' Allegedly. Blunderland made a mistake in sacking O'Neill, according to former player, and mouthy troublemaker Kevin Kilbane. The Black Cats sit only one point above the Premier League relegation zone, with Saturday's defeat by The Scum their eighth game without a win. But Kilbane told the BBC: 'I'm very surprised. It's the wrong decision at the wrong time. I doubt if a manager can come in now and really change things around until the end of the season.' Match Of The Day pundit and former England striker Alan Shearer, when he managed to stop laughing, was another to express his surprise at the decision. 'The timing is bizarre,' the Premier League's record's goalscorer said. '[O'Neill] is usually upbeat, but he seemed down and not his usual energetic self recently. Whether he knew something was happening behind the scenes, I do not know.' Fellow pundit, yer actual Alan Hansen said it was 'unbeliebable.' As usual. He thought Blunderland owner Ellis Short's move may have occurred because of the 'huge pressure' to stay in the top flight, ahead of the new three billion smackers television rights deal which comes into effect next season. 'The rewards of success and penalties for a lack of success have never been greater,' the former Scotland and Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws defender said. 'I have always thought Sunderland would be safe but, for the first time today, they were really poor. The alarm bells were there.'
And now, dear blog reader, for the nostalgic among you, here's a picture of St Anthony's railway station its very self, circa 1959, about a year or two before Doctor Beeching took his bloody great reeping axe of horror to the fekker. Meaning, of course that totally famous St Anthony's estate resident yer actual Keith Telly Topping (born 1963) never actually got to use it. Tragedy. (He did make use of the neighbouring Walker station a couple of times when going down to the coast for a plodge with his bucket and spade, before it, too, got shut sometime around 1973.)
A woman in New Hampshire has been charged with wasting everybody's time after dialling the emergency services over a Chinese takeaway order. Elizabeth Niemi from Hooksett allegedly rang 911 on 15 March, claiming she needed medical help, reports local publication the Hooksett Banner. A police statement explained: 'Upon the Fire Department's arrival, it was found that she wanted help ordering Chinese food.' Authorities obtained a warrant and arrested Niemi around a fortnight later for the misuse of emergency services. And, being a daft pillock. She is due in Hooksett Circuit Court on 17 April.
A signed copy of The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP has been bought at auction in America for over one hundred and ninety grand. The selling price far exceeded the thirty thousand dollars originally estimated for the item. It was bought by an unnamed buyer from the Midwest - with more money than sense - according to The Hollywood Reporter. The sale also broke the previous record for a similar item, the entertainment magazine reported. The British Parlophone copy of the LP includes a high gloss cover and vinyl gatefold sleeve. According to The Hollywood Reporter it was believed to have been autographed by all four Beatles around the time of its release in June 1967. The Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, which ran the sale, described it as 'one of the most spectacular jewels in our auction.' Speaking before the sale, Beatles expert Perry Cox said: 'With my being thoroughly immersed in Beatles collectibles for over thirty years, it takes something extraordinarily special to excite me, but I consider this to be one of the top two items of Beatles memorabilia I've ever seen - the other being a signed copy of Meet The Beatles.' The LP features an official souvenir programme of the fourth annual Beatles Convention of Cavern Mecca, dated 26 August 1984. The previous record for a signed Beatles LP cover was one hundred and fifty thousand bucks which was paid for a copy of the 1964 record, Meet the Beatles in 2011.
Which brings us, steadily, to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Here's another bit of yer actual quality Merseybeat.