Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week Seventeen: Hark, The Herald Angels Sting, Please Repair My Broken Wing

Britain's Got Talent returned to television screens on Saturday evening with an overnight audience of 9.35m for its opening episode and a whopping five-minute peak of 11.42m. The overnight figure is almost exactly the same as the audience the talent contest had for its first episode in 2012 - 9.42m (and, with a very similar peak, 11.5m). This figure is being quoted by several media sources as BGT's 'joint highest ever series opening.' In fact, it isn't, it's lower (albeit, in a couple of cases, only fractionally lower) than all of the previous four series, with the programme's highest overnight figure coming for the opening episode of the 2010 series - 10.63m. It's still a very good figure, however. So, that's a case of 'nothing new to see here', really. Up against it, perhaps surprisingly, The Voice held - and, indeed, marginally increased - its own audience from the previous week, pulling in 6.67m (with a peak of 7.7m towards the end of the episode). So, to sum up, then, an entirely expected and convincing win for BGT but not the total failure for The Voice which several media commentators had been confidently predicting. Perhaps there is room in the world for both. It will be interesting to see how The Voice fares next Saturday when it starts in a much later slot and, apart from its opening ten minutes, avoids a schedule clash with BGT. The BBC will also be delighted that Doctor Who, in a much earlier timeslot of 6pm this week, increased its week-on-week overnight audience by over three hundred thousand punters to 5.73m for the return of The Ice Warriors. The Cube was watched by 3.59m after Britain's Got Talent. Overall, BBC1 led primetime with 22.2 per cent of the audience share, slightly ahead of ITV's 21.3 per cent. Like as not, both of the broadcasters will be more than happy with this turn of events. Incidentally, last week's Doctor Who episode - The Rings of Akhaten - which had an overnight audience of just under 5.5 million punters, ended up with a final consolidated rating of 7.45 million in figures announced by BARB on Sunday. That's a time shift for the popular long-running family SF drama, once again, of almost exactly two million viewers above the overnight figure. The consolidated ratings for the top twenty shows for week-ending 7 April will be included on this blog's next update, sometime on Monday.
And, speaking of yer actual Doctor Who, Matt Smith his very self has been described as 'a wonderful Doctor' by Liam Cunningham, who appeared in this weekend's episode. Cold War, which yer actual Keith Telly Topping very much enjoyed was the latest episode written by yer actual Mark Gatiss, and featured The Doctor and Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman her very self) facing off against an Ice Warrior on board a Russian submarine. Cunningham - who played Captain Zhukov - told Access Hollywood this week that he 'greatly enjoyed' seeing Smith embody the role of The Doctor. 'Matt Smith is a wonderful Doctor,' Cunningham said, adding: 'He's a very quirky character both in real life and as Doctor Who.' The actor continued: 'I'd seriously say, I think he's going to go down as definitely one of the classics of The Doctors, definitely, and a delightful human being - as is Jenna-Louise.' Cunningham is well known for his portrayal of Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones, which kicked off its third season last weekend in the US. His casting in Cold War came alongside the great David Warner, Tobias Menzies and Spencer Wilding.
Incidentally, there's a very good piece by Mark Gatiss on his love of The Ice Warriors, which you can read at the Radio Times website: 'Back in 1967, the Doctor Who producers faced a problem. The Daleks, the show’s most enduringly popular monster, were set to vanish in a bold, but ultimately doomed, attempt to conquer America. Given their patchy track record in conquering Earth and other planets, you'd imagine they’d have thought twice about it. But this left the series with a big, monster-shaped hole in its storylines, despite the popularity of The Cybermen (already everyone's next favourite baddie). The hunt was on for more nasties and led to what was to become fondly remembered as “the monster season”. Patrick Troughton’s Doctor took on Cybermen (twice), weed creatures on a North Sea gas rig, a double of himself (in that year's only monster-free story) and the glorious Yeti – both in their Himalayan backyard and in the London Underground. But the monster that would make the greatest impact hailed from Mars. Writer Brian Hayles devised a race of armoured reptilian cyborgs, dubbed "Ice Warriors" by the scientist who finds the first one entombed in a glacier. This first story took place not amid the red dust of the dead planet itself but on a future Earth in the grip of a new Ice Age. A world where, in the beautiful pop poetry of the script, "suddenly, one year there was no spring." A bit like this year, in fact. Enormous, green and scaly, the first Ice Warrior, Varga, was played by six foot seven inch Bernard Bresslaw, who brought this new baddie to imposing life just after shooting, ironically enough, Carry On Doctor! The idea of the creatures’ hissing voice seems to have originated with Bresslaw, hinting both at their reptilian origins and their difficulty coping with Earth’s atmosphere. A big hit with the audience, the Ice Warriors returned for a rematch in The Seeds of Death (1969), which introduced a different tier of Martian society, a slimmer "Ice Lord" (as they became known), fleeter and more articulate than their lumbering predecessors. In 1972, third Doctor Jon Pertwee faced the creatures in the fondly remembered The Curse of Peladon, a tale of intergalactic politics on a medieval planet. We discovered, in a brilliant twist, that [The Ice Warriors have] become the good guys! Two years later, a sequel, The Monster of Peladon, saw them revert to type.' Great stuff. I like the bit at the end, as well: 'Mark Gatiss is an executive producer of Sherlock and a regular writer on Doctor Who.' As if we didn't know.
Female genital mutilation featured on prime-time TV drama for the first time on Saturday in Casualty, bringing a modern scandal out of the shadows according to campaigners. The BBC soap ran a storyline about a girl who has undergone the procedure and is trying to protect her younger sister from the same fate. The younger girl is threatened with being taken abroad to her extended family for cutting and later with being subjected to it in the UK. 'FGM has been in the shadows here in this country,' said Efua Dorkenoo of Equality Now, one of the leading campaigners against the practice. 'Because of that, we as a country are not really grappling hard with the fact that it is happening here.' There are thought to be twenty thousand girls at risk of the FGM procedure living in the UK, although the figures are believed to be out of date. The practice has been illegal here since 1995, but it was not until 2003 that a loophole which allowed parents to take their children abroad for FGM was closed. 'Casualty's contribution is to give voice to children whose needs are not being addressed and bringing the whole issue into the living room,' said Dorkenoo. 'It will contribute to bringing down the walls of silence and taboo around it.' The scriptwriter, Sasha Hails, says she was inspired to write the episode by a girl who she and other mothers of children at a London primary school suspected had been subjected to FGM. 'We became aware that this little girl disappeared for the summer and when she came back, she wasn't quite right,' Hails said. 'She needed to keep going to the loo and she was just different. We were a group of mums in the playground, we put two and two together. We knew it was terrible and we talked about it amongst ourselves but no one ever did anything about it. None of us even dared to talk to her mother. It seemed such a personal thing and it really stayed in my head that this horrific thing had happened and by not doing anything we were complicit in allowing it to happen.' Nimco Ali, who was taken to Somalia at seven for FGM and is co-founder of the campaign group Daughters of Eve, was an adviser to the programme. 'My personal aim is to afford young women the same privileges that I had and for them to understand that within them there is great potential,' she said. 'In order for that to happen we need to all stand together and empower them. As [the character] Tamasha says on Casualty, quoting a young women we have worked with: "It never stops hurting. It is always painful." Let us not deepen that pain by undermining the bravery of those woman and girls that come forward not only to tell their stories, but also to live a life of their choosing. If I could wish for one thing to change as a result of the Casualty episode, it would be for everyone to see the child in front of us as a girl asking for help and not part of an "other" culture.'

Caroline Aherne's The Security Men brought in overnight audience of 4.82m viewers to ITV on Friday. The one-off comedy drama, which was broadcast for an hour from 9pm, featured Bobby Ball and Mrs Brown's Boys star Brendan O'Carroll as security guards in a shopping centre who miss a jewellery heist whilst watching TV. Over on BBC1, Have I Got News For You and Not Going Out both dipped on last week's series openers, earning audiences of 4.47m and 3.95m respectively from 9pm. Earlier, MasterChef was watched by 3.46m at 8pm, while The Graham Norton Show had an audience of 3.44m at 10.45pm. On BBC2, the docudrama Issac Newton: The Last Magician interested 1.45m at 9pm. Gardener's World was seen by 2.44m half-an-hour earlier. The Martin Lewis Money Show pulled in 3.06m at 8pm on ITV.

Stephen Fry is to make an appearance at a stand-up show to sing the praises of his - and yer actual Keith Telly Topping's - comedy hero, Peter Cook. The Qi presenter will be appearing at the recently revived Establishment Club – the satirical nightclub originally set up by Cook in 1961 – later this month. He will be in conversation with Keith Allen, who brought the club back with the backing of Cook's widow, Lin, with the aim of presenting 'comedy from radical, political, and anarchic performers, true to the original concept.'

Meanwhile, here's your next batch of Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 20 April
If you thought this week’s Ice Warrior revival was as creepy as a big creeping thing, then the next episode of Doctor Who, Hide - 6:45 BBC1 - looks to be about as scary as Doctor Who can manage in its teatime slot. It’s a ghost story set in an abandoned mansion on a desolate moor, where an uptight professor, Major Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott) and gifted 'empathic psychic' Emma Grayling (Call the Midwife's Jessica Raine) are investigating a spectre known as The Witch Of The Well. The Doctor and Clara turn up just as things start to go bump in the night, but are they there simply to help Alec and Emma or does the Time Lord have another purpose? Set in 1974 and displaying all the bulky recording equipment of that era, Hide strongly echoes both The Stone Tape, Nigel Kneale's memorable BBC chiller from 1972 and the following year's low budget but high quality movie The Legend of Hell House. This being Doctor Who, there has to be a pseudo-scientific explanation for the haunting, of course, but brace yourselves for a spine-chilling ending. The journey getting there – with subliminal glimpses of the lurking horror – is deliciously flesh-crawling stuff.

Yer actual Tony Robinson goes on a four-day trek through the Kintail region of the North Western Highlands, examining the story of the Jacobite uprisings of the early 1700s along the way in Walking Through History - 8:15 Channel Four. He starts by visiting Iron Age dwellings in Shiel Bridge and then heads to the rebuilt castle on Eilean Donan, the original of which was destroyed after invading Spanish troops landed there and were attacked by British warships. Tony ends in Glen Shiel, the site of a climactic battle in 1719 where royalist troops defeated the rebels. What's been very enjoyable about this series is that you can enjoy it on two distinct levels: If you're a history buff, there are plenty of facts and stories, while if you're a rambler, there's lovely scenery and inspiring routes whilst you try, valiantly, to discover a life.

In the second two-part adaptation of a crime novel by Arne Dahl, Bad Blood - 9:00 BBC4 - the (hilariously named) A-Unit race to stop an American murderer on board a plane from New York to Stockholm landing in Sweden, in the hope of preventing the country from inadvertently importing its first serial killer. In collaboration with the FBI, the team begins a desperate attempt to catch him. They're a curiously lackadaisical bunch, the A-Unit. So, when there's a serial killer flying in specially to murder people in the most outré and bloody way imaginable (it involves the unconventional use of pliers of that gives you some idea of what's in store) what are this lot doing? Variously getting drunk and maudlin, picking up women in nightclubs, copping off with a priest and having sexy malarkey with the wife. Fair enough, I guess - they're long winter nights in Scandinavia, you need something to keep the cold out. The killer gives the slip once by tricking his way onto an aircraft, after murdering a literary critic just for his plane ticket. Blikey, that's a chap desperate to get on the plane. So boss Jenny Hultin nips over to the States for a chat with the FBI. Swedish drama, starring Irene Lindh.

Sunday 21 April
The villagers gather for their traditional annual wheelbarrow race, and with most of the men away fighting the boys take their place in The Village - 9:00 BBC1. But, unknown to anyone, the contest coincides with the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Meanwhile, the Middletons struggle to cope when baby Mary falls dangerously ill, prompting John to steal animal medicine from the farm at the Big House - but at what cost? Annabelle Apsion comes into focus as bereaved mother Margaret: she knows she has been lied to about how her son died in the war. Grace has her own ordeal as Mary has scarlet fever. Meanwhile, the upper-class Allinghams take on a nasty doctor to cure Caro: 'She has to be taught to make the will of the man her own,' he snarls. It's a sinister cameo and the dull, echoing misery at the Big House is beautifully done. Maxine Peake, John Simm and Bill Jones star in the historical drama.

Yer actual Bill Bailey tells – and joyfully re-enacts – the story of Alfred Russel Wallace, the 'geeky Victorian collector' whom Bill paints as the greatest naturalist of his era in Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero - 8:00 BBC2. Wallace's role in working out how species evolved has been overshadowed by Darwin: each independently came up with the theory of evolution, but Wallace's tireless efforts, collecting tens of thousands of specimens in the islands of what is now Indonesia, have been somewhat sidelined by history. Bill wants him back in the pantheon, so he retraces Wallace’s steps and has fun catching frogs, meeting monkeys and eating toasted dragonflies. You can tell Bill is in his element in this environment, crashing through jungles, wading in rivers, pinning butterflies to boards, and he makes it a delightful programme to watch – with a payload of fascinating history on a neglected hero.

Young Detective Constable Morse meets his intellectual match when a serial killer haunts the streets of Oxford keeping himself one step ahead of the long arm of the law and leaving cryptic messages to goad the rozzers about their flat-footedness in the latest episode of Endeavour - 8:00 ITV. Did they have serial killers in the 1960s? Well, yes, they did, but did they call them that? Anyway, at first glance, all this shenanigans seems to be the work of a totally deranged lunatic, but the elaborate staging of the crimes suggests method in the obvious madness - and a macabre sharing of the rookie sleuth's developing passion for opera. If Shaun Evans ever gets tired of playing the young Morse, the franchise could happily branch out into The Inspector Fred Thursday Mysteries. As Morse’s world-weary boss, Roger Allam is genuinely terrific, forever in danger of completely stealing the show away from its nominal star. The double act develops nicely in this episode, with Thursday equally good as a benign father figure or as a despairing boss. As Morse offers another insight into the criminal mind, Thursday drawls at him: 'You'd find something suspicious in a saint's sock drawer.' Their challenge is a case right up Morse's alley – musical, cryptic and gruesome. It leads the viewer step-by-step from a woman strangled in a train yard through various operatic twists. It never goes too far, but entices us with a trail of bread crumbs through a mystery that gets better and better as it goes on, testing Morse's character as well as his intellect. And there are haunting snatches of music along the way. Anton Lesser, Sean Rigby and James Bradshaw also feature.

Monday 22 April
After eight weeks of speculation, the Broadchurch village community struggles to come to terms with the truth about the events surrounding Danny Latimer's death, and the revelations threaten to prevent the dead boy from being allowed to rest in peace - 9:00 ITV. A nation of television crime fiction fans - this blogger not least amongst them - who have combed Chris Chibnall's Broadchurch for clues, red herrings and tell-tale signs will be in delicious torment because this is the last episode, when the identity of Danny's killer will, finally, be revealed. Starring, one last time, David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Andrew Buchan, Jodie Whittaker, Arthur Darvill, Vicky McClure and Pauline Quirke. Place your bets now.
Jane Corbin goes undercover to investigate the practices of the nation's Islamic religious courts in tonight's Panorama - 8:30 BBC1 - postponed from last week due to extended coverage of the death of Baroness Thatcher. With some women claiming that they have suffered domestic violence which has been ignored by these councils, the programme asks whether it is time to tackle a parallel legal system that can run counter to British law. Or, you know, not.

North Korea: Crossing the Line - 10:50 BBC4 - is a documentary which tells story of an American soldier, James Joseph Dresnok, who deserted from his unit in 1962 while 'keeping the peace' in South Korea. After walking through the demilitarised zone - probably the most heavily fortified area on Earth - he found himself in North Korea and defected to the Cold War enemy, finding fame in Pyongyang as a film actor and being hailed as a star of the North Korean propaganda machine. Forty-five years later, this film reveals the lives of Comrade Joe and other American defectors in North Korea.

Tuesday 23 April
Nick and Sara discover a corpse while out on patrol with the Las Vegas police's mobile crime unit in the latest episode of CSI - 9:00 Channel Five - and those arrested during the night include a psychotic transvestite, a drug dealer and a prostitute called Chastity. Dramatic irony? You decide, dear blog reader. The case soon becomes personal for Jim Brass when he discovers that the call girl bought a ring from his estranged daughter, Ellie, that he actually had made for her mother.

Edward VIII's Murderous Mistress - 9:00 Channel Four - is a fascinating-looking documentary exploring the story behind an affair which Edward VIII is said to have had before becoming king and the repercussions of this when the woman involved later found herself in court facing the gallows. The programme investigates claims that there was an Establishment cover-up to protect the future king's reputation, as well as save the life of his supposed former mistress, Marguerite Meller, when she was charged with murdering her husband in 1923.

The Wright Way - 10:35 BBC1 - is a new comedy written by Ben Elton. But, don't let that, necessarily, put you off watching it, tempting as such a revelation may be. This sitcom stars David Haig as 'an exasperated health-and-safety manager' who has 'a tendency to bring his work home with him.' Actually, reading that description, it really does sound every bit as shit as you'd expect from a writer who was last funny in about 1989. Gerald's daughter tries to encourage him to get back on the dating scene, so he decides to buy his colleague Malika a nice present for her upcoming birthday. But the woman in the shop he visits is far from helpful. With hilarious consequences, no doubt. Joanne Matthews, Beattie Edmondson and Mina Anwar also feature.

Wednesday 24 April
Troubled saleswoman Helen (the great Nicola Walker), whose mother was murdered back in episode one of Scott & Bailey - 9:00 ITV - turns up on Janet's doorstep with some information that takes an investigation in a completely different direction - paving the way for the formidable Detective Superintendent Julie Dodson to be called in. Meanwhile, new recruit Rob Waddington arrives on the scene - putting Janet's nose out of joint as she is demoted back down to constable. With Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp and Amelia Bullmore. Former Emmerdale actor Danny Miller joins the cast of the popular crime drama.
Adam Nicolson traces the roots of today's globalised Britain to a Seventeenth Century golden age of communication, and reveals how it was a period during which society was on the move, with writing making this change possible in the final episode of The Century That Wrote Itself - 9:00 BBC4. He looks at the letters of a lowly sailor able to document strange new worlds for those at home, and a slave-trader laying the foundations for a new global economy, highlighting how their work brings to life this turbulent era.

The remains of a bright and studious teenage boy are discovered in a suitcase in the latest episode of Bones - 9:00 Sky Living. The investigation into his death reveals a darker side to his life. Meanwhile, Cam's daughter Michelle lies about visiting Washington, DC and Booth tries to convince Brennan that he's more intelligent than her.
Thursday 25 April
The MasterChef semi-finals continue with its second of three episodes this week - 8:00 BBC1 - as the contestants enter the world of fine dining, with a daunting task that involves cooking for Marcus Wareing, one of the most demanding chefs in the country - and to complicate matters, it's an invention test, meaning they only have ninety minutes to conjure up two exceptional dishes. That's followed by a challenge to produce a four-course dinner for a dozen former Bond girls, including Britt Ekland, Fiona Fullerton, Shirley Eaton, Madeline Smith, Eunice Grayson and Rachel Grant, at the Savoy hotel. Can they meet the women's high expectations and leave them, you know, shaken and stirred.?

Aiden Hoynes resigns from the Cabinet after his bid for the party leadership is thwarted by his best friend, Bruce Babbish, in the opening episode of The Politician's Husband - 9:00 BBC2. In the subsequent reshuffle, Aiden's wife Freya - also an MP - is appointed a minister, while he has to return to the back benches and, potentially, a period in the political wilderness of obscurity. He can't even used the traditional excuse of 'spending more time with the family' in these particular circumstances. Finally out of her husband's shadow, Freya is forced to choose between her own career ambitions and publicly supporting her spouse. Paula Milne's companion piece to her 1995 drama The Politician's Wife, stars David Tennant, Emily Watson Jack Shepherd and Roger Allam, with a cameo appearance as herself by Newsnight's Kirsty Wark.

Jerusalem: An Archaeological Mystery Story - 9:00 BBC4 - is a documentary by Ilan Ziv looking at new evidence which suggests the majority of Jewish people may not have been exiled after the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD. Travelling from Galilee to the catacombs of Rome, Ilan discovers whether the event that has played a central role in Christian and Jewish theology for nearly two thousand years really happened, raising ethical questions about its impact on modern Middle Eastern issues.

Friday 26 April
The last of the MasterChef semi-finals - 8:30 BBC1 - sees the four hopefuls facing one last challenge that could mean the difference between going home and winning a place in the final three. They have two-and-a-half hours to produce their best three-course menu - but it's not just Gregg Wallace and John Torode they have to impress. They are also cooking for a restaurant full of the country's most famous food critics, so mistakes at this stage are likely to signify the end of the road for one of the contestants.

Cockney hard case Nails Ray Winstone, the bookie's pal, proves he's, like, totally The Daddy once more as he guest-hosts Have I Got News For You - 9:30 BBC1. Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, as usual, effortlessly poke fun at the week's headlines with the help of their celebrity panellists, including comedian Reginald D Hunter.
With Poppy seeking revenge, Serena struggles to block out the memories from her past in The Ice Cream Girls - 9:00 ITV. As her mother's health deteriorates, she realises she must face the burden on her own, and resolves to report her former school friend to the probation services. Excluded and alone, Poppy remains determined to get the truth from Serena, and confides in lifeguard Al. Drama based on the novel by Dorothy Koomson, starring Lorraine Burroughs, Jodhi May, Martin Compston and Dona Croll.

And so to the news: Gnarled, grizzled, dirge-like old heavy metal pensioners Black Sabbath are to premiere a new song from their upcoming CD during the season finale of CSI next month. The Birmingham band will appear in the episode and perform the first single from their nineteenth LP 13, 'End of the Beginning', on the 15 May episode of the CBS crime drama. The band will be seen on screen playing the song during a scene in which actors Ted Danson and Marc Vann attend a concert while investigating a string of murders 'with horrifying similarities to the sins in Dante's Inferno.' Honestly, I'm not making this up, 1 April was two weeks ago. Sabbath's bassist, Geezer Butler, took to Twitter to announce the development and share his enthusiasm for the popular long-running crime drama. 'I've seen almost every episode of CSI - I'm actually in the season finale!' wrote the bass player. 'Sabbath playing a track from the new album; watch out for it!' Personally, this blogger always though tracks were what trains run on and albums were what your parents keep their wedding photos in. Hippies, eh? Never trust 'em. 'When we first heard that Black Sabbath was interested in premiering a song on CSI from their first studio album in thirty five years, we were all really excited,' said CSI's executive producer Don McGill in a statement. 'So many of us are longtime fans. And seeing as the album is titled 13 and this is the finale of CSI's season thirteen, it seemed like the perfect match. We couldn't be more thrilled.' Black Sabbath, which comprises Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Butler and session drummer Brad Wilk, will release 13 on 11 June. It's their first all-studio CD since 1995's Forbidden and reunites three quarters of the band's 'classic' line-up, with Wilk replacing original drummer Bill Ward.

Andrew Marr has appeared on television for the first time since suffering a major stroke, saying he feels 'lucky to be alive.' Speaking on his own programme, The Andrew Marr Show, he said he had been 'heavily overworking' in the year before the stroke, which was sparked by an intensive rowing machine session. The fifty three-year-old presenter, who fell ill in January, said he was doing 'a lot of physio' to help with his walking. He added he would be returning to work. Appearing in a pre-recorded interview on Sunday's programme, the journalist and television presenter took part in a discussion on the legacy of Margaret Thatcher before talking about his illness. He told guest presenter Sophie Raworth: 'I had a major stroke - I'm frankly lucky to be alive. I had been heavily overworking - mostly my own fault - in the year before that. I'd had two minor strokes it turned out, in that year, which I hadn't noticed.' Marr explained he had fallen into the 'terrible' trap of believing what he read in newspapers, which encouraged people to "take very intensive exercise in short bursts - and that's the way to health.' He went on: 'I went onto a rowing machine and gave it everything I had, and had a strange feeling afterwards - a blinding headache, and flashes of light - served out the family meal, went to bed, woke up the next morning lying on the floor unable to move. Beware rowing machines, or at least beware being too enthusiastic on rowing machines would be my message to the nation,' he said. Marr said the stroke had not impaired his voice or memory but had affected 'the whole left hand side of my body, which is why I'm still not able to walk fluently. I do a kind of elegant hobble is the best I can manage - my left arm isn't much good yet and I've got a lot of physio still to do,' he said. However, the presenter added that, after concentrating on a period of 'intensive physio,' he planned to return to work. 'I'm certainly coming back. I've got a lot more to say about it all, but I'm going to wait until I've gone through the physio to do so.'

Noel Gallagher has reportedly rejected a deal to appear on The X Factor judging panel over fears the show would kill his credibility. It was reported that the former Oasis guitarist and songwriter had been offered a two million smacker deal to join the judging panel of the show, but now appears that he has declined. An alleged 'source' allegedly told the Daily Lies Sunday: 'Noel thinks it would be bad for his music if he joined. His daughter, Anais, is desperate for him to do it but Noel thinks X Factor is corporate pop and killing the spirit of the independent labels. Noel's told pals he doesn't need the fame or the money and his fans wouldn't be impressed.' Seriously, does anybody actually believe for a single second that a) Noel Gallagher would ever appear on The X Factor judging panel under any circumstances and b) that anyone uses the word 'pal' in anything other than an ironic sense? The forty five-year-old musician had previously joked he would find an offer of a million smackers to appear on the show 'tough' to turn down. He said: 'It's about six months work, innit? I reckon it would have to be a million pounds after tax. Not per episode, I'm not greedy. I say that tongue-in-cheek. I hope he doesn't put a million pounds in my bank account because I don't really want to do it. But a million pounds for six months work? That's good money if you can get it, isn't it? Even I don't earn that much.'

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day is a classy little touch of yer actual electronica. I don't know where to begin, dear blog reader.