Friday, May 03, 2013

I Have No Need For Friendship, Friendship Causes Pain

Martin Freeman his very self has revealed that he has 'no objections' to doing a fourth series of Sherlock. The actor, who is currently filming for the third series of the BBC's hit crime drama with co-star yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch, said that he is 'very loyal' to the programme. Freeman told Empire: 'I believe in doing things for as long as people love them, and all I can say is that I really love the show. I feel very loyal to it and I like doing it for as long as they want to do it and as long as we all want to do it.' Freeman confirmed that he initially turned down the role of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit due to scheduling issues with Sherlock, and claimed that the reaction to the detective drama has been 'unlike any I'd had [in] any other job. I've got some great reactions to things I'm very proud of, but I don't think any surpass Sherlock in terms of critical acclaim and number of people watching - and just a general feeling that you're in a mini Beatlemania,' he explained. Freeman's co-star Cumberbatch recently suggested that Sherlock would definitely be back for at least a fourth series, although the BBC is yet to officially confirm this. Seems jolly likely, though, if Benny and Marty want to carry on doing it, as they've now both said they do.

After months of speculation about which, if any, previous Doctor Who actors would return for the show's fiftieth anniversary episode, David Tennant alone has been confirmed by the BBC. The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine states: 'Although David Tennant has returned to his role of The Tenth Doctor, the other old Doctors will not be taking part.' The hour-long 3D episode, which will be broadcast in November, began filming in April. However, rumours have continued to suggest that all eleven present and former Time Lords would be involved, with those three who have died being 'recreated using technology.' Including a story as recently as this week in the - accurate and reliable as usual - Daily Lies which claimed that's exactly what would be happening. Presumably, that'll be the same episode to feature Lady Gaga and Eric Cantona and Holly Valance as Buffy Summers? Early in April, the BBC released a statement confirming that Christopher Eccleston, who played The Doctor in 2005, would not be appearing despite having been 'in talks' with Doctor Who writer The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He). Moffat has previously said he wants to 'move The Doctor's story onwards' in the episode, rather than to embrace nostalgia. He said: 'It is important you don't turn it into a fanfest. We can't make this all about looking backwards. It's actually got to be the start of a new story.' However, the BFTA-winning writer and Sherlock co-creator is notoriously secretive about future Doctor Who adventures. While just having one returning Doctor may seem to some rather disappointing in comparison to ten, Tennant's inclusion may be a way of Moffat moving the story on and still keeping at least some of the fans happy. In the series four finale, a newly regenerated second Tenth Doctor was sealed off in an alternate universe to live as a human with his companion Rose (Billie Piper, who is also returning for the anniversary episode). If he returns as a human, rather than a Time Lord, then the previous story could be picked up and continued in an exciting way. It'll also explain why Tennant looks a few years older than when he last appears, something that couldn't be done with, say, Tom Baker.
Doctor Who is to début a specially recorded prequel to its finale episode via the BBC's red button service. A prelude to The Name of the Doctor will be available to watch immediately following Neil Gaiman's Nightmare in Silver on Saturday 11 May, according to the Radio Times. The three-minute episode will see The Doctor and Clara speak directly to camera, as each considers how little they know about the other. The Name of the Doctor promises to resolve the ongoing mystery surrounding Clara, while showrunner Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) has also claimed that the episode will 'change the course of Who forever. It's full of surprises and questions that have never been answered in the history of Who, including The Doctor's greatest secret,' he said. The finale prequel will be available to users of the red button service from 7.40pm to midnight, every evening up until The Name of the Doctor is broadcast on Saturday 18 May.

In probably the least unexpected turn of events in TV this year, twenty nine-year-old part-time DJ and former credit controller Natalie Coleman became the eleventh MasterChef champion and the third female winner in the TV cookery programme's history, after a gruelling eight weeks of culinary challenges. A peak audience of 6.34 millions viewers on BBC1 saw Natalie beat fellow finalists Larkin Cen and Dale Williams - both from Cardiff - to the title of Britain's best amateur cook, during a final challenge in which she cooked a three-course banquet of lobster tail with compressed fennel, roast pork belly with pork tenderloin and pomme purée and vanilla chocolate pannacotta with bitter chocolate tuile, caramelised pears and hazelnut crumble biscuits. Coleman, who grew up in Hackney and Chingford and describes herself as 'a proper cockney', cor blimey, wot a West 'am, I was at Violet's funeral, described her win as 'a dream come true. This is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life.' Judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace said that they had been impressed by her unflappable delivery of exceptional, well-flavoured food. 'I think Natalie is destined for great things,' said Torode. 'She not only understands finery of great food but she cooks for the people, food that people want to eat. She makes people smile. And she's not fazed by a thing. Natalie's got it, she is a very, very clever woman and her food is fantastic.' Coleman said she had learned to cook as a young girl, helping her grandfather in the kitchen, and had spent the last two years cooking for him after his wife died. Asked about her future, she said: 'I want to learn as much as possible under great chefs and possibly go into food writing once I've learned a lot more about food. Depending on how good I get, my own restaurant one day would be amazing.' Natalie said that she had considered a career in catering when she was a teenager. 'But then I went off the idea and wanted to be a PE teacher, then a firefighter,' she said. 'But my mum said as I was good at maths, I should go and do something in finance. I'm quite good at what I do, but it's not what I love. This is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life,' she continued. 'It's like a fairy tale really, the girl from Hackney done good.' Natalie was clearly the strongest of the finalists, her cooking getting better and better as the competition developed and, throughout the final week there was little doubt in most viewers' mind that she was going to be the champion. Larkin, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's tip for the title a couple of weeks back, on the other hand, went in the opposite direction, suffering a series of challenges where, quite simply, his bottle seemed to go. A bit as his food looked beautiful, and indeed, did Dale's.

MasterChef had an average overnight audience of five and a half million viewers for its final on BBC1 on Thursday evening. The cooking competition's series' finale attracted 5.58m across the hour at 9pm with, as noted above, a peak audience of 6.34m towards the end. Later, Question Time was seen by 2.93m at 10.45pm. On BBC2, the World Snooker Championship covered baffling attracted 1.17m at 7pm. Watson & Oliver was watched by five hundred and ninety four thousand punters at 10pm. The Politician's Husband dropped nearly eight hundred thousand viewers from last week's premiere, attracting 1.71m at 9pm. ITV's coverage of Moscow Chelski FC's Europa League win against Swiss club Basel was seen by 3.78m at 7.30pm. On Channel Four, Secret Eaters brought in 1.54m at 8pm. True Stories was seen by 1.67m at 10pm.

All Star Mr & Mrs returned to ITV with over four million overnight viewers on Wednesday evening. Phillip Schofield's fifth series of the game show was watched by 4.33m crushed victims of society at 8pm. Scott & Bailey continued at 9pm with 4.37m. MasterChef's penultimate episode was the most watched show of the evening outside of soaps on BBC1, rising to 5.22m at 9pm. Watchdog was seen by 4.40m at 8pm. On BBC2, the - seemingly endless - snooker coverage continued with nine hundred and fifty thousand at 7pm, while Coast brought in 1.75m at 8pm. This World's mafia documentary secured an audience of 1.27m at 9pm. Channel Four's Phil Spencer: Secret Agent was seen by 1.13m at 8pm. Twenty Four Hours in A&E saw its audience dip to 2.05m at 9pm (although it did pick up another five hundred thousand on C4+1), while Ten O'Clock Live climbed from the previous week to nine hundred and fifty two thousand at 10pm. On Channel Five, NCIS was watched by 1.11m at 9.15pm. BBC4's new series Stories From The Dark Earth began with four hundred and forty six thousand viewers at 8pm, followed by the documentary Nelson's Caribbean Hell-Hole with six hundred and seventy five thousand at 9pm.

UKTV has announced new Freeview channel Drama. The station will launch on 8 July and feature shows including Pride and Prejudice, Catherine Cookson's The Cinder Path, Sharpe, Tipping The Velvet, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Cranford and Lark Rise to Candleford. UKTV controller Emma Tennant said: 'Drama is targeted at a different audience demographic than our other highly successful free-to-air channels, Dave, Yesterday and Really. The channel is aimed at people who simply love drama and want to watch critically-acclaimed shows that have absolutely defined the landscape of British television.' She added: 'I am very passionate about the subject and discussing the programmes that will create Drama's schedule has just been brilliant fun. I'm genuinely excited about the launch of Drama both as a viewer and as controller.' General manager of drama Adrian Wills added: 'Drama lovers' prayers have been answered. This channel represents the best drama content within the genre and we are confident that viewers will enjoy these celebrated shows.' The channel is UKTV's first new station since the launch of Really in May 2009. 'The stated target audience for the Drama is ABC1 adults', apparently. And for what yer actual Keith Telly Topping's thinks about all this 'ABC' media bollock-speak, see here.
Presenter, writer and Monty Python's Flying Circus member Michael Palin will be awarded a BAFTA fellowship at its TV awards on 12 May. Palin, who turns seventy on Sunday, said it was 'a very high honour', adding that his success was 'down to teamwork. I've been blessed throughout my career with the inspiration and support of others,' he added. 'The fellowship is for all of us.' BAFTA chairman John Willis said Palin had made 'an incredible contribution to the medium over five decades.' Palin, who began his career as a writer for The Frost Report in partnership with Terry Jones, is a founding member of world-renowned comedy troupe. He has also fronted a string of critically acclaimed travel documentaries, including Around the World in Eighty Days, Pole to Pole and Full Circle. His other TV credits include include 1960s sketch show Do Not Adjust Your Set, Ripping Yarns and the Alan Bleasdale drama GBH. He won a BAFTA film award in 1989 for his supporting role in A Fish Called Wanda and received a special award in 2005. Willis said Palin's 'amiable on-screen manner belies the seriousness of his craft', adding there were 'few individuals more worthy' of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' highest honour. The BAFTA TV awards will be hosted by Graham Norton at the Royal Festival Hall in London and will be broadcast on BBC1.

Being Human's Damien Molony is to appear in the next series of Ripper Street. The Irish actor will play a guest role in the BBC period thriller's second series, which was announced in January. Though details of his role are yet to be confirmed, Molony was spotted on set for Ripper Street in period costume. Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg star in the Sunday night drama, which is set in London's Whitechapel in the months after Jack the Ripper's reign of terror. The fifth and final series of Being Human was shown on BBC3 earlier this year, drawing to a close in March. Molony's co-star Michael Socha has since landed a role in ABC's Wonderland pilot - a spin-off from popular fantasy drama Once Upon a Time. Ripper Street - created by Richard Warlow - will broadcast eight new sixty-minute episodes on BBC1 in 2014.

Diana Vickers has landed her first TV role in an upcoming Sky Living comedy. The former X Factor contestant will appear in Give Out Girls, which will be broadcast later this year. Him & Her actress Kerry Howard and ex-EastEnders actress Tracy-Ann Oberman will also be in the cast of the project. Give Out Girls will focus on a group of promotions girls who attempt to sell a variety of products to clients. Vickers told the Sun: 'I'm so excited about doing my first comedy show. It's different from any acting I've done before. The script is hilarious - I was laughing my head off just reading it. The rest of the cast are great, we all have really good chemistry. I can't wait to get in front of the camera and start filming.'

Wizards vs Aliens is to make its American premiere on the cable channel The Hub. The CBBC series from Russell Davies will make its Stateside début on 1 June. The show's opening two-parter Dawn Of The Nekross will be shown as a double-bill from 7pm, with new episodes then following weekly each Saturday at 7.30pm.
A bodyguard for former News International chief executive and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks has been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, the Crown Prosecution Service has said. The charges against David Johnson, forty seven, relate to inquiries into phone-hacking and payments to public officials. Johnson is accused of conspiring to hide computers and other items from police between 15 and 19 July 2011. He was bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 8 May 2013. It is alleged that Johnson - self-employed of London Road, Mitcham - conspired with six people, including the former newspaper executive and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike and her husband, millionaire Old Etonian Charlie, who have already been charged. The charges were made under Operation Sacha - Scotland Yard's investigation into allegations of perverting the course of justice relating to Operation Weeting, its phone-hacking inquiry, and Operation Elveden, which is investigating alleged naughty and illegal payments to public officials by journalists. Senior CPS lawyer Gregor McGill said: 'Following a careful review of the evidence, we have concluded that David Johnson, a security professional who was employed to provide a protection service to Rebekah Brooks, should be charged with an offence of conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice. It is alleged that between 15 and 19 July 2011 Mr Johnson conspired to pervert the course of justice by concealing computers and other items from the Metropolitan Police Service during its investigation into allegations of phone hacking and the corruption of public officials by journalists.'

Odious greed bucket, horrorshow (and drag) Alesha Dixon has revealed that she feels 'unsatisfied' as an artist and that she 'aspires' to have her own chat show. Which will, presumably, then satisfy her. And, knowing the utterly shite state of the TV landscape at the moment, where any old five-minute-wonder can say they want to do something and executives go down on their knees just begging for a lick of that sweet, sweet pie, she'll probably get one as well. Hopefully, if and when it occurs, it'll be just as huge and satisfying and spectacular a flop as when Davina McCall thought she had what it took to be the next Parkinson a few years ago.
From one odious greed bucket, horrorshow (and drag) to another. Steve Clarke has branded the insult Adrian Chiles aimed at Peter Odemwingie at West Bromwich Albino's awards dinner as 'stupid and ridiculous.' The Albino's manager said that the full-of-his-own-importance sacked breakfast TV flop, who was hosting Sunday night's event and is a lifelong fan of the club, was 'out of order' for calling Odemwingie 'a twat' when attempting to make a joke at the expense of the striker. Announcing an award for 'Tweet of the year', Chiles said: 'Oh, no, sorry, it's "Twat of the year", and the winner is Peter Odemwingie.' Odemwingie, whose relationship with West Bromwich Albinos broke down after he failed to force through a move to Queens Park Strangers in January and subsequently criticised the club in a series of outbursts on Twitter, was not present at the awards evening, after Clarke gave him permission to stay away. The thirty one-year-old is, however, known to be upset by Chiles's comments. Clarke has yet to discuss the incident with Odemwingie, who has not played for Albinos since 30 March, when he came on as a substitute in the defeat at The Hamsters, but he made it clear that he felt Chiles had overstepped the mark and said that someone with the broadcaster's experience 'should know better. It was out of order,' Clarke said. 'It was a ridiculous comment to make. I didn't like it. I didn't say anything about it at the time but I'm saying it now – it was a stupid comment. It was out of place – it was a West Bromwich Albion awards night. There was no place for that kind of comment. It was a throwaway line from somebody who should know better. Peter's one of my players. I've said it all season, I protect my players fiercely; that's why I didn't like it. There wasn't time to saying anything [about it] on the night.' Clarke said that it would be 'down to the club' whether Chiles, who has not been available for comment, was ever invited back to host the event again. The Albino's coach said that he 'understood' why Odemwingie had no desire to be present on Sunday. 'Peter had permission from me not to go to the event. I think he was concerned that if you go to an event like that, then it's to celebrate the season. If somebody comes out with a wrong comment or something that's not right, then it can work against you. Peter didn't want to go. I respect that.' Clarke said he was 'not aware' if Odemwingie had decided to make a formal complaint about Chiles. 'I don't know if Peter has made any representation to the club,' he said. 'He wants the chance to play and that opportunity will come again before the end of the season. Peter's not been frozen out, I don't do that to my players. My relationship with Peter and the rest of the players is good.' In a separate development unrelated to the fallout from Chiles's faux pas, Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, on Thursday met Odemwingie, Mark Jenkins, the Albino's chief executive, and Richard Garlick, the club's sporting and technical director, to discuss the internal disciplinary action taken against the player, which included a six-figure fine, following remarks he made on Twitter.

Broadcaster Stuart Hall has admitted fourteen charges of indecently assaulting girls including one aged nine. The eighty three-year-old of Wilmslow - now revealed to be a dirty old scallywag and rotter - pleaded extremely guilty at Preston Crown Court to the offences, involving thirteen victims, which occurred between 1967 and 1985. Three charges of indecent assault and one of rape will lie on the court file. His lawyer said Hall apologised to his victims and added: 'He is all too aware that his disgrace is complete.' He has been bailed until sentencing on 17 June. A BBC spokesperson said: 'The BBC is appalled by the disgraceful actions of Stuart Hall and we would like to express our sympathy to his victims. We will continue to work with the police to assist them in this and any other inquiries they are making.' Hall admitted the offences last month but they could not be revealed due to reporting restrictions. Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, Nazir Afzal, described Hall as an 'opportunistic predator.' He added: 'We prosecuted Stuart Hall because the evidence of the victims clearly established a pattern of behaviour that was unlawful and for which no innocent explanation could be offered. His victims did not know each other and almost two decades separated the first and last assaults but almost all of the victims, including one who was only nine at the time of the assault, provided strikingly similar accounts. Whether in public or private, Hall would first approach under friendly pretences and then bide his time until the victim was isolated. I would like to thank the victims for having had the bravery to come forward. This case clearly shows that the victims of abuse will not be denied justice by the passage of time and abusers will be held to account.' Afzal said the Crown Prosecution Service would not be proceeding with the rape charge as the woman who made the allegation no longer wished to give evidence in light of the guilty pleas. The court heard in the 1980s Hall molested a nine-year-old girl by putting his hand up her clothing. He also kissed a thirteen-year-old girl on the lips after he said to her: 'People need to show thanks in other ways.' On another occasion in the 1970s he fondled the breast of a girl aged sixteen or seventeen, the court was told. Hall was initially arrested in December and made a statement labelling the claims 'pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious.' He has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half-a-century, and was awarded an OBE in the 2012 New Year Honours. The former It's A Knockout presenter was working as a football commentator on BBC Radio5 Live and wrote a weekly sport column for the Radio Times magazine until his arrest.

Coronation Street actor William Roache has 'strenuously' denied raping a fifteen-year-old girl in the 1960s. Roache, eighty one, is accused of two counts of rape in Haslingden between April and July 1967. The actor, who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV soap, said in a statement through his lawyers: 'I am astounded and deeply horrified by the extraordinary events of the last twenty four hours.' He is due to appear before Preston magistrates on 14 May. Roache was arrested at his home in Wilmslow on Wednesday. He said: 'I strenuously deny the allegations and will now focus my full attention on fighting to preserve my innocence in the challenging times ahead. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those people who have offered me their support and good wishes at this difficult time.' He was charged by Lancashire Police following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service who said it has been reviewing evidence since 1 March. Chief Crown Prosecutor Nazir Afzal (who was obviously having a busy day, see above) said: 'Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Roache to be charged with two offences of rape relating to a girl, aged fifteen, in 1967.' An ITV spokesman said the actor would not be appearing in Coronation Street until legal proceedings were concluded.

German broadcaster ZDF has dropped repeat showings of a popular detective series after it emerged its late lead actor had hidden his Waffen SS past. Archives released last month reveal that Horst Tappert, who played Derrick in the show of the same name, had served in the Totenkopf panzer division. Tappert, who died in 2008, had remained tight-lipped about his war record. According to the archives, the nineteen-year-old panzer grenadier was wounded on the Eastern Front in 1943. With its motto 'My Honour Is Loyalty', the Totenkopf (German for 'death's head') division became one of the toughest and notorious units of the Nazi armed forces. ZDF, the German public TV broadcaster, said it would not show any more repeats of the two hundred and eighty one episodes of Derrick, which were made between 1974 and 1998. 'ZDF is shocked and troubled by the news that Horst Tappert was a member of the Waffen SS,' spokesman Peter Bogenschuetz told AFP news agency. 'We have no plans to broadcast any more reruns.' Generations of Germans watched the show set in Munich, with its distinctive, baggy-eyed detective. The series was popular abroad too, shown as far afield as Russia, China and South Africa. Reacting to the revelations, Dutch public television channel Omroep MAX said it had scrapped plans to show around twenty episodes of Derrick from July. 'I was shocked by the news, you don't expect something like that,' chairman Jan Slagter told Dutch national broadcaster NOS over the weekend. 'We will not honour an actor who has lied over his past.' Bavaria's interior ministry said it was considering stripping the late actor of an honorary chief police inspector title awarded to Tappert in 1980, German media reported. Tappert himself said of his war record only that he had 'served as a medic', AFP reports. It is not the first such scandal in recent years. In 2006, another famous German, the novelist Guenther Grass, caused consternation when he revealed that he had served as a member of the Waffen SS.

A one hundred and thirty three million smackers digital video archive designed to ensure the redeveloped New Broadcasting House is 'tapeless' is 'not working' according to programme-makers, with old-fashioned tape editing machines having to be installed as a result. However, because the corporation's Central London headquarters was not designed to accommodate the heat from the tape editing machines, plans are being discussed to put them in a specially constructed, refrigerated area. The Gruniad Morning Star allege that according to alleged 'sources', Panorama's office in NBH is 'littered' with tapes and news and current affairs staff say their work is being held up due to delays and problems with the BBC's troubled Digital Media Initiative. DMI is an attempt by the BBC to do away with video tapes and create and run a kind of internal YouTube of BBC archive content which staff could access, upload, edit and then air from their computers. It has a budget equivalent to around nine hundred thousand BBC licence fees. However, only the 'first parts' of DMI have been rolled out, the BBC admitted. But staff who are trying to use DMI said it is 'clunky', being patched together with an old system and that they can't find much footage on it. One alleged BBC 'insider' allegedly said of DMI: 'Not only have there been huge problems with the software, but only a relatively small amount of the BBC's archive has actually been digitised. The vast bulk remains on tape and film.' Another alleged 'source' allegedly said programme-makers were 'frustrated' with the new system and questioned why, since DMI was supposedly a 'pan-BBC' project, BBC Sport has decided to ask outside suppliers to tender to design its own digital video archive system at a cost of just five hundred thousand smackers – a fraction of the millions spent on DMI. The BBC denied claims that the project could cost more than expected, saying it 'has not exceeded its total budget.' However, the BBC declined to reveal how much of the one hundred and thirty three million knicker has actually been spent or how much of the ninety five million quid of benefits DMI was supposed to deliver back to the corporation have been achieved. Although, sadly, they didn't tell the Gruniad Morning Star that it was none of their effing business and, if they didn't like it, why didn't they eff off the China with all the other Communists. They, of course, didn't do that because the BBC are far too polite to such such a thing. But, I'm not. A BBC spokeswoman admitted that there have been 'some initial problems' but the BBC is 'working with teams to make it better' and the project had not exceeded its total budget. She claimed the system being requested by BBC Sport would 'link together' with DMI and said: 'The BBC continually strives to be at the forefront of technology and innovation, from audience offerings like BBC iPlayer to digital production systems like DMI. We are currently undertaking a review of the strategy for delivering further digital, tapeless production and broadcast capabilities going forward, which will be submitted to the BBC executive and the BBC Trust over the coming months.' Problems with DMI were first 'exposed' during the coverage of the death of Baroness Thatcher last month, when BBC News staff were unable to access archive footage of the late prime minister via computers in New Broadcasting House and were reduced to ferrying tapes from the corporation's archive storage facility in Perivale. Some BBC executives have, the Gruniad claim, 'expressed concern internally' about parts of DMI and a review by director of operations Dominic Coles has been ordered into its future. Although how the Gruniad actually know this, unless someone has snitched it up to them like a dirty filthy stinking Copper's Nark is, at this time, unknown. But, you can probably guess, dear blog reader. Public Accounts Committee member Ian Swales MP, commenting on the BBC's refusal to say how much DMI has cost, said 'this type of secrecy is inappropriate.' He also said that he had 'reservations' about the scale of the project and is going to discuss the issue with his fellow PAC members. 'That [DMI] is money taken away from programmes. An unwelcome suggestion in our hearing [with corporation executives about the project] was when the BBC said they were going for a world-leading type of solution. I'm not sure their business requires it. We keep getting these kinds of stories.' Yes. Usually from the Gruniad Morning Star, with it's sick anti-BBC agenda. Something it shares in common with a fair number of scumbag lice MPs, pal. Do not vote for them, dear blog reader, it only encourages them. DMI has had a chequered history. After it was approved by the BBC Trust, technology supplier Siemens was given a seventy nine million quid contract without open competition. But Siemens failed to deliver and the contract was terminated in 2009, with Siemens given a pay-off. DMI was taken in-house but the BBC had incurred a two-year delay and lost twenty six million notes in projected cost-saving benefits as a result.

Following Mama Telly Topping's funeral on Thursday morning, yer actual Keith Telly Topping needed a bit of a lift (albeit, it was a great send-off, eighty two people in attendance which, we were told, for a ninety two year old lady was virtually unheard of round these parts). There were loads of people from her church, neighbours and a few ex-neighbours, three of her loyal and patient carers (Stacey, Diane and Adiam without whom yer actual Keith Telly Topping would have sunk under the weight of everything months ago) plus family and extended family. Anyway, in the evening Uncle Scunthorpe's latest Record Player at the Tyneside was, quite simply, superb. One of those golden nights when you are, frankly, glad that you weren't born in the Seventeenth Century because, you'd never have heard the power of pop music; a, genuinely, timeless LP, good company and yer actual Keith Telly Topping (with new partner, Sam) winning the quiz for the second week in a row (and, I didn't even have Christian and Vicky to blame for winning it this time around). I think I'll have to recuse myself from next weeks in case anyone thinks it's a fix! So, once again, just to say thanks to all the Record Player regulars - Chris and Gill, Billy and Steph, Ewan and Vicky, Mietek and Namoi, Jeff, Bruce, Sam, old Uncle Steve Scunthorpe and all, for another terrific night of quality entertainment. As a consequence of winning a vinyl copy of Bridge Over Troubled Water (to go with the one I'd already bled white several years ago) and the Bookends CD (which I've never, actually owned, so nice one), yer actual Keith Telly Topping is still stuck, firmly, in a Sime & Garf mood at the moment. Thus, this is today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Folk rock.