Thursday, May 30, 2013

Welcome, Stranger, To This Humble Neighbourhood

Stone cold fox Gillian Anderson has hinted at what viewers might be able to expect from series two of The Fall. The BBC2 crime thriller was officially recomissioned earlier this week, with Anderson telling Collider that the first series will end on a cliffhanger. So, that's saved you from watching the next two episodes, in that case. 'There will be another season,' she confirmed. 'A cliffhanger is always a good thing to bring people back. Unfortunately, people will just have to wait for the next season.' Gillian added that - as an executive producer - she will be 'involved' in the direction of the second series' storyline. 'I will be actively involved and put in my two cents,' said the actress. Err ... that'd be pence, Gill, you're in Britian now, love. 'At the end of the day, it comes down to Allan Cubitt and his particular genius with story and conflict. I one hundred per cent trust that, if a decision is made in a direction that's away from something that I've suggested, that it will be the right decision. I will just participate in the brainstorming and ideas, but the final decision will be made by the experts.'

The Apprentice lost out to Britain's Got Toilets in the battle of the shit TV competitions on Tuesday night, overnight data reveals. Moved from its usual Wednesday slot, the BBC1 series featuring shouty Lord Sugar-Sweetie being mean to a variety of young professionals (who, to be fair, really deserve it) lost almost nine hundred thousand viewers from the previous week, dropping to an overnight of 5.36 million punters at 9pm. BBC2's You're Fired!, however, faired better, increasing its week-on-week audience to 2.11m at 10pm. On ITV, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef from Crossroads' Britain's Got Toilets itself shed over a million viewers for its second live semi-final but still, comfortably, won the night with 8.66m sad, crushed victims of society at 7.30pm. The results show attracted 7.13m at 9.30pm. Meanwhile, Ben Elton's tragic The Wright Way continued to limp along like a dog desperate to be put out of its misery with 1.54m at 10.45pm. On BBC2, Dan Snow's Locomotion documentary was seen by 1.40m at 7pm. Springwatch - with Chris Packham slipping yet more Clash song-titles into his pieces to camera - brought in 2.60m at 8pm, followed by Town with Nicholas Crane, securing 1.52m at 9pm. Channel Four's Embarrassing Bodies Live grabbed seven hundred and thirteen thousand viewers at 8pm, while the documentary Edward VIII: The Lion King was seen by seven hundred and thirty four thousand at 9pm. Shameless's final episode climbed to 1.11m at 10pm. On Channel Five, CSI was watched by 1.53m at 9.15pm, followed by Body of Proof with 1.07m at 10pm. BBC3's wretched unfunny and tedious Sweat the Small Stuff dipped to a new low of two hundred and fifty seven thousand punters at 10pm.

Frankie lost a further seven hundred thousand viewers for its third episode on Wednesday evening, overnight data has revealed. Eve Myles's BBC drama was seen by 3.35 million at 9pm. However, it had been moved from its usual Tuesday night slot. The ONE Show was the highest-rated show outside of news, soaps and sport with 4.01m at 7pm. Later, A Question of Sport attracted 2.03m at 10.35pm. On BBC2, Springwatch continued with 2.56m At 7.30pm, while new series Springwatch Unsprung brought in 2.01m at 8.30pm. New three-part documentary series The Iraq War was seen by nine hundred and sixty thousand viewers at 9pm. ITV's coverage of England's miserably lightweight draw with the Republic of Ireland was the highest-rated programme of the night, scoring and average of 5.49m from 7.30pm. On Channel Four, Location, Location, Location attracted 1.40m at 8pm. Twenty Four Hours in A&E climbed to 2.29m at 9pm, while Ten O'Clock Live was up to eight hundred and twenty nine thousand viewers at 10pm. Channel Five's NCIS entertained 1.41m at 9.15pm.

Caitlin Moran's semi-autobiographical sitcom Raised By Wolves has been given the greenlight for a pilot on Channel Four. The Big Talk Productions project has completed filming and Moran has described the show as a chance to showcase 'intellectuals living on a council estate.' This blog has been doing that for years, dear blog reader. 'Set on a Wolverhampton council estate, Raised By Wolves is a modern day reimagining of us, when we were growing up - loads of kids, no money, home-schooled, and educating ourselves on mankind's great bounty of books, films, TV and pop music,' said Moran - whom, to be fair, this blogger does consider to be a superb and witty writer. 'Do you remember when people used to go on about the notion of a progressive working class? When admitting you were on benefits didn't immediately mean that you were morally incontinent scrounger scum? Yeah, neither could we. It's been ages. Telly never has any smart, amusing intellectuals living on a council estate. That's why we wrote the sitcom. Well, that and the chance to make a load of jokes about vaginas.' Sounds intriguing. Particularly the bit about vaginas. Anyway, Rebekah Staton, the excellent Philip Jackson and Helen Monks are among the cast. Newcomers Alexa Davies, Molly Risker, Caden Ellis Wall, Lucie Brown and Kaine Zajaz will also star. Incidentally, if you're a Young Person, and you're wondering where the title comes from, it's from Eddie Izzard's breakthrough comedy routine from the early nineties.

The West Wing's Rob Lowe is to play John Kennedy in a TV movie marking the fiftieth anniversary of the American president's 1963 assassination. By, you know, a cabal of ... Oliver Stone and the Nazis. Or someone. Anyway, Lowe will play JFK in Killing Kennedy (snappy title), a two-hour National Geographic 'factual drama' based on a book co-written by FOX News commentator - and risible right-wing scum - Bill O'Reilly. Ginnifer Goodwin, from Once Upon a Time, will play Jacqueline Kennedy when filming begins in June. Lowe can currently be seen in the US sitcom Parks and Recreation. The fort nine-year-old has received rave reviews for his role as a plastic surgeon in Behind The Candelabra, a biopic of the flamboyant pianist Liberace which was recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival. For many, though, Lowe will be best remembered for his appearances in 1980s 'Brat Pack' movies such as The Outsiders and St Elmo's Fire, and for his role as deputy White House communications director Sam Seaborn in The West Wing. The TV show ever made (that doesn't have the words 'Doctor' and 'who' in the title). His latest part sees him follow in the footsteps of his former West Wing co-star Martin Sheen, who played JFK in the 1983 mini-series Kennedy. Ridley Scott's Scott Free production company will be hoping Killing Kennedy has a better reception than 2011 series The Kennedys, which was effectively disowned by its US backers. The drama was to be shown on the History Channel before its parent company, A&E Television Networks, pulled the plug following complaints over its historical accuracy (or lack, thereof). Greg Kinnear played JFK in that series, broadcast in the UK on BBC2, while Katie Holmes played Jackie. Killing Kennedy will also feature Gossip Girl and former Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina, the Russian-born wife of JFK's (alleged) assassin Lee Oswald. It is not yet known who will take on the role of Oswald, notably portrayed by Gary Oldman in Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK. And by Scott Bakula in an episode of Quantum Leap. Elsewhere, another US icon who met a premature end will be the focus of the latest project from Iain Canning, the Oscar-winning producer of 2010 royal drama The King's Speech. Life will explore the relationship between James Dean and Dennis Stock, a photographer from Life magazine who was assigned to capture the young actor before he rocketed to Hollywood stardom. Anton Corbijn, the Dutch photographer turned film-maker behind the acclaimed Ian Curtis biopic Control, will direct the film tentatively scheduled to shoot in early 2014. Dean had leading roles in East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant before dying in a car crash in 1955 at the age of twenty four.

Yer actual Rik Mayall has decided to take a few moments off from making ridiculous TV adverts for not particularly nice beer and has been cast as the father of fellow comic Greg Davies in a new Channel Four sitcom. Man Down will star Davies as Dan, an immature teacher who struggles with his job and personal life. Fifty five-year-old Mayall has been cast as Dan's father, according to the Radio Times, despite being just ten years older than Davies his very self. And, about a foot shorter too. Six thirty-minute episodes of Man Down will begin shooting soon under director Matt Lipsey (who previously worked on the okay-but-flawed Vexed and the about-as-funny-as-a-good-hard-kick-in-the-knackers This Is Jinsy). Davies recently revealed that he is also hoping to make a second series of the BBC3 sitcom Cuckoo. despite the fact that it includes less funny jokes in it than the average episode of Loose Women. 'I understand there's a will for it,' said the comedian. well, yeah. It's very popular with students. Then again, so is Russell Kane. Enough said. 'I hope there is a second series - I had the best time doing it and I hope there is another one. I'm well up for it.'

Joan Collins has signed up for ITV's Benidorm. The veteran actress will portray a 'hotel high-roller' in the comedy's upcoming sixth series. Collins will play a character named Crystal who becomes an enemy of Joyce Temple-Savage (Sherrie Hewson). Collins tweeted: 'Looking forward to going to Spain to be in Benidorm. And I'm playing 'Crystal' - yes I am - but not the Dynasty one.' Coronation Street's Ken Morley and former Brookside star Philip Olivier have also signed up for guest roles, with Matthew Kelly confirmed to return as Cyril Babcock in series six. Show creator Derren Litten - who has written all seven episodes of the new series - said: 'I'm so excited about series six of Benidorm, probably more excited than all previous series. Apart from Dynasty series five of course - what could possibly top the Moldavian Massacre?'

Amazon has announced the five original TV series it will make this year after seeking customer feedback on fourteen pilot shows. Political comedy Alpha House, starring John Goodman, and Betas, a sitcom about Silicon Valley, were among those selected for full series production. Children's programmes Annebots and animations Creative Galaxy and Tumbleaf will also be made. The shows will initially be shown on Amazon's Prime Instant Video service. It is Amazon's first foray into original programming, following in the footsteps of rivals Netflix and YouTube. The pilots were shown on in the US and on Lovefilm in the UK last month, with customers asked to help decide which series should be made. Alpha House, written by Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, stars Goodman as one of four misfit senators who share a house. With hilarious consequences. 'We're thrilled to have emerged safely from this harrowing exercise in online democracy,' said Doonesbury creator Trudeau. Betas follows a group of friends hoping to strike it rich in Silicon Valley and has Ed Begley Jr as part of its cast. Both shows will shoot another ten episodes, with Alpha House airing in November.

Actor Thomas Scurr was left with a broken cheekbone and a fractured eye socket during an unprovoked attack in London's West End. Scurr was punched in the face as he and friend, James Conway, were crossing the northern side of Leicester Square in the early hours of 11 May. The twenty two-year-old actor, who plays Barney Harper-McBride in the Channel Four soap Hollyoakes, had been asked to pose for photos by fans before the attack, police said. Officers are appealing for witnesses. Detective Sergeant Nathan Tozer said: 'This was a nasty and completely unprovoked attack, which resulted in Mr Scurr sustaining serious injuries to his face, and I am keen to identify the person responsible. We know that prior to the incident several people identified Mr Scurr and Mr Conway and asked them to pose for photos, and I am keen to hear from anyone who was in the area and may have taken pictures of the pair on their phone, or noticed the incident taking place.' The suspect has been described as 'a stocky white man, about six feet tall, with a shaven head.' So, a big fat violent skinhead in other words? That should narrow the list of suspects down to a few hundred thousand, tragically. Scurr said: 'I would personally be very grateful for any information; hopefully then we can find this guy and show him that there are always consequences.'

Fans of the classical tenor Alfie Boe are not exactly known for their rowdy rock and roll antics. But one Strictly Come Dancing viewer - with nothing better to do with his or her time - fired off an angry complaint to the BBC after the singer's performance on the show caused the audience to 'scream, whistle and clap.' Because, heaven forbid that anyone should, actually, enjoy themselves. According to the BBC Trust's Complaints and Appeals Board Findings, Appeals to the Trust considered by the Complaints and Appeals Board (April 2013 bulletin), the disgruntled whinger and waste-of-oxygen complained that the cheering was 'off-putting and unnecessary, and he found it hard to believe that singers enjoyed having their performances disrupted in this way.' The BBC Trust rejected his - ridiculous - complaint out of hand, obviously concluding it was nothing to make a song and dance about. What a tragedy it is, however, that the government hasn't introduced a law which states that any vexatious and ludicrous complaints made to the BBC (or any other broadcaster for that matter) should result, after due consideration, in them having their TV licence revoked for six months, just as careless drivers get their right to get behind a wheel taken away.
A list apparently showing the contact details of English Defence League members has been published online. It has been posted by people claiming to be part of a computer hacking network known as Anonymous. Names and addresses of more than two hundred people from all over the country are on the list. The post from a group calling itself Anonymous UK also includes the mobile telephone numbers of people it claims to be 'senior members' of the EDL. It said the EDL 'should have expected this' and warned it to 'expect more.' The publication followed an audio message, recorded with a computerised voice and published on YouTube, allegedly from Anonymous UK to the EDL which accused the far-right group of indoctrinating our young with your criminal mind-set' and 'taking advantage of moments of fear and terror to spread hatred and animosity.' It likened the EDL to a 'pack of raving ignoramuses' and said the group's 'constant belligerence' would further 'only bigotry and segregation.' The message added: 'You have angered us considerably, and summoned our wrath irrevocably.'
The EDL has held several demonstrations since the death of Lee Rigby, the soldier who was killed in Woolwich last week. It is unclear whether the people listed are actually members of the EDL. A similar list of names of supposed British National Party members, published in 2008, included some people who turned out not to be members. More than one thousand protesters claiming to be members of the EDL gathered in London on Monday and were addressed by EDL leader Tommy Robinson.
The Sun's Whitehall editor, Clodagh Hartley, has appeared in court accused of conspiring to pay seventeen thousand four hundred and seventy five smackers to a public official for government leaks, including details about David Cameron's deficit reduction plans (or, you know, lack of them). Hartley appeared at Westminster magistrates' court in London on Wednesday morning alongside her two co-accused, HMRC press officer Jonathan Hall and his wife, Marta Bukarewicz. The three entered the dock together and spoke only to confirm their names, date of birth and addresses in the five-minute hearing. The chief magistrate, Judge Howard Riddle, sent them for trial at Southwark crown court. The next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 6 June. The three were released on unconditional bail and made no comment as they left the court building. Prosecutor Tom Guest said that they face a single joint charge of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office between 30 March 2008 and 15 July 2011. The charges relate to alleged payments of over seventeen thousand quid from the Sun to Hall, mostly via Bukarewicz, for the 'unauthorised disclosure of information' about government plans, including details about the then newly formed coalition government's 2010 Budget and deficit reduction plans. Hartley, who was arrested and bailed in May 2012 by officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Elveden, is the sixth Sun journalist to be charged as a result of the investigation into alleged illegal payments by journalists to public officials. A former consumer affairs and home affairs reporter, Hartley became the Sun's first female lobby correspondent in 2009 after a stint working in Los Angeles for the paper.

Radical speakers such as the Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary should not be banned from appearing on television, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation said on Wednesday. David Anderson QC, who reviews the government's anti-terror laws, said it should be up to broadcasters to decide who appears on their channels. Broadcasters including Channel Four and the BBC were criticised last week for giving Choudary airtime in the wake of the Woolwich attack and it has been reported that extremist preachers could be banned from television under new powers for Ofcom. But Anderson said that if extremists were banned from television, it would risk sanitising them. He told BBC Radio 4's PM programme: 'Perhaps I'm old fashioned, I'm a great believer in the marketplace of ideas, the good ideas drive out the bad. It's important to give these people a hard time and to expose to the audience the sort of things they have been saying when they have not been wearing a tie in the television studio. But subject to that, let them be heard, and the risk of not letting these people be heard in all their glory is that you sanitise them, and that people don't actually realise how extreme they are.' Asked if there was an 'incitement factor' on television, he said: 'If you're talking about Anjem Choudary, various organisations that he has been instrumental in founding have indeed been banned as organisations that promote or encourage terrorism. It hasn't happened to him, he hasn't been prosecuted on that basis. For someone who is a member of society, free to speak, I think one has got to allow him to speak, one has got to test very severely what he has to say, and one has to discredit his ideas. One can think about the high-profile extremists in respect of whom that's been a pretty effective process.'

A businessman and former football club chief has been accused of breaking into his fortune teller's home. Jose Laparra, who was president of Spanish fourth division side Club Deportivo Castellon between 2005 and 2011, is alleged to have broken in to reclaim one hundred and eighty thousand dollars he had paid for a 'love spell' which, apparently, failed to work. I mean, what are the chances of that happening, eh? According to the New York Daily News, investigators say that Laparra paid fortune teller Lucia Martin over two hundred thousand smackers to 'help bring his former flame back to him.' Martin reportedly foresaw the arrival of Laparra and four of his friends, and called the police to her home in Zaragoza. Well, she is a fortune teller, presumably, she'll also know the outcome of the forthcoming trial and how much bird Laparra and his mates will be doing when they're found extremely guilty. Police officers say that Laparra suffered 'an anxiety attack' during his arrest and was taken to hospital. That's the first time I've heard 'accidentally falling down the stairs at the police station' described thus. All five suspects have since been released on bail.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day, here's His Divine Holiness yer actual Lord Joseph Strummer and his various Mescaleros and the best song of multi-culturalism ever written.