Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Caretaker: She Cares So I Don't Have To

'Hold on, one more thing. We've got a newbie.' 'I'm The Caretaker.'
'Are the kids safe?' 'No. Nobody is safe. But, soon the answer will be be "yes, everybody is safe" if you let me get on.' As the setting for, near enough, the very first scene in the opening Doctor Who episode, 1963's An Unearthly Child, Coal Hill Secondary School has a special place in the affections of many Doctor Who fans. Back, more or less, to where it all began. The location has been revisited on several occasions since two of its teachers and one of its more unusual pupils mysteriously went missing on that damp and cold November night fifty years ago; notably by Sylvester McCoy's Doctor in 1989's Remembrance Of The Daleks (set a few months prior to the events of An Unearthly Child) and, as the setting for Clara's teaching job in last year's fiftieth anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor. This year, we've seen quite a bit of the drum. Coal Hill shares, along with the BBC's two other memorable school dramas Grange Hill and Waterloo Road, a thoroughly cheeky and insubordinate group of pupils who could probably do with a damned good dose of detention on a regular basis yet who are, nevertheless, as Ben Elton noted in an episode of The Young Ones, 'the only kids in England who don't say "f-"'. Anyway. where were we? Oh yes, of course. Back to school on Monday. The Caretaker, once again, returns Doctor Who to the scene of its first adventure in space and time. Filming for the episode took place at Bute Street and Lloyd George Avenue in Cardiff on 24 March 2014 and continued at The Maltings in Cardiff Bay and the former St Illtyd's Boys' College in the delightfully named Splott (no, it's not a Torchwood in-joke it really does exist although how it is pronounced is a different matter entirely) on 4 April. Some scenes were also filmed at Holton Primary School in Barry the following day.
'I'm The Caretaker now. Look, I've got a brush!' For the second time the year, the Doctor Who audience is gently prodded into more light-hearted and humorous territory than usual with The Caretaker. The premise of Gareth Roberts' story (co-written with The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat) is, as with two of the author's previous episodes for the show, The Lodger and Closing Time for Matt Smith, reasonably straight-forward and involves The Doctor effectively 'undercover' at Coal Hill as he investigates sinister goings-on and attempts to avert another robotic threat to Earth. This time in the form of The Scovox Blitzer - 'one of the deadliest killing machines ever created'. With hilarious consequences, obviously. And, thankfully, without James Bloody Corden hanging around like a lingering bad smell. So, that's a bonus. Many odd occurrences manifest themselves along the way, particularly as all of this malarkey clashes, disastrously, with Clara's professional and, indeed, social life and her increasingly desperate and farcical attempts to keep Danny Pink - and the school for that matter - in the dark about the threat they are facing. Isn't that always the problem with over-complicated double lives? There's so much going on you don't know whether to tell your almost-boyfriend about the potential imminent alien invasion or not. It's a problem so many young school teachers - and Gruniad Morning Star readers - have to face on a daily basis, is it not? The Caretaker, after a helter-skelter opening few minutes, finds the time for a touch of characterisation and variance of pace amid all of its breathless running around. This makes it, clearly, the odd one out of the episodes of the series so far, it's predecessors having all spent much of their time placing plot and story development ahead of any more subtle conceits. As such, it does some very interesting work on the two - actually, three - central characters dealing with a number of issues which have been bubbling away under the surface for some weeks. Not only that that, but The Caretaker has the added bonus of featuring the best performance of the series thus far from both Jenna Coleman (who has been on sparkling form of late and, here, is even better than ever) and Sam Anderson. It has much dialogue which regularly sparkles - see below - with lots of funny lines for most of the character. Roberts is a writer whose episodes seem to be something of an acquired taste for some of the more shouty end of Doctor Who fandom. Despite Steven Moffat's co-writer credit, nevertheless, this episode is recognisably comparable to Roberts' previous two scripts. In effect, it's a three-character comedy which happens to have a killer robot from outer-space sampled into its aesthetic. And, that's very Gareth Roberts.
'It's Assembly, better get going. Go and worship something!' Seeing Peter Capaldi attempting - and, for the most part, failing - to fit into a (relatively) normal lifestyle and, in the process, completely messing up Clara's neatly ordered OCD world of separation and flirting is, of course, excellent fun. Capaldi is one of the great dry comic actors of his generation in this episode mixing two parts Malcolm Tucker with a healthy dose of Basil Fawlty and more than a bit of Jeremy Clarkson. Which will piss off a few middle-class Gruniad reading hippy Communists no doubt. Good. If Robot Of Sherwood saw Capaldi mainlining his hero, Jon Pertwee, then The Caretaker sees a twelfth Doctor with more than a few similarities to the fourth incarnation, Tom Baker. A man, very literally, out of time. Roberts is terrific at the tricky job of domesticating The Doctor without ever coming close to trivialising him or the apparently-everyday-but-not-really situations in which he gets planted. Royally arch and cantankerous, enigmatic, casually alien (in every sense of the word) almost, but never quite, to the point of disdain, and just a little bit dangerous, Capaldi in The Caretaker, as in the previous five episodes, is absolutely fantastic. And, of course, this is the episode where The Doctor finally gets to meet Danny Pink. Given that The Doctor has already met someone whom, we presume to be, Danny's distant descendant, Orson, one would have perhaps expected this meeting to have been a major part of the plot. Instead, and actually much to The Caretaker's benefit, it's rather glossed over in a very quick reference and then never mentioned again. At least, yet. As for Clara and Danny as a couple, they're still at the 'one day this will all make sense, possibly' stage. It's quite enjoyable to see their relationship developing from the awkwardness of Into The Dalek, Listen and Time-Heist to something really rather charming and, potentially, very funny. Sam Anderson gets to play something with a bit more depth than he has so far, especially during one particularly confrontational moment with The Doctor. And, there's a heroic act which will, hopefully, win Danny plenty more fans. The 'I see wonders' scene between Clara and Danny is particularly effective as are some of the deeper and darker issues the episode touches upon - Clara's perceived thrill-seeking, Danny's deep-rooted Officer Class issues, The Doctor's casual endangering of those around him. One slight oddity this year is The Doctor's sudden bitter and aggressive contempt for the armed forces which doesn't really fit in with someone who, for example, was so close to The Brigadier. To be fair to the production, I suspect they're going somewhere specific with this thread, especially in light of both Danny telling Clara 'I'm the one who carries you out of the fight, he's the one who lights it' and the couple's later conversation about the future ('I trust him, he's never let me down.' 'If he ever pushes you too far I want you to tell me because I know what that's like'). Nevertheless, for this blogger at least, The Doctor in his dealings with Danny feels strangely off. And, that's the only problem I have with the episodes so far this series.
'Why have you got two jackets? Is one of them faulty?' Aside from a few other members of staff - most of whom seem to be composed, mostly, of cardboard, the only proper guest star for the episode is Ellis George playing the recurring Coal Hill naughty schoolgirl, Courtney, after a brief, blink and you'll miss it previous appearance in Into The Dalek and a scene in which she was talked about - at length - by Clara and Danny in Listen. The presence of child actors in Doctor Who tends to bring out all of the worst crass bullying prejudices in its fandom. For instance, Fear Her's reputation as - by a distance - the worst episode of Doctor Who since the BBC's popular family SF drama returned to TV in 2005 rests, largely, on having such an important part of the slight-to-begin-with story resting on the shoulders of a young actress (Abisola Agbaje) who, simply, couldn't quite manage the necessary strangeness and menace required. Perhaps significantly, episodes which feature child actors prominently - one thinks, recently, of The Rings of Akhaten and Nightmare In Silver - tend to polarise fandom (unfairly in this blogger's opinion in the case of the former though, not so much regarding the latter). The very worst one can say about Ellis is that her performance might not be winning a BAFTA any time soon but, by the same token, it's by no stretch of the imagination bad. And, her two scenes with Capaldi are, actually, really rather good. 'Ah yes, spillage.' Excellent. Director Paul Murphy returns for his second and final episode this year and it's another decently-shot episode with plenty of attractive visual imagery to keep the majority of the audience satisfied. 'What if the kids have questions about maths?' 'I answer them. I'm a maths teacher.'
'You ask for homework? Amateur!' For an episode set in a location that's been visited so often before, continuity references are there in abundance. There's An Unearthly Child, obviously, and Fury From The Deep and numerous stories since (The Doctor's use of the alias John Smith). There's also The Big Bang and The Angels Take Manhattan ('I've lived among Otters for a month ... River and I had this big fight!'), School Reunion, Human Nature, 42Listen (Clara's three mirrors), The Underwater Menace (Fish People), Deep Breath ('a thing!' and 'bit intense looking. Did you see those eyebrows?'), Forest of the Dead (the opening of the TARDIS doors with a click of the fingers), The Invasion, The Eleventh Hour (The Doctor's use of a ladder), The Deadly Assassin ('I used to have a teacher exactly like you'), Vincent & The Doctor ('tiny bit boring, I'll need a book an a sandwich'), The Celestial Toymaker (the invisible Doctor), The Empty Child ('let's dance!'), and The End Of The World. Oh, and they have a Chris Addison in Heaven, apparently. That's rather comforting.
'I'm a disruptive influence!' As noted above, the episode's dialogue is a treasure-trove of wonderful delights: 'This school is in danger.' 'Lucky I'm here, then.' 'From you. You wouldn't be here if there wasn't an alien threat nearby. Your strategy for dealing with it involves endangering this school.' 'You don't know that.' 'I don’t know anything, because you haven’t told me anything. Which means I wouldn't approve. Which means you're endangering this school.' And: 'You recognise me, then?' 'You're wearing a different coat.' 'You saw straight through that!' And: 'Where's Latif? What have you done with him?' 'He's fine. Hypnotised. Thinks he's got the 'flu. Also, a flying car and three wives. It's going to be a rude awakening!' And: 'The walls need sponging and there's a sinister puddle!' And: 'Human beings are not otters.' 'Exactly, it'll be even easier!' This is an episode chock-full of truly sublime one-liners ('He's a soldier! Why go out with a soldier? Why not get a dog or a big plant?' And: 'I suppose she was your bezzy-mate, was she? And you went on holiday together and then you got kidnapped by Boggans from space ... and then you all formed a band and met Buddy Holly?' 'No, I read the book, there's a biog at the back!' ) The Caretaker is deep and rich in its clever wit and sarky digs at a few sacred cows. Like, 'The world is full of PE teachers.' And: 'We have to talk about The Tempest.' And: 'Go home and canoodle. Doctor's orders!' And: 'Of course we won't starve, the sand piranhas will get us long before that.' And: 'I'll be sure to have a wash.' 'Excellent, I was meaning to bring it up.' And: The door. It says "Keep Out"'. 'No, it says "Go Away Humans!"' 'Oh, so it does.' And: 'What's a policeman without a Death Ray!' And: 'Don't you have shoplifting to go to?' And: 'Why do I keep you around?' 'Because the alternative would be developing a conscience of your own!' And: 'So, your insanely dangerous plan is ...? A new watch? Tiny bit disappointed.' And: 'You're a space woman. You said you were from Blackpool!' And: 'How stupid do you think I'm am?' 'I'm willing to put a number on it!' And: 'He's not The Caretaker, he's your dad. Your space dad!' And: 'You've made a boyfriend error!' And: 'I may have a vacancy. But not right now.' And: 'So, there's an alien that used to look like Adrian and then her turned into a Scottish Caretaker ...'

'On balance, I think that went quite well!' The Caretaker , then, is a funny, smart, sharp little exercise in doing what Doctor Who did all the way back in its very first episode and has done, intermittently, ever since - bringing the extraordinary to the mundane and trivially twatty world we all tread in every day. 'Your gadget isn't ready yet, twenty four hours you said.' 'Yes, well, I've revised that down to two minutes, probably!' It's not the best episode of the series so far in fact, perhaps because of the small-scale nature thing as compared to something as big, bold and dramatic as Listen, it could actually be the ... least best. But it's got many things going for it, chief among which are the performances of the central trio. It's funny without every being flippant and serious in all the places that it needs to be. Earlier this week yer actual Keith Telly Topping happened to be at an event with a couple of friends who are also Doctor Who fans of long-standing; not 'capital F' fans, these but, rather, the kind of viewer the show has in its millions. People who have grown up and stuck with the show through the thick and the thin and the thick again and are now at the stage of watching it with their own children in the way they did themselves when they were six, or eight, or ten. Or twenty five. Both agreed with yer actual Keith Telly Topping that, to a greater or lesser degree, they had enjoyed all five of the episodes thus far this series and they were, frankly, shocked at some of the things I was telling them about the online reactions of a handful of sour-faced malcontents in The Special People to, especially, Robot Of Sherwood and, to a lesser extent, Time-Heist. Their surprise was pitched somewhere between 'there are people - beside you! - who take it that seriously?' and 'well, it's their loss, I loved it.' So, this review is for Bill and Samantha. Hope you both got as much out of The Caretaker as this blogger did. Which was forty five minutes of properly decent Saturday night entertainment as a significantly better alternative to watching paint dry. To ask any more is, frankly, selfish. 'He did just save the whole world.' 'Yeah. Good start.' Next week, by the look of things, they're doing Alien!
Space and time folded back on themselves this week as former Doctor Who companion Jo Grant – the delightful Katy Manning – visited the set of Doctor Who to recreate an iconic image from the classic series with yer actual Peter Capaldi. Manning and Capaldi's dramatic pose in front of the TARDIS console echoed one from her tenure alongside Jon Pertwee – right down to the Time Lord's red-lined coat.
Judging by her Twitter feed, Katy loved every minute of her day out – 'a wonder visit to a familiar place that always smells the same!' The perks of being a former companion didn't end with the visit, either. Katy was treated to a sneak peek at the upcoming Christmas special which had just completed filming.

Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch his very self has described the next series of Sherlock as 'phenomenal.' The hit BBC drama will return for a Christmas special next year, with a three-part series to follow early in 2016. 'I can't give any plot away but their pitch for the Christmas special and the series beyond that is just phenomenal,' yer man Benny told Empire. 'We've never seen [Sherlock] being really pressed yet, so that will be interesting.' The EMMY winner also confirmed that he is keen to make more Sherlock series beyond the next four episodes. 'I'd like us to finish on a high, but we'll do it until we don't want to do it any more,' he added. 'As long as the ideas are still there and the audience still wants it. I'd love to do it into old age, I really would.' The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) previously promised that he and Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss his very self have a 'devastating' plan in place for the forthcoming fourth series.
Paul O'Grady topped Thursday's overnight ratings outside of soaps for ITV, dear blog reader. Which is, frankly, a truly shocking indictment of ... something or other. Don't come running to yer actual Keith telly Topping looking for an answer to such bizarre malarkey and shenanigans. For The Love Of Dogs appealed to an average audience of 4.32 million viewers at 8.30pm. Later, the finale of ITV's latest flop drama, Chasing Shadows, was seen by 2.81m at 9pm. Chances of a second series of that one? Don't hold your breath I'd've said. On BBC1, Your Home In Their Hands attracted 2.83m at 8pm, followed by Reggie Yates's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with 3.64m at 9pm. Question Time attracted 2.16m at 10.35pm. BBC2's Jungle Atlantis gathered 1.61m at 8pm, while the Toby Jones drama Marvellous brought in 1.52m at 9pm. Channel Four's Location, Location, Location drew 1.50m at 8pm, followed by Educating The East End with 1.38m at 9pm and Gordon Ramsay's Costa Del Nightmares with eight hundred and two thousand punters at 10pm. On Channel Five, Armed & Dangerous interested seven hundred and thirty six thousand at 8pm, while Never Teach Your Wife To Drive was seen by seven hundred and twenty three thousand at 9pm.

Strictly Come Dancing won its overnight ratings battle with The X Factor on Friday. On a generally low-key Friday in terms of ratings across all channels, the BBC1 dancing competition, which saw six couples take to the floor, was seen by an average audience of 6.53 million at 9pm. The X Factor, which also started at 9pm on ITV, was seen by an average overnight audience of 5.28 million. Strictly peaked with 6.67 million, while The X Factor peaked with 5.6 million. It was one of the lowest X Factor overnight audiences since the show's launch in 2004 although the figure was still double ITV's usual figure for that Friday night slot. ITV claimed that it had broadcast a Friday edition of the show because its Sunday schedule was 'too full' to show the full 'boot camp' stage. One or two people even believed them. BBC1's evening kicked off with 3.39 million for The ONE Show at 7pm, followed by 3.2 million for A Question Of Sport and EastEnders with 6.35 million. Would I Lie To You? was seen by 3.33 million at 8.30pm, while the first in a new series of The Graham Norton Show entertained 3.14 million at 10.35pm. Gino's Italian Escape: A Taste Of The Sun picked up 2.38 million at 8pm on ITV whilst Coronation Street had the highest overnight audience of the night with 6.92 million. On BBC2, Mastermind played to nine hundred and ninety thousand at 7pm, followed by one million viewers for Lorraine Pascale: How To Be A Better Cook. Gardeners' World was watched by an evening high for the channel of 2.32 million at 8pm, while footage from the first day of The Ryder Cup had an audience of 1.57 million from 8.30pm until 10pm. The latest episode of Mock The Week attracted 1.38 million at 10pm. The return of Gogglebox was Channel Four's highest-rated show with 1.89 million at 8pm. Elsewhere, The Million Pound Drop was seen by one million at 8pm, while Alan Carr: Chatty Man played to nine hundred and twenty thousand.
The Mirra Group has coughed up thirty grand in phone-hacking related damages to the former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and to the Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston his very self. The figures were revealed at the High Court on Friday, alongside other settlements. Ex-footballer Garry Flitcroft's claim was settled for twenty grand, while David and Victoria Beckham's former nanny Abbie Gibson received fifteen thousand smackers. The court also heard the newspaper group was facing 'many more actions.' The details emerged in a document prepared by Matthew Nicklin QC, counsel for MGN, during the fifth case management conference in the litigation case. At the start of Friday's proceedings David Sherborne, representing claimants in the action, told the judge there were twenty eight claims registered and pending. Sherborne added that there were 'many more actions' which have been, or were soon to be, issued. Other settlements revealed in court included the 'celebrity agent' Phil Dale, who received fifteen thousand knicker. Christie Roche, the wife of the actor Shane Richie, settled for the same amount. Earlier this week, Trinity Mirra admitted for the first time - and, after years of denials - that some of its journalists were involved in phone-hacking. It admitted naughty liability and said that it would pay compensation to a further four people who had sued the company for the alleged hacking of their voicemails. They were entertainer Shane Richie his very self, the Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati, Lucy Benjamin and the BBC's creative director Alan Yentob. All four also received a grovelling apology. In July, Trinity Mirra said that it had set aside four million quid to deal with civil claims over phone-hacking. Whether that's going to be enough is a different entirely. The company publishes titles including the Daily Mirra, Sunday Mirra and the Sunday People.
Convicted groper - and right bad 'un - Dave Lee Travis has been spared a taste of Richard III and given a suspended prison sentence of three months for indecently assaulting a woman in 1995. Essentially, by sticking his Hairy Cornflake where it didn't ought to be, as it were. The sixty nine-year-old very naughty man had been found extremely guilty by a jury of attacking the woman, who was then working as a researcher on The Mrs Merton Show. The Judge, Anthony Leonard told the dirty old scallywag and convicted criminal Travis: 'It was an intentional and unpleasant sexual assault.' Travis had previously been cleared of additional charges of a 1990 indecent assault and a 2008 sexual assault. He was being retried for these two charges after jurors could not reach a verdict at a trial earlier this year, during which he was also cleared of twelve further indecent assault charges. The convicted groper Travis, a former Top Of The Pops presenter, cornered the woman in the corridor of a BBC television studio where she was smoking and commented on her 'poor little lungs' before squeezing her breasts for, she estimated, between ten and fifteen seconds. In a victim impact statement, which was read out at London's Southwark Crown Court ahead of his sentencing, the victim said: 'I was a naive and trusting twenty two-year-old when I was subjected to an unprovoked and terrifying physical assault at my place of work. I was too paralysed with fear to confront my assailant.' The woman said that she felt lucky that she was 'physically resilient' enough to get on with her life 'thanks largely to my colleagues.' She said that the process of remembering the incident still took her back to 'feeling like a scared, vulnerable young woman. Being called a liar and fantasist and being forced to recall the evidence in court has been painful,' she said. The woman, who chose to retain her anonymity, told the court that she would not claim compensation 'now or in the future. I simply wanted to tell the truth,' she said. The victim had told the court how Travis groped her for a 'weird sexual thrill.' She fled to her boss, the BBC producer Peter Kessler, and told him: 'Oh my God, Dave Lee Travis just grabbed my tits.' The woman has since become a successful entertainer and admitted in court that she has spoken publicly about the convicted groper Travis's wandering hands as part of her stage act. She said that she had added humour to make it 'palatable for the audience' and defended her choice, saying that it was 'a positive and healthy way' for her to cope with the assault. Judge Leonard - who suspended Travis's sentence for two years - said: 'It was an intentional and unpleasant sexual assault. You took advantage of a young woman in a vulnerable position whose job it was to look after you that day.' However, the judge said the prosecution's case that Travis had 'a propensity to commit indecent assaults' had 'not been made out.' Outside the court, convicted groper Travis had plenty to say for himself and still continued to loudly protest his innocence, 'bleating' a 'self-pitying triade' according to the Mirra. Several media outlets are also reporting that the convicted groper Travis may now be facing one or more private prosecutions over further allegations of sexual misconduct. Allegations which the convicted groper Travis denies.

The Whom have unveiled their first new song in eight years as they mark their fiftieth anniversary. 'Be Lucky' includes lyrical references to Australian rockers AC/DC and the French electro duo Daft Punk and will be included in a double CD featuring the group's greatest hits. Of which there are loads. As, indeed, there are loads of The Whom's Greatest Hits compilations - this blogger his very self has at least five. The band will donate royalties from the new song to The Teenage Cancer Trust of which they have been significant supporters during the last decade. One of the most influential rock bands of the Twentieth Century, and a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping from an early age, their hits include 'My Generation', 'I Can See For Miles', 'Magic Bus', 'Won't Get Fooled Again', 'Pinball Wizard', 'Substitute' and so on and so on for the next four pages. Earlier this year, surviving members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend announced they would play a tour, which starts in the UK in November, to mark their fifty years in the industry. It will (apart from the 1989 tour) be the first time since 1979 that yer actual Keith Telly Topping hasn't seen them on a tour of the UK. Mainly, because the tickets are so bloody expensive. Daltrey described the tour as 'the beginning of the long goodbye.' Mind you, they've been saying that since 1979 as well! Recorded at British Grove and Yellow Fish Studios, 'Be Lucky' features long-time collaborators Zak Starkey on drums and Pino Palladino on bass. In a statement on their website, The Whom said: 'In keeping with their ongoing support for Teenage Cancer charities, the band have donated their royalties from the song to Teen Cancer America.' Daltrey was instrumental in founding the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2000. In April, Daltrey was presented with the outstanding contribution prize at the Music Week awards for his work with the Teenage Cancer Trust. The Goddman Modfather his very self Paul Weller praised Daltrey's 'tireless, fantastic work' for a 'very worthwhile charity.' The Whom were formed, initially as The Detours, by Daltrey, Townshend and bassist the late John Entwistle whilst they were still at school in Shepherd's Bush in 1960. They were joined by drummer the late Keith Moon before recording their first single, 'I'm The Face' as The High Numbers in 1964. They had their first hit, 'I Can't Explain' in 1965. Moon died of a drug overdose in 1978 and Entwistle of a drug-induced heart attack in 2002 whilst in bed in a hotel in Vegas with two hookers, a bottle of brandy and a nose full of Charlie. If you're gonna go, dear blog reader, that's the way to do it.

King of the Mods Sir Bradley Wiggins clinched his first road world title with a thrilling time trial victory at the World Championships in Ponferrada earlier this week. The thirty four-year-old beat three-time champion Tony Martin by twenty six seconds on a hilly forty seven kilometre course in Spain. After finishing second to Martin in 2011 and 2013, Wiggins finally has a rainbow jersey on the road to go with the six he has won on the track. 'I knew coming into it that I had the legs,' Wiggo said afterwards. 'Once I saw the course I realised if I was ever going to beat Tony again it was on a course like this. It's been an up and down year - obviously I didn't ride the Tour de France. I want to dedicate this to my family because they had to put up with me when I was at home in July. It's my last Road World Championships and I've finished with a gold medal.' Martin trailed Wiggins by 9.64 seconds at the final time-check and the Briton extended his lead in the final twelve kilometres. Wiggins clocked fifty six minutes twenty five seconds to claim a convincing win over Martin, who was chasing a fourth-successive title. Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands finished third. 'I knew it would be difficult on the final loop, but I paced it perfectly and still had pace in the final few kilometres,' Wiggins explained. 'On my last descent, I heard on the radio that I was ten seconds up but I pushed all the way to the line because I did not want to take any risks.' Bradley collapsed to the ground in exhaustion at the finish line but recovered to raise his thumb in celebration when Martin crossed the line. Victory in North-West Spain gives the 2012 Tour de France winner a world time trial title to go with his three national titles and gold at the London Olympics in the discipline. 'To add the world title is just fantastic. Now I've got the set,' added Wiggins. It is the perfect end to a patchy year on the road and track for Brad, who won the Tour of California in May, but then missed out on Team Sky selection for the Tour de France and had to settle for silver in the velodrome in the team pursuit at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. His success means he becomes the first British rider to take world time trial gold since Chris Boardman in the inaugural race in 1994. Wiggins has announced that he intends to return to the track for the Rio Olympics in 2016 and also hopes to attempt to break the hour record set by Germany's Jens Voigt last week.

On Thursday evening yer actual Keith Telly Topping attended Uncle Scunthorpe's latest splendid Record Player at the Tyneside. This week, it was a totally grungetastic noise-off a'tween yer actual Doolittle and It's A Shame About Ray its very self. Which, of course, Pixies won by two falls and a submission. Therefore, Keith Telly Topping's 33(s) of the Day are, firstly, this twenty four carat masterpiece.
And then, this little pop gem.