Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Viking Raiders

Peter Capaldi and Matt Lucas are back together again on the set of Doctor Who in Cardiff. The pair, along with new companion, Pearl Mackie, have been filming the tenth series of the popular long-running BBC family SF drama around the Cardiff University buildings in Cathays Park.
Pearl Mackie, meanwhile, looks set to encounter a few things that go bump in the night, as filming for series ten continues. Doctor Who finally got back in front of the cameras this week, with Mackie heading out on location for the first time on Monday. Mackie was spotted on-set in the daytime with guest star Stephanie Hyam.
Game Of Thrones fans and EU remain supporters' days went from bad to worse on Thursday as rumours - albeit, not from anyone that you've ever heard of - circulated that Brexit 'could interfere' with the filming of the HBO drama in Northern Ireland. But there is some good news at least, as it appears that the impact of the leave win won't be felt as far out as The Seven Kingdoms. According to EW, network bosses at HBO have confirmed that Brexit is 'not expected to financially impact' the show's future and that the rumours were, in fact, as with so much else spoken during the campaign - from on both sides - a load of old crap.
As, as for the series six finale which this blogger saw at some dramatically inappropriate time in the early hours of Tuesday morning, do we think there's ever going to be an episode of Game Of Thrones where, at the end, all the viewers think something other than 'Christ, what a bloodbath'? Personally, this blogger was so hoping for flowers and chocolates.
Here's the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Seventeen programmes, week-ending Sunday 19 June 2016:-
1 Euro 2016: England Versus Wales - Thurs BBC1 - 7.68m
2 Euro 2016: Belgium Versus Italy - Mon BBC1 - 7.47m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.30m
4 Euro 2016: Switzerland Versus France - Sun BBC1 - 7.04m
5 Euro 2016: Portugal Versus Iceland - Tues BBC1 - 6.66m
6 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 6.34m
7 Euro 2016: Portugal Versus Austria - Sun BBC1 - 6.24m
8 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.18m
9 Euro 2016: Germany Versus Poland - Thurs ITV - 5.92m
10 Euro 2016: France Versus Albania - Wed ITV - 5.82m
11 Six O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 5.79m
12 Ten O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 5.59m
13 Euro 2016: Ireland Versus Sweden - Mon BBC1 - 5.10m
14 Euro 2016: Spain Versus Turkey - Fri ITV - 5.09m
15 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 4.96m
16 Referendum Campaign Broadcast - Tues BBC1 - 4.67m
17 ITV News - Tues ITV - 4.34m
These consolidated figures include all viewers who watched the programmes live and on catch-up during the seven days after broadcast, but does not include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. On BBC2, Top Gear - which saw its consolidated audience drop from 6.42 million for its opening episode to 3.22 million by its fourth - lost its bragging rights as the channel's highest audience puller, The Great British Sewing Bee attracting one hundred and fifty thousand more punters (3.37 million). The third most-watched programme was Gardeners' World with 2.54 million punters. One of the nightly episodes of Springwatch was seen by 2.22 million whilst the third episode of Versailles was watched by 2.06 million. The Millionaires' Holiday Club attracted 1.98 million, followed by City In The Sky (1.92 million), Antiques Road Trip (1.76 million), Dad's Army (1.36 million), Grand Tours Of Scotland (1.35 million) and Britain & Europe: The Immigration Question (1.32 million). Jack Dee's Referendum Help Desk drew 1.30 million, an audience figure also achieved by Mum. Upstart Crow continued with 1.18 million. This blogger still can't see what many others seem to find so hilarious about it but, there you go. The latest Qi repeat drew nine hundred and fifty three thousand. Aside from Googlesprogs (2.60 million), Kirstie & Phil's Love It Or List It was Channel Four's second highest-rated broadcast of the week (2.27 million), followed by the movie Independence Day (2.17m) and live coverage of The Grand Prix Of Europe (2.15m). Twenty Four Hours In A&E had 2.08 million, its sister-show Twenty Four Hours In Police Custody 2.05m million and Escape To The Chateau attracted 1.99 million. The Last Leg attracted 1.90 million. Channel Five's top performer was, unexpectedly, The Hotel Inspector with 1.63 million, narrowly ahead of the highest-rated episode of Big Brother (1.61 million). The latest episode of Gotham attracted 1.35 million. Sky Sports 1's most-watched broadcast was coverage of Live International Rugby Union: Australia Versus England - the second game in England's impressive winning series - seen by four hundred and fifty two thousand viewers. The channel's simultcast of The Grand Prix Of Europe from Azerbaijan had one hundred and eighty eight thousand. With the test series having finished, Sky Sports 2's coverage of Live T20 Blast dominated the week, Friday's clash between Surrey and Middlesex getting one hundred and seventeen thousand, exactly the same audience that tuned-in for Warwickshire (or whatever they're calling themselves for one day matches these days) against Lancashire. Saturday's Sky Sports Today was Sky Sports News's highest-rated broadcast with one hundred and eighty thousand. On Sky Sports F1, Live European Grand Prix coverage had five hundred and fifty three thousand punters in addition to those catching on Channel Four and Sky Sports 1. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (1.04 million). Endeavour was seen by eight hundred and nineteen thousand and Foyle's War by six hundred and eighty one thousand. World Series Of Darts coverage headed ITV4's weekly top ten with three hundred and twenty thousand. Although, quite why anyone should want to want fat men tossing from the oche (steady) is another question entirely. Worthless steaming pile of rancid shat Love Island was, probably, ITV2's most-watched programme but, since the channel couldn't be bothered to provide BARB with any data for this period, perhaps we'll never care. The Americans headed ITV Encore's top ten with sixty eight thousand viewers with Vera seen by sixty seven thousand. BBC4's imported French drama The Disappearance had audiences of nine hundred and eighteen thousand and nine hundred thousand for its seventh and eighth episodes in a top-ten list which also included Euro 2016: Post Match (seven hundred and seventy five thousand), Top Of The Pops: 1982 Big Hits (six hundred and forty four thousand) and Handmade: By Royal Appointment (four hundred and seventeen thousand). The Good Old Days attracted four hundred and four thousand, From Andy Pandy To Zebedee: The Golden Age Of Children's TV also drew four hundred and four thousand and Horizon was watched by three hundred and thirty eight thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by Agatha Raisin (seven hundred and forty four thousand), DC's Legends Of Tomorrow (seven hundred and sixteen thousand), Supergirl (six hundred and ninety one thousand), Limitless (four hundred and sixty thousand) and Rovers (three hundred and ninety five thousand). Sky Atlantic's list was topped, of course, by the latest Game Of Thrones (2.24 million, the highest-rated multichannel audience of the week). The Monday repeat of the popular fantasy drama's previous episode had 1.33 million. Thornecast was seen by four hundred and fifty four thousand, Penny Dreadful, by four hundred and twenty six thousand and Billions by one hundred and eighty six thousand. On Sky Living, Madam Secretary drew five hundred and seventy three thousand, Unforgettable had four hundred and sixty thousand, Chicago Fire, four hundred and forty one thousand and The Catch, also four hundred and forty one thousand. Sky Arts' Guitar Star had an audience of one hundred and twelve thousand. Sensitive Skin attracted sixty six thousand and Saturday highlights of The Isle Of Wight Festival fifty eight thousand. 5USA's The Mysteries Of Laura was watched by four hundred and seventy six thousand viewers. NCIS was seen by three hundred and ninety five thousand. NCIS also topped the weekly top tens of FOX - five hundred and ninety two thousand punters - and CBS Action (one hundred and fifty six thousand). Aside, from NCIS, FOX's list also included Outcast (four hundred and forty nine thousand), American Dad! (three hundred and sixty seven thousand) and Wayward Pines (two hundred and ninety four thousand). On CBS Action, Bad Girls was seen by one hundred and twenty thousand. The Universal Channel's top ten was headed by Chicago Med (two hundred and sixty four thousand), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (one hundred and seventy thousand) and Second Chance (ninety seven thousand). On Dave, Alan Davies: As Yet Unfunny was the highest-rated programme - no, this blogger doesn't know why either - with four hundred and twenty three thousand punters. That was followed by Have I Got A Bit More News For You (three hundred and sixty thousand), Mock The Week (three hundred and twenty seven thousand) and Qi XL (two hundred and forty one thousand). Drama's New Tricks was watched by three hundred and fifty eight thousand viewers. Dalziel & Pascoe had three hundred and fifty one thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme was Quantico (three hundred and sixteen thousand), followed by Father Brown (one hundred hundred and fifty thousand), New Tricks (one hundred and thirty four thousand), Death In Paradise (eighty eight thousand) and Lie To Me (eighty four thousand). Yesterday's repeat of The Private Lives Of The Tudors was watched by two hundred and forty nine thousand and Jeeves & Wooster by two hundred and nine thousand. On the Discovery Channel, the new series of Wheeler Dealers continued with three hundred and forty thousand punters. Deadliest Catch had an audience of two hundred and thirty eight thousand and Gold Divers one hundred and thirty six thousand viewers. Discovery History's Artefact Or Fiction? topped the weekly-list with thirty six thousand viewers whilst Tony Robinson's Wild West attracted thirty thousand and Vulcans, Victors & Cuba twenty seven thousand. On Discovery Science, NASA's Unexplained Files was seen by thirty four thousand viewers. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programmes was How It's Made: Dream Cars (twenty nine thousand). The rest of the top ten was dominated by older episodes of Wheeler Dealers. Nice to know yer actual it's not just yer actual Keith Telly Topping who is the only viewer to spend more than a few of his afternoons glued to Mike and Ed and their car-fixing-up ways. National Geographic's list was headed by Car SOS which had which had seventy three thousand viewers. The History Channel's top ten was lead by Vikings (two hundred and seventeen thousand) and Forged In Fire (one hundred and sixty six thousand). On Military History, Ancient Impossible, Ancient Aliens and Brad Meltzer's Lost History were all watched by twenty six thousand viewers. The Perfect Murder, Copycat Killers and Ghost Asylum were ID's top-rated programmes of the week (sixty thousand, fifty four thousand and fifty one thousand viewers respectively). The Jail: Sixty Days In headed CI's list (eighty eight thousand). The latest episodes of GOLD's repeat runs of The Royle Family and Absolutely Fabulous attracted one hundred and fifty five thousand and one hundred and thirty eight thousand respectively. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for the eight hundred and forty nine thousandth repeat of Friends (one hundred and fourteen thousand). Your TV's Corrupt Crimes had fifty one thousand viewers. On More4, The Good Wife was viewed by eight hundred and twenty thousand and Building The Dream by three hundred and sixty five thousand whilst E4's latest episode of the popular The Big Bang Theory drew 2.02 million punters. The Horror Channel's broadcast of Eden Lodge, attracted one hundred and eighty three thousand viewers. Bitten headed Syfy's top ten with ninety four thousand. Lions On The Move had thirty four thousand on Eden, as did Wonders Of The Monsoon. Tanked was the Animal Planet's most watched programme with seventy five thousand. On W, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders was seen by five hundred and fifty five thousand. My Four Wives was TLC's most-watched programme (one hundred and eighteen thousand).

The - alleged - Top Gear 'rift' rumours continue apace with media reports that yer actual Matt La Blanc - currently the best, in fact, possibly the only - good reason for watching the post-Clarkson version of the show - allegedly threatening to quit if Chris Evans isn't given the old tin-tack by producers. The fact that these reports have appeared in the Daily Mirra and the Daily Scum Mail and the Daily Lies suggests that they should, perhaps, be taken with with a pinch or two of salt. At least, for the time being.
Watching the Wales versus Northern Ireland match at the Euros over the weekend, this blogger was genuinely unsure as to how much longer he was going to be able to take listening to Robbie Savage's crowing squeaky voice without smashing myself in the face with a toffee hammer, dear blog reader. As it happened, Keith Telly Topping just about made it to the end in one piece. It was touch and go, though. Keith Telly Topping will say this about Savage, though: He was bloody annoying as a player and now, he's bloody annoying as a commentators. At least he's consistent.
Italy versus Spain on Monday, though. What a fantastic game of football that was. This blogger loves watching the Italians when they play counter-attacking football and break at pace. If this blogger was German - which, obviously, he isn't - he'd be rather nervous right about now about the coming Quarter Final.
And, then there was England versus Iceland. To which, really, the only suitable comment is something along these sort of lines.
'Tactically inept, embarrassing, horrible, clueless.' 'Possibly the greatest calamity in England football history.' To be honest, this blogger kind of half expected what occurred given that England had struggled to break down teams in the previous three games and Iceland had spent the same period pretty successfully stopping other teams from breaking them down. Of course, the British public - and the British media - predictably went totally off it following England's two-one defeat. 'We're the laughing stock of Europe,' apparently. Why? We lost a football match. We do that a lot, dear blog reader, you might have noticed. Collectively, we still seem to have this ridiculous idea in this country that we're, somehow, still among the world's elite - in football, in international politics, in everything. But, we're not. We're not very good, frankly. We haven't been very good for quite a long time. And, I mean, that's okay, really - not everybody can be good at everything - but we need to get that simple fact into our thick heads before we're ever going to progress. As a football nation and as a society.
Mind you, whichever rank clot at ITV thought it was a good idea to show one of those dreadful wank hands Joe Hart shampoo adverts at half-time just moments after the full-of-his-own-importance Sheikh Yer Man City goalkeeper made his second calamitous wank hands fiasco mistake of the tournament really does deserve a pay rise.
Here's a thought, Joe. Maybe, if you spent a bit less time being paid, what this blogger presumes are disgraceful amounts of money making bloody shampoo adverts and a bit more time, I dunno, practising your goalkeeping; you might not make so many wank hands mistakes. Bit of a radical suggestion, I know but then, that's this blogger, always thinking 'outside the box', as it were. Something echoed by this strongly-worded op ed piece in the Indi. Hart has, apparently, apologised to the nation for his woeful errors. Which is big of him since, you know, it was his sodding fault in the first place. He claims to be 'devastated' and to have spent time in the dressing room with his head in his hands. Before it slipped through them and into the goal. Allegedly.
Of course, Mister Hodgson will cop the brunt of the criticism for this malarkey - and, not entirely undeservedly either. He, at least, had the good manners to do what lots of the shadow cabinet have been doing of late and resign, live on-air, moments after the final whistle (resigning; all the cool kids are doing it,apparently). But, it's got to be said, that was a woeful, wretched, embarrassing, almost amateurish performance by a team full of over-paid, under-performing cowards who all looked like they just couldn't wait to get back to their two hundred grand-a-week-plus wage packets, their flashy cars, horrible houses full of bling and their curiously orange wives and girlfriends. Congratulations to Iceland - and I mean that genuinely. They simply wanted it more. Although, it could be argued that a team of six-year-olds would have wanted it more than that England side. Maybe they all thought Thursday's Brexit vote was meant to be taken literally with regard to the European Championships.
Still, at least we got comedy moment of the week out of the fiasco: One of Mister Hodgson's predecessors as England Failure, sorry, Manager, The Wally With The Brolly, proving he's every bit as good a tipster as he was a coach at yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable and relegated) Newcastle on Sky Sports HQ. Taxi for McClaren.
One imagines they'll be playing that clip for years on It'll Be Alright On The Night. Hopefully with a 'wah-wah-waaaaah' accompaniment.

Finally this blogger's thanks go to his old mucker Jonny Arnold - Welsh, and therefore safely into the Quarter Finals already - for pointing out that ITV News's feelgood '... and finally' item immediately after the channel's coverage of England's exit was, wait for it, the one hundredth anniversary of The Battle of The Somme.
From The Times on Tuesday morning: 'Just remember, no matter how grim your day ahead might be, there is always someone worse off: David Cameron travels to Brussels today for a meeting and dinner with twenty seven EU leaders who all hate him.' This blogger is also indebted to his old mate Danny Blythe for the following thought: 'In a week where there has been precious little to laugh about, it was Dodgy Dave, of all people, who actually raised "a LOL", with his standard welcome to the house for the new MP for Tooting, Rosena Allin-Khan, topped with: "I'd advise her to keep her mobile phone on. She may be in the Shadow Cabinet by the end of the day."'
Anyway from that, dear blog reader, to this ...
Adverts That Really Grate This Blogger's Cheese, number two: We should probably leave shampoo adverts featuring Wank Hands Joe Hart for another day, when tempers have cooled somewhat and, instead go for that Beagle Street insurance advert with the talking dog. Not just because it's, you know, crap - which it is - but, mainly, because John doesn't even answer Jeremy's main question. What will happen if John trips over his own trousers and, you know, dies horribly? Who will make Jeremy's creme brûlée 'just the way I like it'? John is evasive on the matter, merely saying that if the worst does happen, 'things will be okay.' How? Is it John's position that, if there is a 'trouser-related mishap', his policy with Beagle Street includes 'a creme brûlée provision' and someone from the company will be sent around to the family gaff to make one for the dog on a regular basis? And, what happens if they do, but it's not 'just the way Jeremy likes it'? Will Jeremy bite the Beagle Street creme brûlée maker, really hard, and give him rabies? Will Jeremy have to be shot in the head by the police as a consequence of this? You see, dear blog reader, they just didn't think it through. A bit like those people who voted 'leave', the consequences could be many and terrifying.
Adverts That Really Grate This Blogger's Cheese, number three: The Slater & Gordon advert in which the twisty-faced woman (played by Kate Loustau) witters on about how she got run into a tree in her car and nearly died but, thanks to Slater & Gordon, 'I'm okay now.' Tell that to your face, missus, you look like somebody who's just lost a fiver and found a penny. And, then sucked on a lemon just for good measure.
Keith Telly Topping's reflections of yer actual Glastonbury festival 2016 then, dear blog reader: ELO were good. Madness were good. New Order were really good. Actually, lots of people were really good - including Adele. So, no change there, then. Coldplay, however, weren't. They were shite. So, again, no change there.
Though, to be completely fair, where else except Glastonbury are you going to see Daisy Lowe knee-deep in clarts dressed as a butterfly? Well, potentially in Piccadilly Circus, I suppose. If you've taken enough acid.
Meanwhile, would you like to see a picture of Mariah Carey's arse, dear blog reader? Of course y'would. You're only human after all.
ITV has seen almost two and a half billion smackers wiped off its stock market value since the Brexit vote, raising city speculation that the broadcaster could become the target of a takeover. ITV, which saw its share price fall by more than twenty per cent on Friday, continued to see jittery investors drive its price down more than five per cent in early trading on Monday. At midday on Monday its share price had fallen to one hundred and sixty four pence, down from a pre-Brexit two hundred and twenty pence and a one-year high of two hundred and eighty pence. Investors worried about the repercussions of Brexit on ITV, which relies on a now nervy advertising market for much of its revenues, have driven the broadcaster’s market capitalisation from nine billion knicker to about six and a half billion in the days since the EU referendum. City analysts have begun to speculate if the share price decline, coupled with the UK's currency crash, down ten per cent against the US dollar, might prompt foreign media companies to consider making an opportunistic bid for ITV. 'This increases the chance of a bid by one one of the major US media companies where there is a historical and present interest in the UK market,' Ian Whittaker, an analyst at Liberum told the Gruniad Morning Star. 'Not only from the established media giants, but also from new media/tech companies (for example, we believe that several of the US Internet giants explored a bid for the English Premier League rights in the last bidding round).' NBC Universal, owner of Downton Abbey maker Carnival, has been rumoured in the past to have had an interest in bidding for ITV and John Malone's Liberty Global, which owns Virgin Media, has a 9.9 per cent stake in the broadcaster. Malone is also one of the largest shareholders in Discovery, which has acquired European assets including Eurosport, the TV rights to the Olympics and Midsomer Murders producer All3Media. Whittaker put a 'buy' recommendation on ITV's stock, Liberum's note to investors on Monday was 'Take advantage of Friday's share price fall. Nothing has changed [post-Brexit vote] with the fundamentals and, even if we did assume an advertising decline of post-Lehman's proportions, ITV would still look cheap with a very attractive dividend yield. Even if we assume a catastrophic situation, ITV still looks cheap.' Liberum's theoretical analysis of ITV's resilience and value compared the 8.3 per cent drop in TV advertising in 2009 as the advertising market hit a global recession spurred by the demise of Lehman Brothers, with an 8.7 per cent fall next year.

As previously mentioned, dear blog reader, having got to the end of their seven series daily repeat run of The West Wing, Sky Atlantic solved the problem of withdrawal symptoms for viewers by, simply, immediately going back to the start. Thus, Monday's episode was one of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourites, The Crackpots & These Women. The point, dear blog reader, at which this blogger turned from a casual - if highly appreciative - viewer into a rabid, 'I'm gonna write a book about this show, one day' fan. 'Sir, I can't keep this. I think it's a white flag of surrender. I want to be a comfort to my friends in tragedy. And I want to be able to celebrate with them in triumph. And, for all the times in between, I just want to be able to look them in the eye. I want to be with my friends, my family. And these women!' Brilliant.
On Sunday, this blogger was having a bit of a bad time with the depression - clinical rather than 'post-Brexit', just in case you were wondering - so he decided that what he really needed to cheer himself up on a horrible wet cold Sunday evening was a nice big fattening bowl of beef and prawn chow mein. So, he only went and bought one,didn't he? And here it is,dear blog reader. That night, more than possibly ever before, yer actual Keith Telly Topping was beyond glad that he wasn't born in the 1860s. Because, if he had been he couldn't have done all that. Just a thought.
Shortly thereafter, however, this blogger was - suddenly - feeling quite low again (these rapidly - often 'flick-of-a-switch' - mood swings haven't, seemingly, been lessened any by the anti-depressants, which yer actual Keith Telly Topping has been taking for a few weeks; and that's something a bit of a worry). So, this blogger did the only thing he could under the circumstances, he went to bed and read a David Bowie book (no 'Low' pun, intended, obviously).

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Taxi For Everyone!

The first views of Pearl Mackie on the Doctor Who set has been released through the official Doctor Who Twitter account. The first image shows Pearl with script in hand and ready to shoot a scene for series ten.
It's a big job, being The Doctor. If you're entrusted with the keys to the TARDIS, you're also thrust into the spotlight and you become an idol for millions of young fans. But never say that yer actual Peter Capaldi lets the pressure get to him. On stage at a Dallas convention recently, Peter delivered an off-the-cuff speech to a six-year-old fan so inspiring that it could've come straight from a Hollywood movie. The shy young fan - dressed in a Matt Smith costume - had asked: 'When I grow up, I want to be a part of Doctor Who. What should I do to get there?' 'Well, you're doing the right thing by coming here,' Peter replied. 'You've got to be nice to your Mum. You've got to be kind to people. You've got to work hard and make the very best of the gifts that you have, of your talents and take them out into the world. If you work hard, if you're kind and you're lucky, that will all be recognised. And, if you write to the BBC, and say, "I love Doctor Who - I'd love to work on it," [they will] put that letter in a file somewhere. When you're old enough, they may want to see you and talk to you about it. But the important thing is to have that ambition, to want to do that. Because if you want to do something like that, it means you're a clever and bright and creative person. That's the most important thing to take forward; that belief in yourself and a belief of how valuable it is to bring creativity into the world. So you'll do fine.' Of course, yer man Capaldi knows of which he speaks - as a teenager, he wrote Doctor Who fan letters to the Beeb and to Radio Times and now he's playing the Time Lord. The young fan's mother later posted Peter's 'beautiful' answer in full to Reddit and confirmed that her son is 'writing that letter to the BBC' at the moment. 'He was so nervous and practised so hard while we were in line,' she wrote. 'I am forever grateful for the patience they gave him to do this all on his own. He also got to get his autograph and photo op. To say it was a treasured weekend is an understatement.' Good on ya, Peter, you're an inspiration.
Comedy moment(s) of the week, by a mile, came on Celebrity MasterChef. Ludicrous full-of-her-own-importance figure of z-list ridicule Sinitta might well have been the single worst contestant in the history of the pro-celebrity cookery competition and, was extremely booted out of the MasterChef kitchen after nearly poisoning John Torode and Gregg Wallace. On two occasions, she attempted to serve the duo raw or undercooked fish and meat - but, thankfully, John and Gregg refused to eat the horrifying dishes she presented them with and showed her the way out of the gaff. Sinitta, meanwhile, revealed that she 'often' cooks for her ex-boyfriend, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads. Which is, clearly, good news.
Sinitta's various culinary disasters meant that almost equally worthless contestant Tommy Cannon (sadly, without his mate Bobby Ball who does still get some acting work these days) lived to see another dawn in the kitchen.

Hang out the flags, dear blog reader. Someone at the BBC News website has, seemingly, just discovered the rapidly-changing nature of TV viewing in the Twenty First Century and the difference between overnights and final, consolidated ratings figures. Took you long enough, guys.
And now ...
So, that Euro referendum thingy, then, dear blog reader? That was a laugh, was it not? Bit of a poor show, frankly. Although, this blogger has to be honest, dear blog reader, maybe it's because yer actual Keith Telly Topping has been suffering from a bout of - really quite severe - personal depression during the early part of this year, I find myself rather struggling to get anywhere near as worked up about the British public voting to leave the EU as some of my friends have; one or two of whom have gone into quite startlingly full-on 'stroppy drama queen meltdown' mode whilst doing a rather chilling impression of Harry Enfield's sulky teenager character. Yes, it certainly is very disappointing if you were/are on the remain side, as this blogger was/is/will remain; yes it will, probably, mean that the economy of Britain is in for a very rough ride for the foreseeable future. Yes, it will probably mean quite a rise in unemployment once the full implications of those businesses - big and small - that do most of their trading with Europe are clearer. (One imagines that many on the leave side will see this as a good thing since, at least those who will become unemployed will be our unemployed rather than Johnny Foreigner's unemployed.) But, I dunno, possibly because I've got real, honest-to-God personal shit to deal with at the moment this blogger just can't, really, summon up the willpower for the full sackcloth and ashes malarkey. That may come later but, for the moment, shit happens you know. And it didn't stop the sun from rising on Friday morning (a bit more on that later). So yes, disappointing - very disappointing, in fact - but, ultimately life goes on. Mind you, according to this piece on the BBC website, there may be an upside. 'Greenland is the only other country ever to have left the EU - or the European Economic Community (EEC) as it was back in 1985. Residents of Greenland - including the Inuit - appear to have done well out of leaving, but then their only export is fish.' There you go, dear blog reader, that's obviously where we've been going wrong all these years, then.
Just in case anyone was wondering, see that little splodge of yellow up at the top right there? That was this blogger, that was ...
And, of course, the issue has, ultimately, brought about the downfall of yer man Cameron. Although, given his likely replacement (Boris The Hairdo. Or, even worse, the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike Gove) the old maxim 'be careful what you wish for, it might just come true' springs to mind.
As for, Jeremy Corbyn's performance, I have this to say, dear blog reader and I fully realise this is not going to be popular with some of you, but it's how I honestly feel and I'd be a coward if I didn't say it.
    Yer actual his very self was sneered at by a fair number of Jezza Army sycophants when yer man Corbyn was first elected Labour leader and Keith Telly Topping dared to suggest that, whilst he's undoubtedly a decent, principled man (and, one whom, in many ways, I admire) Corbyn is, in this blogger's opinion, not leadership material. If a Labour leader says 'vote remain' and cities like Sunderland and Middlesbrough vote two-thirds-to-a-third 'leave' what does that say about the Labour leader's authority with his own traditional voters, let alone anyone in the undecided camp? This blogger is in Newcastle, dear blog reader (it's a small fishing village on the Tyne, you might've heard of it), a place where they don't count the Labour vote, they weigh it and my city only voted remain fifty one per cent to forty nine. All the Labour heartlands voted leave, the North East, the North West, Wales, Yorkshire, the East Midlands. Corbyn does seem a genuinely decent, honourable chap with some interesting ideas (and a few nutty ones, admittedly) but, when the acid test came, his leadership utterly failed to win over people that he should have had no trouble whatsoever in winning over. He appeared to run a thoroughly slovenly, lazy campaign and, frankly, gave the impression more than once during it of not really giving a damn whether Britain voted remain or leave. That doesn't exactly fill one with confidence for the next general erection, does it? This blogger is not saying Corbyn is the only reason that remain lost - not by any stretch - but to claim, as many of his supporters are currently doing all over social media - that none of this is, in any way, his fault and that he ran a flawless campaign, amounts to denial bordering on insanity. One of the reasons why this blogger was so relaxed about remain winning up until about a month ago was the electoral math; the Tories are an odd case, roughly sixty per cent of their MPs were remain and forty per cent leave though circumstantial evidence suggested the party membership was more likely to lean the another way round. But, the Tories apart, all of the other major political parties bar one were in favour of remain (the exception was UKiP who have a roughly ten per cent support base in the country but have only got one MP). Labour, the Liberals, the SNP, the majority of the Irish Nationalists, even the Green lass down in Brighton were all remainers (I must admit, I'm not sure about Plaid Cymru, they may have been leavers also). So, if this had gone on purely party political lines, even with the Tory vote split down the middle, remain should have won by a landslide.
    The fact that it didn't means that entirely legitimate questions need - and deserve - to be asked about the leadership of those parties - and Labour in particular since they are, by far the biggest - who couldn't even carry their own heartlands. As noted, when Sunderland fer Christ's sake, a city with three Labour MPs with majorities of eleven thousand, thirteen thousand and thirteen thousand and a city-wide fifty three per cent share of the electorate in 2015, votes essentially against Labour albeit on a single issue, you know something is wrong. This is Sunderland we're talking about, not some Tory marginal in the Thames Valley. As I say, this blogger quite likes Jezza Corbyn as a person but, as a leader of a major political party and a potential future Prime Minister, he appears right at this moment to carry all of the authority of Barry Chuckle. Here, you'll be dead relieved to know, endeth the lesson.
Well, except to add, of course, that it wasn't fellow MPs who elected Jezza as Labour leader, it was 'the ordinary people' - you know, exactly the same people who just voted that Britain should leave the EU. All of which goes to prove that the general public - this blogger very much included - know nothing; seriously, don't ask us anything, mate, we're bloody useless at deciding stuff. We couldn't even NAME A SODDING BOAT without screwing it up.
Despite everything, however, it must surely have come as good news that the official Eurovision Song Contest Twitter account has confirmed the UK will still be able to compete in the competition despite the Brexit EU vote. Phew. Cos, we were all so worried about that.
Friday, as it happened, quite apart from waking up to the horrible news that slightly over half of the people in the country I live in had voted THE WRONG WAY(!) - was a decidedly stressful and nasty day all round for this blogger. Keith Telly Topping trailed all the way into town to buy a new computer only to find that the one he had bought was extremely incompatible with the monitor which he already has. Thus, he then had to go all the way back into town to tell Argos that it was 'no bloody good' and ask, nicely of course, could yer actual Keith Telly Topping please have his two hundred and fifty notes back? That did his depression the world of good, let me tell you. To be honest, it was a bit of an impulse buy in the first place; Keith Telly Topping's old desktop was still working okay - it's very slow now, because it's five years old but then, it's only really used as a back up to this blogger's laptop these days. But, Argos had a sale on, this blogger had a bunch of gift vouchers burning a hole in his pocket and he had to go into town that morning anyway to pick up a new pair of spectacles, so this all conspired to him buying the PC. The one this blogger chose looked quite a nice one, slimline Hewlett Packard, 1TB hard drive, et cetera. Then, having gotten it home, just as this blogger realised that he'd have to take the damn thing all the way back, it started pissing down with rain and a previously nice summer June morning turned into a recreation of The Flood, as if to mock the fact that this blogger had another half-hour each way journey to make with a bulky (and, potentially fragile) package. There are people who will try to convince you that there's a God, dear blog reader. This blogger was, by this stage, so thoroughly stressed and pissed off that, ultimately, he did the only thing he could do in such circumstances; he put on the twelve inch, six minute version of Chad Jackson's 'Hear The Drummer (Get Wicked!)' And, lo, the sun immediately came out again. Superstar DeeJays, dear blog reader. Is there anything they can't make better? (Well, yes, as it turns out, they can't keep the rain away. It returned, with a vengeance, whilst this blogger was on the bus and, in Central Newcastle he got totally soaked through to his vest on the very short walk from the bus stop into Eldon Square.) In the end, it was all sorted and Keith Telly Topping his very self got his coin back no questions asked; they were, actually, very nice about it - they even apologised which this blogger thought was good of them since, in essence, it was as much his fault for not checking the compatibility in the first place. So, I'm currently back with the trusty old - but, very slow - Dell.
Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese's music business-based drama Vinyl has been very cancelled by HBO after one season. The US network said that it was 'not an easy decision' and had 'enormous respect' for its creators and cast. Though, not enough respect to recommission the series, seemingly. Set in the 1970s, the drama told of a charismatic record executive trying to revive his struggling label. Its ensemble cast included Bobby Cannavale in the lead role, House's Olivia Wilde as his wife and Mick The Jag's son, James, as a rebellious British singer. Jagger and Scorsese were among the show's executive producers, with the latter directing its pilot episode. The series premiere in February was watched by seven hundred and sixty four thousand viewers in the US, though the average audience subsequently dipped to around six hundred and fifty thousand per episode. 'After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl,' HBO said in a statement. 'We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.' Ray Romano, another actor in the cast, told an Australian newspaper on Thursday that the cancellation felt 'like a knife in the guts.' Wilde, meanwhile, thanked her Twitter followers for their 'kind words' and said that she had been part of 'something special.' Actually, it wasn't that special, dear blog reader it was, in fact, rather ordinary and, as with most show which are cancelled, hardly anyone was watching it. The Playlist website even suggested that the series could be regarded as 'TV's biggest ever flop' given the amount of money it cost. 'Hugely expensive (apparently at least one hundred million dollars) and much-hyped it, unfortunately, proved to be ... not very good.'
Line Of Duty's Vicky McClure has signed up to lead a new psychological thriller for BBC1. Written and directed by Joe Ahearne, The Replacement also stars Morven Christie, Richard Rankin, Dougray Scott, Neve Mackintosh, Navin Chowdhry and Siobhan Redmond. Quality cast. The series follows Ellen (Christie's character), a successful architect in her mid-thirties who falls pregnant and finds maternity cover in Paula (played by McClure). But, Ellen begins to fear for her safety when she suspects that Paula has 'a disturbing agenda.' Given that this is a character played by Vicky McClure who has made a very good career out of regularly playing characters with a disturbing agenda, it would be a major surprise if she wasn't this time. The three-parter examines 'the darker side of working women, motherhood, and the issues that arise from making the right choice' apparently. 'Joe Ahearne has written an incredibly complex and thrilling script,' McClure said. 'I'm really excited to play a role that is miles apart from previous characters. [I'm] looking forward to working with Morven and spending time in Glasgow.'
The first series of next year's Star Trek franchise revival will be thirteen episodes long. Co-creator and showrunner Bryan Fuller confirmed that the episodes will 'tell one story,' and that shooting will begin in September. 'We've got the arc of the first season entirely written, or arced out, and we've got the first six episodes entirely broken,' he told Collider. Fuller added that because the series will be on streaming service CBS All Access, the writers will have 'more flexibility. Because we're CBS All Access, we're not subject to network broadcast standards and practices,' he said. 'It will likely affect us more in terms of what we can do graphically, but Star Trek's not necessarily a universe where I want to hear a lot of profanity, either. I've met with a few actors, and it's an interesting process. There's a few people that we like and we want to carry on what Star Trek does best, which is being progressive. So it's fascinating to look at all of these roles through a colourblind prism and a gender-blind prism, so that's exciting.' Early reports have hinted that the new Star Trek will be set on a ship other than the USS Enterprise - and will 'maintain continuity' with the 1960s series (and, presumably its four spin-offs) but not with JJ Abrams's current movie universe.
Gotham has cast its new Poison Ivy - and Batman's prickly nemesis is going to be, ahem, 'all grown up.' Sorry if that came over rather Daily Scum Mail 'sidebar of shame', dear blog reader, this blogger just reports the news. Maggie Geha will play an adult Ivy Pepper in the DC drama's upcoming third series, TVLine reports. Fourteen-year-old Clare Foley previously appeared in nine episodes of Gotham across its first two series as the young Ivy. Geha will be a series regular for Gotham's third year, joining another recent cast addition - Once Upon A Time's Jamie Chung. Chung will play Valerie Vale, a journalist and the aunt of Batman's future love interest Vicki Vale.
Matthew McConaughey has revealed in an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show that he has spoken with True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto about a possible comeback to the cult drama. 'I've talked to Nic about it,' McConaughey confirmed. 'It would have to be the right context, the right way. I miss Rust Cohle, man. I miss watching him on Sunday nights. I miss watching True Detective on Sunday nights. I was a happy man when we made that for six months.'
Shamed (and extremely naughty) former Love Island-type person, Zara Holland, has claimed that the Miss GB organisation did not specifically tell her that couldn't have sex whilst on Love Island. Which is, possibly, true although the organisation - which stripped Holland of her title over the various sexy shenanigans she got up to on the island - have stated that they, in fact, did tell her that. It's probable that they also didn't tell her shouldn't swear her head off, make bigoted or homophobic comments or, you know, shit in the streets. But, one imagines, they would have hoped that she had enough common sense not to do any of those things anyway. Which, importantly, in the case of the latter three, she - seemingly - did have the common sense not to do them. Sadly, in the case of the former, she didn't.
Led Zeppelin have extremely won a lawsuit which alleged that they had plagiarised part of the music to 'Stairway To Heaven' from the band Spirit's instrumental 'Taurus'. A Los Angeles jury determined on Thursday that the lawyer representing the estate of late guitarist Randy Wolfe (better known as Randy California), who wrote 'Taurus', did not prove that the hairy old rockers lifted the song's intro from Spirit's 1968 instrumental. 'We are grateful for the jury's conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favour, putting to rest questions about the origins of 'Stairway To Heaven' and confirming what we have known for forty five years,' Jimmy Page and Robert Plant said in a statement. Well, presumably one of them said it, unless they chanted it in unison at the assembled multitude. Which, let's face it, would have been very weird. 'We appreciate our fans' support and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us,' they continued.
    'At Warner Music Group, supporting our artists and protecting their creative freedom is paramount,' the band's record label added in their own statement. 'We are pleased that the jury found in favour of Led Zeppelin, reaffirming the true origins of 'Stairway To Heaven.' Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands in history and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are peerless songwriters who created many of rock's most influential and enduring songs.' The lawsuit stemmed from a 2014 filing alleging that since Led Zeppelin had appeared on the same bill as Spirit during the early stages of their career, they 'would have been aware' of 'Taurus' and 'would have subsequently copied it.' The instrumental – written by Wolfe under his stage-name Randy California – appeared on Spirit's 1968 self-titled debut LP and contains two minutes and thirty eight seconds' worth of cinematic, psych-folk mysticism. It's rather good actually. And, it does, undeniably, sound 'a bit' - but, only 'a bit' - like the opening to 'Stairway To Heaven'. Which, of course, goes like this. You knew that, right? The instrumental features an acoustic guitar line playing a pensive melody which transforms into a descending chromatic pattern. A lawyer representing California's estate, now headed by a former music journalist, Michael Skidmore - who, obviously, was not, in any way whatsoever, motivated by avarice. Oh no, very hot water - claimed that Jimmy Page's acoustic guitar intro to 'Stairway' had 'borrowed heavily' from 'Taurus'. The trial quickly became a colourful and contentious battle between the two sides. Attorney Francis Malofiy, who represented Skidmore, carried a briefcase which resembled a Fender amp and, as Rolling Stone magazine claimed, 'played fast and loose with courtroom protocol.' He attempted to play videos which weren't admitted into evidence (a possible basis for a mistrial), conducted exasperating testimony which both the judge and defence team found objection-worthy (the judge yelled 'sustained' at one point before the defence could even object to one particular bit of theatricality) and referred to - let's face it, the great - Jimmy Page as 'the alleged songwriter' of 'Stairway To Heaven'. 'You're wasting a lot of time," the judge told Malofiy at a point where the lawyer was attempting to claim that the Mary Poppins song 'Chim Chim Cheree' was 'a possible influence' on Page (and, Page, interestingly, didn't necessarily disagree). Tragically, Malofiy didn't Dance The Old Bamboo whilst making this claim. Because, let's face it, most of us would have paid good money to see that.
    In his closing statement, Malofiy said that the case was 'about giving credit where it's due,' criticised Page and Plant's 'selective memory' during testimony and reminded the jury that he needed to prove his case by 'only fifty one percent' in order to win. Which, if you look us 'wholly incorrect things said by lawyers' on Google, you'll find that one quite close to the top of the list. The jury was not allowed to hear the original recordings of 'Stairway To Heaven' and 'Taurus' in determining their verdict. Instead, they heard an 'expert' perform both songs based on the original sheet music plus some private demo recordings of the song from Zeppelin rehearsals whilst it was still in its formative stage. Led Zeppelin attorney Peter Anderson kept a cooler demeanour. He argued that the Wolfe Trust did not own the copyright to 'Taurus' (a claim the judge dismissed) and that the musical characteristics Malofiy claimed Zeppelin 'copied' were musical traditions that date back at least to the 1600s and appeared in numerous songs - for example, 'Michelle' by The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them). In testimony, Page was excellent - charming, witty, candid and frequently sarcastic, offering rejoinders to Malofiy's sometimes insulting observations (when the lawyer asked if Page had discovered that he had the ability to play guitar in his youth, Page said, 'Well, yeah!' Burn.) Both Page and Plant testified they 'did not remember' ever hearing 'Taurus'.
    Anderson made one ugly misstep during his cross-examination of Skidmore when he accused Wolfe's mother of having 'an illegitimate son' who was cut out of his father's royalties. He also brought in a musicologist as a witness who, apparently, spoke too academically and compared 'Stairway' to the obscure 1963 recording 'To Catch A Shad' by The Modern Folk Quartet. (Again, there is a vague family resemblance between the two.) Anderson closed his arguments by saying that Malofiy had not proved the case and that Spirit's music 'would not even be remembered', which is a little unkind, they were a more-than-decent band and sold quite a few records in their time, albeit nowhere near as many of Zep, obviously. Anderson also said that the plaintiff had 'failed to prove a case' which should have been brought more than forty years ago if there was any merit to it, whilst Wolfe was alive and Page and Plant would have had better memories. 'How can you wait a half century and criticise people forty five years later for the delay you caused?' Anderson asked. 'They should have sued in 1972.' It marked the end of a particularly combative trial. Before the judge called for the jury to deliberate, he asked of the attorneys, 'Any other catfights?' Heh. Why can't more judges show a sense of humour? Bloomberg reported in April that if Wolfe's estate had won, they would have been entitled to a share of 'Stairway To Heaven' revenue for only the three years before the lawsuit was filed, due to current copyright law. The estate would also have been entitled to royalties going forward. Malofiy filed his original complaint against Zeppelin, on behalf of the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust, in May 2014. He stylised section headers in the font the group used on its (untitled) fourth LP – home to 'Stairway To Heaven' – and claimed that Led Zeppelin had 'become influenced' by Wolfe and Spirit's performances after sharing a bill with them in 1968. Led Zeppelin did perform on the same bill as Spirit that year, at one of their first American shows, a gig where Malofiy claimed that Spirit played 'Taurus', and again in 1969.
     In his preamble, the lawyer asserted that Led Zeppelin began performing Spirit's 'Fresh-Garbage' – a song from the same record as 'Taurus' – at concerts (which they certainly did) and that Page and Plant composed 'Stairway To Heaven' a year after 'touring' with Spirit. Which, they didn't. Malofiy also included a chart of Led Zeppelin songs which he claimed 'infringed upon other songwriters' works' which the judge ruled as extremely inadmissible. Bit of an awkward point this as, indeed, Zeppelin do have considerable form in, let's be charitable and say, 'creating homages' of other peoples' songs in some of their own. As evidenced here. And here. And here. And, probably most infamously, here (which is, basically, the tune of this, mixed with the lyrics of this). Indeed, more than one wag was heard to comment on reading the headline Led Zeppelin Cleared Of Ripping Off Someone Else's Song 'shouldn't that finish with ... On This Occasion!' Ahem. Very hot water. Anyway, where were we? Oh yes. Malofiy claimed that Led Zeppelin had 'knowingly and willfully' infringed on 'Taurus' with 'Stairway To Heaven'. However, in a 1991 interview not mentioned at all in the complaint, Wolfe had described Led Zeppelin's members as 'fans' of Spirit in the late Sixties and said that 'if they wanted to use ['Taurus'], that's fine. I'll let [Led Zeppelin] have the beginning of 'Taurus' for their song without a lawsuit.' Malofiy, later said that he believed this statement was 'out of context.' Certainly, in 1996, the year before his death, Wolfe rather bitterly told an interviewer that he felt 'Stairway' was 'a rip-off' of 'Taurus'. Malofiy used Wolfe's following 1996 statement in the complaint: 'The guys made millions of bucks on it and never said, "Thank you," never said, "Can we pay you some money for it?"' It's kind of a sore point with me. Maybe someday their conscience will make them do something about it. I don't know. There are funny business dealings between record companies, managers, publishers and artists. But when artists do it to other artists, there's no excuse for that. I'm mad!'
   Wolfe tragically drowned in 1997 whilst rescuing his son from the sea in Hawaii. His mother established the Trust in his name, which purchases musical instruments for public schools - a very worthy cause indeed. After she died in 2009, she passed the Trust's ownership along to the suit's plaintiff, Michael Skidmore, who had assisted her in managing the Trust. After teaming with Malofiy - and, again, just to stress, in no way whatsoever motivated by greed - he sued Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement in various forms and for 'falsification of rock & roll history' (Wolfe's alleged right of attribution). He sought the defendants' profits, various forms of damages (including 'exemplary damages to set an example for others') and an injunction on selling the recording and attorney's fees, among other 'claims for relief.' Mucho wonga, in other words. Malofiy told Bloomberg that he felt the lawsuit was worth 'around forty million dollars.' 'This is ridiculous,' Jimmy Page said of the lawsuit that month. 'I have no further comment on the subject.' Led Zeppelin would later allege that the Trust did not even own the copyright to 'Taurus'. They claimed that Wolfe's son, whom he saved at the time of his death, did, though the judge in the trial rejected that argument.
   The suit quickly became a cause célèbre in the music industry, as it is the most high-profile copyright case to follow the estate of Marvin Gaye's victory over Robin Thicke in the 'Blurred Lines' lawsuit last year. Led Zeppelin's lawyer had asked District Court Judge Gary Klausner to rule in their favour without a trial in February, but the judge decided the songs were 'similar enough' to warrant one. Although, he wrote that Malofiy had not convinced him of Led Zeppelin's alleged infringement, the judge said that the 'similarities [between the songs] transcend this core structure' and that what would remain is 'a subjective assessment of the "concept and feel" of two works.' What would occur over the coming months would become an epic story all its own. Malofiy said at the time that any kind of settlement on behalf of Led Zeppelin would be 'a non-starter.' But later that month, he told Bloomberg that he would 'take a settlement of a dollar and a songwriting credit.' The band did not take him up on the offer. Page and Plant filed declarations to the court in March, before Klausner decided the suit should go to trial, in which they described how they wrote the song. Page wrote that while 'Stairway' opened with 'descending chromatic lines,' as did 'Taurus,' he had been 'aware of that melodic style' dating back at least to 1960. Moreover, he stated that he never heard 'Taurus' until 2014 when Malofiy filed his complaint. 'I am very good at remembering music and am absolutely certain that I never heard 'Taurus' until 2014,' he wrote. He also wrote that he 'did not recall' ever seeing Spirit live. Page has always maintained in interviews that he wrote 'Stairway To Heaven' from piecing together his own melodic ideas. 'I'd been fooling around with my acoustic guitar and came up with different sections, which I married together,' he once told Guitar World. He made similar claims to the BBC. 'But, what I wanted was something that would have drums come in at the middle and then build to a huge crescendo. So I had the structure of it.' Interestingly, in his declaration, Page wrote that he discovered a copy of the first Spirit LP in his record collection in preparation for the trial. '[I] do not know how or when it got there,' he wrote. 'It may well have been left by a guest. I doubt it was there for long, since I never noticed it before. But again I know I did not hear 'Taurus' until 2014.' Plant, too, wrote that he believed he never heard 'Taurus' before the lawsuit. 'I do not now and have never owned a Spirit record album,' he wrote. In April, Judge Klausner rejected all of Malofiy's 'expert' witnesses because they had prepared opinions based on sound recordings that weren't admissible under copyright law. He also barred recordings of some songs that the attorney wished to present, saying that recordings of songs had to be made from existing sheet music. The judge gave Malofiy time to find more witnesses.
     The judge also ruled that anything regarding Led Zeppelin's alleged plagiarism of other tunes in the past would not be allowed before a jury. Rumours about the group's drug and alcohol use would not be allowed either; Malofiy had hoped to claim that the band's substance abuse damaged the songwriters' memories. In May, Led Zeppelin accused Malofiy of attempting to 'taint the jury pool' by claiming that the band's members would not appear in court. Page and Plant always intended to appear in court, the lawyers claimed. '[Malofiy's] ongoing efforts to try this case in the press should be rejected,' they said in a motion. Earlier this month, Malofiy filed a motion to make Plant, Page and John Paul Jones appear in court on the first day of the proceedings, making it so that if they didn't, they wouldn't be allowed to testify. Judge Klausner denied the motion. The day before the trial was to begin, Malofiy filed a motion claiming that one of Led Zeppelin's own experts, musicologist Lawrence Ferrara, had 'engaged in a conflict of interest' by working with the group. Previously, he had provided comparative analysis of 'Taurus' and 'Stairway' to the publisher of 'Taurus', with whom Malofiy said he 'had conspired with' to undermine the lawsuit. Ultimately, the judge allowed Ferrara to testify, signalling the beginning of what would become a turbulent trial. In 1975, Page told Rolling Stone he felt 'Stairway' 'crystalised the essence of the band. It had everything there and showed the band at its best, as a band, as a unit,' he said. 'We were careful never to release it as a single. It was a milestone for us. Every musician wants to do something of lasting quality, something which will hold up for a long time and I guess we did it with 'Stairway'.'
     Page and Plant vividly recalled creating 'Stairway' at a country house, Headley Grange, in Hampshire (and not the Welsh cottage Bron-Yr-Aur, thus contradicting decades of Led Zeppelin fan mythology). Their recollections of Spirit, a band they opened for at their first US show in December 1968, were less clear (Page said that he only recalled the third band on the bill that evening, Vanilla Fudge and didn't even know Spirit were playing). Spirit's former bassist, Mark Andes, recalled performing 'Taurus' at the Denver show where Led Zeppelin opened, but there was no other evidence to support that (no audience recordings, for example). Page said he 'didn't stick around' to see Spirit play that night and he denied ever seeing them in concert, despite press articles in which he said he 'liked' seeing them and they 'struck' him on 'an emotional level.' 'Spirit and Led Zeppelin were never on stage together, they never toured together,' Anderson said. 'There was not a single person that said anyone from Led Zeppelin was present when 'Taurus' was performed.' Andes also testified that he met Plant at a show in Birmingham in 1970 when the two bands again shared a bill - this time, with Zeppelin as headliners - and that he 'played snooker' with Plant afterwards. Plant said that he had 'no memory' of that particular night, saying in all the 'hubbub and chaos' it would be hard to remember a one-off meeting forty years previously. Plant partially attributed his lack of memory to a bad car crash on his way home from the club later that evening. Both he and his wife suffered head injuries in the accident, he told the court, after the windshield of his Jaguar was left 'buried' in his face.
Those delightful louse-scum at the Sun have pulled an online article sneering at the appearance of Shannen Doherty after realising that she, in fact, has breast cancer. In a quite disgraceful article published on Monday headlined You Won't Believe What Beverly Hills 90210's Shannen Doherty Looks Like Now! it said that Doherty 'looked older than her years' and was 'unkempt and haggard.' It continued: 'Gone is her smooth porcelain complexion and shiny dark hair and in their place are a tired-looking face and a mess and unbrushed mane.' It made no mention of the fact that Doherty is receiving treatment for breast cancer, which the actress had revealed last August. She has since spoken publicly about coping with the illness. The article was written by an experienced showbiz reporter - ie. a scumbag - who has previously worked for Scum Mail Online and was based on agency photographs from a Q&A in Sydney. The writer has received abuse on Twitter following the publication of the story. Which whilst not being in any way excusable is, nevertheless, hardly surprising. Doherty's trip to the meet-and-greet with fans had been in doubt because of her ongoing treatment. However, during the Q&A she discussed the possibility of a reunion with her co-stars from Charmed. The online only story was removed after about ten hours by the Sun. It was then replaced with a sympathetic piece written by another reporter, headlined: Actress Shannen Doherty Makes Rare Public Appearance Sixteen Years After Beverly Hills 90210. The Sun declined to comment on the removal of the story.
Alex Hales and Jason Roy both scored centuries as England swept aside Sri Lanka to win the second one-day international by ten wickets on Thursday. The pair shared an England record ODI partnership as a target of two hundred and fifty five was chased with ninety five balls to spare in front of a raucous Edgbaston crowd. Some excellent fielding and bowling, particularly from Adil Rashid (two for thirty four), had restricted Sri Lanka to two hundred and fifty four for seven in their fifty overs. After a thrilling tied game on Tuesday, England lead the five-match series one-nil. Sri Lanka, who posted what appeared to be an inadequate total on a superb batting surface, are still looking for their first victory over England on this current tour. If Sri Lanka's batsmen had earlier under performed, then England's opening pair made their bowling attack look utterly toothless. Hales, on only six, offered one very difficult chance to wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis, standing up to the medium pace of Farveez Maharoof, but after that Hales and Roy butchered the bowling with drives, cuts and heaves into the crowd. Hales had already taken three sixes in the arc between straight and deep mid-wicket on the way to a third ODI century and then celebrated with three successive maximums over the leg side off the spin of Seekkuge Prasanna. The Nottinghamshire man was then inexplicably dropped by Danushka Gunathilaka at point before Roy completed his own century by belting Prasanna back over his head for the tenth and final maximum of the innings. When Roy completed the rout by driving Prasanna for four, he had one hundred and twelve, Hales one hundred and thirty three and England had completed the highest chase to win an ODI by ten wickets. Roy had earlier played his part in an England bowling and fielding effort that suffocated Sri Lanka. After Liam Plunkett removed Gunathilaka and Mendis, Roy brilliantly ran out Kusal Perera by swooping at backward point, transferring the ball from left hand to right, turning and hitting the stumps direct. Sri Lanka rebuilt through a stand of eighty two between Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal until leg-spinner Rashid repeated his accuracy from the first ODI to have Mathews top-edge a sweep for forty four. That began a collapse of four wickets for thirty two runs which saw Prasanna brilliantly caught by a diving David Willey off Rashid and Chandimal run out for fifty two with Roy once more involved. Only the late hitting of Upul Tharanga, who scored fifty three not out in an unbroken stand of sixty three with Suraj Randiv, got Sri Lanka to a score that was respectable, albeit nowhere near competitive. This is the sixth time England have won an ODI by ten wickets, three of which have come against Sri Lanka. The two hundred and fifty six shared by Alex Hales and Jason Roy is the highest for England for any wickets in an ODI, beating the two hundred and fifty of Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott against Bangladesh on the same ground in 2010. It is also the fifth highest ODI opening stand of all time. Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford turned some heads with a protective device worn on his left forearm. The self-designed piece of kit had a clear plastic circle at one end that Oxenford could use to cover his face or deflect the ball. The innovation is the latest to be used by umpires in response to concerns over standing just over twenty two yards away from batsmen striking the ball with immense power. Oxenford's countrymen Gerard Abood and John Ward have worn helmets when standing in domestic cricket, while umpires at the World Twenty20 were issued with helmets though they did not use them.