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).