Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Moons Over My Emmys

For the latest - fifth - instalment in From The North's semi-regular series don't you just wish, dear blog reader, that they still made movie posters like this?, we have one of the greatest films ever made. Well, 'one of the greatest films ever made ... featuring Roy Castle, Kenny Lynch, Fluff Freeman and Keifer Sutherland's dad' at least. Not to mention that will known double act Pete n' Chris. 'Room for one more?'
And, whilst we're doing the don't you just wish, dear blog reader, that they still made movie posters like this?-type scene, this blogger gives you these, dear bloggerisationisms reader. These should keep you going for a while.
Next ...

Here are final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Six programmes, week-ending Sunday 11 September 2016:-
1 The Great British Bake Off - Wed BBC1 - 13.08m
2 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 8.36m
3 Cold Feet - Mon ITV - 7.98m
4 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.61m
5 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.01m
6 Victoria - Sun ITV - 6.88m
7 Emmerdale - Tues ITV - 6.42m
8 Poldark - Sun BBC1 - 6.31m
9= Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.43m
9= Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.43m
11 Our Girl - Wed BBC1 - 5.28m
12 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.08m
13 One Of Us - Tues BBC1 - 4.83m
14 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.56m
15 DCI Banks - Wed ITV - 4.54m
16 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.44m
17 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.37m
18 Ten O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.03m
19 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV - 3.90m
20 Joanna Lumley's Japan - Fri ITV - 3.73m
21 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 3.64m
22 Would I Lie To You? - Fri BBC1 - 3.53m
23 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.45m
24 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.20m
25 The Last Night Of The Proms - Sat BBC1 - 3.19m
26 Newzoids - Sat ITV - 3.05m
These consolidated figures include all viewers who watched programmes live and on catch-up during the seven days after initial broadcast, but do not include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. I dunno why, they just don't, all right? Don't blame me, I don't make the rules! The X Factor's Sunday night programme attracted 8.15 million viewers. The much-hyped (and much-Godawful) Go For It continued to struggle for ITV, being watched by a mere 2.79 million punters. On BBC2, New York: America's Busiest City was the week's most-watched programme with 2.81 million viewers. Ripper Street's latest episode was seen by 2.75 million and University Challenge by 2.62 million, whilst The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice Of Greed and Only Connect both drew 2.49 million punters. Gardeners' World had 2.31 million, Trust Me I'm A Doctor, 2.09 million, The Great British Menu, 1.94 million viewers, The Hairy Bikers: Chicken & Egg, 1.93 million and Mock The Week, 1.87 million. Mastermind attracted 1.61 million and Motherland: A Genetic Journey, 1.54 million, followed by Dad's Army (1.29 million), Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue (1.19 million) and Natural World: My Congo (1.18 million). Location, Location, Location was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast of the week (2.31 million viewers), followed by Friday evening's episode of The Last Leg: Live From Rio (1.96 million). Three other episodes of the popular Adam Hills-fronted comedy show featured in the Channel's top six, whilst Friday night's Paralympics coverage drew 1.90 million. Nine, Nine, Nine: What's Your Emergency? was watched by 1.72 million, To Posh To Parent (1.50 viewers), Inside Birmingham Children's Hospital (1.40 million) and the Paralympics opening ceremony (1.23 million). Channel Five's top performer was, Gypsy Kids: Our Secret World - with 2.06 million - ahead of Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away (2.03 million), The Dog Rescuers With Alan Davies and Secrets Of The SAS: In Their Own Words (both 1.40 million) and On Benefits (1.36 million punters). Gangland: Turf Wars drew 1.33 million whilst Undercover: Nailing The Fraudsters had 1.03 million. For the third week running, none of the Sky Sports channels - not one of them, and there's about ten of the buggers now - appears to have submitted their data to BARB for this particular week. Which is flaming remiss of them, frankly. So, if you want to know how many punters were watching any of the football or cricket matches Sky covered, or Soccer Saturday or The Sunday Supplement sorry, again, can't help you. Don't blame Keith Telly Topping, dear blog reader, drop an irritated line to billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch and tell him to tell his underlings to get their sodding finger out. Sharpish. If not sooner. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and twenty three thousand viewers). Foyle's War was seen by six hundred and thirty six thousand, the movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory by six hundred and one thousand and Doc Martin by four hundred and sixty thousand. World Cup 2018 Qualifiers: Sweden Versus The Netherlands headed ITV4's weekly list with four hundred and sixty six thousand viewers whilst Monday's Cycling: La Vuelta A Espana Highlights attracted four hundred and sixty thousand, Tour Of Britain Highlights had three hundred and eighty four thousand and MotoGP Highlights was watched by three hundred and twenty one thousand. ITV2's most-watched broadcast was the return of worthless steaming shower of rancid, odious, stinking diarrhoea Celebrity Juice (watched by a staggeringly sad 1.48 million people, every single one of whom should be bloody well ashamed to show their face in public after viewing so much as a second of the likes of this wretched shite). The movies Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason and The Mummy drew seven hundred and eight thousand and six hundred and eighteen thousand viewers respectively. The Xtra Factor had five hundred and ninety eight thousand viewers and Family Guy five hundred and ninety three thousand. DCI Banks headed ITV Encore's top ten with forty eight thousand viewers, ahead of Poirot which had forty six thousand. BBC4's list was headed by the much-trailed London 1666 with seven hundred and seventy eight thousand viewers, followed by Beck: Gunvald (seven hundred and seven thousand), London: A Tale Of Two Cities With Dan Cruickshank (six hundred and seventy three thousand), Lost Sitcoms: Hancock's Half Hour (five hundred and six thousand) and Operation Crossbow (four hundred and ninety seven thousand). Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made The Commonwealth drew four hundred and twenty nine thousand and Music For Misfits: The Story of Indie three hundred and ninety two thousand. A repeat of Janina Ramirez's classic Illuminations: The Private Lives Of Medieval Kings was watched by three hundred and thirty four thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by The Last Ship (five hundred and seventeen thousand), Zoo (four hundred and eighty seven thousand), Mount Pleasant (four hundred and eighty one thousand) and The Simpsons (three hundred and seventy four thousand). Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the second episode of The Night Of (two hundred and ninety two thousand). Ray Donovan was seen by two hundred and eighty five thousand, Ballers by two hundred and two thousand, Game Of Thrones by one hundred thousand and the movie Ali by eighty eight thousand. On Sky Living, Chicago Fire drew five hundred and twenty nine thousand, Shades Of Blue had four hundred and fifty four thousand, Unforgettable, four hundred and twenty three thousand, Nashville, three hundred and ten thousand and My Kitchen Rules Australia, two hundred and thirty one thousand viewers. Sky Arts' Master Of Photography had ninety thousand viewers whilst Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison attracted fifty six thousand. 5USA's Chicago PD was watched by five hundred and eighty four thousand viewers. Criminal Minds attracted five hundred and forty thousand, NCIS: Los Angeles, five hundred and twelve thousand, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, four hundred and eleven thousand and Castle, three hundred and ninety eight thousand. NCIS was seen by two hundred and ninety five thousand. NCIS also topped CBS Action's list (one hundred and twenty two thousand) and featured in the top-tens of FOX and The Universal Channel. FOX's most watched programmes were Wolf Creek (two hundred and twenty six thousand), Tyrant (one hundred and seventy one thousand) and another episode of NCIS, one of eight episodes of the popular US crime drama series in FOX's top-ten. The Universal Channel's list was headed by Mr Robot with one hundred and seventy seven thousand, NCIS, one hundred and thirty seven thousand and Major Crimes, one hundred and twenty seven thousand. A mere five episodes of NCIS were in Universal's top ten. Jeez, David McCallum and Mark Harmon's repeat fees must be running into the millions by now. And that's from UK multichannels alone. On Dave, the opening episode of Dara O Briain's Go Eight Bit was the highest-rated programme with six hundred thousand punters. Having watched the first episode and, been very underwhelmed by it, this blogger does rather wonder how many of those six hundred thousand punters will stick around for episode two. We'll find out in a week's time, I guess. That was followed by Suits (four hundred and seventy two thousand), Mock The Week (four hundred and thirteen thousand), Have I Got A Bit More News For You (three hundred and sixty three thousand), the film Pale Rider (three hundred and forty one thousand) and Qi XL (three hundred and twenty four thousand). Drama's Death In Paradise was watched by four hundred and seventy eight thousand viewers. Murdoch Mysteries had three hundred and ninety eight thousand, New Tricks, three hundred and seventy seven thousand, Father Brown three hundred and seventy one thousand and Dalziel & Pascoe three hundred and fifty nine thousand.Alibi's highest-rated programme was Rizzoli & Isles (four hundred and thirty eight thousand), followed by Rosewood (two hundred and sixty two thousand), Death In Paradise (one hundred and twenty one thousand), Inspector George Gently (one hundred and seven thousand) and Rebus (ninety nine thousand). Yesterday's Fawlty Towers: Re-Opened was seen by two hundred and forty six thousand. 'Allo 'Allo was watched by two hundred and thirty two thousand, To The Manor Born by two hundred and six thousand, Yes Minister by one hundred and sixty seven thousand and Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? by one hundred and sixty thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Alaskan Bush People's latest series - in which, at least according to that flaming trailer which is shown about every two minutes, someone is 'goin' t'jail' ... hopefully for life - continued with two hundred and twenty nine thousand viewers. Fast N' Loud had an audience of two hundred and twenty eight thousand, Harley & The Davidsons was watched by one hundred and eighteen thousand, Running Wild With Bear Grylls by one hundred and three thousand and Gold Divers (featuring that really annoying Emily woman who 'wants all the gold') by eighty eight thousand. Discovery History's Waterloo: The Ultimate Battle topped the weekly-list with thirty thousand viewers. Curiosity: What Destroyed The Hindenburg and Seven Ages Of Britain were both watched by twenty six thousand, whilst The Rise & Fall Of The Japanese Empire, Fight Or Die and Time Team attracted twenty one thousand. On Discovery Science, How it's Made was seen by sixty five thousand viewers. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programmes was the cult favourite Wheeler Dealers (thirty three thousand, the top performing of eight episodes in the channel's weekly top ten). The two programmes that weren't Wheelers Dealers were What's My Car Worth? (thirty thousand) and Classic Car Rescue (twenty three thousand). National Geographic's list was headed by 9/11: The Longest War which had one hundred and thirty one thousand viewers and Air Crash Investigation (one hundred and one thousand). The History Channel's top-ten was led by Barbarians Rising and The Bastard Executioner (two hundred and twenty one thousand and one hundred and twenty nine thousand respectively). Ice Road Truckers was seen by one hundred and twenty one thousand. On Military History, Rome's Lost Legion was watched by twenty seven thousand and Hooked - Illegal Drugs by twenty five thousand. A Crime To Remember, The Coroner: I Speak For The Dead and I Am Homicide were ID's top-rated programmes of the week (with seventy three thousand viewers, seventy thousand and fifty seven thousand murder-lovers respectively). Murders UK With Martin Kemp had forty five thousand. Quite how many Spandau Ballet singles featured in the appalling crimes the programme shone a light upon, we simply don't know. But, it should have been most of them. Especially 'Gold'. A particularly memorable episode of a series called Evil Stepmothers - Newleydead - which this blogger happened across at some obscure hour of the morning when he couldn't sleep didn't make the top ten list. Tragedy frankly, as it was gripping stuff. One Hundred & Two Minutes That Changed America, Killer Kids and Crimes That Shook Britain headed CI's list (fifty five thousand, forty nine thousand and forty two thousand). GOLD's repeat of Only Fools & Horses drew one hundred and sixty two thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (four hundred and eighteen thousand). Your TV's Unusual Suspects had sixty eight thousand viewers whilst Sensing Murder drew fifty thousand. On More4, another showing of One Hundred & Two Minutes That Changed America was the highest-rated programme with six hundred and fifty nine thousand. Whether that total also included the fifty five thousand punters who watched it another channel two days later is unknown. the extraordinary 9/11: The Falling Man attracted three hundred and ninety five thousand, Phil Spencer's Stately Homes, three hundred and seventy seven thousand, Sarah Beeny's Four Rooms, three hundred and forty thousand and Grand Designs, three hundred and twenty three thousand. E4's latest episode of Hollyoakes drew 1.16 million viewers. The Horror Channel's broadcast of The Sand attracted one hundred and fifty seven thousand. Their top-ten list for the week also included Horsemen (one hundred and thirty thousand), Nothing Left To Fear (one hundred and twenty five thousand), I Spit On Your Grave (ninety seven thousand) and Hobo With A Shotgun (eighty thousand). Dark Matter, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and twenty seven thousand. Africa's Giant Killers had fifty two thousand on Eden. Tanked was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with forty five thousand. On W, the Charlotte Church episode of John Bishop In Conversation was seen by two hundred and sixty two thousand which was over four hundred thousand punters less than those who tuned-in the previous week to watch the odious James Corden. If this blogger was Charlotte, he'd resign from the human race in protest of such shenanigans. Battlebots attracted two hundred and nineteen thousand on Spike, whilst the movie The Expatriate was watched by one hundred and ninety nine thousand. Katie Price's Pony Club - possibly the most offensively dreadful TV programme made since ... TLC's last Katie Price vehicle was watched by one hundred and six thousand people who really do need to have a good, hard look at themselves in the mirror. The Vault's Ariana Grande's Pop Shuffle was seen by twelve thousand punters.

Yer actual Game Of Thrones has broken the record for the highest number of EMMY Awards won by any fictional series. The massively popular HBO fantasy drama triumphed in three categories at Sunday's ceremony, including outstanding drama series. The show's total number of awards now stands at thirty eight, which means it has beaten Frasier's previous record of thirty seven. The thirty eight EMMYs won by Game Of Thrones includes the nine the series picked up at last weekend's Creative Arts awards. The show is now the most decorated drama series in EMMY awards' history - the overall record is held by Saturday Night Live, which has won forty four. This year's British winners included Dame Maggie Smith, who won outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for her role in Downton Abbey. It is the third time Dame Maggie had won an EMMY for her portrayal of Violet Crawley, but she has never attended the ceremony in person to collect her trophies. Host Jimmy Kimmel joked: 'We're not mailing this to her. Maggie, if you want this, it will be in the lost and found.' The BBC's Sherlock was named best TV movie for its New Year special The Abominable Bride. Susanne Bier, the Danish director of the BBC's spy thriller The Night Manager, won for best direction in a limited series. Bier, who was the only female nominee in the category, told BBC Breakfast: 'This is such a traditional men's world, and I hope the fact a woman director has won this prestigious prize is going to mean that more non-conventional series and movies are going to be directed by women.' John Oliver won best variety talk series for his HBO series Last Week Tonight, beating fellow British nominee odious horrorshow (and drag) James Corden, who was nominated for The Late Late Show which, for some weird reason, the Americans love. Veep - creator by Armando Iannucci - won the outstanding comedy series award for the second year in a row, while its star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won lead comedy actress for the fifth time. In her acceptance speech, Louis-Dreyfus said: 'Our show started out as political satire but now feels like a sobering documentary.' She dedicated her award to her father, who died on Friday. Tony Hale, who plays the president's personal aide Gary Walsh in Veep, triumphed in the supporting actor category. The comedy actor award went to Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a transgender woman in the acclaimed Amazon series Transparent, for the second year in a row. Accepting the award, Tambor encouraged the industry to offer more opportunities to the trans community. 'I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a transgender female on television. We have work to do,' he said. Rami Malek won lead actor in a drama series for his role in Mr Robot, while Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black won leading actress. Other big winners of the night included The People Versus OJ Simpson - a dramatisation of the OJ Simpson trial, which was broadcast on BBC2 in the UK. The show won five awards including limited series plus acting awards for Sarah Paulson, Sterling K Brown and Courtney B Vance (the latter impressively beating off a trio of British competition from yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba his very self in that category). Kate McKinnon, who recently starred in the all-female Ghostbusters reboot, won the supporting actress in a comedy series award for her performances in Saturday Night Live. Netflix series Master Of None scored its first EMMY, winning the writing for a comedy series category. The show's co-writer, Alan Yang, called for better Asian representation on screen in his acceptance speech. Elsewhere, The Voice took the award for reality competition series, beating Project Runway and Dancing With The Stars. Kimmel made several references to diversity during the ceremony in light of the 'Oscars So White' controversy earlier this year. 'Here in Hollywood the only thing we value more than diversity is congratulating ourselves on how much we value diversity,' he said in his opening monologue. The lad's got a point. 'The EMMYs are so diverse this year the Oscars are now telling people we're "one of their closest friends."' Heh.
     And the only thing left to ponder on is, why is it that every time the Game Of Thrones cast get photographed at awards ceremonies somehow Peter Dinklage always seems to end up getting stuck right next to Gwendoline Christie seemingly just to emphasise the height difference. Somebody's havin' a laugh, right?
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) has praised the BBC for not paying a reported twenty five million smackers to keep The Great British Bake Off. Steven said the BBC was 'right not to reward greed,' after the corporation lost the rights to Channel Four. The co-creator, writer and producer of the internationally popular Sherlock Holmes adaptation said that he had 'rejected offers' from other broadcasters who wanted to steal Sherlock away from the BBC. He told the audience at the EMMY ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday: 'Thank you to the BBC who we love, above all bakery. British people will get that.' Last Monday, Greed Productions, which currently makes Bake Off for the BBC, announced that it had signed a new deal with Channel Four from next series. The following day, presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins stated that they would leave the programme after the current series. Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry have not yet said if they are moving to Channel Four with the show, fuelling much press speculation about its future and about who might present it if the pair decide to join Mel and Sue and telling Greed Production what to do with their sick and odious greed. Steven, who is a board director at Hartswood Films which produces Sherlock, said after the EMMYs ceremony: 'We have had offers, that's not what it's about. It should never be about that. I think the BBC was quite right not to reward greed. It's wrong.' Hartswood Films, which was also behind other series Moffat created including Jekyll and Coupling is, of course, something of a small family firm, run by Steven's mother-in-law Beryl Vertue and his wife, Sue. During negotiations over The Great British Bake Off, the BBC offered fifteen million knicker to keep the show - double what it currently pays - falling ten million notes short of the amount of money Greed Production demanded. The greedy bastards.
Unfortunately, there was some bad news for the Sherlock team. Amanda Abbington had her purse was stolen from under her seat while she was collecting her EMMY. Amanda said that the purse went missing while she was on-stage and doing subsequent interviews. She tweeted: 'Thanks for the lovely tweets re; the EMMY's. So pleased we won! However, we went up to collect the EMMY, did some press, came back to my seat and some bastard had nicked my purse from under my seat. Had my phone and driver's licence in it. So whoever took my purse, I hope some terrible Karmic shit happens to you. How crappy is that?'
'Welcome to Only Connect, the quiz that raises more eyebrows than a Scottish tenner in a London pub!' said Victoria Coren Mitchell at the beginning of Monday night's episode of the popular lateral thinking panel show. She's a saucy minx, that one!
University Challenge fans have found a new favourite in the form of 'intense' contestant Eric Monkman. Becoming 'an instant Twitter sensation' - ie. about four people were talking about it on Monday night, Twitter being, you know, The Sole Arbiter Of The Worth Of All Things ... according to some arsehole of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star - Canadian Eric, who is studying Economics at Wolfson College, Cambridge, was lauded for his 'passionate' answers to several of Jezza Paxman's questions. After a rather exuberant introduction, Eric proceeded to deliver each answer with impressive levels of enthusiasm. There was something generally terrifying about the way he bellowed 'Episcopalian' as one - correct, let it be noted - answer. Eric and his team won the - very entertaining - episode by the narrowest of margins, one hundred and eighty five to one hundred and seventy five, with Wolfson's victory over the London School of Oriental and African Studies sealed with a tie-breaker question about molluscs. The episode ended on a very sad note, however, as it was dedicated to the memory of one of the SOAS students, David Bostock, who died earlier this month after the episode had been recorded when he was about to complete an MA in South East Asian Studies. David's MA is due to be awarded posthumously.
The writer behind BBC2's The Fall has admitted that he was taken by surprise by some criticism of the series. One particularly harsh critic described the show as an example of 'brutal misogyny' - an accusation that Allan Cubitt later called 'insulting. I don't think I did quite anticipate that, because I was always very clear about what I was setting out to do,' he said this week. 'The idea that I would explore male violence against women and refract that through the prism of a female central character [Stella Gibson, played by From The North favourite Gillian Anderson) who would discourse on this theme endlessly, from a feminist point of view, was the thing that made me feel that I could go into the territory of depicting violence against women at all.' The series follows Gibson as she hunts for Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), a serial killer who preys on young women in Belfast. Cubitt argued that while the drama 'had to illustrate Spector's modus operandi to a degree,' he was eager to 'keep it as limited as possible. I don't expect to be applauded for the fact that there is [only] one woman killed in The Fall,' he said. 'But I do think it's of note compared with so many other shows I see, where the body count is astronomical. You can watch one episode of Luther and see more female victims than you see across the entire run of The Fall. Series one of Spiral starts with a naked woman's body in a skip. But The Fall does something unusual - by virtue of spending fifty per cent of its time with this individual [Spector], and inevitably therefore I'm sort of humanising him on some level, much as I'm saying he is a malevolent force.' Cubitt added that critics shouldn't make the assumption that he somehow shares some of Spector's views. 'If you write a drama that tackles male misogyny, then there's always the danger that people are going to say that you're identifying with the misogynistic character in some kind of way - which I'm not!'
Coronation Street's Beverley Callard has suggested she was deliberately left out of the 'more serious storylines' in the soap because of her depression. The actress returned to This Morning to discuss her ongoing recovery and told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that she was even described as 'flaky' by someone in the production. 'At first, I was embarrassed and ashamed [by my depression, but] the cast do understand as we're all vulnerable,' she explained. 'And, one person said, "I don't want you to be in this [more serious] storyline because you've had depression and you might be flaky."' Beverley returned to Corrie after taking two months off for clinical depression in May this year, and previously praised former executive producer Stuart Blackburn for how he handled the matter. 'Stuart Blackburn our producer just said, "You need some weeks out to get the medication right,"' she recalled. 'He understood straight away but many don't.'
Songs Of Praise, A Question Of Sport, Holby City and Horizon are the first shows the BBC is putting out to tender to independent producers. In a move which marks a new chapter in the corporation's history - and not a good one, either - the four shows which are currently made by the BBC will be put up to external companies. The BBC's in-house arm BBC Studios is also able to bid to make the programmes but will have to compete on the same terms with commercial producers as part of Director General Tony Hall's new 'compete or compare' strategy. Under the terms of the BBC's new draft charter, unveiled last week, all BBC shows will eventually be put out to tender over the next eleven years. In return BBC Studios will be allowed to become commercial next year and make shows for other broadcasters. The strategy is part of a bid to help the BBC stem the tide of talent moving to the more lucrative commercial sector and instead encourage them to stay and come up with new hits for the corporation. The BBC said that the four shows were chosen because they are all approaching recommissioning decisions and their production schedules allow them to be put out to tender quickly. BBC Television managing director and commercial director Bal Samra said: 'It is a big, bold move, but I think what we’re doing in generating this competition – with a strong independent sector and the creation of BBC studios - could make our industry even stronger. We are incredibly proud of all these titles and our decision to put them to tender in the first batch is a pragmatic one, so we can move quickly. These are BBC shows that will still be on BBC Channels and we will still own the rights. We have nurtured and cherished them over many years, our audiences love them and they are precious to us, but we hope the tendering process will offer an opportunity to test value for money and ensure we are delivering the very best programmes for viewers.' Thought to be the longest-running religious television programme in the world, Songs Of Praise is considered one of the cornerstones of the BBC schedule and the corporation's decision to put such a key pubic service show in the first tranche of programmes going too to tender has raised some eyebrows. It was first broadcast by the BBC in 1961, the same decade that A Question Of Sport and BBC2 documentary series Horizon began. The sports quiz is another BBC1 stalwart and, like Songs Of Praise, is based in Salford. Rather than taking on the full series commission for Horizon, independent producers will be able to tender for bundles of commissions, which the BBC said would 'increase the diversity' of its science coverage. Whatever the Hell that means. The corporation said: 'As part of increased competition, suppliers will also be invited to pitch ideas for Horizon – with bundles of commissions based on the strength of their proposals. This creates an opportunity to increase the range of ideas for our science offer on BBC2 and strengthen science specialism in the sector.' One - nameless, and, therefore, probably fictitious - producer quoted by the Gruniad Morning Star said the choice of shows was interesting: 'Songs Of Praise and Question Of Sport are heritage brands and Horizon and Holby are closely linked in many people’' minds with the BBC.' However, staff working on the programmes are still unclear what will happen to them if the programmes are transferred to independent companies, the Gruniad claimed. Union BECTU General Secretary Gerry Morrissey confirmed that the BBC has not yet revealed under what conditions they will transfer over. 'There has been great uncertainty for weeks and months about this and we still don't have pay, conditions or pension details – we don't expect the BBC to pay lip service to these.' The BBC is due to meet independent producers tomorrow to reveal more details about the tendering process.

BBC3's next 'major drama' will be fronted by Sherlock's Louise Brealey and The Fall's Aisling Franciosi. The pair will appear in Clique, a six-part series from Skins writer Jess Brittain. Synnove Karlsen will play university student Holly, who - along with her best friend Georgia (Franciosi) - is 'drawn into an elite clique of alpha girls' led by lecturer Jude McDermid (Brealey). 'Soon, they are attending lavish parties, populated by Edinburgh's most powerful, but Holly quickly exposes this seductive world's deeply corrupt core - and it's not long before danger is mounting from all angles.' Clique is being described as 'a seductive, intense drama about friendship tested to extremes' - and 'an uncensored exploration of how being a young woman can feel today.' Sounds rather good. Filming began in Edinburgh this week, with the series lined-up for a 2017 debut.
Richard Dreyfuss is not actually Julia Louis-Dreyfus's dad and he's definitely still alive. Apparently there was some confusion on social media when Julia revealed during her EMMY acceptance speech that her father had died late last week with some people seemingly convinced that Oscar-winning actor Richard was Julia's dad and, therefore, had snuffed it despite the fact that Julia clearly said in her speech that her father was Willie Louis-Dreyfus. Julia's father was, in fact, the billionaire poet William Louis-Dreyfus - not the Academy Award-winning Jaws and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind actor Richard Dreyfuss. Note, for instance, the extra 's' in Richard's surname. Trying to clear up the confusion on Twitter, the very gracious Richard Dreyfuss tweeted: 'I'm actually not Julia Louis-Dreyfus' father. But I really appreciate all the concerned tweets.'
Great Britain closed the Rio Paralympics with sixty four gold medals, the most by a British team since 1988. ParalympicsGB surpassed their London 2012 medal tally of one hundred and twenty on day nine of the games in Rio and finished with one hundred and forty seven medals, second in the table behind China. They also matched the highest number of gold medal sports at a Paralympics with eleven, matching China at Beijing 2008. Kadeena Cox, who won golds in both athletics and cycling, carried the British flag at Sunday's closing ceremony. The twenty five-year-old became the first Briton to triumph in two different sports at the same games since 1988. 'It's a great feeling to know that I'll be standing at the front of such an exceptional group of athletes from GB, to represent what has been such a successful and high-achieving team,' she said. 'I only originally expected just to get to Rio, let alone win medals, so to do this is the icing on the cake of an amazing games. I couldn't have imagined this in my wildest dreams. To do something as special as carrying the flag is incredible.' Penny Briscoe, chef de mission for the British team, said: 'Kadeena's achievements in Rio have been absolutely remarkable and she is the perfect choice to be our flagbearer. To strike gold in two sports is no mean feat, and it pays tribute to her talent, pride and determination and also the work of British Athletics and British Cycling, with the support of National Lottery funding, to help her achieve and surpass her goals. As the games draw to a close we can begin to reflect on the exceptional performances of our athletes and this incredible medal haul. The Closing Ceremony is the perfect way to kick off the celebrations for this record breaking team. I am so proud of each and every member of the team.' British Paralympic Association chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said that the team's performance in Rio was no fluke, but the figures still make very impressive reading. The team, often described as the strongest and the best prepared everysent to major championships, won twelve per cent of the total number of gold medals available - the best since 1968, a completely different era in Paralympic sport. Finishing second in the medal table behind China, they set forty nine Paralympic and twenty seven world records. Both the oldest (Anne Dunham) and youngest (Abby Kane) competitors on the team claimed medals and eleven different sports won gold medals with a record-equalling fifteen securing at least one medal. Yes, the total may have been different if the disgraced Russian team had not been banned from competing, but one can only beat what is in front of one and this was a truly spectacular performance from the two hundred and sixty four-strong squad. This British team has set a new standard and as one games closes, plans for the next summer games - in Tokyo in four years time - are well under way. Now the challenge will be to maintain momentum and rise to the occasion once again in 2020.
Adam Hills debuted his dazzling new look on the final The Last Leg Live From Rio on Saturday after making a bet a few months ago. Earlier in the year, in the hope of 'firing up Paralympics GB,' Adam vowed to humiliate himself - by dying his hair like the union flag - if they beat Australia on the Rio medals table. Which, of course, the British team did. By lots. Not only that, Adam's prosthetic leg has also been sent off after he promised to have every British gold medallists' name engraved on it. He said: 'You should have seen the state of my shower this morning. Red and blue hair dye everywhere – it looked like someone had murdered a smurf.' Adam also revealed that he had been asked to present a mascot at a medal ceremony on the final day of competition, Sunday, to which his co-host Josh Widdicombe said: 'They're going to think you are the mascot!'
If you haven't been catching The Last Leg during the Paralympics, there's a very good piece on it by the Gruniad's Frances Ryan which you can check out here. 'Its nightly shows have averaged 1.8 million [overnight] viewers – up forty seven per cent on its initial run during London 2012 – while Channel Four also credits the show with helping to bring in a record number of young viewers to the Paralympic coverage. "There's never been anything like this on television. We're taking the mick out of Paralympians!" Alex Brooker laughs. The Last Leg had the benefit of what is a unique format: part sports show, part comedy panel and all underlined with an often close-to-the-wire take on disability. The Is it Okay? segment, in which the panel charges headfirst into the do's and don'ts of talking to disabled people ('Is it okay to ask if an amputee takes their leg off in the shower?') has been a staple of the show. Ask any of the main players and there's no worthy intention behind The Last Leg. 'It was never, "Hey, this can do this for disability." It was never about breaking down barriers,' Hills insists. But against a TV schedule where disability is still widely absent, let alone discussed in terms of humour, the show has been noticeable for the bold way it tackles the subject.'
An exhausted Jonny Brownlee needed to be helped over the finishing line by his brother Alistair in a dramatic end to the World Triathlon Series in Mexico. Leading with seven hundred metres left, Jonny began to weave across the road in hot and humid conditions in Cozumel. Third-placed Alistair, caught up with his brother, propping him up for the final couple of hundred metres before literally pushing him over the line into second place. The pair were overtaken in the final stretch by South African Henri Schoeman, the eventual winner. Victory in Mexico would have given Jonny the world title, but second place left him just four points behind Mario Mola. The Spaniard was fifth on Sunday to top the overall standings. Jonny, the Olympic silver medallist at Rio 2016 and a bronze medallist at London 2012, collapsed to the ground the moment he crossed the finish line. He required treatment but later tweeted that he was recovering, with a photo of himself lying in a hospital bed on a drip. Alongside a video clip of the finish of the race, he also wrote: 'Normally when you have had too much to drink. This time it was the opposite.' Alistair said it was 'a natural human reaction' to come to the aid of his brother, adding: 'I'd have done the same thing for anyone in that position.' He added: 'I wish the flippin' idiot had paced it right and crossed the finish line first. He could have jogged that last two kilometres and won the race. You have to race the conditions. I was comfortable in third. I raced the conditions, I took the water on, made myself cool and I was all right.' Schoeman, who finished fourth in the overall standings, won the race - consisting of a fifteen hundred metre swim, forty kilometre cycle and ten thousand metre run - in one hour forty six minutes fifty seconds, with both Brownlees eighteen seconds behind. The International Triathlon Union extremely dismissed a quite disgraceful and scummish Spanish Triathlon Federation whinge that Jonny should have been disqualified, because 'athletes can receive help from another athlete.'
This blogger used to enjoy Barbara Ellen's writing when she was on the NME back in the 1980s though, less so now she's become a rather shrill example of the sort of Middle Class hippy Communists who infect the Gruniad Morning Star on a daily basis. That said, her op-ed piece Corbyn Victory? It's A Strangely Liberating Feeling jibed more-or-less exactly with this blogger's feelings of abject despair over what's currently happening in the Labour party. 'Soon, the Labour leadership result will be announced, and it's looking likely that, contrary to what I'd hoped, Jeremy Corbyn will win again,' writes Babs. 'In a bizarre way, I'm almost looking forward to it – rip the plaster off, let it smart, get it over with. It could almost be viewed as "freeing", as the hippies used to trill. I've voted for the Labour party my entire life and never even considered voting any other way, but all that changes the moment that Corbyn gets back in, and, like many other previously lifelong Labour supporters, I become instantly politically homeless.' Which is this blogger's position exactly. I'll be fifty three next month, dear blog reader, and ever since I was eighteen Keith Telly Topping has never voted anything other than Labour. I'm genuinely unsure if that's going to be the case from now on. It's going to be genuinely fascinating to see how large chunks of Labour's traditional support may abandon them in the aftermath of yer man Jezza's forthcoming landslide. To an extent some of them already have, the EU referendum proved that. This blogger had an interesting 'discussion' with a Corbynista (for which, actually, read one-sided rant with a very silly twenty one year old) recently who kept on saying how , like 'totally brilliant' it was that half-a-million or so Labour members were 'showing the Tories what's what' by voting for Corbyn. This blogger could only reply, sadly: 'Nine-and-a-half million people voted Labour at the last general erection. How many of them do you think are going to be left after Corbyn wins?' She didn't seem interested which, frankly, is exactly the problem. Many of the 'Momentum' people don't appear to care if they lose, they quite like being in opposition. It's like the 1980s all over again, they can chant the slogans, attend all the meetings, have their alternative comedy nights slagging off The Tories and then turn a blind eye when they get crushed at the general erections. It's all very well have the coolest, most right-on policies in the world if no bugger's going to vote for you. Perhaps some of them genuinely (and deludely) think that they can win a general erection, assuming that party membership support will somehow magically translate into electoral support – not realising that Corbyn - good man as he may be - is an electoral liability and, actually, isn't really liked at all by many traditional Labour voters, never mind floating voters in Tory marginals.

Coolio - who is 'a rap-type person of some description,' apparently - has been very arrested at an airport in Los Angeles after a loaded gun was found in a carry-on bag during security screening. Police at Los Angeles International Airport were alerted to the discovery on Saturday morning by security staff. They detained a man who claimed that the bag belonged to him. An investigation found the bag held items said to belong to another man - later identified as Coolio - who had already passed through security and boarded an aircraft. Coolio - real name Artis Leon Ivey junior - was later booked into a local police station. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Coolio's bail was set at $thirty seven thousand dollars. After leaving the station, Coolio posted a video of himself enjoying a Chinese meal on YouTube to reassure fans that he is doing well.
A lawyer for Michael Schumacher has told a court in Germany that the former Formula 1 world champion 'cannot walk' following his horrific skiing injury. Felix Damm was detailing the extent of Schumacher's injuries in a lawsuit against German magazine, Bunte. The magazine had reported last Christmas that the seven-time world champion could walk again. But, Damm said that Schumacher 'cannot walk' more than two and a half years after the accident. Bunte had allegedly 'quoted' an alleged 'source' at the end of last year as allegedly saying that Schumacher could allegedly 'manage some steps' with the help of therapists and could allegedly raise an arm. Allegedly. At the time, Schumacher's agent, Sabine Kehm, released a statement denying the story, saying: 'Unfortunately we are forced by a recent press report to clarify that the assertion that Michael could move again is not true. Such speculation is irresponsible, because given the seriousness of his injuries, his privacy is very important. Unfortunately they also give false hopes to many involved people.' Schumacher suffered a head injury in a skiing accident in France in 2013. He was placed in a medically-induced coma for six months before being transferred to his home in Switzerland to continue his treatment. Very little is known about his subsequent recovery as his family has strongly protected his privacy. In February, his former boss at Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, said: 'I have news and unfortunately it is not good.' But, didn't elaborate.
A man in Australia has successfully patented - and started selling - the Hamdog, a combination of a hotdog and a burger in one bun. Some are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them and some simply achieve greatness. This bloke should just be given a medal and have statues erected in his honour. Mark Murray first appeared on Shark Tank - the Australian equivalent of Dragons' Den - where he pitched the idea to potential investors. The judges turned him down for funding. The foolish fools. But one year later, he is selling the Hamdogs at fairs and markets in Western Australia and looking for people interested in taking on a franchise. 'We launched our marquee two months ago and we had people come from everywhere just to experience the Hamdog,' he told News.com.au. 'At one stage the crew were knocking out about one every fifteen seconds. It was amazing,' he said. The Hamdog was first patented in the US back in 2009 but Murray has only just begun to sell them. When he first pitched it to the judges on Shark Tank in 2015, he described eating the dish as a 'party in your mouth.' The judges laughed. They're not laughing now. The burger is split in half, to allow the hotdog to be placed in-between. The bun is then also filled with lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese, mustard, tomato sauce and mayonnaise. 'We use all local ingredients. The only thing that's not from Western Australia are the pickles,' Murray said. 'At the moment there is a fair bit of labour involved in making the buns because they're made by people, not machines. We're still developing a way to semi automate production.'
Up to 'one hundred schoolchildren' were reportedly involved in a fight on a street when a mass brawl broke out, leaving two people needing hospital treatment. Police were called to what was described as 'a large fight' in Northumberland Heath in Erith, at about 5.40pm on Monday. Witnesses said that 'baseball bats and concrete blocks had been used' as weapons during the brawl with kids gettin' sparked and aal sorts Seven people, aged between fifteen and Twenty one, have been very arrested, police said. The injuries suffered by the two people in hospital are 'not life threatening,' the Met spokesperson added. Social media reports suggested that 'around one hundred youths,' some of whom were 'in uniform,' were involved in the fracas which took place near the Duchess of Kent pub. Witnesses snitched that the numbers of people involved - including children as young as eleven - grew during the afternoon. Footage posted online showed people being kicked and hit with sticks. Shane Newman, who works in a local betting shop, told the BBC that he saw 'several black youths' who 'looked to be around thirteen to sixteen years old running up and down the street.' Once the poliss arrived, they 'advised all businesses to close early. I left work as quickly as I could,' Newman said. A worker at Northumberland Heath Primary School, which is near to where the fight happened, said that teachers were 'kept inside the school' for two hours at the end of the day 'for their safety.' Owen Jeavons said that there 'had been tension' between students at local schools when he was a teenager but called the brawl 'something new. I have never seen anything like it. It's such a quiet, peaceful place,' he said. Jeanne Asquith wrote on Facebook: 'Never seen anything like it and I've lived here eight years. I just just hope the schools deal with those involved. Most were wearing school uniform.' A Met Police spokesman said 'officers are still in the area to provide reassurance.' A borough spokesperson said that they were 'dismayed by the incident' and 'a partnership meeting to establish the facts,' would be held later. 'This is not the norm for Bexley - we are the safest borough in London and we aim to work together to keep it that way,' they claimed.
A man sentenced for selling heroin which resulted in a fatal overdose told a Lebanon County judge that he was dealing to raise money to hire a lawyer for another drug charge. The statement by Phillip Maldonado prompted a rebuke from Judge John Tylwalk. 'I've heard a lot of excuses, but today's was a new one,' Tylwalk said. 'You sold drugs to raise money to hire an attorney to represent you in another pending drug case.' Tiffany Hoover and Maldonado have been very charged with drug delivery resulting in death in connection with fifty three-year-old Julio Rivera's death last May. Maldonado is accused of selling heroin to Rivera who died in May 2014. Charges were filed against Maldonado and Hoover who was using drugs with Rivera, in February 2015. Maldonado was found guilty by a jury 1 August on charges of drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy and selling drugs. Tylwalk sentenced him on Wednesday to nine to eighteen years in The Big House on the drug delivery charge, seven to fifteen years on a conspiracy charge and two to ten years on the drug charge. He was also fined fourteen hundred dollars. The sentence will be concurrent and follow a sentence on the other drug charges. Since 1990, Tylwalk said that Maldonado whad been charged with twelve counts, seven of them for drugs, and was in state prison six times. He was out on state bail when he was charged with selling drugs that killed Rivera, said the judge. 'This case is being tragically played out all over Pennsylvania,' Tylwalk said, citing the fact that twenty people in Lebanon County died of overdoses last year, with fifty five percent resulting from heroin. 'You contributed to it by your actions in this case,' Tywalk told Maldonado. Hoover is scheduled for trial in 31 October on charges of drug delivery resulting in death, conspiracy, theft and a drug charge in connection with Rivera's death. While Rivera fell asleep and later overdosed, police said Hoover left and traded Rivera's cell phone to Maldonado for more heroin. At the sentencing, Maldonado also asked for a new attorney and said he will be filing an appeal.
A pair of teenage bad'uns who dragged a vicar out of her car in a 'shocking attack' as she left a church service have been very sentenced. Reverend Irene Wilson was leaving Holy Trinity Church in Hull on 7 August when her vehicle was targeted. Jay Desborough, seventeen, and Leon Wrigglesworth, thirteen, both from the city, were each given a twenty four-month detention and training order in a young offenders institute at the city's youth court. The Reverend Wilson said it had 'affected myself and the work that I do.' The pair had only known each other for a week before carrying out the carjacking, the court heard. As well as having her car stolen, Rev Wilson's handbag containing two hundred and fifty notes in cash and a laptop computer were also taken. In court, the vicar described how her daughter, who she was speaking to on the phone at the time of the attack, was 'still traumatised from hearing my screams.' Robin Smith, the solicitor defending Desborough, told the court tht the teenager had allegedly asked a family member to send an apology letter and a bouquet of flowers to the vicar as an apology. But Reverend Wilson, who was in court, confirmed this had not happened. The vicar said that she had 'at all times tried to understand the culprits' and asked people to 'pray for the two young men, that they will make a positive decision.' Sally Robinson, the Crown Prosecution Service's reviewing lawyer, said: 'This was a shocking attack carried out in broad daylight on a respected community figure. Our thoughts remain with Reverend Wilson as she continues to recover from the effects of this crime.' Chairman of the bench Vincent Bergin lifted a ban on naming the teenagers. Desborough, who was aged sixteen at the time of the attack, extremely admitted to one charge of robbery at a previous hearing. Wrigglesworth denied robbery but was found very guilty following a trial. He was also convicted of fifteen other offences.

An invasive hornet that kills honey bees has been spotted in Britain for the first time, experts have confirmed. The Asian hornet was found near Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Work is under way to find and destroy its nests. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has set up a three-mile five kilometre surveillance zone. DEFRA said it that had 'been anticipating' the hornets' arrival 'for some years' and had 'a well-established protocol in place to eradicate; the killer hornets. The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina), which is up to an inch long, is now common across Europe after being accidentally introduced to France in 2004 in a shipment of pottery from China. In the summer, the non-native species was discovered in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Alderney for the first time. Nicola Spence, from DEFRA, said: 'It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That's why we are taking swift and robust action to identify and destroy any nests.' A DEFRA spokesman said the hornet found in the Tetbury area had been extremely killed and was undergoing DNA testing to establish how it arrived in the UK. So far, this is unknown. They tried asking it, but it was unsurprisingly evasive - considering that it was dead. Meanwhile, bee inspectors are using infrared cameras and traps in a bid to locate and destroy any nests in a three-mile area radius around the initial sighting. Anyone who spots one of the hornets are advised either to kill it, with hammers, or, if unarmed, run like bloody fek screaming 'the killer hornets are here, run for your lives!'