Monday, October 03, 2016

Penalty Clauses

This blogger may have mentioned the fact previously, dear blog reader, but ever since he first watched the band Electric Six's once-seen-never-forgotten video for the single 'Gay Bar', yer actual Keith Telly Topping has been wholly unable to take the sight of a chap in a top hat even remotely seriously. There are, however, some notable exceptions.
And, speaking of Doctor Whom, dear blog reader, here's a little titbit that yer actual Keith Telly Topping completely forgot to mention when it was first publicly announced about six weeks ago (mainly because Keith Telly Topping was, you know, busy ... with stuff). The great David Suchet will guest star as a character called The Landlord in an episode of the next series of Doctor Who written by Mike Bartlett. Sharp.
Of course, before that gets broadcast, we've got this trio to look forward to.
Shat-in-yer-own-pants, 'and this is "news", apparently' non-story of the week, dear blog reader? Do you even need to ask? Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch has hinted again that the next series of Sherlock could be the last - or, at least, the last in a while - in a new interview with GQ which was immediately picked up by just about every newspaper and media outlet on the planet. 'It might be the end of an era,' Benny said concerning the next three films. 'It feels like the end of an era, to be honest.' Benny then added that he would 'never say never' to making more Sherlock. So, to sum up, then, the next series of Sherlock might be the last ... but it probably won't be. Which is, pretty much, what everyone connected to the hugely popular drama has been saying for the last few months. 'I'd love to revisit it, I'd love to keep revisiting it, I stand by that,' Benny added. 'The idea of never playing him again is really galling. But, in the immediate future we all have things that we want to crack on with and we've made something very complete as it is, so I think we'll just wait and see.' In July, Sherlock co-creator The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) also acknowledged that series four might be the last ... but probably wouldn't be. 'I don't know how long we can keep it going,' he admitted. 'I would be moderately surprised if this was the last time we ever made this show – but it absolutely could be.' A month later, he hinted that certain plot elements had been held back for a potential fifth run. 'In terms of a specific plan, there are ideas that we haven't gotten to yet,' he said.
What were this blogger's first impressions of The Fall series three, episode one which was broadcast on Thursday, you ask? Essentially: 'God, Gillian Anderson is bloody brilliant.' All right, dear blog reader, it's not an entirely unexpected first impression, admittedly, but still ...
Here is the eighth batch of From The North's latest semi-regular series don't you just wish, dear blog reader, that they still made movie posters like this?
Comedy moment of the week: Just about everything good old Mad! As! Toast! Brian Blessed said on Would I Lie To You? But especially the story about the canoeing Orangutan. You had to be there.
Hands up who thought, like this blogger, that Victoria Coren Mitchell was sporting a rather nasty bruise on her upper arm on Monday night's Only Connect? Turns out it was just a shadow of her hair. Phew. What a relief.
Here are final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Six programmes, week-ending Sunday 25 September 2016:-
1 The Great British Bake Off - Wed BBC1 - 13.12m
2 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 10.13m
3 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 8.40m
4 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.71m
5 Victoria - Sun ITV - 6.88m
6 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 6.86m
7 Poldark - Sun BBC1 - 6.54m
8 Cold Feet - Mon ITV - 6.50m
9 Emmerdale - Wed ITV - 6.39m
10 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.97m
11 Our Girl - Wed BBC1 - 5.54m
12 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.39m
13 Paranoid - Thurs ITV - 5.16m
14 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.00m
15 Mrs Brown's Boys - Sat BBC1 - 4.82m
16 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.81m
17 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.74m
18 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.56m
19 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV - 4.48m
20 DIY SOS: Th Big Build - Tues BBC1 - 4.41m
21 DCI Banks - Wed ITV - 4.37m
22 Ten O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 4.36m
23 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.29m
24 National Treasure - Tues Channel Four - 4.28m
25 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.84m
26 Would I Live To You? - Fri BBC - 3.70m
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, this blogger doesn't make the rules! Strictly Come Dancing's Friday night episode attracted 9.30 million viewers whilst The X Factor's Sunday night programme had 7.94 million. On BBC2, University Challenge was, again, the week's most-watched programme with 2.91 million viewers. From The North favourite Only Connect was seen by 2.63 million and the latest episode of Ripper Street by 2.53 million. Note, once again, that the channel's top three performing programmes are all broadcast back-to-back on Monday evenings. The Great British Menu drew 2.23 million punters whilst Trust Me, I'm A Doctor had 2.03 million, Conviction: Murder At The Station, 1.94 million and Gardeners' World, 1.87 million viewers. Great Continental Railway Journeys and The Hairy Bikers: Chicken & Egg were both watched by 1.84 million. The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice ... Of Greed attracted 1.79 million and Mock The Week, 1.72 million. Mastermind was seen by 1.56 million viewers, Brexit: A Very British Coup? by 1.53 million and Coast: The Great Guide by 1.52 million. Aside from the outstanding figure brought in by the opening episode of the Robbie Coltrane drama National Treasure, Gogglebox was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast of the week (3.53 million viewers), followed by Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls (2.98 million). Grand Designs was seen by 2.72 million viewers, whilst Hunted had 2.52 million, Location, Location, Location, 2.24 million, Speed With Guy Martin, 2.15 million, Nine Nine Nine: What's Your Emergency?, 2.10 million and George Clarke's Amazing Spaces 2.01 million. Nasty Penelope Keith's Horrible Hidden Villages attracted 1.28 million punters. Every single one of whom needs th bloody head examining for watching Tripe the likes of this. Channel Five's top performer was, Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! - with 2.13 million - ahead of The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door (1.49 million), On Benefits (1.37 million), Eamonn & Ruth: How The Other Half Lives (1.27 million punters) and both Police Interceptors and The Dog Rescuers With Alan Davies (both 1.24 million). When Magic Goes Wrong drew nine hundred and sixty one thousand viewers whilst a repeat of TV's Fifty Greatest Magic Tricks had seven hundred and fifty four thousand. After those three weeks of not bothering to get their figures sent in, the Sky Sports channels again got their collective finger out and submitted their data to BARB. On Sky Sports 1 coverage of The Scum against Leicester City was watched by nine hundred and forty two thousand whilst West Hamsters game against Bournemouth drew eight hundred and sixty nine thousand. The EFL Cup tie between Leicester and Moscow Chelski FC attracted seven hundred and ninety nine thousand. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies draw at Aston Villains had five hundred and twenty four thousand. Live Fight night: Crolla Versus Linares on Sky Sports 2 had one hundred and sixty thousand. Live SF: Barcelona Versus Atletico Madrid drew one hundred and forty nine thousand. Gillette Soccer Saturday was watched by four hundred and fifty nine thousand on Sky Sports News HQ and a further four hundred and seventy four thousand on Sky Sports 1. Unbelievable, Jeff. Ted's Notebook: Singapore was seen by sixteen thousand on Sky Sports F1. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (seven hundred and forty seven thousand viewers). Doc Martin was seen by six hundred and sixty three thousand, Foyle's War by five hundred and sixty five thousand and It'll Be Alright On The Night's Best Of by five hundred and four thousand. Benidorm headed ITV4's weekly list with three hundred and nineteen thousand viewers whilst a repeat of the funniest ninety minutes in TV history, An Audience With Billy Connolly attracted three hundred and seventeen thousand - all of whom, hopefully, were singing along with the opening lines of The Gebrovian National Anthem like this blogger was - the movie Jaws had two hundred and fifty one thousand and Licence To Kill was watched by two hundred and forty eight thousand viewers. Another James Bond movie - and, a far better one at that, Dr No - had two hundred and thirty nine thousand whilst Life Inside Jail: Hell On Earth was seen by two hundred and twenty nine thousand. ITV2's most-watched broadcast was the worthless steaming infested shower of rancid, lousy stinking diarrhoea Celebrity Juice (watched by a staggeringly sad 1.47 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 this risible horseshit). The film Nanny McPhee drew seven hundred and seventy nine thousand. The Xtra Factor drew six hundred and fifty four thousand viewers whilst Family Guy had six hundred and twenty five thousand. DCI Banks headed ITV Encore's top ten with sixty eight thousand viewers, ahead of Downton Abbey which had fifty five thousand and Vera with forty four thousand. BBC4's list was headed by Michael Wood's documentary, King Alfred & The Anglo-Saxons with five hundred and fifteen thousand viewers, followed by The Brecon Beacons With Iolo Williams (four hundred and seventy six thousand), London: The Modern Babylon (four hundred and forty nine thousand), Johnny Cash: The Man & His Music (three hundred and fifty nine thousand) and Top Of The Pops 1982 (three hundred and twenty six thousand). Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art? drew two hundred and ninety three thousand and Keith Richards' Lost Weekend, two hundred and seventy six thousand. Alfred Hitchcock's The Thirty Nine Steps was watched by two hundred and seventy two thousand, Rome: A History Of The Eternal City, two hundred and sixty nine thousand and Keith Richards: The Origin Of The Species, two hundred and fifty five thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by utterly worthless, unfunny, full-of-its-own-importance vomit A League Of Their Own with eight hundred and thirty five thousand, followed by the second episode of Hooten & The Lady (seven hundred and ninety seven thousand punters), Zoo (four hundred and sixty eight thousand), The Last Ship (four hundred and thirty six thousand), Mount Pleasant (four hundred and twenty six thousand) and The Simpsons (three hundred and eighty thousand). Sky Atlantic's list was topped by Ray Donovan (three hundred and ten thousand). The fourth episode of The Night Of was seen by two hundred and forty three thousand and Ballers by two hundred and seven thousand thousand. A broadcast of the original 1973 movie version of Westworld prior to the start of the much-anticipated TV adaptation next week, drew one hundred and forty five thousand whilst a Game Of Thrones repeat had one hundred thousand. On Sky Living, Chicago Fire drew four hundred and forty thousand, Shades Of Blue had four hundred and twenty four thousand, Nashville, two hundred and fifty two thousand and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, two hundred and seven thousand viewers. Sky Arts' Discovering Film had seventy three thousand viewers. 5USA's Chicago PD was watched by five hundred and seventy nine thousand viewers. NCIS: Los Angeles attracted five hundred and thirty seven thousand, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour, five hundred and sixteen thousand, Castle, four hundred and sixteen thousand and NCIS, three hundred and forty nine thousand. NCIS also topped CBS Action's list (one hundred and three thousand) and featured in the top-tens of FOX (one hundred and forty three thousand) and The Universal Channel (one hundred and twenty thousand). FOX's most watched programmes were American Horror Story (four hundred and ninety five thousand), Wolf Creek (one hundred and ninety eight thousand) and Tyrant (one hundred and sixty thousand). The Universal Channel's list was headed by Major Crimes with three hundred and eighteen thousand, Private Eyes, two hundred and fifty thousand and Motive, one hundred and thirty six thousand. The movie Along Came A Spider was watched by one hundred and fourteen thousand. On Dave, the return for an eleventh series of the cult favourite Red Dwarf drew the largest mutlchannels audience of the week across all channels, 1.46 million viewers. The third episode of Dara O Briain's Go Eight Bit was the second highest-rated programme with six hundred and ninety nine thousand punters. Twenty thousand punters up on the previous week's episode, whilst was, itself, watched by more viewers than the opening episode. And all after this blogger confidently predicted that ratings for the show would not so much drop as plummet like a brick. Shows how much Keith Telly Topping knows about such malarkey. That was followed by Mock The Week (four hundred and thirteen thousand), the movie Shooter (four hundred and four thousand), Qi XL (three hundred and twenty three thousand) and Top Gear: Africa Special (three hundred and ten thousand). Drama's New Tricks was watched by four hundred and ninety nine thousand viewers. Death In Paradise had four hundred and seventy seven thousand, Murdoch Mysteries, three hundred and eighty five thousand viewers, Judge John Deed three hundred and seventy one thousand and Dalziel & Pascoe three hundred and sixty eight thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme was Rizzoli & Isles (four hundred and sixty one thousand), followed by Rosewood (two hundred and seventy one thousand), King & Maxwell (ninety eight thousand), Lie To Me (ninety five thousand) and Body Of Proof (eighty five thousand). Yesterday's 'Allo 'Allo repeat run was seen by two hundred and sixty nine thousand. Great British Railway Journeys was watched by two hundred and thirty thousand, Unearthing WW1 by two hundred and thirteen thousand, Africa by one hundred and ninety six thousand, Yes Minister by one hundred and eighty nine thousand and Murder Maps by one hundred and eighty one thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Fast 'N Loud's latest series continued with two hundred and forty three thousand viewers. Gold Divers (featuring that really annoying Emily woman who 'wants all the gold') drew one hundred thousand whilst Marooned With Ed Stafford (& His Camera Crew) was seen by seventy five thousand and Running Wild With Bear Brylls (& His Camera Crew) was seen by sixty nine thousand. Discovery History's Industrial Revelations topped the weekly-list with thirty nine thousand viewers and figure also achieved by Air Wars. Tony Robinson's Time Walks was watched by twenty six thousand, whilst Bullet Points and Time Team all attracted twenty two thousand. On Discovery Science, How it's Made was seen by fifty eight thousand viewers. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programme was, as usual Wheeler Dealers (forty nine thousand, the best performing of the ten episodes featuring Mike and Edd in the channel's weekly top ten). National Geographic's list was headed by Yukon Gold which had one hundred and nineteen thousand viewers and Wicked Tuna (sixty seven thousand). The History Channel's top-ten was led by Barbarians Rising (two hundred and twenty four thousand). The Bastard Executioner was seen by one hundred and twenty six thousand and Ice road Truckers by one hundred and twenty three thousand. On Military History, Rome's Lost Legion was watched by twenty seven thousand and Hooked - Illegal Drugs by twenty five thousand. JonBenet: An American Murder Mystery, Murder On CCTV and I Am Homicide were ID's top-rated programmes of the week (with one hundred and sixty seven thousand viewers, one hundred and twelve thousand and eighty thousand murder-lovers respectively). Footsteps In The Snow, Killer Kids and On The Case With Paula Zahn headed CI's list (ninety six thousand, fifty four thousand and fifty thousand). GOLD's repeat of Only Fools & Horses drew one hundred and fifty eight thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (three hundred and fifty nine thousand). Your TV's Corrupt Crimes had sixty one thousand viewers whilst Sensing Murder drew fifty seven thousand. On More4, My Floating Home was the highest-rated programme with five hundred and thirty eight thousand. Sarah Beeny's Four Rooms attracted three hundred and eighty nine thousand punters, Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown, three hundred and fifty five thousand, Twenty Four Hours In A&E, three hundred and thirty eight thousand, Grand Designs by three hundred and sixteen thousand and Nasty Penelope Keith's Horrible Hidden Villages, three hundred and one thousand. E4's latest episode of Hollyoakes drew 1.15 million viewers. The Horror Channel's broadcast of Triangle attracted one hundred and eighty eight thousand. Their top-ten list for the week also included the abysmally wretched Lesbian Vampire Killers (one hundred and seven thousand), the 1958 classic The Blob (ninety thousand thousand) and Hammer's The Devil Rides Out (seventy six thousand). Dark Matter, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and thirty seven thousand whilst Killjoys had one hundred and sixty two thousand. The Mekong River With Sue Perkins and Killer Whales Beneath The Surface were both watched by forty eight thousand viewers on Eden. Tanked was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with sixty three thousand. On W, John Bishop In Conversation With Alex Brooker was seen by two hundred and sixty eight thousand. The Strain attracted two hundred and fifty seven thousand. On Spike, the movie Jason & The Argonauts was watched by two hundred and seventeen 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 thirteen thousand people who really do need to have a good, hard look at themselves in the mirror. The Vault's Saved By The Bell: College Years was seen by fourteen thousand punters.

ITV's Victoria narrowly pipped BBC1's Poldark by two hundred thousand overnight viewers to keep its crown in the battle of the Sunday night period dramas. The penultimate episode of the eight-part royal drama drew an overnight audience of 4.8 million viewers between 9pm and 10.05pm. Poldark drew 4.6 million between 9pm and 10pm with the fifth episode of the second series. Louis Theroux's documentary exploring Jimmy Savile's past, fifteen years on from his film When Louis Met Jimmy, drew 2.7 million viewers and a twelve per cent audience share for BBC2, a very strong performance given the competition in the 9pm slot. Meanwhile, earlier in the evening BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing drew 8.1 million viewers. The results show, which saw DJ and TV presenter Melvin Odoom leave without a dance-off - see below - drew a thirty six per cent share of total TV viewing between 7.15pm and 8pm. It easily outperformed Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads' The X Factor which attracted 6.4 million overnight punters between 9pm and 10pm.
A new teaser trailer for Twin Peaks is every bit as haunting and beautiful as the original series.
David Duchovny's TV thriller Aquarius has been dropped by NBC after two seasons. The series – part fictional, part based on real events – starred Duchovny as detective Sam Hodiak. Hodiak pursued Charles Manson across the show's twenty six episodes, with Game Of Thrones actor Gethin Anthony portraying the real-life serial killer and cult leader. NBC originally launched Aquarius online – 'boxset' style – in May 2015, making the entire first series available for viewing. Though a follow-up weekly broadcast failed to secure strong ratings, the network was happy enough with the show's overall performance to order a second run. But there will not be a third, with NBC tolling the death knell for the series after shifting it from Thursdays to a Saturday night slot. NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke had previously indicated that it would be 'tough' to renew Aquarius for more episodes, given its ongoing ratings struggles.
The article Almost Everyone Who's Ever Worked On Star Trek Is Begging You Not To Vote For Trump is well-worth a few moments of your time and, if you're an American dear blog reader, serious consideration. 'In one of the least surprising turn of events in history, the people who worked on Star Trek - a show which envisions a future Earth without sexism, racism, religion, and even money - find the thought of a Trump presidency abhorrent,' the article states. No shit?
Meanwhile, USA Today has become the latest newspaper to break with tradition by telling their readers that Donald Trump is 'unfit' to be President. Or, indeed, to shovel shit from one place to another. Probably. Throughout its history, America's only national daily paper has remained politically neutral, endorsing or criticising individual policies without ever recommending a candidate. And, although the newspaper stops short of supporting Hillary Clinton in the forthcoming presidential election, it has become the latest newspaper to dismiss well-known hairdo Trump's 'qualifications and temperament' for the highest office. Several other newspapers which have always in the past endorsed Republicans have also shunned the billionaire businessman and advised their readers to vote for the Democratic candidate. USA Today's editorial board said: 'From the day he declared his candidacy fifteen months ago through this week's first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.' In a devastating critique, the newspaper described Trump as 'a serial liar' who is 'erratic' and who has 'coarsened the national dialogue.' It advised its readers that Hillary Clinton also has her flaws, so they may want to vote for another candidate, but it concluded: 'Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.' Earlier this week, the Arizona Republic tore up more than a century of history and told its readers to vote for a Democrat. The newspaper declared: 'The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.' The paper said that Senator Clinton's flaws 'paled by comparison. The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting. Hillary Clinton understands this. Donald Trump does not.' And, while ripping into Trump, it highlighted his rival's 'tenacity and professionalism.' The Cincinnati Enquirer, in the crucial swing state of Ohio, called Trump 'a clear and present danger to our country,' despite having backed only Republican candidates for the presidency for nearly a hundred years. The paper criticised both candidates as having 'troubled relationships with truth and transparency,' but concluded: 'We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst.' Trump and many of his supporters have seemed at times to be engaged in open warfare with much of the media. Reporters are regularly jeered at Trump's rallies, by both the candidate and his followers. But, while criticism from traditional liberal voices such as the Washington Post and New York Times has fuelled that animosity, the Trump campaign will find it harder to dismiss the condemnation from die-hard Republican newspapers. Several, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia's state capital, opted to endorse the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. He is a two-term Governor with far more political experience than Trump, but has been mocked for claiming not having heard of the Syrian battlefront of Aleppo or freezing when, in a TV interview, he was asked to name a world leader that he admired. A handful of newspapers including the New York Post endorsed Trump during the Republican primaries, but have yet to recommend voting for him in the presidential election.
Singer Anastacia has pulled out of the Strictly Come Dancing dance-off due to an injury, meaning DJ Melvin Odoom became the first to leave the new series. The Kiss FM presenter and his partner, Janette Manrara, were the first to leave Strictly in the opening rounds without a dance-off. Anastacia was unable to dance due to a tear to a cancer surgery scar. So the result reverted to the viewers' vote. Odoom said: 'It was unexpected but Anastacia's health comes first.' Anastacia's injury - a tear to a scar from a double mastectomy - had forced the singer to perform a modified routine during her initial dance. The performance aggravated her injury. After hearing she was in the dance-off, she initially said she would dance although she was 'scared' of hurting herself. She later changed her mind and pulled out. Which gave the Daily Lies a headline to truly cherish.
Terry Jones received a standing ovation at the BAFTA Cymru awards for his outstanding contribution to television and film on Sunday. Jones announced last month that he has a severe type of dementia. Fellow Monty Python's Flying Circus star Michael Palin paid tribute to his 'most wonderful friend' before presenting him with the award. Jones told the crowd to 'quieten down' before his son added that it was 'a great honour.' Accepting the accolade on his father's behalf, a tearful Bill Jones told the audience in Cardiff: 'It's a great honour for dad. We're so proud of him with the struggles we're having at the moment, it's been hard.' Earlier in the evening, Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio paid tribute in a video message to Oscar-nominated make-up artist Sian Grigg, who won the Sian Phillips award. This is given to someone who has made a significant contribution to international feature films or network television. Mali Harries took the best actress prize for her performance as Mared Rhys in detective series Y Gwyll, which also won best television drama. Mark Lewis Jones won the best actor award for the film Yr Ymadawiad, which tells story of two young lovers who are saved by a man after crashing their car into a ravine in the remote mountains of Wales. Y Gwyll producer-writer Ed Talfan also won the writer award for the film. Mister Calzaghe, a documentary film about the career of Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe, won three awards, including special achievement in a feature/television film and best factual director for Vaughan Sivell. Will Millard, won the presenters award for Hunters Of The South Seas, which explores the lives of people of the Coral Triangle in the Western Pacific, while Newyddion Nine, a BBC Wales production for S4C, won best news coverage for its programme Argyfwng y Mudwyr about the European migrant crisis and BBC Wales' Week In Week Out won the current affairs award for its Life After April programme. Music For Misfits: The Story Of Indie, which documented the development of British indie music, won the factual series prize. The award for live outside broadcast went to S4C's Cor Cymru - Y Rownd Derfynol - coverage of the Welsh choir final. The Doctor Who production team won the award for Special and Visual Effects, Titles and Graphics for their work on the episode The Magician's Apprentice. The Special Effects on the episode were supplied by Real SFX, led by Danny Hargreaves, while the Visual Effects were supplied by Milk VFX. Both teams have previously won a BAFTA Cymru award for their work on the 2013 fiftieth anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor. Those attending the event, which honours the achievements of Welsh television and film makers, included Gotham's Erin Richards, Torchwood and Victoria actress Eve Myles and comedian Elis James.
Matt LeBlanc is back at work on the set of Top Gear. LeBlanc who is returning for the new series after signing a fresh two-year deal with the BBC – shared a snap on his Twitter account showing him at a warehouse.
The BBC Trust has extremely rejected a whinge from Sports Direct about a BBC1 programme on the appalling working conditions at the company that included the revelation that a female staff member gave birth in a warehouse toilet. In October last year an edition of BBC1's Inside Out East Midlands broadcast an investigation of the working conditions at Sports Direct's national distribution centre based at Shirebrook in Derbyshire. The programme shed light on a so-called 'six strikes' disciplinary policy with 'offences' including excessive chatting, a period of reported sickness, long toilet breaks and using a mobile phone at work. More than six strikes in a six-month period led to employees being sacked. Former workers alleged that this disciplinary policy meant workers attended their shifts even when they were sick, because they feared losing their jobs. The programme also included figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that seventy six ambulances or paramedic cars were dispatched to the distribution centre's post code between January 2013 and December 2014. Sports Direct's response in the programme was that there were only twenty four calls specifically to the warehouse. The programme also revealed that three of the calls were about women having pregnancy difficulties, including one who gave birth in the toilets at the site. Sports Direct lodged a whinge with the BBC Trust arguing that there was 'no proper basis' for including a reference to the warehouse toilet birth and that the BBC 'misled' the audience by 'implying' that it was 'an example of someone turning up to work when they were unfit to do so.' The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee agreed that some viewers 'may' have made the connection between the birth incident and pressure to turn up at work but said that the incident was 'factually accurate' in the way it was reported. 'The programme went no further than the known facts and therefore the BBC had not knowingly and materially misled the audience,' said the BBC Trust. 'The content was duly accurate.' The company had also whinged that the programme-makers did not provide it with an opportunity to respond to the 'serious allegation' about the birth incident. The BBC Trust said that it 'might have been preferable' for the programme-makers to have given Sports Direct 'fuller detail' of the incident in their 'right of reply' letter sent to the company a month before the episode was broadcast. 'On balance, the complainant had been provided with sufficient detail about the nature of the allegations being made in the programme to give them a fair opportunity to respond,' said the BBC Trust. 'Sports Direct had been afforded an adequate right of reply in the programme in that [the company] was able to say that it did not penalise workers for being unwell.' The BBC Trust said the broadcast 'did not breach the editorial guidelines on fairness' and rejected Sports Direct's whinge.
James Purnell, the BBC's director of strategy, has been promoted to a new role putting him in charge of the corporation's radio stations. Purnell, who was the lack of culture secretary in the Labour government in 2007 to 2008 before joining the BBC, has been made director of radio and education. His move comes after Helen Boaden's retirement as director of radio. The BBC said that a new director of radio would be recruited to 'give creative leadership and focus day in, day out.' Tony Hall, the BBC's Director General, said that he wanted 'to bring together network radio, arts, music, learning and children's under James's leadership.' Purnell, who joined the BBC in 2010, said that he was 'delighted to have been asked to lead the new division.' Lord Patten of Barnes, the former chairman of the BBC Trust, said Purnell had 'huge experience in public affairs and now in broadcasting. I am sure he will do an excellent job running some of the BBC's flagship services,' the former Conservative minister continued. Rumours of Purnell's new role began circulating earlier this year, prompting former lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale to call for 'a rethink.' The - subsequently sacked - Conservative MP said he had 'concerns about somebody who has played a very prominent role in a political party then going on to have an editorial job in the BBC.' The BBC said that Purnell was interviewed for the new post earlier this week and would remain on his existing two hundred and ninety five grand salary. Boaden joined the BBC in 1983, going on to become head of BBC News in 2004 and director of Radio in 2013. She will leave the corporation in March to take up a fellowship at Harvard and said she had been 'very fortunate to have done some wonderfully challenging and fascinating jobs throughout my long career.' She delivered a speech at a media festival in Lampedusa, Italy during which she expressed concerns over the state of the industry. 'I worry about the direction in which we're going,' she said. 'It seems to me that the media can sometimes rush very fast in order to stand still. In our search for answers to a problem which appears if not intractable then complex, is the speed of the media's technology obscuring rather than illuminating the issues?' She went on to say that she was 'unapologetically speaking up for the virtues of slow journalism, which is engaging and dynamic but embodies impartiality, accuracy, expertise and evidence.'
Television viewers and radio listeners have become 'less tolerant' of racist or discriminatory words and phrases, Ofcom research has found. Such words were considered to be 'harder hitting' and carry 'more emotional impact' than 'general' naughty swear words like 'shit', 'bollocks' 'wee-wee', 'knickers' and 'Semprini'. The study of audience attitudes is the first to be conducted by the broadcasting regulator since 2010. The results will be shared with broadcasters to help them better understand audience expectations. Ofcom's findings included: The 9pm watershed remained 'vital' as an indicator to audiences of 'potentially offensive' material; bad language 'can' be more offensive on the radio than TV, as it is considered 'more intimate medium'; words which are bleeped out can be just as offensive as hearing the actual word itself and viewers are more likely to tolerate swearing if it was in 'an appropriate context' and 'reflected the real world.' Tony Close, director of content standards at Ofcom, said: 'People draw the line at racist and discriminatory language - participants felt this was the most unacceptable of all. Most people see these words as derogatory and insulting. Many were concerned about them being used in programmes at any time, unless there's very clear justification for it in the programme and how it's presented to the audience.' The study, which was the biggest of its kind ever conducted by Ofcom, looked at one hundred and forty four words, exploring what people were likely to find 'unacceptable' and why. As part of the research, the regulator conducted online surveys as well as focus groups and detailed interviews. Participants were played clips from broadcasts which had been deemed controversial and asked participants how offensive they found the language used. Recent excerpts from Big Brother and Don't Tell The Bride as well as old episodes of Father Ted and Fawlty Towers were among the clips played to audiences. The context, intent and tone that 'offensive' language was spoken in were considered important factors to viewers, as well as whether there had been a warning about bad language before broadcast. For example, a 2014 episode Big Brother was considered 'acceptable' in its original post-watershed slot but 'offensive' when the same episode was repeated in a weekend lunchtime slot. In the case of Fawlty Towers, audiences also took into account the 'historical' nature of the show and the fact the comedy 'made fun' of the ignorant character using the racist language, but some viewers still took offence. Sexual terms were viewed as 'distasteful' and 'often unnecessary,' but respondents said they found them 'more acceptable' if used after the watershed, when they would be 'more prepared.' Another finding of the survey was words which were bleeped out had the power to be just as offensive as hearing the word itself. The research found most people 'would understand' which word was being obscured, especially if repeated. The survey also suggested audiences felt 'offensive' language was 'more problematic' on radio than TV. Several participants said they considered radio 'a more intimate medium,' where 'offensive' language was 'rarely' heard. As a result, they thought that 'strong language' would feel 'more intrusive and unexpected' on radio than it did on TV. Radio was also considered more likely to be heard by children, as it was often heard in the background in public spaces.
The idea of introducing a female puppet to Sooty's children's TV show in the 1960s was so controversial that the then BBC Director General had to intervene, a new documentary has revealed. The suggestion by Sooty's creator, Harry Corbett, caused 'a furore in the press,' which claimed it would 'introduce sex into a children's programme.' The show's producer and a BBC governor were against Sooty having a new girlfriend. Director General Hugh Carleton Greene stepped in to allow panda Soo's introduction and, presumably, to tell the producer and the governor to grow the fek up and stop being such a pair of planks. Matthew Corbett, Harry's son, told the documentary: 'My father was called into the head office and the Director General of the BBC said he had made a decision.' He said Greene ruled that Sooty having a female friend 'was to be allowed - but they must never touch.' So, Soo was introduced in 1965 - originally voiced by Harry Corbett's wife, Marjorie - and she has been at Sooty's side ever since. The documentary, titled Sooty Ungloved, will have its world premiere in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, on Saturday, with profits from the screening going towards providing a defibrillator for the area. Corbett and his family lived in the town for thirty five years. He and the puppet found fame on TV in the early 1950s. When Corbett suggested introducing a female character in the 1960s, the show's producer, Trevor Hill, dismissed the idea 'on the grounds that sex would be creeping into the programme,' according to a letter written by Corbett in 1965. The tabloid press picked up on the disagreement, causing a row between Corbett and Grahame Miller, the BBC's Head of North Regional Programmes. Miller accused Corbett of 'orchestrating a campaign' in the press for Sooty to be allowed a girlfriend, letters from the BBC archive reveal. As a result, he told Corbett that the BBC was prepared to 'hold up the contractual negotiations which are in-train' and 'urgently review the future of the Sooty series in BBC Television.' One of the BBC's governors, Dame Anne Goodwin, was also 'strongly' opposed to Sooty having a female friend. In May 1965, Hill wrote to Miller: 'I was left in no doubt as to her feelings in this matter! DG, however, said to me, "I think you are wrong not to let Sooty have his girlfriend!"' The Sooty Show was cancelled by the BBC two years later, before being picked up by ITV.

The makers of the James Bond movies want Daniel Craig to remain in the title role, one of their executive producers had said. Callum McDougall, who has worked on nine Bonds, said Craig was 'absolutely the first choice' of series producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson. 'I know they're hoping for him to come back, McDougall told Radio 4's Today programme on Friday. Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, where many of the Bond films were shot, is celebrating its eightieth birthday. The facility has been a significant part of the British film industry since opening in 1936. Craig made his debut as Bond in 2006's award-winning Casino Royale, returning to the role in Quantum Of Solace - which was really bad - and then Skyfall and Spectre - which were both rather good. He has yet to commit to another film, prompting speculation as to who might replace him. Asked on Friday morning who would be the next James Bond, McDougall said: 'I wish I knew.' But he insisted the role was 'absolutely' Craig's should he choose to continue as Ian Fleming's legendary spy. Pinewood Studios was founded when Charles Boot, a builder with movie ambitions, bought Heatherden Hall and its estate in 1934. A year later, Boot met J Arthur Rank and the two became partners in the studio project, releasing their first film, London Melody, in 1936. The James Bond movies have a long history with Pinewood, beginning with the first Bond movie, Dr No, in 1962. In addition to the Bond franchise, Pinewood has hosted Superman, Star Wars, the Harry Potter franchise and the Carry On films. 'It's literally a dream factory,' said McDougall, who has been a part of the Bond 'family' since The Living Daylights in 1987. 'People will be staggered by the films we've made here.'
Dame Judi Dench and Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley form part of Sir Kenneth Branagh's cast in his new film of Murder On The Orient Express. Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Pena and Sir Derek Jacobi will also have roles in the latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1934 mystery novel. Other cast members include Leslie Odom Junior, the TONY-winning star of Broadway musical Hamilton. Sir Kenneth will both direct and star as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. 'I'm honoured to have this fantastic group of actors bring these dark materials to life for a new audience,' said the film-maker. Production will begin in November in London. Previously filmed in 1974 with Albert Finney as Poirot, Murder On The Orient Express sees Poirot investigate, well, a murder on, you know, the Orient Express, the death of a wealthy American. Depp will play the victim, Samuel Ratchett, while Dame Judi plays the aristocratic Princess Dragomiroff. Ridley will have the role of Mary Debenham, a working-class governess in love with Odom Junior's Doctor Arbuthnot. Other roles will be played by Jekyll & Hyde's Tom Bateman and Lucy Boynton, recently seen in the Irish film Sing Street. Ingrid Bergman won an Oscar for her role in the 1974 film, which also featured Sean Connery, John Gielgud and Vanessa Redgrave among many others. The story was also adapted as a 2010 episode of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot series, starring David Suchet. And, if you've never seen and/or read if before, they all did it. Next ...
BBC news presenter Kate Silverton struggled to hold back the tears after introducing a report on a baby being pulled alive from the rubble of a house in Aleppo. The newsreader was watching rescue teams finding the survivor in the destroyed building after a Russian bombing campaign on the Syrian city. The clip showed a volunteer shifting through the rubble before himself bursting into tears as he finds the baby girl who was buried after the latest series of bombs to hit the rebel-held city. Returning to the studio, Silverton looked visibly shaken by the footage as she tried to introduce the next item. The Syrian Civil Defence had been digging for four hours before they discovered the girl who was said to be as young as one month old. The rescue worker hurried the girl away from the wreckage which had buried her and into a waiting ambulance so that she could be taken to hospital. In an interview after the footage was taken, the first responder said that the Syrian Civil Defence were searching under the rubble and couldn't believe the child had survived the ordeal. The Syrian Civil Defence, also known as The White Helmets, have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their life-saving work rescuing victims of airstrikes in Syria’s war zones.
The earliest known recording of music produced by a computer - a machine operated by Alan Turing, no less - has finally been made to sound exactly as it did sixty five years ago. It's hardly chart-topping material, the performance is halting and the tone reedy. It starts with a few bars of the national anthem, then a burst of 'Baa Baa Black Sheep', followed by a truncated rendition of Glenn Miller's swing hit 'In The Mood'. ('The machine's obviously not in the mood,' an engineer can be heard remarking when it stops mid-way.) Nevertheless the rudimentary audio track is a landmark - the first time that music played on a computer is known to have been recorded. It was captured by the BBC in the Autumn of 1951 during a visit to the University of Manchester, where the Ferranti Mark One - the world's first commercially available general purpose computer - was based. The recording was captured on a twelve-inch acetate disc. But, when Professor Jack Copeland of University of Canterbury in Christchurch and composer Jason Long examined the disc, they found the audio had been distorted. It 'gave at best only a rough impression of how the computer sounded,' Copeland and Long wrote in a blog for the British Library. But now they say they have restored it to how it actually would have sounded in 1951. The Ferranti Mark One may not have been the first computer to have played music - that distinction, it's been widely claimed, went to an Australian machine called CSIRAC which played 'The Colonel Bogey March' some months previously. But, no recording has ever surfaced. The music program was written by a maths master at Harrow called Christopher Strachey, a friend of the computing pioneer Alan Turing, who had written the Ferranti Mark One's instruction manual in his role as deputy director of Manchester University's Computing Machine Laboratory. The Ferranti had the capacity to produce an instruction called a 'hoot', which produced short burst of sound lasting a fraction of a second. Turing realised this could be used to produce musical notes. He intended that this would be used to issue alerts when a job was finished, but Strachey saw the potential to perform proper melodies. As well as being fascinated by computer programming - he would go on to become one of the UK's foremost computer scientists - Strachey was also a skilled pianist. Turing trusted Strachey enough to leave him alone with the computer for a night. 'I sat in front of this enormous machine,' Strachey later recalled, 'with four or five rows of twenty switches and things, in a room that felt like the control room of a battleship.' There is some dispute about what he did next. Chris Burton of the Computer Conservation Society suggests Strachey wrote a program for playing draughts on the machine and, when the program terminated, it played 'God Save The King'. Others claim that Strachey's program was purely for playing music. The result was crude at best. The machine could only approximate the pitch of many notes. 'It was fairly imprecise,' says Burton. But word spread that a computer was capable of performing music and a BBC outside-broadcast team arrived later in the year to record a segment for Children's Hour. It's not clear who programmed the three pieces of music they recorded. A number of technicians had begun programming melodies into the machine and even Strachey's version of 'God Save The King' may have been amended. After the recording, a university engineer called Frank Cooper asked the BBC team for a copy of the recording. They cut him a version of the original and this disc was eventually passed to the CCS and the unrestored version was made public in 2008. By analysing the recording, Copeland and Long realised it was playing at the wrong speed, possibly as a result of the recorder's turntable running too quickly as the acetate was cut. As they knew the notes the computer was actually capable of playing, the pair were able to calculate exactly by how much the recording needed to be speeded-up in order to exactly match the sound made by the Ferranti Mark One. They also removed extraneous noise from the recording - though not the engineer's voice. 'It was a beautiful moment when we first heard the true sound of Turing's computer,' Copeland and Long wrote. Now everyone can hear it in all its somewhat ramshackle glory.
Roxana Vancea was reading a weather forecast on Romanian television when she decided to, ahem, 'get a bit active.' As this clip shows, she as standing in front of the weather map when she suddenly decides to break out into a jog. For no obvious reason that this blogger can fathom. But, tragically, as she changed her routine into a jumping jack, her bra failed to hold her. In a way that Carol Kirkwood, sadly, never had to worry about. The twenty five-year-old quickly tried to re-adjust her clothes as the focus of the clip changes to her 'shocked' colleagues. The footage has been watched more than four million times since it was uploaded to the Internet. In fact, the video first emerged in 2011 but has gone viral once again in recent days which is, presumably, why the Daily Mirra felt this constituted 'news'. Well, it makes a change from hacking phones, one supposes.
TV Adverts That Annoy The Shit Out Of This Blogger & Get Right On His Tit. Number Twelve: That bloody nasty Bon Prix advert, featuring that really annoying simpering, wet a slap in the mush with a haddock posh lass in her 'lovely' dress who thinks she's so 'gorgeous' and 'looks great.' And also, for some completely twatty reason, speaks in iambic pentameter when passing her 'ex' in the street. One wonders why, exactly, he gave her the push in the first place? Could it be anything to do with the fact that she's nasty and so is her dress? It's certainly a possibility.
The lights went out in Reykjavik on Wednesday night to give people a chance to enjoy one of the night sky's most impressive spectacles - the Aurora Borealis. Reykjavik council announced that street lighting would be switched off for an hour in the city centre and several other districts from 10pm local time, in order to cut out the light pollution which can hamper sky-watching. It also encouraged the capital's residents to join in by turning off their lighting at home. In the event, the Northern Lights' timing was predictably unpredictable and they didn't materialise until the end of the black-out period, so the council extended it to midnight, Morgunbladid newspaper reports. The city has witnessed some spectacular displays in recent days. It is thanks to the Earth being in the path of the solar wind - a stream of charged particles escaping from the Sun. 'It's quite similar to a garden sprinkler and we're currently inside a stream,' astronomy educator Saever Helgi Bragason told the BBC. The aurora appears when the particles interact with Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere. 'Switching off the street lights was a great gesture by the city council. I hope this will be done more often as it was very successful, especially for those who were patient enough to wait for the lights to appear,' he said. 'It also encouraged more people to go out and look up to the night sky, which is great!'
Italian police have recovered two Van Gogh paintings stolen during a dramatic raid on an Amsterdam museum in 2002. The works were recovered from the Naples mafia, they said. The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam said that the works were found during 'a massive, continuing investigation' by Italian prosecutors and organised crime officials. The paintings were taken when thieves used a ladder and sledgehammers to break into the museum. They were eventually found wrapped in cloth inside a safe in a house in the picturesque seaside town of Castellammare di Stabia, near Pompeii. The works were among assets worth millions of Euros seized from a Camorra organised crime group linked to cocaine trafficking, Italian reports said. Months earlier, police had arrested several suspected drug traffickers who had invested their proceeds in Dubai, Spain and the Isle of Man. They were reportedly linked to one of the biggest mafia clans in the Scampia area of Northern Naples. Among those arrested in January were suspected drugs gang leader Raffaele Imperiale and Mario Cerrone. It was Cerrone who apparently told investigators about the two paintings. The theft of the two works, valued by investigators at one hundred million dollars, led to criticism of security at the world's major art museums. The thieves broke into the museum through the roof during the night of 6 December 2002 and used sledgehammers to break a first-floor window. They took the paintings off the walls of the main exhibition hall. Experts were said to be 'baffled' at the time of the theft because guards had been on patrol and infra-red security systems were in place. Neither work was insured at the time and both were on loan to the Van Gogh museum from the Dutch government. Two Dutch citizens were jailed for theft but always maintained their innocence. The museum said it was 'so far unclear' when the works would be returned to Amsterdam but in a statement it said that they appeared to be 'in relatively good condition.' Dutch and Italian ministers were 'overjoyed' by the news and praised Italian investigators. Van Gogh (1853 to 1890) is widely considered the greatest Dutch artist after Rembrandt and, certainly, the best to have an episode of Doctor Who written about him. Seascape At Scheveningen was one of only two seascapes he painted while he lived in the Netherlands. It shows a foaming, stormy sea and thundery sky and was painted in 1882 while he was staying in The Hague. Congregation Leaving The Reformed Church At Nuenen (1884) was painted for Van Gogh's mother and father who had become a pastor at the church in 1882. When his father died in 1884, Van Gogh added churchgoers, including a few women wearing shawls used for mourning. Van Gogh committed suicide in France in 1890. The 2002 Van Gogh museum raid was one of a series of thefts which shocked and stunned the art world. In 2004, two Edvard Munch masterpieces, The Scream and Madonna, were nicked by armed tea leaves who raided the Munch museum in Oslo. Several men were jailed and the paintings later recovered after painstaking detective work in 2006. Another version of The Scream was stolen from the National Art Museum in Oslo in 1994 and that, too, was later recovered in a sting operation by UK detectives. In 2012, seven artworks were stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum, including paintings by Picasso, Monet and Matisse. Two Romanians were later jailed, telling a Bucharest court that security at the museum had been lax. Some of the paintings were destroyed in an oven. Earlier this year, four paintings out of a haul of twenty four stolen from a Dutch gallery in 2005 were recovered in Ukraine.
Christian Atsu's first-half goal saw yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle win at bottom-of-the-table Rotherham to keep the pressure on Championship leaders Huddersfield. The Magpies' Yoan Gouffran had several early chances, while Joe Newell and Jon Taylor went close at the other end. But Atsu scored the decisive goal just before half-time, firing into the top corner from the edge of the box with a moment of Premier League quality. Dwight Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey had chances to make it two-nil whilst Dominic Ball hit the woodwork for the hosts late on. Gouffran was unlucky not to put The Magpies ahead when his volley was blocked on the line by the chest of Ball and Taylor had a decent chance for The Millers when his shot clipped the crossbar. The Toon took the lead four minutes before the break as Atsu cut inside from the right to unleash an unstoppable strike. After Gayle failed to get a strong enough connection on a Shelvey free-kick, Atsu saw his next shot pushed away by Rotherham keeper Lee Camp. Mohamed Diame, Shelvey and Ciaran Clark all had decent chances before Ball was unfortunate not to equalise, and Will Vaulks had a header cleared off the line.
Sam Allardyce could be very banned over the revelations that led to his sacking as England manager, Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn says. Allardyce very left his role after the Daily Torygraph claimed he told undercover reporters posing as businessmen how to 'get around' player transfer rules. The FA is awaiting the newspaper's full transcripts of the meetings before deciding what action, if any, to take against Allardyce other than sacking his enormous ass. Glenn said punishments 'could range from a fine to a ban.' Asked if a charge was likely, he replied: 'It is realistic. It's not for me to call but once the evidence is clear, the decision will be based on the merits of the evidence. We've treated Sam as an employee. Sam's role as a participant in the game will then be, potentially, part of this next process, if there is one.' Glenn said that he felt 'let down' by Allardyce and letting him go was 'not an easy decision. I genuinely think, for football reasons, he was a really good choice,' he claimed. One or two people even believed him. 'My instinct was to say: "Let's look at it but let's see if we can find a way of making it work." But as the events unfolded and in the cold light of day, [we judged] that it was going to be a compromise to the FA.' The Torygraph are releasing full transcripts of their investigation, which covers alleged corruption across English football, to the police. In the latest release, former Premier League manager Harry Redknapp has been reported as saying that some of his players bet on the result of one of their matches and he did nothing about it. Football Association rules forbid players from betting on games in which they are involved, with all managers expected to report any misconduct. The newspaper has revealed several cases of alleged corruption in English football. When contacted by the Torygraph, Redknapp claimed that he 'did not think it was against the FA rules at the time.' The paper does not suggest that Redknapp knew the players were betting at the time of the match nor reveal exactly which club it was or when it happened. Redknapp has managed West Hamsters United, Portsmouth, Southampton, Stottingtot Hotshots and Queens Park Strangers. Meanwhile, Pino Pagliara, who appears in the video with Redknapp alongside fellow agent Dax Price, told the BBC on Friday that his previous claims that eight current and ex-Premier League managers took bribes was 'a lie.' On Thursday, Southampton's assistant manager, Eric Black, was alleged to have given advice on how to bribe officials at other clubs, with the Premier League club requesting a full transcript of the meeting from the Torygraph. Black denies the claims. Barnsley's assistant manager Tommy Wright was sacked by the club on Thursday over claims that he took cash for trying to 'engineer' certain transfers, allegations which he has 'categorically denied.' And, in what appears to be the weakest of the Torygraph's claims, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, manager of Queens Park Strangers, has denied 'any accusations of wrongdoing' after being filmed apparently negotiating a fee to travel to Singapore to speak to the Far East firm. The club's internal investigation into the conduct of Hasselbaink is currently on hold as they await all of the Torygraph's evidence. A Torygraph spokesperson said that it remained the newspaper's intention to release the information but that the police had asked to review it first. City of London Police later confirmed that 'discussions' had already taken place with the Football Association and the Torygraph. Former Moscow Chelski FC striker Hasselbaink issued a statement on Thursday when first implicated by the newspaper and denied 'any accusations of wrongdoing on my part.' He added: 'I was approached by Mr McGarvey and Ms Newell of the Telegraph purporting to be players' agents. They offered me a fee to make a speech in Singapore. I do not see anything unusual in being offered to be paid to make a speech. I did not make any promises in return. I did not ask QPR to purchase any of the players who were said to be managed by Mr McGarvey and Ms Newell and did not and would not recommend the purchase of a player for my personal gain.'
Timing is everything, we all know that. So, it was absolutely hilarious to watch the Football Association and Sam Allardyce suffer further embarrassment on Thursday when all of the England players in Allardyce's squad received postcards from their now ex-manager under the headline The journey has begun. And, yuo know, ended. The message to the players who defeated Slovakia in their opening World Cup qualifier read: 'Well done! Our journey has begun with our first win together. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Sam Allardyce.' The cards were reportedly sent out on Tuesday, the day that Allardyce extremely lost his job. Which was funny. The FA had already thrown out four thousand T-shirts (triple X large, one imagines) which the ruling body was planning to give away to fans at Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Malta because they had a 'similar' Allardyce quote on the front. Allardyce, meanwhile, has gone on holiday to 'reflect' on his misfortune. Whether or not he sends any more postcards to players remains to be seen.
Three people have been very arrested after rival fans clashed outside West Hamsters United's new Stadium. Sick violence flared after the Hamsters' one-one Premier League draw with Middlesbrough Smog Monsters on Saturday afternoon. Two men were extremely arrested on suspicion of affray and a third on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, Scotland Yard said. Officers were also deployed inside the stadium during the match to deal with 'a separate disturbance,' the Met added. However, it was 'quickly dealt with,' the force claimed, and no arrests were made. Police 'escorted' Middlesbrough fans away from the stadium while officers 'contained' some Hamsters supporters. With truncheons. Probably. There have been several crowd disturbances since The Hamsters moved to the former Olympic Stadium from Upton Park with kids getting sparked and aalsorts. At the first Premier League match at the venue - against Bournemouth on 21 August - some fans arrived with tickets for seats that did not exist, while fighting broke out between rival supporters outside the stadium. West Hamsters said that ten fans were ejected from the stadium during the four-two defeat to Watford last month. The Met said more than forty thousand people had attended Saturday's match against Middlesbrough, and 'the vast majority' had been 'good natured.' At West Ham? That's got to be a first.
The Daily Mirra has claimed that Nigel Pearson's relationship with Derby County owner Mel Morris 'hit rock bottom' when the multi-millionaire 'began using drones to spy on training sessions.' Pearson is set to be extremely sacked as the Rams’ manager after 'a huge row' with Morris reportedly took place following a run of just one win in eleven games for The Rams after Pearson took over at Pride Park in the summer. The paper states 'it is believed that the former Leicester boss became disillusioned with life at the club when Morris started using drones to keep tabs on his training methods.' The Candy Crush tycoon, who is reportedly 'worth five hundred million knicker' employed the technology 'so that he could watch Pearson putting his first-team squad through their paces from anywhere in the world,' the Mirra claims. Asked about the so-called 'spying missions,' Micky Walsh, Pearson's agent, said: 'Nigel's suspension is in the hands of his lawyers and we're also speaking to the LMA.' Derby County officials declined to comment.
Former England test cricketer Paul Collingwood has been given a testimonial year by Durham in 2017, his twenty third season with the county. Collywobbles, forty, has played two hundred and eighty first-class games, including two hundred and two for Durham. He led Durham to the 2013 championship title, was part of the One-Day Cup winning side of 2014 and also captained England to World T20 success in 2010. 'To be recognised by my home county supporters for service over the years is an honour,' Collingwood said. 'I have enjoyed some amazing moments with the club.' In addition, Collingwood scored four thousand two hundred and fifty nine runs in sixty eight tests, was named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2007 and holds the Durham record for first-class appearances. Durham chief executive David Harker added: 'Paul has been a stalwart of the club and I am delighted that he is to have a testimonial.'
Lewis Hamilton's F1 title hopes were dealt a heavy blow when his engine failed as he was leading the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday. Hamilton had dominated the race until flames started pouring from his Mercedes on lap forty three, promoting him to say: 'Oh, no, no!' on the in-car radio. Then, he looked like he was about to burst into tears. His team-mate, Nico Rosberg, finished third to extend his lead to twenty three points with five races to go and one hundred and twenty five points available. Daniel Ricciardo beat Max Verstappen to a Red Bull one-two in a gripping race. After the chequered flag, a sulky and stroppy Hamilton told 5Live's Tom Clarkson: 'My question is to Mercedes. We have so many engines made, but mine are the only ones failing this year. Someone need to give me some answers because this is not acceptable. We are fighting for the championship and only my engines are failing. It does not sit right with me.' Which, one is sure, is bound to go down really well with Toto Wolff, Niki Lauda and co. Hamilton appeared to be cruising to victory on an unexpected one-stop strategy when his engine - and, perhaps his title hopes - literally went up in a puff of blue smoke. He had converted pole into a lead at the first corner and the day seemed to be going his way when Rosberg was hit by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel as a move by the German to try to pass Max Verstappen down the inside went badly wrong. Vettel is to be investigated after the race for his role in the collision. Rosberg he race rejoined at the back and set about climbing through the field as Hamilton appeared to be set to reclaim the championship lead. An early virtual safety car when Romain Grosjean's Haas suffered apparent brake failure tempted Red Bull to roll the dice and bring Verstappen in early for a fresh set of 'soft' tyres. That made him de facto race leader for a while, a position he assumed on track when Hamilton made his own first pit stop on lap twenty. But, Verstappen stopped again seven laps later and from then on Hamilton appeared to be in total control, only for his car to suffer an internal combustion engine failure. Team boss Toto Wolff held his head in his hands in the pits as Hamilton trudged disconsolately away from his smouldering car. Mercedes said that there had been 'no prior warning' of the problem. Verstappen had been on Ricciardo's tail and asking his team to 'do something' and the Australian had already fended off an attack by his team-mate as they ran side-by-side from turns four to eight. But, when Hamilton's engine failed, that triggered a virtual safety car and the team to pit stop both cars for fresh tyres. This meant Ricciardo went into the last thirteen laps of the the race with a two-second lead. Ricciardo was on new tyres, while Verstappen's were three laps older and that may have given the Australian the edge he needed to hold off his team-mate, who appeared to have a slight pace advantage over the course of the weekend. However, it remains to be seen whether Red Bull imposed any team orders on Verstappen - perhaps as payback to Ricciardo, whom they cost two potential victories earlier this season with a strategy call in Spain and a pit error in Monaco. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner claimed that there had been no team orders: 'It made total sense, after Lewis had blown up, there was a free stop for both of them - give them both fresh tyres and then flat-out to the finish. They have great respect for each other. They are young, they were racing hard and it was right to let them race today.' Rosberg drove well to get back up to fourth place and then snatched third from Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari in a late move at turn two on lap thirty eight. The two cars collided, however, and stewards decided that Rosberg should be penalised with a ten-second time penalty. But, he managed to extend his lead sufficiently to ensure he took the final podium place. Williams' Valtteri Bottas took fifth, ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez and an excellent drive from Fernando Alonso in his McLaren after starting from the back of the grid. Alonso's team-mate Jenson Button took ninth in his three hundredth Grands Prix, a little unfortunate on strategy with the way the pit stops and late virtual safety car for Hamilton's retirement played out. Had it not happened, Button's long middle stint on hard tyres - much longer than Alonso could manage - might have meant he finished ahead of the Spaniard.
Jenson Button celebrated his three hundredth Grands Prix - yes, that is the plural of Grand Prix, trust me, this blogger looked it up and everything - with a few mates and a beer on Friday evening at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The British driver was scheduled to notch up his three hundredth start on Sunday and McLaren marked the occasion by turning its hospitality unit into a fairly convincing replica of an English pub. Celebrations got started at The Dog & Button at 5.30pm as the drivers returned from their Friday briefing for a swift half and a game of arras. Most of the paddock popped into the rubba at some point to congratulate with Jens on his milestone race, including ex-teammate Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Nico Rosberg. The walls of The Dog & Button were adorned with pub wallpaper and pictures from Jenson's career, including his memorable championship victory with Brawn GP in 2009. The bar served drinks from the Button Brewery, including 'Ol' Brawny', 'Somerset Scrumper' and 'Three Hundred' (all with matching beer mats). Traditional pub snacks such as roasted peanuts and Scampi Fries were also on offer.
Europe's Rosetta probe has ended its mission to Comet 67P by crash-landing on to the icy object's surface. Mission control in Darmstadt, Germany, was able to confirm the impact had occurred when radio contact to the ageing spacecraft was lost abruptly. The assumption is that the probe would have been damaged beyond use. In the hours before the planned collision, Rosetta sent back a host of high-resolution pictures and other measurements of the icy dirt-ball. 'I can announce full success of this historic descent of Rosetta towards Comet 67P,' said European Space Agency mission manager Patrick Martin. 'Farewell Rosetta; you've done the job. That was space science at its best.' Researchers expect all the data gathered at 67P in the past two years to keep them busy for decades to come. The loss of signal, which happened at 11:19 GMT, was greeted by muted cheers and handshakes - not so surprising given the bittersweet nature of the occasion. Some of the scientists watching on here in Darmstadt have spent the better part of thirty years on this project. 'People are very sad today but I think they really understand how proud we are and how proud they should be that we've pulled this mission off,' said ESA's senior science advisor, Mark McCaughrean. Throughout Friday morning, the instrument teams had followed every twist and turn as the probe aimed for a touchdown spot on the head of the four kilometre-wide, duck-shaped comet. The researchers had wanted the descending probe to get a look inside one of the many pits that pockmark the surface. These sinkholes are often the places where 67P ejects gas and dust into space. But they also afford an opportunity to look at the object's interior, to see the lumpy ice blocks that may have come together to build the comet billions of years ago. Some of the images that came back were acquired just seconds before the collision. These pictures will have resolutions that can be measured in millimetres. 'They're super-duper,' enthused Holger Sierks, the head of the Osiris camera team. 'I've got goosebumbs just thinking about all this,' he told BBC News. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is currently heading away from the Sun, limiting the solar energy available to Rosetta to operate its systems. Rather than put the probe into hibernation or simply let it slowly fade into inactivity, the mission team determined that the venture should try to go out 'with a bang.' Quite literally. European Space Agency project scientist Matt Taylor said that even if Rosetta was sent to sleep with the intention of waking it up again when 67P next visited the brighter environs of the inner Solar System - there was no guarantee the technology would still be working properly. 'It's like one of those Sixties rock bands; we don't want to have a rubbish comeback tour. We'd rather go out now in true rock'n'roll style,' he said. Because Rosetta was not designed to touchdown, some of its structures very likely broke on contact with the comet. Controllers left no room for doubt in any case by pre-loading a software sequence that would jump the computers into a shutdown when the probe felt the impact jolt. Rosetta arrived at 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014, after a ten-year journey from Earth. In the time it has lived alongside the mountainous object, it has unlocked the secrets about its behaviour, its structure and chemistry. Rosetta famously dropped a small robot, Philae, on to the surface in November 2014 to gather additional information - a historic first in space exploration. The European Space Agency says that the mission has been 'an outstanding success' and will transform our understanding of the huge ice-balls which wander among the planets. The American scientist Alan Stern, whose Alice instrument has made far-ultraviolet observations of the comet to study composition and activity, said all the science teams involved still had much work to do: 'We've got seventy thousand spectra; we've barely scratched the surface in terms of looking at the data.'
If you ever thought Viagra and sausages would be a good mix, this could be your lucky day, dear blog reader. According to the Daily Mirra, 'the bizarre food contains pork, alongside Red Chinese & Siberian Ginseng, L'Arginine and Horny Goat Weed.' All of the extra ingredients are said to 'aid with the issue of erectile dysfunction.' The big porkers are the invention of Matt O'Connor, from Fathers4Justice. He believes, the Mirra states, 'the sausages can help raise awareness of serious health issues affecting men.' His idea was put into motion by The Butchery, based in Forest Hill in London, who have now put them up for sale.
A druid who claims that he is a reincarnation of King Arthur - and is definitely not mental - is to take court action against what he considers an 'illegal charge.' King Arthur Pendragon - probably not his real name - is suing Wiltshire Council, English Heritage and Wiltshire Police for having to 'pay to pray' at Stonehenge. This involved a fifteen quid charge, which he refused to pay, leading to his ban from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. His story was shown on the ITV show Parking Wars on Tuesday night. It followed King Arthur and his 'supporters' (whether they are k'niggets or not is not, at this time, known, nor do we know if they dance when'er they're able) in their 'protest' against the charge. He decided to challenge the 'authorities' because of what he said was an 'affront against my and many people's religion, that is paganism.' King Arthur said: 'I am banned from the site because I refuse to pay what I consider to be an illegal charge. Because of this I will be suing Wiltshire Council, English Heritage and Wiltshire Police under articles nine, ten, eleven and fourteen of the European Convention of Human Rights.' King Arthur believes that there is a conspiratorial link between all three parties concerned. He said: 'They conspired to make it impossible for me to park anywhere else than the car park that they were charging money for. Because the police stopped me from parking on all the other roads in and around Stonehenge, I couldn't get in. This meant I had to go home and did not celebrate the Solstice and for that, I intend to take them to court.' A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: 'We have received a claim, however it would be inappropriate to comment further.' English Heritage released a statement saying: 'We can confirm that Mister Pendragon is proceeding against us and it would be inappropriate to comment while legal proceedings are ongoing.' Wiltshire Police said: 'We have received a claim, and as proceedings are ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment at this time.' All three then added that King Arthur's mother 'was a hamster and his father smelled of elderberries,' before telling him to go away or they would taunt him some more. Probably. The protests in May against English Heritage's changes to the summer solstice celebrations caused major disruption for coaches visiting the stones, leaving visitors to walk from the visitors' centre to the stones.
The attorney for the Mount Vernon School District has reportedly advised the school board to allow the Satanic Temple's After School Satan Club to be formed at the Centennial Elementary School. 'I think that if the school district denied that application, you would face costly litigation that would be distracting from your mission,' said Duncan Fobes, the lawyer hired by the district to 'assess' the school's legal standing to deny the formation of the club. Fobes pointed out that the district has a policy that encouraged community groups to use the district's facilities. A spokesperson for Satan was unavailable for comment. Because he was burning in Hell.
Hairy-handed horrible horrorshow (and drag) Richard Keys' wife has said that she is 'reassured' her husband did not have an affair and that she is not seeking a divorce from him according to the Independent. The Daily Scum Mail earlier reported that the fifty nine-year-old former Sky Sports presenter - before he got very sacked for sexist malarkey - had a relationship with a twenty seven-year-old he met in Qatar on Saturday. The Sun, meanwhile, claimed that the 'disgraced football pundit' could be 'jailed for fifteen years or publicly flogged after cheating on his cancer-stricken wife in Qatar.' And, they put the word 'flogged' in capital letters just to ram home the point. Julia Keys, who has thyroid cancer, also spoke to the Mirra saying that what her husband and Lucie Rose, the woman with whom he allegedly cheated, had done to her was 'disgusting', especially given that they knew about her 'condition.' She also claimed that Keys has been 'bombarding' her with 'desperate' pleas to 'get back together' and she had 'instigated' divorce proceedings. 'The scorned wife of love rat football pundit Richard Keys told how he begged her to give him another chance from the doorstep of their family home after their split following his affair with a younger woman,' the Mirra sneered. The Metro, meanwhile, reported that Julia had 'spoken out' about 'her husband's alleged affair.' Keys himself attempted to get his side of the story out but, only a few websites appear to have picked that up. Keys has 'accused reports' of his marital situation of containing 'many inaccuracies', claiming that is something which he 'expected.' Sorry, this blogger just has to ask, was there no real news for newspapers to report this weekend, or what? Just wondering?

Paris is set to have an official nudist park after officials voted in favour of the plans on Monday. The park could open as soon as next summer, AFP reports and two wooded areas on the outskirts of the city, the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes, are being considered as possible options. Naturism is popular among some Parisians but public nudity is forbidden unless taking place in specified areas and can carry a penalty of fifteen thousand Euros or up to a year in prison.
The veteran broadcaster Desmond Carrington is to leave BBC Radio 2, bringing his seventy-year career to a close. The DJ, who turned ninety in May, will host his final episode of The Music Goes Round on Friday 28 October. 'I wasn't too well after my ninetieth birthday and it has been a bit difficult to carry on. So reluctantly, but I hope sensibly, I'm going to hang up my headphones at the end of October and say "enough is enough,"' he told listeners. 'Seventy years on the air since 1945 isn't a bad record, and it is now time to welcome someone younger.' Carrington's show is broadcast from his farm in Scotland. Every Friday at 7pm, he opens with the introduction: 'Evening all, from home in Perthshire.' An hour later, he brings the show to a close by telling his cat, 'All right, Sam, out you go,' and signs off with his trademark phrase: 'Bye just now.' Along the way, he plays a handpicked selection of music from the 1920s to the present day - although post-war recordings feature most frequently. A typical show will include everything from 1930s close harmony group The Boswell Sisters to David Bowie via classical pieces and songs from musicals. 'It's my selection and although I can't say I have a particular song, I would say the audience seem to like Glenn Miller's 'Moonlight Serenade',' the broadcaster once told The Scotsman. His enthusiasm and bonhomie are key to his appeal, with seven hundred thousand listeners tuning in to hear his show every week, according to the most recent figures. 'I want to thank Desmond for his extraordinary contribution to Radio 2 over four decades,' the station's controller Bob Shennan said. 'He is a unique broadcaster and has always been a central character in the Radio 2 family. We will miss him, as will his adoring audience.' According to the station, Carrington has battled cancer and Alzheimer's disease for several years and suffered heart failure for the second time on Christmas Day 2015. However, he was operated on within two hours and was back behind his microphone just ten days later, with neither Radio 2 management nor his audience aware of what had happened. 'I'm eternally grateful to the superb doctors and nurses of the Scottish NHS for saving my life,' he said. The broadcaster's career began almost by chance. While serving as an army officer in World War Two, he heard some broadcasts on British Forces Broadcasting Services in Sri Lanka. Claiming he was an experienced broadcaster - which he wasn't - he managed to secure a posting to Colombo and started working on the station. On his demobilisation and return to Britain in 1946, Carrington picked up his acting career and appeared in stage shows and several short films including Calamity The Cow. He was first heard on BBC Radio in 1946 as a member of the BBC Drama Repertory Company and later began broadcasting on The Light Programme, presenting the popular request show Housewives' Choice, among others. On television, he landed the role of national heart-throb Doctor Anderson in ITV's medical soap opera Emergency Ward Ten. His weekly Friday evening programme, The Music Goes Round, has been broadcast on Radio 2 for thirty five years - although it first appeared on Sunday afternoons under the title All Time Greats. Originally pre-recorded, Carrington began to broadcast live from home on the day Princess Diana died - 31 August 1997 - after agreeing with Radio 2's controller that a pre-recorded programme would not be appropriate given the day's events. BBC Director General Tony Hall paid tribute to Carrington's 'huge contribution' to broadcasting. 'He is a natural broadcaster who exudes great charm and his weekly programme brings joy to listeners both at home and around the world,' Lord Hall said. 'As for Golden Paws Sam,' added Carrington, 'his days of singing to a pussycat audience are gone now but he still has human admirers, and he knows it.'
Ann Emery, the veteran actress who played Ethel Meaker in the long-running children's show Rentaghost, has died at the age of eighty six. Emery, half-sister of the comedian Dick, also played Grandma in the original cast of the Billy Elliot stage musical. Its director, Stephen Daldry, paid tribute to her 'zest for life,' saying that she had been 'at the heart of the Billy Elliot family for over a decade.' Born in London in 1930, Ann's other roles included Mrs Rocket in the BBC's Julia Jekyll & Harriet Hyde. She appeared with her brother in eight episodes of The Dick Emery Show before landing her Rentaghost role in 1976. Together with her opportunistic husband, Harold, her character rented out ghosts to members of the public in need of spectral assistance. Emery played Billy's grandmother at London's Victoria Palace theatre from 2005 to 2010, going on to appear in the Cameron Mackintosh musical Betty Blue Eyes. When that show closed, she returned to the Palace - a theatre where she first performed in as a child - before announcing her retirement in 2015. In 2010 she received a lifetime achievement award from the British Music Hall Society.
Today's thought for the day.
And, finally ...