Friday, December 23, 2016


Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch has said that he tries to 'stay clear of fan theories and online conspiracies' concerning yer actual Sherlock. Ahead of the fourth series of the popular BBC drama, the actor admitted that he 'loves how involved' fans get but added that he likes to keep his independence. 'I think I would be pretty affected by what I read or saw, so I stay clear of that,' he said. Benny and his oppo Martin Freeman return for three new episodes, starting on New Year's Day with The Six Thatchers.
There are countless websites devoted to analysing the show's twists, reviewing episodes and predicting outcomes - but the actor said that he does not delve too deep. 'I can't have too many voices and influences. I have to trust my directors and writers and actors to make what we're making. Reaction veers passionately in every direction with this subject and character. Some of that does get back to me - but hopefully that's the nicer stuff.' Benny suggested that the coming episodes are 'darker than the previous three' and that the series 'goes to extremes. It tests the bounds of the relationships you've come to know and it redefines who those characters are. It starts off with a smile and gets dark as oil,' he said. He is also 'fully aware' of 'Setlock' - the Twitter hashtag which fans use to let each other know where the series is currently filming. 'We're just ghosted wherever we go,' he said. 'I think there are just very loud mouths in local councils and they feed back to kids and it grows like wildfire. It's very impressive the amount of people who go there.' He added that he 'fully embraces' the level of fandom which is associated with the show, especially those who indulge in cosplay. 'There's a lot of great cosplay that goes on. There's also a huge amount of admiration and excitement when we film on Upper Gower Street.' Whenever Benedict is interviewed at the moment, there is the realisation that he can tell you a lot - without actually saying anything. Being involved in the Sherlock and the Marvel movie franchise means that his lips are pretty much permanently sealed when it comes to saying anything about his projects. 'It's been this way since the series began. I'm used to giving hollow answers which mean nothing apart from the sound of my voice. It feels like banging an empty drum.' As for the future of Sherlock, he again reiterated he was 'misquoted' earlier in the year when some media outlets claimed that he had implied Sherlock's fourth series would be the last. 'You have to see these three stories [in series four] to understand what I originally said, which was that it feels like something comes to a head in this series. That's not just false advertising. As we have always said, we never say never. Enjoy what's coming now, rather than what may or may not be coming in the future.'
Some very sad news, now. Martin Freeman has revealed that he is no longer with his long-term partner Amanda Abbington, his co-star in Sherlock. 'I'm not with Amanda any more,' he told the Financial Times, describing the split as 'very amicable.' Martin and Amanda, who met on the set of Channel Four's Men Only in 2000, were together for sixteen years and have two children. Freeman told the FT: 'I'll always love Amanda.' Amanda also appeared on Wednesday's edition of Christmas Kitchen, during which she said she would be spending Christmas with her children. 'Martin and I remain best friends and love each other and it was entirely amicable,' Amanda told the Torygraph. 'There was no hostility, we just said that we couldn't live together any more, so we put everything in place, he moved out to a flat in North London, I stayed at home and we've started a new chapter. It is sad and it is upsetting, because you think you're going to be with someone forever, but you either do that or you break up and we both came to the decision that splitting was best for us. We've been really lucky to make it such a clean break, especially for the kids.'

The dog you will have seen in the Sherlock series four preview photos probably hasn't been to a acting school. The bloodhound in the upcoming episodes of the BBC's detective drama reportedly wasn't the easiest to work with. Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch recalled how Amanda Abbington had 'a tricky time' trying to control the beast. 'We had an interesting dog in the first episode. He was very sweet but was a bit afraid of being in the centre of town, afraid of too many people and not great on hard surfaces,' Benny said. 'We were in Borough Market, with lots of people around, on concrete and tarmac. Cut to Amanda literally pulling a bloodhound around London who was supposed to pull her around London. That was fun.' Amanda has also admitted that the dog was so bad they had to use a props boy to pull her along in the scene. Speaking on ITV's This Morning, the actress said: 'We worked with the worst dogs in the history of canine acting. They were truly awful. There were bloodhounds. There's a bloodhound in one of the original Conan Doyle books and Mark Gatiss thought it would be a brilliant idea to get a real bloodhound in. It really, really wasn't. It was terrible. He looks great. He's fantastic to look at,' she said about of the misbehaving hound. 'But you ask him to do anything, he's like "Nope." He sat there. He's supposed to be on the scent of a trail. Sherlock goes "Come on, let's go" and [the dog] just lollops, just sits, just flops. We were filming in Borough Market. All these people were watching. I was holding him. I was literally pulling him and I fell over. One of the props boys decided to stand in and I ended up getting pulled by a props boy. It was the most embarrassing thing.'
It might be the final series (but, it probably won't be). It's almost certainly going to be the final series for a considerable amount of time. The fate of Sherlock has been, it's fair to say, the subject of some discussion. You might have noticed. 'The reason why they're sparse is because, just logistically, that has to be the case,' Martin Freeman told the press this week. 'Getting us all together is hard - not just me and Ben. Everyone is busy, thank God.' So what's the solution? Or, indeed, is there one? Cumberbatch told the assembled hacks that the show's future is 'still to be discussed' - and that another series in 'a few years' time' is possible, as well as future potential 'one-offs' - like this year's The Abominable Bride - and even a film. It was noted by many of those he spoke to, however, that he seemed least keen on the notion of taking Sherlock to the movies: 'In the past when I've done anything that's had a success in its original format, the idea of then transposing it always scares me a little bit,' he admitted. 'It sounds very old-fashioned, but I just think there's something about a family sitting around a television set, on the night it airs, and watching it. I know the volume of people that watch it on iPlayer - or worse download it illegally - but I think as the viewing figures at Christmas show, you can still have this phenomenal event [on television]. So a film's a very different thing.'
You know how, no matter what you look like your mum will tell you that you 'look nice' because, well, she's your mum and that's what mums do? Could someone try explaining that to Benedict Cumberbatch's mother, Wanda Ventham. Because it doesn't look like she got the memo. Wanda reportedly thought her son simply wasn't good-looking enough to play Sherlock in the BBC series. 'Benedict's mum didn't think he was good-looking enough to play Sherlock,' confirmed The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) to Time Out. 'Nobody did. [Benedict] never thought of himself as good-looking and everyone casually agreed with him. He still regards it as preposterous that he's become this sex symbol.'
He might be getting ready to hand over the TARDIS keys to another writer, but The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) has insisted he has no plans to do the same with Sherlock. He and yer actual Mark Gatiss have vowed that their version of Sherlock Holmes will remain their own. 'We've got the keys to Baker Street for a bit and other people will get them, as it should be,' Gatiss said this week. 'But there's a distinction,' Moffat added. 'Of course, loads of other people will do Sherlock Holmes and we'll be the first people to watch those but our version is our version.' But with the likelihood of no new Sherlock for at least two or three tears after the upcoming fourth series, where does that leave yer man Moffat? 'I've spent the last few years with Mark working on things that I didn't make up, so I think I'd like to invent something,' he noted. He is also keen to stretch himself and add a few new strings to his bow, having already tackled everything from sitcom to horror to blockbuster action. 'On Doctor Who, I was starting to write things like Listen and Heaven Sent - where I was trying to prove that I could actually write something that wasn't just like an orchestra going 'RAWR!' all the time. Sometimes out of sheer pathetic vanity, I'll try and prove I can actually write something and I'll write that think-piece that I think's the best thing I've ever done. And everyone will say it's shit. That's my future!'
Like it or not, Doctor Who is a family show and always has been aimed, primarily, at children – and The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) says that's nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, he has a brilliant analogy as to why it's perfectly okay for grown-ups to enjoy a drama which is, at its core, meant to be for kids. 'I always think Doctor Who is like when you go to a restaurant and you glance longingly at the children's menu,' he said. 'It's always so much better than the risotto I'm going to pretend I want.' The Moff insisted that while the popular long-running BBC family SF drama is 'a children's programme,' that doesn't mean it can't be 'challenging. Doctor Who stories can be complicated and they can be emotional – you're supposed to sit up and damn well watch,' he argued. 'But you have to keep in mind the slightly different, more intense, more emotional way that kids watch television. At its heart, it's a children's programme – one that adults absolutely love, but that's who it belongs to. That's something I feel very strongly about - but that doesn't mean I think it's dumb. Quite the opposite.' Moffat will be departing his current job as showrunner after one final series in 2017 and another Christmas special. He has insisted that his final episodes will be about 'pushing forward' not bringing anything to a close. 'With Doctor Who, you never want to have finished the story – I'm not going to do that,' he insisted. 'I want Chris [Chibnall] to come in and have a brilliant time, so I'm not going to wrap it all up.'
We haven't even had the Christmas episode yet, but already Peter Capaldi has been dropping hints about next year's series of Doctor Who. 'We've got all kinds of things - we've got Romans, we've got robots, we've got serpents,' he told the Gruniad Morning Star. Peter also spoke about the challenges of tackling a third series - and how he never wants his Doctor to be 'bland. The danger of Doctor Who is that the character has to tick boxes, so I try to keep dragging him away from those boxes,' he said. 'He changes all the time.'
Yer actual Peter Capaldi doesn't have any plans to quit Doctor Who any time soon. Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, the actor said that he hopes he will be The Doctor 'for a long time' when asked by Sophie Raworth when he might be leaving the role. 'I don't want to escape the idea that I'm [The Doctor]. It's finite. I won't be [The Doctor] forever, so there will be a day when people don't come and say hello,' he added. He also took time to reflect on the role: 'It's a really unique position to be in. There are only twelve people to have played this role and you become the focus of the affection for the role. You stand on the shoulders of everybody else who has played it and they've done all the work. I just turn up and look alarmed or be excited or blow up a Dalek here and there.' One fan of the show is the Prime Minister, Theresa May and Capaldi had a message for her. 'I hope she takes this message of tolerance and kindness and compassion to heart,' he noted.
Peter has also taken an inter-dimensional dig at his Marvel rival Doctor Strange. When asked who he thinks The Doctor's favourite superhero would be, Capaldi told the Gruniad Morning Star: 'He'd be a bit uptight about Doctor Strange. I think he'd be a little bit like, "Bitch stole my look." I think he would like Wonder Woman, because Linda Carter is so funny. And I think he'd like Adam West's Batman. He'd find Adam West great company.'
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week: The bit of the Christmas Qi episode where, during a round that included the parlour game Are You There, Moriarty?, Alan Davies decided to bray Josh Widdecombe really hard across the head with his rolled-up newspaper. 'Stephen would never have allowed this,' noted Matt Lucas as he was busy giving Susan Calman a similar good, hard thrashing. Well, why not? It is Christmas after all.
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Part The Second: Sarah Pascoe's claim on Would I Lie To You? that, as a child, one of her Christmas's was cut short when her mum decided to take the decorations down half-way through Christmas Day. It used to happen in Stately Telly Topping Manor just about every year.
Gosh, wasn't From The North favourite Doctor Janina Ramirez rather excitable when appearing for St Anne's College Oxford against Manchester in the opening episode of Christmas University Challenge on Monday? Probably due to her being sat next to the lovely and fragrant Mary Archer.
This blogger is indebted to his good mate Daniel for noting, regarding a question on Monday's episode of Only Connect, 'henceforth we should probably refer to The Sugababes as the "Ship of Theseus of the pop world," rather than the "Trigger's Broom of the pop world."' Thanks Dan, good call.
Glaswegian Gary Maclean was crowned the 2016 winner of MasterChef: The Professionals on Thursday evening. The forty five year old father-of-five beat off strong competition from the two other finalists, Matt Healy and Elly Wentworth in a gruelling final spread over three episodes in which he designed and prepared a dish for twenty eight Michelin-starred chefs and travelled to Oslo to cook at renowned restaurant Maaemo to learn from three Michelin-starred chef Esben Holmboe Bang. The impressive Matt, from Yorkshire, chose a complex beef dish with all the trimmings for his final meal for the judges, whilst the delightful Elly - at twenty four an absolute star in the making - opted for a salmon option followed by lamb cooked three ways. Gary's winning menu was made up of a razor clams starter, a Highland roe deer main course and a chocolate pistachio ganache pudding. Gary, beat forty seven other professional chefs over seven weeks of cooking to be named winner by Marcus Wareing, scowly-faced Monica Galetti and big cuddly Gregg Wallace. After his win, he said: 'What an amazing journey. This is the biggest competition any chef can put themselves through and to be standing here at the end is incredible. 'I've hit emotions that I never knew I had, all in thirty seconds of each other. Words can't describe it. I never thought I would win, ever. My wife and kids are going to go absolutely nuts.' Wareing hailed the starter as 'the best razor clam dish I've ever eaten,' adding that it 'could come from any three Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe.' After Maclean was announced as the winner, Wareing added: 'Gary has soaked up every little bit of this competition. He's lived the MasterChef dream. He's a major talent, he's grown incredibly well and he's a gentleman of the kitchen.' Scowly-faced Monica Galetti added: 'Gary has been such a pleasure to watch rediscover himself as a chef. He's a chef who always cooks from the heart and you can feel the emotion that goes into his cookery.' Gary, who is senior chef lecturer at the City of Glasgow College, said that he decided to enter the competition because of his love for the show. 'The main reason I applied was that every year, my kids and students asked why I haven't done it. Getting to the finals is the hardest test a chef can put themselves through and I don't think people realise how long a journey it is, but my wife and kids have been with me every single step of the way, so it's been brilliant. Winning MasterChef: The Professionals is totally unbelievable. The whole experience was remarkable and enjoyable from start to finish. I have met some amazing people, both in front of and behind the camera. The support I have received from family and friends has been humbling. Hopefully, taking part has shown that if I can still chase my dreams, I can inspire students to start chasing theirs.' Gary still plans to continue teaching, saying: 'Winning MasterChef: The Professionals is going to provide me with a unique platform that hopefully will open the door to some very interesting opportunities. I would love to use my experience in the competition to help enhance the profile of culinary education. If I was to dream the perfect project alongside teaching it would be doing more TV. I loved the environment and the teamwork it takes to pull something like this together. I have so much respect for the people that worked on the show. It's a very similar bond between the team that you would find in a very good kitchen, amazing to be part of.'
One outstanding moment in the MasterChef: The Professionals final was Sean Pertwee's eloquent announcing of one item on Gary's winning main course, 'gooseberry chutney.' Which, couldn't help but bring to mind a never-to-be-forgotten movie that was featured in Peter Capaldi's seminal The Cricklewood Greats from a few years ago. 'The horror within,' indeed.
Nothing says Christmas like a child-punishing demon, it would seem! A point well made by the BBC's promotional poster for the return of Inside Number Nine on 27 December.
Bowie: The Last Five Years has been confirmed for transmission on 7 January at 9pm on BBc2. The film follows the widely acclaimed David Bowie: Five Years, first broadcast in 2013. It takes a detailed look at Bowie's last projects The Next Day and Blackstar and his play Lazarus. 'Through the prism of this last work the film shows how, in his final five years, David not only began producing music again but returned to the core and defining themes of his career. These were artistic rebirth, a shedding of skins, a quest for a different palette to express the same big ideas – dissonance, alienation, otherness – the human condition.' Apparently. The film 'explores how Bowie was a far more consistent artist than many interpretations of his career would have us believe, by tracing the core themes from his final works through his incredible back catalogue.' It features contributions from key members of The Next Day and Blackstar bands, plus old friends and colleagues including Tony Visconti, Gail Ann Dorsey, Tony Basil, Michael Hall, Donny McCaslin and Geoff MacCormack. As in David Bowie: Five Years, there is a wealth of previously unseen and rare archive material.
Is somebody at the BBC taking the piss, or what? On Monday, we were treated to Lenny Henry: A Life On Screen, a 'tribute' to Lenny Henry who was - in this blogger's opinion as a licence fee payer (ie. one of those really annoying 'little people' who pay Len's wages) - last funny, briefly, in about 1983. The night before BBC2's entire evening schedule was taken up with a number of programmes about the late Victoria Wood, who was last funny ... well, never. Presumably, in days to come we can look forward to programmes celebrating the inherent comic genius of the likes of Paddy McGuinness, Jim Davidson, Bobby Davro and Peter Kay ... Oh no, hang on, the latter is Channel Five's job this week, isn't it?
Adverts That Get Right On This Blogger's Tit End, Number Twelve: Every single one of those bloody Tesco adverts with Ben Miller prostituting his - not inconsiderable - talent and that sodding annoying woman off Gavin & Stacey. I hope their turkey is horribly undercooked and they spend Boxing Day with violent exploding diarrhoea through food poisoning.
Adverts That Get Right On This Blogger's Tit End, Number Thirteen: Louise Bloody Redknapp wittering on about her 'lucky pants' to get the nation to go further into debt by playing Mecca Bingo. 'Bet responsibly' my arse.
Len Goodman is expected to cause a 'spike' in electricity demand as viewers bid farewell to the Strictly Come Dancing head judge, according to the National Grid. BBC1 will show a special programme, Strictly Len Goodman, on Friday. The National Grid said that the show would drive the biggest festive 'TV pickup' - a sudden surge in electricity demand. The spike is largely down to viewers turning on lights and boiling their kettles straight after the programme. There is also a surge in the number of people going to the bathroom, which leads to a spike in the use of water companies' pumps, which draw electricity. Because, of course, after an hour of Len Goodman, most of us need to use the bathroom really badly.

The Great British Bake Off and Strictly Come Dancing have helped the BBC dominate 2016's TV ratings, with thirty one of the top forty programmes so far this year showing on BBC1. Bake Off episodes occupied all but one of the top eleven slots once catch-up viewing was included, with the final episode attracting an audience of almost sixteen million, making it the most watched programme of the year by a distance. The second episode of Planet Earth II was the only other programme to make it into the top ten, ranking at number eight with more than 13.1 million viewers and a further four episodes of the series were in the top forty. The programme, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, is the most watched natural history programme for at least fifteen years. Strictly appeared in the top forty thirteen times, more than any other programme. The figures from ratings agency BARB will buoy the BBC at the end of a year in which its role as a mass market broadcaster was questioned - albeit not by anyone that actually a) knows what they're talking about and b) matters. However, the reliance on Bake Off for its biggest audiences will create concern now that the BBC has it lost the series to Channel Four, which paid a reported seventy five million smackers for a three-year deal with producers Greed Productions. Charlotte Moore, the BBC's director of content, said: 'I'm proud that BBC1 continues to unite us as a nation with shows that feel modern, fresh and in touch with our audience, entertaining millions every week of the year.' ITV provided a different set of figures showing that audiences for its Euro 2016 coverage were repeatedly among the largest of the year but only if measured from kick-off to final whistle, rather than including pre-and-post-match coverage. Under ITV's measurement, it would have had three further entries in the top forty, including England's calamitous defeat by Iceland, which would have been the second most watched programme of the year with more than fifteen million viewers. Outside the Euros, the largest ITV audiences tuned-in for I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) and Britain's Got Toilets. Not a single episode of The X Factor made the top year's forty for the second year running, having suffered its worst launch ratings in a decade and being comprehensively beaten on a weekly basis by Strictly. The commercial broadcaster recently confirmed a three-year deal with Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads to keep showing Britain's Got Toilets and The X Factor and has signed a 'golden handcuffs' deal with I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) and Britain's Got Toilets presenters Ant and/or Dec reportedly worth thirty million notes until 2019. Despite its lack of top-ranking shows, ITV said that its share of total viewing had risen by three per cent over the year, compared with a half-a-per cent rise for BBC1 and two per cent for BBC2. It pointed to the success of Coronation Street, which is the UK's most watched soap and the large audiences pulled in by new dramas including Victoria and the revival of Cold Feet. The only drama to feature in BARB's top forty was BBC1's Sherlock special on New Year’s Day, with 11.6 million viewers, making it the twenty fourth most popular show of the year to date. The BBC will hope to continue its success at Christmas, with special editions of Strictly and Bake Off and a new Agatha Christie adaptation from the writer of last year's ... And Then There Were None.
Z-List Celebrity Big Brother has won the coveted award for the year's most complained-about show racking up a total of three thousand six hundred and forty three whinges to Ofcom. Aside from Christopher Biggins' forcible removal from the house after a series of potentially biphobic comments and an anti-Semitic remark which upset fellow housemate Katie Waissel, viewers were also left unimpressed with Marnie Simpson's breast-baring antics and eventual winner Stephen Bear's breast-licking antics. Number two on the list was Coronation Street, after one thousand one hundred and forty one punters took offence at that 'Kunta Kinte' dialogue exchange. The non z-list celebrity Big Brother came third on the list. Often under fire for its sexual content, this summer's series drew eight hundred and sixty four whinges.
A new Saturday night entertainment show searching for the UK's best singing group will launch in 2017, the BBC has announced. Pitch Battle - a working title - will feature 'all musical styles, including rock, folk, gospel and a cappella.' The show will feature 'riff-offs' (steady) between singing groups - an idea made famous by the popular Pitch Perfect films. The series will consist of six hour-long episodes, the BBC said. Pitch Battle will feature an a capella round as well as a soloists challenge across its five heats, before a winner is crowned in the live final. Kate Phillips, the BBC's controller of entertainment commissioning, said that the new show would have 'shed loads of sass and spirit. There are millions of people in the UK of all ages and backgrounds who sing simply for the love of it, for the joy and sense of community it creates,' she added. The show was commissioned by Phillips and Charlotte Moore. It is the second music-based Saturday night series to be commissioned by BBC1 in recent months. From January the channel will also broadcast the wretched-sounding Let It Shine, a talent contest searching for actors and singers to play Take That in a musical about the band. The announcement of the two new series follow the confirmation that The Voice will move to ITV in the new year. A cappella singing has become increasingly popular since 2012, when the first Pitch Perfect film, starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, became a surprise hit. The success of the movie led to a sequel, which topped the box office both in the US and the UK.
Emmerdale has been praised by fans and dementia charities for its portrayal of the illness. Tuesday's episode was shown from the perspective of long-running character Ashley Thomas, played by John Middleton, who is living with dementia. Cathy Baldwin, organisational development manager at the Alzheimer's Society, described it as 'a realistic portrayal' of the condition. 'I have no doubt it will change people's perspective of dementia,' she said. Emmerdale producers has worked with both the Alzheimer's Society and MHA care homes to devise the storyline. 'When we were working on the story, the producers were very keen it was as true to life as it could be, which is quite difficult for a programme which is essentially a drama,' Baldwin said. 'Emmerdale had been keen to make sure that it reached people and let people affected by dementia know that they weren't alone. I understand there has to be a certain element of dramatic licence, but Emmerdale have been so flexible about getting things like the language right and last night I think they smashed it.' Ashley Thomas, a former vicar, has stroke-related early onset vascular dementia and fans have watched his condition gradually worsen over the last few months. The one-off production saw changes to camerawork and editing to show things from Ashley's confused point-of-view as he left a hospital and made his way out alone. Viewers saw him walking down the street in his pyjamas and struggling to count out change in shops. Baldwin said that she hoped it would help people who care for loved ones to understand things better from their relative's perspective. She said: 'The key thing for me was when people were going on Facebook last night and saying, "I cared for my Mum or my gran or my partner, who had dementia, but for the first time now I understand what it might have been like for them."'
Tina Hobley is 'in shock' that The Jump is returning, less than a year after she was injured while taking part in the Channel Four show. The former Holby City actresses has, she claims, 'only just stopped using crutches' following the accident in which she injured her knee, shoulder and arm. The show features z-list celebrities competing at winter sports, including ski-jumping, bobsleigh and speed skating. And, more often than not, ending up in traction in Innsburk General as a consequence. 'The Jump is behind me and I will never do that show again,' Hobley whinged. 'I'm still in shock that it's going again, but of course they will have learned from all their mishaps and hopefully there won't be any more accidents.' Not than many people felt particularly sorry for Hobley since it was her own bloody stupid fault for signing up to such an insanely dangerous conceit in the first place. And, one presumes, she was paid quite a considerable amount of coin and didn't consider the likelihood of serious injury when she read the original pay cheque. The broadcaster claimed earlier this year that there had been 'a thorough review of safety procedures.' The channel grovellingly apologised to Hobley after the incident in February, blaming 'human error' for the accident ... And, adding that the human who erred had been kicked geet hard in the Jacob's Cream Crackers until their eyes watered as a result. Probably. The accident occurred when Hobley was practising a jump but was 'distracted' by crew members who hadn't left the landing area. 'Tina's fall was caused by simple human error when members of the ground crew failed to clear the outrun,' the producers claimed. 'All those involved have been spoken to and extra procedures have now been put in place by the producers to ensure that this will not happen again.' Hobley was not the only participant to injure herself last year on the show. The former Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle needed surgery on her spine after a particularly horrific crash, while Made In Chelsea-type person Mark-Francis Vandelli fractured his ankle. Rebecca Adlington dislocated her shoulder, Linford Christie pulled a hamstring, ex-EastEnders actor Joe Swash chipped a bone in his shoulder, Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding injured a ligament and Horrible Heather Mills 'hurt her knee and thumb.' And, subsequently, made a right meal of her rather minor injuries into the bargain. The next series of The Jump, hosted by Davina McCall, is set to start early next year. Whether this series will see the show's first on-screen death is a question which only the couple of million voyeuristic ghouls who watch the damn thing will be able to find out.
And now, dear blog reader, a trio of links for your consideration; firstly the blogger's chum James Gent's superbly researched article for the We Are Cult website on the Monty Python's Flying Circus contribution to the BBC's 1969 Christmas Night With The Stars broadcast.
Secondly, another old friend of From The North, Greg Bakun, whose From The Archie website podcast featuring the second part of Greg's interview with Kaleidoscope CEO Chris Perry is extremely downloadable here.
And, finally, there's a really good piece by BBC News's Dave Gilyeat interviewing one hundred and four year old Andy Andrews the last surviving member of John Logie Baird's team of television pioneers.
Kirsty Gallacher had categorically denied allegations from 'some viewers' that she was 'drunk' on Sky Sports News earlier this week. There was, apparently, 'concern' expressed online for the veteran presenter on Tuesday when she seemed to slur her words while promoting an interview with Stotteingtot Hotshots manager Mauricio Pochettino on her newshour with Jim White. According to the Sun, Gallagher was rushed to a local hospital in the middle of the Sky Sports News broadcast due to 'a combination of exhaustion and a virus.' She has been recovering since. However, Gallacher's spokesperson has strongly denied that she was intoxicated on-air: 'She categorically was not drunk. Blood and urine tests at hospital showed no alcohol in her system.'
Michael Barrymore reportedly wants two-and-a-half million knicker in damages from Essex Police for unlawful arrest. But, the force thinks he should get one pound, a court has heard. The former TV presenter is extremely suing the police over his 2007 arrest in connection with the death of a man at his Essex home. In court documents police said that the arrest was unlawful because the officer involved had 'not been fully briefed.' A High Court judge was told Barrymore was claiming the amount 'to compensate him for loss of earnings.' Police argued that he should get a 'nominal' award of but one quid at a hearing on Wednesday. Barrymore was questioned six years after the body of Stuart Lubbock was found in the swimming pool at his home in Roydon. Barrymore was arrested along with two other men. All three were later released without charge. No-one has been ever been charged over the death of Lubbock, who was found to have suffered severe internal injuries indicating a serious sexual assault. A trial has been scheduled to take place next summer at the High Court over the unlawful arrest case. Lawyers said that a judge would be asked to decide whether there had been 'reasonable grounds' for Barrymore's arrest.
An ex-Crimewatch presenter and phone-hacking victim is launching a legal challenge to test the government's commitment on press regulation. Jacqui Hames wants a judicial review of the decision by the lack of culture secretary to consult on whether to go ahead with part two of The Leveson Inquiry. Leveson Two would examine relationships between police and the press. Campaigners say that the consultation has 'no legitimacy' and has been launched merely to delay implementing the measures. Part two had been expected to get under way once all legal proceedings - including criminal investigations - had been completed. But, last month the government launched a consultation on whether going ahead with the second part of the inquiry was 'still in the public interest.' The lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Bradley told MPs that she wants to 'seek the views of the public, interested parties and the victims of press abuse' before making a final decision. The ten-week consultation is due to finish on 10 January. The government is also consulting on section forty of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which offers press organisations incentives to join an independent regulator and was one of the key commitments made after the first part of the Leveson Inquiry. Many newspapers are opposed to section forty, because it would force them to pay legal costs in cases brought against them, even when they had not broken the law. Jacqui Hames became a familiar face on TV as a presenter on BBC's Crimewatch after spending thirty years with the Metropolitan Police. Her ex-husband, David Cook, was a detective chief superintendent in the Met who worked on the case of the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan. Morgan, who was found with an axe in his head in a South London pub car park in 1987, was business partner to a man with links to the Scum of the World. Hames alleges that she and Cook were placed under surveillance by the newspaper because of their involvement in investigating Morgan's murder. The judicial review application suggests Hames settled her phone-hacking claim against the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World without insisting on a disclosure process because 'she believed that relevant information would become available to her as a result of part two of the inquiry.' She also claims that she was personally assured by former Prime Minister, Oily David Cameron that a second inquiry would take place. Hames is challenging the process by which the government will decide if an inquiry into the relationships between police and the press happens. She argues that the government's failure to implement section forty or start the second part of the inquiry showed 'a lack of will to carry out Leveson's original recommendations.' In submitting the judicial review application, Hames has been joined by a website called Byline, which allows freelance journalists to publish stories free of editorial interference. Byline has joined Impress, an approved regulator which is partly funded by Max Mosley, the former motor racing boss who was a victim of a newspaper sting. Whereas Hames is hoping to ensure part two of The Leveson Inquiry takes place, Byline is hoping to ensure that section forty of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, from which it would benefit, is not dropped because of lobbying from newspaper groups. A third claimant in the judicial inquiry is anonymous. Known only as HJK, this claimant had previously brought and settled a claim against News Group Newspapers for voicemail interception by the Scum of the World, which was close in shame and ignominy in 2011. The judicial inquiry application was served on 15 December and the government has until 5 January to respond. If a hearing goes ahead, it is likely to take place early in the new year. Many judicial reviews do not end up in court but if this one does, it is likely to frustrate the government's aim to make a clear decision on the next step in the saga of press regulation. Campaigners, including the victims' group Hacked Off, argue that the original recommendations of Lord Leveson's report have not been acted on - or anything even remotely like it - and really ought to be. Evan Harris, from Hacked Off, said that the legal challenge came 'as no surprise' given the government's 'shameless conduct' on the inquiry. Harris spoke of the government 'breaking its promises to victims, intervening to frustrate the will of Parliament and issuing a consultation paper so biased that it could have been written by the Daily Mail or the Sun. Denying victims of press abuse and responsible journalists access to justice in libel and privacy cases, by blocking section forty, is caving in to the press industry corporate lobby,' he added. However, newspaper groups - who, of course, have no agenda in this regard whatsoever, oh no, very hot water - have said their own regulator, the completely knackerless and risible Independent Press Standards Organisation, chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Sir Alan Moses, offers 'a robust system of self-regulation' which retains the independence of a free press. Which, as it happens, it doesn't, or anything even remotely like it. A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said: 'We can confirm that an application has been made to judicially review the consultation. The government is considering its response.'
The Dynamo Dresden defender Marc Wachs has received emergency surgery after a shooting which killed a family member. The twenty one-year-old German's injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, according to the Bundesliga 2 club. A second family member was also injured and is in hospital after the incident in Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt. The German club said that they was 'shocked, stunned and deeply saddened' and would 'be wherever our help and support is needed.' Only, they said it in German, Obviously. Wachs was yet to play for second-tier Dynamo, having signed in the summer from Mainz, where he mainly featured in the reserve team. 'Marc, his family and the process of recovery, both physically and mentally, are now the only priorities,' said Dynamo's sport managing director Ralf Minge. 'Everything else does not matter. I would also like to express our deep compassion to Marc, his family and all his relatives. We specifically ask you to respect the privacy of Marc and his family more than ever.'
Bacon sales have 'plummeted' as shoppers 'choose fish over meat' for their meals, industry data has claimed. Meat sales were down by three hundred million smackers in 2016, a report by The Grocer alleged, while pre-prepared fish sales were up by over thirty million knicker. The article suggested that 'health warnings such as those linking processed meats to cancer' had 'played a part.' Fruit and vegetable sales were also up, driven by the popularity of avocados, blueberries and raspberries. The number of people buying fresh meat in supermarkets has dropped by four per cent throughout the year, according to the report based on data from Nielsen, but no product has been hit as hard as pork. Bacon sales dropped by over one hundred and twenty two million during the twelve months, whilst sausage sales declined by fifty one million quid.
Now, dear blog reader, the first in a new semi-regular From The North series Nude Ladies On Horseback. Number one:
It's true what they sat, you know, dear blog reader. Sometimes, a bargain is simply a bargain.
Too much Facebook browsing at Christmas - and seeing all those allegedly 'perfect' families and their holiday photos - is more likely to make one miserable than festive, research suggests. And, in other news, apparently, research has confirmed that bears do shit in the woods. Jesus, has everyone taken the frigging stupid pill this week, or what? A University of Copenhagen study 'suggests excessive use of social media can create feelings of envy.' It particularly warns about the negative impact of 'lurking' on social media without connecting with anyone. The study suggests taking a break from using social media. The study of more than one thousand participants (or, glakes) - mostly women - says that 'regular use of social networking such as Facebook can negatively affect your emotional well-being and satisfaction with life.' Researchers warn of envy and a 'deterioration of mood' from spending 'too long looking at other people's social media stories,' induced by 'unrealistic social comparisons.' If this suggests that a picture of long irritable hours over a screen, depressed by the boasts and posts of others, then the researchers say that it does not need to be this way. 'Actively engaging in conversation and connecting with people on social media' seems to be 'a much more positive experience,' suggests the study, published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour & Social Networking. Avoiding reading Cyberpsychology, Behaviour & Social Networking probably helps too. This seems to be much less gloomy than 'passive' users who spend too long 'lurking' on social networking websites without getting involved. Or, indeed, visiting porn sites for any reason other than a good, hard wank. Another approach to improve well-being, claims the study, is to stop using social media altogether for a week. 'That's if you can resist the temptation to look at all those unbearably smug pictures of your skiing holidays,' wrote some unbearably smug fucker of no importance whatsoever at the BBC News website. Oh, hardy-har-har, you Middle Class louse.
Deddie Davies has died aged seventy eight, according to reports. The TV and film actress was known for her role as Nell Perks in the 1970 film The Railway Children and in recent years she played Marj in the alleged comedy series Stella. She was born Gillian Davies in Bridgend in 1938. Her long career in TV covering more than forty years also included roles in Doctors, The Bill, Whitechapel, Upstairs Downstairs, The Forsyte Saga, Land Girls, Vanity Fair, Both Ends Meet, A Pin To See The Peepshow, The Black Arrow, My Old Man, The Phoenix & The Carpet, Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, The Invisible Man, C.A.T.S Eyes, Grange Hill and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Her agents Brown, Simcocks & Andrews, said in a statement that the actress also dedicated her time working with charities safeguarding the elderly and also 'going undercover' to reveal issues in care homes. Kelly Andrews, part of the team who represented Deddie for twenty years, said: 'She was extremely professional, but she was extraordinary fun and joyous to be around. She saw the best in everyone. She wasn't just an actress but an activist - she really cared about it.' Deddie trained at RADA in the late 1950s and was mainly familiar to television viewers for numerous comedy roles in a host of series including The Rag Trade, Get Some In!, That's My Boy, My Husband & I, Y Rang M'Lud, Waiting For God and Chance In A Million. She usually appeared in meek, spinsterish roles although occasionally played against type. In May 2007 she had an unexpected musical success as a member of superannuated pop group The Zimmers. Their cover version of 'My Generation' highlighted the plight of the elderly, and reached number twenty six in the UK Singles Chart.
Carrie Fisher is in intensive care after suffering a heart attack during a flight. Carrie, sixty, reportedly went into cardiac arrest minutes before the end of the London to Los Angeles flight. Passengers attempted to revive her using CPR and she was taken to hospital when the plane landed after midday local time, the TMZ website said. Her brother, Todd, said that Carrie was in intensive care in Los Angeles. 'If everyone could just pray for her that would be good,' he told Entertainment Tonight. 'The doctors are doing their thing and we don't want to bug them. We are waiting by patiently.' Carrie had been on tour promoting her latest book, The Princess Diarist. The heart attack happened about fifteen minutes before the plane landed at LAX, the celebrity news website TMZ reported. A medic who was travelling on the plane administered CPR. Paramedics then spent a further fifteen minutes administering further treatment to Fisher before getting a pulse. The actress was on a ventilator in the UCLA medical centre, the website said. United Airlines issued a statement saying that Flight 935 from London to Los Angeles was 'met on the ground by medical personnel' after the crew reported that a passenger was 'unresponsive.' The LA Fire department said that its paramedics met the plane and 'provided advanced life support and aggressively treated and transported the patient to a local hospital.' A law enforcement official told NBC that Carrie's condition was 'not good.' Her condition was subsequently reported as 'serious but stable' at the time of writing. All of us at From The North, needless to say, send our sincere best wishes to Carrie and her family for a speedy recovery.
Shocking Christmas Discoveries, part the first: The fact that they didn't invite Brains to the party is, clearly, a sign of some disgraceful form of discrimination going down on Tracey Island. Unless he's the one taking the photo, of course, in which case this blogger's bad.
Shocking Christmas Discoveries, part the second: The Co-Op grocery chain has announced a nationwide recall of one hundred and sixty five thousand hollow milk chocolate Santa figures after two alleged 'tampering incidents. ' A spokesperson for the Co-Op said two of the chocolate figures had been found to contain a small button-cell battery. 'The health and safety of our customers is our top priority,' said the spokesperson, adding that the Co-Op was 'investigating' and the police and Food Standards Agency were 'being notified.' No other products are affected. The chocolates that had been subject to tampering were bought at two different locations, one in Suffolk and one in Essex. The Co-Op said customers with one of these products should not eat it, but call the company's customer relations team for a full refund. Anyone who is concerned should call Freephone 0800 0686 727.
And, on that alarmingly unfestive bombshell, dear blog reader, Very Crumble to the lot of you.