Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Lying Detective: Hell Is Other People

'It's not a pleasant thought, John, but I have this terrible feeling from time to time that we might, just, all be human.' 'What, even you?' 'No. Even you!'

'This is the most dangerous, the most despicable human being that I have ever encountered ... This monster must be ended! Please remember where you're standing because you're standing exactly where I predicted two weeks ago.'
'Civilisation has always depended on an element of elective ignorance.'
'You're my last hope.' 'Really, that is bad luck. Goodnight, go away.'
'Right then, Mister, now I need your handcuffs. I happen to know there's a pair in the salad draw. I've borrowed them before!'
'You're suicidal, you're allowed chips. Trust me, it's one of the few perks.'
'How can that be your car?' 'Oh, for God's sake, I'm the widow of a drug dealer, I own property in Central London and for the last bloody time, John, I'm not your housekeeper!'
'On Monday I decided to get a new therapist. Tuesday afternoon, I chose her. Wednesday morning, I booked today's session. Now, today is Friday, so two weeks ago, two weeks before you were abducted at gunpoint and brought here against your will, over a week before I even thought about coming here, you knew exactly where to be picked up for lunch?' 'Really? I correctly anticipated the responses of people I know well to scenarios I'd devised? Can't everyone do that?'
'Are we going to walk all night?' 'Possibly. It's a long word.' 'What?' 'Bollocks!'
'I've seen healthier people on the slab.' 'Yes, but to be fair you work with murder victims, they tend to be quite young!'
'Of course I didn't call the police, I'm not a civilian.'
'Christ, Sherlock on Twitter? He really has lost it!'
'How are you even allowed in here?' 'Oh, I can go anywhere I like. Anywhere at all.' 'They gave you keys?' 'They presented them to me, there was a ceremony. You can watch that on You Tube! The Home Secretary was there.'
'Sherlock told me. He's not so difficult when you've got a gun on him!'
'Are you actually serious? I've played along with this joke, it's not funny any more. Look at him! Go ahead and look at him, Doctor Watson! I'll lay it out for you, there are two possible explanations for what's going on here; either I'm a serial killer or Sherlock Holmes is off his tits on drugs! Delusional paranoia about a public personality? That's not so special. It's not even new!'
'I may have been many things, John, but when have I ever been a malingerer?' 'You pretended to be dead for two years!' '... Apart from that.'
'You write Sherlock's blog?' 'Yes.' 'It's gone downhill a bit, hasn't it?'
'I keep wondering if we should have seen this coming.' 'Not long ago he shot Charles Magnussen in the face. We did see it coming, we always saw it coming. But, it was fun.'
'I might even move him to my favourite room!'
'Are you still thinking about Sherlock?' 'No, you are.' 'You've got your disapproving face on.' 'Well, seeing as I'm inside your head, I think we can call that self-loathing!'
'I'm trying to establish exactly what drove Sherlock off the rails, any ideas?' 'Are you using spooks now to look after your family?' 'Sherlock is a security concern, the fact that I'm his brother changes nothing.' 'Yeah, you said that before.' 'Why fixate on Culverton Smith? He's had his obsessions before, of course, but this goes a bit further than setting a man-trap for Father Christmas!'
'A secret brother, what is he locked up in a tower or something?'
'You're so funny, you are. He thinks your clever, poor old Sherlock always going on about you. I mean, he knows you're an idiot but that's okay because you're a lovely doctor, but he has no idea what an idiot you are!' 'Is this merely stream-of-consciousness abuse or are you attempting to make a point?'
'Everybody out, now. All of you. This is my house, this my friend and that's his departed wife. Anyone who stays here a minute longer is admitting to me, personally, that they do not have a single spark of human decency. Get out of here, you reptile!'
'Why do you do it?' 'Why do I kill? It's not about hatred or revenge, I'm not a dark person. Killing human beings ... it just makes me incredibly happy! You know in films when you see dead people, pretending to be dead but it's just living people lying down? That's not what dead people look like. Dead people look like things. I like to make people into things. And then you can own them.'
'You're okay? 'No, of course I'm not okay. I'm malnourished, double kidney failure and, frankly, I've been off my tits for weeks! What kind of doctor are you?'
'Interesting isn't it? I have theorised before that if one could attenuate to every available data stream in the world simultaneously it would be possible to anticipate and deduce almost anything.' 'So, you dreamed up a magic woman who told you things you didn't know?'
'How does this work, you and The Woman? Do you go to discreet Harvester sometimes, are there nights of passion in High Wycombe?' 'Oh, for God's sake, I don't text her back.' 'Why not? You bloody moron! She's out there, she likes you and she is alive. Do you have the first idea how lucky you are? Yes, she's a lunatic, she's a criminal, she's insanely dangerous, trust you to fall for a sociopath!' 'You married an assassin!' '... Just text her back!'
'You didn't kill Mary. Mary died saving your life, it was her choice, no one made her do it. No one could ever make her do anything, but the point is you did not kill her.' 'In saving my life she conferred a value on it. It is a currency I do not know how to spend.'
'Why does everything have to be "understandable"? Why can't some things be unacceptable?'
'Please don't go anywhere, I'm sure the therapist who actually lives here wouldn't want blood on the carpet. Oh, hang on. It's fine. She's in a sack in the airing cupboard!'
'Eurus. Silly name isn't it? It's Greek, it means The East Wind. My parents loved silly names like Eurus. Or Mycroft. Or Sherlock ... It's making a funny face. I think I'll put a hole in it!'
'It's not okay.' 'No, but it is what it is.' This blogger thought that was great, dear blog reader. No surprise, really. But he did. 'High Wycombe is better than you are currently equipped to understand!'
In a righteous and thoroughly satisfyingly public slapdown which was a sight to see, dear blog reader, Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss has responded in verse to some worthless arsewipe of no consequence whom you've never heard of who accused the popular BBC drama of turning the character into 'Sherlock Bond'. In his poem, Gatiss said that the critic was wrong to infer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective was 'no man of action. From [Basil] Rathbone through [Jeremy] Brett to [Benedict] Cumberbatch dandy, With his fists Mr Holmes has always been handy,' his poem continues. Writing, of course, in the Gruniad Morning Star - where else? - Ralph Jones (no, me neither) whinged that the show had taken 'ill-advised liberties with Conan Doyle's stories' and had begun 'to feel implausible.' Although, even if true (which it may be) what the Hell that has to do with him, whoever he is, is another question entirely and one probably well worth asking at this juncture. 'There is obviously an audience and an appetite for abseiling assassins, machine-gun shootouts and Benedict Cumberbatch getting sopping wet while kicking ass in an expensive suit,' he continued. 'But, like the perverse instincts that lurk in the palaces of our minds, this is an appetite that ought to be resisted,' Jones whinged like a whinging whinger. He wasn't alone in this whinging, either; yet another glake of no importance, this one in the Independent, also whinged loudly about broadly similar themes - which can, basically, be summed up thus: 'A TV programme I used to like is now, no longer, to my taste despite still being very popular with lots of other people (possibly these two things are not unconnected). So, I'm going to whinge about it. To anyone that will listen. And, indeed, anyone that won't.' Oh, grow the fek up, sweetheart would appear to be an appropriate response. One would love to know if this woman actually got paid for this piece of drivel since the Internet is already full of dozens of examples of exactly this kind of bitter nonsense, many of them a devil of a lot better written than this crap (if, equally pathetic and worthless in their whingingness). In a letter to the Gruniad, Gatiss used his five-verse poem to suggest that yer man Jones was 'ignoring the stories that could have put [Sherlock] in traction.' He went on to cite the short story The Adventure Of The Solitary Cyclist, in which he says there is 'boxing on show. In hurling Moriarty over the torrent, did Sherlock find violence strange and abhorrent?' the five-verse ode continues. 'There's no need to invoke in yarns that still thrill, Her Majesty's Secret Servant with licence to kill.' Mark's response mirrors a poem that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself wrote in 1912, entitled To An Undiscerning Critic. The poem was a response to another poem, written by Arthur Guiterman, who suggested that Sherlock Holmes should not disparage other fictional detectives. Jones's reaction to being so humiliatingly bee'atch-slapped right across the metaphorical chops is not, at this time, known. Which is a shame, really.
Here are the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Two programmes, week-ending Sunday 1 January 2017:-
1 Sherlock - Sun BBC1 - 11.33m
2 New Year's Eve Fireworks - Sat BBC1 - 10.87m
3 Mrs Brown's Boys - Sun BBC1 - 8.78m
4 Coronation Street - Fri ITV - 7.89m
5 EastEnders - Sun BBC1 - 7.38m
6 Witness For The Prosecution - Mon BBC1 - 6.97m
7 Outnumbered - Mon BBC1 - 6.87m
8 Jonathan Creek - Wed BBC1 - 6.73m
9 BBC News - Wed BBC1 - 6.69m
10 Emmerdale - Tues ITV - 6.68m
11 The Great Christmas Bake Off - Mon BBC1 - 6.37m
12 Ronnie Rocks Big Ben, Live! - Sat BBC1 - 5.62m
13 Z-List Celebrity Mastermind - Thurs BBC1 - 5.09m
14 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.04m
15 Antiques Roadshow - Wed BBC1 - 4.87m
16 Pointless - Thurs BBC1 - 4.73m
17 Ethel & Ernest - Wed BBC1 - 4.67m
18 Still Open All Hours - Sun BBC1 - 4.59m
19 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.39m
20 ITV News - Mon ITV - 4.33m
21 The Real Marigold On Our: Japan - Fri BBC2 - 4.18m
22 Film: Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix - Wed ITV - 4.16m
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. Don't blame this blogger, he doesn't make the rules. Sherlock's final audience figure showed a timeshift of over three million additional punters on top of the - already huge - overnight figure of 8.1 million. On BBC2, the top-rated programmes were both episodes of The Real Marigold On Tour with 4.18 million punters and 3.84 million. Charlie Brooker's 2016 Wipe was watched by 3.04 million, Christmas University Challenge by 2.94 million and Dad's Army by 2.69 million. Jools's Annual Hootenanny attracted 2.54 million viewers on New Year's Eve, followed Judi Dench: All The World's Her Stage (2.48 million viewers), Match Of The Day (2.46 million), Thailand: Earth's Tropical Paradise (2.37 million), Dragon's Den (2.31 million), Gordon Buchanan: Elephant Family & Me (2.25 million), Qi (2.07 million) and the movie What We Did On Our Holiday (1.71 million). Cunk On Christmas had 1.64 million. Titanic: The New Evidence was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast (2.64 million), followed by Big Fat Quiz Of The Year (2.61 million), Lego's Big Christmas (2.54 million) and Location, Location, Location (1.89 million). Amazing Spaces Snow Special was seen by 1.87 million viewers, whilst Twenty Four Hours In A&E drew 1.74 million. The Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown Christmas episode was watched by 1.33 million viewers, as was Peter Cook & Dudley Moore: The Missing Sketches. Channel Five's top performer was, The Adele Story with 2.24 million, ahead of The World's Strongest Man (two million viewers), Ken Dodd ... In His Own Words (1.61 million) and the movie Dirty Dancing (1.47 million). Kitten Rescuers was watched by nine hundred and ninety three thousand. Coverage of the Premier League action between Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws and Dirty Stoke on Sky Sports 1 was seen by 1.37 million punters. Sunday's game between The Arse and Crystal Palace drew 1.09 million whilst Watford versus Stottingtot Hotshots was seen by eight hundred and twenty nine thousand. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable and, increasing accident-prone of late) Magpies calamitous Boxing Day defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday attracted five hundred and ninety eight thousand punters, one thousand more than the audience for The Old Firm derby on New Year's Eve. Premier League Highlights on Sky Sports 2 drew fifty seven thousand. F1 Classic Races: Hungary 1993 was Sky Sports F1's most-watched broadcast with but ten thousand. Boxing Day's Gillette Soccer Special was top of the pile on Sky Sports News HQ with five hundred and fifty six thousand punters plus an additional four hundred and ninety seven thousand watching the simultcast on Sky Sports 1. Endeavour was ITV3's top-rated drama (seven hundred and twenty thousand viewers). Midsomer Murders was seen by seven hundred and four thousand and An Audience With That Awful Wood Woman by five hundred and seventy nine thousand. The movie Jeremiah Johnson headed ITV4's weekly list with three hundred and twenty nine thousand punters respectively. Mr Bean drew three hundred and twelve thousand viewers. ITV2's most-watched broadcasts were also for movies; Skyfall and The Lion King (1.32 million viewers and 1.24 million respectively). Vera headed ITV Encore's top ten with one hundred and fourteen thousand viewers, ahead of Poirot (eighty thousand) and Heartbeat (fifty three thousand). BBC4's list was topped by Flying Scotsman From The Footplate (a superb 1.02 million), followed by The Queen Mary: The Greatest Ocean Liner (six hundred and sixty six thousand), King George & Queen Mary: The Royals Who Rescued The Monarchy (six hundred and fifty eight thousand, whilst a repeat the next day had six hundred and twenty seven thousand), James May: The Christmas Reassembler (six hundred and twelve thousand) and Dawn French Live: Thirty Million Minutes (fifty hundred and forty nine thousand). Fleetwood Mac: Don't Stop drew five hundred and thirty six thousand and Pop Quiz: The Comeback had five hundred and twenty five thousand. Bob Monkhouse: The Last Stand was watched by five hundred and two thousand and The Royal Institution Christmas Lecture was seen by four hundred and ninety seven thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by Delicious (nine hundred and seventy six viewers). Hawaii Five-0 was seen by nine hundred and forty five thousand, Modern Family by nine hundred and eighteen thousand and NCIS: Los Angeles by nine hundred and fifteen thousand. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by The Affair (two hundred and thirty one thousand). Game Of Thrones attracted one hundred and thirty four thousand whilst Quarry was watched by one hundred and seventeen thousand. Making Attenborough's Galapagos had one hundred and three thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of Elementary attracted nine hundred and ninety nine thousand whilst Blindspot had seven hundred and eighty nine thousand and Conviction attracted seven hundred and eighty nine thousand. Greys Anatomy was watched by five hundred and thirty three thousand viewers and Nashville by three hundred and forty eight thousand. Sky Arts' Andre Rieu: New Years Eve Punch was seen by one hundred and four thousand viewers whilst the movie The King & I had one hundred thousand and Bee Gees: One Night Only, ninety eight thousand. 5USA's Castle was watched by three hundred and fifty two thousand viewers and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit by three hundred and fourteen thousand. NCIS topped CBS Action's list (ninety seven thousand). FOX's most watched programmes were American Dad! (two hundred and thirty three thousand), Family Guy (one hundred and fifty seven thousand) and NCIS (one hundred and forty three thousand). The Universal Channel's weekly list was headed by Pure Genius (one hundred and sixty thousand) and NCIS (one hundred and twenty one thousand). On Dave, Red Bull Soapbox Race: Mumbai was the highest-rated programme with four hundred and seventy nine thousand punters, followed by Would I Lie To You? (three hundred and ninety four thousand), Qi XL (two hundred and ninety three thousand), the wretched Taskmaster (two hundred and eighty five thousand) and the movie Goodfellas (two hundred and eighty four thousand ... who all watched, out of respect). The latest episode of Drama's repeat run of Inspector George Gently was watched by six hundred and eighty nine thousand viewers. Pride & Prejudice had five hundred and twenty four thousand, followed by New Tricks (four hundred and one thousand). Alibi's highest-rated programmes were Crossing Lines (two hundred and fifty six thousand), Jonathan Creek (two hundred and sixteen thousand), Sherlock (one hundred and seventy five thousand), Father Brown (one hundred and sixty six thousand) and Death In Paradise (one hundred and fifty five thousand). On The Sony Channel, Matilda was watched by one hundred and forty five thousand and Jumanji by one hundred and twenty two thousand. Yesterday's Wild Canada continued with three hundred and twenty three thousand and Steptoe & Son with two hundred and ninety seven. On the Discovery Channel, Alaska: The Last Frontier had one hundred and eighteen thousand viewers. Edge Of Alaska continued with ninety one thousand whilst Wheeler Dealers was seen by eighty one thousand and Legend of Croc Gold by seventy two thousand punters. Discovery History's The Weapon Hunter topped the weekly-list with twenty six thousand. Bloody Tales From History had twenty thousand thousand. Tony Robinson's World War I drew nineteen thousand. On Discovery Science, How It's Made was seen by fifty thousand viewers. Discovery Turbo's most-watched programme was Chasing Classic Cars with sixty five thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by Highway Thru Hell which had eighty two thousand viewers and Air Crash Investigation (seventy two thousand). The History Channel's top-ten list was topped by The Curse Of Oak Island (two hundred and five thousand). American Pickers attracted an audience of sixty two thousand. On Military History, In Search Of Aliens was watched by twenty four thousand. Married With Secrets, Britain's Deadliest Lovers and The Vanishing Women were ID's top-rated programmes of the week (with sixty two thousand viewers, sixty two thousand and forty nine thousand murder-lovers respectively). The Cold Case Files, Shannon Matthews and Homicide Hunter headed CI's list (sixty nine thousand, sixty three thousand and sixty thousand). GOLD's broadcast of Only Fools & Horses attracted two hundred and seventy four thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week were for Michael McIntyre: Live & Laughing (one hundred and forty one thousand) and Friends (one hundred and thirty one thousand). Your TV's Murder She Solved was seen by seventy four thousand. On More4, Come Dine With Me was the highest-rated programme with three hundred and ninety six thousand. Britain's Big Freeze attracted three hundred and sixty eight thousand punters. E4's latest episode of the massively popular The Big Bang Theory drew 2.34 million viewers, by a distance the largest multi-channels audience of the week. Hollyoaks had 1.10 million viewers. The Horror Channel's broadcast of Knowing attracted one hundred and twenty four thousand. The top ten list also included The Mist (ninety nine thousand), The Day The Earth Stopped (ninety eight thousand), one of yer actual Keith Telly topping's favourite movies Freddie Francis's 1964 classic Dr Terror's House Of Horrors (seventy two thousand) and Doomsday Prophecy (fifty nine thousand). The Librarians, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and sixty three thousand. The Hunt and The Blue Planet were watched by forty eight thousand and thirty three thousand respectively on Eden. Zoo was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with sixty seven thousand.

David Tennant will bring the curtain down on this year's Glasgow Film Festival. The former Doctor Who actor and national heartthrob will attend the closing gala on 26 February for the world premiere of his latest film, Mad To Be Normal. Also starring Michael Gambon and Gabriel Byrne, the film is about the life of the Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing. The thirteenth festival opens on 15 February with a screening of Handsome Devil, starring Sherlock's Andrew Scott. GFF co-director Allison Gardner said: 'I am so excited to share the news about our great opening and closing galas. Handsome Devil is a real crowd-pleaser with a joyous spirit that makes it a perfect film to launch the festival. David Tennant gives an absolutely stunning performance as RD Laing in Mad To Be Normal and it seems only fitting that Glasgow should have the honour of hosting the premiere of a film about one of the city's most complex, charismatic figures.' Laing was seen as a radical when he set up a medication-free community for psychiatric patients in London in the 1960s. The film also features Elizabeth Moss. A documentary series about influential art writer John Berger, titled The Seasons In Quincy, has also been added to the GFF schedule after Berger's death on 2 January. The result of a five-year project by Tilda Swinton, Colin MacCabe and Christopher Roth in collaboration with the composer Simon Fisher Turner, the documentary is made with four films on different aspects of Berger's life and will be shown on 24 and 25 February. The full festival programme is to be detailed later in January but events already announced include a live music performance involving Alex Kapranos and Stuart Braithwaite. The ABC show will follow a special screening of documentary Lost In France, looking at the rise of Scotland's independent music scene and bands such as Mogwai and Arab Strap. The 2017 GFF programme also celebrates Canadian cinema and the role of women in thrillers. Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety said: 'GFF is a highlight on the city's cultural calendar. The opening gala is always an exciting event, heralding the beginning of eleven packed days of film in the UK's cinema city. It's particularly great to see that a famous Glaswegian will be depicted on screen for this year's closing gala film.'

TV Comedy Line Of The Week: Phill Jupitas's running gag on this week's Qi about how crap Coldplay b-sides are. Along with everything else about Coldplay, frankly.
Sir Tom Jones has said that getting dropped from The Voice shows its contestants that even established stars have to 'cope with rejection.' In Tom's case, badly. Speaking at a press launch of the sixth series of the show, Tom added that he was 'pleased' ratings went down for the series when he was not featured as a coach, which seems rather bitter and unbecoming, frankly. 'Whoever was responsible made a mistake,' said the full-of-himself Welsh singer. He was invited back after ITV bought the rights to broadcast The Voice, previously shown on the BBC. Tom suggested it was not the BBC that was behind the decision to no longer have him on the show, but 'the people on The Voice, whoever, the powers that be. I did a show on the BBC right after that - Children In Need, with Rob Brydon,' he noted. 'I wasn't really upset with the BBC. But whoever was responsible made a mistake.' Tom - seen below, during his Curiously Orange Phase - spoke of the importance of artists believing in themselves because 'you're bound to get knockbacks. There's a knockback right there, at my time of life - to prove to these young singers coming on the show that even I got a knockback, after all that time. Then you've got to think - it's their loss. I knew what the public felt because of the feedback I had.' He also recalled a time he entered talent competitions himself, in South Wales - much to the amusement of his fellow coaches. 'I lost out to a ventriloquist once - and she was terrible,' he mused. 'I had to walk away from that.' - the only coach to have featured on every series of the talent contest - said that the lack of chart success for The Voice's previous winners has been 'down to song choice.' said that the new prize of a record deal with Polydor would 'change things. It comes down to song choice. I think that's one of the reasons we've not seen a real star from the show. The songs they've been singing [have been] like, whatever.' Talking about the show going up against BBC singing competition Let It Shine, fronted by Tory tax-evader Gary Barlow, he added: 'We have people coming up against us, thinking they can slide right around our time slot - so what. We're the headliners - watch The Voice, see the drama, see the amazingness, boom.' In the event, Let It Shine came out, slightly, on top in the overnights, the opening episode being watched by 6.25 million live viewers whilst The Voice attracted an average overnight audience of 5.95 million (including ITV +1 viewers). Both programmes had a similar fifteen minute peak of around 6.8 million.
Endeavour is now a returning favourite for ITV - but Shaun Evans has always refused to sign up for more than one series at a time. Evans told the Digital Spy website that 'a bad experience' early in his career - on Channel Four's Teachers - made him 'wary' of ever agreeing to a long-term contract again. 'That was my first job out of drama school and it was a funny experience,' he explained. 'I enjoyed it for the most part, but I didn't enjoy the fact that I didn't know where it was going. I found that irritating and I found it difficult to work like that. I loved all the other actors but I just didn't find it as fulfilling as I'd hoped that I would. Ultimately, I knew it wasn't somewhere that I wanted to stay, to be honest. I was lucky that they let me out of the contract.' Ten years later, when he landed the role of a young Endeavour Morse in Endeavour, a more experienced Evans was keen not to make the same mistake twice. 'When we started with this, there were no contracts, no "You'll be doing this for six years" - because of that experience,' he revealed. 'I just don't really like starting a job if I don't know where it finishes. I want to know where something begins and ends, so that you can invest something in it. If there's no end in sight, there'd be a tendency to play yourself or to not put any creativity into it.' Knowing that his Morse will one day go on to become the character as played by John Thaw was 'definitely' an advantage, Evans said. 'I think it'd be super-difficult otherwise - it'd be like going completely into the unknown. I know where this is going - and so that takes a weight off my mind.' The downside to having your character's path laid out for you is that it might all get a bit predictable - But Evans insists that he and the team behind Endeavour work hard to keep the show fresh and inventive. 'There is a certain amount of baggage that comes with it,' he acknowledged. 'It's a funny one in that respect. We try and make it our own thing. You don't want it to be a bloody nostalgia-fest. It wouldn't be very good, I don't think. You don't want it to be like putting on a pair of slippers and it's boring. It's got to be challenging.' Evans says that he has 'a feeling in [his] mind' as to when Endeavour will end, too - though it sounds as though he's happy to sign on for a few more series yet. One year at a time.
David Attenborough's blockbuster nature series Planet Earth II is 'a disaster for the world's wildlife' and a 'significant contributor' to planet-wide extinctions, a rival natural history producer has claimed. The BBC programme concluded in December and drew huge audiences but presents 'an escapist wildlife fantasy' which 'ignores the damage humans are doing' to species everywhere, according to Martin Hughes-Games, a presenter of the BBC's Springwatch. Or, now, a former present on BBC's Springwatch one imagines. In a direct attack on Attenborough's flagship series, which features a soundtrack by the Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer and became the most-watched nature programme in fifteen years when it was broadcast last month, Hughes-Games whinged that the makers had 'ignored evidence' of mass extinction, most recently from the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Zoological Society of London, which reported last year that between 1970 and 2012 there had been a fifty eight per cent decline in the abundance of vertebrates worldwide. 'These programmes are still made as if this worldwide mass extinction is simply not happening,' he said. 'The producers continue to go to the rapidly shrinking parks and reserves to make their films – creating a beautiful, beguiling, fantasy world, a utopia where tigers still roam free and untroubled, where the natural world exists as if man had never been.' The result is that Attenborough and others 'are lulling the huge worldwide audience into a false sense of security,' he said. 'No hint of the continuing disaster is allowed to shatter the illusion.' Attenborough, however, did use the series to make an impassioned plea for greater conservation. At the end of the final episode he spoke of 'our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on Earth.' He has also insisted that his programmes 'enable an increasingly urbanised global population' to 'remain in touch' with nature. 'More people are out of touch with the natural world than have ever been,' Attenborough said at a press conference to launch the series in October. 'But, since we depend on the natural world, understanding it is absolutely paramount. Television can provide that link better than ever before, in some ways. Fifty years ago, there was hardly a species on [Planet Earth II] that anyone would have seen. Now everybody has. It's remarkable and it's valuable.' The BBC declined to comment on Hughes-Games's criticism that the impression of Attenborough's shows create was misleading. 'Even as Planet Earth II was being broadcast, it was reported that elephant and lion numbers were tumbling and last month it became clear that the giraffe could be heading towards extinction, with numbers plummeting by forty per cent in the past fifteen years,' Hughes-Games said. There is, however, also evidence of improving fortunes for some species. Tiger numbers are thought to be increasing for the first time in years and the giant panda has recently been removed from the list of endangered species. Hughes-Games said that he was not arguing programmes such as Planet Earth II should not be made, although it very much sounded like he was. He said 'fantasy should be balanced by reality' and urged the BBC to commit to making more wildlife programmes that overtly address conservation. Hughes-Games proposed 'injecting conservation themes' into TV dramas and children's programming. He said: 'As a matter of urgency, a ­development team should be set up to think how the reality of what's happening to wildlife worldwide can be portrayed in ­innovative ways, integrated in dramas, in children's shows – in collaborations with ­producers like Aardman Animations, perhaps, or video diaries of ­inspirational people working with animals.'
From The North favourite the great Nicola Walker has been a Doctor Who companion since 2014 - but if you stick only to the TV series, you might not know it. The BAFTA-nominated actress plays Liv Chenka - the companion to Paul McGann's Doctor - in the popular Big Finish audio plays. 'I've been doing them for quite a long time now - they're great and more and more people are listening to them,' the actress told the Digital Spy website in a wide-ranging batch of interviews in which she discussed the legacy of [spooks] and the forthcoming second series of Unforgotten. 'I'll do [Big Finish] for as long as they ask me to do them. It's an absolute pleasure, sort of the dream job - great actors, great directors and people totally committed to making the work as good as possible, but with an air of real kindness. I love them.' But while she's keen to continue with Doctor Who on audio, the actress said that she has no desire to cross over into the television version. 'What, wheel me and Paul out on TV? It's just not going to happen. But the nature of audio gives you, I think, a lot more creative freedom. If you could make telly as good as radio, it would be amazing - audio can do things so easily that television can't.'
Lena Dunham, the writer and actress behind HBO series Girls, has praised women's magazine Glamour for not airbrushing an image of her on its cover. 'Thank you to Glamour for letting my cellulite do the damn thing on news stands everywhere today,' she wrote in an Instagram post. She appears on the magazine's February issue, said to be one hundred per cent produced by women, with Girls co-stars Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke. Dunham said that she was 'proud' to have her thigh 'on full imperfect display' on the cover of a magazine read by millions of women. In her teens, she was often told she was 'funny looking,' she writes. 'Potbelly, rabbit teeth, knock knees - I could never seem to get it right and it haunted my every move. I posed as the sassy confident one, secretly horrified and hurt by careless comments and hostility. Let's get something straight: I didn't hate what I looked like - I hated the culture that was telling me to hate it.'
David Blaine is known for his death-defying hi-jinks and that, but one recent act nearly cost him his life. During an episode of the TV show Beyond Magic which was broadcast this week, Blaine was very wounded when a speeding bullet caused his mouth guard to shatter, causing debris to lacerate his throat. The act was one that Blaine has performed before, when he used a shotgun to fire a bullet toward his mouth. 'When the bullet struck the cup, there was a high-pitched ringing in my ear,' Blaine said. 'I felt an impact on the back of my throat. I was sure the bullet went right through my head and that I was dead. Suddenly I became aware of the pain and it brought me back.' During the broadcast, Blaine was attended by medics before being transported to the hospital. It appeared that the injuries Blaine sustained were relatively minor.

The makers of an Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway board game have grovellingly apologised after it was found to have 'several errors' in it. The game features cards with a series of quiz questions, but some of the answers given are incorrect. One answer claims that the Moon is two hundred and twenty five miles away from the Earth - instead of about two hundred and thirty eight thousand nine hundred miles. Although, if it had only been two hundred and twenty five miles away it would have probably saved NASA a lot of time, money and effort getting there. A decent trampoline should've done it. Manufacturers Paul Lamond Games claimed that they 'unreservedly apologise' and added replacement cards would be issued. It is understood 'at least six' of the fifty answers in one round of the game - which costs a penny under twenty knicker - are incorrect. One placed Stonehenge in Somerset instead of Wiltshire and a maths question suggested that two cubed was bigger than three squared. Which, it isn't if you're wondering. It also claimed that Albert Einstein died in 1949 instead of 1955 and gave the number of Coronation Street episodes to date as eight thousand, when the actual figure is more than nine thousand. One - nameless and, therefore, probably fictitious - customer who allegedly bought the game allegedly told the Sun: 'I couldn't believe it, the answers are so ridiculous [but] the kids won't accept the game could possibly be wrong.' Perhaps you ought to get onto the games makers and see if they can get you replacement kids as well as replacement cards, mate. A representative for Paul Lamond Games told the BBC: 'We have been made aware of some mistakes with the answers to the questions within the first production run of this game. These have now been corrected and we would like to unreservedly apologise for these errors. Any affected customer can e-mail us stating their name and full address and we will send out a replacement set of corrected cards free of charge.'
An old newspaper with autographs of The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) which were 'forged' by alcoholic, wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon has sold at auction for two grand. To someone with more money than sense, presumably. A front page photo shows yer actual Paul McCartney crowning a carnival queen in Northwich, in 1963. It was taken by the photographer Les Goode and featured in Alkali News - an in-house magazine for the chemical company ICI. He sent it to The Be-Atles to be autographed, but John Lennon signed it on behalf of all four band members (so, technically, only three of the signatures are forgeries in that case). Lennon wrote: 'All the best from The Be-Atles' before sending it back to Goode. Liverpool auctioneers Adam Partridge said Goode had worked with The Be-Atles before and had 'known them for a while.' A spokesman said: 'Goode's widow said Lennon was a big character who was full of mischief so she was sure her husband knew the signatures were all in the hand of John Lennon. In fact that's the reason it sold today.'
A very naughty Illinois man found extremely guilty of stealing a television remote from an apartment complex common area has been sentenced to twenty two years in The Big House. In August 2015, Eric Bramwell took the universal remote from a Wheaton apartment building but dropped a glove before he left the complex, the Chicago Tribune reported. A DNA sample taken from the glove matched Bramwell's DNA logged in the state's Convicted Felon Database. The thirty five-year-old was found very guilty of the theft in November and, earlier this week, he was sentenced to twenty two years in jail. Whether he shat in his own keks when the sentence was read out, tragically, we don't know. He must serve at least half of his sentence before even becoming eligible to apply for parole. Because of his criminal history, Bramwell had could have been due to anything up to thirty years in The Pokey so, presumably, he should be looking at his twenty two year sentence as having got off lightly. Bramwell allegedly committed a series of similar remote and television thefts from other apartment complexes nearby, prosecutors said. 'Bramwell's illegal activity and his history have finally caught up with him,' state attorney Robert Berlin told the Tribune. 'Regardless of what was stolen, Mister Bramwell repeatedly thumbed his nose at the law. He took what he wanted, time and time again, and expected to avoid the consequences. That's not how it works, as Mister Bramwell has now found out.'

A massive spool of wire caused havoc for drivers on a Pennsylvania highway after falling off the back of a truck. Driver David Cole, from Alabama, shared cellphone video with KDKA of the giant wooden spool as it rolled down the highway. 'Not in all my travelling, I've never seen nothing like that,' he noted. A sentence which includes three negative, dear blog reader. You've got to love the American education system, haven't you? '[I've] seen quite a few accidents, but nothing quite like that,' he added.
People who post their fitness routine to Facebook have psychological problems, a study claims. Mind you, this is according to the Independent so it's probably a load of horseshit.
Italian authorities are investigating a Catholic priest from Padua who has been accused of hosting orgies in his rectory and pimping out a stable of women according to the New York Post. Father Andrea Contin, a parish priest at the Church of San Lazzaro, is reported to be under investigation for domestic violence and abetting prostitution after three female parishioners complained about his unholy behaviour. Authorities have already raided his rectory (which, presumably, would've made his eyes water) and 'seized a stash of sex toys, along with homemade porn videos of orgies that allegedly took place on church grounds.' The priest is even said to have disguised his videos with covers emblazoned with 'the names of various popes.' Contin is also accused of pimping out some of his lovers, which could amount to as many as fifteen women, to other men on wife-swapping websites. He lived lavishly as well, taking luxurious trips with some of the women across Europe, including a visit to a nudist village in the seaside resort town of Cap d'Agde in France. Word of Contin's allegedly less-than-priestly behaviour reached a local bishop last summer, but church officials 'wanted to finish their own investigation' before contacting the police. Contin has not been arrested and is currently 'on vacation in Croatia.' The parish has asked him to step down as the investigation continues, but 'that does not amount to a conviction,' read a statement from the Diocese of Padua. Only, they wrote it in Italian. Obviously. One forty nine-year-old church volunteer told local media that she was one of the priest's 'many' lovers. 'There were a lot of women hovering around him,' she told Il Mattino di Padova. 'I didn't understand that at first, only later.' The woman added that Contin had 'pursued' her over the phone and sent her 'a flood of messages.' Eventually, they 'shared a kiss' and then 'started having sex all the time.' 'It happened in the rectory and in different houses,' she said. 'But, I say "no more" because there are investigations. When? At all hours: Morning, afternoon, night. Always.' Another woman told the same Italian newspaper that she initially turned to Contin for help when she was going through 'personal and financial problems,' and after a few meetings, he made a move on her. Eventually, he wanted more 'extreme and violent sex,' she claimed.
A French tourist was bitten by a crocodile after posing next to the enormous reptile in a misguided - and, frankly idiotic - attempt to take a selfie, according to media reports. The woman was exploring Thailand's Khao Yai National Park with her husband when the duo came across the giant reptile, reported the Mirra. When the couple squatted down next to the crocodile to take their selfie, the croc, as it were, just snapped. It reportedly sank its teeth into the woman's thigh as the picture was being taken. Bet that one'll have been swiftly deleted from their phone. Images from the scene show the woman being whisked away by rescuers, as the croc ambled off into the distance. The park reportedly posts many signs telling visitors to stay on paths and not detour through the thicket. And, not to do anything so downright moronic as get within biting distance of a sodding great crocodile, one imagines. The unnamed woman, whose leg appeared bandaged, was transported to an area hospital, where she was treated for her injuries. Tragically, there is no medical cure for Being A Cretin.
The Rwanda Football Federation is reported to be 'taking steps' to put an end to what some believe is witchcraft working its way into football matches. New rules have been put in place to punish clubs, managers or players judged to 'engage in the practice,' according, again, to the Mirra. Who, of course, wouldn't ever make shit like this up. Oh no. Well, not since they stopped hacking phones, anyway. The decision reportedly comes on the heels of an incident earlier this month in a match between Mukura Victory Sports and Rayon Sport. Rayon striker Moussa Camara, whose team was losing one-nil, apparently hit the Mukura Victory Sports woodwork on a shot. Footage showed Camara running over to the post and appear to place an object down, much to the opposing goalkeeper's chagrin. Camara then ran away as his opponents lashed out at him. He earned a yellow card from the referee for the act, however Camara scored an equaliser a few minutes later. Whether witchcraft was behind that or just regular skill is up to the individual to decide. FERWAFA said that it wouldn't stand for any of this malarkey no more. Coaches and players can face 'steep fines and bans' if found guilty of using witchcraft. If a team is found guilty, they face a three-point deduction and a fine of five hundred thousand Rwandan Francs. That's about ten quid, I think. FERWAFA vice president Vedaste Kayiranga told the New Times: 'Since there is no scientific way to prove the use of witchcraft, these measures will base upon reports from match officials and anything that is deemed to incite witchcraft will be put under consideration.' So, if you're popping along to a game in Rwanda, dear blog reader, leave your eye of newt and your broomstick at home.

Massive public brawls in shopping centres 'are becoming an American holiday tradition' according to this report. And, why not? People must have a hobby after all.
This weekend, of course, sees the first anniversary of the death of this chap his very self.
And the world, quite simply, hasn't been right ever since, dear blog reader. You might have noticed. Some people clearly have. Indeed, David himself did noting, as long ago as 2004, 'what a disappointing Twenty First Century this has been so far.' That Bowie, eh? Always ahead of the game, even on what the world was going to be like after he'd gone.
It was revealed this week that David only learned his cancer was terminal about three months before he died, according to a new BBC documentary. David Bowie: The Last Five Years confirmed that the singer found out his chemo treatment was to be stopped in the week that he made the 'Lazarus' music video in early November 2015. The documentary was broadcast on Saturday, the day before what would have been David's seventieth birthday and three days before the first anniversary of his death. It covered Bowie's A Reality Tour in 2003 to 2004 which ended when David suffered from a mild heart-attack as well as the last four years of his life and the making of The Next Day and Blackstar. Speaking in the documentary, Johan Renck, the director of the 'Lazarus' video, said: 'I found out later that the week we were shooting is when he found out that it is over. We'll end treatment or whatever capacity that means, that his illness has won.' Renck said that the video, which showed Bowie in a bed with his eyes bandaged and covered with buttons, was not about the singer's illness. 'To me it had to do with the biblical aspect of it, you know the man who would rise again, and it had nothing to do with him being ill. That was only because I liked the imagery of it.' David's long-time producer and close friend Tony Visconti said in the documentary that the artist was 'at the top of his game' when recording his final CD, Blackstar, released on 8 January 2016. Visconti added: 'David had great, grand ideas. To become well known, famous, for him was initially to have the resources to realise what his ideas were. He really does come from that spirit, he just didn't want to be famous per se.' Highlights included artist Jonathan Barnbrook discussing the process by which he and Bowie came up with the striking cover design for The Next Day. Barnbrook shared the photograph that inspired Bowie to look back at iconic images of himself and revealed a series of discarded cover ideas (one of which features the star logo that would later appear on Blackstar). The documentary also featured a number of isolated tracks from Bowie's last two CDs, including vocal takes from 'Where Are We Now?', 'Blackstar', and 'Lazarus'. In one particularly amusing clip at the very end of the documentary, Visconti played a snippet of studio banter in which Bowie muttered the words, 'Little mouse fart.' 'Here's a space oddity,' said Tony before playing the clip. 'We'll never hear David Bowie fart!' Directed by Francis Whately, the - utterly superb - documentary was a follow-up to the acclaimed David Bowie: Five Years, which was first broadcast in 2013.
Twenty minutes into the documentary, of course, and you could already hear the sound of poor old Nick Pegg - The Last Five Years' adviser - muttering 'bloody hell, colour footage of the 1970 Hype Roundhouse gig, black and white concert footage of the Diamond Dogs tour ... Now, I'll just have to write another edition of The Complete David Bowie! 'It's a tough job, Nick, but somebody's got to do it, mate!
And, finally on the subject of the late and much lamented Dave, BBC Arts this week produced the seventeen minute video The Last Supper, a superb round-table discussion between long-term Bowie collaborators Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Stirling Campbell, Catherine Russell and Gerry Leonard about their time in Ziggy's band. Check it out, here.