Saturday, February 25, 2017

All My Violence Raining Tears Upon The Sheet

'He says he's a man of peace. But he walks in war!' Psst ... wanna see the new Doctor Who series ten teaser trailer, dear blog reader? Daft question, 'course y'do! Check it out.
The Sherlock co-creator, actor and actor, Mark Gatiss, has 'added to speculation' that the phenomenally successful BBC drama 'may have run its course.' Or, in other - slightly less bollocky - words, Mark Gatiss has said, again, pretty much exactly what Mark and The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) have been continually saying whenever asked the same ruddy pestering question over the last year or so; that any potential future Sherlock series' will entirely depend on being able to fit such a production into the busy schedule of its lead actors. Still, why let that spoil another opportunity for, in this particular instance, the good old reliable Daily Torygraph, to get a nothing story out of it. So, there's clearly a 'y' in the day.
Mark stated that it was 'a growing challenge' to find time when both yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman his very self, can film together. 'I honestly don't know if there will be any more. It's incredibly difficult to get Benedict and Martin's diaries to align,' Gatiss said at the What's On Stage awards, according to the Sun. 'And obviously, we left it in a very happy place. If that's the end I'd be very happy where we left it.' Mark also revealed that the final day of filming of the last series of Sherlock had ended with something of a 'whimper.' 'The last day tends to be an odd day - it's never quite as you imagine it. But we did actually try and contrive it so the very last shot was Benedict and Martin running out of the building,' he said. 'Then, we realised that we had to do one last shot the next day of Martin falling over - so that's how it ended. As usual these things end with a whimper.' The good news is that if Benny and Marty do ever free up some time for more Sherlock, Mark and The Lord Thy God Steven (OBE) already have a few story ideas lined-up. 'Mark's always wanted to do The Red-Headed League [and] there's The Engineer's Thumb, which is a slightly mad story that doesn't have a proper ending,' The Moffat recently revealed. 'There's an element of The Greek Interpreter that I think is really exciting, which hasn't been done, because in our version of events Irene Adler is still out there. There's always that. We know she and Sherlock actually still text each other. What would happen if they ever met again? There are those things we can do, but we simply have no idea whether we'll be doing them or not.' At the very least, we can bank on seeing yer man Cumberbatch back on the BBC in the months ahead for a one-off adaptation of Ian McEwan's 1987 novel The Child In Time.
Here are the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Four programmes broadcast during the week-ending Sunday 19 February 2017:-
1 Call The Midwife - Sun BBC1 - 10.63m
2 The Moorside - Tues BBC1 - 10.23m
3 Death In Paradise - Thurs BBC1 - 8.32m
4 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.89m
5 SS-GB - Sun BBC1 - 7.82m
6 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.67m
7 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.25m
8 Emmerdale - Tues ITV - 6.76m
9 The Voice - Sat ITV - 6.09m
10 The Real Marigold Hotel - Wed BBC1 - 6.00m
11 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.77m
12 The Good Karma Hospital - Sun ITV - 5.70m
13 Taboo - Sat BBC1 - 5.53m
14 Six O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 5.29m
15 Who Do You Think You Are? - Wed BBC1 - 5.24m
16 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.94m
17 The Halcyon - Mon ITV - 4.91m
18 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.85m
19 Let It Shine - Sat BBC1 - 4.80m
20 Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.67m
21 Not Going Out - Fri BBC1 - 4.27m
22 Pointless Z-List Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.23m
23 The ONE Show - Thurs BBC1 - 4.04m
24 The Big Painting Challenge - Sun BBC1 - 3.92m
These consolidated figures, published weekly by the British Audience Research Bureau, include all viewers who watched programmes live and on various forms of catch-up TV and video-on-demand during the seven days after initial broadcast, but do not include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. It's probably a bit over-the-top to describe odious self-confessed Tory tax-avoider Gary Barlow's Let It Shine as a 'flop', per se, but having lost around a third of its initial audience across five weeks, 'a major disappointment and a bloody disgraceful waste of licence fee payer's money,' probably isn't all that far from the mark. Particularly as it has also managed to make The Voice's weekly audience figures look 'better-than-average' in comparison. On BBC2, the top-rated programme was University Challenge with 2.87 million viewers. Dragons' Den was watched by 2.65 million, Further Back In Time For Dinner by 2.47 million, The Great Pottery Throw Down by 2.37 million and The Lake District: A Wild Year by 2.32 million. Hospital attracted 2.18 million viewers and Mastermind, 2.04 million. Trust Me, I'm A Doctor was watched by 1.95 million viewers, followed by Only Connect (1.90 million), Grand Tours Of The Scottish Island (1.83 million), Dad's Army (1.80 million), Great American Railroad Journeys (1.78 million), An Island Parish: Anguilla (1.72 million), Andrew Marr: My Brain & Me (1.69 million), SAS: Rogue Warriors (1.64 million), Big Dreams, Small Spaces (1.57 million), Qi (1.53 million) and Eggheads (1.47 million). This World: Russia's Hooligan Army had an audience of 1.32 million. First Dates: Valentine's Special was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast (2.51 million punters), followed by The Jump (2.13 million), No Offence (2.03 million viewers) and Location, Location, Location (1.93 million). The latest episode of The Last Leg With Adam Hills was seen by 1.76 million viewers, whilst the movie X-Men: Days Of Future Past had 1.70 million. The Supervet drew 1.69 million, Twenty Four Hours In A&E continued with 1.61 million and Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown was watched by 1.52 million viewers. Parenting For Idiots was seen by eight hundred and ninety thousand punters with, presumably, nothing better to do with their time than watch tripe like this. With Z-List Celebrity Big Brother having now ended, Cruising With Jane McDonald was, again, Channel Five's top performer with an audience of 1.90 million, ahead of Inside Windsor Castle (1.78 million viewers), Z-List Celebrity Barging (1.53 million), GPs: Behind Closed Doors (1.39 million), The Great British Benefits Handout Change (1.36 million) and Winter Road Rescue (1.29 million). Bankrupt & Broke: When Z-List Celebs Go Bust drew six hundred and sixty thousand. Coverage of Live Premier League: Bournemouth Versus Sheikh Yer Man City on Sky Sports 1 was seen by six hundred and twenty six thousand punters whilst the Live SPFL game between Kilmarnock and Aberdeen drew one hundred and seventy four thousand. The Sunday Supplement was seen by seventy seven thousand. On Sky Sports 2, Live World Club Series attracted one hundred and sixty seven thousand. Gillette Soccer Saturday was top of the pile on Sky Sports News HQ with three hundred and fifty three thousand punters and an additional one hundred and eighty four thousand on the Sky Sports 1 simultcast. Quite a bit down on a standard Premier League week due to the FA Cup Fifth Round taking place on Saturday. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and fifty eight thousand viewers). Agatha Christie's Marple was seen by six hundred and forty nine thousand and Doc Martin by six hundred and eighteen thousand. ITV Racing headed ITV4's weekly list with three hundred and forty thousand punters. A showing of the classic 1959 Howard Hawks movie Rio Bravo drew three hundred and twenty four thousand. ITV2's most-watched broadcasts were for Family Guy (six hundred and twenty three thousand), the movies After Earth (six hundred and seventeen thousand) and the classic Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost action comedy Hot Fuzz (five hundred and sixty four thousand). Worthless, vomit encrusted example of everything that is wrong with British television and British society in the Twenty First Century, Celebrity Juice was watched by five hundred and sixty six thousand planks whilst the second episode of disgraceful waste of oxygen shat Release The Hounds: Famous & Freaked drew five hundred and seventeen thousand, a drop of over two hundred thousand viewers - or around thirty per cent of the audience - from the premier. Oh dear, how sad, never mind. In Plain Sight headed ITV Encore's top ten with fifty five thousand viewers, followed by Vera (fifty one thousand thousand) and Downton Abbey (forty four thousand). BBC4's list was topped by the second episode of Roots (1.17 million viewers), followed by The Art Of France (five hundred and fifty two thousand), Treasures Of Ancient Egypt (four hundred and ninety six thousand), Planet Earth II (four hundred and eighty eight thousand), Easter Island: Mysteries Of A Lost World (four hundred and sixty seven thousand) and The Good Old Days (four hundred and fifty one thousand). Life On A Mountain: A Year On Blencathra drew four hundred and forty six thousand, Ford's Dagenham Dream, four hundred and thirteen thousand, Britain's Ancient Capital: Secrets Of Orkney With Scottish Neil Oliver And His Lovely Hair, three hundred and fifty nine thousand and Great American Rock Anthems: Turn It Up!, three hundred and forty eight thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by The Flash (eight hundred and sixty eight thousand viewers). The Blacklist was seen by eight hundred and fifty eight thousand, Hawaii Five-0 by eight hundred and thirty four thousand, Modern Family by eight hundred and three thousand and NCIS: Los Angeles by seven hundred and one thousand. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the return of Blue Bloods (three hundred and seventy seven thousand). Fortitude attracted three hundred and thirty four thousand. The Kettering Incident had two hundred and seventy five thousand, Last Night Tonight With John Oliver, two hundred and fifty four thousand and Girls, one hundred and thirty two thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of Bones was seen by 1.03 million whilst Elementary had nine hundred and seventy five thousand, Blindspot drew eight hundred and twenty one thousand, Grey's Anatomy, five hundred and ten thousand, Madam Secretary, four hundred and sixty one thousand and Scandal - with those two awful women that can't act to save their lives - four hundred and twenty two thousand. Sky Arts' Portrait Artist Of The Year was watched by three hundred and thousand viewers whilst one of the most miss-named TV programmes of all time, The Queen Group: The Magic Years, had eighty thousand and the fifth episode of Urban Myths - the Noel Clarke/Muhammad Ali one which, like the Cary Grant/Timothy Leary episode a week earlier, this blogger enjoyed greatly - seventy two thousand. It deserved more. One of the channel's daily repeats of Tales Of The Unexpected drew forty nine thousand. 5USA's NCIS was watched by six hundred and thirty nine thousand viewers, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit by five hundred thousand and Castle by four hundred and ninety nine thousand. NCIS also topped the weekly lists of CBS Action (one hundred and sixty two thousand) and featured in the top tens of FOX (nine hundred and eighty three thousand viewers) and The Universal Channel (one hundred and fifty one thousand). It's not 'the most-watched drama series in the world' for nothing, you know? It was also interesting to note FOX's rather sneering continuity announcer saying, before a recent episode was broadcast, 'you can watch NCIS on many channels but this is the only one where you can see new ones.' Do you want a bastard medal, or what? The latest episode of The Walking Dead topped FOX's weekly list with 1.57 million, by a distance the largest multichannels audience of the week. The much-trailed Legion - which is, actually, rather good. If a bit, you know, mental - had five hundred and forty four thousand, the opening episode of the hugely disappointing 24 : Legacy was seen by five hundred and twelve thousand. Bull continued to shed viewers faster than a dog sheds hair with four hundred and fifty eight thousand. The Universal Channel's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit attracted three hundred and thirty four thousand, Chicago Med, two hundred and thirty two thousand and Pure Genius, one hundred and seventy four thousand. On Dave, Suits attracted four hundred and thirty two thousand viewers. Top Gear continued with three hundred and forty one thousand petrolheads, followed by Mock The Week (three hundred and thirty two thousand), Have I Got A Bit More News For You (two hundred and ninety one thousand), Not Going Out (two hundred and eighty three thousand) and Qi XL (two hundred and seventy two thousand). The latest episode of Drama's repeat run of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries was watched by four hundred and thirty two thousand viewers. New Tricks had four hundred and twenty nine thousand whilst Taggart drew four hundred and twenty six thousand (to discover that, wholly unexpectedly, 'there's bin a murrrrrdah!'). Alibi's highest-rated programmes were Murdoch Mysteries (three hundred thousand), Death In Paradise (one hundred and thirty six thousand), Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour (one hundred and twenty five thousand) and Father Brown (ninety six thousand). On The Sony Channel, the movies Matilda and Jumanji were watched by one hundred and two thousand and sixty six thousand respectively, Hustle and [spooks] both attracted thirty eight thousand. Yesterday's Open All Hours repeats continued with two hundred and fifteen thousand and Sounds Of The Sixties was seen by two hundred and eleven thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Rush was watched by five hundred and twenty four thousand viewers. Fast N' Loud had one hundred and ninety seven thousand. Alaskan Bush People was seen by one hundred and fifty nine thousand and Wheeler Dealers by ninety two thousand. Episodes of Wheeler Dealers also topped the weekly lists of both Discovery Shed (seventy one thousand) and Discovery Turbo (thirty seven thousand). Discovery History's Time Team headed the top ten-list with thirty seven thousand. King Tut's Mystery Tomb Opened had thirty three thousand, Hitler's Henchmen, thirty thousand and Off The Rails, twenty seven thousand. On Discovery Science, How It's Made was seen by sixty nine thousand viewers. On Quest, Salvage Hunters was watched by four hundred and seventy one thousand. Pick's Caught On Dashcam had three hundred and twenty thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by Air Crash Investigation which had one hundred and seventy one thousand viewers and Car SOS (seventy nine thousand). The History Channel's weekly list was topped by The Curse Of Oak Island (two hundred and thirty three thousand) and Forged In Fire (one hundred and fifty eight thousand). On Military History, WWII's Most Daring Raids was watched by twenty eight thousand punters and Ancient Top Ten by twenty seven thousand. A Crime To Remember, Your Worst Nightmare and True Nightmares were ID's top-rated programmes with sixty three thousand, sixty thousand and fifty four thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. Crimes That Shook Australia, Nightmare In Suburbia and The Cold Case File headed CI's list (forty nine thousand, forty three thousand and forty three thousand). Gangs Of Britain drew thirty six thousand viewers - all of whom were, presumably, drinking lager and polishing their knuckle-duster whilst doing so. GOLD's repeat run of Only Fools & Horses attracted two hundred and twelve thousand and Blackadder II, one hundred and seventy nine thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers (three hundred and seventy eight thousand). Your TV's repeat on Bones series two continued with an audience of sixty seven thousand. On More4, The Team was the highest-rated programme with five hundred and nine thousand. Four In A Bed attracted four hundred and forty five thousand punters and Vet On The Hill, four hundred and twelve thousand. E4's latest episode of Hollyoaks drew 1.17 million viewers and Brooklyn Nine Nine, 1.06 million. The Horror Channel's broadcast of Virus attracted one hundred and seventeen thousand. The top-ten list also included I Spit On Your Grave (one hundred and fourteen thousand), The Blob (ninety one thousand), The Last Exorcism (sixty nine thousand) and An American Werewolf In Paris (sixty seven thousand). Safe, headed Syfy's top-ten with one hundred and eleven thousand. The truly woeful Independents Day was seen by ninety eight thousand and Bitten by eighty nine thousand. Nature's Great Events was watched by fifty five thousand on Eden whilst Frozen Planet attracted thirty eight thousand viewers. Finding Bigfoot and Doctor Dee: Alaska Vet were the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with thirty nine thousand and thirty three thousand respectively. Grimm on W drew five hundred and seventy nine thousand punters. Zaiqa Ka Safar topped Venus TV's list with fourteen thousand viewers whilst Replay, Then & Now was Zing's most watched programme (twenty eight thousand). On the True Crime channel, Killer Kids was watched by twenty two thousand punters. True Emtertainment's latest repeat of M*A*S*H was seen by one hundred and thirty six thousand and The Persuaders by one hundred and twenty nine thousand. Ah, Danny and Sir Brett, where are you now when your countries really need you? The Secret History Of Our Streets drew forty one thousand on London Live. James Martin's United Cakes Of America and Rick Stein's Tastes of The Sea attracted by eighty four thousand and sixty four thousand respectively on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Outdaughtered: Busby Quints (one hundred and ninety four thousand). Ex On The Beach on MTV was viewed by seven hundred and seventy seven thousand.

The 'soap actress' fiancee of the notoriously-naughty Charles Bronson, Britain's most violent and dangerous criminal, has insisted that their relationship is most definitely not a crass and rather obvious publicity stunt. No siree, Bob, definitely not. Mind you, she did claim all of this whilst appearing on Good Morning Britain, a TV programme which entirely exists to provide publicity to those seeking it. Particularly odious oily twonk Piers Morgan. Paula Williamson, who has appeared - in extremely minor roles - in Emmerdale (as a stripper) and Coronation Street (as a nurse), claimed that she is hoping her intended husband will be released from The Big House later this year. She also claimed that she has 'lost work' after the romance was splashed all over the tabloids and alleged that the suggestion she is marrying Bronson to 'boost her own profile' would 'make no sense.' And, to repeat, she said all this whilst appearing on a TV show - for which, presumably, she was paid - on a day in which she later also appeared on another ITV daytime format, Loose Women. For which, again, one presumes, she was paid. The sixty four-year-old inmate, born Michael Peterson and now called Charles Salvador after changing his name by deed poll, and twice previously married is extremely serving a life sentence for robbery and kidnap. He has earned public notoriety with a history of sick and bloody violence both inside and outside jail. Bronson's bride-to-be told Good Morning Britain: 'Charlie's the first to admit that he's done a lot of terrifying things and I'm aware of those things.' Interestingly, Bronson himself seems to have a somewhat different perspective on his criminal activities, once noting: 'I'm a nice guy, but sometimes I lose all my senses and become nasty. That doesn't make me evil, just confused.' Sounds reasonable enough. 'However, the Charlie that I know is not the same person that's committed all those offences while he's been incarcerated,' claimed Williamson. 'He is that person, he's committed these offences and he's made these mistakes, but he's a different character now. I'm not frightened at all. Charlie, and this may seem completely bizarre to many people, he's a gentle giant and he is a gentleman. He's very, very caring. He's never hurt a woman, he's never hurt a child.' Though he did once take a prison education officer hostage after the man dared to criticise one of his drawings and also boasted that he had killed a rottweiler with his bare hands. So, one imagines the RSPCA might have a alternate view of the rather 'Uncle Fluffy' pen-picture of Bronson being constructed here. Williamson added that she was 'in love' with Bronson, saying: 'I'm very excited to be his fiancee.' Asked if the relationship was a publicity stunt, Williamson said: 'Not at all. He's got a parole hearing later this year. If I was doing it for any kind of publicity reasons, I wouldn't get married to Britain's most notorious prisoner, it would make no sense. I've not deliberately sought him for that reason. I wrote to him because I connected with him with a book I read that he'd written called Broadmoor. It was about his time [at the psychiatric hospital] and I found his spirit phenomenal and very inspiring.' She added: 'He is where he is and I've met him and I can't deny chemistry, I can't deny when you fall in love with somebody, I cannot deny that. I'm taking a huge risk here - I've been sacked from one of my jobs already.' Williamson said the wedding would take place 'sooner rather than later.'
A new TV channel for the BBC in Scotland will begin broadcasting in autumn 2018, the Director General, Tony Hall, has announced. The channel will have a budget of thirty million knicker, equivalent to the amount spent on BBC4. The plans for the channel include a Scottish news hour at 9pm which will broadcast stories from Scotland, the UK and the world. The Director General also announced an increase of about twenty million smackers-a-year for Scotland to make UK-wide programmes. He said that this would 'be focused on drama and factual programming.' Lord Hall described it as 'the biggest single investment in broadcast content in Scotland for more than twenty years.' Scotland should receive about forty million notes in new funding annually - nineteen million for the new channel and digital developments and twenty million for 'making network programmes.' It is hoped that spending on programmes made in Scotland for a UK-wide BBC audience will rise from about sixty five million quid this year to closer to ninety million knicker over the next three years. Expect the new channel's first commissions to include remakes of The White Heather Club and The Krankies Klub (featuring the Scottish First Minister in the the role of Wee Jimmy Krankie).
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The first trailer has emerged giving viewers a look at the (re-)revamped Top Gear. Rory Reid, Chris Harris and Matt LeBlanc hit the track and the highway in the upcoming series, but the trouble comes when they go off-road. For starters, Rory's knob comes off.
Also this week, we've finally got a proper look at BBC3's newest drama, Clique, a six-part series from Skins writer Jess Brittain. BBC3, incidentally, used to be a TV channel watched by 'young people'. The trailer shows Sherlock's Louise Brealey as university lecturer Jude McDermid, revealing a dark side as she oversees proceedings in a mysterious society for ambitious women. The series will focus on Holly (played by Synnove Karlsen) and her best friend Georgia (The Fall's Aisling Franciosi), who gets drawn into an elite clique of alpha girls led by Jude. Soon Georgia's attending lavish parties populated by Edinburgh's most powerful people, and her effortless entry into the clique leaves Holly out, meaning she quickly becomes jealous. Leading to all manner of discombobulation and malarkey.
Year actual Jenna Coleman her very self features in a series of new photos from the set of series two of Victoria.
Janet Street Porter - and her enormous teeth - have, allegedly 'shocked' Loose Women viewers (all six of them) when she called reality TV regular Stacey Solomon 'a slut.' And, this constitutes 'news', apparently.
Enormous lard-bucket Eamonn Holmes has faced the rather blunt opinion of one of his guests on This Morning. 'Experts' Steve Miller and Kirsten Davies appeared on the show to discuss weight loss, though things took a turn for the awkward when discussing the delicate issue of telling people they're fat to their face. 'Would you use to F-word to me, for instance?' the notoriously obese Holmes asked. What happened next was predictable.
Next ... An Interweb petition to try to prevent the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff from closing, has received over eleven thousand signatures. All of whom will have completely wasted their time since, as with all Interweb petitions, the chances of this one actually achieving its aims are zero. The petition was launched after it was announced that the exhibition on Cardiff Bay is due to close this summer, when the five year lease expires. The petition was the idea of Bex Ferriday, who lives in Cardiff. She told Wales Online: 'I set it up just expecting friends and family to sign it. I was pretty shocked and terrified by the popularity it garnered pretty quickly. I know the land was only leased for five years but surely anyone can see that to knock this on the head, when we have got Doctor Who being filmed here and the studios here, seems like a really stupid thing to do.' The Doctor Who Experience first opened in London in 2011, before moving to a purpose-built building in the Welsh capital. It is currently situated at Porth Teigr in Cardiff Bay, near to the BBC studios where Doctor Who is made. The site is owned by Cardiff City Council, who issued a five-year lease to BBC Worldwide to host the Experience. A spokesman for Cardiff council said: 'The land currently occupied by the Doctor Who Experience is owned by the Welsh Government and their development partner, Igloo Regeneration. It was leased to the city council for five years to enable the relocation of the Doctor Who Experience from Olympia to Cardiff on a temporary basis. It has always been the intention for the site to be developed as part of the ongoing Porth Teigr regeneration project. The agreement was always intended to be for five years only, reflecting the nature of the attraction. The decision to close the Experience at the end of the lease next summer has been mutually agreed by all parties involved, including the operators BBC Worldwide.' So, that'll be a 'no', then.
The London television studio where some of the UK’s most popular shows of the past forty years have been filmed is to be closed by ITV. Programmes from Upstairs Downstairs to Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway have been shot at the London Studios on the capital's South Bank but it is to close as a result of plans to redevelop the broadcaster's headquarters on the same site. The closure is expected to lead to the loss of one hundred and forty jobs. In an e-mail to staff announcing the move, ITV's chief executive, the odious gnome Adam Crozier, said there were 'plans' to move back to the South Bank site once it was redeveloped but there would not be a place for the studio. 'We've given very careful consideration to what our plans mean for the London Studios, which would require significant investment to replicate within our proposed South Bank redevelopment,' wrote the odious gnome. 'Looking ahead, we believe that this investment would not be core to the strategic priorities of the ITV Studios business and so we're proposing to close TLS and use studio capacity in the external market to meet our future business needs.' An ITV spokesperson said that the move was designed to create a 'purpose-built HQ on our existing South Bank site, bringing together all of our London-based staff in one location for the first time.' However, the union BECTU have got all stroppy and militant and questioned whether the decision was driven by the possibility of a sale of the company. The fall in the value of sterling in recent months post-Brexit is thought to have made ITV, which also operates a large production business, a more attractive prospect for overseas bidders. The London Studios makes programmes for all the UK's main broadcasters, including Have I Got News For You, Qi and The Graham Norton Show on the BBC and Channel Four's Sex Box. It also hosts ITV's daytime programming - Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning and Loose Women - these will continue to be filmed in the redeveloped HQ. The site has a long history stretching to its original incarnation as The South Bank Television Centre, producing sitcoms such as On The Buses and Father Ted, as well as Blind Date. BECTU said that the plans 'did not make sense' and were 'a betrayal' of staff already reeling from one hundred and twenty redundancies announced late last year. 'Even in the short term the proposal has no logic,' claimed BECTU's head, Red Gerry Morrissey. 'Why announce the studios' closure when planning permission has yet to be sought and when the redevelopment will not begin until 2018 at the earliest? We will be asking the questions which need to be asked to shine a light on the plans and to defend the interests of our members. We'd also like to know whether the proposal to close the London Studios is motivated more by the prospect of a possible sale of the company than by sound industrial planning.' The tower block in which the studio is housed was built in the 1970s for London Weekend Television, with ITV securing the freehold on the site in 2003 for fifty six million knicker. In December, the Wembley Studio where the ITV shows The X Factor and Pop Idol were shot was also closed before a planned demolition.
The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain is to host her own cookery show. Hussain, who won Bake Off in 2015, will feature in the eight-part series for BBC2, which will 'seek out great examples of British food.' Her show - Nadiya's British Food Adventure - will see her undertake a road trip around Britain, visiting a different region in each episode. Hussain explored her culinary roots in Bangladesh in a two-part series last year. She is due to travel across the country, from the Scottish Highlands to Devon and Dorset, to highlight some of Britain's most innovative cooking. Hussain said: 'Our country's regional cuisine is much more than tried and tested traditional dishes - there are quirky and clever food producers out there who are reinventing British food in unique and exciting ways. I can't wait to meet these local food heroes, to find inspiration in the most unusual food stories and unlikely ingredients and then come up with some brand new recipes in the kitchen, adding my own special twist.'
The Spanish version of Junior MasterChef has proved hugely popular, but some politicians believe its late night scheduling is a recipe for lost sleep in a country that is already claimed to be seriously underslept. Noting that some recent episodes of the cooking competition kept young viewers up until after midnight, socialist MPs are 'calling for action' – and an earlier bedtime. Whilst praising the show for its 'social and gastronomic contributions,' they want the state broadcaster, RTVE, to ensure that programmes aimed at children – or likely to appeal to them – finish no later than 11pm between Sunday and Thursday, or no later than midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. 'Sociological and public health studies show that Spaniards in general sleep an average of an hour less than other Europeans,' they claim in their parliamentary motion. 'And, along with other social and environmental factors, television viewing habits play a part in our country's lack of nocturnal rest.' It stands to reason, they allege, that young people also suffer from watching 'too much TV' too late into the night. 'Children who don't get enough sleep exhibit problems such as irritability, sleepiness and a lack of concentration, which are usually noticed by their teachers. One of the associated causes of this situation is the lack of a regular bedtime. And in these cases, TV viewing can also make a child go to bed at a certain time on some days and a very different one on others.' The Tuesday night episodes of the fourth season of MasterChef Junior, as it is known in Spain, which ended in January are, they claim, a case in point. The final of the show, watched by three million people, ended after 1am. 'MasterChef Junior is an excellent programme which, as well as being great TV, also promotes many positive values: individual effort; teamwork; our country's diversity; the promotion of our gastronomy and social recognition for our professionals and businesses,' the MPs said. 'But, despite these virtues, it is creating a problem because of the simple fact of the hour at which it normally finishes, which can be after 12.30 on Tuesday nights. [This is] well after the recommended bedtime for children who need to rest before starting their school day, which often begins very early.' All of which has given rise to what the MPs claim is 'a paradoxical situation': some children are allowed to stay up to watch MasterChef Junior, even though its late broadcast makes it bad for their sleep routines, while others are sent to bed, thus missing out on a programme which could be useful to their personal development – 'and that's to say nothing of the fact that they can't talk to the friends about the programme the next morning.' Public television, they conclude, needs to be 'especially careful' about the effect its programming has on family life and young people's health. 'Protecting minors when it comes to TV viewing isn't just about content; it's also about the times when programmes they like, or which are aimed at them, are shown.' A spokesman for RTVE said that the proposal was 'a matter for parliament,' adding that broadcast times were 'often subject to change,' but that such changes were 'always announced.' He also pointed out that this was not a year-round programme: 'MasterChef Junior was broadcast throughout December, which means it will be nearly a year until the new season begins.'
Two former members of The Be-Atles (they were a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) have recorded music together for the first time in seven years. It was the two surviving ones, obviously. Cos, if the duo had included one of the dead ones, that would have been news. Yer actual Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (MBE) his very self - still a pretty decent rhythm-section, let it be noted - released pictures of themselves in Starr's home studio over the weekend. McCartney will be making a guest appearance on Starr's latest record, a follow-up to 2015's Postcards From Paradise. Starr took to Twitter to thank his former bandmate for joining him in the studio. It is the first time since 2010 that the pair have collaborated, when McCartney played bass on Starr's song 'Peace Dream' and contributed his vocals to 'Walk With You'. Starr confirmed that he was working on a new record last year, but said that a release date was 'still not scheduled.'
A Porsche, once owned by yer actual George Harrison and bought 'for spares' by a man completely unaware of its history, is to be auctioned. The thirty seven-year-old Porsche 928 was owned by Harrison when he lived in Henley-on-Thames, was sold to Raj Sedha, from Leeds, in 2003. Sedha was about to dismantle the car before his wife looked in the logbook to find it had been owned by George, a former member of The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them). The car is expected to fetch up to twenty grand in Stockport on 17 March. Sedha told the BBC: 'Once I got it on the drive [in 2003], I began to figure which parts I wanted to take off. My partner ran out with the book and said, "stop dismantling it, it belongs to George Harrison." I said, "who's George Harrison?"' To which, presumably, Sedha's partner replied 'he used to be a member of The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them)'? The car then sat in Sedha's garage for eight years before he decided to restore and sell it. Sedha added: 'We want it to go to someone who's going to appreciate it.' And, someone with more money than sense, obviously. Omega Auctions' Paul Fairweather said: 'For anybody that's into cars and The Be-Atles, this is a must-have.' George, who died in 2001, owned the car for three years while he was living at Friar Park in Henley-on-Thames. Harrison - a noted petrolhead - owned more than one hundred sports cars at his sixty two-acre estate in Oxfordshire.
Yer man George, incidentally, would have been seventy this very weekend ... had he not, you know, died in 2001. So, in tribute to the 'The Intelligent One', here's yet another snapshot of him with one his tasty motors. In this case, that particularly gorgeous-looking white Aston Martin DB5.
And, here's one of him with his E-Type Jag. Rock stars, they get all the best bloody cars.
A crowdfunding campaign to erect a permanent memorial to yer actual David Bowie has been launched by a team of South London designers. The campaign aims to raise just under a million smackers in the next twenty eight days to fund the art installation opposite Brixton tube station. Which, if you've ever been there, is a right dump that could use a bit of brightening up so, this blogger is all for this endeavour. It follows calls for various memorials to be erected to the iconic musician, writer, artist and actor who died in January 2016. Thousands of pounds was pledged within hours of the launch of the campaign. The proposed memorial takes its inspiration from the flash on Bowie's sixth LP, Aladdin Sane, which was released in 1973. You knew that, right?
Nicknamed 'The ZiggyZag', the artists said that the blue and red steel memorial would be 'embedded in the Brixton pavement' (to stop anyone from nicking it) and 'rise to three-storeys' - or nine metres - high. The proposed site would be five streets from Bowie's Stansfield Road birthplace and next to Jimmy C's internationally-famous Aladdin Sane mural, which has become a focal point for tributes since David's death.
Situated on Tunstall Road, opposite Brixton Tube station, it would be likely to be the first thing most visitors to Brixton would see when completed. Although, quite why anyone would want to go to Brixton in the first place is another question entirely. It also has the support of Lambeth Council, which began discussing the possibility of a permanent memorial with David's family last year. Lambeth Council leader, Lib Peck, no don't laugh, that's the bloke's name, called the proposed memorial 'bold and ambitious.' He added: 'Brixton has become central to David Bowie's huge legacy, so what better place for this stunning and imaginative memorial to this locally-born legend.' The design team behind the project, This Ain't Rock'n'Roll - named after the opening line of 'Diamond Dogs' (you knew that, as well, yes?) - previously designed the 'Brixton Pound.' The currency, which features David Bowie on it's ten quid note, was launched in 2009 to support businesses in the area.
The nominations were supposed to be 'a showcase for the diversity of British music' but, in the end, David Bowie dominated the 2017 Brit Awards. David was awarded 'Best British Male' and 'Best British Album', for his triumphant swansong, Blackstar. Bowie's wins were a fitting tribute to one of Britain's most influential and groundbreaking musicians and a particular favourite if this blogger. Collecting the best album prize, David's son, the film director Duncan Jones, spoke about his father's enduring legacy. 'He's always been there supporting people who think they're a little bit weird or a little bit strange,' noted Duncan. 'He's always been there for them. This award is for all the kooks and all the people who make the kooks,' he added, referencing the song that his father wrote for him as a child, from the Hunky Dory LP.
As well as honouring Bowie, the Brits event also paid tribute to George Michael, who died on Christmas Day. Which leads us to the first in a new semi-regular From The North feature: Hilariously, thigh-slappingly inaccurate headline of the week from the BBC News website. Starting with Number One: Wham! Stars Pay Emotional Tribute To George Michael. 'What, all one of them?' (or, given that this is Andrew Ridgeley we're talking about, 'what, all ... about a quarter of them?')
It turned out, of course, that the BBC were including Pepsi and Shirlie as 'members of Wham'. Which, they weren't or anything even remotely like it. Or, to put it another way, if Wham (a popular beat combo of the 1980s) were The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them), George Michael was Paul, George and the alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie. Andrew was Ringo. Pepsi and Shirlie were those two girl fans standing outside Abbey Road who got invited in to sing the harmonies on 'Across The Universe'!
Still on the subject of music on Thursday evening, dear blog reader, complete with his geet big coat and his geet big fur hat and his cosy muffler, yer actual Keith Telly Topping went out into the very teeth of Storm Doris for to attend Uncle Scunthorpe's latest Record Player. And, a damned fine evening of cool reflections it was too, with yer actual Miles Davis's A Kind Of Blue playing in a geet big jazz-style(e). Nice. And, Keith Telly Topping and his good mate Christian also only went and won the quiz an'all, didn't they. (The five English pounds prize means that yer actual Keith Telly Topping shall eat this weekend, obviously, which is a bonus.)
People - Keith Telly Topping calls upon you all to join the righteous crusade. You know it makes sense.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies extended their unbeaten league run to eight games on Saturday but had to be content with but a single point after giving lowly Bristol City a two-goal start. Another fifty two thousand plus Gallowgate crowd were left aghast, bemused and God damned pissed off when Bristol's veteran striker Aaron Wilbraham was given the freedom of the Newcastle box to head home in the eleventh minute - home fans and players alike seemingly waiting for an offside flag which never came. And, when Paul Dummett's header back to Karl Darlow ten minutes later was mis-handled by the goalkeeper and David Cotterill walked the ball into the vacant net, a fifth home league loss of the season looked a distinct possibility for The Magpies. Particularly as they were playing like a team who'd have trouble scoring in a brothel with ten pound notes sellotaped to their dangly bits at the time. However a black and white comeback began just before the hour, when Christan Atsu's low cross from the left was forced home by a combination of Jonjo Shelvey and a couple of City defenders, Korey Smith apparently getting the final touch. Parity was duly restored when an eighty second minute corner was headed home through a crowd of players by Ciaran Clark for his third goal of the season. What seemed like an inevitable winner failed to materialise however, despite waves of Newcastle attacks and decent chances for both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Shelvey in the closing moments. Ayoze Perez was also denied by Aden Flint's superb goal-saving challenge. City's rather obvious time-wasting tactics infuriated Rafa The Gaffer, but the referee Chris Kavanagh saw fit to but four additional minutes. Whilst grateful that a point was saved from a two-goal deficit, the tests which lie ahead for The Magpies had made this a must-win game and United utterly wasted the first forty five minutes. Another Karl Darlow howler proved to be costly with his eagerness to come charging off the line not only responsible for the second goal but almost allowing City to score a third in the opening half. The Magpies now face a season-defining trio of games over the next week away to promotion rivals Brighton & Hove Albinos, Huddersfield and Reading. And, they do so having dropped to second place in the Championship as a result of The Seagulls' three-nil home victory over Reading on Saturday evening. A second-half equaliser, meanwhile, denied The Terriers a seventh successive league victory, as they were held one-one at Oakwell by Barnsley.
Sutton United have extremely accepted the resignation of their reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw, who is currently under investigation for potentially breaching betting rules. The Gambling Commission and Football Association are investigating if there was a breach of betting regulations after the forty six-year-old was spotted eating a pie during Monday night's FA Cup loss to The Arse. What happened at Sutton United might have seemed like a bit of a joke but, it's clear that both the FA and the Gambling Commission are taking 'piegate' as it has become known, very seriously. A bookmaker had offered odds of eight-to-one that Shaw would eat a pie on camera during the game. Which, of course, he did. 'What happened didn't make us look very professional,' said Sutton manager Paul Doswell. 'It's something that we've dealt with quickly as a club,' he told Sky News on Monday. 'Wayne himself offered his resignation to the chairman this afternoon, which has been accepted. It's a very sad end to what has been a very good story.' Shaw, who said that he was 'aware' of the betting promotion prior to the match, played the incident - in which he ate the pie while standing by the substitutes' bench - down as 'a bit of fun. We are told we are not allowed to gamble as it is full-time professional football,' Shaw told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme. 'In no way did I put anyone in jeopardy of that - this is not the case here, this is just a bit of fun and me being hungry.' However, the Gambling Commission confirmed that it was very looking into whether there was any 'irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity.' 'It is clear in FA rules that you're not allowed to bet - and whether it was a fun bet, or whatever it was, it wasn't acceptable,' added Doswell. 'Obviously we were very concerned with the implication that the club, myself, my assistant Ian Baird or anyone else had been involved in the decision-making. It's been very disappointing, there's no doubt about that. I woke up this morning to this storm of criticism. It's with a very heavy heart, because he was a good friend of mine, but I think the board felt they had no other choice.'
A plumber reportedly lost his job after he took a picture of a customer's dildo and shared it with friends. The worker, who has not been named, spotted the flesh-coloured sex-toy stuck to the wall of a shower while working at a home in Queensland. After snapping a picture, he shared the image on a Facebook group, Blokes Advice, which has nearly two hundred thousand members.
Astronomers have detected a record seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star. The researchers say that all seven planets could 'potentially' support liquid water on the surface, depending on the other properties of those planets. However, three of these worlds are within the traditional 'habitable' zone where life is considered to be 'a possibility.' The compact system of exoplanets orbits Trappist-1, a low-mass, cool star located forty light-years away from Earth. Which, in Cosmic terms, makes it just up the road from us. The planets were detected using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and several ground-based observatories are described in the journal Nature. Lead author Michaël Gillon, from Belgium's University of Liège, said: 'The planets are all close to each other and very close to the star, which is very reminiscent of the moons around Jupiter. Still, the star is so small and cold that the seven planets are temperate, which means that they could have some liquid water - and maybe life, by extension - on the surface.' Co-author Amaury Triaud, from Cambridge University, said that the team had introduced the 'temperate' definition to 'broaden perceptions about habitability.' Three of the Trappist-1 planets fall within the traditional habitable zone definition - the so-called 'Goldilocks Zone' - where surface temperatures could, theoretically, support the presence of liquid water given sufficient atmospheric pressure. Gillon said that this was the largest number of Earth-sized planets found in a single habitable zone so far. But Triaud said that if the planet furthest from the parent star, Trappist-1h, had an atmosphere which efficiently trapped heat - more like Venus's atmosphere than Earth's - it 'might' also be habitable. 'It would be disappointing if Earth represents the only template for habitability in the Universe,' he told the BBC News website.
Needless-to-say, of course, when NASA initially told the media that it had 'a major announcement' coming up in a press conference, a few people jumped to the wrong idea.
Get your binoculars ready, as the first solar eclipse of 2017 is poised to appear on Sunday. The sun will be hidden by the moon leaving just a slender 'ring of fire' around the edge. The spectacle will be visible to more than half a billion people across the world - provided it doesn't cloud over. A full eclipse occurs when the moon obscures the sun so only the solar corona is showing around the edge. The natural phenomenon will first be visible in Chile and Argentina on the morning of 26 February before moving across the South Atlantic Ocean. It will pass over Angola and then come to an end somewhere between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Where they drink Umbongo®™, allegedly. But, not Kia-Ora®™ (cos that's too orangey for crows, they reckon).
The ring of fire eclipse, of course, is not to be confused with the ring of fire you get about forty five minutes after you've had a good old arse-rattling curry. That's a completely different sort of ring of fire.
The broadcaster Steve Hewlett, who had movingly shared his experience of coping with cancer with Radio 4 audiences, has died at the age of fifty eight. The Media Show presenter recently revealed that he married his long-term partner, Rachel, earlier this month, after being told that he had 'weeks, possibly months' to live. His interviews with Eddie Mair on his cancer journey examined issues such as drug trials and reaction to the treatment. He was diagnosed last March with cancer of the oesophagus. Hewlett died on Monday morning while listening to Bob Dylan with his family at the Royal Marsden Hospital in West London. Mair announced the death of his close friend on Monday's PM programme on Radio 4. In a statement, Hewlett's family said: 'Over the last year, we have been overwhelmed by the support of friends, colleagues and Radio 4 listeners. The messages helped Steve enormously, especially over the last few months.' They also thanked the staff at the Royal Marsden, along with Mair and 'all the PM listeners.' The BBC Director General Tony Hall said: 'Steve Hewlett was an exceptional journalist. His analysis of the media industry was always essential listening. Steve was a trusted voice that embodied everything positive in public service journalism. He was hugely popular not just with viewers and listeners, but with BBC staff. When I saw him last week, I told him how much I have admired his brave interviews with Eddie Mair about his treatment which he did with a candour and sense of inquiry that was typically Steve.'
And finally, dear blog reader, a horribly unwelcome updated postscript to this latest bloggerisation. Bill Paxton, prolific actor and big-screen fixture for three decades, has died at the age of just sixty one. In a statement released to media outlets on Sunday, a family representative said that Bill had died of complications from surgery.
'A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker,' the statement read. 'Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable.' Bill - one of this blogger's favourite actors, someone who always made acting look both effortless and, more importantly, fun - was perhaps best known for his marquee roles in a series of Hollywood blockbusters. From below the sea, as in Titanic, to quite literally out-of-this-world, as in his breakthrough role in Aliens and, later, one of his most famous, Apollo 13, Bill starred in dozens of great movies (plus, as most actors manage to in their careers, a few rotten ones) and even directed a handful himself. More recently, Bill had been focusing on the small screen. His role as a polygamist in HBO's Big Love earned him EMMY and Golden Globe nominations. And, Bill played the lead in the television spin-off of the movie Training Day, which launched on CBS earlier this month. As a corrupt LAPD detective, Paxton tackled the kind of moral ambiguity which characterised some of his most memorable roles. What may have gone unnoticed, though, is the sheer effort that Bill would put into his roles. In a 2009 interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross, Bill explained his process while filming Big Love. 'I live kind of a monastic existence. I usually stay in a hotel,' he said, noting that he would spend his evenings memorising his lines for the next day. 'Every night I have five or six pages I have to learn. I don't know if my memory is starting to fail me, but I really have to get it down cold the night before.' He added: 'My technique is kind of like the errant schoolboy who has to stay after school and write "I will not talk in class" on the chalkboard. I write it over and over, again and again, until I find I understand the character I'm playing.' And, though he left Fort Worth when he was still in his teens to pursue his acting career, Bill said that he carried some crucial lessons with him which he had learned from his father, who was a hardwood salesman. 'I've been an actor most of my adult life, and you certainly have to know how to sell yourself to get on in this profession. But it's not a phoney thing. My dad sold a good product - you know, these hardwoods were used to make everything from musical instruments to beautiful furniture and every use in between. He had integrity about the thing he was selling. And I certainly picked that up from him.' As a child, Bill had been in the crowd when President John Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas on the morning of his assassination. Photographs of an eight-year-old Bill being lifted above the crowd by his father are on display at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. He later narrated a documentary about the day for the National Geographic channel and produced the film Parkland, set during the president's final day. 'I was probably about twenty feet in front of him,' Bill said in an interview. 'His hair was red and he was in a blue suit and he couldn’t have been more charming.' The Texan actor's biggest hits included The Terminator (he was the blue-haired Mohawked punk who unwisely sneered 'Nice night for a walk, eh?' at Arnie), Ron Howard's Apollo 13 (in which he was superb as the astronaut Fred Haise and almost stole the film from under Tom Hanks' nose), Tombstone (as Morgan Earp), True Lies, Predator 2, Titanic, U-571 and 1996's Twister in which he starred opposite Helen Hunt. For many, he will always be best remembered as Private Hudson, the foul-mouthed, wise-cracking marine in Aliens ('Game over, man!') He developed a close working relationship with director James Cameron, working with him four times. 'We're good friends and he's been incredibly loyal to me,' Bill said in a 1998 interview. 'I guess I always fantasised about hooking up with a director and doing a series of films with him. You think of the great actor/director teams, like Scorsese and De Niro.' Bill's CV also included a supporting role as the lead protagonist's bullying older brother, Chet, in John Hughes' under-rated Weird Science, the cult horrors Near Dark and Brain Dead, the dark drama One False Move, as Jeff Tracy in 2004's Thunderbirds live-action remake and even rock videos for the likes of Pat Benatar and Limp Bizkit. He directed several shorts, including Fish Heads and the feature films Frailty (2001), in which he also starred and The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005). A keen musician, in 1988, Bill and vocalist/guitarist Andrew Todd Rosenthal formed a short-lived rock duo, Martini Ranch. Bill also won an EMMY for his performance in the TV mini-series Hatfields & McCoys, alongside Kevin Costner. He is survived by his wife of thirty years, Louise Newbury, and their two children, James and Lydia. He will be greatly missed.