Saturday, March 11, 2017

Ill Met By Moonlight

Fathom Events are planning to show this year's series premiere of Doctor Who in cinemas across the United States on 17 and 19 April, including additional features: 'Come together with fellow fans to celebrate the return of Doctor Who to the airwaves when the Doctor Who season ten premiere returns to the big screen!' reads the - rather hyperventilating - press release. 'Join Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, Matt Lucas as Nardole, and Pearl Mackey as the new companion, Bill, for two nights only including exclusive bonus features to be announced soon.' The series returns to TV screens with The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE)'s episode A Star In Her Eyes on Saturday 15 April in both the UK and America. Always assuming that President Trump lets it past border control in the case of the latter, obviously.
The next issue of Doctor Who Magazine pays a proper and 'uge tribute to yer actual Sir John Hurt, who died in January. David Tennant, David Warner and Louise Jameson are among those who celebrate a career spanning Alien to Z Cars, with The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) observing: 'It doesn't need saying - John Hurt was one of the greatest actors who ever lived. That's not even controversial, that's just a fact. I only met him a handful of times, but I can confirm the other thing that everyone else has been saying about him: he was also incredibly nice. Now, nice doesn't seem like much of compliment, but you have to remember that this man was, quite rightly, worshipped by everyone he met. Worship has been known to go to people's heads – but not John's. If a man can remain humble and kind and warm as the world basically genuflects around him, then that is no ordinary man. The Doctor would be proud to be John Hurt - and for one very special day, he was.' And, bloody good in it he was too. The issue is available now for six of your English pounds (minus a penny) from all good newsagents ... and some bad ones, too.
British spy agencies worked with the CIA to turn televisions and smart phones into bugging devices which can record conversations and even take photographs, according to leaked intelligence documents. The buggers. Literally. The CIA is extremely accused of 'running a secret computer hacking programme' giving its agents access to everyday items including mobile phones, TVs, laptops and iPads. So, listen, if any of you guys happen to be reading this blog, Keith Telly Topping visiting those particular websites was purely for research purposes, all right? The CIA is also alleged to be targeting cars which contain onboard computers linked to the Interweb its very self, amid unsubstantiated allegations (or, in other words, rumours) that once in control of vehicles they could stage assassinations and make them look like accidents. The catastrophic leak of data was obtained by WikiLeaks and published online this week, causing massive embarrassment to the American intelligence community at a time when it is at loggerheads with President Hairdo. In total, WikiLeaks published eight thousand seven hundred and sixty one documents, claiming it to be the largest ever release of CIA files in its history. The CIA declined to comment while alleged 'experts' quoted by the Gruniad Morning Star said that the documents, generated by the agency's Engineering Development Group, between 2013 and 2016, 'seemed genuine.' The British intelligence agencies - MI5 and GCHQ - were dragged into the row with files showing how the UK held 'workshops' with the CIA to find ways to 'hack' into household devices. One exotically named programme dubbed Weeping Angel allowed spies to gain control of the Samsung F8000 range of Internet-connected televisions. And, gave The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) the surprise of his life when he found out the name of some Doctor Who monster he'd created had been usurped by The Spooks.
It was alleged developed in 'a joint workshop' held in June 2014 involving both MI5 and the CIA and enabled the agencies to 'gain control of the TV,' according to the documents. It is alleged that MI5 created a 'fake-off' mode which meant television users thought sets were switched off. In fact users can be secretly recorded by them and conversations transmitted to a CIA operative listening in. The smart televisions come with a microphone which is normally used for voice-activated controls. The leaked files also appeared to show 'evidence' that GCHQ had collaborated with the CIA in hacking into Apple's iPhones as well as smartphones run using Google's rival Android software. The phones can even take photographs when owners thought them switched off. Albeit, more often than not, that'd be photos of the inside of the pocket in which they were stored. According to the documents, GCHQ, the Government's listening agency based in Cheltenham, worked on 'six different methods' for targeting the iOS operating system used on iPhones, iPods and iPads and one for spying on Android phones. In total the CIA developed fourteen applications targeting iPhones and twenty four aimed at Android phone users. In so doing, WikiLeaks claimed the CIA was 'able to circumvent encryption codes used in such messaging groups as WhatsApp.' The CIA is alleged to have 'exploited glitches' in the technology that the original manufacturer or designer wasn't yet aware of - called 'zero days' - to hack into the devices. Another document suggests the CIA's cyber directorate is 'developing ways to infect control computer systems' in cars and lorries. 'The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations,' claimed WikiLeaks. In all, the documents suggest the agency created more than one thousand viruses and other types of malware to 'gain access to everyday items.' WikiLeaks also accused the US government of 'failing to abide by a commitment' to tell technology companies of any identified vulnerabilities, instead 'hoarding' weaknesses for use by spy agencies. The deal was put in place to allow the tech giants to plug weaknesses in operating systems and prevent leaks to foreign intelligence agencies, especially Russia and China. WikiLeaks claimed the archive had been 'circulated among former American government hackers' and contractors, one of whom had passed on parts of the cache in order to 'start a wider debate.' It is promising to release more documents in the future. Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' founder who remains holed up inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he is evading arrest, said: 'There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber "weapons."' The Home Office said it does not comment on intelligence matters or leaked documents. Nor, indeed, whether The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) is owed some coin from MI5 for copyright infringement.
Jason Isaacs has been cast in Star Trek: Discovery as Captain Lorca, the Captain of the Starship Discovery. It is a major role opposite lead Sonequa Martin-Green in the series, which is scheduled to debut in either the late summer or the autumn. Star Trek: Discovery will feature a new ship, new characters and new missions, while 'embracing the same ideology and hope for the future' that inspired the previous versions of the franchise. Isaacs joins a formidable list of actors who have played Star Trek Captains in the past, including William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew and Scott Bakula. Star Trek: Discovery is being produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman's Secret Hideout, Bryan Fuller's Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. The series will be distributed concurrently by CBS Studios International on Netflix in one hundred and eighty eight countries. Isaacs' recently co-starred in the Netflix mystery drama series The OA, Hotel Mumbai and Armando Iannucci's Death Of Stalin. His CV also includes appearances in The Patriot, Blackhawk Down, the Harry Potter franchise and Abduction and, on TV, in Inspector Morse, The Fix, The West Wing, The State Within, The Curse Of Steptoe and Case Histories.
Twenty years ago a new series appeared on American TV, which was expected by most of those involved in the production to last about six episodes then get very cancelled and be forgotten about almost immediately. Around five days later, the first episode of that series turned up at Stately Telly Topping Manor on the end of a videotape which had been sent to yer actual Keith Telly Topping by a friend in the US essentially as a space filler following the latest episode of The X-Files (a book on which this blogger was co-writing at the time. Which, I'm guessing made Keith Telly Topping, if not the very first then certainly one of the first handful of people in Britain to actually clap eyes on this new show). Yes, dear blog reader, it was twenty years ago this week that Buffy The Vampire Slayer hit US screens for the first time. Although it ended in 2003, it still has fans all over the world, made a star of its lead actress Sarah Michelle Gellar and, via a series of book wot he wrote on the subject (like, this one), changed yer actual Keith Telly Topping's life. It's very rare that anyone can claim watching an episode of a TV series changed ones life and not sound ridiculous but, in this blogger's particular case, watching Welcome To The Hellmouth back in 1997 quite literally did. It led to Keith Telly Topping's first solo book deal (followed by about half-a-dozen more on the same subject) and a moderately successful career where this blogger used to regularly get paid for writing - almost exclusively for a couple of years - about Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Which was jolly nice, frankly.
A TV series based on a not-very-good movie about a Californian teenager who attends high school by day and, by night, fights 'vampires, demons and the forces of darkness,' seems an unlikely candidate to be a serious contender to become a TV classic and hugely influential piece of popular culture. But, Buffy - and its almost-as-good spin-of, Angel - managed it and after close to one hundred and fifty episodes (only about six of which were substandard) its influence is still felt today, in all sort of unusual and unexpected places, as a truly ground-breaking piece of work. The anniversary has brought a series of retrospective tributes, like this one from the BBC News website, this one written by yer actual Tony Head for the Gruniad Morning Star and, this one on the Slate website. And, no doubt, dozens of others - mostly written by people who weren't even there at the time! Anyway, in celebration of one of the, maybe, five or six greatest TV shows in the history of the medium (that doesn't have the words 'Doctor' and 'Who' in the title), here's some pictures of the cast.
Still a masterpiece, even after all these years. If you've never encountered it before, then don't be such a daft bastard dear blog reader, ignore the - deliberately silly - title, find the Complete Series DVD box-set (available for but fifty quid on eBay, one notes) and spend a couple of weeks watching ten episodes a day and having your prejudices confronted. You won't regret it. Or, if you do, then you're not worth the oxygen you breathe. Here endeth the lesson.
HBO have managed to piss-off hundreds of thousands of Game Of Thrones fans this week. Which takes some doing. The network announced that it would be revealing the premiere date for Game Of Thrones' seventh series during a Facebook live stream. At precisely the appointed time, many thousands of people tuned-in, assuming it would be a quick announcement and hoping for a trailer. Instead, they were greeted with an interactive challenge. In order to get the premiere date, they would have to type the word 'FIRE' into the comment section and hit 'enter.' Doing so would cause a flame to appear on screen and melt the block of ice the premiere date was 'trapped' there within. Unfortunately, this went on for twenty minutes before HBO shut down the stream entirely, without showing any footage or making any actual announcements. To say fans were frustrated, furious and God damn pissed off would not be doing the situation justice. Eventually, some hours later, HBO got their shit together and sorted this malarkey out. Game Of Thrones series seven will begin broadcasting on 16 July at 9pm in the US and simultcst at 2am on 17 July on Sky Atlantic in the UK. Sky will then show it again at 9pm the same day which means that those who don't want to suffer spoilers may find themselves losing a lot of sleep. And, here's the teaser trailer that everybody was waiting for.
The final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Nine programmes broadcast, week-ending Sunday 5 March 2017:-
1 Call The Midwife - Sun BBC1 - 10.39m
2 Broadchurch - Mon ITV - 10.30m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.02m
4 Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - Sat ITV - 7.72m
5 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 7.32m
6 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.26m
7 Prime Suspect 1973 - Thurs ITV - 6.95m
8 The Replacement - Tues BBC1 - 6.83m
9 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.81m
10 The Good Karma Hospital - Sun ITV - 6.41m
11= Benidorm - Wed ITV - 5.29m
11= Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.29m
13 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.26m
14 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 5.22m
15 Ten O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 4.31m
16= Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.29
16= Little Big Shits - Wed ITV - 4.29m
18 SS-GB - Sun BBC1 - 4.28m
19 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.24m
20 The Big Painting Challenge - Sun BBC1 - 4.19m
21 The ONE Show - Tues BBC1 - 4.16m
22 The Voice - Sat ITV - 4.15m
23 Shop Well For Less? - Thurs BBC1 - 4.07m
24 Not Going Out - Fri BBC1 - 3.92m
25 Film: Lethal Weapon - Fri ITV - 3.85m
26 Mrs Brown's Boys - Sat BBC1 - 3.79m
27 Top Gear - Sun BBC2 - 3.77m
28 Let's Sing & Dance For Comic Relief - Sat BBC1 - 3.74m
29 ITV News - Mon ITV - 3.69m
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. They do not, however, include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. Having previously noted that odious Tory tax-avoider Gary Barlow's Let It Shine was making ITV's The Voice's weekly audience figures look 'better-than-average' by comparison, wouldn't you just know it but as soon as Let It Shine finished, the next episode of The Voice promptly lost nearly a third of its audience (dropping from 5.9 million the previous week to 4.15 million). There's a moral in there somewhere. SS-GB continued to shed viewers - which is a shame because it's actually quite good - dropping by around seven hundred thousand from episode two to episode three. That'll no doubt also continue to give some odious lice with a sick-agenda smeared all over their collective mush at the Gruniad Morning Star or the Daily Scum Mail something to sneer about like filthy Copper's Narks. Meanwhile, ITV's latest horrifying pile of stinking, rancid diarrhoea designed to provide Dawn French with wholly unworthy employment, Little Big Shits, began with a disappointingly better-than-expected 4.29 million. How many of those will still be there for the next episode, only time will tell. It usually does. The opening episode of the ghastly and risible The Nightly Show drew 3.04 million. This blogger would love to tell you all how many the rest of the week's episodes achieved, dear blog reader, but he can't because they were too low to register in ITV's top thirty. A tragedy. On BBC2, the top-rated programme was for Top Gear's return (way down on the last series' opening episode although far better than the figures for last series' later episodes). University Challenge was watched by 3.12 million, Mary Berry Everyday by 2.98 million, The Great Pottery Throwdown by 2.60 million, Further Back In Time For Dinner by 2.50 million and the much-written about Meet The Lords by 2.16 million. 1066: A Year To Conquer England attracted 1.99 million viewers, Antiques Road Trip, 1.85 million and Only Connect, 1.83 million. The final of the current series of Mastermind was seen by 1.71 million viewers, followed by Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week (1.66 million), Incredible Medicine: Doctor Weston's Casebook (also 1.66 million), The House That One Hundred Thousand Pounds Built (1.64 million), The Secrets of Your Food (1.62 million), Robot Wars (1.59 million) and Great Continental Railway Journeys With Yer Actual Mister Portaloo (1.48 million). The returning Gogglebox was Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast (3.13 million punters), followed by A Very British Hotel (2.49 million), Twenty Four Hours In A&E (2.09 million), The Royal House Of Windsor (1.97 million) and The Secret Life Of The Zoo (also 1.97 million). The Last Leg With Adam Hills had 1.85 million, Homeland, 1.83 million, The Supervet 1.74 million, Location, Location, Location, 1.71 million and The Jump, 1.65 million. Grossly over-rated lack-of-comedy Catastrophe was seen by 1.48 million and Rivers With Jeremy Paxman by 1.47 million. That Awful Keith Woman's Favourite Villages attracted eight hundred and eighty thousand punters with, presumably, nothing better to do with their time than to watch abject tripe like this. Shannon Matthews: What Happened Next was Channel Five's top performer with an audience of 2.04 million, ahead of Cruising With Jane McDonald (1.77 million viewers), Inside Windsor Castle (1.63 million), GPs Behind Closed Doors (1.58 million), Z-List Celebrity Barging (1.23 million), Secrets Of The National Trust With That Alan Bloody Titchmarsh (1.19 million) and Winter Road Rescue (1.12 million). Coverage of Live Premier League: The Scum Versus Bournemouth on Sky Sports 1 was seen by 1.15 million punters (plus an additional one hundred and sixty one thousand watching on Sky Sports Mix) whilst the game between Stottingtot Hotshots and Everton drew 1.09 million and Leicester City's post-sacking-the-manager spanking of a disgracefully under-par Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws had 1.03 million. Blunderland Nil's defeat to Sheikh Yer Man City at The Stadium Of Plight also had 1.03 million. Meanwhile, down in the Championship, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies dramatic victory at promotion-chasing Brighton & Hove Albinos drew seven hundred and five thousand and Th' Toon's victory at Huddersfield three days later was seen by four hundred and thirty five thousand. Worryingly, they haven't won a game since. On Sky Sports 2, Live ODI Cricket: West Indies Versus England attracted three hundred and fifty two thousand punters for the second game in the three match series - in which England remembered that they're supposed to be quite good at this form of the game - and two hundred and forty three thousand for the first two days earlier. Gillette Soccer Saturday was top of the pile on Sky Sports News HQ, as usual, with four hundred and forty five thousand punters and a further four hundred and twelve thousand on the Sky Sports 1 simultcast. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by Hawaii Five-0 (nine hundred and one thousand viewers). The Flash was seen by eight hundred and sixteen thousand, Modern Family by seven hundred and eighty six thousand, NCIS: Los Angeles by seven hundred and seventy eight thousand, Stan Lee's Lucky Man by six hundred and seventy one thousand and The Blacklist by six hundred and fifty eight thousand. DCs Legend of Tomorrow had six hundred and twenty three thousand and Supergirl, five hundred and six thousand. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by Blue Bloods (four hundred and forty thousand) whilst Billions attracted three hundred and ninety nine thousand. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver had two hundred and forty six thousand, Fortitude, two hundred and eleven thousand, Girls, one hundred and forty five thousand and The Kettering Incident, ninety four thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of Elementary was seen by 1.01 million whilst Criminal Minds had eight hundred and eighteen thousand, Bones drew eight hundred and eight thousand, Blindspot, seven hundred and twenty one thousand, Greys Anatomy, five hundred and sixty one thousand and Madam Secretary, five hundred and five thousand. Sky Arts' Portrait Artist Of The Year was watched by two hundred and sixty five thousand viewers whilst The Eighties, had ninety one thousand and Fleetwood Mac: Balding Hippies Live In Boston, fifty seven. One of the channel's - highly entertaining - daily repeats of Tales Of The Unexpected drew thirty five thousand. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and sixty four thousand viewers). Lewis was seen by seven hundred and forty four thousand and Doc Martin by five hundred and thirty two thousand. UK Open Darts headed ITV4's weekly list with five hundred and sixteen thousand punters. Benidorm drew three hundred and sixty one thousand. ITV2's most-watched broadcasts were for Ibiza Weekend (six hundred and fifty five thousand) and worthless, vomit encrusted example of everything that is wrong with British television and British society in the Twenty First Century Release The Hounds: Famous & Freaked (five hundred and forty two thousand planks. Every single one of whom should, frankly, be horsewhipped through the streets until they promise never to watch this crap again). Hell's Kitchen drew five hundred and eighty thousand. Downton Abbey headed ITV Encore's top ten with sixty thousand viewers, followed by Scott & Bailey (fifty five thousand thousand) and DCI Banks (forty thousand). BBC4's list was topped by the fourth episode of Roots (1.35 million viewers) and the Danish drama import Follow The Money (seven hundred and three thousand). Next came Jet! When Britain Ruled The Skis (five hundred and sixty six thousand), Britain's Pompeii: A Village Lost In Time (five hundred and fifty eight thousand), Planet Earth II (five hundred and thirty six thousand) and Thailand: Earth's Tropical Paradise (five hundred and twenty nine thousand). The Richest Songs In The World was watched by four hundred and eighty four thousand, Better Than The Original: The Joy Of The Cover version, four hundred and eighty two thousand and The Good Old Days, four hundred and thirty four thousand. 5USA's Person Of Interest was viewed by seven hundred and fifty six thousand viewers, NCIS by five hundred and seventy seven thousand and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit by five hundred and twenty seven thousand. NCIS also topped the weekly lists of CBS Action (one hundred and forty three thousand) and featured in the top tens of Channel Five (1.03 million), FOX (nine hundred and sixty three thousand viewers) and The Universal Channel (one hundred and twenty six thousand). It's not 'the most-watched drama series in the world' for nothing, you know? It was also irritating to note FOX's continually sneering continuity announcer saying, before several recent episodes, 'you can watch NCIS on many channels but FOX is the only one where you can see new ones.' The latest episode of The Walking Dead topped FOX's weekly list with 1.56 million. Bull had five hundred and nine thousand. The really disappointing 24: Legacy continued with four hundred and eighty four thousand (and the sound of Jack Bauer turning in his grave) whilst Legion was seen by four hundred and sixty five thousand. The Universal Channel's Major Crimes attracted three hundred and fifty six thousand and Chicago Med, three hundred and twenty four thousand. On Dave, Suits was watched by three hundred and eighty six thousand viewers. The movie Kill Bill drew three hundred and sixty two thousand, followed by the return of Scrappers (three hundred and twenty thousand), Not Going Out (two hundred hundred and ninety two thousand), Alan Davies: As Yet Unfunny (two hundred and eighty eight thousand) and Qi XL (two hundred and sixty four thousand). The latest episode of Drama's Australian import The Brokenwood Mysteries was watched by four hundred and sixty five thousand viewers. New Tricks had four hundred and sixty four thousand whilst Dalziel & Pascoe was seen by four hundred and forty five thousand and Taggart drew four hundred and thirty seven thousand (all to discover that, quite unexpectedly, 'there's bin a murrrrrdah!' Who'd've guessed, eh?) Alibi's highest-rated programmes was Quantico (two hundred and seventy two thousand) whilst Murdoch Mysteries had two hundred and twelve thousand, Jonathan Creek, one hundred and fifty two thousand and Death In Paradise one hundred and thirty two thousand. On The Sony Channel, the repeat run of the classic BBC drama Hustle, was seen by ninety one thousand. Yesterday's World War Weird continued with two hundred and fifty thousand and Porridge was seen by one hundred and ninety three thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Gold Rush was watched by five hundred and twenty five thousand thousand viewers. Fast N' Loud had two hundred and eight thousand. Alaskan Bush People was seen by one hundred and seventy one thousand and The Wheel by one hundred and twenty five thousand. Episodes of From The North cult favourite Wheeler Dealers topped the weekly lists of both Discovery Shed (forty six thousand) and Discovery Turbo (forty three thousand). Discovery History's Unsolved History headed the top ten-list with twenty four thousand. Out of Egypt and Artefact Or Fiction? both had twenty two thousand, True Horror With Anthony Head twenty one thousand and both Battlefields and Time Team, nineteen thousand. On Discovery Science, How Do They Do It? was seen by forty one thousand viewers. On Quest, Salvage Hunters was watched by four hundred and twenty two thousand. Pick's Brit Cops had three hundred and two thousand and Britain's Most Evil Fekkers, two hundred and ninety six thousand. Murders That Shocked The Nation also shocked two hundred and seventy two thousand viewers. Probably. National Geographic's list was headed by Air Crash Investigation which had one hundred and ninety three thousand viewers and Lawless Oceans (fifty four thousand). The History Channel's weekly list was topped by The Curse Of Oak Island (two hundred and four thousand) and Forged In Fire (one hundred and sixty three thousand). On Military History, United Stuff Of America was watched by forty one thousand punters and Time Machine by forty thousand. Evil Lives Here, A Crime To Remember, Pandora's Box and Shadow of Doubt were ID's top-rated programmes with seventy seven thousand, fifty two thousand, fifty one thousand and forty seven thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. It's a good laugh, is ID. Idly searching through the channels earlier this week, this blogger stumbled on their new series Wives With Knives. Followed, no doubt, by Nuns With Guns, Nieces With Pieces, Exs With Axes, Mamas With Hammers, Daughters Who Slaughter and, obviously, Hookers With Bazookas. Unusual Suspects, Crimes That Shock Britain and Crimes That Shook Australia headed CI's list (fifty four thousand, forty one thousand and thirty eight thousand. All of whom were well-shaken and somewhat stirred, no doubt). GOLD's repeat run of Mrs Brown's Boys attracted two hundred and fifty thousand and Bottom, one hundred and sixty nine thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for The Middle (three hundred and thirty five thousand). Your TV's repeat of Bones series two continued with an audience of eighty four thousand. On More4, First Humans: The Cave Discovery was the highest-rated programme with four hundred and one thousand. Vet On The Hill attracted four hundred thousand punters and The Tea,, three hundred and eighty one thousand. E4's list was topped by the massively popular The Big Bang Theory, the latest episode attracting 2.46 million viewers, by an 'uge distance the largest multi-channels audience of the week. Hollyoaks drew 1.11 million viewers. The Horror Channel's broadcast of The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb attracted one hundred and thirty eight thousand. The top-ten list also included The Vatican Tapes (eighty six thousand), Girls Against Boys (eighty five thousand), Horror Express (seventy six thousand) and At The Earth's Core (sixty two thousand). Sleepy Hollow, headed Syfy's top-ten with two hundred and four thousand. Bitten was seen by one hundred and thirty three thousand. Wild Colombia With Nigel Marven was watched by thirty two thousand on Eden whilst Ten Things You Didn't Know About Tsunamis attracted twenty nine thousand viewers. Alaska: The Last Frontier and Animal Cops Phoenix were the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with forty five thousand and forty three thousand respectively. Grimm on W drew six hundred and thirteen thousand punters. On the True Crime channel, Killer Kids was watched by twenty two thousand punters. True Entertainment's latest repeat of M*A*S*H was seen by one hundred and twenty seven thousand. On Sunday, dear blog reader, this blogger appeared to have slipped into a time-warp and emerged on a random Sunday in 1971 as True Entertainment broadcast, firstly, the best ever episode of The Avengers, The Hidden Tiger (in which Gabrielle Drake uses Ronnie Barker's cat rescue retreat as a front to turn Britain's moggies into an unholy army of the night) and then that was followed by the best episode, bar none, of The Persuaders!, Chain Of Events (the one where Danny Wilde gets a briefcase with a bomb in it handcuffed to him by a dying Soviet agent). All we needed after that was that episode of The Champions where Craig, Sharron and Richard went undercover to protect a South American dictator, Bob Hoskins in On The Move and Franz Klammer winning a downhill on Ski Sunday (and then, a power cut, probably) and the illusion would have been complete. Anyway, The Secret History Of Our Streets drew fifty two thousand on London Live. Luke Nguyen's Street Food Asia and The Great British Bake Off Masterclass attracted by sixty three thousand and sixty one thousand respectively on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Say yes To The Dress (one hundred and twenty four thousand). Ex On The Beach on MTV was viewed by seven hundred and ninety four thousand.

A second series of award-winning drama The Night Manager is, apparently, in development. Director Susanne Bier told Broadcast that the script was 'slowly being developed' for the follow-up. Tom Hiddleston, Huge Laurie and Olivia Colman starred in the BBC1 thriller, which was an 'uge hit last year. Its three stars won Golden Globes, while Danish director Bier won an EMMY Award. The series was based on John le Carre's 1993 novel - but the book does not have a sequel. Bier told Broadcast: 'We all very much want to do a season two, but the thing we absolutely do not want is to do something that does not live up to the level of season one. That would be a really bad idea.' She was discussing the drama at Keshet's INTV conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday. More than nine million people watched the finale of The Night Manager on the BBC last March. Hiddleston played enigmatic Jonathan Pine, who goes undercover to expose billionaire arms dealer Richard Roper (Laurie). And, does. Hiddleston has said that he would consider making a second series. Meanwhile, Le Carre announced on Tuesday that fictional spy George Smiley will return in a new novel - the character's first appearance in print for twenty five years. A Legacy Of Spies will be published in September. The BBC is also adapting le Carre's The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, in which Smiley also appears, which will be broadcast next year.
Fans of that there Tom Hardy will be overjoyed to hear they have not heard the last grunt from the enigmatic James Delaney. A second series of his BBC1 drama Taboo has, as widely speculated, been formally commissioned - thanks in part to its success on the BBC iPlayer. Set in Nineteenth Century London, the first series saw Hardy's character return from Africa to claim an inheritance. The actor, who conceived the show with his father Chips and Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight, said its recommissioning was 'fantastic news. We are grateful and excited to continue our relationship with the BBC and FX in contributing towards British drama,' he added. The first series came to an end on 25 February and drew an average consolidated audience of 5.8 million - a figure which takes some catch-up viewing into account. According to the BBC, though, the drama's average audience was closer to seven million, with viewers discovering it after the initial seven-day window. Charlotte Moore, the BBC's director of content, said Taboo 'proves overnight ratings are not the only measure of success,' something this blog has been banging on about for, oo, atleast the last five years. 'I'm thrilled that a work which pushes boundaries has been so well received,' said Knight, who produced the show with Tom and Sir Ridley Scott.
Daytime TV turned a little darker than usual this week. First, we had Holly Willoughby's infamous 'spunk' moment on This Morning. Then, a couple of days later, it was Countdown's turn to take centre stage with some naughty word malarkey.
Nothing cracks up viewers, it seems, like a rude word being said on live TV - and thanks to The ONE Show, we had a brand new X-rated blunder to watch over and over again this week. Angela Scanlon got herself into a right spot of bother on Wednesday night's episode whilst trying to introduce a segment on clearing clutter. Let's just say, it did not go well. Scanlon stumbled over her words, substituting a very specific part of the female anatomy for the word 'clutter'. The camera briefly flashed to guest Miranda Hart, who could barely stifle a snort as Angela carried on with the segment without acknowledging the gaffe. Unfortunately for her, Twitter noticed. And, so did the Daily Scum Mail.
And then, there was this clip from BBC World News which might just be the great forty seconds in the history of television. Bar none. Thankfully, Professor Kelly appears to have seen the funny side of his family suddenly going viral.
Former Welsh rugby international Gareth Thomas has quit Channel Four freak show The Jump 'for personal reasons.' Whether these 'personal reasons' involved a fear of getting his neck snapped in two is not known at this time. Thomas has been replaced by The Only Way Is Essex-type person Lydia Bright (whoever she is) just days before Sunday's final. Thomas had been set to battle it out with former Olympic gymnast Louis Smith, Paralympic medallist Kadeena Cox and Emma Parker-Bowles (no, me neither) to be crowned champion of the insanely dangerous winter sports competition. The forty two-year-old Thomas is the fourth z-list celebrity to withdraw from this year's series. Model Caprice 'suffered an illness,' (exploding diarrhoea when she saw what she was required to do, perhaps?), Sir Bradley Wiggins broke his leg and Vogue Williams (again, no idea) pulled out before an episode even been broadcast.
David Walliams has said that criticism of ITV's The Nightly Show is down to viewers anger at the fact it has pushed back the ITV News in the schedule. Rather than the fact that it's, you know, utter and complete rank stinking horseshit.
Walliams hosted the first week of the new talk show, which goes out at 10pm - moving the News At Ten back to 10.30pm. Different hosts have been lined up for each week of its scheduled two-month run. But the show has been heavily criticised thus far. And, not undeservedly either. 'Because they moved The News, I think people were sort of angry about that,' Walliams told BBC Breakfast. With Walliams at the helm, the show was described as 'under-cooked' by the Torygraph, 'a national embarrassment' by the Mirra, 'tripe' by the Daily Scum Mail and 'a right load of old effing toot' by this blog. It began with overnight viewing figures of 2.9 million on Monday, but Walliams's final show was watched by a mere 1.2 million on Friday. The comedian said that he didn't expect it to prove so controversial. 'I guess because the ITV News was moved, I then think people felt, they were sort of comparing it to The News rather than comparing it to other entertainment shows,' he weaselled. Asked whether there was room for such an entertainment show in the schedules, he replied: 'I think there is. I think the problem was ITV News was not getting many viewers for ITV so they wanted to try something different.' But, the decision to push the news back turned many viewers and critics against it, he added. Cheeky big-toothed Scouser John Bishop has taken over as host for the second week - but the reception has been just as savage in many quarters although the ratings appear to have stabalised around the 1.5 million overnight punters mark. The Torygraph's Michael Hogan wrote: 'Clad in sombre black, presumably in mourning for this dead duck, Bishop fared little better [than Walliams]. Arguably even worse.' Davina McCall and Gordon Ramsay have been announced as future presenters. So, they should be worth avoiding. The show's executive producer Katie Taylor has asked viewers to 'give the show time.' She told the i newspaper (and, yes, this blogger was just as surprise as you, dear blog reader, that the i is still going): 'We all feel passionately about comedy. People love to sneer at a new experiment but you have to experiment to innovate. We hope everyone grows to love it.' But, that's not likely.
Meanwhile, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins have turned down the 'opportunity' to host The Nightly Show because of their 'busy schedule.' Or, more likely, because they know a dog when they see one (albeit, the pair have their own history of presenting crappy ITV chat shows, in their case 2015's disastrous Mel & Sue). 'We were approached to take part in the series, however, due to our busy schedule we were unable to make the dates work,' the duo said in a statement. Well, presumably, one of them said it, whilst speaking for both. Cos, otherwise, they'd have to have chanted it in unison or formed themselves into one gestalt entity against all laws of God and man to speak with one voice. 'We do wish the team all the best with the remainder of the series.' However long that may be.
And, speaking of ratings disasters, 24: Legacy is attempting to maintain the popularity of the real-time thriller without its original lead Jack Bauer. But, has it been a success? In a word, no. In four more words, not even bloody close. On any level. Launching in the US after The Super Bowl in February, the first episode pulled in over seventeen million punters, but overnight ratings for the most recent episode broadcast in the US attracted under four million. 'I'm a little sad because I feel like it's a really good show,' FOX TV CEO Dana Walden told Deadline. 'It's not terrible [but] we had really high hopes for the show. I'm feeling mixed. I feel very proud of the show and extremely grateful to the creators and the great actors who have done a really wonderful job.' With seven episodes of the twelve-part series left to be broadcast, what are the chances of 24: Legacy coming back for more? According to Walden, its fate is 'very much up in the air. I would love nothing more than to bring it back because I thought it was great,' she claimed, unconvincingly. 'But we're just going to have to see how our pilots come in, how it continues to perform and weigh all of the information we have in May.' With Jack Bauer busy rotting in a Russian prison - because Kiefer Sutherland had landed a new gig on ABC's Designated Survivor - 24: Legacy follows military veteran Eric Carter, played by The Walking Dead's Corey Hawkins. Which is a little bit like a remake of Jaws without including the shark.
Three years after Twatting About On Ice came to a jolly welcome end, ITV is reportedly looking at bringing it back for a return. The Sun - if not anyone more reliable and trustworthy - is claiming that the channel wants to bring back the figure skating competition series for another run later in 2017 - which appeared initially to be backed up by a tweet posted by Good Morning Britain regarding the same suggestion. However, Good Morning Britain has since deleted the tweet meaning that, for now, speculation of a surprise return for Twatting About On Ice remains just that. ITV declined to comment on the reports. If Twatting About On Ice does return, whether any potential reboot would include ratings-toxic host The Curiously Orange Christine Bleakley is not known. Though, hopefully not.
One of the actors in the Harry Potter series is recovering from serious injuries following a car crash. Jim Tavaré is currently in intensive care after the head-on collision broke his neck and punctured a lung. Tavaré, who was in Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban, also suffered fifteen broken ribs, a broken leg and breastbone fractures in the horrific crash. His wife, Laura, posted a picture on Facebook of the Essex-born actor lying in a hospital bed giving the thumbs up. She wrote: 'Now that his family have been informed, Jim has asked me to let you all know that he was involved in a serious car accident yesterday, a head-on collision. He's currently in ICU intensive care. He's had two blood transfusions so far and is about to go in for his first surgery. This is for real, not a movie role. Please hold some good thoughts for him as he fights his way out of this.' Which, obviously, this blogger urges anyone with a heart to do. Tavaré played Tom the Innkeeper in the third Harry Potter film, also co-writing and starring in the ITV series The Sketch Show alongside the likes of Lee Mack and Ronni Ancona. Based mainly in the US, Jim also appeared in series like Californication and Wings. His brother is the scientist Simon Tavaré and their cousin is the former England cricketer Chris Tavaré. All at From The North send Jim our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
And now, dear blog reader, the story that just won't go away ...
Lawyers have asked a court to grant access to e-mail accounts used by James Murdoch The Small and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks in a bid to prove that there was an attempt to cover up phone-hacking at the Scum of the World and the Sun. A judge is expected to rule on Friday whether seventeen company e-mail accounts used by executives and journalists at News International, the former owner of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World, can be searched for any discussion about the destruction or concealment of e-mails. It is claimed the company deleted around twenty million e-mails during 2010 and 2011, continuing after police launched a criminal investigation. The latest development in a civil action against the owners of the Sun and Scum of the World comes at a sensitive time for billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch, who is trying to oversee a bid by the company he runs, Twenty First Century FOX, to take full control of UK broadcaster Sky. A previous bid by FOX was abandoned amid public fury over phone-hacking and other disgraceful malarkey. News International, which is now called News UK, has always claimed that any deletion of e-mails was 'part of normal housekeeping.' One or two people even believed them. However, lawyers acting for almost twenty alleged phone-hacking victims – including the former footballer Jonathan Woodgate and the entertainer Les Dennis – claim it was designed to eliminate incriminating evidence. Murdoch The Small was chairman of both News International and Sky and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was News International’s chief executive when the phone-hacking scandal broke. After resigning in 2011, she returned in 2015 as chief executive of News UK despite her defence at trial being, essentially, that she was utterly incompetent in having no idea whatsoever about the criminal shenanigans which were going on at the newspaper she was editor of. Other executives on the lawyers' list include Andy Coulson, who was very convicted of conspiracy to hack phones in 2014 and sent to The Big House and Les Hinton, who was the chairman of News International for much of the period when phone-hacking took place. Barrister David Sherborne, acting for the alleged victims, told the court that the deletions were 'ordered by those at the top of the tree as a way of getting rid of incriminating e-mails' before being hit with legal claims. News UK has maintained that e-mail deletion in 2010 and 2011 was part of legitimate housekeeping. In 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service said it had found 'no evidence to suggest' that the deletions were part of an attempt to pervert the course of justice. Whether they actually looked very hard is another question entirely. Anthony Hudson QC, acting for News Group Newspapers, the subsidiary of News UK which was parent company to the Scum of the World and the Sun, said it was 'not appropriate to be making such serious allegations in this context,' adding that the company's position had always been that 'e-mails were not deleted as part of any cover up.' Though, to be fair, that hasn't always been the company's position - indeed, prior to 2011, the company's position was, essentially, 'What? Phone-hacking? Here? No. Well, maybe the work of one rouge reporter but otherwise, definitely not, guy. Honest.' Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was very acquitted of charges related to phone-hacking in 2014 – including perverting the course of justice. There is no suggestion that Murdoch The Small knew about hacking when it was taking place. However, the regulator Ofcom published a scathing assessment in 2012 of Murdoch The Small's role at News International, as part of a 'fit and proper person' assessment of Sky where he had remained a non-executive director after stepping down as chair. Though it ruled that Sky passed the test, it said that Murdoch The Small's behaviour at News International 'repeatedly fell short of the standards expected.' Ofcom said that Sky should retain its licence, but campaigners against FOX's bid to take full control of the company have argued that a new fit and proper person test should be launched. The lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Bradley, has said she is 'minded' to refer FOX's Sky bid to Ofcom on media plurality and editorial standards grounds, a different form of assessment to the fit and proper test, which can be initiated at any time by Ofcom. The request to search the e-mails is part of a long-running legal battle over how much News UK should be forced to disclose before a trial, which is scheduled for October. The hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice extremely continues.
The food blogger Jack Monroe has won twenty four thousand knicker damages, plus legal costs, in a libel action against the hateful, full-of-her-own-importance columnist Katie Hopkins after a row over two tweets. Monroe sued Hopkins over two tweets which, she claimed, caused 'serious harm' to her reputation. Hopkins posted the tweets in May 2015 asking her if Monroe had 'scrawled on any memorials recently.' Monroe said this meant that she had either vandalised a war memorial or 'condoned or approved' of such actions. Mr Justice Warby also ordered Hopkins - a columnist for the Scum Mail Online - to pay an initial one hundred and seven thousand smackers towards the campaigner's legal costs within twenty eight days. He ruled that the tweets had caused 'Monroe real and substantial distress' and she was entitled to 'fair and reasonable compensation.' The final costs figure has yet to be assessed but, it's likely to be loads. Which is quite funny. After the ruling, Monroe, who also campaigns over poverty issues, said: 'It's taken twenty one months but today the High Court ruled that Hopkins statements to/about me were defamatory. I sued her for libel and I won.' And, good for you, love. The case arose after some Twitter users highlighted an anti-Conservative profanity daubed on a memorial to the women of World War Two during an anti-austerity demonstration. Hopkins tweeted: 'Jack Monroe scrawled on any memorials recently? Vandalised the memory of those who fought for your freedom. Grandma got any more medals?' The judge ruled that the tweet "meant that Ms Monroe condoned and approved of scrawling on war memorials, vandalising monuments commemorating those who fought for her freedom.' He found that a second tweet from Hopkins 'meant that Ms Monroe condoned and approved of the fact that in the course of an anti-government protest there had been vandalisation by obscene graffiti of the women's war memorial in Whitehall, a monument to those who fought for her freedom.' The judge added: 'These are meanings with a defamatory tendency, which were published to thousands.' Jonathan Price, for Hopkins, snivelling told the judge that 'this relatively trivial dispute arose and was resolved on Twitter in a period of several hours.' He argued that 'no lasting harm and certainly no serious harm' had been caused to Monroe's reputation, an argument which the court found to be flawed in all sorts of ways. Hopkins had 'mistakenly' used Monroe's Twitter handle instead of that of another columnist who had written about the war memorial incident, he alleged. Monroe comes from a family with military connections - her father was in the British Army for seven years, whilst one of her brothers is a flying officer in the RAF. The judge said he accepted Monroe's unchallenged evidence that 'as a proud member of a military family and a feminist' she was 'sickened' by the graffiti. He ruled that 'whilst the claimant may not have proved that her reputation suffered gravely, I am satisfied that she has established that the publications complained of caused serious harm to her reputation.' He said their publication 'not only caused Ms Monroe real and substantial distress, but also harm to her reputation which was serious.' Media lawyer Mark Stephens, of law firm Howard Kennedy, said Mr Justice Warby had set 'a tariff' at twenty four grand for Twitter libel cases, which would 'undoubtedly encourage more claims.' He said: 'The courts will allow robust debate and will consider posts and comments to see if they were meant as fact or a joke. But, the fact remains that if comments cause serious harm, legal action is likely to follow.'
Three adverts for a Dorset farm's vodka, including a parody of the celebrated 1980s 'Accrington Stanley' milk advert, have been extremely banned. The Advertising Standards Authority received a whole two complaints - from, one presumes, people with nothing better to do with their time than to whinge about shite like this - about the commercials for Black Cow vodka.
One of the films was a parody of the Milk Marketing Board's 1989 milk advert featuring Carl Rice. Now aged thirty six, Rice reprises his role in the vodka advert which was deemed 'socially irresponsible' by watchdog chiefs. In the original dairy promotion, two Liverpudlian boys who have been playing football race into a kitchen. One teases his friend for drinking milk, but the friend retorts that then Anfield legend Ian Rush had said people who didn't drink milk would 'only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.' The advert popularised the subsequent catchphrase: 'Accrington Stanley? Who are they?' 'Exactly!' Ruling on the parody, the ASA said: 'While we noted that this was a literal recreation of the original advert and that some viewers would recognise the element of satire, we considered that the large quantity of vodka depicted and the replacement of the empty bottles with full ones, was nonetheless still likely to be understood as implying and encouraging excessive drinking.' The ASA, one imagines, don't normally get invited to many cool parties. Another vodka advert to fall foul of the censors showed a man and woman walking through a meadow and glancing at each other and then a depression in some long grass. It was banned for, allegedly, 'linking alcohol to sexual activity.' The ASA also said that the product's catchline: 'So smooth you can drink it until the cows come home,' implied people could drink more of it. Black Cow said that its product was 'super premium' (whatever that means) and 'not intended to be consumed in excess.' Although, since they're alcohol which only exists to be drunk to excess, that's clearly a lie. It added that it had been 'surprised' by the bans as it thought the adverts were 'quite fun and witty,' but accepted the ASA ruling. Whilst noting that the ASA wouldn't understand wit if it got up and gave the ASA a haircut. Probably. Beaminster dairy farmer Jason Barber, who invented the drink, added: 'We don't want to milk the point, but we were rather surprised to be chased by these complaints.'
Meanwhile, the semi-regular From The North series Adverts That Get Right On Yer Actual Keith Telly Topping's Tit-End, Big Style, And Grate His Cheese Something Rotten. Number twenty six: That bastard-annoying Game Of Thrones-influenced Vanquis Express Check thing. Presumably, after the final shot, that soppy girl who climbs on The Lord's horse and wants to know all about his sixty-second quest will end the night getting shagged red-raw till her eyes pop out and she begs for mercy. Beheading by the guitarist out of Doctor Feelgood is too good for the pair of them.
Yer actual New Order - still minus Hooky, obviously but, thankfully, with the divine Gillian back in their ranks - will be centre stage at this summer's Manchester International Festival. The News will play five gigs inside 'a unique installation' created by artist Liam Gillick, accompanied by a twelve-piece synthesiser ensemble. There will also be an exhibition of art inspired by the band and their original incarnation, Joy Division. The full line-up for the eighteen-day biennial festival has just been announced. It begins on 29 June. The festival is renowned for staging world premieres by leading artists and performers. Artistic director John McGrath said this year's event would 'reflect the current global upheaval and uncertainty. Everything has changed in the last twelve months and our artists are responding in real time,' he said. 'This is where MIF's commitment to commissioning new ideas from artists comes into its own.'
Parlophone has scheduled two limited edition David Bowie releases to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Record Store Day. Cracked Actor (Live In Los Angeles 1974) has never been officially released, while Bowpromo replicates a 1971 small-run pressing of alternate mixes of some of the songs which appeared on Hunky Dory used for promotional purposes. Cracked Actor was recorded live at Universal Amphitheatre on 5 September 1974 at the very point where the Diamond Dogs Tour was in the process of turning into the Philly Dogs Tour. While some of the material appeared in Alan Yentob's legendary 1975 BBC documentary Omnibus: Cracked Actor, the forthcoming triple vinyl, five-sided LP contains the full concert. The sixth side houses an etching of the Diamond Dogs-era Bowie logo. Mixed by longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti, the set features a new band line-up (including Carlos Alomar and Luther Vandross as well as Diamond Dogs Tour regulars like Mike Garson and Earl Slick) and a set list which, whilst it's still recognisably based on the majority of the Diamond Dogs Tour material, differs from Bowie's 1974 David Live LP - recorded two months earlier in Philadelphia. Mostly notably with the inclusion of two new songs that Bowie had recently recorded during the early sessions for what would become the Young Americans LP, 'It's Gonna Be Me' and 'John I'm Only Dancing (Again)'. Although a recording of the show had long circulated on bootleg (the Strange Fascination double CD set, for instance) this will be its first legal release. Bowpromo is a single-sided release which recreates a rare 1971 acetate pressing that featured seven Bowie songs on its A-side. Five ended up on Hunky Dory together with 'It Ain't Easy' (recorded during the Hunky Dory sessions but left over for Bowie next LP, Ziggy Stardust) and the outtake 'Bombers' which remained unreleased until 1990. Most excitingly, the version of 'Eight Line Poem' on Bowpromo is a completely different vocal take to the one which appeared on Hunky Dory. Both limited-edition releases will be available during Record Store Day on 22 April.
An eighty three-year-old farmer who shot a convicted burglar trespassing on his land has been cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm. Kenneth Hugill, from Wilberfoss, near York, shot Richard Stables injuring him in the foot on 13 November 2015. Hull Crown Court heard that Hugill saw a car drive past his remote farmhouse at around 2am which he believed contained scallywags 'up to no good.' Stables claimed he had stumbled onto the farm accidentally. The three-day trial - which, presumably, will cost tax payers thousands - was told how Hugill was woken by a light at his bedroom window at around 2am before he got dressed and went outside, with his shotgun, to investigate. 'I walked across what I thought was the front of a vehicle,' he said. 'It revved up loudly and drove towards me. It petrified me. I did not see any people. I heard nothing at all.' Hugill, who uses a walking stick and a hearing aid, said that he had fired one shot at the side of the vehicle and another into the air. He had not intended to hurt anyone but merely intended to frighten them off, he claimed. The jury took a mere twenty four minutes to clear him. And, a further twenty four seconds to suggest that, actually, he should be given a medal. Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service defended its decision to prosecute this poor bloke. Chief Crown Prosecutor Gerry Wareham said: 'We are satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to put the matter before a court and that it was in the public interest to do so.' But, most people though that was a right load of old cock and bull bollocks and that, frankly, Gerry Wareham of the CPS ought to hire a couple of shady youths 'oot on the rob' to come around his gaff one night and do the drum over to see if he likes it.
A washing machine has been launched for the Indian market, with a special mode to tackle curry stains. Panasonic said that the introduction of a 'curry' button followed complaints from customers struggling to fully get the food off their clothes. It says development took two years, testing combinations of water temperature and water flow. The machine has five other cycles aimed at the Indian consumer, including one to remove traces of hair oil. As part of the development, Panasonic researchers analysed what went into a typical Indian household's curry dish. The firm said it then tried to establish the optimal time and water temperature required to remove the stains. Panasonic said it planned similar machines for other Asian markets, tackling stains specific to those countries, but would not elaborate. Only about ten per cent of homes in India have a washing machine, with most people still doing their laundry by hand. That means there is plenty of room for market growth and the electronics giant hopes the India-focused machine will help it challenge the South Korean manufacturers currently dominating the sector. Panasonic told the BBC that about five thousand of the machines had been sold so far, with a target to sell at least thirty thousand by March next year. Priced at about twenty two thousand Indian rupees (which is about two hundred and sixty quid), the new model costs around ten per cent more than other washing machines. Panasonic entered the India market in 1990, first producing rice cookers and then expanding its line to also manufacture air conditioners. In December last year, the company announced it would set up a factory in the North Indian state of Haryana making refrigerators. The Japanese firm has associated itself with other headline-grabbing products. Last year it invested around fifty million knicker in Seven Dreamers, a Japanese start-up which is developing what it claims to be the world's first robot that folds laundry.