Friday, April 07, 2017

There Would Have Been Time Enough For Dying Tomorrow And Tomorrow And Tomorrow

Yer actual Peter Capaldi has said that whomsoever replaces him in Doctor Who - whether it be a man, a woman or someone of a non-specific gender assignment - will be 'wonderful.' Speaking at a preview of the first episode of his final series on the popular long-running BBC family drama, yer man Capaldi admitted that he would be 'very sad' to say goodbye to the programme. The episode - entitled The Pilot - introduces The Doctor's new companion, Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie. It sees The Doctor, Bill and Nardole (played by Matt Lucas), 'battling a shape-shifting alien across time and space.' Which is always a laugh. Peter, who took over the Time Lord role in 2013, announced in January that he would be leaving the drama in the 2017 Christmas special. Speaking to an invited audience at the screening in London on Tuesday, Capaldi said: 'It's an incredible thing to wake up in the morning and go "Oh, I'm still Doctor Who!" and then go and blow up some monsters - that's how you spend your day. When you walk around, people don't see Peter anymore - it's Doctor Who they see - and he gets many more smiles than I do. It'll be sad to say goodbye to him.' Asked about who might take over his role, the actor chose his words carefully. 'I'm sure whoever that person is will be wonderful,' he said. 'Doctor Who is a wonderful part and they are going to make - if they haven't already done so - a wonderful choice, whether that's a man or a woman.' The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) said after the screening that he was surprised at the 'fuss' over Bill's sexuality. Last week it was revealed that Mackie's character would be the Time Lord's first openly gay companion. Or, possibly, second, we're still not entirely sure whether Captain Jack counts as a companion or not, apparently. 'We are not expecting any kind of round of applause or pat on the back for that,' The Moff said. 'That is the minimum of representation you should have on television. The correct response would be: "What took you so long?" It is important we don't make a big fuss of this in a children's show that communicates directly with children. You don't want young kids who regard themselves as boring and normal and happen to fancy their own gender, we don't want them to feel as if they are some kind of special case.' Addressing journalists in the audience, he added: 'It is not your job to frighten children - it is my job!' And, of course, as you might expect, someone of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star tried their best to make A Big Deal out of these comments. And, failed miserably. Peter said he enjoyed the fact that The Doctor was seen 'grounded' on Earth as a university lecturer during the opening episode. 'I loved being at university,' he said. 'I love it when Doctor Who roots itself in something recognisable and normal.'
John Simm will return as The Master to battle The Doctor, Bill and Nardole in the forthcoming series of Doctor Who. The news was supposed to be a secret until the trailer at the end of the opening episode of the new series when Simm would feature. But, of course, some people just can't keep their sodding mouths shut and, after the episode had been shown to the press this week, the Sun went and blew the gaff thus forcing the BBC to confirm the story earlier than they would have liked. To say that The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat was Goddamn pissed-off by this malarkey is, obviously, putting it mildly. John Simm said: 'I can confirm that it's true, thanks to the power of time travel I'm back. It's always a pleasure to work with this great team of people and I can't wait for you all to see what The Master gets up to in the next series.' The Moffinator, added: 'Nothing stays secret for long on Doctor Who but you'll have to wait a little bit longer to see exactly what The Master is up to and how he makes his return to face The Doctor. It's been a huge pleasure to have fan favourites John Simm and Michelle Gomez face-to-face in the same role! It's not often you get to see a solo personality clash.' One of this blogger's favourite actors, and the star of State Of Play and Life On Mars (among many other) John Simm was last seen as a particularly mad-as-a-bag-full-of-badgers regeneration of The Master on New Year's Day 2010 in David Tennant's final episode as The Doctor, The End Of Time (Part 2).
As previously announced, Doctor Who series ten will also star Michelle Gomez as Missy – a later, extremely female (though equally bonkers), regeneration of the same character. Other returning foes include The Daleks, The Ice Warriors, The Movellans (last seen in Doctor Who in 1979) and – returning for the first time in over fifty years – the original Mondasian Cybermen. 'An exciting line-up of new faces and adversaries' will also debut across the series, including The Emojibots and David Suchet as a character called The Landlord.
Meanwhile, there's been another trailer for the new series released. And, it looks effing awesome.
The latest issue of yer actual Doctor Who Magazine (available this week from all good newsagents ... and some bad ones) has confirmed that the titles of ten episodes of the new series, with previews of the first three in the issue.
The current list of known titles are as follows:-
The Pilot, by Steven Moffat, directed by Lawrence Gough.
Smile, by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, directed by Lawrence Gough.
Thin Ice, by Sarah Dollard, directed by Bill Anderson.
Knock Knock, by Mike Bartlett, directed by Bill Anderson.
Oxygen, by Jamie Matheson, directed by Charles Palmer.
Extremis, by Steven Moffat, directed by Daniel Nettheim.
The Pyramid At The End Of The World, by Peter Harness, directed by Daniel Nettheim.
The Lie Of The Land, by Toby Whithouse, directed by Wayne Che Yip.
The Empress Of Mars, by Mark Gatiss, directed by Wayne Che Yip.
The Eaters Of Light, by Rona Munro, directed by Charles Palmer.
To Be Confirmed, by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay.
To Be Confirmed, by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay.
Current indications are that Doctor Who won't be taking a week's break for the annual Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place this year on 13 May (the date for the fifth episode, Oxygen).
Filming has started on the BBC adaptation of Jessie Burton's period thriller The Miniaturist. The first photo from the set featuring Anya Taylor-Joy and Romola Garai has been released to mark the first week of filming. Set in Amsterdam in 1686 it tells the story of Nella played by Taylor-Joy who moves to the city to become the wife of a wealthy merchant. Nella is given a miniature version of her new home, which is furnished by a Miniaturist, whose creations start to reflect real events in the house. She then begins to discover the secrets of the house and its inhabitants, including her cold sister-in-law Marin, played by Garai. The cast also features Emily Berrington, Paapa Essiedu, Alex Hassell and Hayley Squires. The three part dramatisation is due to be broadcast on BBC1 later this year. Taylor-Joy, who has starred in horror film The Witch and was nominated for the BAFTA rising star award, said: 'I immediately fell in love with Nella's resilience and am so looking forward to telling her story and helping to bring this magical book to life.' Garai described The Miniaturist as 'a moving and iconic story' that she was 'truly honoured' to be part of. Author Jessie Burton said: 'The assembled cast is perfect to the vision I had in my mind's eye in every way, and I know they'll make magic.'
Also released this week was the first image of yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch from the new adaptation of Ian McEwan's award-winning novel The Child In Time. In the dramatisation the Sherlock actor plays a children's author struggling to find a purpose in life two years after his daughter has gone missing. Benny will also executive produce the ninety minute TV film, which also stars Kelly McDonald, Saskia Reeves and Stephen Campbell-Moore. It is also being made for the BBC, but a transmission date has not yet been announced.
Hot on the heels of the series ten finale of the top-rated Canadian drama Murdoch Mysteries, the CBC network has officially announced the renewal of the hit period thriller. The new run will be comprised eighteen sixty-minute episodes and one extended Christmas special. The premiere date for series eleven is yet to be finalised but, according to the show's past release schedule, we can probably expect it to hit the small screens sometime in the autumn of 2017. Murdoch Mysteries is a veteran Canadian historic criminal drama series which is based on the characters from the Maureen Jennings' novel series. Developed by RB Carney, Cal Coons and Alexandra Zarowny, the show is produced by Shattesbury Films, UKTV and ITV Studios Global Entertainment. The series follows the life of detective William Murdoch in Toronto in the end of the Nineteenth Century and the beginning of the Twentieth.
The Voice finale, last weekend, was memorably gatecrashed by a stage invader who had to be taken away by security staff. The man - wearing a baseball cap - ran on to the stage just after finalists Mo Adeniran and Into The Ark were being announced. He was carrying a piece of paper which he held up for viewers to read but, before they could, he was rugby-tackled to the ground by a large burly chap and hustled off-stage where, presumably, he was given a damned good kicking in the knackers by security for his ill-advised stage-invading ways. Moments beforehand, Sir Tom Jones was heard saying the very naughty 'F'-word after his act was confirmed as being through to the final stage. Jones later claimed this was 'down to shock.' Host Emma Willis swiftly apologised for the language and gave Sir Tom a right good cuffing for his foul-mouthed naughtiness. Allegedly. Mo Adeniran was eventually named the series winner, sealing a recording contract with Polydor and at least one flop single before he gets dropped. A spokesman for ITV said: 'There was a brief interruption on stage, which was dealt with immediately by security. The show continued as planned.' It is understood that police were not called and the man was escorted off the premises. The stage-invader this is, not Sir Tom Jones.
Channel Four News is to be extremely investigated by Ofcom over its coverage of the Westminster terrorist attack. Last month, Khalid Masood killed four people when he drove a car into members of the public on London's Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a police officer. That evening's edition of Channel Four News initially named a different individual as the attacker. The error quickly came to light and presenter that Middle class hippy Communist Jon Snow apologised at the end of the programme to viewers, albeit not to the individual they had incorrectly named as being responsible.
The broadcaster then pulled a repeat of the episode from the Channel Four +1 service. Ofcom said that it had received twelve complaints about the programme (presumably all from members of the family of the chap what never done it). 'We are investigating this news item on the recent Westminster attack, which named the wrong person as being responsible,' a spokesman said. The broadcasting regulator noted that the individual named by Channel Four News was actually in prison at the time of the attack. Which, presumably - if he's in prison for something that he actually did - means that he's not actually a very nice person and we probably shouldn't waste too much sympathy on him. Nevertheless, generally speaking it's not a good idea to go about saying someone has just murdered a bunch of people unless they, you know, actually have. After the broadcast, Channel Four News grovellingly apologised to viewers for the error in a statement. The programme's editor, Ben de Pear, later said: 'This was a fast-moving story and while we were on-air conflicting information came to light which we then worked to corroborate. During the course of the programme we acted swiftly to correct and clarify the information.' All of which makes Channel Four sound like the victim here rather than the people who are supposed to be journalists who get the facts right rather than wrong. See below for another example of this. Broadcasting rules state there must be 'due accuracy' in news reporting and 'significant mistakes' should be acknowledged and corrected on-air quickly. Which, to be fair, this was.
And, on a marginally similar note - albeit, nowhere near as bad as the previous example - the legendary veteran broadcaster Brian Matthew who hosted Sounds Of The Sixties on BBC Radio 2, did not die on Wednesday of this week at the age of eighty eight, despite what you may have heard to the contrary. There's a Mark Twain quote that may be applicable at this juncture. 'Our beloved Brian Matthew passed away last night,' his family was initially reported by the BBC to have said in a statement. 'We ask that our privacy is respected at this time.' His condition was later upgraded to 'critically ill.' A spokesman for the BBC said: 'We were informed by close family and friends that Brian had passed away in the night. They have since been in contact to say that he remains critically ill.' The statement added: 'We will update with more information when we have it. Our thoughts remain with his family at this very difficult time.' The statement, pointedly, did not include an apology for the error - despite the corporation having been heavily criticised by various other media outlets and some people of Twitter, if not anyone that actually matters - and a spokeswoman for Radio 2 said: 'The family have their privacy and we respect that, and we support them at this time, but there isn't anything to add to the statement.' Asked if the BBC planned to apologise, she said: 'We have put out the statement that the family read and were happy with. That is the statement as it stands.' All of which appears to suggest that the BBC were specifically told by someone either within or very close to the Matthew family that Brian had, indeed, died. Which he hadn't. As someone who has worked for the BBC in this past, this blogger can confirm that normally BBC News can't announce a death unless they have confirmation from two separate sources - something which applies to all areas of the BBC from local radio to the national newsroom. This has meant in the past that the Beeb has missed out on some major exclusives (they, allegedly, had reports of Michael Jackson's death ten minutes before anyone else did but were waiting for a secondary source to confirm it and, thus, got scooped by the American website TMZ). But, it also means that, until this week, they haven't done anything as crassly moronic as, for example, Sky News who announced the death of Norman Wisdom live on-air four years before he actually died (reportedly based on a uncorroborated social media post which turned out to be from a hoaxer). According to the BBC News website, the reason they went with the Brian Matthew story this time was that they got the 'news' (incorrect, as it turned out) from a relative. Which does rather make you wonder if somebody has deliberately screwed them on this occasion since there is, clearly, a considerable difference between 'dead' and 'critically ill but not, actually, dead'. Brian - an icon to millions across the decades - started his broadcasting career in Germany in 1948 and trained as an actor at RADA before joining the BBC's Light Programme in 1954. He was one of the first DJs on Radio 1, hosting popular radio shows such as Saturday Club, Easy Beat and Top Gear (no relation), the long-running Round Midnight and, on television, Thank You Lucky Stars. He regularly presented programmes featuring The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them). In 1990 he received a Broadcasting Press Guild award for his outstanding contribution to radio. And, for once, such an award was entirely deserved.
Drake - he's a popular beat combo on the 2010s, apparently - is to star in the London-based Channel Four drama Top Boy, after reportedly buying the rights to the show. Ashley Walters, who plays Dushane in the drama, told the Daily Mirra that producers are 'making a significant role' for the Canadian rapper. Walters confirmed that Drake had met the show's creators last week to talk about the role. 'We met up to start talking about the show and we are working out a role for him,' Walters told the newspaper. 'He loves acting, of course he wanted a part. He's going to be really hands on and is getting stuck into it.'
There could be another writers strike brewing in the US - putting dozens of your favourite TV shows at risk. In a letter to media buyers, the Writers Guild of America has threatened to get all stroppy and militant and down-tools from 2 May. It's all to do with a row over pay - writers say that they have been losing revenue in recent years, twenty three per cent in the last two years alone. Also, because so many series are getting shorter - the average episode count has fallen from twenty two to nineteen over the last few years - but writers contracts remain the same length, many of them find themselves locked into a contract without other work. 'Should this [strike] occur, writing for television, feature films and digital series will cease,' the letter says. This would, of course, be catastrophic for the major networks, which were hugely affected when the WGA went on strike for one hundred days in 2007. Many TV networks struggled to fill their schedules, which led to an increase in repeats and the commissioning of reality shows to fill the gap. In light of the letter, five days of negotiations are due to begin on Monday. If they don't go well popular dramas and comedies could become victims of the strike. Unlike the last time, however, many viewers will now be able to turn to streaming services to plug the gap with new content. However for traditional TV networks and film studios, a new strike would cause chaos. Shows which are unscripted, those that don't use union writers or those which have already wrapped filming, wouldn't generally suffer. The genre that would be impacted most immediately would be the live entertainment and late night chat shows. Unlike UK talk shows fronted by the likes of Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross which air weekly, most US chat shows are broadcast every night. As you can imagine, that requires a lot of material and, therefore, a lot of writers. Jimmy Kimmel Live, Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show would all struggle to stay on-air beyond the first couple of days of any potential strike. During the last strike, talk shows hosted by David Letterman, Jon Stewart and Conan O'Brien all ran repeats instead of broadcasting new programmes. Many stayed with the production shut down until the strike was over, while some returned and filled time by ad-libbing or showing previously-recorded film segments. O'Brien, Letterman and Jay Leno even started to pay some of their regular writers out of their own pockets to provide new material during the strike. In terms of dramas and sitcoms in 2007, some networks stockpiled episodes to try and minimise the impact of the writers' strike. A few soap operas like Days Of Our Lives and All My Children had their scripts completed to last them through to January, when the strike was due to end. Dramas such as The Wire and The Shield had also completed filming their current seasons and so were unaffected. But others floundered. Some shows were cancelled altogether, despite having ended on a cliff-hanger . Others had their seasons cut short (Pushing Daisies which, tragically, never recovered the momentum it had been building up and was duly cancelled the following year), had new episodes delayed (24, Entourage) or their season length shortened (Thirty Rock, Breaking Bad, CSI, House, The Big Bang Theory, Lost). Many of the shows due to begin this summer would likely be unaffected as they're already in production or completed, such as Veep, Fear The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Orange Is The New Black. But shows which are due to begin in the crucial fall season, which writers begin working on in May and June, would be at severe risk. As the new letter from the WGA states: 'Any delay in the start of work has the potential to postpone fall season premieres and reduce the amount of new programming available to advertisers and audiences.' This would affect brand new shows as well as programmes already hugely popular with audiences like Modern Family and Empire. Of course, a strike wouldn't just impact TV shows - films would suffer as well. Perhaps the most obvious casualty of the last one was the extremely dodgy James Bond film, Quantum Of Solace. Hot on the heels of the hugely popular and critically acclaimed Casino Royale, expectations for Daniel Craig's second Bond film were high. But the actor famously ended up writing some sections of his own dialogue because of the lack of writers available to work on the movie. The franchise later redeemed itself with Skyfall and Spectre, but other standalone films didn't have that luxury. Oscar-nominated musical Nine, which starred Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis and Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas (as opposed to the former Manchester United manager obviously), was 'severely delayed.' Production had to be postponed from early 2008 to the second half of that year, pushing back its scheduled release date. And, at the height of awards season, the 2008 Golden Globes were cancelled with the winners read out at a press conference as there was no one to write the host's jokes. Although, actually, that was probably a blessing is disguise.
And now, the story the just keeps on giving ...
Sir Elton John and Gordon Ramsay are among those taking action against the publisher of the Sun and defunct, disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World over alleged phone-hacking claims. The singer and celebrity chef are among sixty three alleged victims to have issued a bid for compensation at the High Court. News Group Newspapers already faced claims from twenty eight people who also allege that their voicemails were intercepted by someone acting on behalf of the newspaper group. More than one thousand people have already settled with the company - for effing 'uge amounts of wonga - which, eventually, after years of denials, coughed up to this being a common practcie at the Scum of the World but continues to deny that the practice took place at the Sun. One or two people even believed them. The latest claims include stories published by the Sun, after a High Court judge ruled in April 2016 there was 'enough evidence' for claims against the paper to be heard. The hacking revelations led to the closure of the Scum of the World in 2011 in shame and ignominy. Since then, celebrities including Hugh Grant and Charlotte Church have settled claims against the Scum of the World over phone-hacking, while other cases - including yer actual David Tennant - are still being heard. Christopher Hutchings of Hamlins Solicitors, the lead firm for the ninety one claimants, said that the inclusion of the Sun had led to more alleged victims coming forward. 'This surge in the number of claimants is a reflection of the expansion of the case to cover the Sun,' he said. Hutchings added that some claimants were seeking damages for 'concealment and destruction of evidence' by NGN. Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and the theatrical agent Caroline Chignell are among the other people taking action, who include 'sporting celebrities, actors and entertainers.'
Sir Elt, meanwhile, has said that vinyl LPs 'provide a better listening experience' than CDs or streaming music. Which, you know, is true. 'It does sound better,' he said this week. 'I know people say it doesn't, but it does. I've been around long enough to know. I've been in so many studios, I've made so many records. It just sounds better.' Sir Elton's comments came as he was named a Record Store Day Legend, honouring his support of record shops. There has long been a debate over the merits of vinyl over digital formats. Apostles argue that an LP's analogue sound signal produces 'a more authentic, honest sound,' while digital formats like CD and downloads compromise quality for the sake of portability and convenience. Audio engineers argue that digital files are inherently more accurate - and that some of the 'warmth' of vinyl is, in fact, distortion introduced by the turntable. In reality, both have their pros and cons, but the perception that vinyl produces a superior sound quality has been a key reason behind the format's recent resurgence. Sales in the UK topped three million last year, the highest total in twenty five years according to the BPI, which represents the music industry. Sir Elton will be releasing a new version of his legendary live LP, 17-11-70, to commemorate the tenth annual Record Store Day on 22 April. This exclusive edition adds six further songs to the original song listing, including previously unreleased recordings of 'Indian Sunset', 'Your Song' and 'My Father's Gun'. 'It wasn't supposed to be a live album, it was a radio broadcast,' the musician told the BBC, 'but it was bootlegged so much that the record company decided to put it out. It's probably one of the best live albums of all time,' he added. 'I'm never one to say good things about myself, but it is pretty fabulous.' Sir Elt, is well known for his love of record shops - having bought his first singles ('At The Hop' by Danny & The Juniors and 'Reet Petite' by Jackie Wilson) at the age of ten. He said that he was 'honoured' to be named a Record Store Day Legend and wholeheartedly supported the initiative - which aims to tempt record-buyers back into their local, independent shops. Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day and many shops and cities host artist performances and events to mark the occasion. BBC Music is an official partner of the event and BBC Radio 6Music will premiere a selection of the exclusive new records in the week leading up to the event, culminating in a live broadcast from Vinyl Tap in Huddersfield on Friday 21 April, hosted by Wor Geet Canny Lauren Laverne. BBC Radio 3's Record Review will also celebrate the initiative with a live show at Spiritland, a listening cafe near King's Cross in London, on the day itself.
Odious right-wing scumbag Bill O'Reilly's top-rated FOX News show may be starting to feel a financial sting, with twelve firms taking action after widespread allegations emerged that he had sexually harassed several women. The automakers Hyundai, BMW and Mitsubishi, the financial firm T Rowe Price, the personal finance site Credit Karma, the insurer Allstate, the drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, the pet food company Ainsworth, the men's shirt seller Untuckit and the online marketing firm Constant Contact said on Tuesday that they had joined Mercedes-Benz in pulling their advertising from the show. The moves come after a weekend report in the New York Times that O'Reilly and his employer paid five women thirteen million dollars to settle harassment or other allegations of inappropriate conduct by O'Reilly. Hyundai said that it currently had no adverts on The O'Reilly Factor, but it has pulled spots on future episodes. The car maker says that it wants to partner with companies and programming that 'share its values of inclusion and diversity.' BMW said it had 'suspended' advertising on the show due to the recent allegations, as did T Rowe Price, Sanofi, Ainsworth and Constant Contact. Allstate said 'support for women' was 'a company value' and it had also suspended advertising with O'Reilly. GlaxoSmithKline said it had 'temporarily put a hold' on adverts on O'Reilly's show while it 'reviewed the situation.' A Mercedes-Benz spokesman said on Monday evening that the company had pulled adverts from O'Reilly's show and 'reassigned them to other Fox News shows.' Sanofi and Untuckit reportedly are doing the same. BMW that said it was 'not sure' where it would place its adverts instead. O'Reilly is FOX News' top revenue producer, according to the research firm Kantar Media, bringing in over one hundred and seventy eight million bucks in advertising dollars in 2015 and over one hundred and eighteen million in the first nine months of 2016. FOX News itself makes up one-fifth of parent company Twenty First Century FOX's profit, according to estimates from Anthony DiClemete, a media analyst with the Nomura investment bank.
Damian Lewis has revealed that he thought he was going to faint on stage during the opening night of his new West End play, The Goat. The Homeland and Billions actor, who had reportedly been feeling ill for days, was taken to an emergency doctor hours before the show to discover he had a perforated ear drum. 'There was this awful cold that was passed around the company in the last four or five weeks and I held out until about four days ago,' the actor told the BBC on Wednesday night. 'I had this awful streaming cold. The catarrh all transferred into my ear,' he said. 'I went to an emergency doctor at about three o'clock and he had a look in there and said "you've got a great big hole in your ear drum and you've got an infection of the middle ear."' But Lewis, who was worried the infection might affect his balance, decided the show must go on. 'There was one point in act three where I had to hold on to a chair because I was going to pass out,' he said. Not that anyone would have guessed - the reviews for The Goat have been almost universally positive, with the Gruniad Morning Star awarding it five stars. The play, written by the late Edward Albee and directed by Ian Rickson, tells the bizarre story of fifty-year-old married architect Martin, who has an affair with a goat. Sophie Okonedo plays Martin's wife Stevie who is, understandably, none too impressed her husband is professing his love for a farmyard animal. The actress admitted after the show that she had given Lewis the cold. 'He caught it from me,' she said. 'I had it all last week and I lost my voice completely on the first night. I was croaking all the way through. He was really ill tonight, poor thing.' Okonedo described The Goat as 'an extraordinary modern transgressive piece' about different types of love. 'I found it really shocking when I read it. It left me breathless. And it's really hard to be shocked in the theatre these days. I thought I had to do it because I had such a strong reaction to it.' Lewis said he felt that now was a good time to revive the play in London. 'We feel more uncertainty and absurdity in our politics at the moment - both here and in the US - and this is a play where something drops out of the blue sky,' he said. 'It's utterly shocking, it's unexpected, and it causes great uncertainty and not a little trauma. And it feels a little bit like what we're experiencing now. I think we're all feeling a bit battered at the moment.'
American golfer Lexi Thompson was left in tears after being handed a four-stroke penalty while leading the final round of the first major of the season - and then losing a play-off to So Yeon Ryu. She had incorrectly replaced a marked ball in Saturday's third round and, although this was missed by the competition judges, a nosey TV viewer spotted the offence and only went and snitched Thompson up to officials good and proper like a filthy stinking Copper's Nark. Thompson was leading the ANA Inspiration by two shots when told of the penalty after her twelfth hole. She birdied the eighteenth to force a play-off which Ryu won at the first hole. Thompson had missed a twenty-foot eagle putt on the last which would have given her a sensational victory. Thompson appeared to put a marker at the side of her ball on the seventeenth green before lifting it and replacing in front of the marker prior to a putt of less than two feet. The LPGA said that she had 'breached Rule Twenty-Seven C (Playing From Wrong Place) and received a two-stroke penalty. She incurred an additional two-stroke penalty under Rule Six-Six D for returning an incorrect scorecard in round three.' Her five-under-par third-round sixty seven was changed to a seventy one. 'Is this a joke?' Thompson said after being informed of the penalties by a rules official, before making birdies on three of the last six holes to force the play-off. 'It is unfortunate with what happened, I did not mean that at all, I had no idea that I did it,' Thompson later told The Golf Channel. 'I had to regroup myself, my caddie helped me out tremendously, we have a great relationship. I tried to gather myself and I made a great putt at thirteen. But it's all to the fans, they helped me get through the rest of the round and I thank them a lot. I learned a lot about myself and how much I have in me. I wasn't expecting what happened today to happen and I will learn from it.' Ryu was the beneficiary as she claimed a second major title after making a four in the play-off, but admitted that her win did not feel right. 'I cannot believe the situation. I didn't even check the leaderboard, Lexi was playing so well. I didn't expect it,' she said. 'It hurts me as well, it is a weird feeling but at the same time I am proud of myself.' The LPGA said in a statement: 'On Sunday afternoon, the LPGA received an e-mail from a television viewer that Lexi Thompson did not properly replace her ball prior to putting out on the seventeenth hole during Saturday's third round of the ANA Inspiration. She was immediately notified of the breach by LPGA Rules Committee in between holes twelve and thirteen of the final round.' LPGA Tour rules official Sue Witters, who had to break the news to a stunned Thompson, said that she 'understood the outrage' of fans but insisted 'no other option' was available. 'What's my choice?' she said. 'A violation in the rules and then it would be the opposite story: "Oh, they knew, why didn't they do anything about it." I can't go to bed tonight knowing that I let a rule slide. You know, it's a hard thing to do and it made me sick to be honest with you.' However, Bernard Gallacher, the former captain of the Europe Ryder Cup team, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme 'the LPGA had the power to dismiss that person [the TV viewer], they should have completely ignored it.' The identity of the person what grassed Thompson up has not been publicly revealed. And, one imagines, they're not exactly eager to make themselves known either.
He's always been fast but now Jenson Button has been banned for it. Out of the car, the former grand prix world champion's passion is for triathlons and, impressively he recently came third in his latest Ironman challenge in California. It was only when Jenson crossed the line that he discovered he'd been speeding in the bike section and was, therefore, disqualified. The race included a 1.2-mile swim, fifty six-mile cycle and a half-marathon. Cyclists have to slow down during a specific part of the race for safety reasons. If the thirty seven-year-old had obeyed the rules, his time would have meant he would qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Chattanooga later this year. Instead the McLaren Honda racing driver was stripped of his podium finish. But, Jenson has taken it in good spirits. He said on Instagram: 'That was a pretty interesting 70.3m Ironman. I finished third in age group so qualified for the world champs only to be disqualified for speeding in a go-slow zone. Ah well onto the next one!' This also means he misses out on the chance to compete for the world title. The 2009 F1 world champion is a keen athlete and founded The Jenson Button Trust triathlon, which raises thousands of pounds for charity each year.
A very naughty man who admitted to attacking his wife with a cricket bat and forcing her to drink bleach has been very jailed after a judge said that the court was 'misled' over an alleged First Class cricket contract. Mustafa Bashir, was initially spared a custodial term last month as a judge heard he would lose out on a cricket contract with Leicestershire. Judge Richard Mansell QC, reviewing the sentence at Manchester Crown Court, said that he was 'fundamentally misled' by such claims. He very sentenced Bashir to eighteen months in The Big House. Bashir, who has played cricket for both Oldham and Bolton in the Lancashire Leagues, denied telling his barrister at the last hearing that he was 'about to sign' the contract with Leicestershire. He claimed he 'wasn't listening' to his barrister's comments, was 'extremely emotional' and there were 'a series of misunderstandings.' However Judge Mansell was having none of it and rejected Bashir's cock-and-bull claims, saying: 'You were clearly making a claim to court you had professional cricket contract.' Hell, it would seem, hath no fury like a judge made to look like a clown by a defendant. Leicestershire CCC accused Bashir of 'inventing' the job offer 'in order, it would seem, to evade a prison sentence.' Following the original sentence, the club later contacted the Crown Prosecution Service to deny they had any contact with Bashir. However the court heard that the club 'accepted' he 'may' have taken part in an open nets session at Grace Road. Bashir, of Middleton in Greater Manchester, earlier admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault by beating, destroying or damaging property and using a destructive substance with intent to maim. Judge Mansell ordered the case back to court under the 'Slip rule' which allows judges to re-sentence if new information comes to light. He had asked Bashir to provide evidence of his alleged contract with Leicestershire but said that the defendant had produced only 'a handful of e-mails' to support his claims. The court heard that a sports agent had written a letter to the earlier hearing saying Bashir 'had a very bright future ahead of him' as he had been selected for Leicestershire. The sports agent, who the new defence team claimed had 'mistyped' the letter to court, has since been 'spoken to' by police, the court heard. And, presumably, given a good telling off for being economical with the actualite. Bashir's barrister also said that the previous defence and probation officer had 'got the wrong end of the stick' over the job offer. Imposing the new sentence, the judge told Bashir: 'You were clearly making a claim to the court you had a career in professional cricket ahead of you which was false. You made that quite clearly in the hope you would avoid a prison sentence. There's not a shred of evidence you were ever chosen to play for Leicestershire County Cricket Club, let alone you had received any offer of a full time contract.' Judge Mansell, drew criticism from domestic abuse campaigners and several MPs when he told the court last month that the victim was not vulnerable as she was 'an intelligent woman with a network of friends' and 'had a degree.' Reviewing Bashir's sentence, he said that his earlier comments were meant as an explanation of advice issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council about the vulnerability of witnesses. He said that he wanted to 'make clear' Bashir's wife had been believed, she was 'plainly vulnerable,' but he had been explaining the different factors which can make a victim especially vulnerable.
And now, dear blog reader, what may well be the greatest story in the history of the world. A nine-year-old boy who sparked a police search when his mother awoke to find him missing from his bedroom was, later, discovered hiding under his bed. Gosh, the little tinker! Officers mounted a river search and scrambled a helicopter - which, one presumes, must've cost taxpayers a tidy sum - in a bid to find Josh Dinning, from Gateshead, who had not been seen since Monday night. An initial search found nothing. Josh, however, was discovered three hours later in a drawer under his bed. He said that he had been hiding there because he had not wanted to go to school. A cunning plan and one that, so nearly, paid off. A Northumbria Police spokesman said that the force was 'reviewing the search' to find out why the 'hidden compartment' had not been checked by one of the officers who attended the scene. Josh's mother, Michelle Dinning, a widow and mother of eight, said that she had hoped Josh was already at school when she could not find him. But, then the school rang to say he had not arrived, so she called the police. 'At that stage it all got very real and I was panicking, thinking the worst could have happened,' she said. Word of Josh's disappearance quickly spread and dozens of neighbours joined the search, handing out pictures of him which had been printed off by a library. Dinning said: 'I suggested one more look around the house - this time the police lifted the beds. I bent down and saw the green of Josh's school shirt and burst into tears.' Josh said: 'I could hear people looking for me and I thought I had better stay quiet because when they found me I would get shouted and bawled at so I just stayed where I was.' His brother Scott said: 'It's hard to believe that while all this was going on he was just curled up under his bed.' Josh, clearly, has a bright future as an escapologist ahead of him!
Newcastle's former Odeon cinema, which was in the process of being demolished, has collapsed into the street. The 1930s-built cinema, in Pilgrim Street, came down shortly after 11pm on Monday. A bus shelter was crushed by scaffolding and falling masonry, but no-one was hurt in the collapse. And, indeed, by the time that yer actual Keith telly Topping was next in the area - on Thursday to attend the first of Uncle Scunthorpe's new Record Player events at the Tyneside Cinema directly opposite, you'd struggle to know that anything had occurred. Although, there was a space were a bus stop used to be that was conspicuously not a bus stop any longer. Demolition work on the cinema began earlier this year. It is not yet known what caused the incident although, gravity is thought to be a likely culprit. Eyewitness Esther Beadle was at a bus stop directly opposite the building and described hearing a 'low rumble' moments before the collapse. She said: 'The scaffolding got mangled and crumpled as it came down and there was dust everywhere. Had there been anyone on the other side of the street they would have been seriously injured.' An HSE spokesman said: 'We have been made aware of this incident and inspectors are at the scene. As we are working with Newcastle City Council to ensure the site is as safe as possible, there is no further comment we can make at this stage.' A Newcastle City Council spokesman added: 'The former Odeon cinema has been under demolition since January as part of the regeneration of the wider area. The facade of the building, which was scaffolded, collapsed at about 11.30pm last night and police closed the road. Thankfully no one was injured. Contractors have cleared the debris overnight and Pilgrim Street is open to traffic in both directions though the footpath nearest to the Odeon site is closed to pedestrians. Our engineers and surveyors are liaising with the contractor and the HSE to provide support. The demolition was being carried out on behalf of a developer. While the council must be notified of a demolition it is not responsible for it.'
'Another sex toy has been hacked' according to the Daily Mirra, 'and this one has a camera on the tip.' Blimey. Stop the presses.
Referee Keith Stroud was forced to grovellingly apologise - or, actually, get his employers to do it for him - after he 'misapplied the law' in yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle United's one-nil Championship victory over Burton Albinos on Wednesday. 'Misapplied the law' in this case being a - rather cowardly - euphemism for 'gave completely the wrong decision because, seemingly, the dozy pillock didn't know the laws of the game.' Stroud awarded United a penalty after a foul on Dwight Gayle but then, inexplicably, Matt Ritchie's successful spot-kick was disallowed when Stroud deemed that Gayle had encroached into the area before the kick was taken. Which, to be fair, he had albeit, so had half-a-dozen Burton defenders. Instead of ordering the kick to be retaken, however - which its what the rules state should ahppen in the event of penalty encroachment by an attacker - the referee awarded a free-kick to the visitors. This despite the incandescent fury of just about everybody in the stadium - all of whom, apparently, knew the rules of the game better than the bloke who is, at least in theory, paid to enforce them. Whilst most Newcastle fans thought that they would, hopefully, never again see a refereeing performance quite as criminally incompetent and inept as that of Steve Martin during last December's fiasco at Nottingham Forest, Stroud and his colleagues managed to kick Martin's efforts out of St James' Park and into space. What is most difficult to understand about this particular nonsense is not just the decision itself - that was bad enough - but rather how all four match officials seemingly failed to know the rules, leading to a strong suspicions at the ground that Stroud had, in fact, over-ruled the other three. He appeared to be gesturing to that effect when speaking to Rafa The Gaffer on the pitch at the end of the match. It's absolutely staggering in any professional game, let alone one at this level that such staggering incompetence should occur. Confusion surrounding the decision was eventually settled when the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the body which oversees refereeing, slithered out from under a stone and issued a post-match statement clarifying that it was, indeed, Stroud who had screwed up, big-style: 'As Matt Ritchie took the kick, Dwight Gayle encroached in the penalty area. An indirect free-kick was awarded to Burton, but the laws of the game state that that the penalty kick should have been retaken. Unfortunately the referee has misapplied the law. Keith and his team are understandably upset at the lapse in concentration and apologise for the mistake.' Stroud had been due to take charge of the League One match between Gillingham and Millwall on Saturday but has since been stood down - no doubt to the blessed relief of those two teams. Thankfully, The Magpies later overhauled Brighton & Hove Albinos at the league summit. Ritchie eventually settled the game with a glorious curling shot from twenty yards. Newcastle went a point above Brighton, both sides having played forty games and ten clear of third-placed Huddersfield, though they do have a game in hand. Brighton's win against Birmingham on Tuesday put the onus on Newcastle to match their result in the race for promotion. However, Benitez's team responded to the pressure with three points against a Burton side who went into the game having stunned Huddersfield the previous Saturday.