Saturday, May 20, 2017

Extremis: "The Pope Smokes Dope, He Likes To Smoke In Mass."

'''Greetings sinner. Only in darkness are we revealed. Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage; good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit. Without hope. Without witness. Without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis. This is what He believes and this is the reason, above all, why I love him. My husband, my madman in a box. My Doctor." Your missus wouldn't approve.' 'How the Hell did you get here?' 'Followed you from Darillum. On the explicit orders of your late-wife, River Song. Warning: I have full permission to kick your arse!'
'Death is an increasing problem. With over a billion intelligent species active in this galaxy alone, it is an ever greater challenge to know how to kill all of them. On this planet we're proud to serve as executioners to every living thing. The destruction of a Time Lord, however, is a particular honour. This technology is precisely calibrated, as you can see. It will stop both hearts, all three brain-stems and deliver a cellular shockwave that will permanently disable regenerative ability. Following termination, the body will be placed in a quantum-foe chamber, under constant guard for no less than a thousand years. In case of, shall we say, relapses. Life can be a cunning enemy. '
'We have come here because your services and wisdom are recommended at the highest level. As you can see, this is a personal recommendation of Pope Benedict IX in 1045.' Pope Benedict! Lovely girl, what a night! I knew she was trouble but she wove a spell with her castanets!'
'Doctor, here's a tip. When I'm on a date, when that rare and special thing happens in my real life do not, do not, under any circumstances, put The Pope in my bedroom!'
'There are four hundred and twelve precedents in the Fatality Index. Divine intervention, therefore, is permitted for a maximum of five minutes. The executioner may now discuss his immortal soul and any peril thereunto.'
'Okay, so you're blind and you don't want your enemies to know, I get it. But, why does it have to be a secret from Bill?' 'Because I don't like being worried about. Around me, people should be worried about themselves!' 'Yeah, shall I tell you the real reason? Because the moment you tell Bill, it becomes real and then you might actually have to deal with it.' 'Good point, well made. Definitely not telling her now!' 'You're an idiot.' 'Everyone knows that!'
'Please stay close to me, the lay-out is designed to confuse the uninitiated.' 'Sort of like religion, really?'
'When do a bunch of scientists ask for prayers?' 'The same time anyone does, when they're very very afraid. Particle physicist and priests. What could scare them both?' 'Been down here for a while, that guy, whoever he is.' 'At a guess, the missing translator.' 'That's promising. At least one person read The Veritas and lived.' 'Go and see if he's all right, both of you?' 'I think we know he isn't!' 'We know nothing of the kind, he might need help or have useful information. He's about fifty feet that way.' 'Are you trying to get rid of us?' 'Why?' 'Cos you're sending us into the dark after a man with a gun.' 'Ah! Well I've thought of that. Nardole, make sure you walk in front of Bill!' ... 'Does it give you The Fear when he says "trust me"?' 'If I worked here, I'd cross myself!'
'On my oath as a Time Lord of the Prydonian Chapter, I will guard this body for a thousand years.'
'The thing about the universe is, whatever you need, you can always borrow. As long as you pay it back. I just borrowed from my future. I get a few minutes of proper eyesight, but I lose ... something. Maybe all my future regenerations will be blind. Maybe I won't regenerate ever again. Maybe I'll drop dead in twenty minutes but I will be able to read this. Now, I have no idea how that is going to affect me so, I'd be a bit stupid to reject the precautions provided. Could you help me please? I've read a lot of books that this chair would be quite useful for; Moby Dick. Honestly, shut up and get to the whale! Have you invited friends and family? Oh, it's the old-old story! You never look so good in the morning. Goodbye to the truth. I came a long way to read that book. Two thousand years at the last count. If you don't want me to read it you could have stopped me anytime you wanted, why the play acting? This is not a game.' 'This is a game.' 'Good, because I win!'
'Is that The President?' 'It was!' 'I take it he read The Veritas?' 'So did I. Well, I listened to it.'
'The Veritas tells of an evil demon who wants to conquer the world. But, to do it, he needs to learn about it first so he creates a Shadow World. A world for him to practice conquering full of Shadow People who think they're real.' 'There was a thing, The Shadow Test?' 'If you're in doubt as to whether you're real of not, The Veritas invites you to write down as many numbers as you like, of any size, any order, and then turn the page.' 'All the same numbers in the same order?' 'Yes. Let's bring the story up-to-date. Imagine an alien lifeform of immense power and sophistication and it wants to conquer the Earth. So, it runs a simulation, a holographic simulation of all of Earth's history and every person alive on the surface. A Practice Earth to assess the abilities of the resident population, especially the ones smart enough to realise that they are just simulants inside a great big computer game.' 'But, this is real. I feel it.' 'Computers aren't good with random numbers. If you ask a computer-simulated person to generate a random string of numbers it won't, truly. be random. If all the simulated people are part of the same computer programme then they'll all generate the same string. The exact same numbers ... The trouble is, when simulants develop enough independent intelligence to realise what they are there's a risk they'll rebel. Those deaths, they weren't suicide. Those were people escaping. It's like Super Mario figuring out what's going on and deleting himself from the game because he's sick of dying. Those pretend people you shoot at in computer games, now you know.' 'Know what?' 'They think they're real. They feel it. We feel it.'
'You are not real.' 'No, I'm not. I'm a shadow. A Puppet Doctor for you to practice killing.' 'We have killed you many times.' 'Well, what are you waiting for, why don't you kill me now?' 'You suffer pain is  information. Information will be gathered.' 'Turn me off. I've nothing. Not even hope.'
'A few months ago, after many centuries of work, The Veritas was translated again.' 'What did it say?' 'No one knows. Everyone who worked on the translation and everyone who subsequently read it is now dead. Dead, Doctor, by their own hand. The Veritas is a short document, a few pages only and yet it contains a secret that drives all who know it to destroy themselves ... Doctor, those translators were devout believers. They took their own lives in the knowledge that suicide is a mortal sin. They read The Veritas and chose Hell.'
'I need to know what's real and what isn't.' 'Don't we all?' Well, that was great. A clever, slyly subversive Moffat plot which mixed a basic The Android Invasion-style thriller with elements of defiantly Twenty First Century The Matrix-type shenanigans. Of course, some of The Special People didn't dig it so much (big surprise, huh?) and they weren't shy in letting The Interweb know about their impotent fury. One comment which, especially, caught this blogger's attention - and, trust me, this is a genuine whinge observed on Facebook within moments of the episode ending - was as follows: 'I thought it was a confusing mess. I only watched half-way through!' The thought did occur to yer actual Keith Telly Topping that if the chap making this observation had bothered to watch Extremis to the end it might not have been quite as 'confusing' for him. Radical suggestion, I know, but there you go, this blogger is full of such weird-brain malarkey. See, this is the thing Keith Telly Topping just doesn't get, maybe someone can explain it to him. 'I didn't like tonight's episode,' fine. I don't agree with that assessment but it is, undeniably, a valid critique to make about an episode of a TV show. But 'it was too confusing?' So, what are we actually saying here? That someone (a grown adult, one presumes) is too bone-numskull thick to understand a piece of - reasonably linear - TV drama? This blogger would be utterly ashamed to admit such a thing in public if it were ever true for him. And, whilst we're about it, since when did a bit of complexity become, in any way, a negative in a TV landscape increasing overrun by 'seven-seconds-or-less attention span required' lowest common denominator nonsense? Since when has something requiring the viewer at actually have a brain between their ears been a bad thing? This blogger must've missed that memo. Next week, maybe that particular whinger might want to think about giving Britain's Got Toilets a try on the other side, instead. That's a wee bit less demanding and requiring of too much thought on the viewer's part - should be right up his or her street. This blogger? He thought it was great.
'I'm not sure I believe anything, but right now belief is all I am. Virtue is only virtue in extremis.'
Pearl Mackie has spoken about her own Doctor Who future once yer actual Peter Capaldi leaves at the end of the current series (and this year's Christmas Special unless confirmed otherwise). Appearing on Thursday's episode of ITV's This Morning, Pearl was asked by that odious pie-mangler Eamonn Holmes if she would be leaving with Peter, or whether she would like to stay on for whomsoever the new Doctor turns out to be. Instead of telling the full-of-his-own-importance twerp to sod off and mind his own business, Pearl said: 'I don't know. Well, it's not up to me. But I feel like Peter is such a wonderful Doctor. I think the dynamic he and I have playing The Doctor and Bill really works, [but] that's not to say it wouldn't work with a new Doctor. I think it's always a new adjustment getting a new Doctor and that dynamic is different because you're different actors and characters.' Yeah. This blogger still thinks 'sod off and mind your own business' would've been a better answer, but there you go. Next ...
Meanwhile, Michelle Gomez has revealed that she is leaving Doctor Who. Gomez has played the villainous, mad-as-a-badger Missy since 2014 and said that she is leaving because the show's lead, yer actual Peter Capaldi and showrunner, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE), are going at Christmas. 'My pals are going, so I'm going,' Michelle told Radio Times. 'Everybody's leaving, so I'm going too. I mean, what would I do without Peter and Steven? Who would I be? Nah, it's done now. It's over. It's the end of a chapter.'
Doctor Who's David Tennant and Billie Piper are back together, reprising their roles of The Doctor and his companion, Rose Tyler. Unfortunately we won't be seeing the pair on TV, but they are reuniting for three new Big Finish audio plays. Part of Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures - Volume Two, the episodes will be released in November. Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said: 'Getting David and Billie back together was definitely on my bucket list.' Tennant, who portrayed The Doctor from 2005 until 2009, returned in the fiftieth anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor, with Matt Smith and the late Sir John Hurt in 2013. And, very good he was in it, too. He also worked on Volume One of the audio dramas with Catherine Tate her very self last year, but this is Billie The Piper's debut for Big Finish. Bill portrayed Rose in 2005 and 2006, returning for a number of stories in 2008. She also appeared in The Day Of The Doctor. And, she was very good in it as well. The first new audio episode will be Infamy Of The Zaross by John Dorney, in which an alien invasion of Earth isn't quite what it appears to be. They seldom are. In the second adventure, Sword Of The Chevalier by Guy Adams, The Doctor and Rose arrive in Slough in 1791 and encounter Chevalier D'Eon, an enigmatic ex-spy who has lived his life as a woman. Finally, in Cold Vengeance by Matt Fitton, the TARDIS arrives on a vast frozen food asteroid in deep space. The episode sees the return of The Doctor's old enemies, The Ice Warriors. Nicholas Briggs, who voices The Daleks for both TV and for the audio dramas, said: 'It was such a special time for me, working with Billie and David on the TV show and it is such an honour to revisit it with them on audio.'
And now, dear blog reader, a thought for this weekend of all weekends.
Particularly as, it would seem, back in The Black Lodge, everything has gone ... balls.
The final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Four programmes broadcast, week-ending Sunday 14 May 2017:-
1 Britain's Got Toilets - Sat ITV - 10.22m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.62m
3 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.07m
4 The Eurovision Song Contest - Sat BBC1 - 6.89m
5 Little Boy Blue - Mon ITV - 6.83m
6 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.51m
7 MasterChef - Fri BBC1 - 6.47m
8 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.72m
9 Grantchester - Sun ITV - 5.55m
10 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 5.37m
11 The Durrells - Sun ITV - 5.34m
12 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 5.27m
13 Six O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 4.80m
14 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.78m
15 The Truth About Sleep - Thurs BBC1 - 4.70m
16 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.40m
17 Ten O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 4.19m
18 Britain's Busiest Airport: Heathrow - Wed ITV - 4.00m
19 The British Academy Television Awards - Sun BBC1 - 3.90m
20 Keith & Paddy's Worthless, Unfunny, Shat-Stinking Picture Show - Sat ITV - 3.82m
21 Panorama - Mon BBC1 - 3.74m
22 The ONE Show - Tues BBC1 - 3.71m
23 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 3.66m
24 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 3.53m
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. Doctor Who recovered well from the previous week's series low, with a one-and-a-half million timeshift over the initially-reported overnight audience figure. MasterChef's three weekly episodes attracted 5.78 million, 5.75 million and 6.47 million viewers respectively, the latter episode, of course, being the current series finale. It was so disappointing last week to see ITV's latest wretched, laughless pile of toxic diarrhoea Keith & Paddy's Worthless, Unfunny, Shat-Stinking Picture Show pull in more than five-and-a-half million people for its opening episode. This week, however, it was really rather gratifying to observe the final audience for the second episode of this horrific ... thing being 3.82 million, 1.75 million punters who watched the first one having, seemingly, realised what a thoroughly rotten pile of depressingly brainless horseshit it was/is. It was a bad week all-round for that gormless professional Northern berk Paddy McGuinness, with Take Me Out attracting a mere 3.20 million. BBC2's top-rated programme of the week was Gardeners' World (2.87 million). That was followed by the much-trailed King Charles III (2.48 million). Bake Off: Crème De La Crème was watched by 2.33 million, Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond The Lobby by 2.15 million, Nature's Weirdest Events by 2.03 million, Match of The Day by 1.98 million, Dara & Ed's Road To Mandalay by 1.83 million and Great British Menu by 1.79 million. From Morocco To Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure attracted 1.67 million viewers, Dad's Army, 1.64 million and Mexico: Earth's Festival of Life, 1.63 million viewers. The latest episode of Versailles had 1.54 million. Gogglebox - 3.11 million - was, as usual, Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast. F1: Spanish GP Highlights followed with 2.22 million. Then came The Island With Bear Grylls (2.06 million), First Dates (1.83 million), Born To Kill (1.77 million) and The Supervet (1.74 million). The Yorkshire Vet was Channel Five's top performer with an audience of 2.30 million, ahead of Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! (two million), Elizabeth I (1.35 million), GPs: Behind Closed Doors (1.28 million) and Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords (also 1.18 million). NCIS was watched by 1.01 million. Premier League action again dominated Sky Sports 1's top-ten. Stottingtot Hotshots giving The Scum a jolly good walloping was seen by 1.60 million punters whilst the game between West Hamsters United and Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws drew 1.15 million. Coverage of Dirty Stoke Versus The Arse was seen by seven hundred and fourteen thousand whilst, West Bromwich Albinos clash with Moscow Chelski FC, which saw the Premier League's only Russian club crowned champions, had seven hundred and two thousand and Sheikh Yer Man City against Leicester City, six hundred and twenty five thousand. On Sky Sports 2, Live EFL: The Playoffs action attracted one hundred and ninety thousand punters. Fight Night had one hundred and twenty seven thousand. Live Indian Premier League Cricket topped Sky Sports 3's list with seventy seven thousand, plus eighty one thousand on Sky Sports Mix. Gillette Soccer Saturday was, as usual, top of the shop on Sky Sports News HQ, with two hundred and sixty eight thousand punters and a further three hundred and eighteen thousand watching the Sky Sports 1 simultcast. Sky F1's coverage of the Spanish Grand Prix attracted six hundred and seventeen thousand. Sky1's weekly top-ten was headed by the second episode of the much-trailed and rather sexy Jamestown (an impressive 1.34 million viewers with only a small drop from the audience of the previous week's opener). The Flash was seen by seven hundred and forty eight thousand, NCIS: Los Angeles by seven hundred and one thousand, Hawaii Five-0 by six hundred and ninety two thousand and Modern Family by six hundred and forty eight thousand. The Blacklist: Redemption had five hundred and twelve thousand (although, it's now been cancelled so, don't get too attached to it), Arrow, four hundred and twenty nine thousand and Supergirl, four hundred and sixteen thousand whilst the latest episode of Funny As A Geet Nasty Waaart On The Knackers Micky Flanagan's Thinking Aloud continued to shed viewers faster than a dog sheds hairs, being watched by four hundred and six thousand. Which, admittedly, is still four hundred and six thousand too many but it does, rather, restore ones faith in some of the viewing public knowing a pile of steaming vomit when they see one. Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the latest episode of Billions (three hundred and eighty six thousand) whilst Blue Bloods was seen by three hundred and twenty two thousand. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver had one hundred and fifty nine thousand, The Trip To Spain, one hundred and forty thousand and both Silicon Valley and Veep, one hundred and ten thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of Criminal Minds was seen by eight hundred and eleven thousand whilst Elementary had seven hundred and thirty thousand. Blindspot drew six hundred and seventy eight thousand, Grey's Anatomy, five hundred and four thousand, Madam Secretary, four hundred and thirteen thousand and American's Next Top Model, three hundred and fifty nine thousand. Sky Arts' the third episode of Wor Geet Canny Brian Johnson's A Life On The Road was watched by one hundred and thirteen thousand viewers whilst Classic Albums drew fifty two thousand. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and forty three thousand viewers). Lewis was seen by six hundred and sixty two thousand and The Street by five hundred and nineteen thousand. ITV Racing Live headed ITV4's weekly list with three hundred and sixty thousand punters. Caught Being Naughty On Camera was seen by three hundred and one thousand. ITV2's most-watched broadcast was for the latest episode worthless rancid, stinking piles of fetid swill Z-List Celebrity Juice (1.43 million brain-damaged planks). Family Guy had seven hundred and ninety two thousand whilst Britain's Got More Toilets (seven hundred and eighty three thousand) and Take Me Out: The Gossip (five hundred and eighty seven thousand) completed ITV2's list of shame. Harlots headed ITV Encore's top ten with one hundred and twenty two thousand viewers, followed by Vera (seventy five thousand), Prime Suspect 1973 (fifty one thousand) and Victoria (forty eight thousand). The Real Housewives Of Cheshire was seen by seven hundred thousand of the sort of people who enjoy such risible exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. BBC4's list was topped by Buddy Holly: Rave On (seven hundred and eighteen thousand viewers) and the latest episode of the excellent Hinterland (six hundred and seventy nine thousand). Next came Eurovision Semi-Final (five hundred and six thousand), An Art Lovers' Guide (four hundred and seventy two thousand), Top Of The Pops 1983 (four hundred and twenty five thousand), It's Only Rock 'N' Roll At The BBC (four hundred and twenty thousand) and The Joy Of ABBA (four hundred and six thousand). 5USA's Person Of Interest was viewed by eight hundred and twenty two thousand viewers and NCIS by four hundred and eight thousand. NCIS also featured in the weekly most-watch programme lists of Channel Five, CBS Action (eighty eight thousand), the Universal Channel (ninety thousand) and FOX (eight hundred and ninety six thousand viewers). Prison Break was second in FOX's viewing figures with seven hundred and thirty thousand. Bull had four hundred and thirty six thousand whilst Outcast was seen by two hundred and twelve thousand. The Universal Channel's Chicago Med attracted three hundred and twenty thousand and Chicago Justice, two hundred and eighty eight thousand. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had two hundred and fifty seven thousand and Bates Motel, two hundred and six thousand. On Dave, unfunny nonsense Taskmaster drew eight hundred and twenty eight thousand, followed by Would I Lie To You? (three hundred and eighty five thousand). Channel staples Top Gear and Qi XL attracted two hundred and twenty one thousand and two hundred and nineteen thousand respectively. Drama's Taggart was watched by four hundred and fifty two thousand viewers who all enjoy watching a good marrrrdarrrr. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries was seen by four hundred and thirty seven thousand, Dalziel & Pascoe by four hundred and nineteen thousand, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries by four hundred thousand and New Tricks, by three hundred and seventy nine thousand. The Red Tent drew three hundred and thirty seven thousand whilst Life On Mars had three hundred and ten thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme was Rosewood (one hundred and ninety two thousand) whilst Murdoch Mysteries had one hundred and eighty thousand, Father Brown, one hundred and seventy four thousand, Quantico, one hundred and sixty thousand and Death In Paradise, one hundred and thirty three thousand. On the Sony Channel, Saving Hope drew seventy three thousand and Orange Is The New Black, forty four thousand. Yesterday's repeat run of Porridge continued with two hundred and seventy thousand, whilst The Two Ronnies Sketchbook attracted two hundred and sixty three thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Copper's Treasure was watched by one hundred and forty four thousand viewers. Diesel Brothers had one hundred and thirteen thousand, Gold Divers, one hundred and six thousand and Deadliest Catch one hundred and five thousand punters. From The North favourite Wheeler Dealers was watched by ninety four thousand. Wheeler Dealers also topped the weekly lists of Discovery Shed (twenty six thousand) and Discovery Turbo (thirty one thousand). Discovery History's Egypt Unwrapped headed the top ten-list with twenty six thousand. Industrial Revelations attracted twenty two thousand and both World War II In Colour and Time Team had twenty thousand. On Discovery Science, How It's Made was seen by fifty three thousand viewers. On Quest, Salvage Hunters was watched by three hundred and fifty thousand. Pick's The Cambridge Rapist had two hundred and forty thousand and Britain's Most Evil Murdering Bastards drew two hundred and twenty eight thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by the fourth episode of Genius with two hundred and fifty four thousand viewers, followed by Car SOS (one hundred and eighty three thousand) and Titanic: The Final Word With James Cameron (forty eight thousand). National Geographic Wild's India's Lost Worlds was watched by thirty nine thousand. The History Channel's weekly list was topped by Vikings (one hundred and fifty eight thousand) and Forged In Fire (one hundred and fifteen thousand). On Military History, History's Most Hated was watched by forty seven thousand punters. Homicide Hunters, Britain's Darkest Taboos and The Jail Atlanta: Sixty Days In were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with ninety seven thousand, sixty three thousand and sixty two thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. The Krays: The Prison Years, Murderisation Comes To Town and Reasonable Doubt headed Investigation Discovery's list (fifty three thousand, fifty one thousand and forty four thousand). The latest of GOLD's Mrs Brown's Boys repeats had two hundred and sixty thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for The Middle (two hundred and sixty one thousand). Your TV's repeat of Bones series two continued with eighty eight thousand. On More4, The Good Fight was the highest-rated programme with six hundred and twenty five thousand. Twenty Four Hours In A&E had three hundred and seventy thousand and Hidden Britain By Drone, three hundred and thirty nine thousand. E4's list was topped, as usual, by The Big Bang Theory, the latest episode seen by 2.19 million viewers, the largest multi-channels audience of the week. Made In Chelsea drew 1.02 million viewers and Hollyoaks, nine hundred and thirty one thousand. Sleepy Hollow, headed Syfy's top-ten with one hundred and eighty thousand. Interrupted Journey topped Talking Pictures list with sixty five thousand. Hercules drew two hundred and fifty thousand punters on Spike. The Life On Mammals was watched by thirty five thousand on Eden. Alaska: The Last Frontier and Animal Cops Phoenix were the Animal Planet's most-watched programmes with fifty seven thousand and thirty three thousand. Grimm on W attracted five hundred and ninety seven thousand punters. On the True Crime channel, The Riverside Killer had eighty thousand punters. True Entertainment's M*A*S*H was watched by one hundred and fourteen thousand. The Avengers had eighty thousand. That Bloody Annoying Oliver Fellow's Thirty Minute Meals attracted seventy three thousand on Good Food. Why, is another matter entirely. TLC's list was headed by Married By Mum & Dad (one hundred and twenty nine thousand). Shameful waste-of-oxygen Geordie Shore on MTV was viewed by eight hundred and forty eight thousand people who enjoy watching attention-seeking glakes swanning around Th' Toon like the own the gaff.

A fifth Game Of Thrones spin-off pilot is being developed by HBO and George R R Martin. The novelist says that another writer has been added to the four announced earlier this month but hasn't revealed who that person is. 'We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA last week, but by the time I left we had five,' he wrote in his blog. 'We have added a fifth writer to the original four.' He also revealed that he has yet to complete the sixth book in the series of A Song Of Ice & Fire. 'Yes, before someone asks, I am still working on Winds Of Winter and will continue working on it until it's done. I will confess, I do wish I could clone myself, or find a way to squeeze more hours into the day, or a way to go without sleep. But this is what it is, so I keep on juggling.' Jane Goldman - the British co-writer of Kick-Ass - and Carly Wray, who has written for Mad Men, will work with Martin on the projects. The Oscar-winning writer of LA Confidential, Brian Helgeland and Kong: Skull Island writer, Max Borenstein, have also signed contracts to work on the pilots. All Martin will say about the new writer is that they are 'an expert' on his work. 'I don't know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does,' Martin wrote. Martin also says that the new shows should not, strictly speaking, be called spin-offs. 'Every one of the concepts under discussion is a prequel, rather than a sequel,' he wrote. 'Some may not even be set on Westeros. Rather than "spin-off" or "prequel", however, I prefer the term "successor show." That's what I've been calling them.' He also tackled rumours surrounding the stories set to be covered in the spin-offs. A petition has been started to try to get Martin to write about Robert's Rebellion as well as Aegon's Conquest, the Dawn Age, the Age of Heroes and Dunk and Egg. Robert's Rebellion refers to the time when Eddard Stark, Jon Arryn and Robert Baratheon overthrew House Targaryen and started the Baratheon Dynasty. 'We're not doing Dunk and Egg. Eventually, sure, I'd love that and so would many of you,' Martin writes. 'But I've only written and published three novellas to date and there are at least seven or eight or ten more I want to write. We're not doing Robert's Rebellion either. I know thousands of you want that, I know there's a petition but, by the time I finish writing A Song Of Ice & Fire, you will know every important thing that happened in Robert's Rebellion.'
Game Of Thrones' one-time King In The North and Sherlock's great lost love are entering the world of Blade Runner author Philip K Dick for Channel Four's all-star science fiction series. Richard Madden and Lara Pulver have been cast in different episodes of Electric Dreams, an anthology series based on Dick's influential SF stories. Similar to the previously successful Black Mirror, Electric Dreams is comprised of standalone stories about the strange and frightening ways in which technology and human nature collide. Madden will star opposite Anneika Rose from Line Of Duty and Holliday Grainger in Life On Mars co-creator Matthew Graham's The Hood Maker, a 'cautionary tale about our dependence on modern technology.'
One of the biggest questions on The Blacklist has finally been answered, as this week's fourth series finale of the popular US espionage thriller confirmed the - long-suspected - familial connection between Reddington and Liz. Not that it was, exactly, a surprise to anyone who'd been watching the previous eighty odd episodes, obviously.
We already know that Taboo is returning for a second series, with Tom Hardy reprising his role as James Delaney, but we will, seemingly, have to wait for it. It appears it will be well over a year until the second series hits TV screens, at the earliest. Co-creator and writer of the hit drama, Steven Knight, told the Den Of Geek website that he is writing series two now and is working at top speed to get the script finished. 'I'm trying to write it as quickly as I can,' he said. However, whatever his pace, these things do take time. 'I would say we would hope to be shooting it – I don't know whether this is supposed to be secret or not – early next year.'
A senior police officer involved in the Rhys Jones murder investigation has whinged about her portrayal in a TV drama based on the events, describing it as 'simply wrong.' ITV's Little Boy Blue centred on the murder of Rhys, who was eleven when he was shot in Liverpool in August 2007. Patricia Gallan, who was Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police at the time, said that details in the drama 'should not be taken as fact.' ITV, by contrast, claimed that the four-part drama was 'fair' and based on 'extensive research.' So, either they are lying or Patricia Gallan is. Place your bets on how this one is going to resolve itself now, dear blog reader. In the series, a character based on Gallan, played by Sara Powell, was seen putting pressure on Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly, played by Stephen Graham, who led the investigation. 'The ITV programme is a drama and, although based on a real event, the details by their very nature are dramatised and should not be taken as fact,' Gallan told the Liverpool Echo. 'Indeed, much of the drama concerning my character is simply wrong. Crucially, my briefings were with the Detective Chief Superintendent in the case and not Dave Kelly. There was a whole command structure involved in this case, not a single detective and all of us wanted to see justice for Rhys' family and the people of Merseyside.' Gallan is now an Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police and the most senior female ethnic minority officer in British policing history. A noticably miffed ITV huffed: 'Little Boy Blue is a drama based on extensive research with the Jones family and many others involved in the case. We are satisfied that it depicts the officers involved in the murder investigation fairly.' Or, in other words, 'what the Hell is this woman whinging about?' Little Boy Blue, which concluded on Monday, was broadly well received by both viewers and critics. The Torygraph's Michael Hogan called Monday's climax 'a satisfying conclusion to this respectful rendering of an unbearably sad story.' He added: 'Little Boy Blue is an admirable achievement of which the channel, Rhys's family and the city of Liverpool can be proud.' Writing in the Radio Times, Ellie Harrison said the series 'shone with the best of them.' She wrote: 'It chose realism over sensationalism at every step. Here's to more true-crime dramas like this - and more real, regional talent.' In the Liverpool Echo, Paddy Shennan wrote: 'It was a harrowing and heartbreaking story - but it was a story that had to be told and it was told so well. Everybody involved in this excellent series should feel proud of themselves - but nobody should feel more proud than Rhys's family, for allowing their story to be told.' Earlier in the series, some Middle Class hippy Communist smegheed of absolutely no importance whatsoever in the Gruniad Morning Star described Little Boy Blue as 'very real and incredibly moving.'
Adeel Akhtar has made BAFTA TV history for being the first non-white best actor winner in the awards' sixty two-year history. He was recognised for his brilliant, tortured performance in the BBC3 drama Murdered By My Father. It featured Akhtar as a man who murders his daughter in a so-called honour killing, after she has been 'promised' to a man but fell in love with another. The significance of his BAFTA win was noted by the drama's screenwriter. Akhtar first came to prominence as Muslim extremist Faisal in Chris Morris's 2010 film Four Lions. He also starred in Channel Four's SF drama Utopia and Sky's woeful and wretched lack-of-comedy drama Trollied. His credits also include Apple Tree Yard and The Night Manager. Previous non-Caucasian actors to be nominated in the best actor category include Idris Elba, who received a nomination last year for Luther but lost out to Wolf Hall's Mark Rylance. David Oyelowo was also recognised in 2010 for Small Island but the award went to Wallander's Kenneth Branagh. But prior to that, there were no non-white actors nominated in the 1990s or 2000s. Art Malik received a nomination for the prize in 1985 for Jewel In The Crown, while Sir Ben Kingsley, whose father was Kenyan-born and of Indian descent, was nominated the following year for Silas Marner. Sophie Okonedo was the first non-white woman to be nominated for a TV BAFTA for best actress in 2010. But, it was Georgina Campbell who became the first non-white actress to win the prize, in 2015. Her performance in Murdered By My Boyfriend beat Sarah Lancashire and Sheridan Smith. It was a decent night for diversity at the ceremony, with Damilola, Our Loved Boy picking up two awards. Wunmi Mosaku won best supporting actress and the programme - about the murder of ten-year-old Damilola Taylor and the family's fight for justice - also won best single drama. In an emotional acceptance speech, Wunmi said: 'This is so bittersweet and I'd like to dedicate this to the memory of Damilola and his mother Gloria [who died in 2008].' The People Versus OJ Simpson: American Crime Story won best international show, while Exodus Into Europe - which gave refugees cameras to film their own, often dangerous, journeys from their homeland, picked up best factual series. Muslims Like Us, which featured ten British Muslims with contrasting world views moving into a house together, won best reality and factual show. BAFTAs host Sue Perkins also put gender firmly on the agenda, taking aim at sexism in the TV industry: 'I know what you're thinking. Not another woman hosting an awards show, when will it end?' she said. 'I find it a little like Halley's Comet, just a little less frequent.' She also joked the best actress nominees were paid 'just under the same amount as the leading actor' and introduced the award for best male performance in a comedy programme with: 'It's the age old question: Are men funny?'
Portugal is celebrating the fact that an intimate love ballad in their language conquered a Eurovision Song Contest audience for the first time. Salvador Sobral's success with 'Amar Pelos Dois (Love For Both Of Us)' has made him a national hero. Wearing a plain black suit he delivered an emotionally-charged song without the theatrics that often accompany other Eurovision acts. Previously Portugal had never got above the sixth place that it reached in 1996. It was a triumph for 'brand Portugal', music journalist and advertising executive Manuel Falcao told the BBC. 'The Portuguese language is present worldwide but sometimes it's hard for the national identity to make an impression, so for the brand this is very nice - people are very happy,' he said. The timing was fortunate for Portugal, as the nation shows signs of recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and a massive bailout from its Eurozone partners. 'Polls show people are more optimistic here than three years ago, the economic indicators are not strong but positive - even by EU standards,' Falcao said. Eurovision success 'coincided with a good mood in Portugal - we won the Euro 2016 football championship and tourism here is beating all records,' he said. He cautioned, however, that one song would not make a radical difference. It was a doubly memorable weekend for Portugal, as Pope Francis drew a vast crowd to the Fatima shrine, where he made saints of two Portuguese children. Their visions of the Virgin Mary in 1917 turned Fatima into a top Catholic pilgrimage site. There is national pride that Sobral's song 'Amar Pelos Dois' touched so many hearts, in a competition dominated by English lyrics. 'The language, more than the Portuguese language, was music,' Sobral said. The song was crafted by his sister, Luisa, an accomplished singer-songwriter and music college graduate, with several CDs to her name. A fellow Portuguese music expert, Sofia Vieira Lopes, said that the song's triumph proved that lyrics were 'not fundamental' to a musical message. 'It shows that it is not necessary to sing in English to understand the music,' she told Portugal's Publico daily. Salvador Sobral criticised the commercialisation of pop, after his triumph in Ukraine, speaking contemptuously of 'fast-food music. This is a vote for people who actually mean something with their music,' he said. 'Music is not fireworks, music is feeling.' The state tourism authority, Turismo De Portugal, is thrilled by the boost to the country's image. 'We are in the spotlight,' its president Luis Araujo told the Diario De Noticias. He characterised the winning song as 'simplicity, transparency, honesty.' There was a poignancy to Sobral's performance, as he has struggled with a serious heart condition. His success shows that there is still a market for national musical traditions, despite the dominance of Anglo-American pop culture. Portugal requires broadcasters to observe a quota of Portuguese-language songs. France and Spain have similar quotas, to showcase home-grown talent. Even before the Eurovision final Sobral's song was hugely popular in Portugal, Falcao said. Yet, English remains the default pop language, even in Portugal.
The US sitcom Roseanne is set for a revival, ABC network executives have confirmed after competing with Netflix to restart the show two decades after it ended. Most of its original cast will return for next year's eight-episode revival. It becomes one of a slate of TV series being revived, including Will & Grace, Twin Peaks, The X Files, 24, Prison Break and The Gilmore Girls. Roseanne ran for nine series in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. Original cast members Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson have all been confirmed for the revival. But Johnny Galecki, who played David, is busy with his role as Doctor Hofstadter in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. John Goodman will reprise his role as Roseanne's husband, Dan, even though the character died during the original series. Roseanne depicted a normal American family, the Conners, in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois. The sitcom won many awards and its final episode drew nearly seventeen million viewers when it broadcast in 1997. 'The Conners' joys and struggles are as relevant and hilarious today as they were then, and there's really no one better to comment on our modern America than Roseanne,' ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey wrote in a statement.
A model of a David Bowie statue planned for the town where his Ziggy Stardust persona was first performed has been revealed. The bronze sculpture, named Earthly Messenger, will be unveiled later this year in Aylesbury. It will be installed under the arches in Market Square, referenced by Bowie in the song 'Five Years'. The work features a likeness of Bowie in 2002 looking down at Ziggy, alongside of some of his other images. Funds for the statue, designed by sculptor Andrew Sinclair, have been raised through a one hundred thousand crowdfunding appeal, plus grants. When completed, speakers mounted above the life size artwork will play one of two thousand songs every hour. Some changes are expected to the design before the finished product is officially unveiled.
Yer actual Sir Paul McCartney (MBE) is set to follow in Saint Keef Richards' footsteps by appearing in the forthcoming fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean film: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Macca revealed how his swashbuckling character will look on social media on Saturday, in a picture captioned Pirate's Life. Fellow rock God Keef played Jack Sparrow's father, Captain Teague, in two previous films in the blockbuster series.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are to form a new film and TV production studio, with a new horror comedy movie the first item on the agenda. The Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz stars will executive produce Slaughterhouse Rulez as part of their new banner Stolen Picture, according to Deadline. The movie will be set in an elite boarding school, where boys and girls are destined for greatness and there are clear sets of rules. However, things are shaken up when a nearby fracking site causes tremors and all sorts of horrors are unleashed as a battle for survival ensues. The movie will be directed by Crispian Mills and is based on a script he co-wrote with Henry Fitzherbert. Si and Frosty have previously worked together on a number of modern comedy classics, starting out on the cult TV series Spaced. They then moved into movies with the Edgar Wright-directed 'Cornetto Trilogy' -Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End - as well as the Hollywood SF comedy Paul.
Meanwhile Nick Frost is also going to play Captain Pugwash on the big screen. The actor will play the bumbling and cowardly pirate in the live action movie based on the classic 1950s children's books and 1970s TV series. 'Besides Winston Churchill and Henry VIII, Captain Horatio Pugwash seems like a role I was born to play,' Frosty said. Production on the film will start next year. The movie will see the portly buccaneer on a ship to Botany Bay, where he eventually finds himself at the helm of The Black Pig on a mission to rescue Tom the Cabin Boy's father, who is marooned on a volcanic island. Movie-goers can also expect a hoard of treasure and an army of angry ghosts - and of course Pugwash's arch-nemesis, that black-hearted rapscallion Cut-Throat Jake. Jason Flemyng will also star in the film, with more casting to be announced soon. Created by John Ryan, Captain Pugwash first appeared as a comic strip in The Eagle in 1950, before becoming a series of short black-and-white cartoons, which ran on the BBC from 1957 to 1966 (eighty seven episodes). They became famous for their simple sets, with cardboard puppet characters controlled by levers. The series was later revived in 1974 for a second generation of thirty further episodes, this time produced in colour.
The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons has married the man he calls 'the best thing that ever happened' to him, after fourteen years together. He and Todd Spiewak tied the knot at New York's Rainbow Room restaurant on Saturday, according to reports. It comes as Parsons character, Sheldon Cooper's slow-burn relationship with Amy also reached a major milestone on the hit sitcom. The forty four-year-old is one of the highest-paid TV stars in the US. He shares that title with Big Bang co-stars Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, who all get paid an estimated nine hundred thousand bucks for each episode of the comedy.
BBC presenter Ben Brown was slapped after appearing to touch a woman's breast as he pushed her away when she interrupted an interview live on air. Brown was mid-interview with the BBC's assistant political editor Norman Smith on the streets of Bradford when a passerby stepped into the shot and looked into the camera saying 'absolutely fantastic' with a thumbs up. The BBC news presenter reached out and pushed the woman away, his hand on her chest, as he continued with the interview. Looking surprised, the woman slapped his arm and walked away. Brown, who is a presenter for the BBC's rolling news later said the incident had been 'completely unintentional.' The BBC would not confirm if there had been any complaints about Brown's actions but said that no further action would be taken against Brown as it was 'clearly an accident.'
McDonald's has decided to withdraw its latest TV advert, which was criticised for allegedly 'exploiting childhood bereavement.' The fast food giant had already apologised for 'upset' caused by the advert, was first broadcast on 12 May. It features a boy who struggles to find something in common with his dead father until he goes to McDonald's. A spokeswoman for McDonald's - showing the sort of lack of backbone that one normally associates with far less big and powerful organisations - grovelled that the advert will be removed from all media this week and it will review its creative process to avoid a repeat. 'It was never our intention to cause any upset,' read the statement. 'We are particularly sorry that the advert may have disappointed those people who are most important to us - our customers. Due to the lead-times required by some broadcasters, the last advert will air on Wednesday 17 May. We will also review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again.' The campaign, from London-based advertising agency Leo Burnett, had been scheduled to run for seven weeks. In the advert, the boy asks his mum (played by yer actual Esther Hall) about his absent dad, sparking some reminiscence. The boy is left to wonder whether he and his father had anything in common, until he arrives at a McDonald's restaurant and orders a Filet-O-Fish and the mother says: 'That was your dad's favourite too.' One should,perhaps, be relieved that it wasn't a Happy Meal as that might have been regarded as, you know, taking the piss. Bereavement charity, Grief Encounter - whoever they are - said, unconvincingly, that they had received 'countless calls' from parents claiming that their bereaved children had been 'upset' by the advert. Although, one imagines that actually, this is a load of crap and that the children involved were far more upset - entirely understandably, let it be noted - by the death of their parent in the first place rather than a TV advert some time after the event. But, of course, that's not much of a story in today's 'everybody's got a whinge about something' culture, is it? The Advertising Standards Authority also said that it had received complaints - not 'countless' however, one can be certain that they did bother to count them, unlike Grief Encounter - and would 'carefully assess them to see whether there are grounds to investigate.' Before, hopefully, telling McDonald's not to try flogging any more burgers by using death as a sales tool and everyone that whinged about it to grow the fek up.
A former producer on The Bill has been found very guilty of trying to hire a hitman to kill his partner. David Harris, who had become 'besotted' with another woman, offered to pay an undercover policeman one hundred and fifty thousand quid to murder Hazel Allinson. Jurors at the Old Bailey heard that Harris wanted to inherit her fortune and eight hundred grand home so he could elope with sex worker Ugne Cekaviciute. He said that he was researching a spy novel and denied solicitation to murder. The retired TV producer was caught when the police officer posing as a would-be hitman taped a conversation in which Harris said he was 'one hundred per cent sure' that he wanted his partner very dead. Former TV scriptwriter Allinson, who was present as details of her partner's betrayal were played in court, refused to co-operate with the prosecution and also offered to give evidence in Harris' defence. But prosecutor William Boyce QC described Harris' story as 'absurd' and said: 'You were utterly sinister, utterly convincing and utterly intent on the death of Hazel.' Harris told the court he had 'an active libido' and it was on 'a regular visit' to a brothel in Worthing that he met Cekaviciute. Harris said he thought Cekaviciute was 'too young and too nice' to be working in such a place. 'I had become besotted with her,' he said. Harris took the younger woman to expensive restaurants and hotels, spending fifty grand which Allinson, who also worked on The Bill, had given him as an allowance after his retirement. The pair were together twenty seven years and Harris used Allinson's reputation as a parish councillor and church chorister to borrow thousands of pounds from neighbours to fund his five-year affair. The court heard that he sneaked Cekaviciute into the house they shared in Amberley, West Sussex and photographed her posing on a bed. Harris often told Allinson, a cancer survivor who lost both her mother and sister to the disease, that he was 'tending to his sick brother' in a mental hospital, when he was actually away with Cekaviciute. The court was told Harris approached London mechanic Christopher May in March 2016 and said: 'I'm offering you two hundred and fifty thousand pounds to kill my wife.' May instead tried to warn Allinson, so Harris approached a second man, Duke Dean, in October 2016, and offered him up to one hundred and seventy five thousand knicker. Dean alerted City of London Police who brought in an undercover detective to pose as 'Chris', an apparent killer for hire, whom Harris offered one hundred and fifty thousand quid to kill Allinson. Speaking after Harris was found guilty, Detective Chief Inspector Adele Michael said: 'This is a man who basically presented himself as a retired middle-class pensioner, who in fact was a very manipulative, conniving and ruthless individual who approached not one but three individual men and offered them money to have his partner killed.' Sentencing has been adjourned to 14 July for a report on Harris's future risk. Judge Anne Molyneux QC said: 'There was a prolonged period of almost a year where he actively sought to murder his life partner. During that year, he displayed an ability to lie almost instinctively. He has demonstrated a lack of empathy and he has demonstrated a callousness and willingness to do what is necessary to achieve his own ends.'
Former Playboy playmate Dani Mathers is facing jail time for secretly Snapchatting a photo of a naked woman from the locker room at LA Fitness. The former centrefold attempted to evade trial by claiming the California privacy law she is accused of breaking is 'too vague' to be constitutional. Judge Gustavo Sztraicher disagreed and scheduled her trial for 26 May, the New York Daily News reports. Asked if Mathers would be testifying at her trial, her lawyer responded, 'Oh yeah, definitely.' Last summer, Mathers posted the photo of a naked, seventy-year-old woman to her public Snapchat story with the caption 'If I can't unsee this then you can't either.' Activists quickly accused the model of body-shaming. Prosecutors charged her with misdemeanour invasion of privacy. 'She should face the consequences of her cruel and criminal act,' the Los Angeles City attorney's office said at the time. Under California law, it is illegal to secretly photograph another identifiable person in a changing room without their consent. Charges can result in up to six months in The Big House and a one thousand dollar fine. Mathers previously attempted to avoid jail time by offering to apologise to the victim, undergo counselling and take an anti-bullying course. The judge declined, citing a lack of remorse. Mathers was also extremely banned from all LA Fitness gyms. The model grovellingly apologised for the Snapchat shortly after posting in last summer, claiming the posting was an 'accident.' One or two people even believed her.
An 'extraordinary' Oxford University student who stabbed her ex-boyfriend in the leg may avoid doing jail as it would 'affect her career prospects,' a judge has said. Whether this is something that judges will take into consideration for other people tried and found guilty out wounding is not yet known. But, one can probably guess. Lavinia Woodward attacked the man at Christ Church College, 'while she was under the influence of drink and drugs.' She admitted inflicting grievous body harm, the Oxford Mail reported. At Oxford Crown Court, Judge Ian Pringle QC said that he believed the attack was 'a complete one-off. To prevent this extraordinary, able young lady from following her long-held desire to enter the profession she wishes to, would be a sentence which would be too severe,' he said. 'What you did will never, I know, leave you, but it was pretty awful and normally it would attract a custodial sentence.' Medical student Woodward met the Cambridge University student on dating app Tinder, the court heard. During the attack at the college, she thumped him, lunged at him with a bread knife and stabbed him in the leg. She also threw a laptop, glass and jam-jar at him before stabbing herself, the court heard. Judge Pringle was told Woodward had become addicted to drugs and had previously been 'in an abusive relationship' with another boyfriend. He said that he would take an 'exceptional' course of action and defer sentencing until September. Defence barrister James Sturman QC had argued that it would be 'almost impossible' for Woodward to become a surgeon once she had disclosed her conviction to employers. According to The Times, Woodward 'previously dated Inigo Lapwood, an Oxford student who was temporarily banned from Christ Church after taking a flamethrower to a party.' The judge ordered Woodward to remain drug-free and told her she would be sentenced on 25 September. Francis FitzGibbon, the chair of the Criminal Bar Association, told the BBC's Today programme that the case was 'unusual. The judge must take into account determination or demonstration of steps to address addiction, so it sounds as though he's giving her a chance and I think the judge would do that for anyone wherever they came from in the right circumstances. I don't know if her future prospects are the critical factor in this. Maybe if she does really badly [on her drug rehabilitation] he'll think again.' As noted, whether someone who committed a broadly similar offence and who was, rather than an Oxford educated would-be surgeon, say a sheet-metal worker from Gateshead is, of course, another question entirely.
Two former BBC radio presenters had sex in parkland in full view of a group of teenage boys, a jury has heard claimed. Tony and Julie Wadsworth are also accused of indecently assaulting under-age boys between 1992 and 1996. Mrs Wadsworth, now sixty, encouraged boys to engage in sex acts with her while her husband, sixty nine, 'acted as look out', Warwick Crown Court heard claimed. The couple, of Broughton Astley in Leicestershire, deny indecent assault and outraging public decency. Opening the case against the pair Miranda Moore QC, prosecuting, said that the couple had sex in the open 'knowing and taking delight in the fact that young lads were watching.' Some of the couple's alleged victims claim Mrs Wadsworth was variously dressed in 'a flasher's mac' trench coat, white high-heels, stockings, suspenders and a split-skirt at the time of the offences near Atherstone in Warwickshire. Moore said: 'Not only did they have sex in the open but they did it in the open, knowing and taking delight in the fact that young lads were watching and they encouraged the young lads to view the sexual encounters. The boys at the time were all too young by law to be participants in any sort of sexual activity. Julie would encourage one of the boys at a time to engage in sexual activity. Julie was doing the activity but Tony was there to watch in line of sight usually; to act as a look-out or "minder" for Julie.' The alleged activity involved seven boys aged about fourteen and one aged eleven, the court heard. Moore alleged two 'tranches' of victims emerged after a complainant went on a child protection course and realised what had taken place in the 1990s 'was not right and not appropriate.' One alleged victim came forward after hearing a news report about two presenters being charged with offences dating back to the 1990s. The man then researched details of the couple and recognised Mrs Wadsworth as 'being the woman who had had a sexual encounter with him' when he was aged fourteen. Another alleged victim alleged he had sex with Mrs Wadsworth on up to fifteen occasions. The court heard that both defendants denied any wrongdoing in police interviews. During her police interviews, Mrs Wadsworth said that she had 'got a bit frisky on the odd occasion' and engaged in 'outdoor hanky panky' with her husband to 'spice up' their sex life. The trial was told that her husband told officers he had not had sex with his wife in view of boys and had never acted as a look-out. The couple have both worked for BBC WM and BBC Radio Leicester. Wadsworth denies ten charges of indecent assault while his wife denies twelve charges of indecent assault. They both also deny five counts of outraging public decency. The trial continues.
Convicted sex offender Rolf Harris was nicknamed 'Groper Rolf' after allegedly assaulting a sixteen-year-old girl at a TV recording in the 1970s, a court has heard. The former TV presenter is accused of grabbing the woman's breasts and putting his hand between her legs during the filming of the now virtually forgotten sporting show Star Games in 1978. The accusations were made in a trial at Southwark Crown Court. The eighty seven-year-old denies four charges of assault against three girls. The alleged victim said that Harris told her she was 'a little bit irresistible' before running his hands up her legs in a taxi in Cambridge. On Wednesday, the woman told Southwark Crown Court: 'This was Rolf Harris, my sister and I adored him. I was shocked and confused. I did feel a bit dirty but I didn't feel it was my fault. Until very recently I had not talked about it in any detail. But he was called Groper Rolf in our house.' The woman then said that after telling her father about the alleged incident, he told her she should not have worn such a tight-fitting top at the recording. She said: 'If my father's reaction had been a bit dismissive, what would someone who didn't love me say?' Earlier the jury heard that in 1983 Harris allegedly molested a thirteen-year-old girl during a recording of the BBC's Saturday Superstore. The court heard the entertainer approached her after the recording of the show - which featured the pop group Wham! - had ended. Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told the court that Harris touched the alleged victim's breasts and then said: 'Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?' On Tuesday defence lawyer Stephen Vullo accused a third person of jumping on the 'compensation bandwagon,' after claiming Harris put his hand up her skirt in 1971. The woman, who was fourteen years old at the time, claims Harris abused her at a music event in the Lyceum Theatre in London. The case extremely continues.
A chap in Texas is, reportedly, suing a women for texting during their date at a cinema. According to the Statesmen, thirty seven-year-old Brandon Vezmar wants a seventeen dollar and thirty one cent settlement, which was the price of the ticket to see Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume Two. 'It was kind of a first date from hell,' he said, after the couple met online. The woman, who didn't wish to be named, insisted that she 'didn't know' about the claim and that it was 'crazy.' Brandon claims that after around fifteen minutes of the movie she started texting on her phone, which was one of his 'biggest pet peeves.' In the court papers filed in the small claims court in Travis County, he claims that she did this 'at least ten to twenty times in fifteen minutes.' After asking her to 'do it outside,' the woman apparently left the cinema and didn't return. However, the woman insists that she only 'did it' two or three times and that she was messaging a friend who was having a fight with her boyfriend. In response the woman said that she planned to take legal action of her own against Vezmar for getting in touch with her sister in an attempt to get the money. 'I'm not a bad woman,' she claimed. 'I just went out on a date.'
An Islamic Shariah court in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to a public caning, further undermining the country's moderate image after a top Christian politician was recently imprisoned for alleged blasphemy. The court, whose sentencing Wednesday coincided with International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, said that the men, aged twenty and twenty three, would each receive eighty five lashes for having sexual relations with one another. One of the men wept as his sentence was read out and pleaded for leniency. The chief prosecutor, Gulmaini, said that they will be caned next week, before the holy Muslim month of Ramadan starts on 25 May. The couple was arrested in late March after neighbourhood vigilantes in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, suspected them of being gay and broke into their rented room to catch them having sex. Cellphone video that circulated online and formed part of the evidence shows one of the men naked and visibly distressed as he apparently calls for help on his cellphone. The second man is repeatedly pushed by another man who is preventing the couple from leaving the room. The lead judge, Khairil Jamal, said the men were 'legally and convincingly proven to have committed gay sex.' He said the three-judge panel decided against imposing the maximum sentence of one hundred lashes because the men were 'polite' in court, cooperated with authorities and had no previous convictions. 'As Muslims, the defendants should uphold the Shariah law that prevails in Aceh,' Jamal said. International human rights groups described the treatment of the men as 'abusive and humiliating' and called for their immediate release. 'Every human being has a right to privacy, a right to enter consensual relations, and a right to physical protection,' Amnesty International's deputy director for South East Asia and the Pacific, Josef Benedict, said in a statement. Human Rights Watch said in April that public caning would constitute torture under international law. 'The prosecution is very harsh. The verdict is harsher,' said Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch. 'It shows the increasingly conservative judiciary in Indonesia.' The US State Department said that all people are equal in dignity and rights, regardless of sexual orientation. 'We encourage Indonesia and all nations to provide equal protection to all their citizens and to conform to international human rights standards. We maintain that caning, as described in our human rights report, is an extreme form of punishment,' said Anna Richey-Allen, a department spokeswoman for East Asia. Prosecutors said the men had waived their right to defence lawyers. It was not clear why, but guilty verdicts are certain in most cases that reach the Shariah court. Aceh is the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia allowed to practice Shariah law, which was a concession made by the national government in 2006 to end a war with separatists, but other some other areas have introduced Shariah-style bylaws. Aceh implemented an expansion of Islamic bylaws and criminal code two years ago that extended Shariah law to the province's non-Muslims and allows up to one hundred lashes for 'morality offences' including naughty bum-sex and sex between unmarried people. Human Rights Watch says that the Aceh laws violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - not to mention violating sanity - which Indonesia ratified in 2005. Caning is also a punishment in Aceh for gambling, drinking alcohol, women who 'wear tight clothes' and men who skip Friday prayers. And, looking at those that make these sick laws 'in a funny way' presumably. More than three hundred people were caned for such offences last year. Homosexuality is not illegal elsewhere in Indonesia but a case before the country's top court is seeking to criminalise gay sex and sex outside marriage. Indonesia's reputation for practising a 'moderate' form of Islam has been battered in the past year due to attacks on religious minorities, a surge in persecution of gays and a polarising election campaign for governor of the capital, Jakarta, that highlighted the growing strength of hard-line Islamic groups. Earlier this month, the outgoing Jakarta governor, a minority Christian, was sentenced to two years in prison for campaign comments deemed as blaspheming the Qu'ran.
A Florida judge is currently weighing a request by a defence attorney to allow the jury to view his client's penis as 'evidence' in a murder trial. Richard Patterson is very on trial over the death of his girlfriend, whose body was found in her apartment in October 2015. Prosecutors say that Patterson choked her to death, then left her body there for several days before calling his attorney first, then contacting authorities. Defence attorney Ken Padowitz said Francisca Marquinez died 'accidentally' by choking on the defendant's enormous dong during a frenzied oral sex session. He filed a pretrial motion with a Broward County judge requesting that the jury 'view his client's penis,' saying it was 'required' for the jury to 'fully understand' Patterson's defence. According to the Sun Sentinal newspaper, the autopsy was 'inconclusive' as the medical examiner 'could not determine' the exact manner of death. Prosecutors claim the decomposition of Marquinez' body after several days in her apartment 'led to the uncertainty.' Prosecutor Peter Sapak told Judge Lisa Porter he had 'no objection' to the defence motion, but that there were 'several details to work out first.' Porter has not said whether she will allow the motion and, if so, under what conditions. Patterson is charged with second-degree murder and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
A student has been kicked off her university's wi-fi for a month because she illegally downloaded a film according to the Metro - if not a 'real' newspaper. Even worse for naughty Gianna Mulville-Zanetta is that she didn't download a current blockbuster or a movie that would have been hard to track down. Allegedly, she lost her Internet privileges – during exam season – for downloading Chicken Run, the animated movie released in 2000. It's also available on Netflix. Gianna is a first-year social policy student at Bristol University.
Authorities say that a Louisiana woman living illegally in a vacant home in Florida answered the door naked when a sheriff's deputy called to investigate. Monroe County Sheriff's spokeswoman, Becky Herrin, said that a real estate agent called officers to report that someone was squatting at the home on Big Pine Key without the owner's permission. Deputy Richard Wang looked in the window of the apartment and saw thirty six-year-old Feliciamae Farrington extremely naked. He knocked on the door and she answered, still unclothed but, seemingly, not ashamed. Farrington refused to get dressed and investigators say she then fought with Wang as he tried to take her into custody. The struggle continued when other deputies arrived. Farrington, from Harvey, Louisiana, has been charged with trespassing, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.
A man is to face trial charged with pulling cigarette lighters out of his back passage and hurling them at nurses and medics according to the Daily Record. Adam Nicolson faces charges that alleges he 'behaved in a threatening, abusive and aggressive manner' at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire. He is charged that he, among other things, did 'remove cigarette lighters from your anus and throw them at medical staff there.' Wasn't aware that was a crime, personally but, there you go, apparently it is. The incident is said to have been 'likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear and alarm.' Nicolson is also alleged to have shouted and sworn, slammed doors and uttered offensive remarks and threats of violence. But then, we've all done that.
Police in Scotland are hunting a man who assaulted a teenage girl with her own shoe on a train. The attack happened on a service between Partick and Glasgow Central on Wednesday 26 April. The girl was among a group of three who are thought to have 'played a prank' on the man by locking him out of one of the train's coaches. Which, to be fair isn't a very nice thing to do. When he got into the carriage, the man allegedly attacked one of the girls by kicking her before taking off one of her shoes and throwing it at her face, British Transport Police said. The man is thought to be aged around fifty, white, five feet ten inches tall and was wearing a suit and glasses. And, also, ruddy furious.
A woman, who was carrying a bearded dragon lizard in her bra, was extremely arrested on Monday afternoon after driving drunk and crashing through multiple mailboxes on Staple Street in Taunton, Massachusetts police said. The Taunton Gazette reported that Amy Rebello-McCarthy was arrested on charges of operating under the influence, driving to endanger and marked lane violation. Police said that the 1999 Mercedes that Rebello-McCarthy had been operating, struck six mailboxes, some of which flew through the air and smashed the rear window of a parked car and crashed into a lawn. The Mercedes had four flat tires, the airbags were deployed and both bumpers were ripped off. Witnesses told police that the woman who had been driving the car had fled the scene and her male friend had gone into the driver's side in an attempt to drive the vehicle back onto the road. When police arrived at the scene Rebello-McCarthy was laughing and asked the officers to call a tow truck so they could be on their way. Police said Rebello-McCarthy's blood alcohol level was 'just shy of double' the legal driving limit. Before being transported to the police station Rebello-McCarthy revealed that she was also in a possession of a bearded dragon lizard which, while driving, she had held in her bra. At the rear of the vehicle, smoking a cigarette, was a twenty two-year-old man from Waltham, who was also slurring his words and couldn't remember his own name when police asked. In the man's waistband police saw what looked like the butt of a semi-automatic weapon, which was later identified as an air-soft replica. The man was placed in 'protective custody.' The lizard was turned over to animal control, police said.
A father and son who brutally assaulted a prankster after 'a mooning mix-up' wrongly led them to believe their victim was 'a peado flasher' have both been jailed. William Petro senior and junior left John Cameron unconscious on the ground after the horror attack. The pair repeatedly kicked and stamped on Cameron's head in Dundee's Reid Square on 9 May last year according to reports. Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court that Cameron had spotted his girlfriend, Claire Petrie, at her window as he left a block of flats and had bared his backside at her 'for a laugh.' As you do. However, this was spotted by a four-year-old relative of the Petros - who went to her mother and said: 'Manny's bum.' Police were called and Petro Senior and Junior then turned up. When Cameron - who was later fined two hundred notes on a public indecency charge for his bum-related malarkey - returned to the flats he was barred from entering the block by a concierge. When he went back outside, the Petros struck. Bell said: 'When he left the block Mr Cameron spotted Miss Petrie at the window and lowered his trousers, baring his buttocks to her. This was seen by the four-year-old who shouted "manny's bum", prompting her mother to go to the window and shout to the accused, who told her to leave him and Miss Petrie alone.' Turning to the assault, Bell added: 'Miss Petrie and Mr Cameron went into the car park where Mr Petro Junior was now standing. He pulled Mr Cameron to the ground and both of the accused then began assaulting him. They repeatedly kicked him on the head and body and stamped on his head and body, all of which was captured on CCTV. This continued until two independent witnesses saw what was going on and approached. The accused then left. Cameron was left lying on the ground, dazed and with blood coming from his mouth. When Mr Petro Jr was apprehended he told police "you didn't get here quick enough when he flashed." And when Mr Petro Sr was later traced he said "He flashed her - he's a paedophile."' The Petros both pleaded very guilty to a charge of assault to severe injury. Defence solicitor Mike Short, for Petro Junior, said: 'He didn't know the full extent of what was happening - he heard the child saying "bad, bad", phone calls had been made and the mother of the child was upset. He was not someone who was simmering for a period of weeks - it was a reaction and he reacted badly.' George Donnelly, for Petro Senior, added: 'He is seventy-years-old and was last sentenced to imprisonment in 1989. He certainly considers himself to be a protector of his family and has fulfilled that role since he was released from prison after that last sentence. There's no doubt that given the nature of the offence and his record that this is a serious matter.' Sheriff Alastair Carmichael jailed Petro Senior for fifteen months and Petro Junior for eleven months. He said: 'My view is that there is no alternative to custody given the serious mater of this offence. You pulled him to the ground, repeatedly kicked and stamped on his head and body rendering him unconscious. Kicking and stamping on the head involves a serious risk to somebody's health.'
A man was arrested by police after twelve thousand litres of liquid manure was sprayed outside the office of Quebec’s professional farmers' union on Monday, police said. They also advised motorists to treat it as a roundabout. A fifty six-year-old man from Henryville, south of Montreal, was very arrested by Longueuil police and taken to hospital for an evaluation. According to police, a tractor pulling a tank of the semi-liquid manure sprayed the substance in the parking lot of the Union Des Producteurs Agricoles office about 6:30am. Patrice Juneau, a spokesman for the union, said that the suspect is a dairy farmer who is facing financial difficulties and the union didn't wish to file a criminal complaint against him. Longueuil police said that he could still face a 'mischief' charge, but the exact motivation for his alleged actions remained unclear. Police said there was no danger to people living nearby, but cleaning the product from the lot and the building gave off 'a strong and nauseating odour.' No shit?
Amiens were promoted to the top flight of French football for the first time with a stoppage-time goal that carried them from sixth place to second. In a remarkable climax to the Ligue Deux season, the top six were separated by but three points before Friday's games. Amiens were set to finish sixth - and not even make the play-offs - when Emmanuel Bourgaud scored a ninety sixth-minute winner at Reims to trigger a pitch invasion from club officials and players. Club president Bernard Joannin said: 'It is an extraordinary moment. I saw a fighting team again. At the start of the season, our ambition was to stay up - and now we are in Ligue Une. Football is a play every Friday night. We gave this evening an extraordinary drama.' Joannin also said that he had offered new French president Emmanuel Macron - born in Amiens - a signed shirt before the game which had brought them both luck. Strasbourg sealed the title after a two-one home win over Bourg En Bresse. Third-placed Troyes came from two goals down to beat Sochaux three-two but Bourgaud's late goal for Amiens means that they now face a play-off against the side who finish eighteenth in Ligue Une following the final round of top-flight games on Saturday. Both Strasbourg and Amiens have now won back-to-back promotions, with the latter having never played top-flight football during their one hundred and sixteen-year history. It is also a fourth promotion in six years for Strasbourg, who return to Ligue Une for the first time since 2008, having entered liquidation in 2011 and been placed in the fifth tier of French fitba.
Adrien Gulfo of Swiss lower league side Pully Football tried to clear the ball with an overhead kick and manages to score a spectacular own goal in a recent cup game against FC Renens. Which to be honest, has to be seen to be believed.
NASA space probes have detected a massive, human-made 'barrier' surrounding Earth and tests have confirmed that it is actually having an effect on space weather far beyond our planet's atmosphere. That'll, presumably, be to stop all the aliens from getting in. Not that we on Earth are space-racist, obviously, some of our best friends are aliens, but ... The 'barrier' means that we're not just changing Earth so severely - scientists are reportedly calling for a whole new geological epoch to be named after us - but also our activities have been changing space too. But the good news is that unlike our influence on the planet itself, that bubble we created out in space is actually working in our favour.
The actor Powers Boothe, who was known for his roles in Sin City, Deadwood and, most recently, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, has died aged sixty eight. His publicist said that the EMMY award-winner died 'of natural causes' at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday. Boothe, who played Gideon Malick in S.H.I.E.L.D after appearing in The Avengers on the big screen, also appeared in TV shows Nashville and 24. He won an EMMY in 1980 for his acclaimed role as the mass-murdering cult leader Jimmy Jones in Guyana Tragedy: The Story Of Jim Jones. Powers gained a reputation for playing villains after a string of roles in the 1980s and 90s including Tombstone, Sudden Death and a fabulous performance as a shadowy, scheming Al Haig in Oliver Stone's Nixon. He went on to play the ruthless saloon owner Cy Tolliver in the TV western Deadwood, which ran for three seasons. The son of a ranch owner in Snyder, Texas, Powers was the first in his family to go to university and began acting in the 1970s. He made his film debut in 1977 Richard Dreyfuss film The Goodbye Girl and had a number of other small roles in movies like Cruising, but his big break came in 1980 when he got the title role as cult leader Jim Jones in the TV movie. The part was followed by another leading role, in 1983 TV series Philip Marlowe, Private Eye. The following year he starred in Red Dawn, which imagines a US conflict with the Soviet Union. He is survived by his wife of forty eight years, Pam, and their children Parisse and Preston.
Sadly, news has only just reached this blogger that the playwright and author Eric Pringle died in mid-April at the age of eighty one. Born in June 1935 in Morpeth, Eric wrote a number of TV scripts, including Pretenders and Kate (both 1972) and The Carnforth Practice (1974). He was wrote the popular 1984 Doctor Who two-part story The Awakening - a particular favourite of this blogger who once, with Martin Day, wrote a sequel to it for BBC books. Eric's play Meeting Bea, about the life of Beatrix Potter, was broadcast on Radio 4 in 1993. Eric had lived in Kendal for about thirty years before moving to Ledbury in Herefordshire. Another of Eric's radio plays, Hymus Paradisi, about the life of composer Herbert Howells, won a Sony Award. Eric's work for radio also including adaptations of The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase and JB Priestley's The Good Companions. 2001 saw the publication of his children's novel Big George. This was followed by two sequels Big George & The Seventh Knight and Big George & The Winter King.
A serial groper was believed to be at the centre of the bloody all-in brawl which derailed an Australian wedding reception. Mathew Carione and Rebecca Becvarovska went 'all out' on their wedding day with about two hundred people thought to have attended the reception at Leichhardt's Albert Palais Theatre after they tied wed in Gladesville on Saturday. However things soured about 10pm when a fight broke out outside the venue with one witness describing 'blood splattering' from 'the frenzied violence.' Carione's mother, Zorica, told the Sydney Daily Telegraph that it all started because a guest was groping women, including pinching the bottom of the best man's girlfriend. 'It all stemmed from one guest who we now realise was groping a lot of women, myself included,' she claimed. 'The brawl started because they wanted him to be removed.' The owner of Albert Palais, Michael Onoufriadis, also said that he believed the violence began after a man pinched a woman. Brad Allsopp, a security guard at the nearby Petersham Inn, said he saw 'a dozen guys' chasing after one man across the road. 'They bashed him out the front of a business, they pretty much started laying into him,' he said. 'I ran across to push them all away and get off him, there were five or six of the guys who had a hold of him; they were punching him and kicking him.' Allsopp described 'blood splattering everywhere' after one man was headbutted in the nose. Police said that the forty three-year-old was 'trying to break up the fight' and he was treated for a broken nose before being taken to hospital. Zorica said that, otherwise, it was 'a lovely night' and the bride and groom 'didn't let the violence destroy their evening. {They] had a great time, they didn't have to see a lot of that stuff, they have left for their honeymoon,' she added. However a twenty six-year-old - whom Zorica said was the best man at the wedding - was arrested for allegedly 'aggressive conduct to police.' He was issued with a criminal infringement notice for offensive language and released pending further inquiries. Police have not made any other arrests in relation to the fight but will be reviewing CCTV from the venue.
On a somewhat-related note, this blogger is indebted to his Uncle Scunthorpe for uncovering this photograph of probably the best wedding fight you'll ever see. There are so many things here that deserve commenting upon. Like the bride's 'you're all ruining my special day' expression. Is that bald chap on the extreme left about to cop a feel of the woman in green's bum? I particularly like the woman-in-black near the door at the back with her head in her hands saying 'oh no, they've done that again?' But, I think this blogger's favourite is the casual Lord Brett Sinclair-lookalike on the extreme right wearing a white poloneck and drinking what looks like a rather fine brandy. And, seemingly, thinking, 'Hmm ... excellent right hook' before popping off for a night at The Purple Pussycat nightclub with Jason King and the lads out of The Sweeney. And finally, it's the 'utterly shocked and appalled'-look on the mush of the ginger chap with glasses in the middle of the ruck that makes it art.