Friday, September 29, 2017

Softly Does It

Game Of Thrones' Kit Harington and Rose Leslie have become engaged, it has been confirmed. After a huge amount of speculation, an official announcement has been published in The Times. The couple met on the popular adult fantasy drama in 2012, where they played on-screen lovers Jon Snow and Ygritte. They made their public debut as a couple at last year's Olivier Awards.
Harington told L'Uomo Vogue last year it was 'easy' to fall in love with Leslie. He said that his best memory on the show were the three weeks in Iceland when they filmed the second series in 2012. 'Because the country is beautiful, because the Northern Lights are magical and because it was there that I fell in love,' he said. Aw, bless. 'If you're already attracted to someone and then they play your love interest in the show, it becomes very easy to fall in love.' Leslie is currently starring in The Good Fight. Harington will next be seen in the BBC's drama Gunpowder, about the gunpowder plot, before he starts filming the next - and final - series of Game Of Thrones.
A new Doctor Who game, Doctor Who Infinity, is to be released for PC and mobile platforms worldwide, in Spring 2018. The game is produced by Tiny Rebel Games Ltd, the team behind the popular game Doctor Who Legacy, under official license from BBC Worldwide. The game is being funded as a joint effort between the Welsh Government's Media Investment Budget and British game publisher/developer Double Eleven Limited.
Ever wanted to binge-watch classic episodes of Parkinson, Louis Theroux or anything from David Attenborough? No, me neither. However if, by some chance, you have, the this could be your lucky day because the BBC has just launched a new category on iPlayer called From The Archive, which does exactly what it says on the tine. Offering over four hundred and fifty programmes available to stream, From The Archive 'includes many of the greats shown across the channels over the years,' according to the press release. There is everything from Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends and Horizon to shows from legendary BBC figures including Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir David Attenborough and Sir Terry Wogan. Also available are the likes of Storyville's Leaving The Cult and Killing For Love, as well as 'iconic' interviews with Muhammad Ali, Hurricane Higgins and Salvador Dali. Explaining iPlayer's venture into the Netflix era, Dan McGolpin of the channel's programming and daytime department promised a 'richer choice' available through the service. 'For millions of people, BBC iPlayer is a reliable place for finding something good to watch whenever they choose to look,' he said. 'It will now provide an even richer choice of quality BBC programmes with this new category, From The Archive, making available hundreds of gems from the past including some historic documentary series and interviews with cultural and sporting icons.'
Suranne Jones has revealed that a third series of Doctor Foster 'could' happen. The actress plays Gemma Foster in the BBC drama, which returned for a second series earlier this month and is proving to be just as – if not more – brutal than the first. And, while Suranne concedes that the current run has 'a really good, solid ending,' she did reveal that she 'may' be up for reprising her role if showrunner Mike Bartlett has a good idea. 'If Mike comes up with another story then we'll talk about it,' Suranne told the Mirra. 'But for now, like the first one, it's got a really good, solid ending.'
Meanwhile, Suranne's co-star Bertie Carvel is concerned he could be 'at risk' in playing one of the most loathed men on TV. The actor plays the cheating Simon Foster, but he star hopes that viewers can enjoy the 'fictional reality of Simon without thinking he's real. I'm aware that there are people on the Internet saying how much they hate Simon Foster,' he told Radio Times. 'With the millions who watch it, there are likely to be one or two who can't distinguish between me and the character. So, I suppose that puts me at risk. And at the level of the really famous actors – which I'm not – you might be sensible to think about your security.' The show's creator Mike Bartlett has hinted that the ending of Doctor Foster's second series could be 'so shocking' that a third might be impossible, despite what Suranne Jones might have told the Mirra. 'Depending on what happens at the end of series two, a third might not be possible. That's all I can say really,' the writer disclosed - enigmatically - to the publication. Bartlett also added that he 'dislikes' people describing Gemma Foster as mentally unbalanced. 'I get upset when people describe Gemma as mad,' he said. 'I don't think she is, she's just very angry. If it was a man behaving like that, you say he was fighting back.' Prasanna Puwanarajah – who plays Gemma's potential love-interest James – also disagreed with suggestions that Gemma is unhinged and claimed that she is trying to overcome a personal tragedy. 'I think Gemma's adrift and experiencing a major trauma,' Puwanarajah told the Digital Spy website. 'I would not call her unhinged – she's a person making decisions in the moment and they're not always good ones, but ones she's finding herself making. I think that's why the show is so captivating, because we can all see elements of her decisions while journeying and facing the greatest adversity.'
The X-Files' forthcoming eleventh series is to bring back the actress who starred in the show's notorious 'banned' episode. Karin Konoval played a mutant-breeding amputee kept under a bed in Home, a thoroughly sick 1996 episode which proved so controversial that FOX promised never to broadcast it again. EW reports that Konoval will appear in the new series, but that she will be playing a different character. 'While Karen Konoval won't be reprising her role as the mother-under-the-bed in the fan-favourite episode Home, she will be returning in a tour-de-force performance in an early episode. Or, more accurately – performances,' said showrunner Chris Carter. Home featured a plethora of good old fashioned family entertainment - incest, mutilation, dead babies and some of the most unpleasant murder scenes ever committed to film - so it was no surprise when FOX effectively banned it from TV. It was also, and it is important to note this, shit. The, by a distance, single worst episode in the - otherwise, very fine - series' history. And you can trust this blogger on that score, dear blog reader, he's the co-author of a highly respected X-Files factual guide. Apparently.
'With all the many conflicting opinions about the new Star Trek, I'm having great difficulty forming my own coherent view,' noted The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) online this week. 'I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I may have to watch it first.' Good idea. As for this blogger, lots of his many Facebook fiends whose opinions Keith Telly Topping really respects thought the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery were, like, rilly 'tastic and all that. Whilst, others of this blogger's Facebook fiends whose opinions Keith Telly Topping really respects thought it was a right load of old fekking bollocks. Keith Telly Topping himself, having seen the two episodes in question, has an opinion which lies somewhere between those two diametrically opposing poles. They were all right, basically. Not brilliant but entertaining enough. Although discovering (s'cuse the dreadful pun) that two hours of this blogger's life had been spent watching what was, effectively, a five minute pre-title sequence from a Star Trek movie pumped-up on steroids into a two-hour mini-movie was, undeniably, somewhat disconcerting. The title music was very good, though and the two episodes looked great. Nevertheless, watching these at least confirmed that this blogger's beloved Deep Space Nine retains the title of 'the Star Trek series that got good the quickest.' By a distance.
Gotham is already laying the groundwork for Bruce Wayne's transformation into Batman, but will Selina Kyle also be suiting up this series? Camren Bicandova, who plays Selina on the FOX series, told the Digital Spy website that her character will finally embrace her destiny as she trains under Tabitha (Jessica Lucas). 'We won't actually see that transition of her into Catwoman until she forms a relationship with Tabitha, which we'll see in season four,' Bicandova revealed. Selina's apprenticeship, though, will inevitably cause more tension between her and the young Bruce (David Mazouz). '[Their relationship] gets mended and then it falls apart again,' Carmen said. 'So it's just that rollercoaster that they're always on. I feel like Bruce decides to just buckle up on the rollercoaster – he likes to go on it – and Selina likes to jump off and do her own thing. She doesn't like being on the rollercoaster, but she can't help getting back on!' As for her mentor, Tabitha will have problems of her own this season when she discovers that her nemesis Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) is, literally, back from the dead. 'Barbara's gonna be back and as soon as Tabitha finds out she's alive, she's gonna be pretty upset!' Jessica Lucas said. 'I don't want to give too much away, but Barbara's a whole new person this season. It's really not that long before [Tabitha] finds out Barbara's alive and so that really becomes her focus pretty quickly at the beginning of the season.' Elsewhere, Gotham will also explore Alfred's dark past. 'You'll see Alfred on the streets, who he was and how he was and it ain't pretty,' Sean Pertwee has warned. Which, if it means Sean being all kick-ass and channelling his dad as he has done a few times over the last three years, should be well-worth looking forward too.
The Blacklist returned for the opening episode of its fifth series this week. Bonkers-as-toast as usual - though, also entertaining; particular the opening 'Back In The New York Groove' sequence. However, now the big central reveal (that Red is, indeed, Liz's biological father after all) is out of the bag, where the series goes from here is anyone's guess. Although, this interview with creator Jon Bokenkamp may provide a few clues. And, if that one doesn't, this one might. Or, this one.
It took almost the entire series fifteen premiere, but NCIS's Gibbs and McGee are, finally, home safe and, relatively, in one piece. Check out TV Line's - spoiler-heavily - review here. Or, you know, don't if you haven't seen the episode yet and don't want to be spoilerised and that.
So, dear blog reader, you're probably wondering What Else Has Yer Actual Keith Telly Topping Been Watching This Week?
Tin Star continues to impress, particularly Abigail Lawrie's angry, star-making performance.
Up until now, little was known about what the format of series two of The Grand Tour would be like, but Amazon has announced this week that the whole 'tour' element of the show is having a tweak, with the studio tent staying put in the UK. The new series of The Grand Tour will still see Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May travel through more locations than ever, attempting to avoid any further mishaps and injury along the way. And shouting 'Power!' a lot. However, instead of the travelling tent of the previous series, the studio segments will now all be filmed from the show's new base in The Cotswolds. And, petrol-heads looking to apply for tickets to The Grand Tour can get them now. For one week only, Amazon is inviting customers around the world to apply to be on the studio guestlist and join Jezza, Hamster and Cap'n Slowly in their charming new location. Applications for tickets to the studio recordings of series two opened earlier this week at, closing at midnight on Tuesday 3 October. Away from the tent, the trio's travels this series will take in five continents, tearing up the track in the likes of Croatia, Mozambique, Dubai, Spain, Switzerland, Colorado and New York. It's not been an easy ride either, with Hammond suffering an horrific Swiss car crash while filming and Clarkson struck down with a nasty case of pneumonia over the summer. In a statement, the VP of Amazon Video Europe, Jay Marine said: 'The Grand Tour is our most popular show around the world having been watched in over two hundred and forty countries and territories. Customers continually tell us that their favourite segments of The Grand Tour are the travelling adventures of Jeremy, Richard and James, so despite the various calamities and injuries along the way, the guys have spent this year exploring more incredible and stunning locations than ever before. And getting into more trouble, of course. We can't wait for our Prime members to see series two later this year.'
If you've been missing Sir David Attenborough, then there's some good news. As part of the BBC's upcoming Natural History line-up, a new documentary fronted by Attenborough is to be broadcast. The one-off special will follow Sir David as he investigates the life and death of the world's most famous elephant, Jumbo. With exclusive access to Jumbo's skeleton at the American Museum of Natural History, David, along with a team of scientists, will unravel the history of 'the world's largest elephant.' If Jumbo doesn't sound up your straße, then there are a host of other special programmes heading our way, including Big Cats, Chris Packham's exploration of the T-Rex and Wild Cities, while First Year On Earth is a new three-part series that will follow six baby animals in their first year of life.
Nigella Lawson - she has her knockers - has had a dig at one of The Great British Bake Off's most common challenges. As if creating a perfect bake in the intense pressure of the tent wasn't enough, every hopeful baker over the series has had to ensure that their bakes are all identical, even in the Technical Challenge where they've never heard of what they're baking. Nigella reckons that she would never cut the mustard (or, indeed, the cake) on the programme as she thinks that is unrealistic in the baking world. 'We live in a world where there is so much, so glossily done. If I am given a cake, I like to see that it has been made by someone and that it's not even. That is what cooking is. Things can't look like they come from a factory,' she told Good Housekeeping. 'You know on Bake Off where they say you have to make eighteen biscuits and they have to be identical? I have never had two biscuits that look identical!'
The comedian and producer Mel Brooks was a guest on Wednesday's The ONE Show, where he was plugging a new musical based on his film Young Frankenstein. But, Mel was left somewhat bewildered when hosts Alex Jones and Matt Baker segued into a section about a woman trying to trace her long-lost father. It was left to fellow guest Russell Crowe to explain the magazine show's eclectic format to Brooks. Although, whether even Russ could explain what the Hell Alex Jones was wittering on about during the interview is a question best left for another day.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the award-winning star of US TV comedy series Veep, has announced that she has breast cancer, in a message posted on social media. 'One in eight women get breast cancer,' she wrote. 'Today I'm the one. The good news,' she added, was she had a 'glorious group' of family and friends supporting her and 'fantastic insurance' through her union. Earlier this month, Louis-Dreyfus picked up a record-breaking sixth EMMY for Outstanding Lead Actress in a row for her role in HBO series Veep.
A - really very annoying indeed - skincare advert featuring former Hollyoaks 'actress' Jorgie Porter has been withdrawn from certain TV schedules after the Advertising Standards Agency decided it could 'encourage bullying.' The advert, which is for anti-acne skincare line Proactiv, show Porter describing the bullying she received at school because of her skin. Recalling the insults - 'Oi, spotty!' - Porter said that she felt 'gutted', adding: 'It's your face. When nothing works, you're so sad and you just think, "Well that's me now forever."' According to the ASA, the advert received four whinges after some viewers 'argued [that] it implied' if you did not use the product, you would be bullied. The ASA upheld the whinges and pulled the advert from channels broadcasting programmes either for, or appealing to, children. In a statement, it said: '[T]he ads created a direct link between an incidence of bullying in her childhood as a result of her bad skin and a product she said had made her skin clearer. As a result, the ads implied that children who had bad skin and did not use the product were likely to be bullied or ridiculed.' Proactiv has since snivellingly apologised for the advert, insisting it was 'never its intention' for the advert to be 'interpreted in this way. [The advert] simply sets out the personal story and experience of one woman,' a spokesperson added.
Adverts featuring a twerking businessman in high heels, a lesbian kissing scene and a mother telling her son about his dead father's favourite McDonald's meal have angered viewers the most so far this year. The Moneysupermarket 'dance-off' adverts featuring a man called Dave wearing denim cut-offs and heels received the most whinges – four hundred and fifty five – of any campaign in any medium, with viewers objecting that it was 'offensive' and 'overtly sexual', 'possibly homophobic' and 'having the potential to encourage hate crimes.''s advert showing a woman removing her partner's top and passionately kissing her drew the second-highest number of whinges - from homophobic bastards, mostly - between January and June, at two hundred and ninety three. However satisfyingly, the number of whinges did not lead to the Advertising Standards Authority banning either commercial, ruling that neither was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Only to bigots and morons. McDonald's swiftly pulled its poorly received campaign featuring a mother (played by Esther Hall) helping her son grieve for his father while sitting in one of the chain's restaurants, but not before viewers lodged two hundred and fifty five whinges that it 'exploited child bereavement' to sell fast food. Which, it did. The ASA decided an investigation was not needed. The three adverts helped television campaigns draw a total of five thousand one hundred and seventy two whinges, the most of any medium in the first half of this year. Online adverts were a close second, with four thousand and sixty two whinges, although more individual online adverts drew complaints than in any other medium. The overall total number of whinges in the first half of this year is below that of last year, although the high number in 2016 was mainly due to three Moneysupermarket adverts attracting more than two thousand five hundred whinges between them. In total, the ASA received thirteen thousand one hundred and thirty one whinges – nineteen per cent fewer than last year – about nine thousand four hundred and eighty six adverts in the first six months of this year. It amended or banned just over three thousand of these over the six months, up eighty eight per cent compared with the first half of 2016 – itself a record year. The new figures show that men continue to whinge more about adverts than women. Guy Parker, the ASA's chief executive, said: 'We are spending more time online, but the mass audience of TV ads means they continue to generate the most complaints. Whatever the issue and whatever the medium, we should all be able to trust the ads we see and hear. If an ad is wrong, we're here to put it right.'
The BBC's political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, is being protected by security guards at the Labour party conference this week following abuse she has received over her role, according to reports. Kuenssberg, who has previously been jeered by some Labour supporters, will be accompanied by a security team inside and outside the conference zone in Brighton, the reports said. Kuenssberg has frequently been targeted with sick sexist abuse online and the BBC is understood to have given her access to a bodyguard during the general erection campaign. The corporation did not comment on the reports of her protection at the Labour conference, telling the Sun on Sunday that it 'does not comment on security issues.' However, The Times carried a photo of Kuenssberg, the first woman to be the BBC's political editor, with a man the paper identified as a former soldier who now worked as a security consultant for the BBC. The abuse aimed at Kuenssberg has followed complaints that she is not neutral and treats the Labour leader and his party unfairly. However, she has also been targeted by supporters of other parties. At a UKiP press conference before June's general erection she was booed and barracked by party members when she asked a question of the then leader, Paul Nuttall. The BBC's chairman, David Clementi, said politicians and social media companies should clamp down on the increasingly 'explicit and aggressive' abuse suffered by BBC journalists, saying women in particular were being targeted. Speaking at the Royal Television Society convention in Cambridge, Clementi – who did not name any of the journalists concerned – said female journalists in particular faced abuse 'on an almost daily basis.' And, there's a particularly good piece by the Gruniad's Gaby Hinsliff on the ignorant hypocrisy of some on the left: 'Evidently many Labour supporters will be as horrified as any other sane individual by the idea of journalists being physically intimidated at work, a thuggish phenomenon repeatedly observed at Donald Trump's rallies and associated with totalitarian regimes the world over. Many MPs and activists, including some close to Jeremy Corbyn, will doubtless go out of their way this week to show Laura Kuenssberg she is welcome in Brighton and that those who mean her harm are cranks with no place in a democratic movement. But there is a small, self-righteous and aggressively entitled minority within the left who clearly don't feel that way and whose behaviour now risks tarnishing that wider movement. They may grudgingly accept that Kuenssberg needs physical protection – and it's amazing how many people are confident in declaring from the comfort of their armchairs that she doesn't really, despite not having a clue about her situation – but they sneer that it's "funny" she doesn't need saving from Tories, without pausing to consider whether this says less about Kuenssberg than it does about them. (For the record, she has been targeted by both far right and far left; and the BBC doesn't employ security just for laughs.) The rage against her in some quarters is visceral, frenzied, beyond all reason. Some of it is doubtless rooted in a refusal to accept her professional judgment, an almost subconscious rejection of the idea that a woman – even a woman whose life's work is covering politics – might know what she's talking about. It's striking that neither previous male holders of her job, nor the largely male political editors of titles overtly hostile to Corbyn, have been so singled out. But it can't all be down to misogyny. People who were, rightly, horrified when the anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller had to hire bodyguards, or were outraged by the sickeningly racist and sexist abuse heaped on Diane Abbott, will bend over backwards to pretend that what's happening to Kuenssberg is somehow different. It's as if they can't bear the thought of having to feel solidarity with someone they don't like.'
An outline of a penis which appeared in a Maya The Bee episode was the result of 'a very bad joke,' the makers of the children's animated series have said. Belgian company Studio One Hundred said the image was 'absolutely inappropriate' and offered apologies 'to everybody who has been offended by it.' The image came to light after a viewer posted a clip of the episode online. This led to streaming service Netflix removing the episode, entitled King Willi, first broadcast in 2012. Studio One Hundred told the BBC that the penis, etched on a log in the background of a scene, 'obviously results from a very bad joke from one of the one hundred and fifty artists working on the production. This is, indeed, unacceptable to Studio One Hundred as owner of the brand and all its affiliates and doesn't reflect the quality of our work and our values,' it continued. The Paris-based company said it was 'very sorry' and that it was 'taking all suitable technical measures to remedy the situation.' Netflix has made no comment on the offending image, apart from clarifying that Maya The Bee is not available to its UK subscribers. The series - based on a character created by German author Waldemar Bonsels - tells of a friendly bee and other anthropomorphised insects.
Typical, is it not, dear blog reader? Winter is just around the corner and the zip on Keith Telly Topping's best, thickest winter coat (bought from Big Dog Clothing in San Bernadino in 2001) chose Tuesday of this week to only go and bust itself. Sixteen long and vicious Tyneside winters it has kept this blogger warmly warm but, on that day, in ASDA, just as Keith Telly Topping was about to try and get his wallet out to pay for his purchases, it went kaput. There followed a quasi-comic (if you weren't, you know, Keith Telly Topping) three minutes of this blogger trying to reach into his inside pocket from both above and underneath whilst the lass on the till drummed her fingers and looked really unimpressed. Finally, this blogger had to wrestle the damn coast off, inside out, to reach his money. Ooh, he was dead vexed. Had his mad right up, so he did. Geet stroppy and aal hot and bothered, he was. Whether the zip can be fixed, dear blog reader, Keith Telly Topping knows not. More of this saga at a later date.
So yes, dear blog reader, Autumn has arrived and it has been bloody cold this week. A big cup of tea is what's needed to start off the day in such circumstances - after a glass of fresh orange juice, obviously - and warm a chap up good and proper. Therefore it was clearly time to put away summer's medium-sized Kit-Kat mug and bring The Guv'nor out of the cupboard.
From the Gruniad Morning Star online this week. Does anyone else think including the word 'by' might have made things just a wee bit clearer?
The outrageously lenient sentence handed down to Oxford student Lavinia Woodward for stabbing her boyfriend has reignited the row over whether her race, class and gender kept her out of jail. The twenty four-year-old medical student who hoped to become a surgeon, was given a ten-month suspended sentence, despite admitting stabbing Cambridge PhD student Thomas Fairclough in the leg during 'a cocaine and alcohol-fuelled row.' The debate was first sparked by presiding Judge Ian Pringle who said in May that Woodward was 'too clever' to serve a prison term. He took the usual step of delaying sentencing at Oxford Crown Court for four months and ordered Woodward to remain drug-free while staying at her mother's villa in the Northern Italian village of Sirtori. That she could 'dry out' at her mother's Italian retreat says much about the family's wealth. Woodward attended sixteen thousand knicker-a-year Sir James Henderson British School of Milan, according to her Facebook profile. She left in 2011 and began studying at Oxford in the same year. 'After she went to Oxford she turned weird. She became all dark and Gothic and it was obvious she was into drugs,' an - anonymous, and therefore probably fictitious - 'old school friend' snitched to the Sun like a filthy, stinking Copper's Nark. The alleged friend allegedly added: 'She posted naked pictures of herself on Facebook which was completely out of character for the girl I went to school with.' Naked picture which, incidentally, the Daily Scum Mail took some delight in republishing. And, so did the Sun.
She also, allegedly, 'bragged to friends' about 'spending the whole night' in 'an orgy tent' at a 'notorious' Piers Gaveston society party. She would often dress around the university in expensive La Perla, Gucci and Dior bras that she would wear with only a fur coat on top. On Facebook she posted pictures of herself in designer outfits and travelling on private jets. She wrote: 'The best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive.' But, Woodward was undoubtedly a talented student who came top of her year in the pre-clinical tests that all Oxford medical students take at the end of their third year. Her ambition was to become a heart surgeon and specialise in heart disease research. However, Woodward's suspended sentence has sparked fresh life into the argument that she was treated lightly because of her background. John Azah, chief executive of the Kingston Race and Equalities Council, told the Torygraph: 'I always struggle with how the services legislate justice when it comes to Black Minority & Ethnic and white people. If she wasn't Oxford-educated, if she came from a deprived area, I don't think she would have got the same sentence and been allowed to walk free.' Mark Brooks, chair of the domestic abuse charity Mankind Initiative, added: 'In terms of whether the genders were reversed, we would expect any man committing this type of crime to go to prison and rightly so.' Woodward's barrister said in an earlier hearing that her 'dreams' of becoming a surgeon were 'almost impossible' as her conviction would have to be disclosed. If she qualified as a doctor and applied for registration, the General Medical Council could consider her application. However the body would have to pass Woodward as 'fit to practice', which it is unlikely to do, according to many health experts, regardless of her avoiding a custodial sentence. Woodward was photographed leaving court with a smirk plastered all over her face. So, at least someone appears to be happy about the outcome of this case.
Lady Lucan, the eighty-year-old wife of the missing Lord Lucan, has been found dead at her home in London, police have confirmed. Officers found her body after forcing entry to the property in Belgravia on Tuesday, but her death is not believed to be suspicious, The Met said. Lady Lucan was one of the last people to see her husband, John Bingham, the Seventh Earl of Lucan, alive before he disappeared in November 1974. He vanished after the family's nanny, Sandra Rivett, was found murdered at their home. A Met spokesperson said: 'Police attended an address on Eaton Row in Westminster following concerns for the welfare of an elderly occupant. Officers forced entry and found an eighty-year-old woman unresponsive. Although we await formal identification we are confident that the deceased is Lady Lucan.' Born Veronica Duncan in 1937 to Major Charles Moorhouse Duncan and his wife, Thelma, in the late-1950s and early-1960s she worked as a secretary and model in London and met her future husband at a golf event in early 1963. They were married in November 1963.
Lord Lucan vanished after the body of Sandra Rivett, nanny to his three children, was found at the family home at Forty Six Lower Belgrave Street on 7 November 1974. Lady Lucan was also attacked but managed to escape. Lord Lucan's car was later found abandoned and soaked in blood in Newhaven and an inquest jury declared that the wealthy peer was the killer of Sandra Rivett a year later. Lord Lucan was officially declared dead by the High Court in 1999, but has reportedly been sighted in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand. Estranged from her three children, Frances, Camilla and George, a merchant banker and now the eighth Lord Lucan after his father's death certificate was issued last year, Veronica lived alone in the house where her husband had been staying a short distance from the former family home and scene of the murder. A High Court judge granted a death certificate in February last year allowing his son, Lord Bingham, to inherit the title. Earlier this year, Lady Lucan gave a television interview in which she said she believed Lord Lucan had made the 'brave' decision to take his own life. During the ITV programme, Lord Lucan: My Husband, The Truth, she spoke of her depression and her husband's violent nature after their marriage. Describing how he would beat her with a cane to 'get the mad ideas out of your head,' she said: 'He could have hit me harder. They were measured blows. He must have got pleasure out of it because he had intercourse [with me] afterwards.' Of her estrangement from her children, she told the interviewer Michael Waldman: 'It's not my fault that I lost my family, it will always be a mystery to me.' Waldman told the Radio Times: 'She is, I think, genuinely perplexed as to how it all went wrong, but equally she is not bitter and twisted about it and is getting on with her life. You can take the view that she is selfish, or self-preserving.'
Hugh Hefner - who died this week aged ninety one - created a fantasy world for millions of men but unlike most of his readers, actually got to live the dream. He successfully tapped into a new generation of Americans who were enjoying rising standards of living in the boom years of the 1950s and 1960s. A political activist and philanthropist, he produced not just a magazine, but an entire lifestyle. And in Playboy's famous bow-tie-wearing rabbit he launched one of the most recognised brands of the Twentieth Century. Hugh Marston Hefner was born in Chicago in April 1926, the son of two teachers with strong religious views. After serving in the US Army as a writer, he graduated with a degree in psychology before going to work as a copywriter for the men's magazine, Esquire. In 1953 he borrowed eight thousand dollars to produce the first issue of Playboy. Hefner was so worried that the magazine would not sell that he left the date off the cover. His mother contributed a thousand bucks. 'Not because she believed in the venture,' Hefner later said, 'but, because she believed in her son.' He had originally planned to name the new publication Stag Party, but changed his mind at the last minute. 'Can you imagine a chain of clubs staffed by girls wearing antlers?' The first edition featured a set of nude photographs of Marilyn Monroe which Hefner had bought for two hundred dollars. They had originally been shot for a 1949 calendar. Whether by luck or judgement, Hefner's timing was just right. The launch of Alfred Kinsey's reports on human sexual behaviour challenged conventional beliefs about sexuality and raised subjects that, until then, had been pretty much taboo. 'Kinsey was the researcher,' Hefner later remarked, 'I was the pamphleteer.' Middle-class American society in the 1950s was notoriously strait-laced and the combination of tastefully photographed women and intellectually stimulating articles appealed to the post-war urban male. 'I never thought of it as a sex magazine,' Hefner later recalled. 'I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient.' It was an unqualified success, selling more than fifty thousand copies within weeks. Hefner had found a niche in the market for men's publications, which was then dominated by hunting, shooting and fishing periodicals. The second issue saw the appearance of the bow-tie-wearing rabbit, which was designed by the magazine's art director Art Paul. It would appear on a host of products over the following decades. In 1955 Hefner published a short story by the writer Charles Beaumont, about straight men facing persecution in a world where homosexuals were the majority. In response to a flood of angry letters, Hefner replied: 'If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society then the reverse is wrong too.' In later years he would become an advocate for same-sex marriage describing it as 'a fight for all our rights.' Hefner's editorial stance was in-tune with the changes in society as the magazine campaigned for liberal drugs laws and the right to abortion. For the next twenty years, Playboy dominated its market, with circulation peaking at over seven million in the early 1970s, when a survey suggested that a quarter of all male college students in America were buying the magazine. At the time it contained some of the finest contemporary writing in the magazine market, with Saul Bellow, Arthur C Clarke, Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal among the regular contributors. The articles and interviews with often heavyweight subjects appeared sandwiched between the obligatory photographs of beautiful women, although far more tastefully shot than many of Playboy's more downmarket competitors. The centre-fold entitled Playmate of the Month featured some famous names including Jayne Mansfield and Pamela Anderson, while other celebrities, including Bo Derek, Kim Basinger, Farrah Fawcett and Madonna, have been happy to pose for the magazine. The photographs of Jayne Mansfield provoked Hefner's arrest and a prosecution for obscenity in 1963 but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Hefner set out to exploit the success of his magazine with the opening of the first Playboy club in Chicago in 1960, which introduced the bunny-girl waitresses. The relaxation of gaming laws in the UK opened up another opportunity and Hefner opened three casinos in the UK. By 1981 they were contributing all of Playboy's worldwide profits. At this time Hefner was living a life of luxury and indulgence in his two Playboy mansions, accompanied by an ever-changing cast of celebrities and pneumatic girlfriends and shuttling between them in his personalised DC9, The Big Bunny. Hefner's fortunes went into a major decline during the 1980s. The British authorities shut down the UK casinos following a series of irregularities, effectively cutting Playboy's income. A year later a casino in Atlantic City was closed after Hefner was judged by the state gaming board to be 'an unsuitable person' to hold a licence. Playboy magazine, too, was failing as more sexually explicit competitors competed for space on the newsstands and traditional Playboy readers got older and moved on. In a further personal blow Hefner suffered a stroke in 1985 and four years later passed the daily control of Playboy Enterprises to his daughter, Christie. In 1989, at the age of sixty three, Hefner married one of his playmates, twenty seven-year-old Kimberley Conrad. The marriage lasted for ten years and produced two children. The 1990s saw a revival in Playboy's fortunes as Christie Hefner took the company into new and more profitable areas including cable TV. Hefner, meanwhile, had - in his own words - 'discovered Viagra' and spent his days in his mansion, dressed in silk pyjamas and surrounded by a half-dozen or so 'live-in female companions.' In 2012, he married his third wife, Crystal Harris, when he was eighty six - sixty years older than his bride. A libertarian by nature, Hefner's Playboy Foundation continued to support freedom of expression and First Amendment rights. He also donated large sums of money to the Democratic Party, including Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. He was a keen supporter of conservation organisations and, perhaps appropriately, had a species of rabbit, Sylvilagus palustris hefneri, named in his honour. In his later years Hugh Hefner was, perhaps, much ridiculed as the elderly man who still surrounded himself with beautiful young women. But in Playboy he created a lifestyle which was in tune with the aspirations of a large section of post-war American society. The feminist Camille Paglia called him 'one of the principal architects of the social revolution.' 'I am a kid in a candy store,' Hefner famously said. 'I dreamed impossible dreams and the dreams turned out beyond anything I could possibly imagine. I'm the luckiest cat on the planet.'
The comedian and actor Bobby Knutt has died on holiday in the South of France, his agent has confirmed. The seventy one-year-old from Sheffield starred in ITV comedy series Benidorm, played Albert Dingle in Emmerdale and was the voice of a Tetley Tea advert. Knutt's agent, Tim Scott, said that the actor died in France on Monday morning. Knutt - real name Robert Wass - had a long career on stage. After passing the eleven-plus in 1957, he attended Abbeydale Grammar School in Sheffield. Still at school, he began to perform as a singer in a group called Bob Andrews & The Questors in 1961, switching to another group, The Whirlwinds, two years later and, in 1964, formed a comedy double act called Pee & Knutt. However, his partner Geoff Morton refused to turn professional. He later appeared in The Comedians and The Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club. He was cast in the lead role in the BBC's The Price Of Coal (1977) directed by Ken Loach, allowing him to move beyond stand-up comedy. He acted in many British television comedies and dramas including Last Of The Summer Wine, Heartbeat, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, All Creatures Great & Small, Our Friends In The North and Coronation Street (as garage boss Ron Sykes) and voiced numerous TV adverts. Knutt also hosted a request show on BBC Radio Sheffield in the 1990s. His wife, Donna Hartley-Wass, a former Olympic bronze medallist, died suddenly in 2013 at the age of fifty eight in the couple's back garden in Barnsley while she was sunbathing. In 2008, he published his autobiography Eyup Knutty followed by the sequel Eyup Again in 2010.
For more than thirty years, Liz Dawn - who died this week aged seventy seven - played the loud and flighty Vera Duckworth in ITV soap Coronation Street. Her turbulent relationship with her husband, Jack, proved to be one of the Street's most enduring storylines and Big Vera became one of Weatherfield's most popular characters. The episode featuring Vera's peaceful death in 2008 attracted more than twelve million viewers. Liz Dawn was born Sylvia Butterfield in November 1939 in Leeds, where her father worked as an engineer. At the age of eight, she fell in the street, gashing her mouth so badly that doctors feared she could be left with a hare lip. But, by chance, a skilled plastic surgeon was in Leeds at the time and a series of skin grafts repaired the majority of the damage. She said: 'The other kids used to run after me and say, "Can I see your plastic face?" But I just felt so lucky to have been treated and put back to normal.' After leaving school, Liz took a series of jobs including working in a garment factory and as a cinema usherette. She was also a shoe salesgirl and a lightbulb seller in Woolworths. She married Walter Bradley in Leeds in 1957 and had a son, Graham, but the marriage collapsed after less than two years. Her second marriage, to electrician Donald Ibbertson in 1965, resulted in the births of three daughters. She began singing in nightclubs and then started auditioning for small acting parts in TV programmes and commercials. Already a heavy cigarette user, the smoke-filled clubs in which she performed would have a serious effect on her health later in life. Liz's breakthrough came when she was cast in Colin Welland's 1974 drama Leeds United, which appeared in the BBC's Play For Today strand. Based on real events, the play documented the struggle by a group of female textile workers to get equal pay with men, only to be thwarted by their own trade union. Although her role was a relatively small one, it did lead to her being offered a bit part as factory machinist, Vera Duckworth, in an episode of Coronation Street. She continued to take parts in other TV programmes - Crown Court, Sunset Across The Bay, Open All Hours, Z Cars and Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggitt!, for example - until the arrival of the character Jack Duckworth in 1979 saw her role as Vera greatly enhanced. The marital strife between the pair became a major feature of the soap. They argued frequently, seemingly the epitome of a couple who cannot live with each other but can't live without the domestic disharmony. Both engaged in extramarital affairs. This led to one of the high spots of the drama when Vera confided in her friend Bet Lynch about Jack's infidelities, unaware at the time that he was having a fling with Bet herself. Liz and Bill Tarmey, who played Jack, had a close friendship. She said that he was her best friend and that they had never argued in all their years of acting together. Liz's appearances on Coronation Street began to be hampered by her increasing bouts of illness and she was forced to quit the soap in 2008 after her health worsened. She had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease four years previously. The illness meant she only had a third of her lungs working and she spent a lot of time in a wheelchair after she left the soap. Liz said she wished she had never smoked but also blamed performing in smoke-filled clubs for the illness. Dawn, who had finally stopped smoking in 2002, had previously said that her emphysema had taken such a toll on her she had nearly collapsed while at Buckingham Palace collecting her MBE in 2000. Her on-screen demise saw her character found lifeless in her armchair having died in her sleep. She famously returned to the cobbles in 2010 when she played her own ghost in the episode in which Jack Duckworth also died. After leaving Coronation Street, she campaigned on behalf of the British Lung Foundation and became the public face of a campaign to raise awareness of chronic lung disease and the importance of early diagnosis. Liz served as Lady Mayoress of her home city of Leeds in 2000 and in the same year was awarded an MBE for her charity work at hospitals in Manchester and Leeds. The actress said she was 'thrilled and honoured' to be asked to become Mayoress. 'It's my home city and this means so much to me.' Liz suffered a heart attack in 2013 while on holiday with her husband in Spain. She subsequently had a pacemaker fitted. In 2015, she came out of retirement to make a cameo appearance in Coronation Street's rival soap Emmerdale. She appeared in the Christmas Day episode as a demanding guest named Mrs Winterbottom, who stayed at Eric Pollard's B&B. 'There's only one show I'd come out of retirement for and it's Emmerdale, particularly as I've celebrated my seventy sixth birthday this week so I wanted to mark the occasion,' she said. Dawn is survived by her husband, Don, her four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Tony Booth, who has died aged eighty, made his mark as an actor through personifying a particular British stereotype. This came through his part in the BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part (1966 to 1975), written by Johnny Speight, in which he played the leftie Randy Scouse Git son-in-law of racist bigot Alf Garnett, played by the late Warren Mitchell. Booth's character, Mike Rawlins, was a crafty ne'er do well, not ill-natured but full of glib permissive cliches and doomed to little or make nothing of his life and that of his wife, Rita (Una Stubbs). While Mitchell survived Alf to play other significant roles, Tony seemed to become trapped in the mould of irresponsibility.
The public became more used to reading about his real-life misfortunes than watching him perform. And there were plenty of them. They included bankruptcy after his racehorse had failed to win, prosecutions for drunkenness and an incident when he set fire to himself at home. At the time of his death, had been suffering from Alzheimer's for more than ten years and had also suffered heart problems. Tony had a fifty-year acting career and appeared in numerous TV shows including Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale, The Professionals and The Bill. He was also a political activist and the father of Cherie Booth and father-in-law to ex-prime minister Tony Blair. Tony Booth often spoke out against his son-in-law's government and wrote about their life in Downing Street in his autobiography What's Left? He campaigned to raise the state pension and criticised the government over The Iraq War. But he was close to his daughter and was at her side for events including when she was sworn in as a QC. A statement released on behalf of his wife Steph Booth said he had 'passed away late last night with close family members in attendance.' The statement added: 'The family ask for their privacy to be respected at this time.'
Tony was born in a two-up, two-down in Jubilee Road, Liverpool in 1931. It was part of a long terrace occupied mainly by Catholics of Irish descent and this was the background of his mother, Vera; his father, George, was a merchant seaman. Tony was taught Latin from the age of six, as preparation for becoming a priest, in a nursing home run by nuns. He spent a year in Fazakerley Hospital after being admitted for diphtheria, which he did not have, but which he had contracted, along with scarlet fever and mumps, by the time he was discharged. He read enthusiastically from the library. His father was often out of work and forced into window-cleaning, until the second world war came and the demand for merchant ships improved. Tony's maternal grandfather – who had been involved in the 1926 General Strike and was blacklisted – inspired him towards socialism. His other grandfather was a pacifist, who eventually went into the army as a stretcher-bearer. When he was eleven, Tony went to St Mary's college, Crosby, run by Christian Brothers, where he had to deliver newspapers to pay for his books. He emerged from poverty on the back of a profligate temperament and his acting talent. He spent ten years in provincial rep, where he met the woman he maintained was the love of his life, the actress Pat Phoenix, then on the verge of stardom playing Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street. She appeared in the play A Girl Called Sadie, based on the Somerset Maugham story Rain, as a prostitute; Tony was the young parson out to reform her. They parted after three years, under the pressures of uneven employment. Many years later, he and Phoenix were reunited and remained together as a couple, she becoming his second wife shortly before her death from cancer in 1986.
In the 1960s, he made cinema appearances in Mix Me A Person, The Partner, Suspect and The L-Shaped Room and in popular TV series such as The Infamous John Friend, The Plane Makers, Catch Hand, Probation Officer, Z Cars, Dixon Of Dock Green, The Saint, Strangers and The Avengers, along with three episodes of Coronation Street. Through the 1960s, he canvassed for the Labour Party. It was after a Labour rally at Wembley that he met Speight, who told him of his plans for Till Death Us Do Part and asked him to play the cockney son-in-law of Alf. Booth suggested he change the character to a Liverpudlian, which he did. Though he did not find a role to compare with it, he continued to work as an actor. He appeared as Sidney Noggett in Confessions Of A Window Cleaner (1974) alongside Robin Askwith, followed by three more films in the series of sort-core comedies and, in latter years, showed up in such TV series as Heartbeat, Dalziel & Pascoe, Mersey Beat, Doctors, Moving On, Family Affairs and Holby City. Booth first met Tony Blair in 1979 and arranged a lunch for him with the MP Tom Pendry, at the Gay Hussar in London. Blair was persuaded to contest a by-election at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire in 1982, which he had no hope of winning. Booth canvassed for him a year later when he won Sedgefield in Durham. When Pat Phoenix died in 1986, Blair was with Cherie at the funeral. Booth's Old Labour views and willingness to throw them at Blair sometimes attracted a sharper tongue than the future PM displayed in parliament. Once, Booth persuaded one of his daughters to ask Blair: 'What will you do for pensioners like my daddy?' Blair allegedly replied: 'For your father, euthanasia. For the rest, we'll do the best we can!' He gave free rein to his political views in his two autobiographies, Stroll On (1989, updated in 1997 as Labour Of Love on the back of his son-in-law's general election victory), and What's Left? (2002). In 2004 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and six years latter he suffered a stroke. In 1954, he married the actress Gale Howard. They had two daughters, Cherie and Lyndsey and later divorced. He had five daughters with various partners whom he did not marry: with Julie Allan, Jenia and Bronwen; with Pamela Smith (the model Susie Riley), Lauren and Emma and with Ann Gannon, Lucy. In 1988 he married Nancy Jaeger and they had another daughter, Joanna. After their divorce, in 1998 he married his fourth wife, Stephanie Buckley, a Labour Party worker. He is survived by Stephanie and his eight daughters.
Jack Good, the pioneering British TV producer behind the pioneering music shows The Six-Five Special, Oh Boy! and Shindig! has died. Jack was born in Greenford and joined the BBC on what was originally intended to be an early Saturday evening magazine-format style show The Six-Five Special, presented by Josephine Douglas and Peter Murray and featuring the music of Dong Lang & His Frantic Five. Television then was live, so once the programme started, Good kept it as impromptu as possible. The running order was sketched out on Friday morning, then the only complete run-through occurred immediately before transmission. The show launched the hand-jive in Britain and Good even wrote an instruction book, Hand Jive At Fix-Five. Although Jack had given the BBC a show that was attracting twelve million viewers, he was being paid only the standard BBC staff fee of eighteen quid a week. So, he left for independent television and launched Oh Boy! in June 1958 for the ITV franchise holder Associated British Corporation. After trial broadcasts in the Midlands, it went national, in direct competition with The Six-Five Special on Saturday evenings. The Six-Five Special had included rock 'n' roll performances but mixed with jazz, skiffle and crooners but, with Oh Boy! the gloves were off. The programmes were broadcast live from the Hackney Empire and made stars of regulars like a teenage Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury. It caused a sensation - Richard's legendary sensual, pouting performance of 'Turn Me Loose' in the style of Elvis outraged half the nation and enthralled the other half. Newspapers described the programme as morally corrupt and questions were asked in parliament. The viewing figures, needless to say, were massive. Each show was twenty six minutes long and no song lasted more than around one minute so that teenage viewers wouldn't get bored and switch over. Good also played and recorded with the programme's resident band, Lord Rockingham's XI. Their hit singles included 'Fried Onions' and the UK number one, 'Hoots Mon'. But, all Good-produced things come to an end and when ITV replaced the show in September 1959 with the much more family-friendly Boy Meets Girls, people wondered whether Good had lost his touch. He later claimed that his wife, Margit, had persuaded him that rock 'n' roll was 'on the way out' and e should adopt a more middle-of-the-road approach. In the early 1960s, Jack wrote a column for Disc, the weekly UK pop magazine. In 1964, he made the one-off Around The Beatles (featuring a popular beat combo of the era, you might've heard of them), but regular rock 'n' roll television in the UK was now being championed by Ready Steady Go!, which made heavy use of many of the techniques that Jack had first pioneered in Oh Boy! Good went to the United States in 1962, where he spent fifteen thousand dollars of his own money to produce a pilot show for the American market. After trying for a year to persuade television executives to take on the show, he gave up and returned to the UK. A year later, a disc jockey gave a videotape of the pilot show to an American television executive, who promptly sent for Good. This led to the broadcasting of the first episode of Shindig!, broadcast by ABC in September 1964. Shindig! had a half-hour spot until January 1965, when it was extended to an hour, before switching to twice-weekly half-hour episodes in the autumn. Later shows were taped in Britain with The Be-Atles and other British Invasion bands and performers including The Who, The Rolling Stones and Cilla Black. However, Jack subsequently fell out with ABC executives and walked. The show could not survive without Good's dynamic influence and it was cancelled in January 1966 and replaced by Batman series. He moved permanently to America and produced the rarely seen television special Thirty Three & A Third Revolutions Per Monkee. He was a subject of This Is Your Life in March 1970 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews. He later became a musical theatrical producer creating Good Rockin' Tonite, Oh Boy!, Elvis: The Musical and Catch My Soul, which was also made into a film. He made cameo acting appearances as an uptight naval officer in the comedy film Father Goose (1966) and in the Elvis Presley vehicle Clambake (1967). Good subsequently converted to Roman Catholicism and devoted much of his time to Christianity and icon painting, including a wall painting portraying the television as the Devil. His paintings have been exhibited at the Rancho de Chimayó gallery alongside those of painter Antonio Roybal. He lived in New Mexico for many years, but returned to England to live in Oxfordshire.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sour Lemons

Russell Davies has called the - almost entirely media-created - 'backlash' over the casting of a female lead character on Doctor Who 'outrageous.' And, he's dead right, it is. Earlier this year, it was revealed that yer actual Jodie Whittaker would be replacing Peter Capaldi to become the new Doctor - the first ever female ladygirl regeneration of the Time Lord - during this year's Christmas special. You might have noticed. It's been in all the papers and everything. Anyway, following the announcement, there was much praise for the decision, both inside Doctor Who fandom and further afield, with a number of famous faces - and, many not so famous - vocal in their support of the refreshing and progressive change. This blog, for instance, has been - and will continue to be - hugely supportive of Jodie and the production for being daring and keeping Doctor Who (a format which, you know, thrives on regular change) fresh and inventive. It is interesting, is it not, that one of the main reasons regularly given as to why Doctor Who has been able to survive for so long in the brutal, cut-throat world of TV drama is that every few years it completely reinvents itself via the re-casting of the title character. And yet - almost without exception - each time this happens, some planks whinge about the change and declare what is to come is 'not Doctor Who.' Such declarations - from, this blogger repeats, no one of any consequence - would actually be funny if they weren't so risible and agenda-soaked in their nasty, mind-spirited twattery.
The decision did, of course, prompt just some whinging from 'certain sections' of the long-running family SF drama's fandom (for which read 'bigoted arsehole scum', basically). But, according to former showrunner Big Rusty, the whinging naysayers were 'few and far between.' Davies dismisses such negative reactions to Whittaker's casting, telling Radio Times that the 'fuss' was only 'caused' by louse scum-of-the-Earth journalists 'looking for a story.' It is a sentiment which he shares with The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE), who previously stated there was 'no backlash at all.' And, in his own small way, also by this blogger who, when he appeared on BBC Newcastle's Breakfast Show to discuss Jodie's casting the day after the announcement was made, chided his old mucker Alfie Joey for making such a big deal about 'an actress [being] cast in a TV show' and suggested that a story is not a story simply because some glake at BBC News 24 decides to read out, on-air, half-a-dozen tweets from whinging malcontents and school bullies in their forties. Ooh, fair vexed, so yer actual Keith Telly Topping was. Had his mad right up, so he did. Scornful of the miltiary-industrial-entertainment complex, this blogger was as he spake righteously, to the masses ... and all that. Mind you, this blogger's temper wasn't helped by Alf using the dreaded 'W' word either! 'The only people making a fuss were, to be honest, journalists, saying "what about the fuss?"' Big Rusty insisted, correctly. 'There wasn't one. What a different world we live in; how magical.' To support his assertion, Davies cited numerous encounters he has had with fans of the series who were supportive of Whittaker's casting. 'I've been in Cardiff recently and there's a lot of fans flocking into Cardiff because they're about to close The Doctor Who Experience, so a lot of people are going to see it for the last time,' Russell said. 'So, a higher number of fans than average walking around The Bay. And, they're very nice, some of them stop me for autographs and things like that and every single one of them is excited about [Jodie's casting]. That's something that doesn't get said often enough. The five people making a fuss - and the five people making headlines - do not represent the vast body of fandom, who are genuinely happy and genuinely excited. Men, women, kids, all ages - I've met them. And they're properly looking forward to next year.' Subsequently, speaking to Frank Skinner on his Absolute Radio podcast, Russell added: 'I am on a book tour for this Doctor Who book, so last night there were two hundred fans with no doubt [that Whittaker will be brilliant]. I am really tired of the objections. It's outrageous to me. You meet the fans and they are very, very happy that this is happening. Maybe ten people online with different aliases are spouting saying you've ruining the programme and it's all that gets reported.' Elsewhere in the interview, Davies was asked how he felt about some of his narrative choices being retroactively changed by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) during his time as showrunner, specifically relating to Gallifrey's salvation in The Day Of The Doctor. 'When you leave Doctor Who, you have to take a deep breath and think it's all up for grabs now, it's all there to be rewritten,' he said. 'It was interesting. I love that episode. It wasn't so much the Time Lords disappearing, it was all The Daleks shooting themselves. It was like, couldn't any of them [have] missed?'
Good meets evil in the first photo of Michael Sheen and David Tennant as they will appear in the upcoming TV adaptation of cult novel Good Omens. Tennant plays the demon Crowley, while Sheen is the angel Aziraphale in the latest incarnation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's fantasy. Shooting has begun in London on the BBC/Amazon co-production. Miranda Richardson, Michael McKean and, tragically, That Bloody Jack Whitehall also have roles in the six-part series. Which is really annoying as one is sure the odious lanky streak of piss will pull his usual trick of ruining programmes in which he appears. Based on Pratchett and Gaiman's 1990 collaboration, Good Omens sees its two lead characters join forces to prevent an apocalypse. Gaiman, the series' writer and showrunner, said that Sheen and Tennant made 'one hell of a double act (or do I mean one made in Heaven?)' He added: 'People have fallen in love with an angel and a demon in a book by Terry Pratchett and me and they have been excited and nervous to see how they would appear on-screen.' He explained that Sheen would make 'the best and finest of bookseller angels,' while national heartthrob Tennant was 'the coolest and most delightful of demons.' Gaiman also posted another picture of himself with Terry Pratchett's personal assistant Rob Wilkins in St James's Park in London, where the opening scenes were being filmed. Sir Terry Pratchett, the best-selling creator of the Discworld series, was involved in the development of the show before his death in 2015. The programme will launch on Amazon Prime in 2019. It will then be shown on BBC2 'at a later date.' A radio adaptation of the novel, first broadcast in 2014, featured Peter Serafinowicz and Mark Heap as Crowley and Aziraphale respectively. A proposed film version, to have been directed by Terry Gilliam, failed to get off the ground in the early 2000s.
Meanwhile, this week, in Los Angeles, there was 'a meeting of old colleagues.' Which was nice. Cast the lad in whatever you do next, Steven, he's quite talented.
Jodie Whittaker's casting as the next Doctor was widely praised and a very welcome decision - see above - and, naturally, yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch was asked about his views on a gender-swapped version of his own most famous character. 'Why not?' he told Radio Times. 'I don't care! Sherlockina. It's coming to you soon.' The future of Sherlock in its current form is still up in the air, with no word yet on whether or not a fifth series is happening. And, nor is there likely to be one for some time to come. Mark Gatiss previously suggested that any continuation of the show is 'not a sure thing,' saying that scheduling is 'a nightmare.' Speaking to UKTV podcast A Stab In The Dark at the time, Mark revealed: 'It's not lack of will; it's a nightmare to schedule. It was very, very hard to schedule the last series, because of Martin and Benedict's availability. And Steve's. And mine. There is always that Fawlty Towers principle of, "Let's just leave it." We've had the keys to Baker Street for a while, but one of the wonderful things is that they're always shared. They were shared while we were making it. There's nothing wrong with saying, "That was our version, somebody out there go and do their version."'
Benedict, of course, has everything going for him. Yet the Sherlock star says that he is his own worst critic, according to an interview he gave to the BBC News website. The actor says he is even harder on himself than the harshest online troll. 'Online troll,' incidentally, is generic media-speak for anyone on the Internet who dares to criticise anyone else. For anything. This can range from someone issuing death threats or the vilest of sexual insults to someone - a licence fee payer, for example, one of those annoying 'little people' who pay TV talent's wages - saying 'hey, he/she wasn't very good in that thing I watched last night.' Just, you know, an observation. Anyway, Benny is looking at his work in a new light thanks to his production company, SunnyMarch, which is behind The Child In Time which started this week. The forty one-year-old not only plays the lead role in the first TV adaptation of an Ian McEwan novel, but is the BBC1 drama's executive producer as well. Benny stars as Stephen Lewis, a children's author whose world falls apart when his four-year-old daughter goes missing in a supermarket. Hence, the plethora of interviews he was doing with all manner of media outlets.
While Benny made his name on TV through Sherlock, he has varied his work in the years since, whether it be on the stage or the big screen. However, he has returned to the small screen for The Child In Time, and he has assured his fans that he will keep doing TV in the future. 'I just think, fuck it, it's acting - and, if it's good material, it's good material,' he told press at a screening of his new series. 'I don't know many people that now have a snobbery about it and I think it's their loss if they do, especially with this kind of offering. The lines are blurred and the opportunities to do good work is there, whatever medium - radio, television, film or stage.' The actor went on to discuss what it was like to tackle the difficult subject matter of his current role. 'You would hope that people take something positive away from it,' he continued. 'It will be difficult for some people to watch, as well as - I hope - uplifting and inspiring. Because of the hope and the humanity of it, I hope people realise it's not just being bored down into the depths of what these people experience at the worst of times, but also about the very real, shining light of hope that appears on occasion. I'm running outside into a busy street and people are going, "Can I have a selfie?" That was hard, that was difficult. whispers: "Not now - I'm acting!"'
David Lynch has revealed why the late David Bowie wanted the voice of his Twin Peaks character dubbed for his cameo in the revival series. Bowie played the FBI agent Phillip Jeffries in movie spin-off Fire Walk With Me in 1992 and Lynch was keen on the singer returning for the show's third series which was broadcast this year. Unknown to Lynch at the time, Bowie was suffering from terminal cancer so declined to film any scenes for the revival. But it may surprise some fans that the singer also declined to record a voiceover for that weird scene where Dale Cooper talks to Jeffries who had now, seemingly, transformed himself into a giant teapot. As it turns out, Twin Peaks' co-creator believes he knows the real reason why Bowie didn't want his voice used in the revival. Speaking to Pitchfork, Lynch suggested that David was self-conscious of the Louisiana accent he adopted for the part. 'We got permission to use the old footage, but [Bowie] didn't want his voice used in it,' said Lynch. 'I think someone must have made him feel bad about his Louisiana accent in Fire Walk With Me, but I think it's so beautiful. He wanted to have it done by a legitimate actor from Louisiana, so that's what we had to do. The guy [voice actor Nathan Frizzell] did a great job. [Bowie] was unique, like Elvis was unique,' Lynch added. 'There's something about him that's so different from everybody else. I only met him during the time I worked with him and just a couple of other times, but he was such a good guy, so easy to talk to and regular. I just wish he was still around and that I could work with him again.'
'Honestly, you two, why can't you just go to the cinema like normal teenagers?' Gotham returned for its fourth series in the US this week, dear blog reader, and a preview copy of the first episode turned up at Stately Telly Topping Manor a couple of days after its American broadcast. And, verily, the episode was a right corker, so it was. Particularly impressive was a gradual development of the evolution of Bruce and Selina into Batman and Catwoman. But, there were lots of other terrific bits and pieces, too. And, it's nice to see that the chap in the music department is still perpetuating his love for British punk, post-punk and indie to the masses with the inclusion on the soundtrack of a quality bit of Pigbag. Tasty.
Crime boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) was, seemingly, killed off back in series one of Gotham during a showdown with Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), only to be resurrected by Hugo Strange, to the dismay of many viewers who felt that the character was bloody awful, composed of one hundred per cent recycled cardboard and was a blot on an, otherwise brilliant and inventive drama. But, even Fish can't dodge death forever. The killer was, her very self, killed - again - last series courtesy of a dagger thrust (hard) into her stomach by yer actual Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) just as The Tetch Virus swept through Gotham City. Will the third time be a charm? Apparently not, because producer John Stephens has sworn to the ComicBook website that Mooney's second slaying really was final. Honest. 'I'm afraid that's it,' Stephens said, a millions cheered. 'That one was it. At a certain point, you gotta say "Definitely."' He then added: 'People die at a certain point and that's the second or third time they die [on Gotham].'
TV quiz moment of the week. Number one: 'In which 1970s television series did a band of space renegades travel the galaxy on the spaceship The Liberator and fight back against the totalitarian Terran Federation?' asked Mastermind host John Humphreys. The answer, of course, is Blake's Seven - you knew that, right? - but this blogger has a confession to make. He'd really like to see a version of Joe 90 - the contestant's, rather panic-stricken incorrect answer - which featured that plot.
TV quiz moment of the week. Number two: The 'Agadoo' round on Only Connect. Particularly when The Divine Victoria started doing all the actions!
Here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Five programmes broadcast in the week-ending Sunday 17 September 2017:-
1 Doctor Foster - Tues BBC1 - 8.75m
2 The Great British Bake-Off - Tues Channel Four - 8.11m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.76m
4 EastEnders - Thurs BBC1 - 7.44m
5 The X-Factor - Sat ITV - 7.38m
6 Liar - Mon ITV - 7.37m
7 Strike: The Silkworm - Sun BBC1 - 7.21m
8 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.49m
9 Victoria - Sun ITV - 6.23m
10 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.92m
11 Z-List Celebrity MasterChef - Wed BBC1 - 5.13m
12 Rellik - Mon BBC1 - 4.96m
13 Six O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.82m
14 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.81m
15 Casualty - Sat BBc1 - 4.70m
16 Fake Or Fortune? - Sun BBC1 - 4.52m
17= Cold Feet - Fri ITV - 4.50m
17= Ambulance - Thurs BBC1 - 4.50m
19= Ten O'Clock News - Fri BBC1 - 4.42m
19= Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.42m
21 Even Better Than The Real Thing - Sat BBC1 - 4.05m
22 Safe House - Thurs ITV - 3.71m
23 The ONE Show - Tues BBC1 - 3.67m
24 How To Stay Young - Wed BBC1 - 3.65m
25 Match Of The Day - Sat 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. Don't ask this blogger why, dear blog reader, they just don't all right? ITV's The X-Factor drew an audience of 6.90 million viewers for its Sunday episode. On BBC2, University Challenge had a total audience of 2.63 million punters. Gardeners' World (1.88 million), Saving Lives At Sea (1.85 million) and World's Busiest Cities (1.80 million) followed. Only Connect was watched by 1.76 million, both Upstart Crow and Mastermind by by 1.74 million, Mountain: Life At The Extreme, by 1.62 million, This Farming Life by 1.50 million, Mock The Week by 1.49 million, The Big Family Cooking Showdown by 1.48 million and Tribes, Predators & Me by 1.39 million. Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast was, as usual, for The Great British Bake Off - down by around three hundred thousand punters on the previous week's episode but, nevertheless, still an 'uge figure for C4. F1: The Singapore Grand Prix Live coverage (2.63 million) and Gogglebox (2.49 million) followed. Speed With Guy Martin: F1 Challenge had 2.33 million, Z-List Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls, 2.09 million, Grand Designs, 1.93 million, The Undateables, 1.84 million and Educating Greater Manchester, 1.80 million. Lego Masters drew 1.73 million, Location, Location, Location, 1.52 million, the opening episode of Electric Dreams, 1.49 million, Superfoods: The Real Story, 1.41 million and World War II's Great Escapes: The Freedom Trails, 1.36 million. Channel Five's top performer was Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away!, with an audience of 1.69 million. Paddington Station 24/7, Cruising With Jane McDonald, GPs: Behind Closed Doors and Inside Balmoral rounded-off Five's most-watching list with audiences of 1.60 million, 1.56 million, 1.39 million and 1.22 million. Z-List Celebrity Five Go Motorhoming was watched by 1.16 million. All of whom should be sodding-well ashamed of themselves. Sky Sports Premier League's top-ten was headed by The Scum's four-nil victory over Everton-Soft-As-Toffees with four hundred thousand, plus eight hundred and seventy one thousand on Sky Sports Main Events. Moscow Chelski FC's goalless draw with The Arse had three hundred and twenty four thousand (plus five hundred and seventy six thousand on Main Event), West Hamsters United's first victory of the league season, against Huddersfield Town, one hundred and sixty four thousand (with three hundred and eighty seven thousand on Main Event) and Crystal Palace Nil's home defeat to Southampton, one hundred and thirty four thousand (plus two hundred and ninety six thousand on Main Event). The Sky Sports Football Channel's Live EFL: Barnsley Versus Aston Villains attracted fifty four thousand punters whilst Real Sociedad Versus Real Madrid attracted fifty one thousand. On Sky Sports Cricket the channel's highest audience of the week was for Saturday's coverage of Live England Versus West Indies T20 at Chester-Le-Street had two hundred and ninety seven thousand, plus a further one hundred and fifteen thousand on Sky Sports Main Event. Gillette Soccer Saturday attracted three hundred and forty seven thousand punters on Sky Sports News HQ, plus one hundred and ninety seven thousand on the Premier League channel and one hundred and sixty three thousand on Sky Sports Football. Live Singapore Grand Prix was seen by six hundred and ninety three thousand punters on Sky Sports F1 whilst an additional one hundred and fifty thousand punters watched the simultcast on Sky Sports Mix. Live NFL: New England Versus new Orleans attracted seventy six thousand viewers on Sky Sports Action. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by the return of worthless, rancid puddle of festering spew A League Of Their Own, watched by a truly appalling nine hundred and eight thousand punters - every single one of whom need to take a good, hard look in the mirror for any remote signs of common sense. The equally worthless, unfunny and rotten Stella drew nine hundred and five thousand viewers. For shame, people, for shame. The Last Ship was seen by four hundred and sixty three thousand, The Simpsons, by four hundred and fifteen thousand and Zoo by four hundred and four thousand. Sky Atlantic's list, after a week of being missing-in-action, was topped by episode of two of the intriguing Tin Star with four hundred and one thousand. A repeat of the previous week's series opener was watched by one hundred and twenty thousand. Ballers had two hundred and eight thousand, Ray Donovan, two hundred and three thousand, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, one hundred and eighteen thousand and a Game Of Thrones repeat, eighty eight thousand. On Sky Living, Chicago Fire drew by four hundred and seventy nine thousand whilst Nashville had two hundred and seventy six thousand. How To Get Away With Murder attracted one hundred and ninety one thousand and My Kitchen Rules Australia was seen by one hundred and fifty six thousand. Sky Arts' The Making Of Marc Bolan was viewed by eighty five thousand viewers. The equally worthwhile Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story drew thirty four thousand, as did The Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (nine hundred and forty five thousand viewers). Foyle's War was seen by five hundred and eighty three thousand and Agatha Christie's Marple by four hundred and seventy one thousand. One of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourite movies, Diamonds Are Forever drew three hundred and ninety one thousand lovers of Plenty O'Toole to ITV4. ITV2's top-ten was headed by the return of full-of-its-own-importance bucket of diarrhoea, Z-List Celebrity Juice, seen by 1.24 million sad, crushed victims of society. Family Guy had six hundred and twenty four thousand and the movie Gravity, four hundred and ninety six thousand. Heartbeat headed ITV Encore's top ten with sixty two thousand viewers, followed by Poirot (fifty thousand) and Whitechapel (forty six thousand). Worthless, shallow, stinking smear of appalling faeces, The Only Way Is Essex, was viewed by nine hundred and twenty one thousand of exactly the sort of specimens who enjoy such risible exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. Similarly tripe conceit, The Real Housewives Of Cheshire was seen by five hundred and forty seven thousand. Broken Britain in a sentence, dear blog reader. BBC4's list was headed by the opening two episodes of the channel's latest drama import, Black Lake (1.04 million viewers and eight hundred and seventy six thousand viewers respectively). Britain's Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates & Rogues had six hundred and nineteen thousand and Marc Bolan: Cosmic Dancer, five hundred and forty two thousand. Glam Rock At The BBC drew four hundred and fifty eight thousand and Dangerous Earth, four hundred and thirty five thousand. India's Frontier Railways was seen by three hundred and ninety six thousand. The Normans drew three hundred and ninety one thousand, Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions attracted three hundred and eighty one thousand and Andrew Marr's The Making Of Modern Britain, three hundred and forty five thousand. 5USA's latest Chicago PD episode was viewed by five hundred and fifty five thousand punters, NCIS: Los Angeles by four hundred and eighty three thousand, Castle by four hundred and fifty one thousand and NCIS: New Orleans by four hundred and one thousand. On Five Star, Home & Away scored four hundred and seventy two thousand Bruces and Sheilas. Ripper. NCIS topped the most-watched programme list of CBS Action (one hundred thousand). Medium attracted seventy eight thousand on CBS Drama. For the FOX Channel, American Horror Story: Cult was watched by three hundred and thirteen thousand. Lucifer had two hundred and twenty six thousand and American Dad!, two hundred and nineteen thousand. Murder In The First was watched by one hundred and sixty nine thousand viewers. The second series of Private Eyes continued with two hundred and fifty five thousand viewers on The Universal Channel, followed by Chicago Justice (one hundred and one thousand) and NCIS (ninety one thousand). On Dave, funny as a geet ugly red wart on the bell-end Taskmaster was watched by seven hundred and sixty thousand, Not Going Out by three hundred and thirty thousand, Mock The Week by three hundred and eighteen thousand and Top Gear: Middle East Special, by two hundred and seventy five thousand. Drama's Inspector George Gently was seen by six hundred and seven thousand viewers and Father Brown by four hundred and forty eight thousand. Murdoch Mysteries was watched by four hundred and seven thousand and Life On Mars by two hundred and fifty eight thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme of the week was, as usual, Rosewood (two hundred and sixty thousand) whilst Death In Paradise had one hundred and ninety three thousand and Maisie Raine, ninety thousand. Sony TV's top ten was headed by S.W.A.T (fifty one thousand). Yesterday's repeat run of Fawlty Towers continued with two hundred and eighty two thousand, whilst Monty Python's Best Bits attracted two hundred and nineteen thousand and Jackie Stewart: The Flying Scot, one hundred and seventy one thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Garage Rehab was seen by one hundred and forty two thousand viewers. Gold Divers - and that bloody annoying woman - had one hundred and forty one thousand, Misfit Garage, one hundred and eleven thousand, Carspotting, sixty four thousand and Diesel Brothers sixty two thousand. From The North fave Wheeler Dealers appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (fifty two thousand) and Discovery Turbo (twenty two thousand). Discovery History's The Falklands War headed the top ten with thirty one thousand. Diana: Tragedy Or Treason? attracted twenty three thousand people who, presumably, had spent the previous fortnight watching all of the other six hundred and twenty eight million programmes about the late Princess Of Wales and just couldn't resist one more. Top Tens, Ultimate Warfare and Weapons Of War all had nineteen thousand viewers. On Discovery Science, How It's Made was seen by thirty eight thousand. On Quest, Salvage Hunters was watched by three hundred and seventy one thousand. Pick's Warehouse Thirteen had an audience of three hundred and twenty nine thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by Air Crash Investigations and Seconds From Disaster. They were watched by fifty three thousand and forty six thousand respectively. National Geographic Wild's Snakes In The City was viewed by forty three thousand. The History Channel's most-seen programmes were Forged In Fire (one hundred and eighty four thousand) and American Ripper In London (one hundred and forty six thousand). The Lost Evidence on the Military History channel was seen by twenty four thousand punters and Hitler's War by eighteen thousand. Homicide: Hours To Kill, Crimes That Shook The Shit Out Of Britain, A Town & Country Murder and The First Forty Eight were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with sixty six thousand, fifty one thousand, forty eight thousand and forty two thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. Faking It: Tears Of A Crime, American Monster, The Perfect Murder and Coroner: I Squeak For The Dead headed Investigation Discovery's list (one hundred and forty four thousand, ninety nine thousand, eighty two thousand and eighty two thousand respectively). Whether the latter two programmes had exactly the same eighty two thousand punters watching is not, at this time, known. It's not impossible given the subject matter but, to be fair, if they did then that would be a case worthy of investigation by Mulder and Scully. GOLD's the documentary The Story Of Only Fools & Horses had five hundred and twenty nine thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers with two hundred and forty seven thousand. Your TV's repeat of Bones series five continued with eighty five thousand viewers. On More4, Outlander was the highest-rated programme with six hundred and sixty two thousand. Four In A Bed had three hundred and eighty two thousand and Nine/Eleven: One Hundred & Two Minutes That Changed America, three hundred and eighty one thousand. E4's list was topped by Hollyoakes (eight hundred and ninety five thousand). The latest episode of Midnight Texas, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and sixty three thousand. The Horror Channel's weekly list was topped by an episode of Star Trek: Voyager (one hundred and sixty thousand) in a top ten that also included Cherry Tree (one hundred and sixty one thousand), Big Ass Spider! (one hundred and sixteen thousand), an episode of The Invaders (one hundred and thirteen thousand) and Gallow Walkers (one hundred and three thousand). Our Relations, Sons Of The Desert, Scotland Yard and Block-Heads topped Talking Pictures list, with eighty thousand, seventy two thousand, fifty eight thousand and forty nine thousand respectively. The movie Joe Kidd had one hundred and seventy one thousand on Spike. Walking With Beasts was viewed by thirty eight thousand on Eden, whilst Wonders Of The Solar System had thirty four thousand. Bondi Vet was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with forty seven thousand. One trusts that those who watched that also enjoyed MasterChef Australia on W, which attracted two hundred and seventy thousand punters. Throw another dingo on the Barbie, cobber. True Crime's Fatal Attraction was seen by eighty three thousand viewers. On True Entertainment, Taggart, was watched by one hundred and thirty thousand. A repeat of an old episode of Ricj Stein's Spain drew sixty nine thousand on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by the utterly vile and worthless Mama June: From Not To Hot (with one hundred and seventy four thousand). Shameful waste-of-oxygen shat-splat Geordie Shore on MTV was viewed by six hundred and fifty nine thousand geet planks whilst equally worthless Teen Mom UK had two hundred and forty five thousand. Helicopter ER was seen by two hundred and eighteen thousand on Really. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated had one hundred and thirty eight thousand viewers on Boomerang. Zoinks! Lancaster: Reunion Of The Giants and Thirteen Hours That Saved Britain topped PBS America's weekly list with eighteen thousand viewers and fourteen thousand viewers. On Cbeebies, Octonauts was seen by five hundred and thirty six thousand, Topsy & Tim by five hundred and seven thousand and Clangers by four hundred and ninety three thousand. Power Rangers: Ninja Steel! had one hundred and forty nine thousand on the Pop Channel. On AMC, Fear The Walking Dead was watched by thirty four thousand. Hardcore Pawn drew one hundred and twenty eight thousand punters on Blaze. Total Bellas attracted ninety three thousand viewers on E! whilst Life Of Kylie had seventy five thousand. Dance Moms had one hundred and eighteen thousand on Lifetime. Good Charlotte: Spankin' New Video attracted twelve thousand on Scuzz. Sully was watched by five hundred and eighty seven thousand punters on Sky Movies Premiere.

A new drama series about the hunt for the serial killer Levi Bellfield is heading to ITV and Martin Clunes is to play the lead. Manhunt will see Clunes play Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton, the lead detective on the investigation into the 2004 murder of Amelie Delagrange, which was eventually linked to the murders of Marsha McDonnell and the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler. Sutton was assigned to the case of Amelie's death despite being relatively inexperienced in murder investigation and made the connection between the sick and sordid crimes when superior officers did not. Milly Dowler, a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl from Surrey, was reported missing in March 2002, before her remains were found six months later in woodland, while Marsha McDonnell died after being attacked near her home in London. Sutton worked tirelessly to bring Bellfield to justice for the murders of all three women. Written by Silent Witness's Ed Whitmore, Manhunt will begin filming in March 2018. ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill said of Manhunt: 'It is a powerful, compelling script from Ed Whitmore, which illustrates how a dedicated and resilient police officer was determined to leave no stone unturned. I am delighted that Martin Clunes is to play Colin Sutton, in what will be a powerful and unmissable performance.' Earlier this year, Clunes confirmed that the upcoming eighth series of Doc Martin will be its 'second-to-last,' before a final batch of episodes is expected to debut some time next year.
A writer for the TV series Hannibal has 'revealed' (for which read 'claimed') that Bryan Fuller 'has a great idea' for the show's potential fourth series. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Nick Antosca said he 'knows' what the idea is and confirmed that there are talks about the drama coming back. 'I've heard there are talks,' claimed Antosca. 'I know Bryan Fuller has a great idea for what the fourth season would be and Bryan, Don Mancini, Steve Lightfoot, all those people - and me of course - are hoping that we get to do it. I know what the idea is - I mean, unless he's changed it. He had a very cool idea that we would have done had he gotten another season.' Make a sentence from the following words: 'see it', 'believe it', 'when I', 'I'll.' Hannibal - of which this blogger was a major fanboy - ran for three series on NBC before it was extremely cancelled in 2015. Since then, a grassroots movement to get the show back on-air has, allegedly, inspired series creator Fuller to shop the series around to other distributors. Last month, Fuller revealed conversations about the show's continuation have started and even teased his great idea for Mads Mikkelsen's character in series four. 'I have conversations with [Hannibal executive producer] Martha De Laurentiis,' he said. 'I have conversations with Mads and Hugh [Dancy]. We're all excited about the prospect of returning to the story. There's some hurdles to get through ... [But] I just had a great idea for season four. There's an interesting next chapter in the relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter that would be fascinating to unpack. I've shared it with the gentlemen and they're both keen on it.'
The Gruniad Morning Star's Fiona Sturges really doesn't like Piers Morgan, seemingly. In which regard, for once, someone at the Gruniad actually is in-tune with the rest of the nation. Well, it had to happen sooner or later did it not? Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Fifi described Morgan as: 'A man so ghastly that even America packaged him up and sent him back with a note saying: "Keep him. He's yours."' Yes, that sounds about right. 'It seems the more he is bounced from one show to another, the more bullying and cartoonishly grotesque he becomes,' continued Sturges in her righteous and stroppy discombobulation. 'Now he has taken to yelling at guests as they try in vain to finish a sentence. On his quieter days, they will get roughly eight seconds to make their point before he starts hurling insults and barking like an elephant seal. Witness him huffing and frothing at the trans model and campaigner Munroe Bergdorf recently and reducing what should have been a thoughtful and nuanced debate about white privilege and racism to: "How dare you insult ME? ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, MEEEEEE!" A few days later, Good Morning Britain's bookers saw fit to invite suited corpse Jacob Rees-Mogg to air his grimly reactionary views on abortion and gay marriage, perhaps because he's the only man in Britain able to make Morgan look vaguely reasonable.' Keyword 'vaguely'.
Greg James and A Dot (no, me neither) have been announced as the hosts of a new, primetime music show on BBC1. Sounds Like Friday Night will be the first regular, mainstream music programme on the BBC since Top Of The Pops was cancelled in 2006. Broadcast live from Television Centre, the new format promises to feature 'the hottest bands and artists in the world,' alongside 'interviews and sketches.' Sounds ghastly. Brit Award-winners Royal Blood (no, me neither) have written the show's theme tune. 'We always imagined doing something like this one day,' said the band. 'It's great that a new show celebrating live music is back at the BBC and creating a home for new bands to build a bigger audience. We're excited to be a part of it.' The show will launch in October. James, who got his break in student radio, has hosted Radio 1's drivetime show since 2012 and also presents The Official Chart Show every Friday. Miss Dot is, apparently, the stage name for Ashley Charles, a rapper (m'lud) who has 'performed with Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot.' Still none the wiser, I'm afraid. Also known as Amplify Dot or Dotty, she currently presents The 1Xtra Breakfast Show, where she has become known for her Prank Calls feature. The two hosts will be joined by a different guest every week, who will take part in sketches, as well as performing live. The format seems similar to Adele At The BBC - which featured a sketch in which Adele auditioned to play her own lookalike. 'We have been missing a primetime music show from our TV screens for far too long so it's fair to say being part of Sounds Like Friday Night is something I'm really, really excited about,' said James in a statement. 'One thing that's fantastic about the show is being able to provide new and emerging acts a home alongside the megastars, introducing them to a new audience.' The new show is being produced by Fulwell Seventy Three, the company behind odious tub of lard James Corden's bafflingly popular US chat show and Carpool Karaoke sketches. It has been in development since 2014, as the corporation searched for a music show format that worked. 'Pop music has no divine right to be on BBC1,' BBC Music boss Bob Shennan told Music Week earlier this year. 'The reality is that, if you stick a succession of performances on one after the other and there's nothing special about it, it's not necessarily going to attract the audience.' 'We want to open [artists] up so you see them for who they are and have fun with them,' said Gabe Turner of Fulwell Seventy Three. 'With the sketches, it's not just presenting a song, but experiencing their world.' 'I'm thrilled to be part of Sounds Like Friday Night,' added this Dot person. 'Each week I'll be meeting fellow music fans from around the UK, getting the lowdown from the viewers on social media and bringing the best music to you at home. I can't wait!' Sounds Like Friday Night has been given an initial run of six episodes - neatly echoing Top Of The Pops, which was commissioned for half-a-dozen episodes in 1964. That programme ended up running for forty two years, registering its highest audience in 1979, when more than nineteen million people tuned in to see Doctor Hook's 'When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman (It's Hard)' topping the chart. Although, in the interests of balance, it should be pointed out that ITV was on strike at the time so the programme didn't have an awful lot of competition that particular week. However, by 2002, it had lost millions of viewers to twenty four-hour music channels like MTV. The show was eventually moved to BBC2 before being cancelled. Since that time many people - mostly now in their forties and fifties who grew up watching Top Of The Pops when they were teenagers but who haven't bought or downloaded a chart single in a couple of decades or more - have bemoaned its passing and whinged for it to return. But, it is always worth remembering the reasons why Top Of The Pop declined and fell in the first place. It had experienced the best part of a decade-and-a-half of diminishing audiences as music fans tended to gravitate towards MTV, VH-1 and other specialist video channels. The BBC tried their best, they gave it different time slots and even switched it to BBC2 with the proviso that it needed to get less viewers on the second channel to be considered a success. And, every time they tried something else with it, the audience shrank further. Also, the nature of Top Of The Pops - groups or singers appearing live-in-the-studio in front of an audience - was seen to be somewhat old-hat as more artists concentrated on making videos rather than actually appearing live. And, although some fortysomethings might quite like the idea of a modern equivalent of Legs & Co or Pans People dancing to the latest X Factor winner who couldn't be bothered to come into TV Centre and mime their single or to some slab of bangin' gangsta rap, perhaps, it's probably fair to say that such an idea would be considered faintly ludicrous by today's teenage pop consumers. To be blunt, the people for whom Top Of The Pops was always, primarily, aimed at never seemed to miss it too much when it was gone. Additionally, of course, since 2006 when Top Of The Pops ended, the whole nature of the singles chart has changed radically, as has the business of actually purchasing and consuming music. These days, if a song is in the charts for more than two weeks it's an exception rather than the rule. Music on the other hand has continued to play a key role on BBC4, with archive episodes of Top Of The Pops appearing alongside numerous - mostly excellent - music documentaries and the new Live Lounge show, which compiles the best live acts on BBC Radio 1. On BBC2, Later ... With Jools Holland is celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary, while coverage of Glastonbury, T In The Park and the Reading and Leeds festivals are televised throughout the summer, usually to very decent audiences. The music industry has received the new format enthusiastically. 'The BBC is a fantastic supporter of British music across its radio output and we have been encouraging senior BBC executives over the last few years to step up and do more to showcase Britain's amazing music culture to the nation on television too,' said Geoff Taylor, head of the BPI, which represents the UK's recorded music industry. 'We are thrilled at this new opportunity for some of this country's unique talent to reach a mainstream TV audience. We wish the series every success in the hope that it will become a long-term fixture on our screens. With Greg James at the helm it should have every chance of doing well.'
Bessie, the vintage car first used by Jon Pertwee's Doctor, has gone on show at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire. The car joins other exhibits in the On Screen Cars exhibition, alongside Mister Bean's Mini, Del Boy Trotter's Reliant Van, James Bond's Jaguar XKR, Harry Potter's Ford Anglia and Elvis Presley's Pink Cadillac. Bessie made her debut in the 1970 story Doctor Who & The Silurians. She became the main form of transport for the Third Doctor during his exile on Earth. At the start of series eleven The Doctor replaced Bessie with a new creation, The Whomobile owned and designed by Mister Pertwee himself. However, Bessie returned for the debut of Tom Baker in Robot at the end of 1974. Bessie was back with Pertwee's Doctor for the twentieth anniversary story, The Five Doctors in 1983, before making her last appearance alongside the Seventh Doctor in Battlefield in 1989. A final appearance came in 1993 with the Children In Need episode Dimensions In Time. Although she looks older, Bessie is actually a 1954 Ford Popular 103E. The car has been fitted with a fibreglass tourer body made by Siva Engineering of Dorset. The four-seater Siva Edwardian body was available in kit form from 1969 until the mid-1970s, allowing any keen DIY mechanic to transform their second-hand Ford, Anglia or Popular into a replica of a much older machine and re-live the pre-war days of motoring. The National Motor Museum is based on the Beaulieu Estate, home of Montagu family, located in The New Forest National Park. Entrance to On Screen Cars is included in a general admission ticket to Beaulieu, which also includes entry to the National Motor Museum with its collection of more than two hundred and fifty vehicles, the new-look World Of Top Gear, the ancestral Montagu home of Palace House, Thirteenth Century Beaulieu Abbey and the grounds and gardens. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping went there in 1970 during a family holiday. It was very nice.
Next week, a Peaky Blinders themed Bar and Grill will be opening in Paignton, reportedly serving fourteen types of whisky – one of which will be forty five per cent proof. Drink that and you, too, will be speaking in a thick Birmingham accent. The bar, situated on Winner Street, holds one hundred and twenty people and will be decorated with 1920s-style decor – complete with a seating area and bespoke furniture bought in from across the UK. The menu will focus on rotisserie chicken dishes, and despite the bar predominately serving whisky to to fit in with the 1920s theme, other spirits, ales and wine will also be available.
FOX News has been hit with another lawsuit after Scottie Nell Hughes, a political commentator, alleged that she was raped by host Charles Payne and that the broadcaster subsequently blacklisted her as a guest. Hughes's lawsuit names Twenty First Century FOX, FOX News and Payne himself among the defendants, adding to existing the sexual and racial harassment scandal facing the Murdochs at FOX. Hughes alleged that Payne 'pressured his way' into her hotel room in New York in July 2013 for 'a private discussion' and, then, sexually assaulted and raped her. FOX and Payne have vigorously denied the allegations. Hughes claims that after she approached FOX's lawyers about the alleged assault she was allegedly blacklisted and no longer appeared on network shows, which 'potentially cost her a job in the Trump administration.' Her claim adds that when she then went public with claims of harassment against Payne, the company leaked to the media that she was 'involved in an affair with him.' E-mails suggesting that she was 'in a consensual relationship' with Payne also became public. The lawsuit says it would be 'misleading and wrong' to describe Hughes and Payne's relationship as 'an affair or consensual relationship.' The sexual harassment scandal at FOX News has led to a string of high-profile figures leaving the company, including the chairman Roger Ailes, who has since died and former leading presenter Bill O'Reilly. The vile and odious rascal Bradley, the UK lack of culture secretary, cited the series of scandals as 'a concern' as she referred FOX's proposed eleven billion smackers takeover of Sky for a lengthy investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority, on the grounds of commitment to broadcasting standards and media plurality. And, whether billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch is a fit and proper person to be running a piss-up in a brewery. James Murdoch The Small, chief executive of FOX, defended the company's handling of the scandal last week, saying that it had dealt with the initial allegations against Ailes 'within two weeks' of Murdoch The Small learning of the claims. 'The first we heard about the Roger Ailes allegations was a New York Times story that a lawsuit was about to be filed and then it was filed,' Murdoch The Small claimed. 'We looked at it, we hired an independent outside law firm to investigate it, we looked at the allegations and in less than two weeks we made the decision and we had to move on from Roger Ailes. That was actually not a hard a decision - what he did was wrong and you just have to say it clear and say it loud, that is unacceptable behaviour in an organisation.' However, Hughes was critical of FOX. In a statement, she said: 'My complaint speaks for itself. What is most important to me is that justice will prevent other women from going through the nightmare I’m now living. On my behalf, Wigdor [the law firm] will expose FOX's unconscionable conduct, including leaking my name to the media. I am grateful to my husband, family, friends and colleagues for the outpouring of love and support.' In response, FOX said that the lawsuit had 'no merit' and is 'downright shameful' and added: 'We will vigorously defend this. It is worth noting that Doug [Wigdor] is Ms Hughes' third representative in the last six months to raise some variation of these claims which concern events from four years ago, since it apparently took some time to find someone willing to file this bogus case.' Payne returned to the FOX Business Network this month, after being suspended pending an investigation. His lawyer said that his client 'vehemently denies any wrongdoing and will defend himself vigorously against this baseless complaint.' The statement added: 'We are confident that when the evidence is presented in this case. Mister Payne will be fully vindicated and these outrageous accusations against him will be confirmed as completely false.' Wigdor criticised FOX's statement. He said: 'FOX cannot spin its way out of this crisis - especially when only FOX is to blame for what happened. The "representatives" that FOX refers to in its statement include her agent and a lawyer not admitted in New York, so the suggestion that Ms Hughes was shopping for a lawyer is yet another desperate attempt at avoiding the real issues and blaming the victim. Sadly, nothing has changed at FOX.'
Big Brother's creator, John De Mol, is to appear in court in a legal dispute over who created ITV's swivel-chair singing show The Voice. On Tuesday, the talent show will be in the spotlight in a case brought by Irishman Roy Barry, who claims that he, rather than the Dutch production company founded by De Mol, Talpa Media, came up with the hit format. For six years, Barry has been pushing for De Mol and other Talpa executives to be questioned in court over who first had the idea for The Voice. The case is significant for ITV because not only does it broadcast The Voice, having poached it from the BBC two years ago, it also bought Talpa Media in 2015. The Voice is a key plank in ITV’s entertainment line-up, having won an average six million viewers when it transferred from BBC1 this year. It and its spin-off, The Voice Kids, are due to return to screens next year. Barry alleges that he filed a copyright in March 2008 for a talent show called The Voice Of America, which featured judges listening to contestants sing from behind screens so they could not see their appearance and also registered a domain name called The Voice Of America. He claims that he lodged the idea with a TV ideas website called TV Writers' Vault and that someone who later went on to work at Talpa 'viewed my format and signed an NDA [non-disclosure agreement].' Barry told the BBC about his claim when it first broadcast The Voice in 2011, but the corporation said that it was 'a matter between him and Talpa,' so he began legal proceedings in the US and in the Netherlands two years ago. At the time, he said that he 'could not believe' ITV took on the show and Talpa with his case outstanding and was 'determined' the case should go to court. De Mol and other Talpa executives associated with The Voice are to give their evidence in a court in the Netherlands rather than in the US for jurisdiction reasons - but the hearing will be held behind closed doors. Legal papers filed show De Mol saying: 'I originally coined the name The Voice of the format, because the programme centred on the singing ability or voice of the contestants regardless of their appearance or personality. I subsequently learned that a third party had registered The Voice as a trademark in Europe. I decided to use the title The Voice Of Holland instead. In the United States, however, there was no trademark impediment to using the title The Voice, so the American version of the television format is called The Voice.' De Mol credits the original idea for The Voice to a Talpa executive called Jeroen Groot, who claims he came up with the concept of a blind audition show in 2008 in a programme provisionally called Idols Without Appearance. However, Dutch singer-songwriter Roel Van Velzen - who is a judge on the show in the Netherlands and will be giving evidence this week - was also given credit (and a bonus) by Talpa for coming up with the idea in 2010 of making sure the judges did not see the contestants. A Talpa spokesperson said: 'We robustly refute this spurious claim, which is completely untrue and baseless and we will vigorously defend our format.' It has also emerged that Talpa is facing a copyright claim from a producer called Anthony Haynes over another series. Haynes alleges he has four years of correspondence with Talpa that show he came up with two ideas they were interested in - a boy/girl band search called Final Five and a reality talent show called On The Spot. Talpa decided not to develop them further, but a year later De Mol announced a new show called The Next Boy/Girl Band, which Haynes claims has similar elements and merges Final Five and On The Spot. In the lucrative world of television formats - where programmes such as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Big Brother can make millions around the world for producers - copyright claims can be difficult to prove. However, Simon Fuller successfully launched a ten million knicker legal action against Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads in 2005, claiming that Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads was attempting to copy Pop Idol by launching The X Factor in the UK. The issue of copyright also reared its head recently after the BBC, having lost The Great British Bake-Off to Channel Four, announced a new Mary Berry-fronted series called Britain's Best Cook. Unnamed - and, therefore almost certainly fictitious - 'sources' quoted by the Gruniad Morning Star claimed that Bake-Off creators Greed Productions 'would be watching closely' when the show was broadcast to see if it bore any resemblance to Bake-Off's format. So, at least it'll have some viewers, then.
The Handmaid's Tale gave Hulu its first ever best drama win at the EMMYs on a night where new shows had the edge over old favourites and political barbs - mostly aimed at President and hairdo Donald Trump - punctuated proceedings. Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel fought off competition from other front-runners including The Crown, Stranger Things and This Is Us to make history by becoming the first show produced by a streaming site to take the evening's most-coveted award. Politics were at the forefront at an evening, which featured a surprise appearance from former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Host Stephen Colbert set the tone with an opening monologue, that repeatedly made fun of the President's long-running annoyance over not winning an EMMY during his time hosting The Apprentice. 'Unlike the presidency, EMMYs go to the winner of the popular vote,' goaded Colbert, who also brought out Spicer to confirm the audience watching the event was the biggest ever, a reference to the former press secretary's disastrous first press conference where he exaggerated the number of people in attendance at Trump's inauguration. Other political targets included Ted Cruz, who was embarrassed when an aide 'liked' some soft porn on his official Twitter feed recently. 'These days everyone loves streaming video,' said Colbert. 'Just ask Ted Cruz.' There were some surprises in the acting categories with Sterling K Brown taking home best actor in a drama series for his role in This Is Us. The outstanding lead actress in a drama went, unsurprisingly, to Elisabeth Moss for her portrayal of Offred in The Handmaid's Tale, which had a brilliant night with Ann Dowd also winning supporting actress in a drama series. The show also had wins for guest actress in a drama series (Alexis Bledel) and writing (Bruce Miller) and directing (Reed Morano). Big Little Lies was one of the night's other big winners, and helped HBO fill the void left by Game Of Thrones not being eligible this year (the series began too late in the year to be considered for the 2017 awards). Laura Dern managed her first win at the EMMYs for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie for her performance in Big Little Lies. The show had a strong showing with other winners coming in the form of Nicole Kidman in best actress in a limited series or movie, Jean-Marc Vallee, for directing and Alexander Skarsgård, who won outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie. The absence of Game Of Thrones in the best drama category ensured another show would take an award the HBO show has won for two years in a row, but in the best comedy award business continued as usual. Julia Louis-Dreyfus won lead actress in a comedy for the fifth year running and Veep won best comedy for the third successive year. Elsewhere in comedy, Saturday Night Live converted its newly rediscovered popularity in the age of Trump into EMMY wins. It took eight televised awards with wins for cast members Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon, as well as best variety sketch show and nods for guest appearances from Melissa McCarthy and Dave Chappelle. There was a diverse group of winners this year, with Donald Glover, Aziz Ansari, Riz Ahmed, Chappelle and Lena Waithe all featured, with Glover taking victories in lead actor in a comedy and directing in a comedy series for his surreal comedy Atlanta. It was a good night for British talent as well, with John Oliver dominating the talk show categories, whilst Charlie Brooker won two awards for the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror (best writing and best limited series, movie or drama) and Riz Ahmed won outstanding lead actor in a limited series or TV movie for his role in The Night Of. The Crown and Westworld were two of the night's overlooked shows, both having numerous nominations but only John Lithgow winning for The Crown when he took home the first award of the evening for supporting actor in a drama series.
EastEnders spin-off Kat & Alfie: Redwater will not be getting another series, the BBC has confirmed. The six-part drama - which saw Kat and Alfie Moon travel to Ireland in search of her long-lost son - broadcast its first (and now, only) series earlier this year. There had been no word since on whether it was being recommissioned, but a spokesperson for the BBC told the Digital Spy website: 'In order to increase the range of new original drama on BBC1, Kat & Alfie: Redwater won't be returning.' Or, in other words ' it was shit and no one was watching it so it's toast.' Jessie Wallace - who plays Kat - first revealed speculation concerning the announcement on Lorraine this week, saying: 'I don't think there will be another series.' And, she was right.
There was quite a bit of revenge sex in this week's episode of Doctor Foster, but some viewers seemingly couldn't stop looking at a fridge. During the episode, Gemma (yer actual Suranne Jones) took a break from ruining her son's life to have a glass of white wine, leaving her fridge door open as she checked her phone. That was scandalous enough for various middle class glakes on Twitter to whinge about - at length - to anyone that would listen (and, indeed, anyone that wouldn't). However, a subsequent close-up of Gemma drinking the wine showed the fridge door 'miraculously' closed, only for it to be open again when she turned back. This is the sort of thing that keeps 'some people on Twitter' awake at night, apparently. Viewers 'didn't fail to notice the continuity blunder,' according to the Digital Spy website, 'perhaps only to take their mind off the revenge shagging.' Perhaps. Or, perhaps we'll never care.
The road to getting Riviera from page-to-screen was bumpy, but that doesn't mean Sky Atlantic has any plans to scrap the drama. Speaking recently to Collider, Julia Stiles claimed that Sky is currently 'in talks' to continue Riviera following its first series. 'It's not official, but I think we're going to make more of Riviera,' she said, adding: 'In an ideal world, I'll be bringing my little newborn to France.' The possibility of a second season of Riviera is intriguing, considering that the initial showrunner, Neil Jordan, publicly whinged that the final product was not his original vision. 'The first two episodes that myself and John wrote were very dark and complex and that's what got everybody attracted to the project in the first place,' he alleged. 'Sky Atlantic got involved because of these scripts. But then the producers decided to go in a different direction. The two episodes we wrote together were reworked by others, after I pulled out. They were changed, to my huge surprise and considerable upset. There were various sexual scenes introduced into the story and a lot of very expository dialogue. I objected in the strongest terms possible. It was quite distressing for John and for myself, the way it proceeded.' Executive producer Paul McGuinness promptly responded by saying: 'Making a show of the scale of Riviera is inevitably a team effort. Neil co-wrote the first two episodes with John Banville. The show is the most successful premiere on Sky Atlantic this year. I couldn't be more proud of what we have achieved.' Or, in other words, 'you got paid you precious sod, what's the problem?' Shortly after the - mostly media-created - 'controversy' erupted, actor Iwan Rheon admitted to the Digital Spy website that the finished Riviera was indeed 'very different' to the original scripts he had read. 'That's how these shows go,' he suggested. 'They were still writing as we were filming. You have to expect things to change, because the writers come up with different ideas of how they want the series to go. It did change, quite a lot actually, from when I first read it, but that's something I've grown accustomed to now. It's quite rare on a television series that you get the entire set of scripts [for a series] before you start shooting.'
Ophelia Lovibond has expressed her disappointment that Sky dropped her series Hooten & The Lady after a single series. Ooo, geet stroppy and aal of a kerfuffle, she was. The news came from US broadcaster The CW last month that Sky would not be ordering a second series of the eight-part adventure series which starred Lovibond and Michael Landes as globe-trotting adventurers. That was obviously an unfortunate development for Lovibond, who has praised Hooten & The Lady as being 'a necessary alternative' to the many 'issue-oriented dramas' on telly these days. 'I was a bit disappointed - Mike [Landes] and I both were, because it was really fun,' she told the Digital Spy website. 'Hooten & The Lady, I felt, filled a whole different need, it was just pure escapism - The Handmaid's Tale was phenomenal, but not every single piece of television needs to be The Handmaid's Tale. I think it's nice to have something that's like Romancing The Stone - just very light-hearted escapism. I don't really know why it didn't [continue] - it got great numbers, great viewing figures and we loved filming it, going all around the world. It was a dream, really. I loved doing the action scenes - I would love to do more. They're talking about Idris Elba for the next Bond - I'm like, "excuse me, hello?"' That was Ophelia Lovibond, there, telling everyone what she was 'like', apparently. Hooten & The Lady has an impressive A-list cast, including Jessica Hynes, W1A's Jonathan Bailey and Jane Seymour. Luckily, Ophelia Lovibond is back on telly this autumn in W1A, which is began its latest series this week on BBC2.
Star Trek: Discovery has unveiled the titles of the series' first four episodes ahead of its premiere. The new CBS/Netflix reboot of the classic SF franchise is finally hitting the small screen this week. The official titles for the first four episodes are The Vulcan Hello, Battle At The Binary StarsContext Is For Kings and The Butcher's Knife Cares Not For The Lamb's Cry. Last week the Discovery theme tune was unveiled for the first time. Created by Fargo and The Night Of's composer Jeff Russo, the tune pays homage to the original 1960s series. The new series is set a decade before the first and is led by The Walking Dead's Sonequa Martin-Green and Jason Isaacs.
The ONE Show's Alex Jones has 'shared the sad news' that her pet hamster, Kiwi, has died, revealing that she 'burst into tears on the train' over the animal's passing. And, this utterly banal and trivial shite constitutes 'news', apparently. Jesus, has everybody taken The Stupid Pill this week, or what?
Last year's Mariah's World promised to give viewers a look 'at the real person' behind the pouty and full-of-her-own-importance diva, Mariah Carey. What we got, in the event, was a thoroughly tedious series of events which made one wonder exactly what planet the singer was from and how anyone could struggle that much to work an Apple TV. Now, Variety reports that E! will not be pursuing a second series, a spokesperson for the channel telling the publication that 'only one run was originally planned.' One or two people even believed them. The reality series debuted to two million viewers in the United States, before dropping as low as five hundred thousand punters across the rest of its run. One wonders if the cameras were rolling when Mariah was told the news that her show had been cancelled (because, it was shit and no one was watching it) because the ensuing tantrum would, presumably, have been worth a series all of its own.
Fans of E4's Z-List Celebs Go Dating - for, apparently, there are such sad, crushed victims of society - sat down eagerly for their fix on Friday night as the final episode of the week was due to be shown. But, they were to be disappointed. Rather than the scheduled episode of the current series, which 'stars' Calum Best, Frankie Cocozza, Charlotte Dawson and Bobby Norris (no, me neither), E4 instead broadcast a repeat of Made In Chelsea: Come Dine With Me, only announcing the change at the last minute. 'We are sorry, but we're unable to show Celebs Go Dating tonight,' the E4 announcer weaselled. Nadia Essex (no, me neither) has taken to social media to confirm that the missing episode will be 'edited' into an hour-long show. Nadia explained: 'All the good stuff, the best bits from Friday, are going to go into tonight's episode. So it's going to be condensed into an hour but it's going to be jam-packed full of all the great stuff.' An E4 spokesperson later confirmed that the show was pulled from the schedule for 'editorial reasons'. Whatever that means. 'Due to editorial reasons, there has been a change to the schedule,' they told the Daily Mirra.
The dream of every Antiques Roadshow fan is to be that lucky person who dusts off an object from the attic which turns out to be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, these moments of TV gold are likely to become even rarer, according to one of the show’s veteran experts. David Battie, a ceramics specialist who appeared on the first episode of the show in 1978, admitted that it was 'getting more difficult' to unearth genuine treasures, given how long the show had been running. 'There are definitely fewer really stonkingly good objects on the Roadshow, which is inevitable, given we’ve been going for forty years, sucking them in like a vacuum cleaner,' he told Radio Times. Over the years there have been some memorable moments such as the vase a woman bought at a car boot sale for a pound that turned out to be worth thirty grand and a vase used as a goalpost that ended up selling for six hundred and sixty eight thousand knicker. of course, the opposite is also true; one of this blogger's favourite moments in TV history was when a woman turned up with an art-deco type tea pot. She went through the usual 'it's a treasured family heirloom and we couldn't possibly dream of selling it ... but how much is it worth?' malarkey. 'Can I ask how much you paid for this?' she was asked by one of the experts. 'Five pounds,' she replied, proudly. 'About four pounds fifty too much, I'd've said,' she was told. This blogger couldn't breath for laughing for about the next hour. A forthcoming episode in the new series of Roadshow will feature one of the most significant finds in the show’s history. During filming in June, jewellery expert Geoffrey Munn valued an intricate Fabergé ornament at about a million quid. Despite being on the show since the beginning, it was not until 2010 that Battie himself made a really big discovery when a man brought in a large Chinese bronze vase. He dated it to the Yuan dynasty. At more than seven hundred years old, it was probably one of the oldest items to be featured on the Antiques Roadshow. He said while extremely rare objects such as that were getting more difficult to unearth, they were still out there. 'We're lucky in that in this country that we have more antiques per square foot than anywhere in the world, so I think we have a way to go yet.' Asked about other memorable moments from his near forty years on the show, Battie said that a woman once left him a coffee can and saucer from her full service that was dated from about 1800. 'She'd left it to me in her will, saying that because I was so kind and enthusiastic, she'd like me to have a piece when she died. It sits on a shelf in my bedroom and is one of my very favourite things,' Battie said. In the interview, he also discussed his admiration for the show's presenter, The Divine Goddess That Is Fiona Bruce. 'I think Fiona is wonderful,' Battie noted. 'Early in her tenure I wrote her a doggerel love poem in the style of the poets I liked, from Edward Lear to Dylan Thomas. She was probably horrified.' That'd probably be classified as sexual harassment these days, pal. Battie trained as a graphic designer at art school before working for Reader's Digest magazine for three years. He joined Sotheby's auction house in 1965 and was later appointed a director of the company. He retired in 1999 and as well as appearing on Antiques Roadshow he lectures and writes.
There's a very good piece by TV archivist and historian Dick Fiddy in the Independent ITV's Sixtieth Birthday: Tracking Some Of The Broadcaster's Earliest Output which is well worth a few moments of your time, dear blog reader.
ITV4 are currently showing the fifth - 1967, colour - series of The Avengers (well, they are on those days when they aren't showing bowls instead). Friday night's episode was The Hidden Tiger, quite possibly the most outrageous fifty two minutes in TV history in which Gabrielle Drake uses Ronnie Barker's home for cats as a front in a deranged plot to turn Britain's pussies into a unholy army of the night. The suggestion that author Philip Levene was completely stoned off his mush on Adam Strange when he wrote this episode cannot, entirely, be discounted. Hell, it was 1967, who knows what was in the water supply in those days?
'Goodnight ... and may your God go with you' was, of course, the sign-off of the late, great Dave Allen, the Irish comedian whose wit was as dry as his whisky was wet. Now, twelve years on from his death, the BBC is to bring him back to life in a one-off drama starring Aidan Gillen. Hopefully, Aidan will have a bit less trouble with the accent this time around than he did playing Littlefinger in Game Of Thrones. Dave Allen At Peace will explore the renowned comic's forty-year career, one whose taboo-breaking humour incited as much controversy as it did laughter. Filming starts this month in Northern Ireland on the hour-long drama. Famous for spinning laconic yarns on his trademark high stool, Allen's TV shows poked gentle fun at life in general and Catholicism in particular. Dave Allen At Peace will see Gillen perched on just such a stool, looking back on the significant moments of Dave's life. Conleth Hill will play Dave's brother, John, while Cold Feet's Robert Bathurst and Father Ted's Pauline McLynn will play cameo roles. Director Andy De Emmony previously directed 2006's Fantabulosa!, in which Michael Sheen played Kenneth Williams.
Wednesday's This Morning featured a woman having 'a designer vagina tightening procedure' on live TV. And, perhaps predictably, some viewers 'were somewhat taken aback.' And, weren't shy about sharing their taken-abackedness on Twitter. Twitter now being The Sole Arbiter Of The Worth Of All Things, obviously. The segment saw guest Annie Wardle having the procedure done, fully covered, by 'a professional.' But, that didn't stop people at home wincing and describing the item as 'day-time porn.' Which is the same as 'night-time porn' except you can see what's going on. That Witless Blonde Thing, Holly Willoughby was tasked with talking Annie through the downstairs improvement, with Annie explaining that she wasn't happy with her labia and wanted things to be a bit tighter. And, fortunately, she revealed after it was all done and dusted, that she was 'chuffed' with her new 'firm and tight' minge after taking a look at it in a mirror. So, that's a relief.
Stacey Solomon will not be back on I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) ... Extra Camp when the ITV2 spin-off returns later this year. Oh, the manifest tragedy. How will we be able to cope? The Loose Women panellist joined the presenting team of the wretched worthless hideously shat I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) ... Extra Camp last year – sharing the screen with Vicky Pattison, Joe Swash, and Chris Ramsey. But, the Daily Scum Mail reports that producers are 'considering a revamp' to the format. And, ideally, a new presenter who can actually walk in a straight line and talk - in recognisable English - at the same time. 'I can confirm that Stacey will not be returning to I'm A Celebrity,' a statement from a spokesperson for Solomon said. This time last year, Solomon said about the presenting opportunity: 'I'm so thrilled and excited to be a part of the ITV2 team in the jungle.' Or, something like that, anyway, as this blogger notes, it's difficult at times to make out exactly what Stacey is saying since what she says is not in any recognisable form of English that this blogger is aware of. 'I'm going back to Australia and I get to do the job of my dreams, alongside three of the nicest, funniest people around including my man,' she continued.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will be welcoming a familiar face back this series. Sam Waterston will be reprising his role as the original Law & Order's curmudgeonly, one-time New York City district attorney Jack McCoy for an upcoming SVU episode, reports Entertainment Weekly. There is no word at present on how his path will cross with the Special Victims Unit team. Waterston made his first of more than three hundred and fifty appearances as Jack McCoy in Law & Order in 1994, with the show following his rise from assistant district attorney to the city's top prosecutor. He previously crossed over with Special Victims Unit three times over the past twenty years, most recently during the original Law & Order's final series in 2010. Over the last few years, NBC has mooted the possibility of reviving the classic Law & Order line-up for an 'event' series, but the network ultimately shelved those plans. 'Nothing's happening on that right now,' NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said last year. 'We did talk about doing a limited Law & Order mini-series, but we're focused on the Chicago world right now. You might see another show coming out of that before you see Law & Order [return].'
The final three contestants in the current series of Z-List Celebrity MasterChef were confirmed after a tense semi-final earlier in the week. They were Ulrika Jonsson, Angellica Bell and Dev Griffin. Which, tragically, meant that viewers 'had to say goodbye' to Rebecca Adlington. Who had a geet scowl on her face roughly similar to the time Mad Frankie Boyle told that joke about her on Mock The Week.
In the event, Angellica Bell won Friday's final. Gregg Wallace called her 'one of the best Celebrity MasterChef contestants I've ever seen.' Which, given that at least one of the previous winners of the show ended up marrying his oppo, John Torode, some might regard as a bit of an unwise comment.
Supergirl soars back onto our screens very soon, but will her famous cousin be along for the ride? The good news is that, while there are 'no firm plans' yet to bring back Tyler Hoechlin as Superman, the show's 'bosses' (that's executives only with less syllables) have told the Digital Spy website that they are 'keen' to have Superman reappear. 'We'd love him to return,' said showrunner Jessica Queller, while fellow 'boss', Robert Rovner added: 'If the story presents itself and Tyler's available, we'd love to have him back. We love having Superman on the show.' So, that'd be a 'yes', then?
He is the Golden Globe-winning star of movies like Blade Runner and The Hitcher. Now, Rutger Hauer's next project is a sitcom on Dave. But, if you're raising an eyebrow at the very thought of Roy Batty bringing the laughs, rest assured: hospital comedy Porters - from Trust Me writer Dan Sefton - is, on the strength of the opening episode, very funny. Speaking to the Digital Spy website, Hauer described the series as 'fast and dark and fucked-up' - as well as hilarious. 'I've always felt that I'm an idiot, and a comedian, pretty much,' Rutger said of his sudden swerve into sitcom. 'So I said, "Well, let's try and see what I can do!" I was an action actor for quite some time and then I gave that up because there's a moment where you have to give that up and then I sort of became a character actor. But comedy was never much in there - most of the other parts, I had to hide my sense of humour. Funnily enough, for The Hitcher, my timing was comic - so I think I have it in my blood. But, I didn't know how difficult it was!' Porters follows Simon (Ed Easton), an aspiring doctor who finds life as a hospital porter to be a lot harder and much more surreal, than he had expected. Hauer's character - Tillman - teaches Simon about the ways of the hospital, manhood, karma and, most importantly, love. 'I was nervous that, in the script, [Tillman] had a German accent - that's so hard to do,' Rutger revealed. 'I did have one inspiration to look for - which was Jürgen Klopp - he's very outspoken and they'd molded the character in the sitcom after him a little bit, so I watched a lot of his videos. He's really funny and it inspired me!' Despite being in the acting business for fifty years, Hauer insisted that his inexperience when it comes to comedy made him 'the pupil' on the set of Porters. His co-stars - including Easton, Jo Joyner, Chewing Gum's Susan Wokoma and Line Of Duty's Claudia Jessie - he describes as 'deeply impressive. Fuck, what can I say? They were so professional and so young at the same time. I was glad that I got to play a character who could be a little slower! But comedy only tolerates so much,' he said. 'I must say, that was a real revelation - how tight and how precise that needs to be. I was the pupil there, pretty much.' Now he has a grounding in the art, Rutger is keen to return for more Porters if the show is a hit for Dave. Providing he can find the time between Hollywood stints. 'It looks like next year I might be co-directing a film, which I've been waiting to do for a long time,' he explained. 'There are a lot of things on my plate, still and that's great fun. But Porters is high on my list. And, if it works out, I'll be there!'
People climbing Snowdon are being urged to wear appropriate clothing after a complete plank who reached the summit wearing just his pants subsequently developed hypothermia. No shit? Nathan French, nineteen (and, lucky to reach twenty by the sound of things), took to the highest peak in Wales in his Superman underwear to 'raise money for chariddee.' I think it's the fact that media reports stressed the fact that they were Superman keks that makes it art. But a paramedic was called to meet the Liverpool student after his descent. Phil Benbow, of North Wales Mountain Rescue Association, said that they were seeing 'more unprepared visitors.' French decided to take on the challenge to raise money for a dementia charity after his grandmother developed the condition. He said that he 'became unwell' at the summit after completing the one thousand and eighty five metre climb on 9 September and returned to the bottom on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. 'I keep fit and I am healthy but I was taken by surprise by how cold I got,' he said. Well, you know, it is a fucking mountain, you silly boy. A bloody big one at that. 'I was shaking uncontrollably and they covered me in tin foil. On the train down I started to feel really sick and I started going deaf and my eyesight started going funny. I started getting really emotional so my dad, who was with me, decided to call an ambulance. The paramedic who met me checked me over and said I was showing early signs of hypothermia.' The Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed it had responded to the call. Because, obviously, they've got nothing better or more important to do with their time, have they? 'We sent a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle and a first responder and a man was checked over at the scene, but did not require hospital treatment,' a spokesman added. Benbow, who also volunteers with Llanberis Mountain Rescue - the team which covers Snowdon - said that while it was 'laudable' to undertake charity treks up Snowdon, it was 'essential' that people 'dressed appropriately' for the conditions, planned their trip and checked the weather forecast. 'We have a significant number of calls every year about people on Snowdon who are not equipped properly,' he said. 'They make an assumption that, because there's a cafe at the top and a train, that it's a walk in the park. It's not - it is the highest mountain in England and Wales and people need to respect that. Our team has been called to one hundred and seventy three rescues so far this year and that will be over two hundred by the end of the year - the third year in a row we will have topped two hundred. That's way too many for our volunteers who have to give up time with their family or at work. People just need to think ahead.'
Video footage of a couple having The Sex in a pizza delivery shop as staff worked on the other side of the counter has been shown to a court. The CCTV footage of Daniella Hirst and Craig Smith was shown at Scarborough Magistrates Court, where the pair faced charges of outraging public decency. Hirst pleaded very guilty to the offence on Thursday and Smith was found extremely guilty in his absence after a trial lasting barely thirty minutes. The evidence in the trial consisted almost exclusively of the eighteen-minute long footage which showed the pair entering a Domino's Pizza in the resort. It showed them ordering food and 'messing around with a yellow cleaning cone,' before Hirst performed oral sex on Smith. Which, he seemed to rather enjoy. After this, the couple had The Sex leaning on the counter close to the till. Which isn't really very hygenic, one could suggest. Staff can be seen working in the kitchen as the couple 'continued their antics' and delivery staff came and went during the footage. Hirst sat at the back of the court with her hands over her eyes as the more explicit parts of the footage were shown. Smith was not in court. The magistrates were told he was currently in prison 'relating to other matters.'
Bloggerisationisms malarkey now, dear blog reader. Something very odd happened on From The North on Wednesday of this week; the blog went sodding bonkers for no obvious reason. As regular dear blog readers will know, an average day will see around three thousand to three thousand three hundred page hits on From The North. But, this week saw mucho increased activity. Which was nice.
And now, The News. New Order have announced - at last - that a bitter long-running legal battle with their former bass player has, finally, been resolved. The disputes were based upon Peter Hook's use of the New Order and Joy Division brands in the merchandising and promoting of shows by his new band, Peter Hook & The Light. Hooky also disputed the amount of money that he has received from the use of the name New Order by his former colleagues since he left the group in 2011. He claimed that he lost out on more than two million knicker since the three other band members set up a company without him to handle the band's income. Hook accused Bernard Sumner and Stephen and Gillian Morris of 'pillaging' the group's assets. 'The Joy Division and New Order names mean a great deal to so many of the fans,' said New Order in a statement. 'The band felt it important to protect the legacy.' No details for the settlement have been divulged. 'With these issues now dealt with, Bernard, Stephen and Gillian can continue to do what they do best, make music and perform live,' the statement concluded.
Elvis impersonators will have their faces scanned by police in a bid to catch 'troublemakers and criminals.' About thirty five thousand fans of The King are expected to attend the world's largest Elvis festival in Porthcawl, Bridgend, on 22 September. South Wales Police will use facial recognition technology to seek out wanted 'unwanted elements.' Inspector Scott Lloyd said that it would 'help stamp out anti-social behaviour.' The technology was trialled on 3 June at the UEFA Champion's League Final in Cardiff, with seventy thousand fans' faces scanned and matched against five hundred thousand 'custody images' during the match at The Principality Stadium. It will be used at the Porthcawl festival, which takes place over three days, to seek out those who have caused problems at the festival in the past. Officers will then engage with identified suspects 'one-to-one' in a bid to help the festival run without any problems. The force said that while people's privacy would be respected the move would help prevent crime. Inspector Lloyd said: 'We want them to enjoy the festival without causing the issues that they may have been involved in during previous years. The facial recognition technology is just one of the tools that we will be using to help with preventing crime and disrupting anti-social behaviour.' And, really bad cover versions of 'American Trilogy', one trusts.
Jake LaMotta, the uncompromising fighter portrayed by Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, has died aged ninety five. Generally acknowledged as one of the toughest men to have entered a professional boxing ring - a world middleweight champion best remembered for having fought the great Sugar Ray Robinson on six occasions. Brought up in poverty, a teenage hoodlum, married six times, imprisoned for pimping and sometime actor and stand-up comedian, Jake LaMotta led a life that, frankly, reads like a film script and it was the basis for what is, unquestionably, the greatest boxing movie of all time. The former world middleweight boxing champion died in a nursing home due to complications from pneumonia, his wife told US news site TMZ. Based on LaMotta's 1970 memoir, Raging Bull depicts an emotional fighter struggling with life outside the ring. The 1980 film earned De Niro a Best Actor Oscars. 'I just want people to know, he was a great, sweet, sensitive, strong, compelling man with a great sense of humour, with eyes that danced,' Mrs LaMotta said of her husband. Born in July 1922 to Italian parents in the Bronx area of New York City, Jake took up boxing after being rejected by the US military due to a mastoid condition. Sports commentators praised his willingness to take a severe beating in order to get close enough to land the best punches on his opponent. His stamina in the ring, which he honed during a prison sentence, earned him the nickname 'The Bronx Bull'. One writer for The Associated Press described how he fought with 'blows bouncing off him like ball bearings off a battleship.' LaMotta would boast, 'no son-of-a-bitch ever knocked me off my feet' – not strictly true as he was floored in one of his last fights, by Danny Nardico in 1952. He was, however, a fine example of the sort of fighter prepared to absorb numerous punches to land more telling blows of his own. LaMotta first won national recognition two years after landing on the professional boxing circuit, when he handed Sugar Ray Robinson his first ever defeat in 1943. LaMotta's six-fight rivalry with Robinson was one of the most notable in the sport, although LaMotta won only one of the bouts, each fight was close. His rough style and strong chin, made him one of the most famous fighters in boxing during the 1940s and 1950s at a time when boxing was one of the nation's most popular sports. After resisting Mafia efforts to control his career, Jake later admitted to intentionally losing a fight to Billy Fox at the behest of mobsters in 1947, causing him to suffer a suspension from the sport. He won the world title from Frenchman Marcel Cerdan in 1949 and held the title for two years until beaten on points by Robinson in Chicago. According to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, his career record was eighty three wins, nineteen losses, four draws and thirty knockouts. After retiring from the ring in 1954, Jake went on to act in several films, also touring as a stand-up comedian. His acting roles included The Hustler (1961) with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason, in which he had a cameo role as a bartender, along with a cameo with another former boxer, Rocky Graziano, in the Sophia Loren film Firepower (1979). Bigger roles included low-budget films such as Chivato (1961) and House In Naples (1965) and he later cashed in on his post-Raging Bull success with a bigger part in Hangmen (1987). A bit-part followed in Mob War (1989). He appeared in several episodes of the NBC police comedy Car Fifty Four Where Are You? (1961 to 1963). A lifelong baseball fan, he organised the Jake LaMotta All-Star Team in The Bronx. In 1958 he was arrested and charged with introducing men to an underage girl at a club he owned in Miami. He was convicted and served six-months on a chain gang, although he always maintained his innocence. But he was scarred for many years by another incident in which he believed he had beaten to death a man he had mugged. LaMotta had followed Harry Gordon, a neighbourhood bookie, whom he knew, as he carried his day's takings and attacked him with a piece of lead piping. The subsequent beating was so savage that LaMotta left the man for dead before escaping with a wallet full of cash. It was only years later, when 'the ghost' - as LaMotta described him - turned up in his dressing room, still bearing the scars of the attack, to offer his congratulations after LaMotta had won the world middleweight title in 1949 that Jake realised he was not a murderer after all. It was a crime to which LaMotta confessed in his memoirs, published after the bookie - who never knew the identity of his assailant - had died. The fighter also admitted to having raped a woman as well as beating the women he married. He spoke of one particular attack on his second wife, Vicki, attempting to explain his behaviour: 'If you had a girl and she was beautiful and other people were trying to invite her out and seduce her, wouldn't you get angry? I saw these jerks and schmucks coming out with lines and it bothered me. But I never really and truly hit my wives. If I had hit them properly, they would be dead.' 'The truth of the matter?' he told the Chicago Sun-Times in 1996. 'The punches never hurt me. My nose was broken six times, my hands six times, a few fractured ribs. Fifty stitches over my eyes. But the only place I got hurt was out of the ring.' In the lead up to the filming for Raging Bull, LaMotta spent nearly a year personally training De Niro to box in a New York City gym. The film's stark style may have originated in LaMotta's own autobiography, in which he wrote: 'Sometimes, at night, when I think back, I feel like I'm looking at an old black-and-white movie of myself. Not a good movie, either, jerky, with gaps in it, a string of poorly lit sequences, some of them with no beginning and some with no end. No musical score.' After the film debuted to great acclaim, Jake expressed puzzlement as to why he had allowed his life to be depicted, even though he worked on-set as a consultant. 'When I saw the film I was upset. I kind of look bad in it,' he told a reviewer. 'Then, I realised it was true. That's the way it was. It's not the way I am now, but the way I was then.' Released in 1980, the film was initially only a minor box office success, but eventually received overwhelming critical acclamation for both Scorsese and De Niro, who gained about sixty pounds in weight during the shooting of the film to play the older LaMotta in later scenes. Two sons, Jake Junior and Joseph, predeceased him. LaMotta is survived by his fiancee, Denise Baker, and by four daughters, Jacklyn, Christi, Elisa and Mia.
William G Stewart, the TV producer and director who became the long-time host of quiz show Fifteen To One, has died aged eighty four. 'Sadly William G Stewart passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family after a brief illness,' his agents confirmed. Stewart, a former Butlins redcoat who began his television career behind the camera, presented the Channel Four show from 1988 to 2003. His stern, no-nonsense demeanour made him a firm favourite with viewers and with contestants. Including this blogger who had his own, if you will, Fifteen To One-moment of fame (... sorry), back in 1990.
Yet William's background was in TV sitcoms, producing and directing such comedies as Father Dear Father, Bless This House and Love Thy Neighbour. In the 1960s, before entering the television industry, he worked as a private secretary to the MP Tom Driberg, about whom he made a documentary in 2009. In the 1980s he turned to game shows, working on such ITV favourites as Family Fortunes and The Price Is Right. He originally wanted Jonathan Ross to present Fifteen To One, only taking the job himself when nobody more suitable could be found. The show saw fifteen contestants try to avoid elimination by either answering questions correctly or having other contestants answer first. 'They always thought I was like a severe teacher,' Stewart told the BBC in 2009. 'I was described as a geography master standing in front of pupils.' The idea for Fifteen To One came from a former British Telecom sales manager who gave Stewart a twelve-month option to explore its potential. The producer paid two hundred knicker for the privilege, later calling it 'the best money I've ever spent in my life.' He said that the show's success was down to the questions being 'properly tough.' Writing a decade after his final show was broadcast, he said that the calibre of questions was of such a high standard 'the only quiz shows I watch regularly now are Mastermind and University Challenge.' A stickler for rules, William successfully sued the show's 1997 champion because he had appeared on the programme before, which was not allowed. The show returned to Channel Four in 2014 after an eleven-year break, hosted by Sandi Toksvig with a number of celebrity specials hosted by Adam Hills. Stewart - whose middle initial stood for Gladstone - continued to make sporadic TV appearances after his stint on Fifteen To One ended. In 2009, for example, he appeared on The Daily Politics to express his support for the licence fee. His support for the BBC, though, did not stop him criticising the corporation for allegedly vetoing him as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. He was a long-standing supporter of the campaign to return The Elgin Marbles to Greece. He joked that if, on an episode of Fifteen To One, too few contestants survived the first round to continue the game, he would give a speech on The Marbles to fill the time. This happened in a 2001 episode, where he gave a lengthy presentation stating the case to return them, for which the channel was subsequently criticised. In 1997, he married his third wife, Laura Calland, the voice-over artist from Fifteen To One. His first marriage was to Audrey Harrison (1960 to 1976). His second wife was the actress Sally Geeson (1976 to 1986). He is survived by Laura and by his five children, Nick, Barnaby, Hayley, Isobel and Hannah.
Yoko Bloody Ono has reportedly taken legal action against a London start-up to stop them selling 'John Lemon' lemonade. Ono, the widow of alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon, claims that the Bow-based pop distributor Mister Lemonade Alternative Drinks is 'abusing and misusing the legacy' of the former Be-Atle 'to sell their soda.' The Be-Atles were a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might have heard of them. The company's founder, Karol Chamera, claims that the John Lemon trademark - registered by the lemonade's Polish manufacturer in 2014 - actually predates that of the deceased Be-Atle, whose name was not trademarked until 2016.
Oddly, the phrase 'alcoholic, wife-beating Scouse junkie' has never yet been trademarked. One wonders why. 'They are trying to find a case because of similarity of the name, but these are two different names, two different brands,' Chamera told the East London Advertiser. He denied that the company intended to 'capitalise' on the musician's likeness. However, lawyers for Yoko Bloody Ono say that the company's online marketing tells a somewhat different story, including 'a Facebook post by John Lemon Ireland showing a large wall mural of Lennon holding lemons with the brand's logo underneath,' the Advertiser reports. Another advert 'depicted a pair of round glasses, closely linked with the infamous Be-Atle, next to the words 'Let It Be',' according to the Gruniad Morning Star. Chamera says that the start-up cannot afford a legal battle with Yoko Bloody Ono and will now endeavour to sell off all its John Lemon lemonade before 30 October, when the company has agreed to rebrand the drink as On Lemon. Lawyers for Jason Orange, Peter Pears, Nenah Cherry, Fiona Apple and Chuck Berry are reported to be watching developments closely. As are various members of Orange Juice, Strawberry Switchblade and Tangerine Dream.
Sheikh Yer Man City and The Scum remain joined at the top of the Premier League, separated only by goals difference, after both secured wins on Saturday. City cruised after a late-first-half opener against bottom-club Crystal Palace, while The Scum clung to Romelu Lukaku's first-half goal and saw out an away win at Southampton. Elsewhere, Alvaro Morata bagged a hat-trick in a Moscow Chelski FC romp at Dirty Stoke and Oumar Niasse, no longer in exile, scored two goals off the bench to get Everton its first win since the season's opening day. Crystal Palace were surprisingly resistant to Shiekh Yer Man City's advances throughout the first half and Roy Hodgson's side had its eyes on the half-time dressing room at nil-nil. But Sane broke their resistance with a dexterous bit of skill in the box. Even at only one-nil down, Palace's hopes seemed all but dashed. And, their defending reflected that. Second-half goals from Raheem Sterling (two), Sergio Aguero and Fabian Delph completed the route. Anything but a City win over Palace - who still have neither a goal or a point this season – would have been a shock. The Scum had the far tougher fixture of the two league-leading Manchester clubs. Southampton had more shots (fourteen to The Scum's nine) and more possession on the afternoon. But as has been the pattern for United in Jose Mourinho's second season, it got its goal, blocked up any potential leaks at the back and claimed the three points. Moscow Chelski FC jumped back into third place and remained just three points behind the two Manchester clubs, with an impressive four-nil win at Dirty Stoke with Morata scoring a hat-trick. One-time Everton outcast Oumar Niasse earned his way into Ronald Koeman's good books as he bagged a late brace against Bournemouth to seal all three points. The visiting Cherries had taken a first-half lead courtesy of Josh King's low strike. Everton, who had been struggling for form of late, were then handed a vital lifeline as Niasse - who wasn't even given a squad number at the start of the season -turned in an equaliser in the seventy sixth minute. The forward, who spent the second-half of last season on loan at Hull City, then bundled in the winner with just nine minutes remaining of normal time. It was a game of few chances at Turf Moor as Burnley and Huddersfield played out a goalless draw. Neither side registered a shot on target in the first half, but Huddersfield's Tom Ince and Laurent Depoitre came close in the second. Richarlison was the hero for Watford as the Brazilian struck a dramatic last minute winner to give The Hornets all three points at Swansea. Andre Gray had opened the scoring in the first-half - his first goal since moving from Burnley in the summer - with an expert finish into the top corner past Lukasz Fabianski. Tammy Abraham levelled for The Swans before Richarlison's dramatic winner. In-form striker Harry Kane scored twice as ten-man Stottingtot Hotshots survived a late fightback from West Hamsters United. Kane's header and low strike gave the visitors a two-nil half-time lead before midfielder Christian Eriksen fired home the third in the sixtieth minute. The Hamsters had been disjointed and jaded to that point, but five minutes later Mexican forward Javier Hernandez nodded in from close range. Spurs wing-back Serge Aurier was then shown a second yellow card twenty minutes from time for a late tackle on Andy Carroll. West Hamsters made their numerical advantage count when Cheikhou Kouyate powered in a magnificent cross from substitute Arthur Masuaku with three minutes left. Philippe Coutinho scored a brilliant first goal of the season and Jamie Vardy had a penalty saved as Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws survived a Leicester fightback to end their run of four games without a win. The Foxes won two-nil in their Carabao Cup third-round meeting on Tuesday, but The Reds got their revenge on their return to Premier League action. Coutinho set up Mohamed Salah for the opener and then struck a majestic free-kick to give his side a two-goal lead at The King Power Stadium. But Shinji Okazaki poked home from close range just before the break to give Leicester hope, before a frantic five-minute spell in the second-half saw the balance of the game fluctuate dramatically. Jordan Henderson netted from a Liverpool counter-attack and seemingly secure the points but the hosts responded a minute later when Vardy headed into an empty net after Simon Mignolet pushed Demarai Gray's shot into his path. Vardy then earned a penalty when he was brought down by Mignolet, but the Belgian kept out the England striker's spot-kick, which went straight down the middle and Liverpool had few further scares to hold on for victory.
The status quo was maintained at the top of the Championship as Dirty Leeds, Cardiff and Wolverhampton Wanderings all won. Dirty Leeds remain at the head of the pack on goal difference, but the trio are all locked on twenty points. United got the better of Ipswich three-two at a sold-out Elland Road. Cardiff were two-one winners at Blunderland. Craig Bryson put Neil Warnock's men ahead with his first goal for the club, before Lynden Gooch levelled from the spot with what was just Blunderland's eighth goal at The Stadium Of Plight in 2017. But The Mackem Filth were sent home with more to ponder as Joe Ralls won it for City with a second penalty of the game to leave Blunderland in the bottom three. Wolves clung on to second place thanks to a last-minute winner at home to Barnsley. Bright Enobakhare opened things up for Wolves with just ten minutes left, only for Adam Jackson's stoppage-time volley to level. But there was still time for Alfred N'Diaye to win it for the home side. Hull thought they were set for a first away win in twenty three attempts as Fraizer Campbell put them in the lead at Reading, only for substitute Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to deny them with three minutes left. Brentford got their first win of the season at the ninth time of asking, beating Notlob three-nil and leaving their opponents still searching for that elusive first three points and bottom of the league. Birmingham started life after Hapless Harry Redknapp with a one-all draw away to Derby. The Blues went ahead through Lukas Jutkiewicz but The Rams, managed by former Blues boss Gary Rowett, pulled level through Sam Winnall. One-all was also the score at Craven Cottage as Fulham and The Middlesbrough Smog Monsters traded goals inside the last five minutes. Aboubakar Kamara put Fulham ahead but Cyrus Christie earned The Smoggies a point. That was as far as the goal-scoring action went in the 3pm kick-offs, though, as Norwich and Bristol City, Preston Both Ends and Millwall and Queens Park Strangers and Burton Albinos all played out goalless draws. Conor Hourihane's fiftieth league goal of his career helped Aston Villains to victory over Nottingham Forest in the evening kick-off. Albert Adomah collected Jonathan Kodjia's pass and rounded goalkeeper Jordan Smith to put The Villains in front. Forest's Daryl Murphy outmuscled the home defence and finished well from eighteen yards to equalise, before Hourihane netted a 25-yard free-kick.
The only team still unbeaten in England, Shrewsbury Town maintained their three-point lead at the top of League One despite Bradley Dack's late equaliser in a one-all home draw against Blackburn Vindaloos. Summer signing Dack struck his first goal for The Vindaloos in the eighty fifth minute after Aristote Nsiala had broken the deadlock from close-range early in the second-half. The Shrews extended their unbeaten league start to nine matches, while Peterborough climbed into second place after Jack Marriott's late winner clinched a three-two home win against promotion rivals Wigan Not Very Athletic. Rotherham United thrashed Oldham Athletic five-one at The New York Stadium - their third home win by that scoreline this season. Exeter suffered their first League Two defeat of the season as Troy Brown's own goal and Devon Kelly-Evans' first Football League goal secured Coventry a two-nil win. Notts County moved to the top of the table with a convincing four-one win against ten-man Lincoln. The Imps had Billy Knott sent off for a high boot on Ryan Yates and they were a goal behind before the break when a Jon Stead volley took a wicked deflection and spun into the corner. Lincoln hauled themselves level early in the second-half through Harry Anderson's looping header, but Matt Tootle rifled in a second to restore The Magpies' advantage after fifty five minutes. Jorge Grant's superb free-kick put County firmly in control and Terry Hawkridge wrapped up the points two minutes from time.