Monday, September 04, 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For, It Might Come True

There's a good piece by Cameron McEwan at the doctorwhotv website on Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who Magazine interview which you can check out here, dear blog reader. 'I never thought this opportunity would come,' notes Jodie. 'I'm very aware that this is an honour. I would never want anyone to think that I'm underwhelmed by this, because I'm certainly not. In fact I'm completely overwhelmed by it. Of course I'm not "it" yet - Peter is still The Doctor. But I'm incredibly excited about the fun and opportunity that is out there. I feel like a kid in a toy shop. I feel like I'm five years old. In a good way - not a terrifying way!' That's the spirit.
'This plan, Albert, I couldn't tell you about. And I'm sorry, I know you understand. I don't know if this plan is unfolding properly.'
And so, in the early hours of Monday morning - UK time - Twin Peaks: The Return did conclude with the broadcast on Sky Atlantic of episodes seventeen and eighteen. Shortly before the much-anticipated revival began, David Lynch was quoted as saying that viewers should think of Twin Peaks: The Return as, effectively, an eighteen hour-long movie split into hourly parts rather than an eighteen-part television series. Some viewers couldn't handle that and the ratings declined markedly after the first two or three episodes; in today's 'attention-span-of-seven-seconds' television world, some were put off by the slow narrative, the dreamy nature of the piece and, especially, the fact that Dale Cooper spent the majority of the time between episode's three and sixteen stuck, virtually mute, inside another man's body. But, those that stayed were treated to something truly extraordinary. We had the return of dozens of much-loved characters from the original series and the introduction of dozens of new ones; we had a bewilderingly complex series of interweaving plot-lines covering a multitude of locations; we had great humour, heart-stopping horror and violence and occasional profundity - often with little stop-over between the three. And, we had that wildly experimental episode eight, one of the most remarkable and outré hours of television ever broadcast by anyone.
And now, we've had the last two episodes, probably ever, of David Lynch and Mark Frost's dark journey into The Black Lodge. So, hands up who expected a nice, conventional, 'everything-wrapped-up-in-a-bow' conclusion, then? Oh, you did, did you? Suckers!
'And, if you could send clothes. When we picked him up he was completely naked!' Reviews - mostly of the 'what the fek just happened? variety - can be found here and here and here and here. And, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Well-worth checking out, also, is Tim Burrows' impressive think-piece on the series in the Gruniad: 'A scene early on in the magnificent, some say bewildering Twin Peaks: The Return acts as a subtle pointer. We're in the office of FBI director Gordon Cole, played by the show's auteur-creator David Lynch. On a far wall there is a huge portrait of Franz Kafka; behind Cole's desk is a picture of Trinity, the first atomic bomb test in New Mexico in July 1945. The two stark, black-and-white images stare each other out, as if daring the other to make the first move. It was right about here I realised that, as we cower beneath the civilisation-mocking possibility of nuclear war via tweet, Twin Peaks is the perfect television show for our times ... The return of Twin Peaks is a televisual high-point of this and any era. It feels so well-timed and perfectly realised, and occurs at a stage in Lynch’s career when he has nothing to prove. The sense of surprise and wonder each episode brings feels akin to David Bowie (who makes a posthumous cameo in the series) releasing Blackstar shortly before his death.' Yes. What he said.
'It's a good thing we brought so many sandwiches!'
'See you at the curtain-call!' You wanted answers, dear blog reader? They were all wrapped in plastic, baby. 'For about an hour after seeing it, I felt in a daze - as if I were having flashbacks,' wrote this blogger's old mate Ben Adams. 'Nothing seemed real. We drove to the grocery and everything seemed off and full of menace. And I wondered, is this part of how Lynch feels when he views the world?' To which this blogger replied, 'yes, he's disturbed by vegetables as well.' Twin Peaks' final two episodes delivered what the audience should - if we'd had our collective brains working - have expected all along; something of double whammy, providing firstly an episode that most fans have been dreaming about for two-and-a-half decades and then slapping them, hard, across the mush with a fish in a percolator, with a second episode that felt, thematically, unlike anything that had gone before. How very David Lynch. All this and a new cliffhanger to end on.
Will we get any more of the story? In some ways, this blogger kind-of hopes not. That would be too conventional, too obvious, far too ordinary for a series that was always from Day One as truly out-there as Twin Peaks. A series which, in its final episode, effectively retconned everything that had gone before out of existence! Or, maybe we will ... in twenty five years.
'What year is this?'
It's been emotional, dear blog reader. Or, is that just the sleep deprivation talking? Meanwhile ...
In the final episode of Game Of Thrones' series seven broadcast last week, was anyone else rather curious about the point of that little scene just before the major meeting of 'just about everyone important' where Bron takes Podrick off for a drink 'whilst the fancy folks talk'? It is rumoured that there was a very specific reason behind the need to include it. According to imdb's Game Of Thrones trivia section, some years prior to being cast in the drama, having first met on an episode of Soldier, Soldier, Lena Headey and Jerome Flynn were in a relationship which, the website claims, 'ended on such bad terms that each has a clause inserted into their contracts that they were never to share scenes and must remain apart on-set.' An article in the Daily Torygraph from 2014 appears to be the source of this claim. 'Jerome and Lena aren't on speaking terms any more and they are never in the same room at the same time,' a - nameless, and therefore, possibly fictitious - 'member of the crew' allegedly told the article's author. 'It's a pity because they appeared to have patched things up for a while, but now the word is they should be kept apart at all costs.' This sort of malarkey may also help to explain the reason why there have been no Wor Geet Canny Robson & Jerome CDs since around 1998, merely a bit of reunion kayaking? Just guessin', you understand?
Incidentally, that same imdb trivia page also includes the following noteworthy titbit. From The North favourite Gillian Anderson reportedly 'admitted in 2016 that she had turned down [playing] a character in Game Of Thrones.' It was widely rumoured that the character in question was, in fact, Cersei Lannister. Whether Gillian would've happily acted with Jerome - or otherwise - is not, at this time, known. But, it's fascinating to speculate.
The NewsTrump website's piece 'I've never seen Game Of Thrones' the new 'I'm a vegan' may amuse, dear blog reader. Or, it may be depressingly familiar from some extremely annoying people of ones own acquaintance. 'Despite not caring about Game Of Thrones, Simon has taken the time to track down more than half the people in his office and tell them exactly how much he doesn't care about it and is expected to have got to everyone before the day is out.' Oh yes, we all know that bloke.
It was, indeed, 'a long way from Westeros' as Liam Cunningham and Kit Harrington managed to blag themselves a three-day jolly at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza this weekend. Some people have all the luck!
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week - by miles - came from David Croft commentating on the Italian Grand Prix for Sky Sports F1. It followed the broadcast of an angry and bitter radio rant by Fernando Alonso following a clash with Jolyon Palmer which resulted in the Englishman being given a five second penalty, concluding with Alonso yelling: 'Five seconds is a joke.' Crofty, then, pithily noted: 'Fernando Alonso there, suggesting that perhaps hanging, drawing and quartering was a more fitting punishment for Palmer!'
Things in the universe must be bad right now, dear blog reader. Seemingly, the Fourteen Taylor Swifts have had to unite across Time and Space to defeat their common foe. (This blogger feels he must express his extreme gratitude to his old mate Danny Blythe for the joke which Keith Telly Topping has just shamelessly nicked from him, there!)
Actually, Danny - as usual - has been on really good comedy form this week, also alerting this blogger to the following caption from CNN. Blimey. Mind you, this blogger had to note that after forty years of really unimaginative use of denim, something probably had to give.
TV Moment Of The Week (Part Two): The appearance of the Goddess-like Gail Trimble's on Friday's Only Connect. What do you mean, 'who's Gail Trimble', dear blog reader? How quickly they forget. This is Gail Trimble. And, given that her team won Friday's episode despite having something of a 'mare on The Wall proves that Gail's still got The Brains that got the country so discombobulated eight years ago. Lovely to see you back on telly, Our Gail, your legion of cult-like devotees from the University Challenge days - of whom this blogger was most definitely one - spent the entire weekend partying like it was 2009.
How terrific it was to hear yer actual Nasser Hussain at the T20 blast finals day on Sky Sports Cricket on Saturday displaying the sort of geographical knowledge that perfectly mirrored his stunning inability to beat the Australians when he was England's captain: 'It should be a great day, four good teams, two Northern, two Southern.' The semi-finalists being, of course, Glamorganshire, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and Birmingham. From where this blogger is sitting, Nass, they're all Southern!
At the climax of the day, Nottinghamshire - presumably one of Nasser's 'Northern' teams - won. But Notts captain Dan Christian got more than he bargained for when he received the T20 Blast trophy; the Australian was hit in the face by some dozy woman as she handed the prize to him and smacked him in the eye with it.
Gotham's fourth series is to introduce its most disturbing villain ever. The Batman prequel has cast Michael Cerveris as the insane crime boss Professor Pyg for a recurring arc, according to TVLine. The porcelain mask-wearing Professor Pyg. who rather appropriately debuted in Batman Comics issue six hundred and sixty six (2007), leads a gang known as The Circus Of Strange. He converts innocents into his army of Dollotrons by drugging them and melding porcelain doll masks to their skin. Gotham's executive producer, Danny Cannon, announced Cerveris's casting this week: 'Michael is one of my best friends. He was in my film school graduation movie, when we were both amateurs. And now he's joining the fold as Professor Pyg.'
Christopher Eccleston is set to lead the cast in BBC1's new family-centred drama, Come Home. The series comes from BAFTA and EMMY winning writer Danny Brocklehurst who has scripted the likes of Shameless, Accused and Exile and also stars Ray Donovan actress Paula Malcomson. Come Home - presumably named after the james song of the same title - will follow a family who are 'left reeling' when the mother, Marie (Malcomson) 'makes a huge decision' that will affect husband Greg (Eccleston) and their three children. Big Ecc said: 'I'm very proud to be working with Danny Brocklehurst, RED Production Company, the BBC and Paula Malcomson on this challenging and provocative drama.' Malcomson added: 'After working in the US for twenty five years, I am thrilled to back home working for the second time in a year with the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen telling working class stories for a thinking, feeling audience.' Brocklehurst will executive produce alongside Nicola Shindler, Madonna Baptiste and Tommy Bulfin. Elsewhere, Chris has joined most of the other living ex-Doctors in has given his backing to the first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker who will take over from Peter Capaldi at Christmas. 'I'm just delighted it wasn't Clive Anderson,' he said. 'There was a rumour. She's working class, she's Northern, what can go wrong?
Karen Gillan has been reunited with her Doctor, Matt Smith, and on-screen husband, Arthur Darvill. The trio were all together this weekend at Dragon Con in Atlanta, where Karen took to Instagram to share their happy reunion with fans. It included an hilarious video of Kazza and Arty throwing some serious shapes to Kelis' 'Milkshake'. It brings all the boys to the yard, apparently.
Last week, dear blog reader, you may recall that the Daily Mirra made a headline-grabbing - though, still at this stage, entirely unsubstantiated - claim about the identity of the next Doctor Who companion. You might even have read this blogger's thoughts on the matter. Long-term Doctor Who fan Frank Skinner - so good in Mummy On the Orient Express a couple of years ago - began his Absolute Radio show last Saturday with the following observation: 'This is what seems to have happened. There's been a big meeting at Doctor Who and they've said: "We've got a female Doctor Who now, what's the ideal combination, what about a middle-aged comedian? And, they've all looked at each other and said "Bradley Walsh." Imagine how that makes me feel!' Heh!
Here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Three programmes broadcast in the week-ending Sunday 27 August 2017:-
1 Strike: The Cuckoo's Calling - Sun BBC1 - 7.77m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 7.31m
3 Diana: Seven Days - Sun BBC1 - 6.43m
4 EastEnders - Tues BBC1 - 6.43m
5 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.26m
6 Trust Me - Tues BBC1 - 5.84m
7 Victoria - Sun ITV - 5.62m
8 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.93m
9 Celebrity MasterChef - Wed BBC1 - 4.92m
10 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.90m
11 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 4.79m
12 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 4.64m
13 Ambulance - Thurs BBC1 - 4.20m
14 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.06m
15 Who Do You Think You Are? - Thurs BBC1 - 3.99m
16 Ten O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 3.94m
17 Easyjet: Inside The Cockpit - Mon ITV - 3.90m
18 Mrs Brown's Boys - Sat BBC1 - 3.72m
19 Long Lost Family - Wed ITV - 3.67m
20 Game Of Thrones - Sun Sky Atlantic - 3.54m
21 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 3.37m
22 Love Your Garden - Wed ITV - 3.33m
23 Match Of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.31m
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? On BBC2, University Challenge had a total audience of 2.35 million punters. Dragons' Den (2.29 million), Gardeners' World (2.25 million) and Nadiya's British Food Adventure (2.10 million) followed. The Big Family Cooking Showdown was watched by 1.89 million, as was Mastermind, Only Connect, by 1.72 million, Saving Lives At Sea by 1.71 million, India's Partition: The Forgotten Story by 1.66 million, Dad's Army by 1.34 million and both Top Of The Lake: China Girl and Dangerous Borders: A Journey Across India by 1.31 million. The second episode of the very disappointing alleged 'comedy', Quacks drew 1.27 million - a fractional improvement over the opening episode's total, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, 1.26 million, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, 1.17 million and the latest Qi repeat, 1.09 million. Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast was for their coverage of F1: The Belgian Grand Prix Live (2.15 million punters), ahead Lego Masters (2.08 million) and the second episode of The State (1.78 million). Episodes three and four, on subsequent evenings, attracted 1.68 million on Tuesday and 1.57 million on Wednesday for the finale. Location, Location, Location had 1.69 million, Jamie's Quick & Easy Food, 1.62 million, Twenty Four Hours In A&E, 1.60 million and From Russia To Iran: Crossing The Wild Frontier, 1.55 million. The film Taken 3 had 1.52 million, The Crystal Maze, 135 million and Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown, 1.33 million. Naked Attraction attracted but 1.06 million. Z-List Celebrity Big Brother was Channel Five's top performer with an audience of 1.80 million for Friday's episode, the wretched Victorian freak-show accounting for five of the top ten programmes on the channel. Broken Britain summed up in a sentence, dear blog reader. Titanic: Draining The Wreck, The Dog Rescuers With Alan Davies, GPs: Behind Closed Doors, All New Traffic Cops and Neighbours rounded-out Five's most-watching list with audiences of 1.35 million, 1.34 million, 1.27 million, 1.23 million and nine hundred and forty thousand respectively. With The Premier League now fully up and running, Sky Sports Premier League's coverage of Live Nissan Super Sunday and the Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws four-nil pants-down spanking of The Arse attracted three hundred and seventy two thousand. Presumably, the match got a fair few more viewers on the Sky Sports Main Event channel but, some silly sausage at Sky Towers seemingly forgot to put in the figures for Main Event for this particular week. Sheikh Yer Man City's one-one draw with Everton had three hundred and twenty five thousand on Sky Sports PL. The Sky Sports Football Channel appears to be concentrating, largely, on The Championship at the moment with Nottingham Forest's clash with Dirty Leeds drawing one hundred and ninety four thousand and Bristol City taking on The Aston Villains attracting seventy nine thousand. With the first day-night test in this country ending in just three days - two hundred and twenty thousand punters watched Sunday's climactic action on Sky Sports Cricket - the channel's highest audience of the week was, almost uniquely, for a domestic game - two hundred and thirty seven thousand watching the Live T20 Blast game between Surrey and Birmingham. Gillette Soccer Saturday drew three hundred and seventy nine thousand on Sky Sports News HQ, plus two hundred and one thousand on Sky Sports PL and one hundred and seen thousand on Sky Sports Football. Live Belgian GP: Race was seen by five hundred and twenty five thousand punters on Sky Sports F1 and a further one hundred and fifty seven thousand on a Sky Sports Mix simultcast. Sky Sports Action's Mayweather Versus McGregor: All Access attracted fifty six thousand (plus seventy two thousand on Sky Sports Mix) whilst Sky Sports Golf's Live PGA Tour coverage had forty three thousand. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by Diana: The People's Princess (five hundred and fifty seven thousand), the opening episode of the much-trailed The Last Ship had five hundred and twenty three thousand viewers. Zoo was seen by four hundred and fifty one thousand and the film A Few Good Men could not be handled by three hundred and sixteen thousand truth-seekers. A 'best of' episode - a contradiction in terms if ever there was one - of that wretched festering pool of rancid spew, A League Of Their Own was watched by one hundred and ninety thousand viewers; every single one of whom, frankly, needs their bloody heads examined for any sign of common sense. Sky Atlantic's list was, of course, topped by the penultimate episode of Game Of Thrones' seventh series with a new record, 3.54 million viewers, by a huge distance the largest multichannels audience of the week and more than anything broadcast on three of the five terrestrial channels this week. A Monday night repeat of the previous week's episode attracted 1.06 million whilst Thronecast was watched by seven hundred and seventy one thousand. The latest episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver had two hundred and thirty one thousand whilst, Ray Donovan drew two hundred and twenty nine thousand and Ballers, one hundred and fourteen thousand. On Sky Living, Chicago Fire was watched by five hundred and sixty five thousand whilst Nashville had three hundred and sixteen thousand. How To Get Away With Murder was seen by two hundred and twenty four thousand. Sky Arts' Diana: Her Story was viewed by eighty five thousand viewers - because, every channel on UK television had to broadcast a Diana-related documentary this week, it was The LawBuster Keaton: The Genius Crushed By Hollywood had sixty six thousand. Endeavour was ITV3's top-rated drama (1.13 million viewers). Midsomer Murders was seen by eight hundred and fifty seven thousand, Lewis by seven hundred and eighty thousand, Doc Martin by five hundred and forty four thousand and Foyle's War by five hundred and thirty four thousand. UEFA Europa League: Hajduk Split Versus Everton coverage headed ITV4's weekly list with nine hundred and forty thousand punters on the Blue-half of Merseyside. Women's Rugby World Cup and Cycling: La Vuelta A Espana Highlights drew six hundred and eighty nine thousand and four hundred and fifty eight thousand viewers respectively. The movies Despicable Me and Pacific Rim were watched by seven hundred and ninety two thousand and seven hundred and seventy eight thousand. Vera headed ITV Encore's top ten with eighty three thousand viewers, followed by Whitechapel (seventy eight thousand) and The Americans (seventy four thousand). The Real Housewives Of New York was watched by two hundred and ninety nine thousand of the sort of specimens who enjoy such risible exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. BBC4's list was headed by the latest episode of the popular Italian import Inspector Montalbano (one million punters). Vikings had seven hundred and ninety seven thousand and Andrew Marr's The Making Of Modern Britain, five hundred and ninety eight thousand. South Downs: England's Mountains Green drew five hundred and fifty one thousand and Thailand: Earth's Tropical Paradise, five hundred and forty thousand. Two documentaries from the Timeshift strand, The Trains That Time Forgot and Sword, Musket & Machine Gun: Britain's Armed History were seen by four hundred and sixty seven thousand and four hundred and fifty six thousand respectively. Storyville: Silk Road - Drugs, Death & The Dark Web was watched by four hundred and thirty four thousand. Professor Brian Cox's Wonders Of The Universe attracted three hundred and ninety four thousand. 5USA's latest Chicago PD episode was viewed by six hundred and thirty eight thousand viewers, NCIS: Los Angeles by five hundred and sixty five thousand, Castle by four hundred and fifty one thousand, Law & Order: LA by three hundred and eighty thousand and Bull by three hundred and forty one thousand. NCIS topped the most-watched programme list of CBS Action (ninety five thousand). Judge Judy attracted seventy four thousand on CBS Drama - which, given that the series at least passes itself off as unscripted real-life rather than 'drama', per se, some might regard as false advertising. American Dad! was the most-watched show on FOX with one hundred and seventy nine thousand. Family Guy drew one hundred and seventy seven thousand and a NCIS series fourteen repeat, one hundred and thirteen thousand. Ransom was seen by three hundred and four thousand viewers on The Universal Channel, followed by Sleepers (ninety four thousand) and yet another episode of NCIS (ninety two thousand). On Dave, Room 101 was watched by four hundred and thirty two thousand, Would I Lie To You? by four hundred and seven thousand, Live At The Apollo by three hundred and eighty three thousand, Qi XL, by three hundred and fifty eight thousand and Not Going Out, by three hundred and twenty four thousand. Drama's New Tricks was seen by four hundred and fifty one thousand viewers and Murdoch Mysteries by three hundred and sixty thousand. Miss Marple was watched by three hundred and twenty seven thousand and Maisie Raine, by two hundred and eighty two thousand. Alibi's highest-rated programme of the week was Rosewood (one hundred and ninety four thousand) whilst Death In Paradise had one hundred and eighteen thousand and Father Brown, one hundred and seventeen thousand. Sony TV's top ten was headed by Law & Order (fifty one thousand). Yesterday's Impossible Engineering had two hundred and fifty nine thousand, whilst Blackadder The Third attracted two hundred and three thousand and Graham Hill - Driven, one hundred and sixty nine thousand. From The North favourite, The World At War had one hundred and sixty seven thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Deadliest Catch was seen by one hundred and fifty six thousand viewers. Gold Divers had one hundred and thirty four thousand, Yukon Men, one hundred and twenty two thousand, Rise of The Machines, seventy seven thousand, Street Outlaws: New Orleans, seventy five thousand and Junkyard Empire seventy three thousand. From The North fave Wheeler Dealers appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (twenty four thousand) and Discovery Turbo (twenty thousand). Discovery History's Battlefields headed the top ten with thirty thousand. The Reich Underground attracted twenty seven thousand whilst Surviving D-Day had twenty four thousand and The Executioners, twenty three thousand. On Discovery Science, Food Factory was seen by forty two thousand viewers. On Quest, Salvage Hunters was watched by two hundred and seventy seven thousand. Pick's Warehouse Thirteen had an audience of two hundred and sixty nine thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by Nazi Megastructures with sixty seven thousand viewers, followed by Air Crash Investigation (fifty nine thousand). National Geographic Wild's Botswana was watched by thirty nine thousand. The History Channel's most-viewed programmes were An American Ripper In London (two hundred and twenty nine thousand) and Forged In Fire (one hundred and ninety three thousand). DB Cooper: Case Closed on the Military History channel was seen by thirty eight thousand punters. Cold Case Files, Diana's Death: The Search For The Truth and Homicide Hunter were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with seventy three thousand, seventy two thousand and fifty thousand thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. Faking It: The Tears Of A Crime, American Monster, Coroner: I Speak For The Dead and Murder Among Friends headed Investigation Discovery's list (two hundred and nine thousand, seventy eight thousand, seventy three thousand and fifty four thousand respectively). Remember, dear blog reader, despite what the title of just about every programme on Investigation Discovery may suggest, murder is quite rare. Don't have nightmares. GOLD's David Jason: My Life On Screen had five hundred and fifty four thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers with three hundred and sixty six thousand. Your TV's repeat of Bones series five continued with one hundred and seven thousand viewers. On More4, All Gardens Great & Small was the highest-rated programme with five hundred and eighty five thousand. The latest episode of The Yorkshire Dales & The Lakes had five hundred and fifty four thousand, Outlander, five hundred and fourteen thousand and The Royal House Of Windsor, three hundred and ninety seven thousand. E4's list was topped by Made In Chelsea: Ibiza (nine hundred and thirty nine thousand) and Hollyoaks (eight hundred and seventy three thousand). The fourth episode of Midnight Texas, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and seventy seven thousand. The Horror Channel's weekly list was headed by five episodes of Star Trek: Voyager (one hundred and fifty seven thousand) and two episodes of The Invaders (one hundred and one thousand), the channel seemingly having run out of actual horror movies to show. Hobson's Choice, Hot Enough For June and Glimpses: London topped Talking Pictures list, with seventy three thousand, sixty thousand and fifty seven thousand respectively. On Forces TV, Hogan's Heroes was seen by thirty seven thousand and The Phil Silvers Show by twenty eight thousand. The movie The Last Stand drew two hundred and seventy four thousand on Spike whilst the latest episode of The A-Team had two hundred and thirty five thousand. The Wild Geese attracted two hundred and twenty six thousand. Deadly Sixty was viewed by thirty thousand on Eden, whilst Shark had twenty eight thousand. Zoo was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with forty thousand. Alaska: The Last Frontier and Bondi Vet were watched by thirty two thousand and twenty six thousand respectively. MasterChef Australia on W attracted three hundred and four thousand punters. True Crime's The Devil You Know was seen by sixty one thousand viewers and Deadly Women by forty four thousand. On True Entertainment, M*A*S*H was watched by one hundred and twenty nine thousand. A repeat of an old episode of The Great British Bake Off - when it was on the BBC and used to be, you know, good - drew fifty eight thousand on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Outdaughtered: Busby Quints and Diana: Tragedy Or Treason? (with two hundred and nine thousand and one hundred and eighty nine thousand viewers respectively). Shameful waste-of-oxygen Ex On The Beach on MTV was viewed by four hundred and six thousand whilst equally worthless Teen Mom UK had three hundred and twenty one thousand. Ghost Adventures was seen by three hundred and fifty six thousand and Most Haunted by two hundred and twenty one thousand on Really. Which, given the nature of those programmes and the fact that ghosts do not exist, should probably think about changing its name to No-Not-Really. What's New, Scooby-Doo? had fifty two thousand viewers on Boomerang. Zoinks. Nova and Alan Cumming's Edge Of Scotland topped PBS America's weekly list with twenty seven thousand and fifteen thousand viewers respectively. Tattoo Nightmares drew four thousand - yes, that's four thousand - geet hairy heedbangers on Scuzz. On Cbeebies, Peter Rabbit was seen by four hundred and fifty thousand, Bing by four hundred and eleven thousand and My First by four hundred and four thousand. Alvinnnn!!! & The Chipmunks had one hundred and eighty five thousand on the Pop Channel. Five Star's most watched show was Home & Away with four hundred and fifty three thousand. On AMC, Better Call Saul was watched by seventeen thousand. America's Greatest Prison Breaks drew one hundred and twenty nine thousand punters on Blaze. Life of Kylie attracted forty four thousand viewers on E! Dance Moms had one hundred and fourteen thousand on Lifetime. Live: Notting Hill Carnival and Desmond's, were the most-watched shows on London Live, with fifty one thousand and thirty seven thousand. Just Doing Her Mariah! attracted twenty two thousand on The Vault.

The first episode of Channel Four's The Great British Bake Off was watched live by an average of 5.8 million overnight viewers. The audience for the launch show rose to 6.5 million when those watching on C4+1 were included in the figures. It is the lowest figure for an opening episode of Bake Off since 2013 - when the show attracted 5.6 million viewers to BBC2. But, the show still won the channel its largest overnight audience since the Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012. 'The Great British Bake Off's audience last night proves it's still one of the country's favourite shows,' tweeted Channel Four's soon-to-be-former chief creative officer, Jay Hunt. 'I am delighted millions watched the new team put twelve magnificent bakers through their paces.' Several media sources - like the BBC News website, for example - suggested that last week Hunt had claimed she would consider anything above three million viewers a 'success' for the programme. Actually, that's not what she said at all. In fact, as widely reported at the time, she estimated that the programme needed an audience of 'at least three million' to break even. Which is a very different thing indeed.
Sky has stopped broadcasting FAUX News in the UK due to low audience figures, the media firm has claimed. One or two people even believed them. Twenty First Century FOX, which is owned by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch, said that the channel was being withdrawn as it was 'not commercially viable.' The decision, they also claimed, was not related to FOX's takeover bid for Sky. The lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Bradley has previously said that she may refer the bid to competition regulators. '[FOX] has decided to cease providing a feed of FOX News Channel in the UK,' a company spokeswoman said. 'FOX News is focused on the US market and designed for a US audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the UK. We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing FOX News in the UK,' she added. Sky stopped broadcasting the US television network in the UK from 4pm on Tuesday of this week. In May, a woman who alleged that she had been sexually harassed at FOX News asked the UK media regulators, Ofcom, to block Twenty First Century FOX's planned purchase of Sky. An alleged 'company source' told the BBC that complaints against FOX News in relation to the takeover bid were not the reason for the TV network being dropped. The alleged 'source' allegedly added that FOX News had 'about two thousand average daily viewers.' The costs of distributing the US network in the UK meant it was not in Twenty First Century FOX's commercial interests to continue, the alleged 'source' allegedly added. However, figures from the Broadcaster's Audience Research Board suggest that, in fact, FOX News' average UK daily viewing figures were nearly sixty thousand per day this year. Which would appear to suggest that when the BBC's alleged 'source' allegedly claimed a much lower figure, that he or she was, at best, misinformed and, at worst, lying. So, pretty much standard for FOX News, then. Nice to see them keeping up the good work. In December, Twenty First Century FOX offered over eleven billion knicker for the sixty one per cent stake in Sky which it does not already own. Critics of the merger, which gives Twenty First Century FOX access to Sky's twenty two million customers in Europe, say billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch will have too much control of the UK media. Not that he doesn't already, of course.
EMMY award winning composer Alf Clausen who has written music for The Simpsons for twenty seven years has, reportedly, been fired. Clausen told Variety that he received a call from Simpsons producer Richard Sakai, who said that the company was seeking 'a different kind of music' for the show. Clausen then confirmed the news on Twitter and thanked fans for their support. There is speculation that this is the result of cost-cutting on the long running animation. Clausen used a thirty five-piece orchestra to score every episode. Speaking in 2015, he said that he was 'very strict' with the budget because he appreciated how much using a large orchestra each week cost, but said that the executives at The Simpsons did not hassle him over it. Clausen won an EMMY award for his 1997 song 'We Put The Spring In Springfield' from the episode Bart After Dark. He also won an EMMY for the 1998 song 'You're Checkin' In' from the episode The City Of New York Versus Homer Simpson. He was nominated a further eighteen times at the EMMYs and has also won three Annie awards. Clausen produced several The Simpsons CDs and collaborated with many of the show's musical guest stars, including U2.
Daniel Mays has revealed that he has rejected many approaches for him to appear 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). The actor told You're Welcome that he has been 'constantly asked' to be on the ITV Victorian freak-show, but 'it's just not for me.' And, seemingly, it's not just 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) as it turns out Dan The Man isn't the biggest fan of reality TV shows in general. 'The growth of reality TV is there for all to see and it's a worrying thing in many respects. It suggests that these peoples' sole ambition is just to be famous and have nothing credible or substantial to back that fame up,' he explained. 'There's nothing worse than being famous for just having fake tan or being with someone you shouldn't. It's mind-numbing, but at the same time it can be entertaining in many ways.' Word.
BBC Radio 3 is to broadcast a one-off, six-hour programme featuring the voices of people living with dementia. The all-night programme, on 15 October, will blend their observations with music in an uninterrupted sequence. 'Dementia is the biggest killer in England and Wales. We wanted to give these people a voice,' said Jessica Isaacs, head of Radio 3 production. 'Hearing their voices, without explanation, is a very powerful thing to do.' The broadcast will form part of a season exploring the links between music and memory. Produced in conjunction with The Wellcome Collection, the season of programmes will also present the results of new research into dementia. In addition, it will feature pianist Igor Levit attempting to perform Beethoven's Diabelli Variations from memory. Radio 3 announced the programmes as it unveiled its autumn line-up, which sees several changes to the station's schedule. Flagship arts programme In Tune will start half-an-hour later, at 5pm, creating extra space for afternoon concerts and opera in particular. In Tune will be immediately followed by a new half-hour segment called In Tune Mixtape, featuring thirty continuous minutes of music without interruption from presenters. The mixtapes will be available to download - 'so if you want half-an-hour of music to take around with you in your pocket, on your phone, it will be available,' said Radio 3 controller Alan Davey. The station will continue to experiment with 'slow radio' - long, laid-back broadcasts which aim to transport listeners out of their daily lives. As well as the regular Sounds Of The Earth programme, which features everything from birdsong to recordings of the Indonesian rainforest, the station has invited travel writer Horatio Clare to recreate an epic trek undertaken by Bach in 1705. The composer braved the German winter to walk a five hundred mile round trip from Arnstadt to Lübeck, simply to hear the organist Dietrich Buxtehude play. 'Bach must have regarded his expedition as an adventure,' explained Clare. The trek, he added, saw the composer 'following his own star across a swathe of Northern Germany, over farmland, through mountains and forests, over the Elbe and all the way to Lübeck.' The programme will feature the sounds of the natural landscape and the trudging of boots, interspersed with snatches of Bach's music and Clare's own reflections on the journey. Another 'slow radio' show and podcast will follow the lives of monks at the Downside Monastery in Somerset. New shows include Choir & Organ - featuring, unsurprisingly, music for the choir and organ - presented by Sara Mohr-Pietsch. And Sarah Walker will leave the weekday Essential Classics show to present her own Sunday morning programme. 'What I really want to do is create a listen that is relaxing without being soporific,' said Walker, a doctor of music and pianist. 'Relaxing and congenial, but stimulating enough to make people feel diverted and entertained.' Suzy Klein will take over Walker's duties on Essential Classics. One presenter who isn't going anywhere, though, is Sean Rafferty who celebrates twenty years as host of In Tune in September. The autumn season will also mark the centenaries of the births of jazz greats Dizzie Gillespie, Buddy Rich and Thelonius Monk. Sir Simon Rattle's inaugural season as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra, meanwhile, will be marked by ten days of broadcasts from The Barbican Centre. There will be a dramatisation of Anthony Burgess's cult novel A Clockwork Orange, featuring rarely-heard music written by the author himself, plus a concert marking the thirtieth anniversary of the death of cellist Jacqueline du Pre. 'I want Radio 3 to be an antidote to today's often frenzied world,' said Davey as he launched the season at BBC Broadcasting House. 'We are a cultural powerhouse and a committed contributor to today's classical music and arts landscape.' Walker, meanwhile, extolled the virtues of slow radio, having immersed herself in a previous broadcast featuring a walk from Capel-y-ffin to Hay-on-Wye. 'By chance, I happened to have the day off that day and I was tired [because] I'd been very busy,' she said. 'So, I decided to treat myself to a day in bed listening to the radio. And, the nice thing about the radio is it gave me permission to stay in bed. I was actually joining in with something. I wasn't retreating from the world. I was still connected through the radio.'

A hard drive containing unfinished works by the late Terry Pratchett has been crushed by a steamroller, as per instructions left by the fantasy novelist. It is thought up to ten incomplete novels were flattened at the Great Dorset Steam Fair. The six-and-a-half tonne Lord Jericho was used to roll over the hard drive several times before a concrete crusher finished off the remains. Pratchett died aged sixty six in March 2015. The creator of the Discworld series had been battling Alzheimer's disease. Before vanquishing the hard drive, Rob Wilkins, the writer's long-serving assistant, tweeted that he was 'about to fulfil my obligation to Terry.' Richard Henry, curator of Salisbury Museum, said: 'The steamroller totally annihilated the stone blocks underneath but the hard drive survived better than expected so we put it in a stone crusher afterwards which I think probably finally did it in.' He said that Pratchett did not want his unpublished works to be completed by someone else and released posthumously. He added: 'It is something you've got to follow and it's really nice that they have followed his requests so specifically. It's surprisingly difficult to find somebody to run over a hard drive with a steamroller. I think a few people thought we were kidding when I first started putting out feelers to see if it was possible or not.' The surviving pieces of the hard drive will go on display in the Terry Pratchett: His World Exhibition at the museum on 16 September.
G4S has suspended nine members of staff from an immigration removal centre near Gatwick Airport, following a BBC Panorama undercover investigation. The programme says it has covert footage recorded at Brook House showing officers 'mocking, abusing and assaulting' people being held there. It says that it has seen 'widespread self-harm and attempted suicides' in the centre and that drug use 'is rife.' G4S said that it is 'aware' of the claims and 'immediately' began an investigation. The security firm said it had 'not been provided' with recorded evidence, but added: 'There is no place for the type of conduct described.' The BBC's home affairs correspondent, Danny Shaw, said that those suspended were one female nurse, six detention custody officers and two managers. He said that he understood several other members of staff had also been placed on 'restrictive duties.' The programme, to be broadcast on Monday, uses footage it says was recorded by a custody officer at the centre, which holds detainees facing deportation from the UK. Panorama says it has seen 'chaos, incompetence and abuse' at the centre, which it describes as 'a toxic mix.' It claims detainees who are failed asylum seekers can share rooms with foreign national criminals who have finished prison sentences. G4S said that the staff suspensions were 'a precaution' but it reported the allegations to 'the relevant authorities.' Brook House is operated privately by G4S on behalf of The Home Office. The firm works in a number of sectors, including technology, care and justice services and cash transportation and has five hundred and eighty five thousand employees across one hundred countries. However, it has also attracted controversies and accusations of mismanagement. In 2014, it paid one hundred and nine million smackers for overcharging the Ministry of Justice for tagging offenders, while it also received heavy criticism for its handling of security at the London Olympics in 2012. Last year, criminal proceedings were launched against eight G4S staff at the Medway Secure Training Centre - a prison for young offenders - following another Panorama investigation. In 2010 - a year after opening - Brook House was branded 'fundamentally unsafe.' A further report in 2012 found that there were still 'significant concerns,' but in 2013 inspectors saw 'sustained improvement.' The most recent report from HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, released in March this year, said that some detainees had been held for 'excessive periods' due to 'unreasonable delays in immigration decision-making.' The report also described the residential units as 'very closely resembling the conditions found in prisons,' saying 'problems' were 'exacerbated by poor ventilation and unsatisfactory sanitary facilities.' 'Once we have seen the evidence and concluded the investigation, I will ensure that we take the appropriate action,' Jerry Petherick, managing director for G4S' custodial and detention services in the UK, said in a statement. Petherick later told the BBC that his company 'continually look at vetting and training' and the initial training course is eight weeks, with 'ongoing developmental training' thereafter. 'We continue to focus on the care and wellbeing of detainees at Brook House,' he added.
The largest asteroid in more than a Century is expected to pass by Earth at a relatively close distance of just over four million miles, NASA says. Before adding, 'Phew! That was close,' one imagines. Florence - named after the little girl in The Magic Roundabout, obviously - measures 2.7 miles in size and 'will not pose a threat to Earth for centuries to come.' So, someone elses problem, then? While other asteroids have passed closer to Earth, they were all estimated to be much smaller. Asteroids retain clues to the events that brought the Sun and the planets into being. At its closest point, Florence - which was discovered in 1981 - will be at about eighteen times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon. 'Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA programme to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began [over a century ago],' Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies, said in a statement. The 2017 encounter is the closest by this particular asteroid since 1890 and the closest it will ever be until after 2500, the US space agency added. Scientists plan to study the asteroid up close, using ground-based radar imaging in California and Puerto Rico. An object this size would have 'significant global effects' were it to hit the Earth. Scientists believe they have now identified more than ninety per cent of the monster rocks in near-Earth orbits.
And, speaking of 'big rocks in space', size really is important as The Solar System Size Comparison on the wonderful ComsmosUp Facebook page explains. Check it out.
A rare series of clear photos of the International Space Station crossing the face of the Sun have been taken in the Channel Islands. David Le Conte took the five images from an observatory in Guernsey on 10 June. He managed to take the pictures in 1.3 seconds, as the space station crossed the middle of the Sun. The keen astronomer said: 'I'm very pleased because it was a one-off opportunity.' The ISS is regularly visible at night as it crosses the sky, but it is rare for it to be seen during daylight. Jean Dean processed the photos and enlarged one that clearly shows the shape of the ISS. Le Conte explained: 'You can see its solar panels and you can see the body of the space station. There are normally six astronauts on board it and at that time it was over four miles away travelling at a speed of seventeen thousand miles per hour.' To take the photos, he attached solar filters to a telescope at the Astronomy Section of La Société Guernesiaise in St Pierre-du-Bois.
Meanwhile, the three-person ISS crew of Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer and Fyodor Yurchikhin have returned safely to Earth after two hundred and eighty eight days in space. They were carrying out physiological and biological experiments aboard the International Space Station. In April, Whitson broke the five hundred and thirty four-day US record for total time in space. In total she has now completed six hundred and sixty five days in orbit, more than any other American astronaut. Only seven Russian men have logged more time, including Gennady Padalka, the world record-holder with eight hundred and seventy eight days.
Hundreds of people have fled their homes in Los Angeles to escape a fire described as the biggest in the city's history. Fortunately, as far as he is aware, all of Keith Telly Topping's many friends in the greater Los Angeles area are not among those affected. The blaze started on Friday and spread rapidly on Saturday, forcing the closure of a major road and the evacuation of about seven hundred and thirty homes in North West Los Angeles and nearby Burbank and Glendale. Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the fire had already burned five thousand acres, adding: 'In terms of acres involved this is probably the largest fire in LA city history.' More than five hundred firefighters are trying to control the fire and one hundred others, who were sent to Houston to help that city through flooding, have been called back to California. There have been no deaths or injuries reported and, despite the fire's size, only three houses have so far been destroyed. Albeit, obviously, for those affected, that's three too many. There are concerns, however, that the fire could make it difficult for people to breathe in Los Angeles, according to a warning from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Wildfires are also raging in other states, including Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and South Dakota.
Toni Basil, the singer who recorded the worldwide 1982 hit 'Mickey', is suing several companies, saying that they have used the song without her permission. Media giants Disney and Viacom are among the defendants named in her case, filed in Los Angeles on Thursday. According to court documents, Basil 'only recently became aware' that 'Mickey' had been used in TV shows including South Park and Ru Paul's Drag Race. She claims that the discovery left her 'despondent and physically ill.' Basil's lawyers say that the seventy three-year-old 'has experienced sleep deprivation, nightmares and anxiety' as a result of use of the song. Gosh. I mean, it wasn't that bad, surely? Basil has requested a jury trial. 'Basil's brand and identity is intertwined with her song 'Mickey'' the court filing adds. 'Basil is protective of her brand and her signature song is known as a cheerleading anthem and an 1980s one-hit wonder. A reasonable consumer would be lead [sic] to believe Basil had approved and/or endorsed' the use of her song, it continues. She was 'particularly offended' that an advertising campaign for US clothing chain Forever Twenty One was in support of a line of Disney products, associating her song with Mickey Mouse. Basil is also aggrieved by a 2008 episode South Park in which characters chant, 'Obama you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Obama, hey Obama,' over the original vocals. She is claiming twenty five thousand dollars in damages, plus a further seven hundred and fifty dollars for each unauthorised use of 'Mickey' and the Spanish-language version, known - not unsurprisingly - as 'Spanish Mickey'. The bulk of her claim is targeted at publishing company Razor & Tie. Basil contends they do not have permission to license her recording and details a long and complex history of the rights to the song. Released in 1982, 'Mickey' was a cover of the song 'Kitty' by Racey. Although it was Basil's only hit in the US and UK, she has had a long and successful career as a choreographer, working with the likes of David Bowie - on the Diamond Dogs and Glass Spider tours - and Talking Heads, designing dance sequences in films such as American Graffiti and My Best Friend's Wedding and as an actress, appearing in Head, Easy Rider, Five East Pieces and Sweet Charity.
And now, dear blog reader ...
A woman whose son reported her for drunken driving was arrested over the weekend in Washington County, Oregon, according to deputies. On Saturday, an eleven-year-old boy called nine-one-one saying that his mother was driving under the influence while he was in the car with her, television station KPTV in Portland reported. Deputies said that two other drivers had also reported the woman. The driver, identified as Nicole Norris, was arrested after deputies said that she extremely failed a sobriety test. The boy is now staying with relatives. Whether he will be charged with snitching up his mom right good and proper like a Copper's Nark is not, at this time, known. Though, it's unlikely.
A Florida man is now, if you will, the butt of police's jokes. Pattreon Stokes is charged with stuffing over one thousand dollars into his rectum in a sorry attempt to hide the cash from police officers, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office. The twenty six-year-old was pulled over by authorities for speeding early on Saturday morning. The deputy who stopped Stokes then, reportedly, 'smelled marijuana' coming from inside the car and a search was carried out. Officers found one hundred and ninety seven grammes of methamphetamine, rock cocaine and four grammes of heroin in the car. A small scale, a small amount of marijuana and a large amount of money were also found. Stokes also had a seven-month-old child in the car at the time. However, when deputies later showed up to collect the money Stokes had on him, they discovered that the cash was gone. Stokes allegedly claimed it had 'already been collected.' Deputies then noticed a couple of twenty dollar bills spilling out from his buttocks. The Marion County Sheriff's Office briefly explained what happened next in an amusing Facebook post. 'After a necessary, but undesirable, process for everyone involved, MCSO Detention Deputies located one thousand and ninety dollars in US currency hidden in Stokes' rectum. Judging from Stokes' mug shot, he looks pretty 'bummed' about the whole situation.' Oh, how arch.
A woman was arrested after she allegedly grabbed the genitals of a University of Texas police officer - and then told the officer on the way to jail that it was because he was 'hot,' police have claimed. Bonnie Fay Terraciano was reportedly spotted by the officer outside of a drug store late on Friday in Austin with an open can of beer next to her. The officer then conducted a background search and found that Terraciano had outstanding warrants for public intoxication and 'interfering with a roadway,' the Austin American-Statesman reports. The university officer, identified as Alan Martin, then placed Terraciano in the back seat of his police vehicle before she fell over and landed on the ground. Terraciano then grabbed the officer's genitals and twisted when Martin helped her back into the vehicle, according to an affidavit cited by the newspaper. 'Why are you good looking but so mean?' Terraciano allegedly asked Martin on the way to the Travis County Correctional Complex, where she remains held on fifteen thousand bucks bail. 'You're hot, man, that's why I grabbed you!' Terraciano, who is homeless, said that she thought Martin 'would enjoy it,' according to the affidavit. Martin, meanwhile, later reported that the assault was 'painful.' Terraciano was charged with assault on a public servant and public intoxication.
A woman in Montana allegedly called the police to report that she had bought 'bad meth' which caused a 'bad taste in her mouth.' On receiving the call, the police department in Great Falls sent an officer to thirty three-year-old Margery Ann Dayrider's residence. Dayrider had 'a bad reaction' after injecting meth. Dayrider mentioned to Officer Jon Marshall that the side effects of the reaction included vomiting, tingling tongue and a bad taste in her mouth. According to local media reports, Dayrider said, 'I do meth three times a day, every day and have never had this reaction before.' She also mentioned that she, along with her boyfriend, had purchased the drug the night before. She told the patrolling police officer that she 'still had some meth inside her bra.' She then handed over the remaining meth to the officer. The field test of the crystalline substance was positive for methamphetamine. Dayrider was very arrested on a felony narcotics possession charge. The offence carries a sentence of up to five years in The Big House.
A man who is, reportedly, already on the sex offender registry accused of public masturbation in a park blames his sorry situation on a groundhog. An unidentified victim reportedly told police on Thursday evening that a man was following her and another individual around a park, watching them playing, with his pants down and his privates exposed. She also described a motion to demonstrate what he was doing with his hands. The suspect, Robert McCoy, told police it was 'all a misunderstanding' when they apprehended him later that evening, according to an arrest citation. He said that he was urinating in the area when his pants fell down. A groundhog then 'startled' him and he 'turned away quickly' - possibly, at that point, exposing himself to passers-by. Sounds entirely plausible. McCoy has now been charged with first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree imaginative excuses.
A Singapore man, Lim Pin Jing, has been accused of endangering the personal safety of others after he drove his car into the sea, at Ocean Drive off Sentosa Cove last Friday. In a bizarre incident, Lim was seen crashing through the safety barricades and plunging into the water, while he was hotly pursued by Sentosa Rangers on motorbikes. It is unclear why Lim was being chased. In the traffic altercation that ensued, one ranger – Irman Kamarudin – suffered a cut on his right knee. As for Lim, his car had sunk to the bottom with him trapped in it. He was only rescued when a Super Yatch captain, David Roberts, who happened to be nearby jumped in the water to pull Lim from his car. Roberts managed to loosen the man's seatbelt through a small opening underwater but could not open the car doors. He resurfaced and got a rock from a bystander, using it to break through the windows and pull Lim clear. An eyewitness told the Chinese daily that Lim spoke repeatedly of dying and said that 'a mermaid' told him to plunge into the sea. Lim has since been remanded at the Institute of Mental Health.
If the allegations made against Weld County Sheriff's Deputy Derek Kinch are true - and his family claim that they are - then he has more than earned Denver Westword website's Schmuck of the Week award. Kinch was recently arrested on suspicion of child abuse and assault after he is alleged to have reacted to the length of his daughter's shorts by pinning her to a wall and trying to choke her. Which isn't really something anyone, least of all, a law enforcement officer, should be doing. The details of the case are contained in Kinch's arrest affidavit. On 21 July, the report notes, Weld County deputies were dispatched to Longmont United Hospital, where they spoke with Virginia Kinch, the deputy's wife. She said that six days earlier Kinch and their daughter - whose name and age have been removed from the affidavit - 'got into a back-and-forth' over the aforementioned short-shorts. 'The argument led to the Defendant pushing [his daughter] up on a wall with both of his hands around her neck,' the document states. 'The Defendant lifted her up to the point where she was standing on her toes and could hardly breathe.' The girl reportedly responded to this attack by scratching at her father's hands until she drew blood and was, finally, released. Almost a week later, she was still said to be suffering from neck pains, which is why her mother took her to the hospital's emergency room. Kinch's version of the story is substantially different, it should be noted. The deputy is paraphrased in the affidavit as claiming that he had told his daughter her shorts needed to be 'finger-length and demonstrated his hands to his side. [Redacted] did the same thing with her hand and then shrugged her shoulder to make her hand rise.' After that, Kinch maintained that he 'placed his hand on her shoulder, pushing her arm down and saying, "no." He said that [redacted] then scratched his hand and began attacking him and he had to push her against the wall to control her.' The rest of the family, seemingly, did not agree with this version of events. Virginia and her other daughters had been witnesses to the incident and supported the girl's claims. According to her, Kinch had grabbed her by the back of the neck with his right hand before leading her to the wall and placing his left hand around her throat, restricting her breathing. She was 'wheezing' after he released her. The girl said that Kinch was not exactly a novice when it came to administering corporal punishment. She 'recounted several incidents of "being spanked" by the Defendant with belts, rulers and hangers,' the affidavit states. A sister had a similar tale to tell, revealing that Kinch 'had used spatulas, rulers and belts to spank her. In one incident, the Defendant had broken a ruler over her butt.' Virginia told a detective that her husband had 'made numerous statements that he would kill her and his family if he "loses everything."' Kinch is reportedly now on 'paid administrative leave' pending an internal investigation.
Staff and guests were forced to flee after two 'out of control' pensioners rampaged through a Highland Perthshire resort hotel, a court heard. Robert Fergus, seventy two, ran naked with a pair of scissors in the public reception of the MacDonald Loch Rannoch Hotel and smashed a glass pane. His wife Ruth, sixty nine, threatened to shoot a staff member after 'reacting badly' to the alcohol she had consumed earlier. The couple were fined four thousand one hundred quid at Perth Sheriff Court. Fergus, from Troon, was also ordered to pay the hotel eight hundred notes compensation to cover the cost of the damage from the incident on 4 February. He had admitted behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards four staff members, wilfully destroying property, and drink driving. Mrs Fergus admitted 'causing fear or alarm' at the hotel by threatening guests and staff with violence. The court heard how Mr Fergus used the scissors to cut communications cables at the hotel reception and was eventually caught drunk at the wheel of his BMW. Fiscal Depute Michael Sweeney said that a guest was woken by banging on his door at 1:45am and saw Mrs Fergus, who became abusive, in the hallway. After the guest informed reception, Mr Fergus appeared with no clothes on and began shouting abuse at the staff and guests in the foyer. Sweeney said: 'Both accused were acting as if they were out of control. He was observed to have a pair of scissors. Mrs Fergus said: "I'm going to get a gun and shoot you," at [staff member] Miss Titkova. On seeing the scissors, Miss Titkova shouted at the other staff and guests to run. They saw Mr Fergus pick up a sign and smash a glass pane in the door with it.' Fergus then ran through the foyer telling witnesses he would 'slit' and 'kill' them. Staff and guests ran from the hotel towards the village of Kinloch Rannoch. Solicitor Ewan Cameron, for Mr Fergus, said: 'He consumed much more alcohol than was sensible. He retired to bed but was roused by his wife who said she had been on the receiving end of hostility from hotel staff. He reacted disproportionately by going to reception to confront them.' Solicitor Pauline Cullerton, for Mrs Fergus, said her client 'reacted badly' to the alcohol she drank because she had 'eaten little' during the day. Sheriff Gillian Wade told Mr Fergus: 'I don't think I need to tell you it's a very sorry state of affairs. I have no doubt you will regret it for the rest of your life.'
A women in Yeosu, South Korea is reported - albeit, only by Yahoo News so it's probably not true - to have attacked her fifty-year-old husband with a kitchen knife as he slept. It is alleged that she cut off her husband's penis before flushing his severed member down their lavatory, because 'he spent too much time playing golf.' Well, you know what they say, 'old golfers never die, they simply lose their balls.' Despite this, 'stunned' neighbours reportedly told the police that the couple had a 'good relationship.' In addition to he nefarious golfing ways, the man is also said to have been violent towards his wife in the past and this was 'mentioned' to police after the attack. The arrested woman, named in the article as Kim, said that her husband never gave her money to live on and spent 'a lot of time out and playing golf.' A neighbour is reported to have found the husband 'writhing in pain on the floor' after hearing him groaning in his flat. He is currently in a 'stable' condition in hospital. Or, as stable a condition as you can have if someone's just lopped yer manhood off, that is.
A County Cricket Championship game was abandoned after an arrow fired from outside the ground landed on the field. Spectators watching Surrey's match with Middlesex were asked to 'take cover' and the players taken from the field after the crossbow bolt was shot into The Oval. Armed police carried out a 'controlled evacuation' of the ground after the incident was reported at 4.35pm. A Met Police statement said that the incident 'is not being treated as terrorism-related.' The game ended in a draw, with John Simpson's unbeaten eighty eight helping Middlesex into a lead of one hundred and eighty one runs with three wickets in hand when the players were taken off the pitch. BBC Test Match Special commentator Dan Norcross said that the crossbow bolt landed between two players, around ten metres from the strip. 'To aim at a particular player is very, very hard to do, it's about one hundred and fifty metres to the nearest vantage point,' he told BBC Radio 5Live. 'It's a very difficult target for somebody who is trying to do specific damage and it feels more like an act of mischief. But it could have done serious damage - I've seen the tip and it's very sharp and it was poking into the ground. I can't stress enough what a dangerous weapon this arrow was - eighteen inches long with a long metal tip. It could so easily have hurt someone and it landed eight yards from about five players.' Surrey chief executive Richard Gould thanked the public and the players for their reaction after play was suspended. 'The umpires took immediate action because they saw it fall, brought the players off the pitch and we then ensured that all the supporters were moved to a position of safety,' he told BBC Radio London. 'We always focus on safety in the first instance and remove people from any potential risk. We don't know whether this projectile was placed deliberately or whether it was simply fired by somebody from a distance and we just happened to be the landing spot, so we don't even know necessarily that it was done on purpose.' The following day, media reported that the thirty five year old man had been very arrested in connection with the incident.
Spain struck a potentially decisive blow in the battle for top spot in their World Cup qualifying pool by sweeping aside Italy three-nil in Madrid on Saturday night. Two goals from Real Madrid's Isco, the first a glorious right-footed free kick into the top corner after thirteen minutes and the second a crisp left-footed shot from the edge of the area, set Spain on their way at the Bernabeu. A close-range finish from Moscow Chelski FC's striker Alvaro Morata completed a comprehensive win and lifted Spain three points clear of their opponents at the top of Group G. The two sides came into the match with identical records of five wins and one draw - the latter occurring in the reverse fixture last October - but Julen Lopetegui's men emerged as the overwhelming favourites to book an automatic spot at next summer's tournament in Russia. They have games against Liechtenstein, Albania and Israel to come. The Azzurri, who had not lost any qualifier since 2006, look comfortable in second spot, with a four-point lead over Albania following the latter's two-nil home win over Liechtenstein courtesy of second-half goals from Odise Roshi and Ansi Agolli. Liechtenstein have now lost all of their seven group matches, being outscored twenty six to one. Also in the same group, Israel slumped to a shock home defeat to Macedonia, Goran Pandev with the seventy third-minute winner in Haifa. Serbia moved two points clear of The Republic Of Ireland at the top of Group D thanks to a routine three-nil home victory over bottom side Moldova. Mijat Gacinovic opened the scoring in Belgrade in the twenty first minute, with Aleksandar Kolarov making it two eight minutes later. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic wrapped up the win ten minutes from time as Serbia took full advantage of Eire dropping points in Georgia. Wales moved to within two points of second place in the group as seventeen-year-old substitute Ben Woodburn marked his debut with a brilliant winner four minutes after coming on against Austria. The Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws striker arrowed a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to earn the hosts a narrow win in Cardiff and all but end Austria's hopes of qualifying. Ukraine took advantage of some bizarre circumstances in Group I to leap from fourth place to first with a two-nil win at home to Turkey. Borussia Dortmund's new signing Andriy Yarmolenko struck twice in the first half in Kharkiv to put Ukraine in pole position in the tightest of the nine European qualification pools. They were,at that stage one point clear of Croatia, who have a game in hand after their match at home to Kosovo was abandoned after twenty seven minutes due to heavy rain which left the pitch in Zagreb waterlogged. However, the game was subsequently re-staged on Sunday with Croatia winning one-nil. Iceland are also one point off Ukraine, although their hopes of qualification were hit by a surprise loss in Finland. Alexander Ring's eighth-minute free-kick ended up being the deciding goal in Tampere, while Iceland finished the match with ten men following the dismissal of Rurik Gislason, who picked up two yellow cards in the space of three second-half minutes. The Turks are two points further back in fourth place. Josh Magennis saved Northern Ireland from potential embarrassment as his second-half brace earned Michael O'Neill's men a three-nil win against minnows San Marino. The striker netted twice in six minutes at the Olimpico Di Serravalle while Steven Davis added a late penalty to give the Irish a vital three points. Magennis opened the scoring after tapping home from close range after fine work from Davis, before doubling his tally again from a few yards out with a header from a Conor Washington chipped cross. Also in Group C, Germany left it late to beat the Czech Republic at the Eden Arena after Mats Hummels scored in the eighty eighth minute with an header. Vladimir Darida thought he earned the Czech's what would have been a deserved point after his seventy eighth minute strike, but it wasn't to be as the Confederations Cup champions rallied in the closing stages. As the Germans often do. Earlier, Timo Werner had got Joachim Löw's side off to the perfect start latching on to Mesut Özil's fine pass to give Germany a fourth-minute lead. Elsewhere in Group C, Norway beat Azerbaijan two-nil in Oslo with a first-half penalty from Bournemouth's forward Josh King and an own goal from Rashad Sadygov. Azerbaijan finished the match with ten men after midfielder Javid Huseynov was sent-off in the final minute for a second caution.
On Sunday, in Group A, Davy Propper scored twice as The Netherlands kept their slim hopes of qualifying for the finals alive with a win over Bulgaria. The Brighton & Hove Albinos midfielder opened the scoring with a neat finish before Arjen Robben made it two-nil from close range. Georgi Kostadinov glanced in a free-kick to give Bulgaria some hope but Propper's header sealed the Dutch win. Group leaders Sweden brushed aside Belarus with Emil Forsberg, Christoffer Nyman, Marcus Berg and Andreas Granqvist scoring in a comprehensive four-nil away win which may have helped to erase memories of their unexpected three-two defeat to Bulgaria in Sofia on Thursday. Luxembourg had its first win in the group on Thursday evening with a one-nil home win over Belarus at Stade Josy Barthel. Luxembourg scored on the hour when Daniel Da Mota connected onto a pass from Aurélin Joachim. The men from The Duchy then created a second - even more dramatic - surprise on Sunday evening by holding France to a goalless draw in Toulouse.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick to move past Pelé on the list of all-time international goalscorers as Portugal beat The Faroe Islands five-one on Thursday to stay close to Switzerland at the top of Group B. Ronaldo netted with a neat volley from inside the area then added two further goals to lift his career tally to seventy eight and surpass Pelé, who scored seventy seven goals in ninety two internationals for Brazil. On the European list, Ronaldo remains six goals behind the Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskás. William Carvalho and Nelson Oliveira also scored for the defending European champions, who have won six straight matches since their opening loss to Switzerland. Switzerland themselves maintained their one hundred per cent record in qualifying, defeating Andorra three-nil in a match interrupted by poor pitch conditions under heavy rain in St Gallen. Haris Seferovic scored just before half-time and again after the break. Stephan Lichtsteiner added a third. Hungary kept pace with Switzerland and Portugal thanks to three-one win over Latvia. Tamas Kadar and Adam Szalai in the first half and Balazs Dzsudzsak added the third following the break after Gints Freimanis had scored for Latvia. In Sunday's two games, Portgual beat Hungary one-nil in Budapest thanks to a forty-eighth minute goal from Valente Silva from a Ronaldo cross and Gilli Rólantsson Sørensen scored the only goal as The Faroe Islands beat Andorra. In the former game, Hungary had Tamas Priskin sent off for an elbow on Pepe. Switzerland made it eight wins out of eight with a three-nil victory in Latvia.
In Group H, Belgium defeated Gibraltar nine-nil on Thursday in Liege, as the Red Devils equalled their all-time goalscoring record. The hosts were four goals up after twenty seven minutes. Dries Mertens opened the floodgates and strikes from Thomas Meunier, Romelu Lukaku and Axel Witsel started the onslaught. Witsel then saw a straight red for a horrific tackle on Jamie Bosio, but it didn't stop Belgium from overwhelming their part-time opponents. Lukaku and Eden Hazard added further strikes before half-time. Meunier scored twice after the interval to complete his hat-trick and Lukaku was presented his own treble from the penalty spot after Erin Barnett brought down Kevin De Bruyne. Meanwhile Mattias Kait scored an injury-time winner to give Estonia victory over Cyprus who had earlier staged a remarkable comeback, scoring three times in fifteen minutes to beat Bosnia & Herzegovina three-two on Thursday. Romelu Lukaku booked Belgium’s place in the finals after a dramatic finale severely dented Greece's own hopes of qualifying on Sunday. The Scum's seventy five million knicker summer signing deftly headed home on seventy four minutes in Athens after Gonçalves Rodrigues had cancelled out Belgium centre-back Jan Vertonghen's seventieth minute opener. Bosnia & Herzegovina leapfrogged Greece into second place in the group after a four-nil victory against Gibraltar in Faro.
In Group F, leaders England laboured to an eventual four-nil win over Malta. After a truly awful ponderous and lackadaisical first-half performance which, rightly, saw Gareth Southgate's men booed off the pitch by their own fans, Harry Kane finally broke the deadlock after fifty three minutes when he stroked home Dele Alli's pass. For a long-time thereafter the game seemed to be drifting to a one-nil conclusion but Ryan Bertrand added a second with four minutes remaining and substitute Danny Welbeck lifted the ball over Malta's goalkeeper Andrew Hogg in stoppage time. Kane provided further gloss in the dying seconds. Slovakia remain two points behind England ahead of their clash at Wembley on Monday night after a late goal from Adam Nemec secured a win over Slovenia in Trnava. Scotland kept their World Cup qualification hopes alive with a convincing three-nil win over Lithuania in Vilnius. Glasgow Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong headed in his first senior international goal after twenty five minutes and new Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws signing Andy Robertson curled in a second five minutes later. James McArthur made it three from close range to leave Gordon Strachan's side four points behind Slovakia, whom they host at Hampden Park next month.
In Group E, Denmark inflicted a first qualifying defeat on Poland with a stunning four-nil win in Copenhagen to move within three points of the group leaders. Thomas Delaney put the hosts ahead after sixteen minutes, with Andreas Cornelius doubling the lead just before half-time. Huddersfield defender Mathias Jorgensen came off the bench to make it three-nil on the hour, with Stottingtot Hotshots midfielder Christian Eriksen wrapping things up late on. Montenegro are also now on thirteen points, just above Denmark on goal difference and three behind Poland, after their three-nil win in Kazakhstan. Marko Vesovic put the visitors ahead after the half-hour. Fatos Bećiraj and Marko Simic were on target in the second half. Romania beat ten-man Armenia in Bucharest thanks to a last-minute goal form Alexandru Maxim. Armenia had defender Taron Voskanyan sent off for handball when conceding a penalty early in the second half, but Bogdan Stancu saw his spot-kick saved by Grigor Meliksetyan - only for Maxim to have the final word with a close-range finish.
Harry Kane has whinged about England's 'armchair critics' and told the stadium boo boys - who, let us remember pay his sodding wages - to 'remain patient' with the national team. England's travelling supporters booed and chanted 'we're fucking shit' during the victory over Malta. The performance also received much criticism from fans who watched the game on television. But, when asked about accusations that players do not have enough pride in the England shirt, Kane bleated: 'It takes a lot of commitment to reach the top ... start from a young age, dedication and you have to be a top professional to play for your country. Anyone who says that, I don't think they understand what it takes and it's probably why they're sitting at home watching and we're out there playing.' Ooh, get her. 'I am extremely proud to represent my country and I know the other players are,' Kane claimed. One or two people even believed him. Gareth Southgate said that the England players would 'have to get used' to fans showing their frustration and displeasure inside the stadium given that, you know, they've paid for the right to do so. Kane - who earns a reported one hundred grand a week - said that the England players 'accept' paying supporters will 'not be won over' merely by qualifying for the World Cup, following the disastrous Euro 2016 elimination to Iceland that Kane himself was a part of. 'Yes, that's understandable,' Kane weaselled when asked why, exactly, supporters who have watched a succession of below-par England performances should merely shut up and accept whatever they are given from a team of gutless, overpaid young men who could all do with a damned good dose of reality being shoved, hard, down their collective throat. 'At the end of the day, we've done well at this stage before but it's all about the tournament. That's nothing we can control for now, all we can try to do is qualify, try to play good football, try to learn and get better ... and then, what happens in a tournament, happens in a tournament.' Jeez, a once-in-a-generation brain, that one.
Luke Edwards passionate piece in the Torygraph on the bewildering chaos of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though, tragically, unsellable) current transfer policy is well-worth a read, dear blog reader. A necessary remind to all football fans of that old truism if you're longing for the day when a multi-billionaire comes along and buys your club; be careful what you wish for, it might just come true.
A very naughty man has been extremely jailed for trying to rob the footballer Andy Carroll of his twenty two thousand smackers wristwatch as the striker drove home from West Hamsters United's training ground. Jack O'Brien claimed he was not the rider who targeted the twenty eight-year-old footballer as he waited at traffic lights in North-East London, on 2 November 2016. Carroll told Basildon Crown Court that he believed O'Brien had a gun when he stopped beside him on a motorbike. O'Brien, of Romford, was sentenced to six years in The Pokey for his wilful robbing ways. He was jailed for another five years and three months, to run concurrently, after admitting to a series of other robberies between October and November last year, in which cash and jewellery were taken. O'Brien was found by police hiding beneath a mattress in a property in Dagenham ten days after the attempt to rob Carroll. The footballer told jurors that he was scared when the motorcycle rider pulled up beside him, said 'nice watch' then demanded Carroll give it to him. Carroll did a U-turn, but was forced to drive on the wrong side of the road as he was pursued back to West Hamsters' training ground where there were security staff. In a nine-nine-nine call played in court he was heard telling responders: 'There's two motorbikes, one's behind me pulling out a gun, I don't know what to do.' He also said that he had 'probably just hit about ten cars' during his getaway, part of which was captured on video. In a victim impact statement Carroll said that he had 'feared for his life' and now travels to and from training with security guards. Police seized a motorcycle helmet, Ducati jacket and a Suzuki motorbike which, they believed, were used by O'Brien during the foiled attempted robbery. DNA matching the twenty two-year-old was found on the helmet and jacket, but O'Brien claimed that while he had used the equipment for other robberies, 'somebody else' was wearing them when Carroll was targeted. No firearm was found by police. The second motorbike rider has not been located. Detective Sergeant Brett Hagen said that CCTV footage of the pursuit 'shows the persistent and reckless lengths this man went to in order to try to steal a high-value watch. I would like to thank the victim who showed great courage and calmness throughout this terrifying robbery attempt,' he added.
Headline of the week: Not as excited as her father, one trusts.
This blogger now has a generic reply for all unsolicited e-mails/Facebook posts/phone calls/blog spamming or knocks on the door ...
Bloody Hell, dear blog reader, this blogger had expected the North Koreans to go for Seoul or Tokyo first rather than McDonalds.
And finally, dear blog reader, earlier this week yer actual Keith Telly Topping received an e-mail from a lady called Paula who had been doing a web search and came across a review on From The North from 2008 of the ITV documentary Hannah Hauxwell: Thirty Years On. Could this blogger, Paula wondered, tell her whether the subject of that documentary, Hannah Hauxwell herself, is still alive? Keith Telly Topping does not, normally, do requests(!) but, on this particular occasion - and, because this blogger rather wanted to know the answer himself - he did a bit of Interweb digging. And, the outcome is that, to the best of this blogger's researching abilities, it appears Hannah is still with us and currently living in County Durham. Certainly, as recently as August 2016, she celebrated her ninetieth birthday as this article on the ITV website confirmed. Around the same time, there was much increased media interest in Hannah's story as her former home, Low Birk Hatt Farm, had been renovated and put up for sale by its then-current owners.
      For those younger dear blog readers who don't remember Hannah, she was something of a TV regular during the 1970s and 80s. It all began with an article in the Yorkshire Post in 1970. Under the headline How To Be Happy On One Hundred And Seventy Pounds A Year, it told of Hannah's daily struggle against the harsh elements at her farm in Baldersdale and led to her starring role in the award-winning 1973 Yorkshire Television documentary Too Long A Winter, part of their Real Lives strand. Hannah had never had many visitors, let alone a camera crew, but she turned out to be a natural on television. Then in her forties, unmarried and with apparently little interest in the changing fashions of the time, she seemed to belong to a different age. Her farm had neither electricity nor running water, something many dear blog readers may find difficult to believe - this was, after all, only just over forty years ago. It was undoubtedly a harsh existence, but Hannah's innocence, common-sense observations, dignity and humour as she braved blizzards and ice to ensure that her animals were fed and watered made her a hit with viewers. Yorkshire TV's phone lines were, reportedly, jammed for days after the initial broadcast with people wanting to find out more about Hannah and many wishing to help her in any way they could. Over the next few years, her life was transformed. A local factory raised money to fund getting electricity to Low Birk Hatt Farm and she continued to receive hundred of letters and generous donations from well-wishers around the world. Coach trips and autograph hunters began to descend and the local branch of Woolworths even started selling postcards with Hannah's picture on them. The farm had always been a family affair, but following the deaths of her parents and uncle, Hannah had been left in charge and alone aged thirty four. She never once complained that her bath tub was a cow pail and her bread was delivered by the village shop to a gate three fields away. That was just the way life was. Almost two decades after Too Long A Winter, the same TV crew returned to her farm to catch up with Hannah. The second documentary, A Winter Too Many, saw that Hannah now had a little more money, which she had invested in a few more cows. The crew followed her to London where she was the guest of honour at a Women Of The Year gala. But, out of the spotlight, her back-breaking work on the farm continued and each winter it became harder for her to endure. With her health and strength slowly failing, she had to make a heart-rending decision: to sell her family farm and the animals she adored and move into a cottage in a nearby village. Subsequently, Barry Cockcroft who had directed the two documentaries also took Hannah around Europe for a further series Hannah Hauxwell: Innocent Abroad. On a grand tour of Europe, reminiscent of Victorian ladies, Hannah visited France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy in her naive but captivating style. The series proved so popular it was followed by another trip, this time to the USA in 1993. Cockcroft, who was the driving force behind her time in the public eye, died in 2001. 'I was lucky he came, Mister Cockcroft and I was lucky that he was who he was,' Hannah said, admitting that she would be wary of working with today's TV executives. 'There aren't people of his class. The media isn't what it was.' In 2008 her story was retold in Thirty Years On, which saw Hannah, in retirement, living in much more comfortable conditions. So, there you go, Paula, hope all that has helped. Next time, this blogger will charge!