Saturday, January 27, 2018

"We're Not Alone In The Universe. But Nobody Likes Us!"

'Confuse The Twilight Zone with The Outer Limits? Do you even know me?!' Okay, dear blog reader, now Keith Telly Topping remembers why he continues in 2018 to get all excited about new The X Files episodes even after all of the - many - Chris Carter-related disappointments over the years. Because, quite simply, there is just the odd chance that - as with this week - the next episode might be one written by the legend that is Darin Morgan. Much as he did last series with Mulder & Scully Meet The Were-Monster, in The Lost Art Of Forehead Sweat Darin flipped viewers expectations, but this time he did so through the filter of the Trump administration and the current debate over 'fake news.' How can anyone believe that 'the truth is out there' when no one can agree on what the truth actually is any more? It was an episode about manipulating history which, magnificently, also manipulated the history of the popular SF drama itself. And, lo, it was brilliant dear blog reader. Piss-in-yer-own-pants funny and also in places touching and humane and honest; Darin Morgan's entire career in a nutshell. 'It's not parallel universes!' Reviews can be found here and here and here. Whinges from people who don't like it when TV shows they like parody themselves and their own aesthetics can also be found on the Interweb if you look hard enough. But, to be honest this blogger wouldn't bother looking for them if he were you, dear blog reader. Because, life's too short for that nonsense.
And, there's also a very good Darin Morgan interview relating to the themes in the episode here.
As you'll know if you've been reading this blog for the last month, the current X Files series has been running for four weeks in the US. Four episodes, three of them really very good indeed (including one, shockingly, written by Chris Carter), one of them awfully up-its-own-arse. Channel Five have now confirmed that series - starting with the awfully up-its-own-arse My Struggle III - will being in the UK from Monday 5 February. Stick with it, dear blog reader, it gets much better!
BBC Radio 1 earlier this week was offering the chance for listeners to win two VIP tickets to the exclusive premiere of the new series of Doctor Who including a chance to meet The Doctor her very self, yer actual Jodie Whittaker. To enter what you needed to do was to text the correct answer to a multiple choice question. If you didn't have a mobile phone with text facility then, tough, you couldn't enter. Once you had entered - if you had the equipment - you then had to actually listen to The Breakfast Show from 8am on Thursday (a chore in and of itself, obviously). There you would be given you a word which you would have needed to answer your phone with if you were called live from the radio. If you didn't answer with the correct word, you wouldn't win. To enter you just needed to answer this question: 'What is the name of the device that The Doctor often carries?' If you thought it was 'Sonic Screwdriver' you had to text DOCTOR A, followed by your name and age. If you thought it was 'Sonic Spatula' you had to text DOCTOR B, followed by your name and age. If you thought it was 'Sonic Spade' you had to text DOCTOR C, followed by your name and age. Mind you, if you thought the answer was either B or C you should also consider jumping off a tall building. Because, let's face it, with a brain like the one you, seemingly, have you're absolutely sod-all use to the world as it stands and you should probably think about removing yourself from the gene-pool at your earliest opportunity. The world would undoubtedly be jolly grateful for your - potential - sacrifice, trust this blogger on that one. Only one text would be counted per phone and you had to be sixteen or over to enter. Winners aged under eighteen must be accompanied by a 'responsible' adult aged eighteen or over when they visit the set. Who gets to decide whether the adult in question is 'reasonable' was not disclosed. Oh and, if you've read all of that, sorry, you've missed your chance to enter the competition. So, that was all utterly pointless really, wasn't it?
The BBC gender pay gap was one of the biggest stories of last year - you might have noticed - and one person who is, it would seem, not afraid of fighting her own corner is yer actual Jodie Whittaker. The actress said this week that she 'made sure' she got paid the same amount of wonga as her Doctor Who predecessor Peter Capaldi. So, that's somewhere between two hundred and two hundred and fifty thousand knicker per year according to figures released in 2017. Speaking backstage at the National Television Awards ceremony where she was presenting Suranne Jones with her Best Actress award for Doctor Foster, Jodie said: 'It's an incredibly important time and the notion [of equal pay] should be supported. It's a bit of a shock that it's a surprise to everyone that it should be supported. I know I do not speak just on behalf of the women here, I speak on behalf of the men and the women,' she added, stating that people of both sexes believe they should be paid equally. When asked how she was enjoying working on the BBC's iconic long-running family SF drama, the actress said: 'It's great. I absolutely love it. I get to see all the best places!' Like Cardiff. Next ...
According to the - always reliable and informative - Daily Scum Mail, Suranne Jones's victory at the NTA's this week has 'given BBC bosses incentive to start working on season three' of Doctor Foster. Confirmation of whether the Beeb have actually commissioned another series of the popular drama will be forthcoming when someone a bit more believable than the Daily Scum Mail reports it.
'She has a right to know the truth.' 'The truth that a dirty old prosecutor was screwing her son? She's suffered enough.' Violence flared after a uniform officer's shooting of an unarmed Bakary Camara in the first of Saturday's two episodes of the best crime drama in the world at the moment, Spiral. A sense of injustice fuelled Josephine's aggression in relation to the Bodin case and Tintin's feelings on being kept in the dark about Laure and Gilou's growing relationship simmered away like ... big simmering thing. No closer to arresting Drissa Camara or, for that matter, the corrupt officers on Herville's team who are working for him, Laure and her boys were forced to seek out the missing teen, Maria, to get the answers they require. And, Judge Roban was rattled to be testifying in court in his own defence, cross-examined by an enraged Josephine. Particularly as he's not feeling to well at the moment, what with just finding out he's got potentially terminal brain cancer. As ever, the episodes mixed tense, dramatic set-pieces - Gilou and Laure finding themselves caught in the middle of a full-scale riot, for example - with slyly sharp comedy moments and brilliant characterisation. And, hands up who saw that climax to episode ten coming?
TV Comedy Line Of The Week: Came from the latest episode of Qi - Omnishambles - and first-time guest, the delightful comedienne Cally Beaton's observation on the subject of running in a sports-bra: 'I feel like giving out tips on race days. Sometimes to middle-aged men, to be honest!'
Meanwhile this week's 'Question on Only Connect that yer actual Keith Telly Topping got the answer to before one of the teams did' was this one. Music round an'all, this blogger's normally crap on those.
The latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery - the third really good one in a row, for those taking notes - included a shocking and stunning cliffhanger that no one saw coming. Well no, actually, that's not true, some people did see it coming. And, those people, seemingly, have no intention of letting those of us who didn't see it coming forget that they saw it coming and we didn't any time soon!
Nice to see one of this blogger's favourite actors, Ben Crompton (Ideal, Game Of Thrones, Doctor Who, Collision), turning up in as a scummy-individual-but not-the-murder-type character in last week's Vera. The North East accent he was sporting was a bit ropey, however (which, given that Ben has actually lived in Newcastle for the last few years, was a wee bit startling).
In a recent interview with Metro, Maisie Williams revealed when Game Of Thrones fans can expect to see the series eight premiere. 'We wrap [filming] in December and we air our first episode in April [2019],' she said. 'That's a four-month turnaround for these huge episodes. There's a lot that goes into the final edit. You would not want to rush this season at all. We owe it to our audience and our fans to really do this final season to the best of our abilities.'
Gotham has recast the role of The Scarecrow midway through its fourth series. Although Charlie Tahan appeared as Jonathan Crane in the first two of episodes the current series, TVLine confirmed that the actor's role in the Netflix crime drama Ozark 'made it impossible' for him to return. With that in mind, a casting call was put out and it seems that the FOX series has found a replacement. David W Thompson is taking on the role. The character description in the casting call suggested that this new iteration of Crane will appear in episodes seventeen and eighteen later this series and that he will be a recurring guest star. 'After being dosed with a fear toxin developed by his late father, Jonathan Crane was paralysed by fear, until he learned to turn that fear on others,' read the casting call. Though, if you've ever read a Batman comic, you'd know that already. Of course, the Scarecrow is not the first example of Gotham recasting classic characters. This series, we've already seen Peyton List take over the role of Poison Ivy from Maggie Geha (who originally took over from Clare Foley). Gotham, incidentally, will return to FOX for the second half of a series four on Thursday 1 March. David Mazouz has also revealed this week that the Gotham producers intend to introduce 'a Justice League of villains' to the series.
Here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Eight programmes broadcast in the UK during the week-ending Sunday 21 January 2018:-
1 Call The Midwife - Sun BBC1 - 9.09m
2 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.43m
3 Death In Paradise - Thurs BBC1 - 8.22m
4 Silent Witness - Mon BBC1 - 7.99m
5 Emmerdale - Thurs ITV - 7.54m
6 Vera - Sun ITV - 7.33m
7 EastEnders - Thurs BBC1 - 7.10m
8 Twatting About On Ice - Sun ITV - 6.33m
9 The Voice - Sat ITV - 6.32m
10 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 6.09m
11 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.63m
12 Six O'Clock News - Wed BBC1 - 5.58m
13 Girlfriends - Wed ITV - 5.54m
14 McMafia - Sun BBC1 - 5.39m
15 Still Open All Hours - Sun BBC1 - 5.21m
16 Big Cats - Thurs BBC1- 5.03m
17 Would I Lie To You? - Fri BBC1 - 4.95m
18 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 4.79m
19 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.57m
20 Pointless Z-List Celebrity - Sat BBC1 - 4.28m
21 Kiri - Wed C4 - 4.24m
22 Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.23m
23 The Martin Lewis Money Show - Mon ITV - 4.17m
24 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 4.03m
25 FA Cup Match Of The Day Live - Wed BBC1 - 4.01m
26 Party Political Broadcast - Wed BBC1 - 3.97m
27 Next Of Kin - Mon ITV - 3.95m
28 The ONE Show - Thurs BBC1 - 3.92m
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 programmes on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. You knew that, right? Figures for ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five do not include viewers who watched programmes on any of the various '+1' channels. Inside The Factory headed BBC2's weekly top thirty with 3.10 million. Tom Kerridge: Lose Weight For Good was seen by 2.90 million punters. Surgeons: At The Edge Of Life drew 2.85 million, Trust Me, I'm A Doctor, 2.53 million, University Challenge, 2.49 million, Monty Don's Paradise Gardens, 2.29 million, A House Through Time, 2.27 million, Only Connect, 2.24 million back in its traditional Monday evening slot, Mastermind, 2.20 million, The Hairy Bikers' Mediterranean Adventures, 1.86 million, Inside Number Nine, 1.76 million, Qi, 1.70 million, Snooker coverage, 1.70 million insomniacs, Millionaire' Ex-Wives Club, 1.67 million and House Of Saud: A Family At War, 1.64 million. Rick Stein's Road To Mexico was watched by 1.55 million and Great British Railway Journeys, by 1.52 million. Kiri was again - by a distance - Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast of the week - albeit, eight hundred thousand punters down on the opening episode's consolidated audience. Hunted attracted 2.49 million. SAS: Who Dares Wins (2.36 million), the third episode of Derry Girls (2.28 million) and Kirstie & Phil's Love It Or Lust It (2.13 million) came next. First Dates Hotel had 2.13 million viewers, Twenty Four Hours In A&E, two million, George Clarke's Amazing Spaces, 1.75 million, The Secret Life Of The Zoo, 1.72 million, Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown, 1.71 million and The Undateables, 1.63 million. Channel Five's top performer was, obviously, Z-List Celebrity Big Brother. The top seven broadcasts in Channel Five's list of shame were episodes of the sick Victorian freak-show with Tuesday's watched by an audience of 1.93 million brain-damaged morons or the victims of cruel medical experiments. Broken Britain in a nutshell, dear blog reader. GPs: Behind Closed Doors (1.25 million), Police Interceptors (1.16 million), Will & Grace (1.14 million) and Diet Secrets & How To Lose Weight (1.05 million) rounded-off Five's most-watched list. On Sky Sports Premier League, Gillette Soccer Special was watched by two hundred and seven thousand, whilst three hundred and ninety six thousand punters viewed Jeff, Tiss, Merse, Thommo and Champagne Charlie on Sky Sports News and three hundred and twenty nine thousand on Sky Sports Football. Southampton's draw with Stottingtot Hotshots was seen by five hundred and ninety two thousand on SS PL, plus seven hundred and one thousand on Main Event. The Scum's three-nil twanking of Dirty Stoke had two hundred and twelve thousand plus five hundred and ninety six thousand on Main Event. Brighton & Hove Albinos clash with Moscow Chelski FC drew one hundred and ninety two thousand on Premier League and three hundred and ninety two thousand on Main Event. Goals On Sunday was watched by one hundred and twenty one thousand. Live EFL and Derby County's tedious, incident free goalless draw with Bristol City bored one hundred and twenty nine thousand punters on Sky Sports Football and two hundred and fifty four thousand viewers on Main Event titless. Main Event's largest audience for anything other than a football game was for an American football game, New England Patriot's defeat of the Jacksonville Jaguars (one hundred and seventy seven thousand, with a further eighty nine thousand on Sky Sports Mix and thirty thousand on Sky Sports Action). On Sky Sports Mix, Real Madrid's home victory over Deportivo brought in eighty two thousand punters. A repeat of last season's Brazilian Grand Prix was Sky Sports F1's list-topper with four thousand. Highlights of the ODI game between New Zealand and Pakistan had thirty thousand on Sky Sports Cricket. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by Delicious with nine hundred and twenty six thousand viewers and Hawaii Five-0, with eight hundred and ninety nine thousand. NCIS: Los Angeles (seven hundred and seven thousand), Modern Family (six hundred and fifty six thousand) and From The North favourite The Blacklist (six hundred and twenty two thousand) came next. Rancid puddle of festering spew Trollied had four hundred and seventy three thousand people who should be bloody well embarrassed after surrendering their intelligence to such crass phlegm. Sky Arts' Portrait Artists Of The Year episode featuring national heartthrob David Tennant was seen by three hundred and twenty four thousand viewers. Sky Atlantic's top ten was dominated by the opening episode of Britannia. Nine hundred and ninety five thousand watched the initial broadcast whilst two subsequent repeats had four hundred and ninety nine thousand and one hundred and seventy four thousand respectively. On Sky Living, the latest episode of The Good Doctor drew nine hundred and seventy seven thousand whilst Madam Secretary, had five hundred and seven thousand. Chicago Fire attracted four hundred and ninety three, America's Next Top Model, three hundred and thirteen thousand, How To Get Away With Murder, one hundred and eighty five thousand and Britain's Most Evil Killers & Their Naughty Wicked Ways, one hundred and fifty six thousand. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge was the most-watched film on Sky Cinema Premiere, seen by nine hundred and forty eight thousand. A Cure For Wellness drew one hundred and thirty eight thousand. Midsomer Murders was, as usual, ITV3's top-rated drama (eight hundred and fourteen thousand viewers). Endeavour was seen by five hundred and twenty five thousand, Agatha Christie's Marple by four hundred and ninety four thousand, Foyle's War by four hundred and ninety one thousand and Lewis, by four hundred and twelve thousand. The movies The Shawkshank Redemption and Goldfinger were viewed by three hundred and eighty thousand and three hundred and seventy thousand punters on ITV4 whose top-ten was topped by ITV Racing (four hundred and twenty one thousand). ITV2's list was headed by The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King with eight hundred and six thousand. The shameful Release The Hounds had seven hundred and fourteen thousand and worthless, odious bucket of diarrhoea Celebrity Juice, seven hundred thousand. Heartbeat sat a'top ITV Encore's top-ten with eighty three thousand viewers, followed by Vera (sixty two thousand). Appalling tripe The Real Housewives Of Orange County, was viewed by three hundred and forty three thousand of exactly the sort of specimens who enjoy such risible and ugly exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. Similarly wretched conceit, Vanderpump Rules was seen by one hundred and forty two thousand. BBC4's top-ten was headed by the seventh and eighth episodes of From The North favourite Spiral, with nine hundred and fifty nine thousand and eight hundred and ninety seven thousand. Art, Passion & Power: The Story Of The Royal Collection attracted eight hundred and eighty thousand. Alaska: Earth's Frozen Kingsom had six hundred and eighty seven thousand, Highlands: Scotland's Wild Heart, six hundred and sixty three thousand and Six Wives With Lucy Worsley, five hundred and ninety nine thousand. A Stitch In Time drew five hundred and eighty four thousand, Forces Of Nature With Brian Cox (No, The Other One), five hundred and forty five thousand and Handmade: By Royal Appointment, five hundred and forty thousand. 5USA's repeat run of NCIS was viewed by five hundred and ten thousand punters, Chicago Justice by three hundred and sixty seven thousand, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit by three hundred and fourteen thousand and NCIS: Los Angeles by two hundred and sixty thousand. On Five Star, Z-List Celebrity Big Brother scored five hundred and fifty seven thousand thousand and Home & Away, four hundred and thirty nine thousand. The movies Six and The Bridge At Remagen drew three hundred and nine thousand and one hundred and ninety six thousand on Five-Spike. NCIS was the most-watched broadcast on CBS Action (one hundred and twenty six thousand). CSI: Miami attracted fifty two thousand to CBS Drama. For FOX's sake, the third episode of the newest series of NCIS was seen by nine hundred and twenty two thousand viewers. The latest episode of The Orville had five hundred and ninety thousand and Bull, four hundred and twenty thousand. NCIS also continued its - seemingly endless - repeat run on the Universal Channel with eighty two thousand viewers. On Dave, an episode of Have I Got A Bit More News For You was watched by three hundred and sixty thousand whilst appalling, laughless bollocks Taskmaster had three hundred and fifty two thousand. Channel staples Qi XL and Would I Lie To You? drew two hundred and sixty thousand and two hundred and fifty seven thousand respectively. Drama's Death In Paradise was viewed by four hundred and thirty thousand whilst Inspector George Gently attracted three hundred and forty eight thousand viewers and The Inspector Lynely Mysteries, three hundred and twenty thousand. Two Drama Channel staple also headed the weekly top-ten of Alibi - Murdoch Mysteries with two hundred and fifty one thousand and Father Brown with one hundred and two thousand. Maisie Raine was seen by sixty four thousand and Rebus by sixty three thousand. Sony TV's most watched movie was Godzilla (twenty three thousand). Hustle was seen by twenty thousand. Yesterday's Wartime Crime and Wild Canada drew two hundred and eighty one thousand and two hundred and forty three thousand respectively. On Your TV, Bones brought in one hundred and ten thousand and Castle, one hundred thousand viewers. The Discovery Channel's Gold Rush was seen by four hundred and ninety five thousand viewers. Wheeler Dealers had three hundred and twenty eight thousand, Alaska: The Last Frontier, one hundred and two thousand and Bitchin' Rides, ninety two thousand. Former From The North fave Wheeler Dealers also appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (twenty five thousand) and Discovery Turbo (thirty three thousand). Though both of those were from previous series when the programme used to be good. Discovery History's Ultimate Weapons headed the top-ten with forty two thousand. Jesus Conspiracies attracted twenty five thousand whilst Egypt Unwrapped, Biblical Conspiracies and Cold War Armageddon all had twenty three thousand. On Discovery Science, Food Factory was viewed by fifty five thousand. Salvage Hunters on Quest was watched by five hundred and fourteen thousand and Goblin Works Garage by two hundred and twenty seven thousand. Pick's Brit Cops had an audience of two hundred and fifty seven thousand. Air Warriors, Churchill's First World War and Timewatch: Who Killed Stalin? topped PBS America's weekly list, with twenty six thousand, nineteen thousand and eighteen thousand respectively. National Geographic's list was headed by Banged Up Abroad and Air Crash Investigations. They were watched by sixty five thousand and forty six thousand. National Geographic Wild's Africa's Deadliest was viewed by forty eight thousand. The History Channel's most-seen programme was The Curse Of Oak Island (two hundred and thirty three thousand thousand), followed by Hunting Hitler (one hundred and eighty two thousand) and Vikings (one hundred and fifty six thousand). Ancient Aliens on the Military History channel was watched by thirty eight thousand. Robbie Coltrane's Critical Evidence, Homicide Hunter and Unusual Suspects were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with one hundred and forty one thousand, fifty nine thousand and forty seven thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. Deadly Women, Grave Secrets, The Perfect Suspect, Held Hostage and Suspicion headed Investigation Discovery's list (eighty two thousand, seventy four thousand, seventy two thousand, fifty nine and forty seven thousand respectively). Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for an episode of Roast Battle with five hundred and ninety one thousand. GOLD's repeat run of Only Fools & Horses continued with two hundred and sixty seven thousand punters. On More4, Four In Bed was the highest-rated programme with five hundred and fifty one thousand. E4's list was topped by Hollyoakes with 1.01 million. Two hundred and twelve thousand punters were trying, in vain it would seem, to be Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E! Bargain Hunt was watched by one hundred and thirty four thousand on Home. The Horror Channel's weekly list was topped by several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation,one of which attracted one hundred and twenty nine thousand. The Dyatlov Pass Incident (one hundred and nine thousand), Invaders From Mars (ninety two thousand) and the camp Wes Craven classic The People Under The Stairs (ninety one thousand) also featured in the channel's top-ten. The latter incidentally, includes of this blogger's favourite ever lines of dialogue from a movie - horror or otherwise: 'Your father's one sick mother, you know that? Actually, your mother's one sick mother, too!' They don't write 'em like that any more. The Librarians headed Syfy's top-ten with two hundred and forty nine thousand. Followed by several episodes of Merlin. Nobody Runs Forever, Encore, Never Let Go and The Rogues topped Talking Pictures list, with one hundred and one thousand, eighty six thousand, seventy eight thousand and seventy two thousand respectively. TLC's list was headed by Ninety Day Fiance (one hundred and sixty seven thousand). True Crime's Forty Eight Hours and Deadly Women were seen by fifty two thousand viewers and forty six thousand viewers. On True Entertainment, M*A*S*H was watched by one hundred and twenty thousand punters. Tipping Point: Lucky Stars on W attracted an audience of one hundred and fifty five thousand. Alaska: Earth's Frozen Kingdom was viewed by forty seven thousand on Eden. Pit Bulls & Parolees was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with twenty four thousand. Nigel Slater's Dish Of The Day had seventy three thousand people on Good Food. Geet worthless pants Geordie Shore on MTV was viewed by seven hundred and five thousand planks. Most Haunted drew three hundred and one thousand on the woefully mis-named Really. Tom & Jerry had ninety five thousand viewers on Boomerang. On Cbeebies, Go Jetters was seen by six hundred and fifty five thousand. Topsy & Tim had five hundred and sixty eight thousand and School Of Roars, five hundred and twenty seven thousand. Alvinnn!!! & The Chipmunks had an audience of one hundred and fifty thousand on the Pop Channel. The Truth About Healthy Eating attracted forty two thousand on London Live as did Posh Neighbours At War. Super Storms, was seen by one hundred and eighteen thousand on the Movies 4 Men channel. Taken 3 attracted five hundred and sixty seven thousand on Film4. Idiocracy had five hundred and thirty six thousand and Cowboys & Aliens, four hundred and eighty two thousand.

Filming on Luther series five began in early January for a new four-part series from EMMY-nominated writer Neil Cross. All that was confirmed in the BBC's initial announcement was that Idris Elba was back as John Luther - obviously - alongside Dermot Crowley, Michael Smiley and Patrick Malahide, while new cast member Wunmi Mosaku would play Catherine Halliday. Fans were, therefore, left wondering where was Alice Morgan? Well, the good news is that Ruth Wilson has been seen - and photographed - filming alongside Elba in London this week. Wilson's commitment to award-winning US drama The Affair left her unable to take part in Luther's two-part fourth series, so her character was 'killed', albeit off-screen, drowned by the murderous Megan (Laura Haddock).

Line Of Duty series five is due to start filming later this year. Following series four's ambiguous ending, Adrian Dunbar - who plays Superintendent Ted Hastings - has suggested that next year's series will be 'as dark and devious' as ever. As for the key question of whether corrupt officer 'H' is still out there and, if it might even be Hastings himself, that question is going to remain unanswered for a while yet. 'I haven't seen anything, Jed hasn't told us anything,' Adrian told Radio Times. 'We're all keeping our fingers crossed that we're not bumped off. We'll be shooting the next series at the end of this year, some time in the autumn, so sadly we'll all have to wait until 2019 to find out what happens to us all.' Jed Mercurio has already promised that series five will 'delve into Hastings' past.'
Top Gear has released a new trailer for its forthcoming series. And, it looks as if Matt LeBlanc and ... you know, the other two, are up to their usual shenanigans. In the clip, which was released on Friday, the presenter asks: 'Who says we don't do serious car reviews?'
Monty Python's Flying Circus - remember then? They weren't Messiahs, they were very naughty boys - is coming to Netflix. The comedy stylings of the late Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin (a popular comedy combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) have become immortalised as part of British culture over the years and now you can stream The Pythons their very selves from the comfort of your living room. Pretty much the entire Python catalogue is coming to a screen near you on 15 February in the UK. That's, obviously, if you haven't got them all of DVD already. Oh, you have? Yeah, this blogger has as well. Making the list of 'soon to be available on Netflix' are the following: All three series of Monty Python's Flying Circus, one episode of Tony M Nypot's Flying Risccu, the six-part 1974 Cleese-less series Monty Python, Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus, the movies Monty Python & The Holy Grail, Monty Python's Life Of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life and the subsequent compilations Monty Python Best Bits (Mostly), Monty Python's Personal Best, Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five To Go, Monty Python: The Meaning Of Live, Monty Python Conquers America and Monty Python's Almost The Truth (Lawyers' Cut). So, no And Now For Something Completely Different then? Pfft, splitters!
Derren Brown is also heading to Netflix. The renowned illusionist and master of mesmerism and prestidigitation took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce he has been signed to produce two new specials for the streaming service. Netflix will also stream Dazzling Dezza's 2016 Channel Four special The Push. 'Pleased to announce that The Push (To The Edge) will be shown on Netflix from 27 February worldwide,' Dezza said. 'Two more specials will appear on Netflix later this year including a big brand new one, which I have just today completed filming. Have been secretly very busy.' Derren's signing comes in the wake of his US live show, Secret, which debuted off-Broadway in New York last year.
Maid Marian & Her Merry Men creator and star Sir Tony Robinson has revealed that he is currently working on a revival of the popular children's sitcom for the stage. On Twitter, the former Time Team star wrote: 'I'm currently writing a stage version of Maid Marian with David Lloyd and Mark Billingham.' However, don't mark anything off on your calendars just yet as Sir Tony admitted that it is 'still early days.' The popular show - which ran between 1989 and 1994 - was notable for subverting the legend of Robin Hood by casting Maid Marian as the leader of the Merry Men and Robin as an incompetent idiot. Robinson himself played the Sheriff of Nottingham - a contrast from his role as Baldrick on The Black Adder as he now became the one with the withering sarcasm -while Lloyd and Billingham played his Norman henchmen. The show also starred Kate Lonergan, Danny John-Jules and Wayne Morris, though it's unclear whether any of those are involved in the proposed stage production. Reflecting on the show to the Digital Spy website a few years ago, Tony said: 'That was the first series that I had artistic control over. It was just me and my friend David Bell, who was the director and we made all the decisions. You just wouldn't be able to make a series in that way for British television now, there would be too many commissioning editors leaning over your back.'
According to the always completely truthful and reliable Daily Lies, both Z-List Celebrity Big Brother and its sister series Big Brother are 'set to be cancelled' by Channel Five after falling ratings. So, let's hope that - for possibly the first time in history - the Daily Lies have got something right. It's not very likely, though, is it dear blog reader?
Director Peter Jackson is creating a new 3D film, using archive footage captured during World War One. The images are being digitally restored and will be hand-colourised and accompanied by original audio. The Oscar-winner has restored the one hundred-year-old footage - some of which has never been seen before - from the Imperial War Museum's archive. It will premiere at the BFI London Film Festival before being broadcast on the BBC on 11 November, the one hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day. The Academy Award-winning director, famed for his adaptations of The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, spent months in the Imperial War Museum - which jointly commissioned the film - watching original World War One footage. There, Jackson discovered stories and perspectives, which he described as 'surprising.' He said that the transformed footage is 'beyond anything we've ever seen before,' adding: 'The faces of the men just jump out at you. It's the faces, it's the people, that come to life in this film. It's the human beings that were actually there, that were thrust into this extraordinary situation that defined their lives.' The footage is coupled with original sound from the BBC archives. Jackson said that he wanted to make 'a personal contribution to the commemoration' of the war. He said: 'We've made a movie to show the experience of what it was like to fight in this war. The human experience of being in the war. A hundred years later we have made up our own minds of what the First World War was like. But I think it's going to be very surprising when you listen to the voices of the men that fought the war and were there. What they had to eat, how they slept at night, how they coped with the fear. And that combined with these incredibly sharp images. It's going to be quite a surprising film.' The film has been commissioned as part of Fourteen-Eighteen NOW, the UK's official arts programme for the World War One centenary. It comes as the BBC announces that 2018 will be a major 'Year of History' with a range of content across television, radio and online to mark the centenary of 1918. Highlights include: New drama documentary The Last Hundred Days, looking at the closing few turbulent months of the war; Dan Snow exploring the devastating consequences of shellshock; How Women Won The Vote, in which From The North favourite Lucy Worsley will tell the story of how universal suffrage was achieved in 1918; Ewan and Colin McGregor taking to the skies in some of the world's most iconic planes to celebrate one hundred years of the RAF and The Pankhurst Anthem - a choral work composed by Lucy Pankhurst with text by Helen Pankhurst based on words by her great grandmother, Emmeline. The 2018 events will culminate on Armistice Day with a new work created by director Danny Boyle, the mastermind behind the spectacular opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Details are yet to be announced, but it will invite people across the UK to take part. BBC Director General Tony Hall said: 'We see 2018 as our chance to inspire a new generation with extraordinary stories of courage and sacrifice. Over the last three years, events staged by Fourteen-Eighteen NOW and programming broadcast on the BBC, have moved us in our millions and I hope through our Year of History, we can galvanise even more people.'
After The CW announced that it had ordered a pilot for a Charmed reboot with a new story line, Holly Marie Combs, who starred in the original version of the supernatural drama, tweeted her immense displeasure of this right-shite state of affairs. 'Here's the thing. Until you ask us to rewrite it like Brad Kern did weekly, don't even think of capitalising on our hard work,' she tweeted on Friday. Ooh, you don't want to mess with Holly Marie when she's angry, dear blog reader. And, she is angry, it would seem. Very angry. 'Charmed belongs to the four of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly the fans. For Your Information, you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp.' The network revealed the description for the new show on Thursday. 'This fierce, funny, feminist reboot of the original series centres on three sisters in a college town who discover they are witches,' the description reads. Well, that was the original series, wasn't it? 'Between vanquishing supernatural demons, tearing down the patriarchy and maintaining familial bonds, a witch's work is never done.' Yep, still sounding like the original series. In regards to the inclusion of specific 'feminist' storyline, Combs tweeted: 'Guess we forgot to do that the first go around.' The series originally ran on The WB for eight series from 1998 to 2006 and starred Combs, Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty and, after Doherty left, Rose McGowan. The show was about a group of sister-witches who protected innocent people from demons and was created by Constance Burge, produced by Aaron Spelling and executive produced by Brad Kern. It was all right, actually. This blogger wrote a book about it once upon a long ago. Doherty also spoke about the revival last October, telling The Hollywood Reporter: 'I just don't ever foresee it happening. It would be far too soon, but I also don't think you need the original cast for a reboot. I know our fans really want us back, but who knows? We were basically a reboot of Practical Magic in its own way, so they could redo it, but now it should just rest.' The CW confirmed early last year that the new project was in development. The original version of the reboot was to take place in the 1970s, but the new version will be set in the present day, like the original series. Jane The Virgin writers Jessica O'Toole and Amy Rardin have been hired by the network to create the story and write the pilot. No cast announcements have been made yet.
Billie The Piper is part of an all-star cast in BBC2's upcoming, much-trailed and rather good-looking thriller Collateral – but writer David Hare has admitted that he never thought she would accept the role. Piper's character is the troubled ex-wife of an opposition politician, played by John Simm, both of whom become embroiled in an investigation led by Detective Inspector Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan). The - hugely impressive - cast also includes Saskia Reeves, Ben Miles, Julie Namir and Nicola Walker. 'Everybody who was available, who was our first choice, did it,' Hare said. '[But] Billie Piper, we didn't even think of, because the part is not the leading part. Billie's agent simply rang us and said, "Billie's read this and she'll play that part" – I think actors really want to do material that annexes new subject matter, that annexes stuff you haven't seen on television.' A 'high-octane thriller' set in London, Collateral explores the aftermath of the fatal shooting of a pizza delivery man. As it unravels, the series delves into issues including illegal immigration and the conduct of the police, the army and the church.
And, speaking of From The North favourite the Goddess-like Nicola Walker, wasn't she just abso-fekking-loolty brilliant in last week's episode of Inside Number Nine, dear blog reader? Not 'alf.
A Peaky Blinders-inspired 'festival' is planned, dear blog reader. Hosted at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley - where some of the scenes from the acclaimed and award-winning BBC gangster drama are set - the Peaky Blinders 'festival' will take place over two weekends in September (7 to 8 and 14 to 15) and run from 7pm until 10.30pm. There will be 1920s and '30s-themed cocktails and music, live street theatre inspired by the show and a chance to head to the Garrison pub for a pint of local ale every bit as uncompromising as Tommy Shelby his very self. The event description reads: 'Step inside the murky underworld of the Peaky Blinders as you discover their dark history. Dig out your flat caps and take a stroll around the set for the Shelbys' scrap metal business – Charlie's yard – where many props used during the filming remain.' Tickets are priced at seventeen notes and go on general release on 1 February at 10am.
The Kevin Spacey sexual misconduct fiasco has reportedly cost Netflix around thirty nine million dollars in losses. The streaming giant released its fourth-quarter report this week and, whilst they unsurprisingly made big gains, there was a thirty nine million bucks 'write-down' in content that it had 'decided not to move forward with.' While the company did not specify the reasons, alleged 'sources' have allegedly told various outlets including CNN Money and the Financial Times that the write-down was related to 'unreleased Spacey projects.' Those includes two episodes of House Of Cards, which Spacey had already filmed, as well as the scrapped upcoming feature film, Gore. Netflix extremely cut all of its ties with the actor after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct emerged last year and suspended production on House Of Cards. Following allegations from Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, multiple current and former House Of Cards employees accused Spacey of misconduct. A spokesperson for the actor said in November that he would be 'seeking evaluation and treatment' at a private facility. It has also been confirmed that Spacey will not return to House Of Cards - which has resumed production in the last week - with his character, Frank Underwood, being completely written out and focus instead going onto Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) for one final series. Gore, a Netflix biopic in which Spacey played the role of writer Gore Vidal and based on the biography Empire Of Self: A Life Of Gore Vidal, was in post-production – though it was also scrapped following the allegations.
Channel Four has 'come under fire' - albeit, only by some people you've never heard of on the Internet - for appearing to mock vegans in an Instagram post over the weekend. Because mocking vegans is wrong. Apparently. In the now-deleted post, Channel Four shared a photo of Rachel Riley on Countdown with the word 'asswipe' spelled out on the board behind her, accompanied by the words: 'When your friends say they're doing Veganuary.' And, this utter trivial bollocks constitutes 'news', apparently.
The detail of Mary Berry's new BBC show, Britain's Best Cook have been released this week. It features Claudia Whatsherface and ... some other people. Britain's Best Cook 'will feature ten contestants competing over a series of eight weeks, covering a range of different themes and dishes.' Which sounds almost identical a format to MasterChef, frankly.
CBS are dipping into the 1980s nostalgia pit again - since it appears that, in common with virtually all US network television at the moment, no one there is able to think of any original ideas. It has reportedly ordered two reboots of retro favourites, Magnum PI and Cagney & Lacey according to Entertainment Weekly.
Viewers of BBC Breakfast on Friday were treated to a moment of thigh-slapping comedy. A young lady named Hannah was appearing as a guest on the morning magazine show alongside her mother to talk about the importance of first aid when she was asked about another guest on that particular episode, the singer Crayyyyyyyg Dayyyyyvid. Hannah had been given the chance to meet him in The Green Room. Charlie Stayt, naturally, asked the teenager: 'Did you get the chance to meet Crayyyyyyg Dayyyyyyvid?' Hannah replied that she had, to which the presenter asked: 'Are you a big fan?' 'No,' said Hannah, bluntly. Charlie and Naga Munchetty could not contain themselves and both burst out laughing, a reaction that Crayyyyyyg Dayyyyyvid often produces. First Bo' Selecta, now this. Crayyyyyyyg Dayyyyyyid just can't catch a break, can he?
One 'eagle-eyed viewer' (or, more realistically, 'someone with nothing better to do with their time') of The Crown spotted a continuity error in the second series. And then, snitched it up to the Daily Scum Mail like a filtyh stinking Copper's Nark. Because, obviously, they had nothing more important to write about that particular day. The Netflix royal drama's production team are known for their strict attention to detail, often transforming their filming locations to make sure they look as if they did during the historical drama's time period. But, one viewer has whinged on Twitter about a brief scene, in which Prince Philip (yer actual Matt Smith) is shown driving up to an East London home to visit his friend Michael Parker (Daniel Ings). The scene takes place in 1957 but, shockingly - and stunningly, obviously - a modern block of flats with UPVC windows can be scene even though those flats weren't built until the mid-1960s. Well, let's hang someone up by their meat-and-two-veg from a 1950s-vitage lamppost for such disgraceful malarkey and whip them to within an inch of their lives with barbed-wire whilst they dangle. Or, maybe not. Twitter, incidentally, is now the sole arbiter of the worth of all things, apparently. At least, it is according to the some glakes of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star.
Former Catchphrase host Roy Walker is 'eternally grateful' to former Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder after he saved Walker's life. No, this isn't an early April Fool's, honest. The pair were filming together in Sardinia for ITV's - quite horrific-sounding - show One Hundred Years Younger in Twenty One Days, when Walker 'got into an accident after falling underwater and cutting his leg.' Shaun promptly dived into the water and 'saved Walker's life.' Walker has since 'recovered well' from the accident. A representative for Walker told the Digital Spy website: 'He says what he sees, now.' No, sorry, that's something else. 'He says he's eternally grateful to Shaun and has made a lifelong friend - a longer life than he would have had otherwise!' ITV had no comment to make regarding the incident.
Sarah Ferguson - remember her? She used to be royalty - has reportedly demanded (demanded, she says) about forty five million knicker from billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch, claiming that the now defunct, disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World 'wrecked a series of business opportunities' for her when its former reporter, Mazher Mahmood, caught her in a sting. Which is probably true, but it was also really funny. The sum is 'significantly greater' than the twenty five million smackers the former Duchess of York was said to have claimed when she initially sued News Group Newspapers in 2016. Yes. twenty million notes greater, to be precise. In newly surfaced court documents, gleefully reported upon by the Gruniad Morning Star, Ferguson reportedly claimed to have 'lost out on a deal' with a private equity firm and 'work on a film project' that 'would have made her millions of pounds.' Additionally, Ferguson reportedly claimed to 'have had book deals in the works,' whilst sales of 'an existing book were hit' when she 'faced international humiliation' after the sting. Which, to repeat, was funny. In 2010, Ferguson was secretly caught on camera apparently agreeing to set up a meeting between the undercover reporter, who was posing as a wealthy Indian businessman and her former-husband international arms dealer Prince Andrew. The footage, recorded by the reporter known as The Fake Sheikh, apparently showed her accepting over twenty seven grand in advance, telling Mahmood: 'I can open any door you want.' The Grand Old Duchess of York (she had ten thousand quid) has claimed Mahmood, who was later extremely jailed for tampering with evidence relevant to an unrelated issue, 'tricked' her into offering to introduce him to Prince Andrew for half-a-million quid. According to the court documents, seen by the Scum Mail on Sunday, Ferguson whinged that she had 'lost a deal' with the British film executive Graham King to 'raise funds for new projects of one hundred and twenty five million dollars. The commission that would have been payable on funds raised was £4,373,250.' But, the deal 'fell though' after the story ran and Fergsuon found herself mired in accusations of greed and sleaze. The paper allegedly 'quoted' an alleged 'source' allegedly 'close to King' as allegedly saying that Ferguson's recollection of the deal was 'exaggerated.' No shit? Ferguson also, reportedly, claimed to have 'lost out on a deal' to 'find investors for a private equity firm' that 'was working to accomplish the merger of the Jaeger and Aquascutum fashion brands,' for which she 'expected' to get a commission of 'between one and one-and-a-half million' notes. She also planned to 'make millions' working as 'a celebrity endorser' - whatever one of those is - and 'launching products' under the name House of Ferguson, working on 'the animation project Sofi On Safari' and 'a cartoon, Fergie's Farm.' But, she didn't. Which was, obviously, very sad for her. And, very funny for everyone else.
Meanwhile, billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's eleven billion knicker bid to take full control of Sky could be blocked after the UK competition regulator said that the deal would give his family 'to much control over UK news media.' The Competition and Markets Authority said Twenty First Century FOX's bid to take control of the sixty one per cent of Sky that it does not already own was 'not in the public interest' due to concerns about media plurality. And, concerns about Murdoch and those around him and their abilities to run a piss-up in a brewery. Probably. The CMA's investigation into the deal found it would give the Murdoch family trust, which controls FOX and News Corp, the publisher of the Sun and The Times, 'too much control over news providers in the UK across all media platforms and therefore too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda.' The investigation cleared the deal on the grounds of FOX's commitment to broadcasting standards – despite the phone-hacking scandal at the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World and allegations of bad and naughty sexual harassment at FOX News. The CMA has set out three options for the deal that should be considered in a new consultation: that it is blocked, that Sky News is 'spun-off or sold' (preferably with the odious Kay Burley having her arse kicked, pure dead hard, into the gutter along with all the other turds) or that Sky News is 'insulated' from the influence of the Murdoch family trust. And, that the odious Kay Burley has her arse kicked, really hard, into the gutter along with all the other turds. Probably. The former Labour leader Ed Milimolimandi, a vitriolic critic of billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch and his grubby spawn, said that any options other than blocking the deal would give the Murdochs a 'back door' to get the deal they want. And, you know what they say about a back door man? The men don't know but the little girls understand. Apparently. Sky has previously said that it will 'review' the future of Sky News, which employs about five hundred staff (including the odious Kay Burley), if the deal is blocked because closing it down would 'immediately eliminate media plurality issues' blocking the deal. The SNP MP Brendan O'Hara accused Sky of using its news staff as 'pawns in the takeover' to try to coerce the competition regulator and the lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Hancock, into clearing the deal. 'The greatest disaster that could befall plurality of media in this country would be if Sky News were to be closed by its new owner,' said the vile and odious rascal Whittingdale, a former lack of culture secretary, in the House of Commons on Tuesday. The broadcasting regulator Ofcom has previously said that the loss of Sky News 'could present risks to plurality equal to or greater than those presented by the transaction itself.' The CMA will consult on its provisional findings and potential remedies before delivering its final report to the government by a deadline of 1 May. FOX said that it was 'disappointed' by the CMA's provisional findings on media plurality (no shit?), but 'welcomed' its decision that a combined FOX and Sky would be 'committed to meeting broadcasting standards.' One or two people even believed them. The company said: 'We welcome the CMA's provisional finding that the company has a genuine commitment to broadcasting standards and the transaction would not be against the public interest in this respect. Regarding plurality, we are disappointed by the CMA's provisional findings. We will continue to engage with the CMA ahead of the publication of the final report in May.' Sky said it 'noted' the CMA's findings but made no further remarks on its announcement. Anne Lambert, the chair of the CMA's independent investigation group, said: 'Media plurality goes to the heart of our democratic process. It is very important that no group or individual should have too much control of our news media or too much power to affect the political agenda. Our in-depth investigation also considered whether the deal would be against the public interest regarding broadcasting standards. Due to their existing track record in the UK, and the range of policies and procedures the companies involved have in place to ensure broadcasting standards are met, we did not find public interest concerns in this regard.' Tommy Watson (power to the people), the deputy Labour leader and long-time Murdoch critic, praised the watchdog's findings: 'The Competition and Markets Authority is right to say that the FOX takeover of Sky would give the Murdoch family too much power. This is the right decision for the UK.' The CMA's announcement is the latest stage of the long-running saga of whether FOX, which is controlled by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch and his grubby spawn Lachlan and James The Small, will take over Sky. It began in December 2016 when FOX announced it was bidding. The deal was referred to the CMA for an investigation last September by the vile and odious rascal Bradley, the then lack of culture secretary, after an investigation by Ofcom. The regulator 'raised concerns' about media plurality. A separate report by Ofcom found that the Murdochs and FOX were 'fit and proper' to hold a UK broadcasting licence, despite the regulator 'expressing concern' about 'extremely serious and disturbing' allegations of harassment at FOX News. The CMA's investigation has continued despite FOX announcing the sale of most of its entertainment assets – including its thirty nine per cent stake in Sky - to Disney last month. This sixty six billion dollar deal is unlikely to be completed until well after FOX takes full control of Sky, which is why the CMA has pressed ahead with its investigation. However, the Disney deal will reshape billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdochs' media empire and the CMA found in its investigation that if it went ahead as planned then the link between Sky and the Murdochs would 'significantly weaken.' The regulator said that it would 'further consider the impact' of the Disney deal in the consultation into its provisional findings.
Channel Four is planning to push ahead with the broadcast of a controversial documentary next week alleging that three former Conservative ministers were 'willing to sell their services as advisers' to a fake Chinese business set up by the broadcaster according to the Gruniad Morning Star. The episode of Dispatches had been pulled from transmission on Monday of last week amid a string of complaints from the trio, but it is understood that it is expected to be broadcast next week following 'an emergency review' involving the chief executive, Alex Mahon and the director of television, Ian Katz. The programme is expected to show Andrew Lansley, Andrew Mitchell and Peter Lilley 'being lured to a luxury Mayfair office' and 'secretly filmed talking to actors who were posing as Chinese businessmen' hoping to hire them to 'make money out of Britain leaving the EU.' Lilley accused Channel Four of 'a tawdry attempt at entrapment' and insisted that he had 'done nothing wrong.' And, legally, that's almost certainly true. Morally, on the other hand, well, let's wait and see what the programme alleges. Mitchell - already in the poor-house after he tried to sue the Sun (and failed) - claimed that he was 'totally innocent' and suggested that he had launched his 'own investigation' and 'alerted MI5' after 'suspecting the approach was fake.' The Sunday Times was also due to publish a version of the story last weekend, with three more pages inside, but this was also pulled in the early evening. Alleged 'insiders' allegedly said that the final decision to delay by Channel Four and by the newspaper had been taken 'because of warnings about the potential impact' of broadcasting the programme on the health of Lansley, who is currently being treated for illness. By then, the former ministers had also briefed their version of events to the Scum Mail on Sunday. Who were surprisingly sympathetic. Odd that, because they're normally so hard on Tory MPs accused of something, if not illegal they perhaps a bit of the shady side. That front page account outlined how the three former ministers were asked to come to the Mayfair property and were 'greeted by a woman named as Fei Liu,' who 'said she represented Chinese millionaires.' In the Scum Mail's coverage, Mitchell claimed that he had realised 'within minutes of arriving at the meeting' that he was the target of a sting. He claimed that he had 'made clear' he 'could not lobby' and would only take up work with the clearance of parliamentary authorities. 'Like many other politicians, in addition to my work as a backbench MP I have a few outside interests. I am paid for some, but not all,' he said. 'There are some who argue that MPs should do no outside work at all.' Yes, there are. This blogger is one of them, as it happens. A spokesman for Lansley said: 'He has always kept his outside interests separate from his parliamentary duties and at no time did he offer any privileged access, insider information, lobbying activity, parliamentary advice or services.' It is thought that the programme will also claim - with it should be noted, no supporting evidence ... unless they produce any - that whilst Mitchell said he would be 'available at any time' to Lu's company, he had 'failed to offer the same service to a person living in his constituency' of Sutton Coldfield. The producers are now reported to be working on a recut version of the documentary, likely to be shown on Monday, which will challenge some of the claims made by Mitchell in the Scum Mail on Sunday. Ofcom is expected to 'take a close interest' in the documentary once it is shown. The communications regulator has no power to intervene pre-transmission but it can investigate whether Channel Four 'complied with the broadcasting code' in its use of secret filming. To be justified there has to be 'prima facie evidence' that the story is 'in the public interest' meaning that so-called 'fishing expeditions' in which a sting is set up in the hope of either incriminating or embarrassing someone are not allowed. All three men have denied any wrongdoing. A Channel Four spokesman said: 'This investigation raises important questions about transparency and accountability in public life. We are continuing to work on the film, which will be broadcast soon.'
A goalkeeper's water bottle was urinated in during a match, prompting police to arrest an opposition fan. A video on social media showed a man throw a bottle onto the pitch behind the Queens Park Strangers goal during their match against The Middlesbrough Smog Monsters at Loftus Road last Saturday. It is believed that the bottle may have been taken from the goal earlier by a pitch invader. The Metropolitan Police said that a man was charged with throwing an item on to the pitch and will face court to answer for his naughty (alleged) crimes. The force's football unit tweeted: 'The male has been bailed and will appear at court next month.' Middlesbrough won the game three-nil. Last month, a Blunderland fan was ejected from the Stadium of Plight after he was thought to have defecated on his seat - police later said he was, merely, drunk.
Rhyl Football Club has been fined two hundred notes by the Football Association of Wales after a brawl broke out during a 'friendly' fixture. The club hosted the match against a Leeds United under-twenty three team at the Corbett Sports Stadium last November. But, it had to be abandoned in the second half after a massive fight broke out between the players. Footage shared on social media shows players from both clubs tangling before the Leeds players leave the pitch. The FAW said the decision of its disciplinary panel had been communicated to the club and it had until 29 January to appeal. A Rhyl FC spokesman said that the club had 'no plans to appeal' against the fine after 'carrying out an internal investigation.'
Brighton & Hove Albinos striker Glenn Murray and his wife have been arrested on suspicion of tax fraud totalling over one million smackers. Officers from HM Revenue and Customs visited Murray and his wife, Stacey, at their home in Brighton early on Tuesday morning. 'A husband and wife have been arrested as part of an investigation into a suspected £1.1 million tax fraud,' said an HMRC spokesperson. Computers, business and personal records were seized during the search. Investigations are ongoing. 'The couple were interviewed by HMRC and have both been released under investigation,' added HMRC. 'The man was arrested on suspicion of evading Income Tax and VAT and cheating the public revenue. The woman was arrested on suspicion of evading Income Tax, and cheating the public revenue.' Murray rejoined Brighton in January 2017 and is their top scorer this season with eight goals in all competitions (including one this weekend against The Middlesbrough Smog Monsters).
Sir Ken Dodd has described people who spread rumours of his death online as 'monsters.' The ninety-year-old comedian, who has been in hospital for two weeks with a serious chest infection, said that such people are 'evil.' This blogger agrees, particularly as he was a third of the way through writing Doddy's obituary when he found out it wouldn't be needed. Sir Ken said that he had 'been through a very, very dark place' with his illness but vowed to return to the stage. He added: 'They have got quite a bit of work to do - they've got to get rid of this virus first then I can get back on the job.' He said that the fake death claims circulating on social media 'didn't upset me in the least but must have upset a lot of other people.' Sir Ken praised the medical team who have been caring for him and all of those who have sent him goodwill messages. He added: 'I just wish I could get up and tell you some gags but I'll be there. As a famous general said "I shall return."' Sir Ken said he was 'honoured' to be visited by The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, adding the 'love and affection of people has made me cry.' The comedian was knighted last year by Prince William in honour of his decades-long showbiz career and charity work.
Earlier this week, dear blog reader, following a discussion about it on Facebook, this blogger dragged out his battered copy of Van Morrison & The Chieftans' classic 1988 LP Irish Heartbeat. It was released at a time when a huge number of spotty, specky indie kids with flat-tops from Camden who liked The Pogues were suddenly discovering that hey, guess what, they were fourth-generation Irish. Hence, the LP's placing at number two in the NME's 'albums of the year' list. As someone who actually was then (and, in fact, still is) fourth generation Irish ... and knew so from a very early age, this malarkey used to piss this blogger off no-end. Particularly as Keith Telly Topping's dad used to sing pretty decent a-capella versions of at least two of the songs on Irish Heartbeat ('Raglan Road' and 'Carrickfergus'), after a couple of bottles of Broon on a Saturday night up at me Aunt Lil's gaff. It's also worth recalling that worthless shit Robert Christgau's contemporary review of Irish Heartbeat in which he claimed that an LP of (mostly) covers of traditional Irish folk songs was 'proof' that Van Morrison was suffering 'a creative block' and that Van The Man was 'misguided' in his attempt to reconnect with his traditional Irish roots. To which this blogger can only paraphrase that other 'misguided' attempt to connect with someone's Irish roots, Father Ted. 'Arse!'
And if you're wondering, dear blog reader, what an average Saturday night up at my Aunt Lil's gaff was like, something like this, in fact!