Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sanity At Last Inside Your Private Hell

The importance of Jodie Whittaker's casting as the first female lead of Doctor Who is certainly not lost on the actress. Jodie's debut as The Doctor was broadcast last week, kicking off 'a new era of diversity' for the popular, long-running BBC family SF drama series when it returns later in 2018. In an interview with Total Film, Jodie acknowledges how the very act of her casting as The Doctor may already have opened up doors for other actresses. 'This is the defining moment of my life,' she tells the magazine. 'I feel old enough for it. And I feel like I understand how important it is and I'm so excited that the role models for young children, boys or girls, or teenagers, or adults, come in different forms. There's nothing unattainable about me. I don't look like I've been carved out of rock. I don't sound like I've had the extraordinary glamour.' The actress explained: 'For me, knowing what I thought were my limitations as a person and an actor, because this industry is about, "You sound like this, you look like this." But I'm normal. And that was exciting to David [Tennant] - it was a superhero he could play. And now it opens it a little wider, to women as well. It's amazing to be a milestone, but how wonderful if it wasn't, if it was just accepted, embraced. I'm not dissing the moment – it's fucking brilliant – but hopefully when other people grow up, it's not so much of a surprise.'
Speaking of Jodie's TARDIS predecessor and Broadchurch co-star David Tennant, the national heartthrob will be sitting as a model as his likeness is committed to canvas in the new series of Sky Arts' Portrait Artist Of The Year later this month. Frank Skinner and Joan Bakewell begin the search for a new star portrait artist for 2018, which sees a new cohort of painters compete for a ten thousand knicker commission for a major British institution and five hundred quid's worth of art materials from Cass Art. David is one of the celebrity sitters for the first show of the new series, in which the competitors have four hours to create a portrait of three models. The episode was filmed at the Wallace Collection at Hertford House, Marylebone in April 2017 and David was joined for the heat by Michael Coel, the creator of Channel Four sitcom Chewing Gum and the singer-songwriter James Morrison. In a trailer for the series, noted Doctor Who fan Frank Skinner gets a good laugh out of David when, before the unveiling of the portraits of him, Frank suggests he hoped that, when the paintings are revealed 'one of was Peter Capaldi!'
This blogger is thoroughly indebted to his old mate Danny Blythe for the following observation: '[There have been] nine "is The Doctor" covers [in Doctor Who Monthly/Magazine] since 1982 (although they slipped up a bit on the caption with Sylvester [McCoy]).' Of these, Dan notes, only three (Peter Davison, Matt Smith and, now, Jodie Whittaker) 'got a proper shot in their full eventual costume. Colin [Baker] and Paul [McGann], especially, look very different from how they ended up, even though Paul's is a proper photocall - in the exhibition TARDIS holding a lump of Jethryk(?)' David Tennant and Peter Capaldi 'appear to be hanging on to their predecessors' costumes. Chris [Eccleston]'s is from The Second Coming - grabbed at very short notice. Sylvester's is a proper photocall with the hat that he ended up wearing, or one very like it, but the rest of the outfit yet to come.'
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week: A really very good Qi episode - Origins & Openings - turned into near-genius by Joss Widdicombe's revelation that he had never seen The Sound Of Music, which prompted Susan Calman to burst into a few lines of 'Sixteen Going On Seventeen'. 'Yes, it's like that, but with a tune,' observed Sandi Toksvig.
The episode later had a segment on disastrous opening nights which, obviously, included the infamous debut of the channel on which Qi is broadcast, BBC2. The channel was scheduled to begin at 7.20pm on 20 April 1964 and show an evening of light entertainment, starting with the comedy show The Alberts, a performance from the Soviet comedian Arkady Raikin and a production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, culminating with a fireworks display. However, around half-an-hour before the planned opening a huge power failure, originating from a fire at Battersea Power Station, caused Television Centre - and much of West London - to be plunged into darkness. BBC1 was able to continue broadcasting via its facilities at Alexandra Palace, but all attempts to show the scheduled programmes on the new channel failed. By 10pm, programming was officially postponed until the following morning. As the BBC's news centre at Alexandra Palace was unaffected, they did in fact broadcast brief bulletins on BBC2 that evening, beginning with an announcement by the newsreader Gerald Priestland at around 7.25pm. For a long time there was believed to be no recording made of this bulletin, but a videotape of it was discovered in 2003. By 11am the following morning, power had been restored to the studios and programming began, thus making Play School the first programme to be shown officially on the channel. The launch schedule, postponed from the night before, was then successfully shown that evening, albeit with a few minor changes. In reference to the power cut, the transmission opened with a shot of a lit candle which was then sarcastically blown out by the presenter, Denis Tuohy. 'The best bit of the story,' Sandi noted, 'was that they had been using the graphic of a kangaroo. The kangaroo represented BBC1 and in the pouch, the little Joey was BBC2. So, they thought for opening night "let's get some real kangaroos in the studio. They had just got them into the lift and pressed the button at the moment when the power went and, apparently, the kangaroos went berserk!'
The X-Files showrunner Chris Carter has spoken for the first time since From The North favourite Gillian Anderson announced her exit from the long-running US SF drama. As previously reported on this blog, last week the actress confirmed that she would leave the show after the upcoming eleventh series, saying: 'I've said from the beginning, this is it for me. I was a bit surprised by people's [shocked] reaction to my announcement because my understanding was that this was a single season.' Carter, speaking during a Reddit Q&A, suggested that he had 'not thought about' the show without Dana Scully. 'For me, the show has always been Mulder and Scully,' he said. Even, seemingly, during the two series (eight and nine) that everyone has more-or-less forgotten about when Duchovny went walkabout and Gillian only appeared when she felt like it. 'So the idea of doing the show without her isn't something I've ever had to consider. Was her character given a proper goodbye? I think you will want to sit down and watch the series finale very carefully.' That said it is being widely reported that FOX would like Gillian to remain with the show. FOX TV chairman Gary Newman intimated to reporters at Thursday's TCA press tour that it is 'conceivable' that Gillian could be 'talked around' to returning for a future iteration at some later date. Discussing forthcoming series, Carter suggested that The Black Oil would be back 'in a way' and that way would be 'malevolent.' He added that there would be 'changes' to the show's mythology, admitting that it 'can be easy' for fans to poke holes in it. As this blogger well knows, having once co-authored two books doing exactly that. 'The complexity of detail blurs over time and while we took great pains to make it all logical and in our minds believable in X-Files sense, you are probably going to be able to nitpick,' Carter continued. Yep. Been there, done that. 'The season eleven mythology is a continuation of the original mythology, but with a big ninety-degree turn.'
And, so to the opening episode of The X-Files latest series. This blogger has to report that he - sort of - enjoyed it. For what it was. Though, the Daily Scum Mail searched the Interweb and found plenty of people whinging on Twitter in a, you know, 'Worst! Episode! Ever!' style(e). But (you knew there was going to be a 'but' here, didn't you dear blog reader?) you'd think, after twenty odd years and over two hundred episodes (and two movies) that Chris Carter would have learned how to write actual, believable, 'real people do sometimes talk like that' dialogue by now. Seemingly not. No, it's all still portentous voice-overs, pretentious (hands-on-hips) speechifying and stilted and overly melodramatic faux-naïf pseudo-emotional posturing instead of anything remotely resembling realism. So, no change there, then. Secondly, God help anyone tuning into the episode (My Struggle III for those taking notes) who hasn't watched all previous two hundred odd episodes (and two movies) at least twice and possibly more. As previously noted, this blogger does not wishing to smoke his own cornet but, in terms of people who could reasonably be described as 'reasonably knowledgeable X-Files experts,' Keith Telly Topping reckons he is in with a shout of being counted in, say, the top couple of hundred in the world. (This blogger has, after all, previously co-written two books on the subject.) And yet even this blogger was really struggling through parts of the episode. It did all, sort of eventually, make a kind of sense. But, it required from the audience so much external knowledge and feats of memory recall from episodes many, many years ago that Keith Telly Topping can see most 'normal' viewers turning off with a disgruntled 'what the fuck was all that about?' To be fair, so did Twin Peaks: The Return last year. But, that was also a twenty four carat TV masterpiece. And The X-Files may be many things - most of them good in the overall scheme of things - but that certainly isn't one of them. Still, at least there's a couple of Glen and Darin Morgan episodes due later in the series so all is not yet lost.
Media reports suggest that From The North favourite Gillian Anderson has dropped out another cult hit TV series. The actress has told the Los Angeles Times that she has dropped out of Neil Gaiman's fantasy drama American Gods. Anderson indicated that the departure of co-showrunner Bryan Fuller facilitated her own exit from the Starz show, in which she played - brilliantly - the Goddess Media. Fuller and Anderson have a well-established working relationship, dating back to the actress' portrayal of psychoanalyst Bedelia Du Maurier in Hannibal. Fuller himself - and his co-writer Michael Green - also left the production of the second series of American Gods last November, reportedly because its schedule clashed with their upcoming reboot of Amazing Stories for Apple. However, it's not all bad new; Anderson may soon be reunited with Fuller as the writer recently signalled that he has started developing ideas for a potential revival of Hannibal. Nick Antosca recently wrote: 'I know Bryan Fuller has a great idea for what the fourth season would be and Bryan, Don Mancini, Steve Lightfoot, all those people – and me of course – are hoping that we get to do it. I know what the idea is - I mean, unless he's changed it. He had a very cool idea that we would have done had he gotten another season.'
Saturday saw two further fine episodes of the latest series of Spiral on BBC4. Check out this review of the latest - sixth - series in the i. The opening of the first episode, in particular, dealing with the aftermath of Joséphine Karlsson's rape by a person unknown - though, most viewers will likely suspect it was that slimy bastard Edelman (Louis-Do De Lencquesaing) - was astonishingly good. The second, meanwhile, featured one of those glorious quasi-slapstick sequences that Spiral does so well in which Laure and Gilou try to avoid bumping into Tintin whilst covering up some malarkey related to stolen gold. And then, there was Gilou and Laure's passionate kiss, something many of us have been waiting five series to see. Followed, inevitably, by another quasi-slapstick moment of pure coitus interruptus. Spiral really is the only series able to effortlessly straddle that oh-so-fine line between tension and thigh-slapping comedy. Judge Roban's health continues to deteriorate, however, which is a cause for considerable concerned. The best drama on TV at the moment? Mais oui. Several minus points to the BBC4 continuity lady for her abject inability to pronounce 'Laure' properly; it sounded far more like 'Laurie' (as in McMenemy. Or, you know, 'driver').
Like most of its episodes, the latest news on Game Of Thrones' eighth and final season is both excruciatingly painful and jolly exciting at the same time. With the HBO series having wrapped up series seven in September 2017, work is currently under way on the climax of the multi-EMMY Award-winning fantasy drama - which will feature 'the most ambitious episodes ever.' But, such huge ambition means that it simply isn't possible for Game Of Thrones to broadcast at all this year. HBO confirmed this on Thursday by making it official that the eighth series won't arrive until some time in 2019. The news isn't all bad though. The network has also confirmed that fan-favourite directors David Nutter (Mother's Mercy) and EMMY-winner Miguel Sapochnik (Battle Of The Bastards) will both be back to shoot the last six episodes alongside creators David Benioff and DB Weiss. Benioff and Weiss are both writing for the 2019 season as well, as are veterans Bryan Cogman and Writers' Guild Award nominee Dave Hill. Cogman is one of several writers simultaneously working with author George RR Martin on as many as five reported potential spin-off prequels, which aren't expected to be broadcast until at least 2020, if they even make it to the screen at all. While a confirmed delay of Game Of Thrones series eight into next year is a bit sad, the cast have been assuring fans that the climax will most definitely be worth the wait. 'I'm really emotional about [the end],' Kit Harington recently admitted on The ONE Show. 'We had the read-through last week, in fact, so I know everything now. I cried at the end! It wasn't anything particular that happens. You have to remember, I've done eight years of it. I think no-one really cares about [Game Of Thrones] more than us. It's been an institution longer than any other institution I've been in. School, drama school, anything. This is possibly the most difficult of them all, mainly because a) it only made its catwalk debut this year so, b) going to be hard to find at your local fancy-dress shop. But if you've got the patience to braid a blond wig and customise that one fake-fur coat you've got in your wardrobe, the one you haven't worn since the 1980s, it'll be worth the effort for the stirring music and rousing applause you'll get when you enter the party. Maybe only take one of your dragons though, you don't want to accidentally lose one of them. I get a bit weepy thinking about it. It's going to be to a strange year. Saying goodbye to everyone, having your last scene with this person or having your last scene with that person. Not only you're attached to it, loads of people around the world are attached to it.'
Game Of Thrones has also been named the most pirated show of the year. Again. The HBO drama is officially the most torrented show for the sixth year running, according to the TorrentFreak website. The series beat out the likes of The Walking Dead and The Flash, which came in second and third place respectively, to win the coveted title. That will all change next year, of course, as Game Of Thrones won't return for its final series until 2019. Game Of Thrones' wall-breaking series seven finale secured the title of most naughty and illegally streamed episode of 2017. TorrentFreak reports that The Dragon & The Wolf was shared by a chart-topping four hundred thousand people at its peak on BitTorrent - although the outcome may have been different if the penultimate episode, Beyond The Wall, hadn't accidentally been broadcast a week early in Spain. The Big Bang Theory was the fourth most torrented show of the year, which was followed by Rick & Morty at number five. Prison Break, Sherlock, Vikings, Suits and Arrow round out the top ten.
When Scarecrow returns to Gotham, he will apparently be looking a little different. The character of Jonathan Crane appeared in the first couple of episodes in the latest series and was played by Charlie Tahan. However, a casting call has been put out for the same character, suggesting that Tahan will not be back. The character description suggests that Crane will surface again in episodes seventeen and eighteen later this series and that he will be 'a recurring guest star.' The apparent recasting is made even more interesting by the fact that the show brought Tahan back after a two-series absence. Of course, The Scarecrow wouldn't be the first example of Gotham recasting a characters. This series, we have already seen Peyton List take over the role of Poison Ivy from Maggie Geha (who originally took over from Clare Foley).
Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch is returning to TV with the title role in Sky's new drama Patrick Melrose. Benny is playing the troubled playboy, as the saga takes him across the globe through the decades. Melrose goes from the South of France in the 1960s, through New York in the 1980s, all the way to London in the early 2000s. The five-part drama is based on the semi-autobiographical novels of Edward St Aubyn as it takes a wry, satirical look at its lead character's life, including his traumatic childhood, adult substance abuse and recovery. Each of the episodes will cover one of Aubyn's five Patrick Melrose novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother's Milk and At Last. Hugo Weaving will play Patrick's father, David and Jennifer Jason Leigh is his American mother. Also popping up throughout the series will be an all-star supporting cast including Anna Madeley, Blythe Danner, Allison Williams, Pip Torrens, Jessica Raine, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Holliday Grainger, Indira Varma and Celia Imrie. Patrick Melrose has been written by David Nicholls and directed by Edward Berger and will be available in the UK and Ireland on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV later in the year.
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) has revealed he once had to abandon a TV show which had been greenlit, because of his commitments to Doctor Who and Sherlock. Steven had sitcom called Adam & Eve in the works, about a boss and his PA who are long-term friends but never get together. 'I haven't talked about it much, [but] there was a show also in the mix called Adam & Eve which had been greenlit,' he revealed on The Doctor Who Fan Show. 'Sue had done a wall-planner of what it meant to write all three series and I said, "I can't – that's just not possible. I can't do all three of those. One of them has to go." I had to be fully involved with all three of them, so I said, "I can't do that."' In the wide-ranging interview, Moffat admitted that while the offer to replace Russell Davies as Doctor Who's showrunner was 'thrilling', he also 'dreaded' his predecessor's departure. 'I knew that Russell was going to leave and I knew from quite a time before he was leaving that he was going to do four series, but I didn't want to think about it.' His period working under Davies, contributing one Doctor Who script a year, was a 'golden period' in his life, Steven recalled. 'I loved it, I didn't want it to end. I wasn't anxious for this time to come, at all, I actually dreaded slightly him leaving.' Having completed his tenure on Doctor Who, Moffat is currently working on a play and is also developing a TV series based on Dracula with his Sherlock collaborator Mark Gatiss.
Here, at last dear blog reader, are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Four programmes broadcast in the UK during the week-ending Sunday 31 December 2017:-
1 New Year's Eve Fireworks - Sun BBC1 - 10.40m
2 Call The Midwife - Mon BBC1 - 9.57m
3 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special - Mon BBC1 - 9.04m
4 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special - Mon BBC1 - 8.28m
5 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.18m
6 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 8.13m
7 Doctor Who - Mon BBC1 - 7.92m
8 Emmerdale - Thurs ITV - 6.69m
9 BBC News - Wed BBC1 - 5.99m
10 The Highway Rat - Mon BBC1 - 5.96m
11 Film: Jurassic World - Tues ITV - 5.47m
12= Little Women - Tues BBC1 - 5.13m
12= Victoria - Mon ITV - 5.13m
14 The Graham Norton Show - Sun BBC1 - 5.04m
15= Snow Bears - Tues BBC1 - 4.97m
15= Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 4.97m
17 Pointless Z-List Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.86m
18 Three Hundred Years of French & Saunders - Mon BBC1 - 4.66m
19 Pointless - Sat BBC1 - 4.63m
20 The Miniaturist - Tues BBC1 - 4.52m
20= A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong - Sat BBC1 - 4.52m
22 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 4.37m
23 The Great British Bake-Off Christmas - Mon C4 - 4.36m
24 Z-List Celebrity Mastermind - Thurs BBC1 - 4.31m
These consolidated figures - published weekly by those smashing people at 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. Why? Dunno, they just don't. A more in-depth analysis of the final and consolidated ratings for Christmas Day (and the BBC's traditional damned good thrashing of ITV's schedules) can be found on the last bloggerisationisms update. As noted Doctor Who consolidated figure was the largest since the 2014 Christmas episode, Last Christmas. The Christmas Day episodes of Coronation Street and Emmerdale attracted audiences of 6.70 million and 4.92 million respectively. Jools's Annual Hootenanny on New Year's Eve topped BBC2's weekly top thirty with 2.59 million. Christmas University Challenge was seen by 2.50 million punters. Dragon's Den drew 2.13 million, Dad's Army, 2.09 million, Reindeer Family & Me, 1.82 million, Eric & Ernie's Home Movies, also 1.82 million, The Morecambe & Wise Show, 1.77 million, Grand Tour Of Scotland's Lochs, 1.75 million, the Boxing Day episode of Qi, 1.66 million and Upstart Crow: About As Funny As A Good, Hard, Eye-Watering Kick In The Codpiece, 1.65 million. Frankie Boyle's 2017 New World Order - which was funny ... as well as disturbing - was watched by 1.61 million, Vic & Bob;s Big Night Out by 1.55 million, Romesh Ranganathan: Irrational Live by 1.41 million, Attenborough & The Empire Of The Ants by 1.41 million, Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How & Who by 1.35 million and Match of The Day 2 by 1.34 million,the same sized audience as the movie Supersonic. Aside from The Great British Bake-Off Christmas, Channel Four's next highest-rated broadcast was for Big Fat Quiz Of The Year 2017 with 3.25 million. Home Alone (2.86 million) and First Dates At Christmas (2.51 million) came next. The Price Is Right had 2.26 million viewers, the rather disappointing Miranda Does Christmas, 2.10 million, The Secret Life Of Five Year Olds, 1.74 million, Travel Man: Forty Eight Hours In Hong Kong, 1.73 million, Supershoppers Sales Special, 1.70 million, What Britain Bought In 2017, 1.68 million, Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown Christmas Special, 1.67 million and Alan Carr's Woefully Unfunny Christmas Chatty Man, 1.57 million. Channel Five's top performer was World's Strongest Man, with an audience of 1.40 million. The movie Oliver!, Sandringham: The Queen At Christmas, Greatest Ever Z-List Celebrity Wind-Ups and The Lego Movie rounded-off Five's most-watched list with audiences of 1.32 million, 1.31 million million, 1.30 million and 1.27 million. On Sky Sports Premier League, Gillette Soccer Saturday was watched by five hundred and five thousand, whilst four hundred and nine thousand viewed Jeff Stelling and company on Sky Sports News and one hundred and twenty thousand tuned-in on Sky Sports Football. Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws' five-nil hiding of Swansea City was seen by four hundred and six thousand on SS PL, plus eight hundred and two thousand punters on Sky Sports Main Events. West Bromwich Albino's controversial last minute draw with The Arse which got Mister Sour-Faced Wenger so uppity and discombobulated had three hundred and fifty seven thousand plus eight hundred and sixty three thousand on Main Event. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies sadly incomplete efforts to recreate Hadrian's Wall and stop Sheikh Yer Man City from scoring was seen by three hundred and twenty thousand on Sky Sports Premier League and five hundred and eighty five thousand on Main Event. And Crystal Palace's defeat at home to The Arse drew three hundred and nineteen thousand on Premier League plus seven hundred and twenty eight thousand of Main Event. Live EFL, Bristol City versus Wolverhampton Wanderings attracted two hundred and eighteen thousand viewers of Sky Sports Football whilst Cardiff City against Preston Both Ends drew two hundred and fourteen thousand (and eighty nine thousand on Sky Sports Mix) and the Old Firm derby Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers had one hundred and forty two thousand (plus an additional five hundred and two thousand watching on Main Event). Classic Races was Sky Sports F1's list-topper with twelve thousand, followed by Sky F1 Christmas Special with eleven thousand. Cricket's Greatest Games had twenty six thousand on Sky Sports Cricket. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by the return for a second series of the patchy-but-occasionally-interesting Delicious with six hundred and fifty six thousand viewers and Modern Family, with six hundred and fourteen thousand. A "best of" episode of that rancid stream of festering spew A League Of Their Own - a massive contradiction in terms if ever there was one - was watched by three hundred and seventy five thousand people who should be bloody embarrassed to show their faces in public after choosing to have their intelligence insulted by such crass horseshite. For shame, people of Great Britain, for absolute shame. Sky Arts' Andre Rieu was seen by one hundred and twenty three thousand viewers whilst Laurel & Hardy: Their Lives & Magic received ninety four thousand viewers (including the blogger who stumbled across it by accident whilst channel-surfing and hung around because it was quite interesting). Sky Atlantic's list was topped by the episodes of The Tunnel: Vengeance with two hundred and ninety two thousand and Game Of Thrones, with one hundred and forty three thousand. Big Little Lies was seen by one hundred and forty one thousand. On Sky Living, the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy drew five hundred and eighty four thousand whilst Blindspot, had five hundred and forty one thousand. Madam Secretary attracted four hundred and seventy seven thousand, Chicago Fire, three hundred and eighty nine thousand and the woefully dreadful Scandal, two hundred and forty eight thousand. Beauty & The Beast was the most-watched film on Sky Cinema Premiere, seen by 1.55 million. Olaf's Frozen Adventure drew 1.43 million, Guardians Of The Galaxy II, 1.40 million and The Boss Baby, 1.21 million. Endeavour was ITV3's top-rated drama (eight hundred and eighty one thousand viewers). Midsomer Murders was seen by six hundred and eighty one thousand and Kate: The Making Of A Modern Queen, by five hundred and seventy six thousand. Carry On Abroad pulled in five hundred and thirty eight thousand. The movies Six-Three-Three Squadron, The Dirty Dozen and The Train Robbers were viewed by four hundred and forty two thousand, three hundred and fifty five thousand and three hundred and thirty five thousand on ITV4. ITV Racing, had four hundred and seventy five thousand viewers. ITV2's list was dominated by several showings of Skyfall - 1.75 million punters watching the Christmas Day showing. White House Down had nine hundred and nineteen thousand whilst the Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Junior/Jude Law version of Sherlock Holmes as seen by eight hundred and ninety eight thousand. Vera topped ITV Encore's top ten with ninety four thousand viewers, followed by Maigret (eighty six thousand). Shallow and appalling tripe Botched, was viewed by one hundred and fifty 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, The Real Housewives Of Orange County was seen by one hundred and twenty six thousand. Broken Britain in a sentence, dear blog reader. BBC4's top-ten was headed by the - long-awaited - return for a sixth (and, probably final) series of from The North favourite Spiral, the first two episodes of which attracted 1.22 million and 1.10 million. From the sublime to the rotten, Victoria Wood: Seen On TV had six hundred and twenty one thousand, the impressive biopic Eric, Ernie & Me, six hundred and twenty thousand and Planet Earth II: A World Of Wonder, six hundred and nine thousand. Elvis: The Rebirth of The King drew five hundred and ninety three thousand. Top Of The Pops 1984 had five hundred and ten thousand, Dancing The Nutcracker: Inside The Royal Ballet, four hundred and twenty thousand and The Royal Institute Christmas Lectures, four hundred and nine thousand. 5USA's latest episode of Castle was viewed by three hundred and thirty nine thousand punters, NCIS: Los Angeles by two hundred and seventy one thousand, Columbo: Negative Reaction by two hundred and seventy thousand people who were shocked and stunned to discover Dick Van Dyke was the murderer and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit by two hundred and forty five thousand. On Five Star, the movies Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Big Momma's House 2 and Fifty Shades Of Grey scored two hundred and ninety thousand, two hundred and eighty thousand and two hundred and fifty two thousand respectively. The classic 1960 movie Spartacus drew two hundred and sixty six thousand on Five-Spike whilst Knight Rider was seen by one hundred and eighty two thousand. NCIS: Los Angeles was the most-watched broadcast on CBS Action (one hundred and sixteen thousand) whilst NCIS was viewed by eighty thousand. Judge Judy attracted sixty eight thousand on CBS Drama. For FOX's sake, The latest episode of the much-touted The Orville - which this blogger thought was quite entertaining although not, perhaps, anywhere near as mad-brilliant as one or two dear blog readers had suggested - had six hundred and eight thousand and Family Guy, one hundred and ninety six thousand. NCIS continued its - seemingly endless - repeat run on the Universal Channel with ninety six thousand viewers. On Dave, an episode of Top Gear from when it used to be , you know, good attracted three hundred and eighty five thousand whilst Dynamo: Magician Impossible had three hundred and eighty four thousand. Would I Lie To You? was seen by three hundred and eleven thousand and Qi XL by two hundred and eighty five thousand. Drama's Inspector George Gently was viewed by five hundred and thirty thousand whilst Pride & Prejudice attracted four hundred and forty three thousand viewers and Death In Paradise, three hundred and ninety three thousand. Two Drama Channel staple also headed the weekly top-ten of Alibi - Father with one hundred and fifty seven thousand and Death In Paradise with one hundred and fifty one thousand. Sony TV didn't bother to provide BARB with any figures this week, it would appear. Yesterday's Planet Earth drew two hundred and twenty five thousand, whilst Top Of The Pops 2 attracted one hundred and ninety five thousand, The Blue Planet, one hundred and ninety three thousand and Frozen Planet, one hundred and sixty two thousand. On Your TV, Bones brought in one hundred and sixteen thousand. The Discovery Channel's Alaskan Bush People was seen by one hundred and fifty one thousand viewers. Moonshiners had ninety five thousand, Fast N' Loud, fifty three thousand and Gold Rush, forty six thousand. Former From The North fave Wheeler Dealers appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (fifty seven thousand) and Discovery Turbo (thirty nine thousand). But, those were episodes which featured Edd so, as with Top Gear, it's a case of watch the repeats but avoid the new episodes, it would seem! Discovery History's Tanks headed the top ten with thirty two thousand. Egypt's New Tomb Revealed had thirty one thousand and Winston Churchill: A Giant Of The Century attracted twenty nine thousand. On Discovery Science, How It's Made? was seen by forty six thousand and The Bermuda Triangle Exposed by thirty thousand. Salvage Hunters on Quest was watched by three hundred and eleven thousand. Pick's Caught On Dashcam had an audience of three hundred and thirty seven thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by Shipwreck Grave and Bloody Tales of The Tower. They were watched by thirty nine thousand and thirty seven thousand respectively. National Geographic Wild's Africa's Hunters was viewed by twenty five thousand, as was Yukon Vet. The History Channel's most-seen programme was World War Two Treasure Hunters (thirty eight thousand). Engineering An Empire on the Military History channel was watched by thirty three thousand and The Conquerors: Three Hundred Spartans by thirty two thousand. Most Shocking Murders, Live PD: Police Patrol, Kids Who Kill and Evil Up Close were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with forty seven thousand, forty one thousand, thirty five thousand and thirty four thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. Grave Secrets, Village of The Damned, Grim Sleeper and Stranger Than Fiction headed Investigation Discovery's list (one hundred and eleven thousand, one hundred thousand, eighty two thousand and seventy one thousand respectively). GOLD's repeat run of The Royle Family continued with two hundred and seventy five thousand punters. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Michael McIntyre: Showtime with two hundred and twelve thousand. On More4, Sarah Millican: Thoroughly Modern Millican was the highest-rated programme with five hundred thousand. The Green Mile was viewed by four hundred and eighty seven thousand people and The Floods That Foiled New Year drew three hundred and forty nine thousand. E4's list was topped by Hollyoakes with nine hundred and twenty seven thousand and Made In Chelsea's Christmas Ding-Dong with five hundred and ninety one thousand. Fifty nine thousand people - with, it would appear, nothing better to do with their lives - decided they wished to try Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E! The Librarians headed Syfy's top-ten with one hundred and sixty seven thousand. The Horror Channel's weekly list was, as usual, topped by several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, one of them attracting two hundred and thirty four thousand. Hobson's Choice, Glimpses - The V1, Laughter In Paradise and Bedazzled (the Pete n Dud classic rather than the really dreadful Brendan Fraser remake) topped Talking Pictures list, with seventy seven thousand, seventy thousand, sixty nine thousand and sixty eight thousand respectively. Coast was viewed by thirty nine thousand on Eden. Alaska: The Last Frontier was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with twenty five thousand. Laughless horrorshow (and drag) Gavin & Stacey on W attracted an audience of two hundred and eighty nine thousand. True Crime's Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force was seen by one hundred thousand viewers. Facing Evil drew fifty six thousand. On True Entertainment, November Christmas was watched by one hundred and twenty thousand punters. Eat Well For Less? had one hundred and forty six thousand people on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Ninety Day Fiance (one hundred and fifty thousand). Homes Under The Hammer was watched by one hundred and twenty three thousand on Home. The Civil War and Plane Resurrection topped PBS America's weekly list both with thirty nine thousand. Shameful and wretched arse Geordie Shore on MTV was viewed by seventy seven thousand geet glakes. Antiques Road Trip drew two hundred and sixty three thousand on Really. Main Hoon Na was watched by eighteen thousand on Rishtey Cineplex. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorprated had seventy seven thousand viewers on Boomerang. Zoinks! The Wacky Races drew sixty nine thousand. On Cbeebies, Topsy & Tim was seen by three hundred and seventy three thousand. Bing had three hundred and fifty thousand and Swashbuckle, three hundred and thirty one thousand. Alvinnn!!! & The Chipmunks had an audience of one hundred and thirty eight thousand on the Pop Channel. On AMC, the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate was watched by seven thousand. Pawn Stars drew one hundred and nineteen thousand punters to Blaze. Judge Judy pulled in one hundred and twenty five thousand on Lifetime. The A-Team drew thirty eight thousand on Forces TV. Raise The Titanic! attracted sixty six thousand on London Live whilst Miss World 2017 had forty eight thousand. The Gundown, was seen by one hundred and twenty three thousand on the Movies 4 Men channel.

ITV's latest drama focuses on an under-represented grouping on British TV - older women according to its writer and creator. 'There's no egos here,' says Kay Mellor, referring to the star-studded cast of her latest drama Girlfriends. 'They're working actors, they've all got respect for each other and I think that shows. Very quickly they bonded together, and I think we captured that on screen.' Zoe Wanamaker, Miranda Richardson and Phyllis Logan make a highly-watchable trio in the series, which began on Wednesday. Mellor says that she was 'keen' for the drama to showcase home-grown acting talent as a matter of principle. 'I didn't want somebody coming in with an American accent putting on an English accent,' she says. 'For a second I thought about doing that and then I thought, "why would I do that when I've got such great actresses here?"' Logan, probably best known to many as Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey has a slightly different take on her co-stars. 'Obviously their reputations go before them, so I was a wee bit scared about the idea of hooking up with them and trying to be as good as them, but hopefully it worked.' Mellor's dramas have almost become a genre in themselves, such has been the success of some of her other shows like Fat Friends, Band Of Gold and The Syndicate. Girlfriends tells the story of Linda, whose husband is killed under mysterious circumstances at the beginning of the first episode. Stricken by grief, she is supported by her two best friends - lollipop lady Gail, played by Wanamaker and the hilariously self-centred Sue (Richardson), a features editor for a bridal magazine. 'I wanted these three women to be very different and that was right throughout the script. It'd be boring to have three women all the same,' Mellor says. Girlfriends may sound like a succinct, appealing title for a TV show - but it wasn't Mellor's original name. 'I did bandy the title around. I thought about Women Of A Certain Age, it was called that for a while, but I thought it sounded so serious. And then I heard myself saying, "I'm going out with my girlfriends tonight," and it was a lightbulb moment. I thought, that's what it's about. Camaraderie, endurance and your friends that see you through things.' Mellor says that she has been 'lucky' to have had so much success in television - as the industry is often criticised for its lack of opportunities for older women both in front of and behind the camera. 'This is not really about me because I feel as if I have a voice. And funnily enough, the older I've got the more I've been welcomed,' she says. 'But there was a time when I wasn't, many moons ago, when I had to really battle hard to get my voice through. But there have been certain people along the way who have really trusted me and got my voice. But I know that in industry, from the women that I talk to - my girlfriends - that actually they do feel invisible sometimes and they do feel like they haven't got a voice.' She adds: 'Only eighteen months or two years ago I was at a conference about women in our industry and just about every woman in that room had something to say and most of it was about feeling invisible and saying, "I only ever get to play grandmas. It's never about my life. I'm somebody's mother, girlfriend, it's never about me." I remember listening and going, "I've got to do something about that, I've got to put that right." Sometimes that glass ceiling is really not far from our heads, still today.'
News At Ten was forced off-the-air on Wednesday night as the studio was evacuated due to a fire alarm. It was later discovered to be a false alarm and nobody was injured, a spokeswoman for ITV News confirmed. The alarm could be heard in the background as the presenter, Tom Bradby, told viewers that he and the team had to evacuate. He said: 'We still have a fire alarm here and we're not quite sure what to do about it, so I'm really, really sorry about this, but I'm afraid we have to evacuate the building.' He added: 'These things happen and unfortunately it's happened tonight and we have no choice, so I really apologise. We'll get back to you with the rest of the programme if we possibly can, but for now it's goodnight.' The screen then showed a holding page which read: 'We're sorry for the disruption. We're working hard to fix the issue and we will return to normal programming soon.' After ten minutes the weather was shown and then ITV programming carried on as normal.
There is, perhaps, nothing quite like a rave to see out the news and this week Newsnight did just that - with a child-friendly twist. Evan Davis wrapped up Tuesday night's episode with a clip of Hey Duggee's 'Stick Song' which, be warned dear blog reader, has the potential to be every bit as annoying as the 'Crazy Frog' song.
Ed Westwick has been extremely dropped from the BBC's adaptation of Agatha Christie's Ordeal By Innocence. The corporation made the decision after a number of sexual assault allegations were made against the actor. The drama had already been filmed, but Westwick will now be replaced by Christian Cooke - who it is understood will shoot the new footage this month. In November, Westwick vehemently denied allegations of rape, which had been made by two women. The BBC removed Ordeal By Innocence from its Christmas schedule and also suspended the filming of White Gold, another series which featured Westwick. A new transmission date will be made in due course, co-producers Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited said. Fellow cast members including Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor, Anthony Boyle and Alice Eve and they will reportedly join Cooke on location in Scotland to shoot the new scenes. Westwick has previously appeared in films such as J Edgar and 2013's Romeo & Juliet, but is arguably best-known for his role in the TV series Gossip Girl, which he starred in for five years.
Stephen Fry is to step down as host of the BAFTA Film Awards. Stephen, who has fronted the ceremony twelve times, said it was 'only right to stand down and let others take the BAFTAs on to new heights and greater glories.' He added: 'What fun it will be to watch BAFTA 2018 without my heart hammering, mouth drying and knees trembling.' BAFTA thanked Stephen for making the awards 'such memorable and joyous occasions.' A replacement will be named on Tuesday, when this year's nominees are revealed. Stephen first hosted the awards in 2001, the year Gladiator won best picture and has become a much-loved fixture thanks to his affectionate and occasionally risque ribbing of celebrity guests. He had a break from hosting duties between 2007 to 2011. This year's ceremony will take place at London's Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 18 February.
Professional Northern berk Paddy McGuinness has claimed that he was duped by some naughty chancer posing as the actor Derek Griffiths on Twitter. Which, to be fair, some might regard as a form of cosmic payback for Keith & Paddy's Worthless, Unfunny, Shat-Stinking Picture Show. And, Even Better Than The Real Thing. And, several other crimes against humanity. This blogger couldn't possibly comment on that. The Take Me Out host alleges that he paid six hundred knicker on e-Bay for what he thought was going to be a charity dinner with Griffiths, the former Coronation Street actor and Play School presenter. Details of the dinner were posted on what appeared to be a verified Twitter account for Griffiths, which turned out to not belong to him at all. Twitter has now very suspended the account but would not provide any further comment about the case due to 'privacy and security reasons.' McGuinness said that the episode was 'not a good start to 2018' in a tweet to his followers. 'I paid over six hundred pounds to a supposed autism charity,' he whinged. The TV presenter also tweeted screenshots of some of the e-Bay feedback from users who also thought they had purchased dinner with Griffiths. BBC News spoke to a representative for Derek Griffiths, who confirmed that the actor has never been a Twitter user and that the account in his name was entirely fake. Which also, sadly, means that the revelation that Derek was one of the Mike Sammes Singers who did the 'Oompah, oompah, stick it up yer jumper' bit on The Be-Atles 'I Am The Walrus' is also, probably, false news. Which is a bit of a bugger as this blog completely fell for it. Don't you just hate it when that happens, dear blog reader? Twitter suspended the account on Monday evening, while e-Bay has also suspended listings for charity lunches with Griffiths, who is best known for his many appearances on children's TV in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Radio host and 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) contestant Iain Lee, who had previously interviewed Griffiths, began investigating on Twitter after discovering that the account was fake on Monday. Users who also claim to have been taken in have been sharing their stories with Lee on the social media platform, including one Duncan Young, who says he donated two hundred and fifty notes after seeing the charity events advertised on what appeared to be a verified Twitter account. Hollyoaks actress Annie Wallace also claimed on Twitter that the fake account had been contacting 'loads of people including verified TV stars, requesting merchandise, autographs, et cetera.'
Joining Channel Four's comedy line-up this week was Derry Girls, a new sitcom following a group of teenage girls in Northern Ireland. Not even the IRA, abortion and stealing from dead nuns appeared to be off-limits in what was a pretty impressive - and very naughty - opening episode. The overwhelming consensus from some people you've never heard of on social media at least, was that that they had - like this blogger - rather enjoyed it. Viewers on Twitter were full of praise for the new series, written by Lisa McGee, loving it for its sharp one-liners and dark sense of humour.
What with yer actual Jodie Whittaker now taking charge of the TARDIS in Doctor Who, it seems the path has been paved for female-fronted shows that used to be male-fronted. Sherlock Holmes, for instance, has now reportedly been recast as a woman. Putting a new spin on the classic crime stories, Hulu Japan and HBO Asia have launched Miss Sherlock - snappy title - which sees a woman playing the titular detective. The eight-part drama will 'pay homage' to the novels and short stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but will be set in modern-day Tokyo with both lead characters played by Japanese women – Yuko Takeuchi as Sherlock and Shihori Kanjiya as Doctor Wato Tachibana. HBO Asia's CEO Jonathan Spink told Deadline that the network has based much of its success 'on original shows, so it is great that we are doing something in our little way in Asia.' It comes after CBS series Elementary changed the gender of Doctor Watson, with Lucy Liu taking on the role of Sherlock's partner and friend.
Sir David Attenborough has said that he will retire from broadcasting if he feels his work has become substandard or if he can longer walk up and down stairs. The ninety one-year-old, who narrated the UK's most-watched television programme of 2017, Blue Planet II, said that his schedule for 2018 was already 'looking pretty full' but he would stop working if he felt his commentary had lost its way. 'I would like to think I would be able to detect when I couldn't find the right words any more,' Attenborough told the Radio Times. 'If I think I'm not producing commentary with any freshness or which is apposite or to the point, I hope I would be able to recognise it before someone else told me. If I thought I was turning in substandard work, that would stop me.' Attenborough, who started working full-time for the BBC in 1952, said that he would also stop if physical problems impeded him. In his latest documentary, Attenborough & The Sea Dragon, he explores a fossil discovery on Dorset's Jurassic Coast and at one point he is seen rushing up a spiral staircase. 'If I can't walk up and down steps any more, that will stop me,' he said. 'Yes, I do dread not working, although there are things I can do without running up steps six times – books to be written, things I've never got round to. But at the moment it seems to be all right.' This is thought to be the first time that Attenborough has spoken about even the vague prospect of retirement. In the past he has always brushed away questions about when his career may end. As well as Blue Planet II, other BBC programmes that Attenborough has worked on include Planet Earth and Life On Earth. He is to lead another big BBC series this year, details of which have yet to be revealed. Blue Planet II was broadcast from October to December, sixteen years after the original Blue Planet series was shown on the BBC. It has been sold to more than thirty countries. Attenborough said that he was 'lucky' to be associated with programmes about the natural world. 'It is extraordinary to think that everyone who has reached the age of seventy five will have seen programmes of mine throughout their lives,' he said. 'People write and say nice things. What I do isn't very controversial, because people love looking at the natural world and I'm the person lucky enough to be associated with that.'
True Detective's third series is rounding out its cast with a familiar face from the Blade film series. This latest reinvention of writer Nic Pizzolatto's one-time TV phenomenon has already signed up Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali and Fantastic Beasts' Carmen Ejogo, playing Arkansas state trooper Wayne Hays and schoolteacher Amelia Reardon respectively. Deadline is confirming that Stephen Dorff - probably best known for playing the vampire Deacon Frost in Blade - is the latest name to join the cast for True Detective. The new series centres on a macabre mystery which recurs over the course of three decades in an Ozarks community, growing more bizarre as the years pass. Dorff will be playing Roland West, an Arkansas State Investigator who has had his entire life and career moulded by the central mystery. Showrunner Nic Pizzolatto is collaborating on this latest True Detective story with Deadwood writer David Milch after receiving an official commission from HBO mid-way through 2017. One familiar face from the original True Detective that fans shouldn't expect to return is Woody Harrelson, who recently ruled out coming back to the series. 'I don't see me doing that,' he said. 'It went very well the first time and if we come back around to it, what else are you going to hear but, "Not as good! Boy, you guys were good before, but this time ..." I don't want to even hear that.'
Kate Beckinsale has a new project in the works. The actress will appear in a thriller entitled The Widow, from the writers behind Liar and The Missing. Beckinsale will play a woman named Georgia Wells, who finds out via a phone call that her husband of ten years has died in a plane crash in the Congo. A 'shocking discovery' three years later leads her to fly to the Democratic Republic to discover the truth. The series begins production this month, with filming in South Africa, Wales and Rotterdam. Writers Harry and Jack Williams said: 'Kate Beckinsale is a brilliantly talented actress and we're thrilled she's joining us on this journey – we couldn't imagine anyone more perfect for the role. The Widow is our most ambitious and cinematic piece to date and we can't wait to bring the dark heart of the Congolese jungle to the screen.' The Widow will be broadcast in 2019 on ITV in the UK and on Amazon Prime Video in the US.
From The North favourite Rose McGowan has reportedly landed her own reality series. After being embroiled in the ongoing Harvey Weinstein malarkey, the former Charmed actress, known for her outspoken views, will be the focus of Citizen Rose. A two-hour launch show will premiere on 30 January, followed by four more episodes as viewers follow Rose in the run up to the release of her memoirs, Brave. 'You are formally invited into my mind and world,' revealed McGowan. 'I am thrilled to partner with E! to amplify my message of bravery, art, joy and survival. As I ready my book, Brave, I realised I wanted to show how we can heal through art even when being hounded by evil.' She continued: 'I want to have a conversation with everyone and most especially, you, about looking at things differently and seeing beauty everywhere. E!'s tremendous reach and impressive platform allow me to globally communicate the importance of living a brave life.' As well as, one imagines, addressing the Weinstein allegations, Citizen Rose will also look at McGowan's social media presence with the Rose Army, her artwork and her involvement in the Me Too campaign. McGowan has been at the centre of many headlines over the years, but Citizen Rose promises to offer an up-close-and-personal look at the actresses life. With McGowan being arrested on suspicion of drug possession, later pleading very not guilty, as well as being banned from Twitter during the height of the Weinstein scandal, her documentary is sure to be interesting if nothing else. Considering that E!'s primetime ratings took an eighteen per cent drop in 2017, Citizen Rose could be coming at just the right time for the network.
After coming dangerously close to being cancelled, the sitcom New Girl was pulled back from the brink for one last - seventh - series, which will hit TV screens from Tuesday 10 April in the US.
Freddie Flintoff has spoken about the roots of his acting career. The former England cricketer can be seen in Kay Mellor and Nick Lloyd Webber's Fat Friends The Musical, based on Mellor's ITV drama. Speaking to The Sunday Times, Freddie revealed the unlikely story which threw him into acting, which began with Prime Suspect writer Lynda La Plante wanted him to audition for last year's prequel series Prime Suspect 1973. Freddie recalled of the offer: 'I said, "I'll have a try." I had no experience. I got to the last two or three and I didn't get it because I think the network thought it was too much of a risk, which I was fine with.' After losing out on Prime Suspect, Freddie was invited to meet with Mellor, where he got his current role in Fat Friends The Musical. 'I'm doing the very best I can,' he added. 'And if people want to come and watch me do this, that's their decision. I can't imagine I'm going to be in the next Phantom, but I would like to do drama on TV. If you do it wrong, you can do it again. There's a lot of waiting around, mind. But I played cricket. And I get to sit down.'
Ex-footballer and now seemingly former Match Of The Day presenter Trevor Sinclair has been very removed from the show amid a recent drink-driving scandal. The forty four-year-old appeared in court on 2 January, where he pleaded extremely guilty to drink-driving and to a racially aggravated public order offence against police officer, Gareth Evans. Employed as a freelance broadcaster for the BBC, a spokesperson for the corporation told the Sun that Sinclair 'would not be appearing on Match Of The Day' for the foreseeable future. 'We currently have no scheduled plans to use him on our programmes,' the BBC representative said. Sinclair - who once played for England - was arrested in Blackpool last year and allegedly called Evans 'a white cunt' during the fracas. Following the incident, Sinclair proceeded to tweet: 'Racist Old Bill all over the Sinclair residence again tonight. Thank God as a black man I've not fallen asleep again.' An attorney for the footballer maintained that the 'catalyst' to Sinclair's behaviour had been being the victim of alleged racial discrimination in front of his family earlier in the evening, the Torygraph reports. Known for his punditry work since retiring from football in 2008, Sinclair also became an advocate of the anti-discrimination charity Show Racism The Red Card. District Judge Jeff Brailsford admitted that the presenter showed 'genuine remorse' for his actions, but still handed him a stiff sentence of one hundred and fifty hours' unpaid work, a twenty-month driving ban and ordered him to pay Evans five hundred notes compensation. However, charges of assaulting a police officer, failing to provide a sample and criminal damage were all dropped, according to BBC News.
Rosamund Pike says there won't be more female leading roles in Hollywood movies until male stars change their attitude. 'Male actors now have to decide that they are willing to play supporting roles to female leads,' Pike said. 'And, often it seems men don't want to,' she told Radio 4's Film Programme. 'They're more than happy to play a supporting role to Christian Bale - another man - [but] less happy to play supporting roles to a lead woman."' Pike is starring in Western Hostiles with Bale, which is released in the UK this week. She continued: 'Many, many actors are coming out saying we want more female-driven stories, we want fantastic roles for women ... so the next consequence is, if you want those to come, then the boys have to play second fiddle. That's just the way it is. Until that happens, there will be fewer films with female leads made,' she added. Films with leading female stars and supporting male actors are not as common as the other way round. But there are some well-known examples, including 2013's Oscar-winning film Gravity, with Sandra Bullock playing the lead alongside George Clooney, and Arrival (2016), with Jeremy Renner in a supporting role alongside Amy Adams. A 2016 study suggested that inequality is 'entrenched' in Hollywood, with women, minorities and LGBT people among those excluded.
Lily Cole has responded - with great dignity - to criticism of her appointment to The Brontë Society, asking that her work be 'judged on its own merits' after one member's decision to resign over her role was widely criticised as crass and ignorant snobbery. The Brontë Society promotes 'the Brontës' literary legacy within contemporary society' - as if it actually needed promoting since all three sisters were geniuses - and runs The Brontë Parsonage Museum in the Yorkshire village of Haworth, where the family lived. But there have been several clashes between modernists and traditionalists over the group's position in the Twenty First Century, with both sides fighting over how best to promote the Brontës to new readers. Cole, an actor and model who has a double first in History of Art from Cambridge, was chosen to be a 'creative partner' in the society, as part of marking the bicentenary year of Emily Brontë's birth. But in an online article and in a comment to The Times, Brontë Society member and author Nick Holland (no, me neither) said that he would resign over Cole's appointment, which he called 'rank farce' and that he would take his ball and go home. Probably. 'What would Emily Brontë think if she found that the role of chief "artist" and organiser in her celebratory year was a supermodel?' Holland wrote on his website. Probably she'd ask what a supermodel is, Nick, since they didn't have them in the Nineteenth Century. You rank and utter arsehole. 'We all know the answer to that, and anyone who doesn't isn't fit to make the decision or have any role in the governance of The Brontë Society. The very basic rule should have been that the person chosen for such an important role as creative partner is a writer. The drive now is for one thing – attracting a young audience. Being trendy is the ultimate aim, with the Brontës themselves relegated to the sidelines.' Holland - who, seemingly, has no problem whatsoever in taking it upon himself to act as a spokesman for a woman who had been dead for almost one hundred and fifty years, whinged that he could 'no longer continue to be a member of a society whose leaders' views are so opposed to my own ... It's best that I leave the society now, before they announce James Corden as the creative partner for 2019, a year in which Patrick Brontë is being remembered and Rita Ora as organiser for Anne Brontë's celebrations in 2020.' Cole, who has worked on literacy campaigns, told the Gruniad Morning Star on Thursday: 'Emily Brontë, whose extraordinary novel Wuthering Heights has stirred the world for over one hundred and fifty years, published her work under an androgynous pseudonym: Ellis Bell. Writing in 1850, Charlotte Brontë explained why she and her sisters Emily and Anne all used pseudonyms: "We did not like to declare ourselves women, because we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice." When I was asked by The Brontë Parsonage Museum to work on a piece to commemorate Emily Brontë's birth I immediately thought of Emily's pseudonym and what that gesture represented. Why could a woman not publish under her own name? What was life like for women living in the UK in the Nineteenth century? What circumstances would also give rise to a child being found abandoned in a city in the Eighteenth century, as Heathcliff was? Now I find myself wondering, fleetingly, if I should present the short film I am working on for the museum under a pseudonym myself, so that it will be judged on its own merits, rather than on my name, my gender, my image or my teenage decisions. I would not be so presumptuous as to guess Emily's reaction to my appointment as a creative partner at the museum, were she alive today. Yet I respect her intellect and integrity enough to believe that she would not judge any piece of work on name alone.' Holland's response to Cole's appointment has been widely criticised, with several writers describing it it 'snobbery.' Which is certainly appears to be. 'I'm sorry that some people have felt angry about it or against it,' Brontë scholar Samantha Ellis told the Gruniad. 'I think Lily Cole is a brilliant idea. With Tracey [Chevalier], Simon [Armitage] and now Lily, this move has been absolutely fantastic and brought loads more people to the Brontës and the parsonage. The Brontës were passionate, and that's why people care so much about them. Lily's clearly passionate about the arts and I don't see why she wouldn't be a good advocate. I do think there is a whiff of misogyny about some of the statements made about Lily on Twitter and beyond. People must remember that the Brontës themselves were young women – I think it is interesting that the society chose a young woman.' Former Brontë Society president Bonnie Greer told The Times: 'I don't know what Lily Cole has to do with the Brontës but what did I have to do with them, other than loving Wuthering Heights? There has to be a balance and a mix. So if Lily Cole can open the museum, Emily Brontë et cetera to a new generation who can keep the whole show on the road, what's wrong with that?' On Thursday, a spokeswoman for The Brontë Society was 'unable to confirm or deny' if Holland actually had resigned due to data protection laws, but said: 'The Brontës were trailblazers and it is one of the roles of the society to ensure that their lives and work continue to be of relevance and interest to modern society. Lily's innovative projects in the fields of literacy, nature, storytelling and the environment are the perfect fit for Emily, and her originality and creativity will bring a fresh perspective to our 2018 celebrations.' Resignations and fights within The Brontë Society are something of a regular occurrence and apparently date back to the 1990s, when a one million knicker anonymous donation was withdrawn due to divisions between society members and the leadership. In 2015, the then president, Greer, lambasted 'malevolent lamebrains' and resigned, along with six council members, after a heated annual general meeting which saw Greer having to use her shoe as a gavel to keep order. At the 2016 annual general meeting, more fighting was reported, with former chair Alexandra Lesley blaming 'a lot of bad behaviour' for her resignation, one member repeatedly 'screaming' until he was threatened with expulsion and another saying she 'felt like I had come into The Stasi' after reading the society's new rules. All of which sounds a bit silly, frankly, although this blogger is in no position to pass judgement, being an active member of Doctor Who fandom, without question the silliest collective of people in the history of very silly collectives. And, that's why we love it.
A woman thought she was suffering from a serious bowel disease for six years before doctors discovered some Heinz packaging piercing the wall of her intestine. The forty one-year-old patient had bouts of acute abdominal pain and bloating lasting up to three days, prompting doctors to diagnose her symptoms as Crohn's Disease. Doctors at Heatherwood and Wexham Park hospital in Slough eventually decided that surgery was the only option when the patient failed to respond to standard treatment, a case study in the British Medical Journal said. But keyhole surgery found an inflamed mass in the small intestine, revealing two pieces of plastic packaging bearing the Heinz branding. The plastic appeared to come from a sachet of sauce. Once the packaging was removed the patient's symptoms disappeared almost immediately and, happily, she was still symptom-free five months after surgery. She had no memory of consuming a meal involving the product found perforating the wall of her gut. Doctors said that it was the first case of ingested plastic packaging mimicking the symptoms of Crohn's Disease. 'It is important to consider alternative surgical diagnoses in patients with presumed Crohn's Disease unresponsive to standard treatment,' the report said.
A Northumbria Police officer has apologised after posting a tweet which was widely believed to relate to the Hillsborough disaster. PC Curtis Ritchie wrote 'have they started blaming the police yet?' after media reported a fire breaking out in a car park next to Liverpool's Echo Arena. This resulted in a large number of complaints via social media. The force said that it 'did not condone' the comment, which is described as 'clearly unacceptable.' No shit? Northumbria Police said in a statement: 'The force expects all its officers to uphold the highest levels of professionalism. The officer involved has expressed regret for any offence and upset caused and he has received management advice regarding his actions.'
This blogger is indebted to his old mucker, Brian, for the following photo and for the accompanying caption 'Just bought Ed Sheeran’s latest album.' Heh!
Scientists Expect Chocolate To Go Extinct By 2050 according to screamed headline of this article. Horrorshow. Though, to be fair, this blogger will most probably be dead by then. So, it's someone else's problem!
On a somewhat related note, Cadbury has announced the launch of an - extremely - limited edition white chocolate Creme Eggs. What fresh Hell is this?
The anointing of yer actual Sir Ringo Starr his very self as announced on New Year's Day (and, leaked a few days earlier) reminded this blogger of one of his favourite quotes related to The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them). It occurred when yer actual Sir Ringo (MBE) was being interviewed by a journalist in the mid-1990s around the time of The Be-Atles Anthology and was asked a very specific question about his - superb - drumming on 'Rain'. You can tell the journalist was an obsessive Be-Atles nerd, can't you? 'First question, Ringo, is on a 1966 b-side!' 'Oh God, I can't even remember the session,' said Ringo. 'But, Ritchie, you were there,' replied the interviewer, aghast. 'Yeah, I was,' added Ringo. 'And, it was all passing me by at a thousand miles an hour. You guys know more about my life than I do! I was too busy having a good time. If I'd known one day there'd be a quiz, I'd've taken a bit more notice!'
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping had a very odd day on Thursday, dear blog reader. He had to pop into Toon, firstly to the local Learning Centre to have a review with his tutor (the very lovely Lesley) related to the Distance Learning segments of a City & Guilds NFCE course which he is currently doing. Which was fine (although poor Lesley was full of cold at the time which, Keith Telly Topping fears, he might now catch from her). It also meant a very early morning start, breakfast at McDonald's and getting the weekly shop in from Morrison's on the way back home. A hectic morning all round, in fact. It was - apart from a brief trip to Aldi on 2 January for bread and milk - pretty much the first time this blogger had been out of the house for any length of time since before Christmas. There were some good moments in the trip, like this blogger finding five pee on the floor of the bus(!) But, by-and-large, it was a bloody chore and one Keith Telly Topping could've well done without; he got soaked through to his vest by the heavy and persistent rain, his foot hurt really badly due to some slippage on the icy ground and he spent most of the trip back to Stately Telly Topping Manor absolutely busting for the netty (which, thankfully, he just about made it to when getting back in the gaff without any, ahem, unfortunate accidents. Just in case you were concerned on that score, dear blog reader). So, all round, ass Xander Harris once noted in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, 'throw in a little rectal surgery and it's my best day ever!'
Theresa May has dropped an erection manifesto pledge to hold a vote on the fox-hunting ban during this parliament. The Tories had promised a vote on repealing The Hunting Act - which bans the use of dogs to hunt foxes and other wild mammals in England and Wales - during the 2017 general erection campaign. But the Prime Minister told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show there was a 'clear message' against it from the public. Which must make this the first time in recorded history that a Tory Prime Minister has ever taken any notice of what 'the people' have to say, about anything. The PM also insisted she 'has a [presumably cunning] plan' to deal with winter pressures in the NHS amid Labour claims of a crisis due to under-investment; Mrs May warned the writer Toby Young about his language amid calls for him to be sacked from his job at university regulator for various unsavoury tweets about women; plans to create 'a new Northern Forest' stretching from Liverpool to Hull have been kick-started and the way that parole is considered is to be reviewed after the decision to release convicted sex attacker John Worboys. In July, shortly after the government lost its majority in the erection, it backed away from the manifesto promise on hunting, saying that there would not be a vote held 'until at least 2019.' Tony Blair's Labour government introduced The Hunting Act in 2004 across England and Wales, which came into force a year later and was jolly good news for foxes sake. The pursuit of foxes with hounds, other than to flush them out to be shot, had already been banned in Scotland in 2002 although there is no ban in force in Northern Ireland.
The former publisher of the Anniston Star in Alabama resigned on Thursday as chairman of the company which owns the newspaper after admitting that he once 'spanked a reporter' in the 1970s. Well, who among us hasn't? The former publisher, H Brandt Ayers, told the newspaper that it was 'in the best interests of the paper and its mission' to 'step down from the board' at its parent company, Consolidated Publishing. But his family will still retain control of the company, which also owns five other publications and his wife will take over as chairwoman of the board. Whether he ever spanked her, he didn't say And, neither did she. 'It is of utmost importance to me that this newspaper continue to serve its role of reporting on matters of concern to the Anniston community and that nothing stand in the way of preserving the newspaper as an independently owned publication serving this community,' Ayers said in his statement to the Star. His resignation came after several former reporters accused him in recent days of sexual misconduct - allegations that brought about a swift downfall for Ayers, who led the Star during the civil rights era as a rare liberal in the South. After taking over the Star from his father in the 1960s, Ayers wrote editorials denouncing bigotry and advocating school integration. In an article published on Monday, a former reporter for the Star, Veronica Pike Kennedy, told the newspaper that Ayers spanked her 'against her will' on a Saturday in 1975 when 'there were few people in the building.' 'I was still determined to be a reporter after that,'Kennedy, who worked at the newspaper in her twenties, told the Star. 'But I hated Brandy Ayers with every cell in my body.' In response to the accusations, Ayers, who was forty in 1975, told the newspaper that he had 'made mistakes' as a young journalist but did not address the specific allegations. But on Tuesday, Ayers acknowledged in an interview with the Star that he had spanked another reporter, Wendy Sigal, at her home in either 1973 or 1974. Ayers claimed that Sigal had 'an ailment' and that a doctor told him that spanking her 'could help.' Which sounds entirely reasonable and, indeed, exactly the sort of thing that a doctor would tell someone about a young woman to whom they were not related. 'I called the doctor and asked what should do and he said "calm her down,"' Ayers told the Star. When a reporter at the newspaper recently asked him about the accusation from Kennedy, he replied, 'Let the accusation stand.'
A stolen bottle of vodka thought to be the world's most expensive at $1.3 million has been found empty on a construction site, Danish police say. The bottle, made from gold and silver and with a diamond encrusted cap, was on loan to a Copenhagen bar which had a collection of vodkas on display. CCTV released on Wednesday showed an intruder, who grabbed the Russo-Baltique vodka and fled the bar. The bottle was found unbroken on a construction site in the city. 'I don't know what happened with the vodka, but the bottle was empty,' Riad Tooba, spokesman for the Copenhagen police, told AFP news agency.
Nine European backpackers suffered paralysis and seizures during a stay in Perth, after deciding to snort a mystery white powder sent to a house they were staying at. As you do. If you're a bloody moron. The two women and seven men, all in their early twenties, were hospitalised on Wednesday night - with three of them placed in intensive care in critical condition, according to The West Australian. After tests were conducted on the powder, it was identified as hyoscine - containing scopolamine, or 'scoop' - a prescription medication used to treat motion sickness, but is also used widely as a date-rape drug. The group - made up of an Italian, a Moroccan, two Germans and five from France - came across the powder when it arrived in the mail at the home they were staying at addressed to a former occupant. They reportedly 'believed it to be cocaine.' They took the drug at about 9pm (local time) and, within minutes, all were suffering extreme symptoms such as paralysis, hallucinations, seizures, vomiting and overheating as a result of the overdose. Medical experts told The West Australian it was 'fortunate'that no one died. One of the nine, now been discharged from hospital, said that their symptoms prevented them from calling for help or notifying emergency services. The group was only discovered when another housemate arrived at the house and called an ambulance. Scoop has been known to be used as a date rape drug, as it puts people into a zombie-like state. It is most commonly seen in this context in Colombia. One of the injured backpackers told The West Australian the ordeal was 'terrifying' and said that he was 'trying to scream for help' but his mouth wouldn't move.
These days it seems men are always up for some weird experiments, not to forget the latest laser procedure for whitening their genitalia. An incident, which took place in Lanarkshire had a disastrous outcome. A sixty seven-year-old with seven curtain rings stuck on his genitals was reportedly rushed to the hospital. It was revealed that the pensioner had taken Viagra and was apparently 'experimenting' with the plastic rings 'as sex toys.' Unfortunately for the man, he found the rings had 'jammed' on his now huge and throbbing private parts according to the Sun. Although an ambulance was quickly called for, the paramedics 'failed to remove the rings.' The fire crew was also called to try their luck with their cutting equipment which also, sadly, failed. When the crew arrived, the Viagra was 'still working' according to 'a close source.' 'He was in a lot of distress as he couldn't get them off,' the anonymous - and, therefore, probably fictitious - alleged 'source' allegedly said. The crew apparently 'reassured him' that 'these things happen' but the man was 'terribly freaked out.' The man was eventually taken to the Wishaw General Hospital and the rings were removed 'using lubricants.' Neighbours witnessed the episode and claimed that the man was 'in pain.' Thankfully, the chap wasn't badly hurt. And, neither was his ... you know, chap.
A former Eastenders actress has 'hit out at' (that's tabloidese for 'criticised' only with less syllables) a Michelin starred chef after her husband tried to eat his water-inflated napkin. Tracy Ann Oberman, best known for playing Old Vic landlady Chrissie Watts, was 'left baffled by a Spanish restaurant's haute cuisine,' according to the Evening Standard. She and her husband Rob Cowan's confusion peaked, however, when he 'nearly' tucked into a white dish served in a rope-bound block of stone which turned out to be his napkin. Taking to Twitter, Oberman wrote: 'You know it's a Michelin star when the napkins are inflated with water in a Neanderthal carver holder. Rob tried to eat it. They were horrified.' The actress, also known for her roles in Doctor Who and Toast Of London, went on to say the amuse bouche was 'served with a reverence that bordered on religious fervour.' What that means. And, this shite constitutes 'news', apparently. The chef in question, Martin Berasategui, has eight Michelin stars across his restaurants, where a fourteen-course meal can cost up to two hundred smackers. Addressing Berasategui on Twitter, Oberman wrote: 'Your food was exquisite, your presentation a tad pretentious but your staff were so patronising. It's a restaurant, not a church.'
A United Airlines flight was diverted to Anchorage on Thursday night after a passenger smeared the inside of the cabin with his own faeces. At least this is according to the Daily Scum Mail so it may be a load of shit. Either way. United Airlines flight eight-nine-five from Chicago to Hong Kong was not even halfway through its flight when it was forced to land due to a 'passenger smearing faeces everywhere,' according to a statement released by Ted Stevens International Airport Police. Officers say that the man 'wiped the excrement along the walls in a couple of bathrooms' before he then took off his shirt and attempted to flush it down a toilet.
A state appeals court has extremely rejected a prisoner's claim that drugs found up his rectum were not, in fact, his. Although they did give him ten out of ten for trying. It took a state Superior Court panel just five pages to reject prison inmate Edwin Greco Wylie-Biggs' claim that the drugs guards found stuffed in his anus were nothing to do with him. Senior Judge William H Platt wrote in the state court opinion that Wylie-Biggs 'became the subject of a strip-search' when a corrections officer saw another inmate pass something to him in the state prison at Fayette. When Wylie-Biggs was ordered to bend over and spread his buttocks, he complied and the searchers found a small plastic bag sticking out of his rectum. Inside that bag was a blue balloon containing synthetic marijuana. In April, a Fayette County judge sentenced Wylie-Biggs to an extra three--to-six years in The Big House for possessing contraband. In appealing to the state court, Wylie-Biggs contended that prison officials didn't prove the synthetic marijuana was his. Platt discounted that claim, finding the evidence was 'sufficient' to support the contraband conviction.
A Texas elementary school teacher was extremely arrested after police say she was caught in the back seat of her car having The Sex with a thirteen-year-old student ... by the child's own father. Unlucky. According to a Bay City Police Department press release, forty four-year-old Rachel Gonzalez faces charges of online solicitation of a minor and improper relationship between educator and student. School officers were initially notified by the child's father, who allegedly caught the teacher and student inside the car having sex on 14 December, while parked on a residential street. Investigators executed search warrants on the victim's phone and found evidence of an improper relationship with Gonzalez and immediately sought to arrest her, the press release states. Gonzalez was taken into custody and transported to the Matagorda County jail where she later posted bond and was released. Gonzalez was a fourth-grade teacher at Cherry Elementary and resigned on 15 December, the Bay City Tribune reports.
A dollar store customer caught on video making a sick racist tirade now claims that she is the 'real victim,' WSB-TV in Atlanta reports. On Thursday, WSB-TV reporter Audrey Washington investigated the incident, which went viral after the video was posted online. 'Talking to somebody like this is never okay,' Alise Fowler, the Dollar Tree store employee, told Washington. 'Being evil, is never okay. She called me a black bitch. A black whore,' Fowler added. The reporter was then contacted by Pamela Sharma, who identified herself as the woman in the video ranting at the black employees. 'I wasn't racist initially and I wasn't racist in the middle, it's not until I became the victim of racism,' Sharma claimed. Her defence includes the fact that she is 'a highly educated' former high school teacher and it is, therefore, 'impossible' for her to be racist.
A Swiss politician has blamed incontinence 'due to weakened anal muscles' as the reason for an increase in suicide among gay people. Zurich City Council member Daniel Regli reportedly made the statement during a budget debate on funding for sex education. Regli criticised a sex ed website, Lust and Frust. He claimed that the site, supported by the city's education department, 'promotes homosexuality and promiscuity' but doesn't say anything about 'homosexuals with multiple partners take their lives between the ages of thirty and forty because their anal muscle is not holding up as it should.' His remarks brought laughter to the hall, until Mayor Corine Mauch, an out lesbian, called for order. Even Regli's own party criticised him, with Marco Denoth, Swiss People's Party co-president, saying, 'I do not want to see him anymore.' The Young Socialists party is calling on Regli to resign, which he is refusing to do and has said that if the country's hate crime law included anti-gay statements he would be in trouble. 'Someone who is able, in a homophobic tirade, to make the link between the anal muscle of homosexuals and suicide is beyond any conception that I can have of a politician,' said René Schegg, director of the LGBTQ organisation Pink Cross. Regli himself remains defiant. 'I said Saturday what nobody wants to hear,' he claimed. Schegg noted that the real culprit for a higher than average suicide rate among the LGBTQ community is the discrimination prevalent in society today.
A woman has been extremely jailed and banned from entering Woking after she punched a blind man and was caught in the middle of a sex act in the street. Natasha Claus was described as 'a mess' by a judge after she turned up to court four hours late to be handed a thirteen-month prison sentence for her naughty and wicked ways. The judge revealed that Claus had also been caught riding through the Surrey town naked on a motorbike, but added that she was not being sentenced for that particular incident. She pleaded very guilty to outraging public decency after she was caught in the middle of a sex act which Judge Peter Ross said was 'no doubt for money.' Prosecutor John Upton said that Claus was 'spotted' in Goldsworth Road, Woking, 'being fingered by a man' on 29 July. A mother with her two children 'asked her to stop' and Claus responded by 'threatening to punch her.' When she was arrested at the scene, police said that 'her jeans were pulled up, but her knickers were in her handbag.' Upton told Guildford Crown Court that Claus was 'in the habit' of 'befriending vulnerable men' then 'taking advantage of them.' Trouble flared when one of those men was threatened with being kicked out of his flat by the local council because of Claus's anti-social behaviour. They argued and Claus attacked him. Because the man was registered blind, he couldn’t tell if it was her palm or fist that she hit him with, only that it hurt. When being arrested for the attack, Claus assaulted two police officers calling one of them a 'Paki cunt.' Defence barrister Timothy Leete mitigating said that Claus was 'addicted to inhaling butane gas,' leading Judge Moss to tell her 'your life is a mess.' The judge added: 'Any assault on a vulnerable person is very serious indeed, as is any attack on the police officers who we have a moral obligation to protect.'
A topless activist from the feminist group Femen tried to snatch the statue of the lil' baby Jesus from the Nativity scene in St Peter's Square on Monday, but was stopped by police as she grabbed it. A Reuters photographer said that the woman jumped over guard rails and rushed onto the larger-than-life Nativity scene shouting 'God is woman.' She had the same slogan painted on her back. A Vatican gendarme stopped her from taking the statue and she was detained. The incident occurred about two hours before Pope Frankie delivered his Christmas message to some fifty thousand people in the square. The group's website identified the woman as Alisa Vinogradova and called her 'a sextremist.' It claims that the goal of the group, which was founded in Ukraine, is 'complete victory over patriarchy.' Way to go, sisters.
A Mexican woman who masturbated while watching Fifty Shades Of Grey was reportedly arrested after being 'spotted' by fellow moviegoers. The was sitting in the twelfth row of the cinema when other customers 'spotted what she was up' to, eventually getting police to come and arrest her for public indecency. She was removed from the premises by authorities in Sinaloa.
Paphos police arrested a twenty five-year-old Cypriot woman early on Saturday for being drunk and disorderly and attacking police officers. The woman had reportedly been stopped by police because she was driving without wearing a seatbelt. After she was issued a fine, the woman became uppity and was rude to the officers and then went to drive away before they had told her she could. She then ripped up the fine and attacked officers, police said.
Astronaut John Young, who flew to the moon twice and commanded the first ever space shuttle mission, has died aged eighty seven. 'Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer,' agency chief Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. Young was the only person to have flown missions on the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programmes. He also once famously smuggled a corned beef sandwich on to a space flight as a gift for a fellow astronaut. Young retired in 2004 after a forty two-year career. NASA said that he died on Friday following complications from pneumonia. 'John was one of that group of early space pioneers whose bravery and commitment sparked our nation's first great achievements in space,' Lightfoot added. 'But, not content with that, his hands-on contributions continued long after the last of his six space flights - a world record at the time of his retirement from the cockpit.' Born in San Francisco in 1930, Young gained a degree in aeronautical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and then served in the US Navy as a test pilot. He was picked as a NASA astronaut in 1962 as part of the second astronaut group ('The New Nine' - his contemporaries included Frank Borman, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Pete Conrad) and first went into space in 1965 with the Gemini 3 mission. It was while orbiting the Earth that he handed the smuggled sandwich to his colleague, Gus Grissom. NASA later rebuked him for the stunt. In May 1969 John was part of the Apollo 10 mission that flew to the moon as a rehearsal for the Apollo 11 landing two months later. The crew - Young, Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan - tested the lander module in lunar orbit without landing it. Young finally walked on the moon himself in 1972 as commander of the Apollo 16 mission - the ninth of twelve people to have ever set foot on the lunar surface. He and crewmate Charles Duke gathered rock and soil samples and drove the lunar rover more than sixteen miles. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle in 2004, Young recalled: 'One-sixth gravity on the surface of the moon is just delightful. It's not like being in zero gravity, you know. You can drop a pencil in zero gravity and look for it for three days. In one-sixth gravity, you just look down and there it is.' In January 1974, John became Chief of the Astronaut Office after the retirement of Alan Shepard. In 1981, Young commanded the inaugural flight of NASA's first space shuttle, Columbia. Two years later he became the first person to fly six space missions when he commanded Columbia on the first Spacelab mission. It was his last journey into space. Young had been due to command a space shuttle flight in 1986 but it was cancelled after the explosion of the shuttle Challenger earlier that year. Young was openly critical of NASA management following the Challenger disaster and, in April 1987, was made Special Assistant to JSC Director Aaron Cohen for Engineering, Operations and Safety. In 2012, he published an autobiography, Forever Young. He is survived by his second wife, Susy and by his two children, Sandra and John, from an earlier married to Barbara.
The actress Doreen Keogh, who played the first Coronation Street barmaid, has died aged ninety one. Keogh pulled Rovers Returns' first pints as Concepta Riley, starring in the soap from its debut in 1960 until 1964 and with occasional reappearances stretching into the 1970s. ITV Studios' creative director John Whiston said Keogh holds 'a unique place' in Coronation Street history. 'There have been many barmaids in the Rovers over the years, dispensing pints and wisdom in equal measure,' he said. 'But Doreen played the first and so has a unique place not just in the history of the show but in the affection of all who watch The Street.' Keogh also starred as Mary Carroll, the Royles' neighbour, in The Royle Family and as Pete Gifford's mother, Audrey, in Cold Feet. In the 1990s she played the character Mrs Dineen in two episodes of Father Ted. Fans will particularly remember her memorable fight with Mrs Doyle over which of them should pay a bill at the Craggy Island tea shop. She is also credited with coaching Barbra Streisand on how to speak with a cockney accent for her film On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, despite Doreen being a Dublin native, her family said. Her niece and nephews Laurence, Matthew and Christina Keogh said in a statement: 'Our auntie Doreen died peacefully in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, on New Year's Eve after a long illness. She is known for the parts she played in prominent TV series including Coronation Street, Ballykissangel, Father Ted, The Royle Family, Cold Feet, Fair City, Z Cars, Crossroads and others. She also had many stage and film roles, including a part in the 1960 Blake Edwards-directed musical Darling Lili with Julie Andrews and Rock Hudson.' Doreen left school in Dublin at the age of fifteen to train with the Abbey Theatre School, before moving to London during World War II due to her father's job. Doreen's CV, which began with a small role in the BBC's 1948 play Death At Newtonstewart also included appearances in Shadow & Substance, The Whiteheaded Boy, Young Chippie, The Men From Room Thirteen, Emergency Ward Ten, The Corner Shop, The Citadel, Never Mind The Quality Feel The Width, New Scotland Yard, And Mother Makes Five, The Life Of Riley, Selwyn, Minder, Play For Today, Inside Out, Hot Metal, The Lilac Bus, Pie In The Sky, Holby City, Cutting It and The Clinic. She is survived by her husband, Jack Jenner. She was previously married to actor Frank Singuineau from 1954 until 1963.
Once upon a time, dear blog reader - and not all that long ago either - 3pm on the first Saturday in January would see sixty four professional football teams kick-off in the Third Cup of the Football Association Cup. Unless, of course, the early January weather had been inclement and there was a postponement or several. This would occur in stadia usually full to the rafters with excited punters, each of them dreaming of a decent cup run for their team. For some smaller clubs it was often a question of a good financial pay day or two and a chance to pit themselves against one of The Big Boys but, for many clubs, and not just in the top division either, there was the tantalising vision of Wembley glory at the end of the rainbow. The forty four first and second division clubs were joined by twenty from the third and fourth divisions and, usually, one or two semi-professional non-league side all of whom had survived the earlier qualifying round to reach this point in the competition. And each of them - both players and fans - had their own specific ideas about what constituted 'the magic of the FA Cup.' There was no question of any manager playing a weakened team, they wouldn't have even dreamed of such a thing - and, if they had, their supporters (and FA itself) would never have stood for it. The BBC would cover three games on Match Of The Day (rather than the standard two league matches per week) and would always send their cameras to at least one tie at a lower-league ground in the hope of capturing a genuine moment of so-called 'giant-killing' (like the infamous occasion when non-league Hereford Town dumped this blogger's beloved - though, even then, unsellable - Magpies out of the competition in 1972). Sadly, those days are now long gone and the FA Cup appears, to many, to be a rather inconvenient chore to be got out of the way as soon as possible so that they can concentrate with the really important job of making sure they don't get sucked into a relegation fight in the Premier League and, thus, miss out on mega-millions of television money and sponsorship wonga. Just one more example, dear blog reader, of ways in which crass greed and dreams of filthy lucre have utterly ruined The People's Game. This Third Round weekend, we still had thirty two ties - that much hasn't changed. But, now they were spread across four days - Friday to Monday.
Virgil van Dijk (Dick's son. Possibly) made a dream start for The Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws (seven times previous winners of the competition) following his seventy five million knicker move from Southampton as his late header settled a highly competitive Merseyside derby against Everton (five times winners) at Anfield. The visitors looked on course for a replay at Goodison Park until goalkeeper Jordan Pickford misjudged a corner allowing Van Dijk, who cost a world record fee for a defender, to steal in six minutes from time and send The Reds into the Fourth Round. And he was certainly dancin' his Old Bamboo after scoring. Gylfi Sigurdsson's smooth finish from the edge of the area put Everton level in the second half after Liverpool had taken the lead ten minutes before half-time, with James Milner scoring from the penalty spot following Mason Holgate's foul on Adam Lallana. In a fiercely fought game there was a first-half flashpoint when Holgate foolishly pushed Reds forward Roberto Firmino over the advertising hoardings and into the crowd, with the Everton defender left furious after the pair subsequently 'exchanged words.' The clash is currently being investigated by the Football Association amid - unconfirmed, let it be noted - media reports that some of the 'exchanged words' may have included alleged racist malarkey and other naughty shenanigans. Also on Friday, The Scum (twelve times competition winners) left it late to beat Derby County (the 1946 Cup winners) in an entertaining game at Old Trafford. A replay looked on the cards until Romelu Lukaku laid the ball off to Jesse Lingard, who took a touch and sent a twenty-yard shot on the bounce into the top corner, seven minutes from time. Half-time substitute Lukaku sealed the win moments later after playing a one-two with Anthony Martial. Marcus Rashford had hit the post in both halves - with a close-range header that he should have buried and a fierce shot across goal.
The bulk of the ties were still played on Saturday on a weekend in which, for the first time in sixty seven years, no non-league club was represented in the Third Round. In the lunchtime kick-off, League One Fleetwood Town - who, as recently as five years ago were a non-league side - held Premiership Leicester City (who have never won the Cup but have finished runners-up four times) to a goalless draw at Highbury (no, the other one) and earn a replay at the King Power Stadium. Ex-Fleetwood striker Jamie Vardy was left out of the Leicester squad by manager Claude Puel having, allegedly, 'failed to recover fully from a groin injury.' One or two people even believed him. The Premier League side - who demonstrated more than a hint of contempt for both the competition and their opponents by fielding a much-changed side from the team which beat Huddersfield in the League on New Year's Day - did not manage a single shot on target in Vardy's absence and withstood huge and sustained pressure from their plucky hosts. Ashley Hunter was denied a late winner for Fleetwood when his deflected shot hit the post. Fleetwood have never progressed beyond the Third Round of the competition and this the first time in their history that the club has faced top-flight opposition. Or, in this particular case, top-flight reserves opposition. Goals from Rudy Gestede and Martin Braithwaite gave The Middlesbrough Smog Monsters (the 1997 runners-up) a rather routine victory over two-time Cup winners, The Mackem Filth, in the Tees-Wear derby. Gestede opened the scoring in the tenth minute when he slid the ball under Blunderland goalkeeper Jason Steele. Braithwaite added Boro's second three minutes before half-time after Steele failed to deal with a corner. Josh Maja came closest for The Mackems when he headed off the crossbar at a corner early in the second half. The only other meaningful opportunity for Chris Coleman's struggling side, who currently sit extremely at the bottom of the Championship, came from another second-half corner but Darren Randolph spectacularly tipped over Tyias Browning's header. Victory for The Smoggies puts them into the Fourth Round for a second successive season - having reached the quarter-finals last year - and gives new manager Tony Pulis a second win in a row.
Having spend most of November and December playing like a bunch of complete and utter girls yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved - though still, seemingly, unsellable - Magpies got their season slightly back on track with successive away Premier League victories over the Christmas period at West Hamsters United and Dirty Stoke. Six-times Cup winners and seven times runners-up Newcastle (albeit, the last win was when Jimmy Scoular held aloft the trophy in 1955) struck three goals in a nine-minute first-half spell as they saw off a spirited display by the League Two leaders Luton Town in front of a crowd of over forty seven thousand at St James' Park. Ayoze Perez pounced on goalkeeper Marek Stech's error and then added a second after Stech had denied Dwight Gayle. Jonjo Shelvey extended the lead, side-footing home a first goal since April. Luton rallied as Danny Hylton steered in after rounding United's debutant keeper Freddie Woodman and also had another effort ruled out for offside before Elliot Lee struck the woodwork. Lee came off the bench to join his brother, Olly - their father, Rob, was of course a Magpies legend for a decade from 1992. The 1959 finalists Luton's energy in the second period impressed a seven thousand-strong away support, who thought they were back in the game when Hylton celebrated wildly after finding the net a second time, only for the assistant's flag to deny him. Nathan Jones' side - who have only been outscored by Sheikh Yer Man City in England's top five leagues this season - will rue their first-half capitulation but showed a spirit befitting a side topping the League Two table by four points though they were unable to repeat the efforts of previous Luton teams of 1973 and 1994 and knock the Magpies out the Cup. Notlob Wanderers against Huddersfield Town might've been a decent bet to be the actual Cup Final ... in the 1920s. Huddersfield - the 1922 Cup winners - scored two goals in two second-half minutes to beat Championship side Notlob (four-time winners of the trophy). After a dull first-half, substitute Rajiv van la Parra gave the Premier League side the lead when he bundled in from close range following a corner. Straight from kick-off, Danny Williams' deflected thirty-yard strike caught out the Notlob keeper. Derik Osede gave home side hope, heading in a corner, but Huddersfield held on.
The major giant-killing act of day occurred at the Ricoh Arena. League Two Coventry City (the 1987 Cup winners but having, dramatically, fallen on hard times of late) pulled off the shock of the round by beating Premier League strugglers Dirty Stoke City (the 2011 runners-up) and heaping further misery on The Potters' beleaguered boss, Mark Hughes (who got his ass very sacked within hours of the result). It was a game of two managers, both previous cup winners as teammates in The Scum's 1990 side, as Coventry boss Mark Robins plotted the downfall of Hughes's (now former) club. Jordan Willis's towering header put the hosts ahead, before the defender felled Ramadan Sobhi shortly after the break and Charlie Adam levelled from the spot. But Coventry full-back Jack Grimmer fired his side back ahead from outside the area with twenty minutes to play and the Sky Blues held on for an historic victory. Stoke have now lost six of the last eight matches so, in that regard, it's hardly surprising Old Sparky has, finally, got the Tin Tack. The day's other big giant-killing act saw League One Peterborough score three late goals to knock out Championship side Aston Villa (seven times competition winners). Villa's Keinan Davis opened the scoring early in the first-half from close range after The Posh's defence failed to clear Ritchie De Laet's cross. Posh equalised as Jack Marriott headed in before Ryan Tafazolli converted Marcus Maddison's corner on eighty three minutes. Villa pushed forward, but Maddison set up Marriott to score on the break and seal a deserved win in injury-time and, no doubt, put a geet big nasty scowl on Villa boss Steve Bruce's geet big nasty mush. Which was funny, admittedly. Another League One side, MK Dons, produced a battling performance to knock out another Championship club, Queens Park Strangers. Jack Robinson and Matt Smith spurned close-range chances for The Strangers (the 1982 runners-up) before Ousseynou Cisse curled one into the top corner to give The MK Dons the lead. Steve Cook headed in an injury-time equaliser to save Premiership AFC Bournemouth from a shock exit against League One leaders Wigan Not-Very-Athletic. The Latics, who famously won the competition in 2013, had been two-nil ahead, but The Cherries fought back to earn a replay. Will Grigg had put Wigan ahead early on from six yards after Gavin Massey had headed on Reece James' cross. Nick Powell's free-kick deflected off Emerson Hyndman for two-nil, before Lys Mousset scored Bournemouth's first. Despite having to defend deep in the second period, The Latics still created a couple of chances, but substitute Ivan Toney shot wide and Max Power also missed the target when well placed. The was some geet rive-on late in the game at the Vitality Stadium, Wigan's assistant manager Leam Richardson was sent to the stands after complaining that a foul on Toney in the penalty area had not been given. Subsequent TV replays suggested that the on-loan striker had merely tripped over his own feet. Cherries manager Eddie Howe said that he had 'no regrets' after seeing his much-altered side fight back to stay in the competition. Howe made eight changes from the side that drew at Brighton on New Year's Day. 'Vindicated or not, I thought the decisions were right for us, for this game, I don't regret them,' said Howe.
Alan Pardew (a Cup finalist as a player with Crystal Palace in 1990) finally got his first win as West Bromwich Albinos manager as his side made it past League Two Exeter City at (the other) St James' Park. Saloman Rondon fired The Baggies ahead after less than seventy five seconds before Jay Rodriguez doubled the lead, pouncing on a defensive error. Hal Robson-Kanu had a third disallowed and missed a penalty for West Brom (five time Cup winners). Birmingham City (the 1931 and 1956 runners-up) edged a scrappy tie against fellow Championship strugglers Burton Albinos thanks to Sam Gallagher's second-half strike. Another Championship side, Hull City (the 2014 runners-up_, progressed with an uneventful victory over League One Blackburn Vindaloos at Ewood Park. Full-back Ola Aina, on loan from Moscow Chelski FC, scored the only goal of the game, heading in Jon Toral's corner just before the hour mark. Blackburn (six time winners, albeit, the last one being in 1928) almost took the lead in the first half as Paul Caddis' twenty-yard volley hit the top of the crossbar. Danny Graham had the chance to equalise but fired inches over. Hull, who are twenty first in the second tier, have now progressed from the Third Round in six of the past seven seasons (they were, of course, runners-up to The Arse in 2014). For Tony Mowbray's Vindaloos, third in League One, it was a first defeat in eighteen games in all competitions.
Veteran striker Jon Stead's stunning second-half strike earned League Two side Notts County (the 1894 Cup winners) a surprise at Championship Brentford. The thirty four-year-old twice went close before finding his range on sixty five minutes when he cut inside and curled the ball into the old onion bag. A weakened Bees side settled after a slow start and The (Other) Magpies keeper Ross Fitzsimons made several fine saves. James Ward-Prowse's first-half goal was enough to see Southampton (the 1976 Cup winners) progress at Poor Bloody Fulham (the 1975 runners-up). The Saints midfielder latched onto a rebound off Fulham's Kevin McDonald to shoot past David Button. Jack Stephens headed against the bar for the Premier League side, but Fulham responded strongly with Lucas Piazon and Denis Odoi going close. The result ends a run of nine games without a win for Mauricio Pellegrino's side. Sergio Aguero scored twice in two second-half minutes to help Premier League leaders and five-time Cup winners Sheikh Yer Man City fight back and beat fellow Premiership side Burnley (the 1914 Cup winners). A John Stones mistake let in Ashley Barnes to give Burnley the lead. However, Aguero levelled from a quickly-taken free-kick and then made it two-one from Ilkay Gundogan's back-heel. Leroy Sane ran on to David Silva's pass to add the third before Bernardo Silva slotted the fourth into an empty net. City's win stretched their domestic unbeaten run to twenty six games this season and keeps alive their chances of winning four trophies. Watford (1984 runners-up) beat a much-changed Bristol City (1909 runners-up) with goals from Andre Carrillo, Troy Deeney and Etienne Capoue. The Championship club struggled to get going, playing three days before their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Sheikh Yer Man City. Promotion-chasing City, preparing for their first major competition semi-final for twenty eight years, made seven changes for the match at Vicarage Road and spent most of the match defending in their own half.
Cardiff City were held to a goalless draw by League Two Mansfield Town. With a crowd of only just over six thousand at the thirty three thousand-capacity Cardiff City Stadium, the hosts had the better chances in a scrappy first-half. Mansfield had a golden opportunity to score after the break when Lee Angol's close-range shot was saved by Brian Murphy. The Stags, who last reached Round Four in 2008, will host the replay in the week starting 15 January. It is safe to say that Cardiff - Cup runners-up in 2008 and, famously, the only non-English winners of the competition back in 1927 - have not been charmed by the romance of this competition in recent seasons. League Two side Carlisle United earned an replay at the Championship's Sheffield Wednesday (three time Cup winners) after a goalless draw at Brunton Park. Atdhe Nuhiu headed against the bar for the visitors in the first minute and also saw a close-range shot saved. Lucas Joao headed narrowly wide for The Owls early in the second-half, while Reggie Lambe went close for the hosts. Sam Cosgrove had a Carlisle goal ruled out for offside before Jack Bonham brilliantly kept out a Nuhiu header. The result means Lee Bullen finishes with one win in four games as Owls caretaker boss, with new manager Jos Luhukay watching the game from the stands. League Two Stevenage increased the pressure on Reading's boss Jaap Stam as they held the Championship side to a draw. Ben Wilmot's header was tipped over by Royals keeper Anssi Jaakkola as the hosts impressed early on. Dave Edwards had the visitors' best chance of the first half, but Tom King reacted quickly to stop his header.
Premier League strugglers Swansea City and Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderings (four time Cup winners) played out another goalless draw as both sides ended the game with ten men. Wolves' Ruben Vinagre was sent off in the fortieth minute for a high lunge on Swans midfielder Nathan Dyer. Swansea's Leroy Fer was also shown a straight red for a cynical trip on Helder Costa in the sixty seventh minute. Calvin Andrew's goal was enough for Rochdale to beat League One rivals Doncaster Rovers. Andrew glanced in Joseph Bunney's free-kick after eighteen minutes to give the away side a lead to hold onto. John Marquis hit the post, Andy Butler headed wide and Tommy Rowe missed a good chance to earn Doncaster a replay. Southampton loanee Marcus Barnes' debut goal helped League Two Yeovil Town, the lowest-ranked side left in the competition, knock out Bradford City. League One Bradford (the 1911 Cup winners) were second best in a goalless first-half before improving after half-time at Huish Park. But, on the counter, Barnes slotted in the opener for The Glovers, before Jordan Green slotted in from Francois Zoko's pass to double the lead. The visitors have now failed to score in four away FA Cup games since winning at Stamford Bridge against Moscow Chelski FC in 2015. The Glovers will play in the fourth round for only the third time since famously eliminating top-flight Blunderland in Round Four in 1949. Championship side Preston Both Ends (twice winners of the competition, in 1889 and 1938) eased into the Fourth Round with a thumping five-one victory at League Two Wycombe Wanderers. Josh Harrop's fine free-kick put The Lilywhites ahead after just eighty seven seconds and Alan Browne's volley doubled their lead. Luke O'Nien pulled one back for Wycombe before the break as his deflected cross went in. Preston then ran riot with Daryl Horgan scoring from distance, Browne adding a penalty after Dan Scarr fouled Paul Huntington and Harrop heading in a fifth.
Nathan Thomas' spectacular long-range effort gave four-time Cup winners Sheffield United an away victory against fellow Championship side Ipswich Town (the 1978 Cup winners). Thomas scored in the twenty fifth minute with a powerful strike that went into the top corner, past Town's Bartosz Bialkowksi. Ipswich, who have not won an FA Cup tie since January 2010, did not record a shot on target, but did have a late attempt as Luke Chambers headed wide. The hosts thought they should have had a first-half penalty, claiming the ball struck Lavery's arm - but referee Michael Jones was not interested. Ten-man Barnsley (the 1912 Cup winners) were dumped out of the competition after a comprehensive thrashing away at 2004 finalists Millwall. The Reds started brightly and even took the lead through Brad Potts' early strike. But Millwall were stirred after conceding and scored three times after the break to capitalise on Joe Williams' reckless sending-off. The Reds have not progressed beyond the Third Round in five seasons since they reached the quarter-finals before being thrashed five-nil by Sheikh Yer Man City. Aiden O'Brien (with two), Ben Thompson and Fred Onyedinma scored the Millwall goals. In Saturday's late game, Championship side Norwich City held a much-changed Moscow Chelski FC (seven times Cup winners) to a goalless draw at Carrow Road. The Canaries had the better of the first-half without creating a clear-cut chance, Josh Murphy drilling well wide, while Alex Pritchard could not capitalise on an error from the returning David Luiz.
On Sunday League Two Newport County defeated Championship side (the 1972 Cup winners and three-times runners-up) Leeds United thanks to Shawn McCoulsky's late header at a rocking Rodney Parade. McCoulsky's winner in the eighty ninth minute was deserved reward for the home side, who were probably the better side throughout. Conor Shaughnessy's own goal drew them level with fifteen minutes remaining after Gaetano Berardi's deflected ninth-minute opener for the visitors. Leeds' misery was completed when Samuel Saiz was sent off in added time, apparently for spitting at one of the Newport players. Which really isn't a very nice thing to do. Newport's dramatic recovery caps an incredible few months for The Exiles, who only stayed in the Football League last season with a winner in the closing stages of their final match of the campaign. Dirty Leeds looked vulnerable and lacked fluency, which was perhaps no surprise given that only Berardi and Kalvin Phillips maintained their places from the side that started the goalless draw with Nottingham Forest in their last league game. Shrewsbury Town earned an replay after a goalless draw against three times winners West Hamsters United. The hosts, who are currently second in League One, put in an impressive performance throughout but were unable to find the winner. Ben Godfrey almost poked home from Shaun Whalley's free-kick and Mat Sadler saw his chance saved by goalkeeper Wankhands Hart. The Hamsters, who made four changes from Thursday's Premier League draw with Stottingtot Hotshots, looked lethargic playing their third match in six days. They were pinned into their own area for most of the game and could only register two shots on target - both from Andre Ayew. It means the Shrews will now travel to London Stadium later this month with the hope of reaching the Fourth Round for only the second time in fourteen seasons. The Hamsters, meanwhile, will be hoping to avoid being knocked out in the Third Round for the sixth time in eight years. Harry Kane scored twice in two second-half minutes as The Stottingtot Hotshots broke AFC Wimbledon's resistance. The England international poked in from close range in the sixty third minute before sweeping home another after Spurs (eight times Cup winners) had been frustrated by the League One strugglers. Defender Jan Vertonghen made it three-nil in the seventy first minute with a deflected long-range strike for his first goal since October 2013. And, finally, the Sunday teatime game gave sour-faced Arsene Wenger something else to whinge about besides his recent three game touchline ban as The Arse (the holders and thirteen times previous winners of the competition) were beaten four-two at Nottingham Forest (twice Cup winners). In a game packed with incident at The City Ground, Eric Lichaj twice gave Forest the lead either side of a Per Mertesacker equaliser. Forest pulled further clear in the second-half when Ben Brereton sent David Ospina the wrong way from the penalty spot after Rob Holding had upended Matty Cash. Danny Welbeck reduced the deficit with eleven minutes remaining after Forest keeper Jordan Smith failed to hold a through-ball. The Arse's first defeat in the Third Round since losing a replay to Sheffield United in 1996 was confirmed courtesy of Kieran Dowell's eighty fifth-minute penalty, before Joe Worrall was shown a straight red card for the home side in the closing stages following a late tackle on Chuba Akpom. There was some geet rive-on at the end with The Arse's players getting all stroppy and discombobulated at the referee, Jon Moss. Probably because they didn't appreciate his drumming on 'Karma Chameleon'. Or something. The thirty-second - and final - tie of the Third Round, between two teams who have never previously won the Cup but who have both been beaten finalists in the competition, Brighton & Hove Albinos and Crystal Palace, will take place on Monday evening. The Video Assistant Referee system will be used for the first time in a competitive club match in England at this match.