Friday, July 20, 2018

You Little Teaser!

As mentioned in a previous bloggerisationisms update, the first teaser for Doctor Who series eleven was extremely broadcast on BBC1 at half-time in the World Cup final coverage. The most immensely marvellous bit of which was that the now, seemingly, Wor Geet Canny Alan Shearer is canon. This also applies to Rio Ferdinand, of course, although yer actual Keith Telly Topping is somewhat less bothered about that. For a more in-depth look at what the teaser contained, check out the BBC News website's Doctor Who Trailer: Five Things We Learned From World Cup Teaser. This blogger, if you were wondering, thought it was reet proper great.
Yoke dunking and The Beano. What's not to love, dear blog reader?
One terrific thing about each time that a new Doctor Who trailer or teaser is broadcast is that this blogger's Facebook feed is usually - within mere minutes of it going out - filled with worthless whinging fekkers worthlessly whinging about some aspect of it to anyone that will listen (and, indeed, anyone that won't, like this blogger for instance). Or just, generally, whinging in a thoroughly worthless fashion as worthless whinging fekkers often tend to do as their raison d'être. Which is excellent - not the worthless whinging in and of itself, dear blog reader, that's obviously every bit as ruddy annoying as having a angry wasp stuck down yer keks. But, rather, because it gives Keith Telly Topping the excellent opportunity to stick them all in his ignore file and then not have to listen to their entirely worthless whinging fekkery any longer. And that, trust this blogger, is a good thing. As this blogger's Facebook fiend the author Graeme Burk noted on Twitter: 'I fucking hate Doctor Who fans. They suck the joy out of everything.' But, importantly, only if you can actually hear them.
Of course, in spite of all the whinging from the worthless whinging fekkers, it didn't take very long before the first actual series eleven trailer showed up. Another five days, in fact. Satisfied now, worthless whinging fekkers? No, of course you're not, sorry, that was a stupid question. 'All of this is new to me,' Jodie's Doctor says in the footage as she and her TARDIS team arrive in our lives, big-style. 'New faces, new worlds, new times. So if I asked really, really nicely ... Would you be my new best friends?' As intros go, that's right up there with 'do you wanna come with me?' Once again, dear blog reader, big surprise, this blogger thought it was great.
'Right. This is gonna be fun!' The trailer was officially unveiled during the Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday before gaining a wider audience online and offers plenty of hints as to what viewers can expect from the new series. The trailer - which also confirms that Jodie's former Broadchurch colleague Shaun Dooley will be appearing in the new series - arrived at the end of a madly hectic promotional week for Doctor Who including magazine covers, newly-released pictures, interviews and Sunday's BBC1 teaser, although Radio Times suggests that 'from hereon Doctor Who will be under wraps again until closer to broadcast this autumn.'
There are more change afoot for Doctor Who than just a new Doctor - the new series of the BBC's long-running family SF drama will not feature any two-part stories for one thing. The decision has been made by the new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, as a way of making the ten-part run 'as accessible to audiences as possible. It's ten standalone episodes, there's no two-parters or anything like that,' Chib said during an interview at Comic-Con in San Diego. 'What we want is for people to feel like we've got the range and variety of Doctor Who this year. So, if you've never seen it before, you're gonna fall in love with it and if you have seen it, you're gonna get those things that you love about the show across the ten episodes.' Following reports that the new Doctor Who would be crafted in a writers' room style set-up, Chibnall confirmed that the writing of the episodes was 'a big group endeavour' with 'a lot of new writers to the show' working 'in a very collaborative way,' in a blend between 'the British way of working and the American way.' But while the new series will bring plenty of changes - new writers, a new cast, a new composer and more - Chibnall insisted that he is simply bringing us 'a new era, not a clean slate.' Those comments were echoed by Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill. 'It's picking up where it left off and just making minor adjustments to it, to make it more enjoyable for the audience,' said Cole. 'Like, now we're shooting on anamorphic lenses, so that gives it a whole new cinematic feel.' 'But it also will always relate to the old fans from before,' insisted Gill. 'They're not left out. There's still a way in [for them]. It's just we're going on a different journey, in a different direction.' 'That formula's still there,' added Cole. 'It's still Doctor Who, just with a little sauce on it!' 'It's a continuation,' Chibnall noted. 'It's like in the same way that Spearhead From Space is a continuation of The War Games - it's something different, but exactly the same. It's really important that there's no barrier to entry for new audiences. But if you're a Doctor Who fan, all the things you love about Doctor Who are in there, I think.'
The Doctor Who Christmas tradition will be continuing this year on BBC1. There had been some doubt expressed recently about whether the BBC had decided to shelve the annual festive episode since series eleven is expected to be broadcast in the autumn. But, the good news is that the audience will still get their annual holiday treat. Chris Chibnall and executive producer Matt Strevens confirmed the news during a press conference ahead of their panel at Comic-Con. 'We seem to be filming eleven episodes and it's only a series of ten,' Chibnall said, with Strevens adding: 'I don't know what happened. It's a show about space and time, so it's all quite abstract.'
The new lead in Doctor Who has said that she hopes young girls will be 'inspired' by the BBC's decision to cast an actual ladygirl in the title role for the first time in the popular long-running family SF drama's fifty five-year existence. 'There's the chiselled superhero that we're used to seeing and we've all grown up with,' Jodie Whittaker said in an interview with the Radio Times. 'But Doctor Who has never been that, which is wonderful. It's attainable in so many ways. And now, it isn't just attainable for half of the population. The other half can be The Doctor as well. Girls will no longer just think, "Oh, I could be a companion." Being the first female Doctor and showing children that their heroes in shows don't always look the same is a huge honour for me.' Jodie said that she had been 'pleased' with the reaction after it was announced she would be replacing Peter Capaldi. She said that fans - well, most fans, anyway - understood that the SF series would 'inevitably go in a different' direction with her in the lead role. 'In a way, though, there is liberation in that new direction: the pressure is less for me because I can only do this my way. All the rules are out the window! That's what makes it so fun.' Details of the show, which is produced in Cardiff under great secrecy, remain scarce. 'If you've never seen Doctor Who, or want to introduce your children or family and friends to it, this series is the perfect point to start,' Chris Chibnall told Radio Times. 'It was really important to me that there's no barrier to entry. You don't need to know about anything that's come before. We've got a new Doctor, all-new characters, all-new monsters, all-new stories. It's going to be exciting, emotional and the most enormous fun.'
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Chibnall has described the ground-breaking choice of Jodie as 'the easiest decision I made in my whole career.' Matt Strevens revealed that he and Chibnall 'saw a few actresses for the part,' but 'couldn't see past' Jodie as the standout candidate. 'She was just so compelling,' he added. 'In a way, it was a no-brainer. The fact that we were casting a female Doctor disappeared really quickly from our minds. We were just casting the Doctor and she felt like our Doctor.' Also in the interview, Jodie her very self said that she is 'looking forward' to being known as The Doctor for the rest of her career. 'There is an element of, "You are The Doctor for the rest of your life" - that's an honour and also will be, at times, probably overwhelming. But that's the joy of when art reaches the masses. I'm given this platform, and everyone works their arse off to get it seen, and I can't moan about that. I have had only the positive so far.'
Jodie and one of her TARDIS predecessors', national heartthrob David Tennant are, of course, former colleagues from their three years working together on Broadchurch, the drama on which they also collaborated with Chris Chibnall. According to Jodie, it was Chib who called up a somewhat-unprepared Tennant after Jodie had landed the role and stuck them on the phone together to have a chat about the ins-and-outs of playing The Doctor. Chibnall had only told Tennant that 'the new Doctor' would be calling him, so David was surprised when Whittaker's name appeared on his mobile screen. 'All I remember [David] saying - and I was lucky to speak to Matt [Smith] and Peter [Capaldi] - all I remember is, "This is the most amazing thing that can happen to you and there's only a few of us who know how it feels,"' Jodie told fans at Comic-Con. She later elaborated to Deadline: 'I think the thing that was the overriding message [from all three] was that you are going to have the time of your life. Also, that this is like no other job, and it's completely unique for every single person who plays the part.' Tennant has since praised Chibnall for casting Jodie as the show's new 'strong female lead,' saying that she is 'without a doubt' the right person to play The Doctor.
Meanwhile, Jodie has followed in several of her illustrious predecessors footsteps by copping a Radio Times cover well in advance of her actual debut episode in the role.
One of those predecessors, the previously mentioned national heartthrob David Tennant has been spotted in his pinstripe suit and wielding the sonic screwdriver once again ... for a Pigs In Space sketch during The Muppets Take The O2 last Friday. Not only did David deliver some witty dialogue about regeneration to Miss Piggy and even shouted his catchphrase 'Allons-y!' but the former Doctor was also reunited with one of his Doctor Who guest stars, yer actual Kylie Minogue. Kylie, Kylie, sweet and smiley -who played one-off companion Astrid Peth in the 2007 Christmas special Voyage Of The Damned; you knew that, right - also appeared on stage to sing 'Mahna Mahna' with The Snowths.
Another of Jodie's predecessors, yer actual Peter Capaldi, appears to have fallen on hard times. No, sorry, wrong Dickens novel. Amend that to yer actual Peter Capaldi appears to have fallen on David Copperfield (currently being filmed on location in and around Bury St Edmunds).
Chris Chibnall has revealed he was originally 'unsure' about accepting the showrunner gig. Speaking to the Digital Spy website, Chibnall explained that, once he had agreed to replace The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE as executive producer, he had 'a very clear idea' of how he wanted to approach the series. 'I just had a sense of where I wanted to take it [and] how it was going to relate to the world that we live in now,' he said. 'Obviously, Peter [Capaldi] deciding to go then opens up choices going forward. It was pretty clear to me what I wanted to do, and how we would do it. But despite this, Chibnall insisted he had never thought about becoming Doctor Who showrunner prior to The Moff's exit and, indeed, was surprised to be offered the job. 'I wasn't walking around with [what I'd do] in my head. I never expected to be in this job. I wasn't sitting at home, thinking, "Well, of course, I'd do it like this" because I was off doing other things. The first thing you think is, "I don't wanna do that" and then it was, "Oh, we could do that [and] we could do that" so the ideas start coming and then they sort of coalesce. You think, "That's a direction of travel and that's something that honours the show but then also creates it fresh" – hopefully!' In fact, Chibnall disclosed that he came close to rejecting the offer, since he already had plans in place for new writing projects post-Broadchurch and was aware of 'the enormous impact' that doing Doctor Who would have on his life. 'It's a massive job,' he explained. 'The place of the show within popular culture, and globally. And obviously, I've been around the show intermittently, so I've seen how Russell did it, I've seen how Steven did it, I was around for Torchwood. It was knowing how much work it was, how much that was going to change my life, and my family's life. I just didn't expect to be offered it and I had plans for what I was going to do after Broadchurch, which was not this. So it took me a while to say yes.' Having now taken on the gig, though, Chibnall says that he 'couldn't be happier' with his final decision and with the series of Doctor Who he's produced. 'It's a rollercoaster of fun and emotion and thrills and scares,' he claimed. 'With a group of your new best friends.'
Exciting news for Doctor Who fans in the antipodes, the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama is returning to New Zealand's TVNZ after a twenty two-year absence. The iconic show, which last appeared on TVNZ channels in 1996, is returning in time for Jodie Whittaker's first appearance. TVNZ's Director of Content, Cate Slater said: 'Doctor Who has a special place in popular culture. It's a global juggernaut with a faithful following. This upcoming season marks the beginning of a new era for the extraordinary Time Lord, with the first ever female Doctor at the helm of the TARDIS. The time felt right to bring the series back to TVNZ. We can't wait to share all the action, adventure and humour the show is known and loved for with our viewers, as well as the exciting new twists and turns that are coming their way.' TVNZ will stream episodes on TVNZ OnDemand immediately following the UK broadcast (at the same time episodes appear on the BBC iPlayer), allowing insomniac New Zealand fans to engage in worldwide discussions on the show without the fear of spoilers. Episodes will also play on broadcast TV the same week as the UK. Further details confirming the channel, day and date will be released closer to the season’s premiere.
The second episode of the BBC2 adaptation of Picnic At Hanging Rock thankfully maintained the quality of the opener which so impressed this blogger last time around. Keith Telly Topping was rather wondering how Beatrix Christian was going to be able to make the contents of what was a rather slim novel in the first place into six hours of television. Seemingly, the answer to that is 'much - thoughtful and impressive - use of flashbacks'! The, impressive and impressed, Den Of Geek website review of the episode can be read here. 'Sexuality is so far this drama's major preoccupation and it's making fruitful use of the opportunity to go back into Joan Lindsay's 1960s-written, 1900-set novel to fill in a few blanks on the subject,' wrote the reviewer, Louisa Mellor. 'The drama's fluidity between what is real and what is imagined fits in a time where social possibilities were beginning to shift. The Fitzhubert cronies may still toast Queen Victoria, but the new century would see gay men, lesbians, indigenous Australians and women all fighting for changes to the way Picnic At Hanging Rock shows them being treated. It's offering the sort of history lesson we can't be reminded about too often.' Indeed. Also of note if you fancy a good laugh is a Daily Scum Express fluff-piece: Is Picnic At Hanging Rock based on a true story? which manages to take several paragraphs to state what could have been done in one line: 'No, it isn't. It is however based on a - really very good - 1967 novel.' One trusts that the author of this, Molli Mitchell, was being paid by the word.
Oily odious and disgraceful twat Piers Morgan made a big deal out of his recent interview with President - and hairdo - Rump and how Morgan was the only journalist (and, one uses that word quite wrongly) in the UK to get such an opportunity. Some people you've never heard of on Twitter 'slammed' (that's 'criticised', only with less syllables) the interview as being nothing more than the host of asking Rump a series of fluff questions, rather than pressing Rum on anything that, you know, actually matters. Morgan, of course, robustly defended the interview, saying that he 'didn't have much time' and didn't think 'it was the right setting to go too hard' with his questions, but it appears that viewers weren't having it. That was proved by a post-news broadcast of the interview on 16 July, which was beaten in the overnight ratings by a repeat of a 2017 episode of Have I Got News For You which had 1.5 million viewers compared to 1.2 million for oily odious twat Morgan's Rump slavvering. Stephen Mangan, who hosted the episode in question, shared a tweet from a TV reporter and added a Rump-esque caption: 'A repeat of me hosting HIGNFY got more viewers than an interview with the failing low-ratings Donald Trump. Sad!' Oily odious twat Morgan, who normally loves to boast about his ratings, was oddly silent on the subject.
From The North favourite Gillian Anderson may have quit The X-Files, but the SF drama's creator seems to think the show can only go on with Dana Scully. So, as predicted at the time of the last episode, that would appear to be the end of The X-Files, then. The actress left the show last year after its - patchy, occasionally brilliant, but ultimately disappointing - eleventh series and hasn't held back in her criticism of its comeback ever since. However, Chris Carter has now suggested that going forward with a twelfth season would depend on Anderson herself. 'Right now, of course, it's up in the air, in terms of Gillian's interest in doing the show,' Carter told the Den Of Geek website. 'I think she's stated that she's finished her run. That certainly changes things and also the sale of FOX to either Disney or Comcast - it looks like Disney now - I think that will change things and certainly they'll be looking at the show and wondering what its future would be. So right now, we're playing a wait-and-see with all those variables.' He continued: For me, The X-Files is Mulder and Scully, so even though we did the show without David for a time, I always felt like her science was the centre of the show. In the end, it is a science show and it makes it all-important.' Carter had previously expressed public confidence that show could continue without Anderson. Now, seemingly, he's changed his mind.
Spaced fans (and, this blogger was and still is one) have been desperate for the show to return since it ended in 2001. But, creator Simon Pegg has revealed why the cult comedy won't be coming back to screens after being asked, essentially, the same question for the last seventeen years. 'That question will never go away. The more they ask, the less likely it is,' he told NME. Peggy gave his reasons, saying 'it couldn't possibly ever exist again' because it was about 'a group of twenty-somethings at the turn of the Century.' Discussing the prospect of a reunion series, he added: 'Why? There's no point. I dunno what I have to say that's relatable about life now. It's not gonna happen, kids – unless you want a sitcom about some clueless actor who can't tie his own shoelaces.'
Alex Salmond's programme on the Kremlin-backed TV station RT breached broadcasting standards when he read out tweets and e-mails which appeared to be from members of the public, the UK's media regulator has ruled. Ofcom said Scotland's former first minister 'misled' his audience during the first episode of The Alex Salmond Show, because four of the six messages were actually sent by people connected either to him or to the programme. The regulator concluded that the programme, broadcast last November, was in breach of its code, adding it was 'important that the content of current affairs programmes can be relied on by viewers and listeners, as breaches of that trust can result in material harm and offence.' The ruling is the latest enforcement action by Ofcom against RT, formerly known as Russia Today, which has been under increased monitoring by the regulator since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. Salmond's production company Sláinte Media, which makes the programme for RT, whinged: '[The ruling could] lower the bar to a level which jeopardises freedom of speech under the European convention on human rights and would call into question the proportionality and fairness of Ofcom's decision making.' Sláinte also argued that if it was banned from including comments from 'acquaintances' of Salmond on the show then it would exclude 'a very substantial section of the population' from having the right to have their views broadcast. Ofcom concluded that one of the questions read out by Salmond was sent by 'a freelance make-up [artist] who had been involved in rehearsals for the show,' one was from a camera operator working on the programme and another had been prepared by the series director for a dress rehearsal and was broadcast as a result of 'an editing mistake.' RT said that another question had been sent in by 'a former business acquaintance' of Salmond, who 'of his own accord delivered a handwritten letter to Mister Salmond's office offering his question for inclusion in the show.' The Moscow-backed station argued that the audience watching Salmond's show 'could not reasonably expect' the tweets and e-mails to be from 'real viewers,' since it was the first episode of the series. RT said the segment was 'clearly light-hearted' in tone and it was 'difficult to conceive of any harm and offence that may have been caused.' RT also mocked suggestions that 'the tweets and e-mails were fake and were the product of an alleged Moscow propaganda machine' and said that if anything caused harm to the public it was 'inaccurate news reporting' about the origin of the tweets and e-mails, rather than the programme itself. One or two people even believed them. But, after a lengthy investigation Ofcom concluded that viewers should 'reasonably expect' that questions sent in to the show would 'originate from members of the public wholly unconnected' with the programme. 'The failure to disclose this information meant that viewers were misled,' the regulator said. 'Because viewer trust in this current affairs programme would have been undermined, we considered that this was materially misleading.' A spokesperson for RT accused Ofcom of 'orchestrating media coverage' of the incident by publishing a preliminary finding earlier this year, allegedly before receiving representations from the channel. 'This gives rise to grave concern over the fairness of Ofcom's process and agenda,' whinged RT. 'The concern is heightened as Ofcom is using powers that exist for protection against serious matters to find in breach this trivial teething problem – a real sledgehammer to crack a nut.' Salmond, who - amusingly - lost his Westminster parliamentary seat to the Conservatives at the 2017 general erection, continues to present the programme, which recently featured a three-part series on Gibraltar.
The television and radio presenter Richard Bacon is, to the relief of his many admirers, out of a medically induced coma and, indeed, now out of hosital. The forty two-year-old, who now lives in Los Angeles, was taken ill on a flight to Britain earlier this month with suspected pneumonia. After his condition worsened staff at the hospital in London put him into the coma to allow his body to fight the infection. He posted on Twitter earlier this week: 'I am alive. Or in Lewisham. Or somewhere between the two.' His first tweet since 5 July was a quote about the true meaning of love. Goodwill messages were soon sent by the likes of Brian Cox (no, the other one), David Baddiel and Gary Lineker, who tweeted 'Have you overslept?' Bacon responded: 'Yes, for six days straight.' He then posted a longer message saying that he had 'nearly died' and had been rushed down a hospital hallway 'with a massive needle jammed in my chest. I thought, "this is it."' The seriousness of Richard's condition emerged publicly last Friday when his sister, Juliet, posted an image of hospital doors on Instagram, saying that she had been visiting her brother for a week. By the end of the day it had been confirmed that doctors were reducing his medication to bring him round. His latest tweets again thanked the hospital, saying that he has walked in complaining of being short of breath and 'With[in] ninety minutes they had placed me into a life saving six day coma.' Bacon, who was born in Mansfield, started his career on BBC Radio Nottingham before going on to present on national television and radio including Blue Peter, The Big Breakfast, Top Of The Pops and his own programmes on 5Live and 6Music. While the exact cause of his infection has not been confirmed, its symptoms appear to match pneumonia, a swelling of the tissue in one or both lungs caused by a bacterial infection.
A total of forty four-and-a-half million punters tuned in to watch the BBC's television coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. There was a record 66.8 million match requests, including live and on-demand, on the BBC Sport website and on iPlayer. England's quarter-final win over Sweden saw the highest peak TV share of the tournament at eighty nine per cent, which was also the BBC's highest online-viewed live programme ever with 3.8 million. The France verses Croatia final had a peak BBC1 audience of 10.4 million. Meanwhile, the BBC Sport website brought in a record 49.2 million unique UK browsers for the tournament, an increase of 16.9 million from the 2014 competition. There were four hundred and fifty thousand unique UK browsers to the online player rater, which generated 11.9 million ratings and more than two million downloaded and three hundred thousand streamed the World Cup Daily podcast in June. Director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater said: 'We have just witnessed one of the most memorable World Cup tournaments ever which has captivated football fans across the United Kingdom. The interest in the tournament and the achievement of England winning through to the semi-finals has been proven in the record-breaking figures for TV and online. It shows the impact that top-quality sport can have when made freely available to everyone.'
British World Cup viewers were 'exposed to almost ninety minutes of betting adverts' during the tournament 'prompting claims that children are being bombarded with messages encouraging them to gamble,' according to some shit-stirring waste-of-oxygen in the Gruniad Morning Star. 'From the beginning of the tournament to England's semi-final clash with Croatia, ITV carried more than eight-and-a-half hours of advertisements, of which just under an hour-and-a-half were advertising betting,' the Gruniad whinged. That, they claimed 'is equivalent to seventeen per cent of World Cup ad breaks, or roughly one minute in every six, with the one hundred and seventy two betting spots combined lasting nearly the length of a football match.' Bookmakers and online casino companies 'enjoyed one-and-a-half times as much screen time as alcohol firms and almost four times that of fast food outlets.' A government review of gambling regulation published earlier this year 'shied away' from suggesting curbs on gambling adverts, citing insufficient evidence that adverts for betting were causing harm to children and vulnerable people sneered the Gruniad. But, Labour's deputy leader, Tom Watson - power to the people! - and the charity GambleAware (no, me neither claimed that this was 'partly due to a lack of funding for research into gambling adverts' since they were deregulated in 2007. 'One of the only downsides to this brilliant World Cup has been the bombardment of gambling advertising on TV and social media that thousands of children will have been exposed to,' said Watson. 'With an estimated twenty five thousand children under sixteen addicted to gambling, there is nowhere near enough work being done to study the effects of this advertising. Instead of confronting this issue in the most recent gambling review, the government has turned a blind eye. In doing so they've let our children down.' And, they've let themselves down but, most importantly, they've let Gareth Southgate down. Shame on them, the bastards. Watson added that Labour would impose a mandatory levy on the industry to fund increased research, education and treatment of gambling addiction and the effects of advertising. GambleAware, funded via a voluntary levy on gambling firms of 0.1 per cent of revenue, has backed a mandatory tax because it does not receive enough money to fund research and treatment for problem gamblers, estimated to number more than four hundred thousand in the UK. It has only recently commissioned 'the first major piece of research, conducted by the University of Stirling and Ipsos Mori,' into the effects of gambling adverts being deregulated more than ten years ago. The studies are not due to be complete until next year. The GambleAware chief executive, Marc Etches, said: 'In the absence of evidence, the concern is that this is an adult activity and young people are growing up with it being normalised. They get exposed to it on television around sports, advertising online and gambling activities within [computer] games. It seems to have gone too far. And for young people growing up there just seems to be a stronger and stronger affiliation between the two [gambling and sport] and I'm wary of that.' Fiona Dobbie, who is leading the University of Stirling's research into gambling advertising, claimed that the study 'would analyse the response of children' and other vulnerable groups to marketing. 'This is very much a starting point and we hope it will make a positive contribution to future legislation and policy to protect children from gambling-related harm,' she said. 'If we'd had something starting then [2007], we'd have much robust data but we're now ten years down the line.' According to ITV, 'nearly thirty million people' watched at least a part of England's semi-final clash with Croatia. This increased the cost of gambling advertising on the channel because it allowed companies to reach so many people. Alleged (though suspiciously anonymous) advertising industry 'sources' allegedly said that a thirty-second spot during the semi-final of the World Cup could cost as much as three hundred and fifty thousand smackers but that bookmakers and online casinos were 'paying a premium to secure blanket coverage.' The Gruniad Morning Star 'analysed more than thirteen hundred adverts that were shown around the first thirty games shown by ITV in the competition.' Not that anyone actually asked them to but, obviously, they didn't have any real news to report this week. Of those, one hundred and seventy two were betting adverts or one-in-eight commercials. Excluding the sponsored adverts shown at the beginning and end of each break, betting accounted for one-in-six adverts shown during the broadcaster's World Cup coverage. The Advertising Standards Authority said that it had received one hundred and fifteen whinges about World Cup gambling adverts - from people with nothing better to do with their time, it would seem - mostly about their sheer volume, compared with just twenty seven in the previous month. The regulator is also 'examining several adverts that offer improved odds for a short period,' to see if they contravene new guidance in the advertising code of practice that bars companies from making urgent calls to action, the Gruniad claims. In the UK, gambling companies are only permitted to advertise before the 9pm watershed if they do so during live sporting events. The stipulation is in stark contrast to the law in Australia, where gambling adverts attached to live sports were banned earlier this year.
The celebrations in Paris following France's victory in the World Cup turned extremely violent when dozens of vandals clashed with police and destroyed local shop fronts on the Champs Elysees. With kids getting sparked and all sorts.
Four members of the Russian 'punk activist group' Pussy Riot have been very jailed for fifteen days for disrupting the World Cup final by running onto the pitch. They were accused of 'violating the rules for spectators at sporting events' and 'wearing police uniforms illegally.' They were also banned from attending any sports events for three years and from looking at The Butcher Of Grozny 'in a funny way.' Probably. Pussy Riot said that it was a protest 'against human rights abuses in Russia.' Stewards hauled the four off the pitch and, one imagines, gave them a right kicking round the back of the stadium. Pussy Riot has staged high-profile protests against Vladimir Putin before. Three members were jailed in 2012 for an anti-Putin punk song performed in a Moscow cathedral. The group has tweeted that the four arrested on Sunday spent the whole night at a police station 'in great discomfort.' Three women and a man ran onto the pitch, though one was tackled on the sidelines. They wore police-style uniforms: white shirts, black trousers and epaulettes. One woman managed to do a high-five salute with French star Kylian Mbappé before being led off the pitch. But the male intruder was grabbed angrily by Croatia defender Dejan Lovren. After the incident Lovren told reporters: 'I just lost my head and I grabbed the guy and I wished I could throw him away from the stadium.' The man was identified as Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. She was among three Pussy Riot members jailed in 2012. The three women World Cup intruders were named as Nika Nikulshina, Olga Kurachyova and Olga Pakhtusova. A statement from Pussy Riot said that the aims of their protest included making the Russian authorities free all political prisoners, stop illegal arrests at public rallies, allow political competition in the country and stop fabricating criminal cases and jailing people on remand 'for no reason.' The statement quoted a Russian poet, Dmitry Prigov, who had contrasted the 'heavenly policeman who speaks to God on his walkie-talkie' with 'the Earthly one who fabricates criminal cases.' The Russian anti-Putin activist and blogger Alexei Navalny has tweeted a video clip showing two of the pitch invaders being interrogated. An angry voice is heard shouting at Verzilov and one of the women - looking dishevelled in their mock police uniforms. 'Sometimes I regret that it's not 1937' the person off-camera says, alluding to the communist-era terror campaign instigated by Soviet dictator and disgraceful mass murderer Joseph Stalin. The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Russia for its handling of the Pussy Riot women, amongst other high-profile cases.
A London Underground station has been temporarily named after England's football manager. Southgate Tube station was rebranded Gareth Southgate station from Monday morning for forty eight hours, after the squad finished fourth in the World Cup. It was England's best result since 1990 when they also lost in the semi-final. 'We are delighted to be able to show our appreciation to Gareth and the team by renaming the station in his honour,' Transport for London said. The Piccadilly Line station, in Enfield, displayed the manager's name on its signs until the end of Tuesday. One local resident said the temporary signage was a 'fantastic' way to say thank you to the England manager. Speaking at the station, she said: 'He gets on with the job and he achieved those amazing results and lifted the whole nation's spirits. And this is a tribute to him in the very same manner - quiet, unassuming.'
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies' boss, Rafael Benitez, was approached by the Spanish Football Federation about taking temporary charge of Spain at the World Cup according to the BBC Sport website. The RFEF reportedly wanted the fifty eight-year-old after Julen Lopetegui was sacked two days before Spain's opening match.Fernando Hierro took charge on an interim basis as they went on to lose on penalties to Russia in the last-sixteen. Ex-Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has now been appointed on a two-year contract. Speaking to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Benitez said: 'There was maybe a chance, but still I am here and I am happy to be here. There was a chance. There were rumours about that.' Benitez has said that Newcastle may have to sell before they can buy players in the transfer window. Newcastle have so far signed goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on a permanent deal after a loan spell last season, former Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng has joined on a free and they re-signed Brazilian winger Kenedy on loan from Moscow Chelski FC. 'Unfortunately it's what we have to do,' said Benitez, 'We have to wheel and deal, that is the way for us. We have to be realistic with our budget, and then maybe sell some players and buy some players.'
Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt is in talks for a trial to play football in Australia, a club says. The Jamaican former sprinter is 'negotiating a six-week stint' with the Central Coast Mariners, a team in the country's A-League competition. Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said that the club had spent four months pursuing Bolt and a season-long deal could follow. Football agent Tony Rallis said a deal had been agreed 'in principle.' Rallis, who has been involved in the deal, told local Sky Sports Radio that negotiations continued over Bolt's pay. 'The owner of Central Coast Mariners has put his hand deep in his pocket and guaranteed seventy per cent of the salary,' Rallis said. News Corp Australia reported that 'a multi-million dollar deal' had been proposed. Bolt has previously trained with clubs in Germany, Norway and South Africa. The one and two hundred metres world record holder, who retired from athletics last year, has previously spoken about his interest in becoming a professional footballer. Bolt is a huge fan of The Scum and one of its former assistant managers, Mike Phelan, is now at the Mariners. A Football Federal Australia spokesman told the BBC that it 'would not assist in funding Bolt's trial.' Mielekamp said the club was 'optimistic' that the trial could be extended. 'If all goes well, who knows? He may be lighting up the A-League this season,' he told the local Seven Network on Tuesday. Mielekamp said that the club had received positive reports about Bolt's performance when he trained with Borussia Dortmund and Norwegian side Stromsgodset. 'The most important thing is we wait to find out and see how good a footballer he is first,' Mielekamp said. 'Time will tell at what level he is at and if it fits the A-League.'
David Bowie's mid-1980s career - his own, self-confessed Phil Collins Years - will be explored in the box-set Loving the Alien (1983-1988), a collection which gathers the late Grand Dame's work from The Era That Taste Forgot. The eleven-CD or fifteen-LP Loving The Alien, released on 12 October, features Bowie's three studio CD – 1983's 'at least it's got four great singles on it .. even if the version of Cat People totally blows' Let's Dance, 1984's 'the point where the rot really set in' Tonight and 1987's 'almost no redeeming features whatsoever' Never Let Me Down – alongside a pair of first-time-on-vinyl live CDs – 1983's immaculately-played-but-a-bit-soulless stadium pop extravaganza Serious Moonlight and the full unedited horrors of 1987's Glass Spider – and the newly assembled compilation Dance, which collects twelve contemporaneous remixes. Also exclusive to the box set is a 2018 reworking of Never Let Me Down with new production and instrumentation overseen by Bowie engineer Mario McNulty. Longtime Bowie collaborators including Reeves Gabriel, Sterling Campbell, Tim Lefebvre and Nico Muhly also contributed to the project, which was born out of Bowie's desire to re-record the 1987 LP that he (and, indeed, just about everyone else that's ever heard it) called 'a bitter disappointment.' The seeds of this new re-imagining of were sown in 2008 when Bowie asked McNulty to remix the song ‘Time Will Crawl' (just about the only worthwhile thing on Never Let Me Down) and record new drums by Campbell along with strings. The song was issued on the iSelect compilation to much acclaim and, in the notes for that record, David remarked 'Oh, to redo the rest of that album.' In early January, the musicians involved entered New York's Electric Lady Studios to fulfill David's wishes and remake Never Let Me Down, which now features a guest appearance by Laurie Anderson on 'Shining Star'. The 2018 reworking also boasts 'newly remixed artwork' reflecting the CD's subject matter and features unseen images from the original cover photographic session from the archive of Greg Gorman. Like previous Bowie retrospective box-sets, Five Years (1969-1973), Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) and A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982), Loving The Alien is completed by a new compilation, Re:Call 4 which hosts single versions and vinyl edits from the era. Bowie's contributions to the soundtracks for Labyrinth, The Falcon & The Snowman, Absolute Beginners and When The Wind Blows also feature on Re:Call 4. The Loving The Alien set comes complete with an accompanying booklet with previously unpublished photos, historical press reviews and technical notes about the CDs from producers/engineers Nile Rodgers, Hugh Padgham, McNulty and Justin Shirley-Smith. The fifth Bowie box-set, Tin Machine: The Mid-Life Crisis Years will be released in 2019.
Hugh Whitemore, the British playwright renowned for dramatising the lives of such real-life figures as Alan Turing and Winston Churchill, has died at eighty two. Breaking The Code, his 1986 play about Bletchley Park cryptographer Turing, was later filmed for TV with Sir Derek Jacobi reprising his stage performance. Whitemore's other works included the 2002 TV movie The Gathering Storm, starring Albert Finney as Churchill. The drama won two Golden Globes, three Primetime EMMYs and three TV BAFTAs. Born in Tunbridge Wells in Kent in 1936, Whitemore trained at RADA. Having started out with ambitions as a performer, he was told by one of his teachers, the actor Peter Barkworth, that he had the potential to make a great contribution to theatre – 'though, perhaps not as an actor.' And so it proved. He was busy in television from the early 1960s, contributing to such important one-off drama series as the BBC's Thirty Minute Theatre, Theatre 625, Out Of the Unknown, The Wednesday Play (such as 1968's Hello, Good evening & Welcome) and Play For Today and ITV's Armchair Theatre, as well as to popular series such as the soap opera Compact, set in the world of magazine publishing and No Hiding Place, one of the earliest crime dramas (starring Raymond Francis as Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Lockhart) to run counter to the early-evening cosiness of Dixon Of Dock Green. It was not long before Whitemore was making a name for himself on more prestigious projects and not a little of this was down to his affability and considerable charm, as well as to his professionalism and graft. An inherently funny man, he was a writer of silky dialogue and well-turned narrative who won the respect, as well as the friendship, of fellow writers such as Harold Pinter, Simon Gray and Ronald Harwood. Like Pinter and Harwood, he benefited hugely from his own background and experience as a professional actor; he knew what 'worked' and, more importantly, what actors could comfortably say. And his themes, more often than not, were friendship and betrayal. He had been educated at King Edward VI school in Southampton. After RADA, registering little success on regional theatre stages, he began writing, winning the first of his three EMMY awards for an episode of Elizabeth R in 1970 and establishing himself as a reliable adapter of popular classics, such as David Copperfield (1974) in six episodes, with David Yelland in the title role, 1971's Cider With Rosie and a ninety-minute BBC Moll Flanders (1975) starring Julia Foster. Stevie, his 1977 play about English poet Stevie Smith, starred Glenda Jackson in the title role and was filmed the following year. Whitemore also enjoyed success with Eighty Four Charing Cross Road, a real-life story of a friendship based on letters he adapted for television in 1975 and for film in 1987. Pack Of Lies, his 1983 play about Russian spies operating clandestinely in suburban Ruislip, also began life as a BBC production. His CV also included The Bells Of Hell (for the Late Night Horror strand, The Root Of All Evil, All Neat In Black Stockings, Diamond Crack Diamond, Hadleigh, Man At The Top, The Guardians, The Shadow of The Tower, The Man Outside, The Pearcross Girls, Menace (including 1973's memorable Deliver Us From Evil, Fall of Eagles, the 1975 movie All Creatures Great & Small, 1975's outstanding futurist allegory State Of Emergency, Dummy, My Cousin Rachel, The Haunting Of Helen Walker, A Dance To The Music of Time and Midsomer Murders. His work for American TV included Concealed Enemies, about the Alger Hiss case for which he won an EMMY and he was also nominated for his adaptation of the Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward book Nixon: The Final Days starring Lane Smith. Whitemore's recent works included the 2003 film My House In Umbria, starring Dame Maggie Smith and the 2016 play Sand In The Sandwiches, in which Edward Fox played poet John Betjeman. Writing in the Gruniad Morning Star, critic Michael Coveney described him as 'an accomplished craftsman for theatre and TV for more than fifty years.' Whitemore served as a council member at RADA and was made an honorary fellow of King's College London in 2006. He was twice divorced, and is survived by his third wife, the actress Rohan McCullough, whom he married in 1998 and by his son, Thomas, from his second marriage, to the literary agent Sheila Lemon.