Sunday, October 28, 2018

Arachnids In The UK: So, Where Were Spiders While The Flies Tried To Break Our Bones?

'Crisis Investigators. You've just ran really quickly out of a room looking scared. Tell me exactly what is going on, omitting no detail - no matter how strange!' 'A giant spider just crashed through my bathtub and took out my bodyguard, Kevin.' 'Right. Very succinct summery, well done!'
'So, I suppose this is it. Got you back, I guess we're done. Nice having you aboard.' 'What you gonna do now?' 'Oh, you know, back in the box. There's loads to see.' 'By yourself?' 'Yeah, I suppose.' 'Do you wanna come for tea at mine?' 'Definitely!'
'Graham O'Brien, what are you doing sniffing coats? How's that going to help, eh?'
'Look at your views. I've never had a flat. I should get one. I could live in a flat. I could get a sofa. Imagine me with a sofa? My own sofa. I could get a purple one and sit on it ... Am I being weird?' 'A little bit, yeah!' 'I'm trying to do "small-talk", I thought I was doing quite well!' 'Needs work.' 'Maybe I'm nervous, or just socially awkward. I'm still figuring myself out!'
'Spiders are our main focus and we're seeing something very wrong in their behaviour right now?'
'Fun fact: If you weave dragline spider silk as thick as a pencil, it's strong enough to stop a plane in flight.' 'You're kidding?' 'I'm not. I've had to deal with it. Well, me and Amelia Earhart. You'd like her, she's a right laugh!'
'Oh my God, it got Kevin!'
'Spiders? Plural?' 'Very plural. Sorry, I don't know who you are.' 'Oh really? Well you must be the only person on the planet that doesn't.' 'Are you Ed Sheeran? Everyone talks about Ed Sheeran round about now, don't they?' '... I'm Jack Robertson and this is my hotel. One hotel in an incredibly successful chain of hotels which is just one small part of my business portfolio as featured in Fortune Global Five Hundred. Does that ring a bell?' 'Should I look impressed right now? Is that impressive?' 'He's running for President in 2020.' 'Ed Sheeran?!' 'I haven't declared my intention yet but, look, we were talking about spiders.' 'See, typical politician, avoiding the question!' 'I'm not a politicians, I'm a businessman and I know how to run things.' 'I've heard you're only running because you've hated Trump for decades.' 'Please don't mention that name! Look, I was just attacked by a spider the size of a bathtub and it's all her fault.' 'I told you, I know nothing about this.' 'He fired you!' 'What? He didn't! You can't be President if you fire Yaz's mum!'
'So, what do we do?' 'Why are you asking her?' 'Cos she's in charge, bro.' 'Says who?' 'Says us!'
'You're not going down there, it's too dangerous.' 'I eat danger for breakfast. I don't, I prefer cereal. Or croissants! Or those little fried Portuguese ... never mind, it's not important!'
'Whatever happened there are living breathing, organisms out there and we treat them with dignity. So, here's what we're going to do ...' 'Shoot 'em!' 'We are not going to shoot them!' 'What's wrong with you people? What's wrong with this country? Why don't you do what normal people do - get a gun and shoot things like a civilised person?!' 'Because I've got a much better idea. Spiders are roaming this hotel searching for food, we're going to lure them in here with the promise of food then deal with the spider mother in the ballroom. Ah, that sounds like the best novel Edith Wharton never wrote!'
'Don't you even care?' 'Look, I'm going to pay you all off, you'll never have to work again.' 'I like working. Do you know the worst thing? Bits of this is leaking out above here. It's in my kitchen. My husband's right, it's a conspiracy. Do you have any idea how annoying it is when my husband is right?'
'It's not my fault. I don't know anything about spider carcasses!' So, as usual dear blog reader, Keith Telly Topping thought that was great. Not in the same league as last week's twenty four carat masterpiece, perhaps, but still a very effective and nicely told story with plenty of good bits. Excellent direction, too - something in common with all four episodes so far this series. Plus, of course, any episode in which Stormzy saves the world is reasonably okay with this blogger! And, the final scene in particular was genuinely beautiful. 'I love this bit!'
One final thought on the episode ... from a viewer.
As That There Bradley Walsh so wisely noted: 'God help us all!'

Arachnids In The UK was watched by 6.43 million overnight viewers, a share of just over twenty nine per cent of the total TV audience. The figure is slightly up on the previous episode's overnight audience - by approximately forty thousand punters. Doctor Who had the second largest audience for the evening with, as usual, Strictly Come Dancing's results show taking top place for the day - and the week - with 9.14 million. The - excellent - opening episode of the new BBC espionage drama The Little Drummer Girl had 5.19 million. ITV peaked with - the increasingly irrelevant - The X Factor watched by 4.2 million overnight viewers. Against Doctor Who, The Chase: Celebrity Special drew 3.83 million. Or, in other words, over ten million punters were watching That There Bradley Walsh doing something on Sunday evening. Doctor Who was the third highest rated programme for the week on overnights, behind two episodes of Strictly. Coronation Street was fourth with 6.41 million. Channel Four's The Great British Bake Off had 6.06 million. Official Seven-Day Plus figures will, as always, be released by BARB next Monday.
Rosa's consolidated Seven-Day Plus ratings were announced by BARB on Tuesday morning (a day later than usual for some reason). The episode had an audience of 8.41 million punters made up of 8.09 million watching on TV and an additional three hundred odd thousand accessing the episode via PCs, tablets, smartphones and other Twenty First Century techno-malarkey that yer actual Keith Telly Topping doesn't know how to do. Hell, he's only just worked out how to get iPlayer on the Stately Telly Topping Manor tellybox. Once again - for the second week running - Doctor Who was the fourth most-watched bit of TV shown in Britain during the week-ending Sunday 21 October. It was only beaten by the two weekly episodes of Strictly Come Dancing (11.49 million for Saturday's episode and 9.34 million for Sunday's) and The Great British Bake-Off (9.69 million). Doctor Who again had a larger audience than any of the week's episodes of Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale. It also beat The Apprentice (7.34 million) and the final episode of the acclaimed BBC drama The Cry (7.30 million). Not at all bad for a daft little fifty five year old family SF drama about a madwoman (and her friends) in a box, dear blog reader. The episode had an audience Appreciation Index score of eighty three out of one hundred.

Just occasionally, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping reads a review of a particular Doctor Who episode which transcends the merely 'oh, that's a bit good' and moves into another league entirely. Much like some episodes of Doctor Who, in fact. Case in point - in both regards - is Robert Fairclough's review of Rosa at the always excellent primo-rad We Are Cult website. Which you can read here. And, you really should, dear blog reader, it's worth a few minutes of your time. 'The defiantly humanist, brilliantly written series I fell in love with all those years ago is well and truly back,' writes Rob. For this blogger, personally, that element never went away but, that's a very minor side-point to a glorious piece of writing.
There is also a really fascinating - and very well-researched - piece of the historical background to Rosa, Rosa Versus Reality: Did Doctor Who Get It Right? by the Blogttor Who website's Suman Kanchan which is, likewise, worthy of considerable praise.
Mandip Gill has spoken about Doctor Who's next, twelfth, series during an appearance on This Morning. The actress was asked about whether she would be appearing in the next series by those intellectual heavyweights Odious Lardbucket (and drag) Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford. Nadip said: 'I don't know if there's another series - who knows where we end up at the end of this one, to be honest. There are three companions, but who knows where it goes? I'm not going to rule it out.' On the subject of a potential relationship between Yaz and Ryan, Mandip added: 'I'm never going to say never, at this point it's just a little bit of fun and they're just tying to find their feet in this new world. But there's sometimes when she finds him really annoying like an annoying brother.' Mandip also talk about what viewers expect visually from upcoming episodes as she revealed they filmed in Spain and Wales. She said: 'We filmed an episode in Spain, which is yet to come and we've just been working in and around Cardiff, but there are so many places that don't look like Cardiff. There's an episode that's meant to be somewhere else, I can't give it away. That's part of Wales - there's so many different terrains in Wales, it's shocking!'
That, of course, inevitably brings up the question of when the next series of Doctor Who will be filmed and, ultimately, broadcast. The Radio Times notes that 'recent reports' (for which read 'rumours based on nothing concrete whatsoever') have 'suggested' that the next series of Doctor Who 'could' be delayed until 2020, with 'a rumoured hold-up in the start of shooting' for Jodie Whittaker’s second series said to 'potentially push back' the start of the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama by a number of months. But, Radio Times ponders, is any of that actually true? The magazine 'understands' that 'the facts may not be as clear-cut as they first appear' and that a 'reduced shooting period' may not mean a broadcast delay even if Doctor Who does start filming later this year than it did for series eleven. The story of a possibly delay in the production of Doctor Who series twelve appears to stem from a piece in that ever-reliable bastion of truthful and accurate reportage the Daily Mirra - you know, the newspaper that once claimed that Kris Marshall had been cast as The Doctor ... when he, you know, hadn't - which suggests that filming for the next series will not begin until January 2019, later than the current series which started shooting in late October 2017. And, therefore, suggesting a different production schedule. 'It looks far more likely that the next run will air in winter or spring 2020,' an alleged - though suspiciously anonymous and, therefore, probably fictitious - BBC 'source' allegedly told the Mirra. One wonders if it was the same anonymous - and, probably fictitious - alleged 'source' who, allegedly, told 'Senior Celebrity Reporter' Vicki Newman that Kris Marshall had got the gig of replacing Peter Capaldi and had already joined the production in June 2017? Perhaps we'll never care. 'There simply isn't time to finish filming and get all the editing done before next October. It's too tight. We're facing a gap year,' the alleged 'source' allegedly added. However, according to the Radio Times's own alleged - though, again, anonymous - 'source' allegedly suggest that production on the next series will be underway 'sooner than the New Year' and that 'no plans have yet been finalised' about the scheduling of series twelve. 'We go into production next month,' the alleged - anonymous - 'source' who is, allegedly 'close to the show' - allegedly told Radio Times. 'But it's much too early to be making scheduling decisions anyway. We hadn't decided when the current series would air when we were filming it - we only decided a few months ago.' Radio Times also claims that any future series of Doctor Who 'may' have 'slightly shorter production schedules than the current one,' thanks to many core aspects of Jodie Whittaker's series - including assembling the behind-the-scenes crew and writers, creating an opening sequence, designing costumes and other props - having been worked out during pre-production for series eleven. Even the latest TARDIS interior set hadn't been built when filming began for series eleven and it may be that after spending a little longer creating a revamped version of the series for Jodie's Doctor, 'the production team can work within a slightly tighter timeframe going forward,' Radio Times claims. When asked by the magazine in September whether production on series twelve would 'begin soon,' Chris Chibnall was non-committal. 'Hopefully, yeah,' said. 'It'd be nice, wouldn’t it?'
There's a very good in-depth interview with the new Doctor Who music composer Segun Akinola at the MusicTech website which you can read here.
The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) has 'expressed concern the new series [of Doctor Who] could "look cheap" in comparison to shows on rival platforms.' Actually, that's not quite what Steven said and there was a specific context to his comments but that didn't stop Metro from posting a shitehawk piece of twenty four carat click-bait in which the author - one Adam Starkey - couldn't even manage to spell Steven's name correctly ('Moffatt' [sic]). What actually happened was that speaking oin an episode of the Sitcom Geeks podcast, Steven made similar remarks to those he had made on many previous occasions, that Doctor Who, given the amount of money it generates for the BBC in terms of merchandising and overseas sales, should have a lot more of a budget allocated to it than it does. And, in other news, apparently, bears do shit in the woods. Who knew? On the podcast, the interviewer told Steven: 'My memory of Doctor Who is very much a piece of cardboard that he is standing behind.' Steven replied: 'That's the big challenge of Doctor Who now, running the risk of looking as cheap now as it did then, compared to what the rest of TV is doing, unless they put a whole lot more money into it. It's still an inexpensive show. A show that generates as much money as Doctor Who should be getting more of it back, frankly.' He added: 'Television didn't use to look the way it looks now. When we watch now, we watch something that's quite often better than cinema. Have you seen the recent Game Of Thrones? I haven't seen anything in the cinema that matches their battle scenes.'
The former Doctor Who producer Derrick Sherwin, the man responsible for creating UNIT and for the casting of Jon Pertwee, has died at the age of eighty two after a long illness. Derrick worked on Doctor Who in several capacities, writing scripts, producing the series for the transition between the second and third Doctors and even appearing as an actor, playing a Car Park Attendant in the 1970 story Spearhead From Space. His most lasting legacy was creating the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce for the 1968 story The Invasion. UNIT, helmed by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, was an essential component for the Third Doctor's tenure, with its influence continuing into subsequent eras and reaching as far as Peter Capaldi's Doctor. Derrick was born in 1936 in the Buckinghamshire town of High Wycombe. He began his career in the theatre and worked as a junior set designer, scenic artist, stage manager and lighting designer. He spent two years of National Service in the Royal Air Force and, following this, Derrick established himself as an actor in theatre, films and television. While still working as an actor, Sherwin also began work as a freelance writer, contributing scripts to series such as Crossroads, Emergency - Ward Ten and Z-Cars, As an actor his television debut came in the 1958 drama Duty Bound. Over the next ten years, he had a steady series of small roles appearing in series like Here Lies Miss Sabry, The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre, Incident At Echo Six, The Men In Room Thirteen, Danger Man, The Plane Makers, The Bed-Sit Girl, The Baron and Armchair Theatre. He wrote episodes of Theatre 625 (1965's Yob & Nabob) and Thirty Minute Theatre (including the well-remembered 1967 dramatisation of The Metal Martyr and the same year's The Timekeepers, one of the first BBC drama productions in colour). He also wrote episodes of the BBC soap, United! (in which he appeared as a regular character, Bryn Morriston) and Boy Meets Girl. In 1967, Sherwin was offered a story-editing role on Doctor Who by the BBC's Head of Serials, Shaun Sutton. He initially joined under the title Assistant Script Editor with a view to helping the incumbent, Peter Bryant, who was preparing to take over as the popular family SF drama's producer. It was a baptism of fire as Derrick was immediately charged with rescuing a number of scripts which were not ready for production. He told Doctor Who Magazine: 'It was just before Christmas and I was landed with a great pile of scripts that had to go into production immediately after the holiday break. The director had sent them back and said he wouldn't do them. Pat Troughton had thrown a wobbly - they really were appalling! That set the pattern for the first three months.' Derrick provided script-editing - and much uncredited dialogue - to stories like The Web Of Fear, Fury From The Deep and The Wheel In Space. He took over offically as Script Editor for the 1968 story The Dominators following which he wrote - again, uncredited - the opening episode of The Mind Robber (the only Doctor Who episode which does not carry an on-screen writing credit). Later that year, Derrick wrote The Invasion, the eight-part Cybermen story which set the pattern for the series for much of the next five years. Sherwin wanted to give the series a more 'grounded' approach and took his inspiration from Nigel Knweale's 1950's Quatermass stories. 'I sat down and wrote a couple of pages about this special task force, specifically with members from all nations, which had been set up to investigate funny things happening in space or the possibility of UFO’s or whatever. It was basically an army intelligence unit with special powers and, on some occasions, special weapons.' Derrick took over of producer for the last Patrick Troughton story, The War Games and was responsible for casting Jon Pertwee and overseeing the series' move from black and white to colour during the winter of 1969. He left the series after Pertwee's debut story, Spearhead In Space. After Doctor Who, Sherwin once again worked alongside Peter Bryant on Paul Temple (1969 to 1971). Derrick later produced The Man Outside (1972), Ski-Boy (1973) and The Perils Of Pendragon (1974) and created Kim & Co and the fondly remembered Tyne-Tees ghost drama Nobody's House. In the 1980's, when Doctor Who was under threat of cancellation from the BBC Derrick claimed that he offered to buy the franchise from the BBC and produce it independently: 'I wrote to Michael Grade and said "Look, obviously the BBC can't afford to do this and doesn't know where to go with it, so I will take it off your hands, produce it independently, finance it independently and sell it back to you as a package." He turned me down, saying that he'd got plans for the series. Then, when Grade left, I wrote to Peter Cregeen about it. So I offered to buy Doctor Who out twice!' Derrick later contributed to several documentaries for the Doctor Who DVD range, as well as providing commentaries for the two stories he produced and surviving episodes of The Web Of Fear and The Wheel In Space for the Lost In Time collection. In his later life, Derrick owned a restaurant in Thailand. His memoir, Who's Next?, was published in 2008. Derrick is survived by his wife, the actress Jane Sherwin and their daughter, Kate.
To the joy of millions of fans across the nation, From The North favourite Only Connect returned for a new series to BBC2 back in its traditional home on Monday evenings before University Challenge. And, with it, came a question for all viewers to ponder. One has to idly speculate whether David Mitchell sometimes gets a bit pissed off with the divine Victoria for revealing so much about their marriage in her various TV appearances. Particularly as he, himself, seems to bend over backwards not to do the same about her on Would I Lie To You? To the point where he never seems to refer to Victoria by name, simply as 'my wife'? A few weeks ago, for example, when she was a guest on an episode of Qi we discovered from Victoria that the couple had been in a relationship for five years before David would put a kiss in an e-mail to her. Then, on this week's Only Connect series debut, viewers were informed that David is 'always saying sorry' for something. The poor chap's life, it would seem, is - thanks to his missus - an open book.
A fine example of the use of David and Victoria's home life as a source for TV comedy occurred on this week's - excellent - episode of Would I Lie To You? Guest Jon Richardson claimed, in the opening 'home truths' round, that after a mere one lesson he'd had to give up learning the guitar because he found his (Spanish) teacher 'too good looking.' Which was true, as it turned out. How old were you when you had this lesson, asked David? Richardson replies that he was in his early thirties. 'It's well known that you can't learn anything after the age of twenty seven!' claimed Mitchell in one of his trademark bursts of what Stepehen Fry always used to describe as 'angry logic.' 'Whatever you can do when you're twenty seven, that's what you do. Forget anything else.' 'How's parenting going, David?' asked Jon.
The same episode also provided one of From The North's two TV Comedy Lines Of The Week. Olivia Colman proving what a brilliant actress she is by claiming - entirely mendaciously, as it happened - that whenever she needs to cry during a dramatic scene she asks the director, or another cast member to hold up a glove puppet of a cat behind the camera to 'get the tears flowing.' She went on to note, plausibly, that her team captain, David Mitchell, could confirm this to be true as he, himself had provided the puppetry skills on several episodes of Peep Show in which they co-starred. 'So,' asked Lee Mack, 'is David Tennant holding that up in Broadchurch?!'
The other From The North TV Comedy Line Of The Week came, as usual, from Qi. Richard Osman's suggestion that in nature, ham sandwiches are 'the only thing that grows in triangles.'
ITV announced last month that its hit crime drama Unforgotten would be returning for a fourth series, but creator Chris Lang has revealed that the show's future wasn't always guaranteed. In 2017, series lead and From The North favourite Nicola Walker suggested that Lang was 'not looking to make this [show] again and again.' The writer has now confirmed to the Digital Spy website that he only decided to do a fourth series quite late in the day. 'I got to the end of writing season three and wasn't really sure, one way or another, whether I wanted to write another one,' he admitted. 'Then, when we were in post-production and watching it, I got to about episode two or three and I absolutely, unequivocally, suddenly had a moment where I went, "No, no - I have to finish this story." Then I just said to my co-executives that I wanted to do another one. Unequivocally, I knew. It's hard to know until you've gone through the process of making it. But when we were editing, I just thought, "There's more story to tell of Cassie and Sunny " - so we'll certainly do [a fourth series] and then we'll see where we are at the end of that.' Lang added that a fifth series of Unforgotten is, again, not a foregone conclusion. 'That'll be twenty four episodes. That's quite a lot. And there are other things I want to do, of course – different challenges and different genres I want to engage with. Unforgotten takes a huge amount of time and I spend my life being offered other things and having to always turn them down. I won't carry on doing it forever, because I want to explore other worlds as well. But I could not be more delighted to be doing series four. I know what the story is. I've started writing it. And I will love, over the next nine months, bringing the characters back to life again.'
Killing Eve's second series has added two new actors to its cast. Henry Lloyd-Hughes will appear alongside Shannon Tarbet, according to Entertainment Weekly. While their specific roles have not been unveiled, they will join other new cast members including Nina Sosanya, Edward Bluemel and Julian Barratt. Filming for series two of the acclaimed BBC drama is currently underway. Writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge will not be returning to script the second series, with duties instead falling to Emerald Fennell.
A stately home near Warrington is currently being used as one of the main filming locations for the next series of From The North favourite Peaky Blinders. Arley Hall is doubling as Tommy Shelby's manor house in the BBC's hugely popular period crime series. Parts of the property - owned by the Ashbrook family for more than five hundred years - have been transformed to give it a 1920s makeover including bespoke portraits, furniture and an interior repaint in dark green to give the hall 'a more masculine feel' more befitting of the character, played by Cillian Murphy. Arley's library is being used as Tommy's study while other areas like the staircase, gallery and south bay bedroom has been redecorated as well. Lord Ashbrook's home has been used as a location by the drama's producers since series three and it has been confirmed that film crews and members of the cast were back on-site in October. But Arley is expected to feature much more prominently in series five as Tommy is now an MP and his home is where he is likely to meet with and entertain his guests - legitimate or otherwise. Steve Hamilton, the general manager at Arley Hall, said: 'It's been exciting to welcome back the cast and crew from Peaky Blinders. As ever it has created a real buzz to see the hall turned into a set for one of the biggest and most anticipated TV shows of recent times. To play such a big part in the next series when Tommy is clearly on the up having become an MP will be great for us. Our library is so iconic and instantly recognisable so it has been great to see it used as Tommy's study again for the next series, which I am sure will be the best yet.' Steve added: 'We are getting weekly Peaky Blinders tours visiting the hall and they often say it is the best part of their trip because they love walking through the rooms where so much has happened to the Shelby family. The fans often visit us dressed as Peaky Blinders and love recreating the shot we saw at the end of series 3 when Tommy is silhouetted in the doorway after other members of the family have been arrested. Hopefully there are going to be many more memorable moments here in the next series.'
The fifth series of another From The North favourite, the New Zealand crime drama The Brokenwood Mysteries is about to return for a fifth series in its home country. In Britain, it's likely to appear in the New Year on the Drama channel. There's a revealing - and very entertaining - interview with the show's excellent leads, Neill Rea and Fern Sutherland, which you can have a gander at, should you chose to do so, here.
Every few weeks, while promoting other project, many Game Of Thrones cast members has said something (almost always non-spoilery) related to the forthcoming eighth and final series of the popular fantasy drama. As a service to fans and, because they seemingly haven't going anything more worthwhile to do with their time, the E! Online website has, helpfully, collected together as many of these quotes as they can find to fill some bandwidth.
Gotham has one more - shortened - series to go, dear blog reader. A set picture released this week sees David Mazouz in action, wearing a new and upgraded armour-plated costume, which shares early resemblance to the Batsuit. Executive producer John Stephens recently said that viewers will see Bruce 'go all the way' in the journey to becoming Batman. 'We are gonna get to see him make the final steps, you know? We are not gonna leave anything on the table or whatever the phrase is,' he said. 'There are not going to be any steps for Bruce Wayne to take to becoming Batman that don't get taken this season. We're gonna see him go all the way.'
More grumpy than usual Charlie Brooker has revealed the 'real' reason behind Black Mirror's move from Channel Four to Netflix. The SF anthology drama's first two series were broadcast on C4 and in the new companion book, Inside Black Mirror, creator Grumpy Charlie details how the relationship with the UK broadcaster gradually broke down. 'Channel Four said they wanted to make more Black Mirror,' Grumpy Charlie states. 'We agreed to do four more episodes, but this time they wanted to see detailed synopses of each film in advance, which I thought was outrageous at the time.' When they received feedback for their new ideas for series three, Brooker and fellow showrunner Annabel Jones were told that they 'weren't very Black Mirror' and they were no longer going to have the budget for four episodes. Jones said: 'Given the show had won lots of awards and had been really positively received on the whole, it was strange. I think there wasn't any clarity from the channel. We also felt unchampioned.' Channel Four eventually regained its thirst for Black Mirror and the Christmas special White Christmas starring Jon Hamm followed. But Brooker was 'left frustrated' when he was told the show would 'have to be a co-production.' 'They said they were working with Bryan Cranston on this anthology show called Electric Dreams, adapting Philip K Dick stories. Maybe, they suggested, I could write one of those,' Grumpy Charlie grumpily recalled. 'I thought, "I'm feeling angry. Is this insulting?"' After the first two series of Black Mirror were released on Netflix and the series became popular with American audiences, a deal was then put in place for the streaming service and Channel Four to be equal creative partners. But after Channel Foyr cut the show down from ten to six episodes per series and requested a detailed synopsis of each episode beforehand, Brooker and Jones felt that it was time to part ways. 'We realised this was not going to happen with Channel Four,' said Jones. 'We had to push ahead and do this deal with Netflix.' Brooker has previously explained why Netflix is 'the perfect platform' for Black Mirror, saying: 'On Netflix, we can put the whole thing up and it's like a short story collection, or an album, or tickets to a film festival.'
The BBC's adaptation of The Little Drummer Girl is subject to a nudity ban, according to actress Florence Pugh. Florence plays Charlie in the John le Carré thriller - which is directed by Park Chan-wook - and she puts this particular visual omission down to the show's potential American audience. She told Radio Times: 'America is quite scared of bums and nipples. We had to make sure there were no bums and nipples out. I don't know why. Such strange people. There was one scene we did where Alex [Skarsgård] and I were under the duvet and supposedly naked. I was wriggling down one end and Alex is wriggling down the other. Halfway through, I hear: "CUT! CUT!" Director Park says: "Florence, you've got to hide your nipples more!" I'm like: "Okay!" So, we do it again and again I hear: "CUT! CUT! Florence! It looks like you're hiding your nipples." I'm like: "Arrrgh! Just let me get my breasts out, I don't care!" But America does care.'
Yer actual Jenna Coleman her very self has revealed that filming on Victoria's third series is complete. Jenna posted on Instagram to celebrate the end of production and thanked the 'amazing' cast and crew for their jolly hard work. 'It's a wrap,' she wrote, sharing a number of photos of Queen Victoria and alluding to 'some of the dramatic events' which are set to feature in the third series.
Have I Got News For You may have seen its most outrageous story yet. This week's episode of the topical satirical news quiz was fronted by BBC Breakfast presenter and From The North favourite Steph McGovern. Upon dissecting the news that US president Donald Rump has pulled out of a thirty-year nuclear arms agreement, Steph recalled the time she was asked to interview Rump for Breakfast. 'Having once met Trump ...' she began, 'Ah he's creepy, man?' 'How was he? Did you talk to him?”' Richard Osman asked. 'Yeah I had to, I was interviewing him. Would have been a bit tricky if I hadn’t!' she replied. 'What did he say?' asked Ian Hislop. 'He said "You're so beautiful, I'm going to leave the room to make myself look better, because if we do this interview now everyone is just going to be staring at you and not listening to me,"' Steph told the panel. She continued: 'It's because he thought that would be the best way to disarm me. He thought as a female journalist, that was the best thing to say to me rather than "Oh I watched your piece on mobile phone insurance last week."' Steph claimed that she remained unruffled by his comments, telling Rump, 'Ay love, I’'e heard better lines than that down Club Bongo!'
And now, dear blog reader, the single most thigh-slappingly hilarious piece of TV news of the week. Professional Northern berk, Paddy McGuinness and former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff (nice lad, bit thick) will be the new presenters of Top Gear, the BBC has confirmed. At least, until Clarkson, Hammond and May's golden handcuffs deal with Amazon expires late next year; at which point, presumably, the BBC will be approaching the trio on bended-knees begging them to come back and that all is forgiven. Horrible, unfunny plank McGuinness and Flintoff will take over from the current host, Matt LeBlanc, after he steps down from presenting duties at the end of the next series. McGuinness and Flintoff will join existing presenter, the former racing driver Chris Harris, to complete the new-look line-up. Filming for the twenty seventh series of the BBC2 show will begin in early 2019. Rory Reid, who joined the Top Gear team after the departure of Jezza, Hamster and Cap'n Slowly, will 'no longer have a main presenting role.' He began fronting the spin-off show Extra Gear in 2016 and went on to co-host the main programme alongside LeBlanc and Harris on the most recent series. According to the BBC, Reid 'will remain part of the Top Gear family,' along with Sabine Schmitz and will continue to be the face of Extra Gear. McGuinness and Flintoff were unveiled as the new faces of the motoring show on Monday morning. McGuinness commented: 'Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honour and I'm thrilled the BBC have given me this opportunity. To be hosting a show I've watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting.' Ashes-winning former England cricket captain Flintoff said: 'It's not often you have the chance to do both of your dream jobs, but I'm now lucky enough to say I will have. I've always been passionate about cars and I'm so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.' The next series of Top Gear - LeBlanc's last as lead host - will begin early in 2019 on BBC2. Both McGuinness and Flintoff have a number of motoring offences to their names. McGuinness avoided a driving ban last year after hiring the lawyer sometimes nicknamed Mister Loophole, Nick Freeman. Despite having previously pleaded extremely guilty to the driving offence, the case was thrown out on a technicality. Flintoff, meanwhile, has avoided a driving ban on several occasions after being caught speeding. In 2014, it was claimed a ban would have an adverse effect on his extensive charity work.
The final episode of the BBC's Bodyguard has become the UK's most watched drama since records began. The twenty eight-day consolidated figures have revealed that the show's finale was watched by an audience of 17.1 million people. That makes it the most watched episode of any drama series across all channels since current records began in 2002. It is also the largest recorded audience for a programme that isn't a sporting or national event since 2010. With over thirty eight million requests, Bodyguard is BBC iPlayer's most successful box-set series ever. Charlotte Moore, the Director of BBC Content, said: 'Bodyguard continues to smash records and thrill new audiences everyday via the box-set, which is available exclusively on BBC iPlayer for the next five months.' Simon Heath, the CEO & Creative Director of World Productions, added: 'A big thank you to the BBC for their terrific support and to everyone who watched Bodyguard either live or on catch up. We're hugely grateful.' The Jed Mercurio drama has been nominated for Best New Drama at the National TV Awards, with Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes also receiving performance nominations for playing their respective characters.
And now, dear blog reader, a semi-regular From The North feature ...
Apart from Doctor Who, obviously.
Well, there's all six series of Wire In The Blood (on DVD).
And, Killing Eve (on BBC iPlayer).
Blackadder Goes Forth (on BBC4).
Columbo (on DVD, ITV3 and 5USA).
Dave Gorman's Modern Life Is Goodish (on Dave).
Waking The Dead (on Drama).
Time Team (on Yesterday).
The West Wing (on Sky Atlantic).
Father Ted (on More4).
The Brokenwood Mysteries (on UKTVPlay).
Kojak (on ITV4).
Wheeler Dealers (on Quest, Discovery Turbo and Discovery Shed).
Vera (on ITV3).
Homicide Hunter (on Crime + Investigation).
The Avengers (on ITV4).
And, NCIS (on FOX, 5USA, Universal, CBS Action, Channel Five ... et cetera, et cetera).
So, just a normal, average-type week in Keith Telly Topping's gaff, then? God bless Sky and Freeview multichannels and this blogger's recently discovered ability to play iPlayer and UKTVPlay on the Stately Telly Topping Manor widescreen telly box. What on Earth did we do back in the last century when we only had four channels, dear blog reader?

The chief executive of ITV has said that now is 'the last chance' for UK broadcasters to build a British Netflix, as the US streaming giant continues to grow at breakneck speed. The warning from Carolyn McCall, chief executive of the UK's largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, follows protracted talks between the BBC, Channel Four and ITV to create a credible domestic streaming rival to Netflix that have failed to bear fruit. McCall, who took over at ITV in January, has made developing a subscription video-on-demand service a priority - to sit alongside existing free service ITV Hub and a paid-for, advert-free version that allows access in Europe which has proved popular with holidaymakers - with a launch planned for next year. She says that UK broadcasters have 'little time left to act,' in concert or by developing their own services, or they will find it impossible to turn the tide against the invasion of the US-based global streaming superpowers Netflix and Amazon. 'I think the window is closing,' McCall told some louse of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star. Asked if ITV and its domestic rivals were, effectively, 'in the last chance saloon' to develop British-focused competitor to Netflix, she said: 'Of course, which is why I think ITV feel we just want to get on. We know it's not going to be easy. We know it's not slam dunk. If we don't do it we will never do it. We have to take the plunge.' McCall's comments follow Netflix's better-than-expected results last week, with a third-quarter record of new subscribers signing up, some seven million, to take its global total to more than one hundred and thirty seven million. As Netflix's core market gets closer to saturation, it is international markets that are driving growth with UK viewers flocking to the service making it one of the most important markets for the US giant. Netflix has almost ten million UK subscribers, Sky has 9.6 million pay-TV subs and Amazon's Prime Video service has about seven million. McCall said that to provide 'the best depth and breadth' of content for an ITV subscription video-on-demand service, 'must have' content previously licensed to services such as Netflix would be kept in-house. There will be no more deals such as licensing Love Island, the really effing lousy ITV2 reality TV show, to Netflix. 'When we have commissioned content and it is run on ITV it is less likely we will [then] sell it to Netflix [for on-demand viewing],' she said. 'Love Island is a good example.' Which is probably the only time you'll ever see the words 'Love', 'Island' and 'good' in the same sentence legitimately. 'Love Island series one and two went on Netflix this summer before Love Island [series] four started on ITV2. It is likely that we will need that for ITV's [new] service. As those sorts of deals end we have to think about what we need to do with our content. Would we do that deal again when we are building our own service, it is unlikely we would sell those rights.' McCall said that the best chance of creating a viable rival to Netflix is for the UK's public service broadcasters to join forces. However, she conceded that a joint venture between three such different businesses - the publicly-listed ITV, state-owned commercially funded Channel Four and the BBC ' is proving tricky. 'We would like to collaborate with the PSBs because it just makes sense,' she said. 'But, we all have different ownership structures and we all have slightly different objectives. I would like to see partnerships in this and there is a lot of work going on to try and get that.' ITV has a joint venture streaming service with the BBC, called BritBox. However, it is available only in the US. More than a decade ago the BBC, Channel Four and ITV came together to build the video-on-demand service Kangaroo, which was due to launch in 2007, but it became tangled in red tape and was ultimately blocked by the competition regulator two years later.
The horror writer Stephen King has given a group of teenage fans from South Wales permission to turn one of his stories into a film at a cost of one dollar for the rights. Youngsters from Tredegar in Blaenau Gwent will spend the next couple of months working on the script before filming the story, Stationary Bike, in and around the town. They will not be able to make a profit on the film, but hope to get it screened at festivals and will send King a copy of the completed project as part of the deal. Members of the Blaenau Gwent Film Academy, which is supported by the BBC's Children In Need, decided to write to King as they cast around for a project. Kevin Phillips of Green Valley Film Productions, who will help the teenagers make the movie, said that King's office came back within twenty four hours to explain how they could go about obtaining the rights to the story. 'They were fantastic,' he said. 'Within a few days, the contract was signed and we sent off an actual dollar to the US.' Alfie Evans, aged sixteen and Cerys Cliff, fourteen, are working on the script and have cast a local actor in the lead part. Phillips will direct the movie and is hoping that filming will begin around Christmas time. King's short story - first published in 2003 - is about an artist, Richard Sefkitz, who begins riding an exercise bike in the basement of his New York apartment building to help tackle high cholesterol. To help alleviate boredom, he buys maps and plots an imaginary route from New York to the town of Herkimer, each day marking the amount of miles he has 'ridden' towards his goal. But, as he nears the target, he begins having strange thoughts that there is someone following him on his daily rides. The film was previously made into a similar independent short movie - called Bike - in 2012. The Welsh film-makers will use the backstage of Little Theatre Cinema in Tredegar to mock up the basement, but can choose from outdoor locations including mountains and forests in the post-industrial landscape, should they wish to. It will not be the first horror film to be made in Tredegar in recent years. The academy's first production, Knight Of The Blood Moon, has recently been finished and is described as 'a blood-splattering feast' by Phillips. The Tredegar teenagers are benefiting from a scheme called 'dollar baby' under which students are allowed to make films based on King's work. Frank Darabont made a short called The Woman In The Room on a similar dollar baby contract and went on to direct The Mist, The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, all based on King stories.
The retail multi-billionaire Sir Philip Green has been named in Parliament as 'the leading businessman' accused by a newspaper of sexual and racial harassment. Peter Hain, who identified him in the Lords, claimed that it was his 'duty' to name Green, given the 'serious and repeated' nature of the allegations. The Daily Torygraph had accused - but did not name - the businessman on Tuesday. Green 'categorically and wholly' denied allegations of 'unlawful sexual or racist behaviour.' And, it is important to note, he yet to be charged with any crime. The Court of Appeal had issued an injunction preventing the newspaper from publishing Green's name earlier in the week. It remains in force, but Lord Hain's statement, made under parliamentary privilege, has been widely reported in the UK media. The peer said that publication of the story was 'clearly in the public interest.' The Torygraph said that it had 'spent eight months' investigating allegations of bullying, intimidation and sexual harassment made against Green. Charges which, again, it is only fair to note, Green denies. The newspaper reported that interviews with five members of staff 'revealed' that the alleged victims had - allegedly - been paid 'substantial sums' in return for legal commitments not to discuss their alleged experiences. Lord Hain said that he had been contacted by 'someone intimately involved in the case.' He said that, given the use of non-disclosure agreements, 'to conceal the truth about serious and repeated sexual harassment, racist abuse and bullying,' he felt it was 'his duty' - under parliamentary privilege - to name Green as the individual in question. Particularly as many people reading the original Torygraph story which only identified 'a leading businessman' had begun speculating online about which 'leading businessman' was the one involved and, most, had picked the wrong one. Parliamentary privilege protects MPs or peers from being prosecuted over statements made in the Commons or Lords and is one of the oldest rights enshrined in British law. Green said in a statement on Thursday that he and his company, Arcadia, 'take accusations and grievances from employees very seriously and in the event that one is raised, it is thoroughly investigated. Arcadia employs more than twenty thousand people and in common with many large businesses sometimes receives formal complaints from employees. In some cases these are settled with the agreement of all parties and their legal advisers. These settlements are confidential so I cannot comment further on them.' Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said that Green 'should certainly be stripped of his knighthood" if the allegations were proved to be correct.' 'If', of course, being a frighteningly imprecise legal term. Frank Field, who chairs the Work and Pensions Committee, said that 'a mechanism was needed' to allow the voices of abuse victims to be heard in Parliament. 'This would develop the role of the House of Commons in a way which stands up for people who have little money, against those who have much,' he said. Green built a fortune from a retail empire that includes Topshop, BHS, Burton and Miss Selfridge. It was a fortune he didn't mind flaunting - inviting a few hundred of the world's most famous people including Sir Elton John, Bill and Hilary Clinton, Elizabeth Hurley and Kate Moss to celebrate lavish fiftieth and sixtieth birthday parties. He portrayed himself as a rags-to riches businessman and his reputation as a great deal-maker was further endorsed in 2010 when David Cameron asked him to review whether government procurement departments could get better value for money. The collapse of BHS in 3016, however, saw his crown not just slide, but hit the floor with a deafening clang. He sold the business to a three-time bankrupt Dominic Chappell - going so far as helping to finance Chappell in order to offload the business and its massive pension scheme deficit. BHS collapsed soon afterwards leaving twelve thousand people out of work and a further twenty thousand current and former employees facing reduced pensions. During a series of testy encounters with MPs, throughout which he showed his famously volatile temper, Green promised to 'sort' the pension fund - which he, eventually, did - handing over a reported three hundred and sixty three million smackers. He hoped that his reputation could be repaired following the payment. This week allegations mean he has a new - and bigger - public relations battle to fight. The naming of Green in the House of Lords was a surprising development. Many will remember the super-injunction stories of 2011, most famously the celebrated case of the footballer Ryan Giggs. When he was named by a Labour MP using parliamentary privilege after previously taking out a super-injunction to prevent the British press from naming him in relation to an alleged 'kiss-and-tell' story by a woman whom he had, allegedly, knobbed. Parliamentarians and the judiciary alike were said to be 'very concerned' that this privilege should not be used to undermine the rule of law. The injunction in this case was a court order granted by three of the most senior judges in the country at the Court of Appeal. Hain told the BBC's Newsnight that he decided to name Green in the Lords because 'what concerned me about this case was wealth and power that comes with it and abuse.' He added: 'It's for others to judge whether I've been right or wrong, but you know there's no point in being in Westminster if you never deploy the precious rights of parliamentary privilege, to be used - as I've said - extremely carefully with integrity and very responsibly.' Naming Green was 'arrogant,' the former Attorney General Dominic Grieve said. Grieve told the BBC that Hain had 'undermined' the rule of law and 'abused' his parliamentary privilege. Camilla Tominey, the associate editor of the Torygraph, told Radio 4's PM that it was 'farcical' Lord Hain was able to name Green in the Lords, but, as the paper remained the subject of an injunction, it was unable to confirm or deny the name of the individual concerned. 'It's not the first time it's happened and it won't be the last,' she said. The people who have made the claims had 'bravely' come forward to the paper with the accusations, Tominey added. 'We won't ever be naming any of the claimants.'
Police searching for 'a Ross Geller lookalike' thief believe they have identified the man after being 'inundated' with responses. Social media images of the man clutching a crate of beer in a store in Blackpool went viral and saw him dubbed 'the spitting image' of the Friends actor David Schwimmer. A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: 'We think we know who he is but we just need to trace him.' The man is wanted over the theft of a jacket, mobile phone and wallet. A spokesperson for force - who clearly think they are the funniest copper in all the world, bar none - tweeted: 'Could we be any more overwhelmed with the response to our CCTV appeal about a theft at a restaurant in Blackpool? Most importantly, we're now satisfied we've identified the man in the still and our inquiries are very much continuing. Huge thanks for sharing it with your Friends.' Earlier, Schwimmer responded to jokes posted on Blackpool police's Facebook post with a video on Wednesday. In the clip posted to Twitter and Instagram, the actor - displaying a sense of good humour which has, seemingly, won him much admiration - was seen furtively glancing at a security camera as he walked through a New York convenience store clutching cans of beer. 'Officers, I swear it wasn't me,' he said in an accompanying post. 'As you can see, I was in New York. To the hardworking Blackpool Police, good luck with the investigation.' Police had earlier confirmed that Schwimmer was 'not in the UK' at the time of the offence, but the original post descended into something of a Friends quote-a-thon, attracting one hundred and thirty three thousand comments referencing the show. About six of which were actually, you know, funny. The force appealed for anyone with information about the theft - other than the fact that the thief looked uncannily like the actor David Swimmer - which took place at Mister Basrai's restaurant in Blackpool, to contact them. The suspect is wanted for the alleged theft of a jacket, wallet and mobile from the restaurant on 20 September. Police released the CCTV image of the suspect buying beer from a shop soon after the alleged theft.
What appear to be three wildcat kittens have been filmed by a hillwalker in the Cairngorms. Chris Usher was near Lochnagar in Aberdeenshire when he spotted the litter of young cats. Estimates suggest there are between one hundred and three hundred wildcats left in Scotland. They are under threat from cross-breeding with domestic cats. Scottish Wildcat Action said the footage appeared to show genuine wildcat kittens.
A man who spent six thousand knicker of his dead neighbour's savings 'on pizzas' has been sentenced to two years in The Big House. And, probably, two years on the lavatory if eating too much pizza has the same constipating effect on him as it does on many others. Robert Sharkey, of Bangor, was extremely convicted of eleven charges after failing to report the woman had died and, then, stealing from her. The charges included using one of Marie Conlon's debit cards to buy almost six grand's worth of pepperoni pizzas. The offences occurred when Sharkey lived above Conlon's flat in Belfast. The sixty eight-year-old woman had died in January 2015. In court on Monday, Judge Piers Grant told Sharkey: 'What you did affronts the sensibilities of all right-thinking people.' The judge said that while Sharkey was using Conlon's card to buy pizza - and other items - he 'must have known' that she was lying, undiscovered, in an ever-worsening state of decomposition in her gaff. 'To continue this disgraceful behaviour on such a regular basis can only be explained by complete indifference, greed and selfishness,' said the judge. At an earlier hearing, the court was told that Conlon's body had lain for two years in her apartment while Sharkey memorised the details of her bank card to buy pizza. He pleaded very guilty to preventing Conlon's lawful burial and breaking into her home. He also pleaded guilty to 'fraud by false representation' in using her bank card to buy pizzas worth five thousand nine hundred and eighty eight smackers and thirty nine pee. He always bought the same pizza - pepperoni with anchovies on top - each day until he was caught by the fuzz. He also bought goods from Sainsbury's worth more than three thousand knicker and mobile phone credit of more than a thousand quid. Sharkey was sentenced at Belfast Crown Court sitting in Downpatrick. Half of his sentence will be served in jail, the other half on licence.
The wife of American 'white nationalist' Richard Spencer has accused him of being 'physically, verbally and emotionally abusive', US media reports. In papers filing for divorce, Nina Koupriianova claimed that on one occasion in 2011, Spencer dragged her down the stairs, 'resulting in bruises.' She said that in 2014 he, again, 'attacked' her when she was four-months pregnant. In comments to the Associated Press, Spencer denied being an abusive person. Spencer is a figurehead for US far-right groups and popularised the term 'alternative right.' Koupriianova's divorce papers were filed in a Montana Court in June but were first reported by Buzzfeed News on Tuesday. According to the report, Koupriianova's lawyers said that she had been 'reluctant to call police or seek an order of protection for fear of further reprisal. Much of the abuse has occurred in the presence of the parties' children,' the court documents said. Speaking to the Associated Press news agency on Tuesday, Spencer said that he was 'not an abusive person' and that his wife was 'never in a dangerous situation.' Spencer first rose to prominence when he led chants of 'Hail Trump' to a Nazi-saluting group in Washington after the US president's election victory. He was also one of the organisers of a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year that left one woman dead.
A bus has ploughed into the front of an opticians in West Yorkshire. The single-decker bus operated - by Yorkshire Tiger - smashed into the Shipley Eyewear store at the junction of Market Square and Kirkgate at noon. Definitely a case of 'should've gone to SpecSavers,' one could suggest. One witness reported hearing 'two loud bangs' and seeing 'a cloud of smoke and dust.' Although a number of people were on the bus at the time at the time of the incident, emergency crews said no-one was seriously hurt. Retired lorry driver Colin Glover and his wife were standing nearby when the bus crashed into the shop. He said: 'We heard two loud bangs and then saw a load of what looked like smoke or dust and people running away. I thought at first it was a bomb.'
Wireless Festival has been allowed to remain in London's Finsbury Park, but artists will be asked not to swear or wear 'offensive' clothing during their sets. They have also, apparently, been told the drinking, smoking, farting loudly or looking at people 'in a funny way' is also to be considered taboo. The Friends of Finsbury Park - who sound like a right bunch of humourless twonks - whinged about 'noise levels, drug taking and anti-social behaviour' at the festival. By 'horrid, spotty young people who are also very common and vulgar,' presumably. But, Haringey Council granted the festival promoter Live Nation a licence after a review called for by campaigners. The council's licensing committee decided to amend conditions rather than revoke the licence altogether. The new conditions include a request that performers 'do not sing or play any vulgar, obscene or banned songs or carry out indecent acts or make any vulgar gestures, actions or remarks during the performance.' It also says that performers must 'not offend the general public' and gives examples like 'attire which expose the groin, private parts, buttock or female breast(s).' The council said that it was 'down to the organisers' to 'ensure conditions are met and all reasonable steps are taken.' Live Nation declined to comment on how it plans to implement the conditions. In a statement issued after the meeting, The Friends of Finsbury Park whinged that they were 'happy' the festival would be finishing earlier. 'However, several of our proposed licensing conditions have been disregarded by the committee, of which the most important is our request to reduce the number of attendees at the event.' The event, which attracted crowds of more than thirty seven thousand peoplelast year, sparked sixty seven complaints over noise, anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, litter damage and other general naughty behaviour, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported. Wireless Festival 'reflected and celebrated' Haringey's 'young and ethnically diverse' character as a borough, Philip Kolvin QC, the barrister representing Live Nation, told a review hearing earlier this month. 'Wireless is a celebration of grime music. It is a music genre that emerged from London, it is London music,' he added.
A one hundred and two-year-old man spent three nights on the roof of his house after falling over and getting stuck. The man, named locally as Ron Easton, was found on Wednesday on his flat roof in Bigbury-on-Sea in Devon. The former racing driver - known as 'Ton-Up Ron' - was airlifted to hospital where he is currently in a stable condition. Trish Bagley, who delivers milk and papers to Mr Easton, raised the alarm after finding two unopened bottles. When Bagley arrived at Easton's property on Wednesday morning, there was no answer to the door or his phone. 'I thought he was asleep but I needed to get someone to have a look,' she said. A local shopkeeper called a maintenance man who subsequently found Easton on the roof of his house in some distress. He was brought down by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and flown to hospital by Devon Air Ambulance. Derriford Hospital confirmed on Thursday morning that Easton remains in hospital in a stable condition. The BBC was told that Easton 'may' have been adjusting his TV aerial. 'The ladder was on the wrong side of the house so no-one could see it,' said Bagley. 'He must have slipped or something, we just don't know. He's a strong man. He's always out in the garden. Hopefully he will make a full recovery.'
A woman accused of killing a patient who had silicone injections in her buttocks in New York should be deported to the United States, a judge has said. Kelly Mayhew died in 2015 after having cosmetic surgery injections in the basement of a house in Queens. Donna Francis, from Essex, is wanted in the US and could face charges over 'criminally negligent homicide by injecty-bum-death.' The case will now be sent to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to make the final decision within the next two months. Francis could also be charged with unauthorised practise of a profession. She moved to the UK the day after the procedure and was very arrested in May 2017. The court heard that Mayhew and her mother visited Francis's home on 30 May and were taken to the basement, where there were two folding chairs and a treatment table. While the silicone injections were being administered, Mayhew's mother held her daughter's hand. But part way through, she said that she noticed her daughter was no longer gripping her hand, was gurgling and her eyes were bloodshot and bulging. Paramedics were called but Mayhew was declared dead at the scene. An autopsy reported seven puncture sites in Mayhew's buttocks following the injection of unencapsulated silicone. Previously, the court heard that the type of silicone used by Francis, who did not wear a surgical gown during the procedure, was 'in the wrong form' and caused systemic emboli, which ultimately led Mayhew's death. Francis has been fighting extradition to the US, saying that it breached her right to a family life under article eight and she faces inhumane conditions and torture under article three of the European Convention on Human Rights. The judge was having none of it, however and ruled that although being separated from her daughter would lead to to emotional distress, the public interest in deportation, particularly for such a serious offence as injecty-bum-death, outweighed this. He noted that Francis, from Loughton, was 'not focused at the time on the young woman who died' but upon 'fleeing the scene of the crime' and then the country the next day.
Police in South Carolina say that a naked woman tried to bite off a man's genitals and then rushed on all fours at responding officers, who stopped her with a stun gun. WCSC-TV reports that a man called police begging for help, saying that the woman had tried to bite off his penis during sex with him and another man on Monday night. Hananan Police Chief Dennis Turner says that officers shocked the woman with a stun gun, then used an overdose-fighting drug to revive her. Officers were told that she was high on heroin and methamphetamine. Turner says the body-camera recording 'reminded me of something you would see off of a horror movie.' The woman was hospitalised and charges are pending.
Two schoolgirls in Central Florida brought knives to school in a foiled plot to kill classmates, cut them up and drink their blood before killing themselves, police officials said on Wednesday. The two girls, ages eleven and twelve, were armed with knives at Bartow Middle School before they were caught, according to arrest affidavits released by the Bartow Police Department. No one was hurt during the incident. The girls face charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and possession of a weapon at school. It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether the girls will be charged formally as juveniles or adults, Deputy Police Chief Bryan Dorman said in an e-mail. After their arrest, the girls were sent to a juvenile detention facility for the etxremely naughty. The girls reportedly planned to 'stake out' a school bathroom and wait for smaller students to enter, according to the police affidavit. They planned to cut their victims' throats, cut up their bodies, eat the flesh and drink their victims' blood, authorities said. The students then planned to fatally stab themselves in a sick orgy of blood-soaked violence. 'The plan was to kill at least one student but were hoping to kill anywhere from fiften to twenty five students,' the affidavit said. 'Killing all of these students was in hopes it would make them worse sinners ensuring that after they committed suicide ... [they] would go to Hell so they could be with Satan.' Detectives said that the girls devised the plot while watching 'scary movies' at one of their houses over the weekend. The alleged plot was foiled when administrators searched for them after they didn't show up for class. The administrators found them in a bathroom stall and brought them back to their offices where they found the girls in possession of four knives, a pizza cutter and a knife sharpener, police said. Officials with Polk County Schools said that extra police officers and guidance counsellors would be at the school this week. 'School staff quickly responded to a report of suspicious behaviour; the students were taken into custody, and no one was harmed,' school officials said in a tweet.
A Williston woman is in jail after firing a gun during a fight and threatening to kill the men fighting according to reports. Williston police responded to a report of a gunshot at an apartment complex on Wednesday. Police say that they were told there was 'a fight.' They say twenty four-year-old Samantha Jean Johnson came out on the second floor balcony and fired a round from a handgun into the air. Witnesses told police she hd threatened to shoot and kill the men who were fighting. Police added that a search of her apartment revealed two handguns, a bag of marijuana, THC gummies and other drug paraphernalia. Johnson has been charged with 'terrorising,' discharging a firearm within the city, and possession of drugs.
A 'dangerous' woman who had already served a life sentence has been jailed again for trying to kill her friend on a train. Lisa Savage was on probation when she attacked Sarah Hayton, shouting 'go to sleep little girl' and leaving her needing eighty seven stitches. On her arrest in a park in Chepstow, Savage told police: 'I'm a psycho killer.' She will serve a minimum of eight years and four months after admitting attempted murder and having a blade. Judge Eleri Rees said Savage poses 'a high risk of harm to the public' and that the attack was 'frenzied and sustained.' Savage had thirteen previous convictions for sixty seven offences, including fifteen of violence, Newport Crown Court heard. In 2000, she was handed a life sentence and jailed for a minimum of three years for slashing an ex-partner across his face and mouth. She had been released from prison on licence for that offence when she attacked Hayton on 15 April. Savage, who was carrying two knives, planned to confront her mother in Aberdare, after receiving a text saying that her mother 'wanted nothing to do' with her. Prosecutor Anna Midgley said: 'Miss Hayton explains that the attack ... began when she said she no longer wanted to go to Aberdare to confront the defendant's mother. The defendant's reaction was to begin raging and to take out a knife which she had packed and to stab Miss Hayton repeatedly.' CCTV footage showed Savage repeatedly stabbing Hayton, before prising open the train door to escape. Passengers in the carriage were 'extremely frightened,' staff had locked themselves in the cabin for safety and the victim 'believed she was going to die,' said Midgley. A train guard spotted Hayton crawling and covered in blood at Chepstow station and alerted police, who later found Savage in a park.
A South African man from Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal was arrested on Friday for alleged bestiality after his neighbour caught him penetrating her pet cat. Prem Balram‚ for security firm Reaction Unit South Africa‚ said that the man's neighbour had 'raised the alarm' after she caught the suspect fully naked while he was having sex with the cat. “She informed the controller on duty that her neighbour was having sex with her pet cat. 'The woman had walked to his residence to investigate when she found the naked man holding the cat by rear legs and penetrating the animal‚' he said. 'The woman informed our officers that she wanted the man removed from the premises. Officers entered the home and found him dressing‚' he said. In the statement made to Times Live, Balram added that the SPCA had been called to attend to the injured animal. 'The suspect was handed over to the South African Police‚' he said.
'Confused' residents could be told to recycle fewer items after Newcastle costing council bosses half-a-million quid by putting 'the wrong kind of rubbish' in their bins. Newcastle City Council said that it was 'considering limiting its efforts' to a small number of items that are 'very clearly able to be recycled.' The local authority must cover the cost of removing the wrong type of rubbish, such as nappies or food waste. Contamination can also result in recycling being sent to landfill. Nick Kemp, cabinet member for the environment, told a scrutiny panel meeting on Thursday: 'It is quite a complicated area for something that should be very simple. We are looking at a revised strategy. We are looking at potentially identifying a smaller number of items that are very clearly able to be recycled. It may mean that more items that could be recycled actually go to landfill, but there would be less contamination.' In March it was revealed contamination issues cost the authority half-a-million knicker in 2017-18.
Two Australian police officers have described the moment they jumped into the sea to rescue a drowning kangaroo. Sergeants Christopher Russo and Kirby Tonkin dragged the unconscious animal out of the water and performed chest compressions to revive it. The kangaroo is now recovering after the dramatic rescue in the Mornington Peninsula area, South of Melbourne. Tonkin said it was 'a good feeling,' adding 'every life is worth saving and we just did what we could.' Local resident Mia Grant saw the kangaroo bounce across the road towards Safety Beach. 'I saw him swimming and started filming but he suddenly got caught in the backwash of the waves so we got him out and waited for police,' she told Australian media. But the exhausted animal became spooked and leaped back into the sea - this time with the two officers in hot pursuit. 'He had less than a minute, he went under and as he came up you could see foam coming out of his nose. He was drowning,' Russo explained. 'I grabbed his tail and Kirby cradled his head and dragged him onto the beach and cleared his lungs to get the water out of him. Then we just started to push on his chest and he started breathing again and I could feel a heartbeat.' Grant praised the officers' actions. 'You see a lot of bad things and to see someone so instantaneously race in after an animal gives you faith in humanity,' she said. The kangaroo was taken to the local police station, before being picked up by wildlife services. 'We will let him recover at his own pace but he has a paddock full of grass and lots of water to drink and he seems very happy with that,' said Michelle Thomas, director of the local Animalia Wildlife Shelter.
As first responders, Missoula police often find themselves in unusual situations. Recently, an officer was called out to a crime involving weaponised meat. 'We had a report on 24 September that, at about 7:47 in the evening, an unknown suspect threw a salami through his kitchen window at his residence,' said Missoula Police Public Information officer Travis Welsh. Police investigated, however it would appear the the curious case of the sausage in the morning is still unsolved.
The small cathedral city of Salisbury which was at the centre of an international investigation into the Novichok poisonings earlier this year is, once again, in the spotlight. A forty five-year-old man was arrested on Thursday for trying to steal a copy of the Magna Carta from the cathedral. The eight hundred-year-old document is widely considered one of the most important documents in history. The man reportedly smashed the glass box which houses the document according to a Wiltshire police statement. It was not damaged and no one was injured during the incident, police added. The naughty culprit, who has not been named, was later extremely arrested for attempted theft and possession of 'an offensive weapon and criminal damage.' Police say he tried to steal the Magna Carta by smashing its glass casing with a hammer. The Magna Carta, or 'great charter,' was a peace agreement intended to stop an rebellion against King John in 1215, giving rise to an alternative to government by absolute power. It was the first document to put into writing that no man, including the king, was above the law. The edition held in Salisbury Cathedral is one of four remaining copies. It is handwritten in Latin on a single piece of calfskin. The other three surviving copies are held by the British Library and Lincoln Cathedral. In a statement, Salisbury Cathedral said that it was thankful 'to all who dealt with the situation so swiftly and effectively,' adding that their copy of the Magna Carta will not be available to visitors 'for the time being' but that it will be back on display 'as soon as possible.'
The Fresno Fire Department reported that a man who was house-sitting for his parents set the home on fire after he tried to used a blowtorch to kill spiders. Thankfully, firefighters say that no one was injured in the fire and the man who called them made it out safely. Fire crews said there was damage to the second-story of the home and the attic. Twenty-nine firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire and were able to extinguish it. The fate of the spiders is, at this time, unknown.
Leicester City fans have gathered at the club's ground after its owner's helicopter crashed and exploded outside the stadium. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was in the helicopter when it came down at about 8.30pm on Saturday, a alleged 'source'allegedly 'close to the family' told the BBC. One witness said that he saw Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel run out of the stadium towards the scene of the crash. It has not been confirmed how many other people were on the helicopter. But a report by Reuters claimed that four other people were on board along with Srivaddhanaprabha. Leicester had drawn one-one against West Hamsters United at the King Power Stadium, with the match finishing about an hour before the helicopter took off from the pitch. Witnesses said that they saw it clear the stadium before it spiralled out of control, with some describing seeing 'a fireball' as the helicopter crashed. The club said that it was 'assisting police and emergency services' and would issue a more detailed statement in due course. Under Srivaddhanaprabha's ownership, Leicester won the Premier League in 2016, having started the season as five thousand to one outsiders. Freelance photographer Ryan Brown, who was covering the game, saw the helicopter clear the King Power Stadium before it crashed. He told BBC Radio Leicester: 'The engine stopped and I turned round and it made a bit of a whirring noise, like a grinding noise. The helicopter just went silent, I turned round and it was just spinning, out of control. And then there was a big bang and then [a] big fireball.' Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett said that the helicopter took off from the pitch, as it does after every game. He added that after 'a few seconds' it 'appeared to lose control' and crashed a few hundred metres away. Andrew Brodie, the assistant chief fire officer at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said that the crash was 'clearly serious and tragic.' He tweeted early on Sunday that he had just left 'multiagency strategic meetings' at Leicestershire Police's HQ and asked for people not to speculate on the causes or people involved. Leicestershire Police said officers were working alongside the other emergency services, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and Leicester City FC to establish the circumstances of the collision.
Former England manager and Stottingtot Hotshots midfield maestro Glenn Hoddle remains in 'a serious condition' in hospital after suffering a heart attack on Saturday. Hoddle, who is said to be 'responding well to treatment,' collapsed after appearing on BT Sport on his sixty first birthday. The station's Saturday afternoon football results show was cancelled as a result. Hoddle earned fifty three England caps and was considered one of the best players of his generation. A spokesman for Hoddle said: 'The family are grateful to everyone in the football family - and beyond - that have sent kind messages of support. They are very much appreciated. In particular, Glenn and his family would like to publicly thank the BT Sport staff that treated him immediately on set following his collapse. Glenn is now in the care of the professional NHS medical services, who have also been exemplary in helping him and the family during the last twenty four hours. Doctors have advised the most important thing for Glenn is time to rest. Therefore, his family have reiterated the request for their privacy to be respected during this period.' As a player, Hoddle won the FA Cup and UEFA Cup with Spurs and also had spells with Monaco, Swindon Town and Moscow Chelski FC - the latter two as player manager. He began his managerial career at Swindon before taking over at Moscow Chelski FC, for whom he signed Netherlands great Ruud Gullit. From there he managed England for two-and-a-half years, taking them to the 1998 World Cup, but his reign ended in controversy when he admitted a 'serious error of judgement' after suggesting that disabled people were being 'made to pay' for the sins of past lives. He went on to manage Southampton, Spurs and Wolves, before embarking on a career as a TV pundit.
Joe Denly took four wickets in his first England match in eight years as the tourists beat Sri Lanka by thirty runs in the sole Twenty20 international. Denly opened the bowling and removed both Sri Lanka openers, Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis. Adil Rashid claimed three for eleven to stifle the hosts middleorder before Denly returned with two wickets in the final over as Sri Lanka were bowled out for one hundredand fifty seven off twenty overs. Jason Roy hit an eventful sixty nine off thirty six balls as England posted one hundred and eighty seven for eight. The England opener was dropped four times and ran out his captain, Eoin Morgan, but also hit six sixes in a brutal display of power and precision. The tourists reached one hundred and thirteen for four off eleven overs and two balls before rain caused the match to be delayed for an hour, but no overs were lost in Colombo. Sri Lanka did well to restrict their opponents at the death but never got on top in the chase, despite fifty seven off thirty one balls from captain Thisara Perera, with Denly returning the best figures by an England spinner in T20 history. England next face Sri Lanka in a three-Test series, starting in Galle on 6 November. Denly was not a bowling option when he last played for England in a T20 against Pakistan in February 2010 but has developed his leg-spin and now opens both the bowling and batting for Kent in domestic T20s. It was still surprising to see him given the new ball here but it proved a shrewd call by Morgan, with the thirty two-year-old finding drift and Kusal heaving across the line at a ball that did not turn to be bowled off the final ball of the first over. Dickwella then similarly played for spin that was not there and lost his off-stump as Sri Lanka fell to sixteen for two. Dinesh Chandimal (twenty six), Dhanajaya de Silva (seventeen) and Kamindu Mendis (twenty four) - who displayed his ability to bowl with both arms in England's innings but is primarily a batsman - tried to counter but all fell to the superb Rashid, who claimed career-best figures. Perera blasted six sixes but had little support from the other end as Liam Plunkett bowled Dasun Shanaka for ten and Chris Jordan removed Udana (two) and Amila Aponso for a duck. With the hosts needing an impossible thirty nine off the last over, Denly returned to mop up the remaining two wickets, having Perera caught in the deep by Roy and bowling Malinga off the last delivery of the match. England's innings was a thoroughly entertaining mix of boundaries and blunders, epitomised by Roy. His strike rate was 191.67 but he was dropped on twenty, thirty four, forty and fifty three - the last three coming in nine balls as substitute fielder Sadeera Samarawickrama and Shanaka spilled relatively simple catches at deep mid-wicket and long-off before Laskhan Sandakan shelled a much tougher chance running in from deep cover. Adding to the embarrassment for the hosts, a member of the ground staff standing jut beyond the boundary took a - genuinely - superb catch off a Roy six the ball after Sadeera's drop. Roy was also involved in two mix-ups, first finding himself stranded down the ground after Jos Buttler stayed home, only for the throw to hit Roy as he ran back, with the third umpire ruling that the England opener had not deliberately obstructed the field. Roy later set off for a run without calling a hesitant Morgan through and the - cearly unamused - England skipper was stranded and run out by Sandakan at the non-striker's end for eleven. There were also two poor umpiring decisions - Alex Hales given out LBW to a ball that would have spun past the stumps, while Ben Stokes was not out to one that would have hit - with Roy advising Hales not to review and Sri Lanka deciding against a review for Stokes. Roy finally fell nicking a wide delivery from Sandakan through to wicketkeeper Dickwella before unsuccessfully reviewing the decision. Stokes (twenty six) hit the last ball before the rain delay for six and Moeen Ali took up the onslaught after the resumption, clattering three sixes in quick succession before he missed one heaving across the line and was bowled for twenty seven off just eleven balls. Sri Lanka seamers Lasith Malinga and Isuru Udana limited England to thirty seven off the last five overs, the veteran Malinga bowling Stokes with a dipping slower ball full toss before having Denly caught for twenty.
And finally, dear blog reader, this ...
I think it's the fact that the writer of this outstanding piece of journalism - one Sue Warner whom, one presumes, has very proud parents - felt the need to open her second paragraph with the word 'unmarried' that makes it art.