Wednesday, October 03, 2018


Yer actual Jodie Whittaker's first episode of Doctor Who has received broadly positive reviews from critics ahead of its debut on BBC1 on Sunday. Jodie's own performance, those of her co-stars and the production values of The Woman Who Fell To Earth came in for particular praise. In his four-star review for the Sun, Rod McPhee said Jodie 'doesn't always strike the right balance between quirky geek and masterful Time Lord. And at times she comes across as irritatingly childlike. But the highest praise is that you quickly forget you're watching a female Doctor and just accept you're watching THE Doctor.' Writing in the i, Stephen Kelly complimented the show's production values. 'Never before has Doctor Who looked so crisp and cinematic, nor the CGI so convincing and expensive,' he wrote. 'As any fan that has ever tried to convert a sceptic knows, Doctor Who's relatively low budget can often prove a barrier. But not any more. This feels like the real deal.' 'As an episode of Doctor Who, The Woman Who Fell To Earth isn't perfect,' said Huw Fullerton in the Radio Times. 'A few of the jokes (mainly focused on Whittaker getting used to her new incarnation) and lines of dialogue fall a bit flat. And, on the whole, it's definitely a less witty and quotable version of Who than we might have seen during the years of former showrunner Steven Moffat.' 'Does this first episode get everything right, all of the time? No,' opined the Digital Spy website's Morgan Jeffrey. 'But it scores where it really counts, showing more than enough wit and flair to convince us that we're entering into a new era that'll be every bit as bold and, yes, brilliant as we'd hoped.' The Torygraph's Ben Lawrence said: '[Chris] Chibnall has cooled things down with some much-needed accessibility, but still something is missing. There is also a distinct lack of interest in the show's heritage. Although Whittaker's performance captured the essence of previous incarnations of her character, the overall effect of the show sometimes felt like a trip too far from the familiar.' Carol Midgley awarded the episode four stars in her review from The Times. 'The best compliment I can pay Whittaker after the first episode, her casting doesn't feel remotely radical. It feels normal,' she said. 'After ten minutes, you forget her sex was ever an issue. Whittaker brings energy, fizz and modernity to the role while looking baby-faced compared to her predecessor, Peter Capaldi, whom she describes in the show as a white-haired Scotsman.' Martin Belam in the Gruniad Morning Star said: 'The sheer number of new characters, alongside guest star Sharon D Clarke, necessarily means that the alien menace is more of a low-key device to bring the characters together and introduce them to us, than a world-ending threat. That's not to say that the creatures' appearance won't give children nightmares.' Empire suggested that The Woman Who Fell To Earth 'looks beautiful in the show's new widescreen format. Indeed, everything Jodie Whittaker and new showrunner Chris Chibnall have been promising us about the ramped-up, cinematic style of the new season turns out to be true. Those new lenses really do make a difference in giving the show a more textured, epic feel, matched by new composer Segun Akinola's atmospheric score.' 'It will have kids diving behind the sofa as fast as you can say "that's what I did in 1976"' added the Daily Mirra's Nicola Methven.
Appearing on last Friday night's episode of The Graham Norton Show, Jodie revealed what the people of her West Yorkshire village of Skelmanthorpe call one another. 'I'm allowed to say this now because this goes out past when kids have gone to bed?' she said. 'The name for me would be, "Oh are you a Shat lass?" And there's Shat taxi, Shat pizza, Shat everything! Skelmanthorpe is really long! I really don't remember the specifics, but this is the vague story,' she admitted. 'I think, in the olden days, there was a quarry. The local trade was people smashing slate. So, they were shatterers! If you were from the village, and you worked there, you were a shatterer. Now, however many years later, you're from Shat!'
As well as revealing her surprising reaction to finding out that she had got the job, Jodie also told Graham that she finds the conversation about the Doctor's gender, quite frankly, 'ridiculous.' Jodie admitted she feels 'joy, fear and responsibility to the fans' to make her Doctor's era a magical one. She was not so generous when it comes to critics of her gender, though. 'It is ridiculous that it is such a big deal in 2018,' she noted. 'But, it is an exciting moment and I can always say I was the first!'
On the same subject, speaking on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday, Jodie added: 'In arguing about whether I'm qualified or not, that's a redundant question for me. It's an alien with two hearts so no, I'm not qualified. The Doctor is a character and in such a strange way it's got so much attention, but my gender plays less of a role characterisation in this than any other role, like a mother to a son who's been murdered on a beach [in Broadchurch]. I'm not walking around going, "I'm a girl, I'm a girl," I don't think about it like that. My gender didn't play a role in that and in this, I am playing The Doctor. My energy is different. Peter [Capaldi's] was different to Matt [Smith's], Matt's was different to David [Tennant's], David's was different to Chris [Eccleston's]. The point is we all bring something to it and it should be different. Otherwise why else have a role that is regenerated?'
The BBC have released the first full clip from the upcoming series of Doctor Who ... four months after the same clip was illegally - albeit briefly - leaked online by some naughty individual indulging in nefarious skulduggery. Meanwhile, this week's Radio Times features Jodie. It's her second cover as The Doctor, Jodie also featured on the 21 July edition. In the issue, Jodie talks about how nervous she was about playing one of the most intelligent characters on TV and her hopes that the debate on casting women in traditionally male roles will soon be redundant. 'I truly hope that in a couple of years casting a woman in a traditionally male role won't be so exciting - because when it's not celebrated, it will mean it's no longer unusual to have this sort of parity. I'm always asked, "Do you think James Bond should now be a woman?" But that's not the conversation. It's really, "Should every point of view be the same?" And the answer is no. Stories shouldn't always be told from the same perspective. It's a mistake to think that the only heroes are white men.' Jodie also revealed that the - really dull and tedious - rock and/or roll band Coldplay helped inspire her costume. We must, therefore, assume that if it's based on anything worn by That Bloody Chris Martin, then it's most likely made, as indeed is Martin himself, entirely of hummus.
From The North's award for the most shitty click-bait headline of the week goes to the Daily Scum Express for Spare us the "psycho lesbian" cliche stories say feminists in a story related to Killing Eve. Based, seemingly, on one Twitter whinge by someone of no consequence whom the article doesn't even name. 'But the "psycho lesbian" plotline of last night's episode of the BBC show, which saw killer Villanelle in a passionate clinch with a woman, was a step too far for some viewers,' alleged the Scum Express. They also quote 'journalist and feminist campaigner' Julie Bindel who 'said it was an example of lesbian characters depicted as "coldblooded killers, weirdos ... and oversexed maniacs." But, she added: "Full disclosure: I love the BBC drama Killing Eve."' Sometimes, dear blog reader, aren't you beyond glad that you live in a world where the Daily Scum Express exists? For a slightly less agenda-soaked click-bait bollocks review of the third episode, dear blog reader, check out this very good piece by Steve Charnock on the the Dead Good website.
Bodyguard, of course, ended on a massive twist last weekend when it was revealed that the seemingly innocent Nadia (superbly played by Anjli Mohindra) was actually in on the plot to murder the Home Secretary all along. The reveal at the end of episode six took many viewers - this blogger very much among 'em - by surprise, as Nadia proudly confessed to creating the bomb which killed extremely Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes) whilst in cahoots with crime boss Luke Aitkens and corrupt senior police officer Lorraine Craddock. While there may be some scope to explore her character more in a potential second series, Mohindra has admitted that she probably won't be back. 'I would return if I was asked, but I don't feel Nadia has any more of a journey to explore,' she told the Radio Times. 'If I was asked I would hope there would be an exploration of how Nadia came to be so intent on her very heartless mission - what happened to her to become who she is.' Whilst she may not be back in Bodyguard, Mohindra admitted that she would 'love' to get herself involved in creator Jed Mercurio's other hit series, Line Of Duty. 'I would consider it, actually,' she said. 'I'm a huge fan of Line Of Duty, ever since I saw the first episode in 2012. I would very much like the opportunity, if it came about. I think Jed has expressed interest in a potential collaboration of that sort. I think a real solid opportunity is yet to come. Fingers crossed.'
With a Bodyguard-shaped void in BBC1's Sunday night schedules, The Cry had rather big shoes to fill. Yer actual Jenna Coleman stars in the 'chilling, plot-twisting drama' about a new mother, whose world collapses after the disappearance of her baby. Repeating the success of the Jed Mercurio drama which got the nation all discombobulated was always going to be a tall order, but with an overnight audience of 5.7 million for its opening episode, The Cry hasn't fallen too far short of Bodyguard's 6.7 million figure for its first episode. So what did the critics make of the BBC's latest offering? Many praised the drama for its unflinching, unromanticised look at new motherhood. The Gruniad Morning Star's Lucy Mangan, giving the drama four stars, wrote: 'All the post-partum pain points are hit: the claustrophobic desperation caused by a screaming baby; the supportive partner who nevertheless manages to sleep through all of the worst bits; the best but child-free friend with whom you suddenly have nothing in common ... it's all beautifully, brutally done.' Carol Midgley, writing in The Times, also gave the thriller four stars and called it 'a very stressful watch - but Jenna Coleman is superb and this drama is exquisitely done. Subtle, nuanced, a psychological thriller that built suspense while tapping in to the worst parental nightmare.' The programme skilfully casts suspicion on to all of its main characters - the new mum suffering from postnatal depression, Joanna (Coleman), with her mid-flight outburst and mysterious medicinal tonics; father Alistair (Ewen Leslie) - a smug and patronising, earplug-wearing government spin doctor, who likes to 'get away' with things; the resentful and embattled ex, Alexandra (Asher Keddie), fighting her own demons with alcoholism and a pricey custody battle - and then there's Alistair and Alexandra's teenage daughter, Chloe, who doesn't want to live in Scotland and has been hitting her teachers. As Mangan wrote, 'the first of many seeds of ambiguity [are] sown.' Following the disappearance of baby Noah, Midgley says that future episodes hold the promise of taking the plot into the interesting territory of the media circus, surrounding the parents of missing children: 'There were terrible echoes of Madeleine McCann's disappearance: the laser-like judgement of the agonised parents, the scrutiny of Kate McCann's face and mothering skills.' Louisa Mellor at the Den of Geek website, wrote that the child-abduction aspect of the thriller 'doesn't feel like the main point. Moreover, it's an exploration of taboos that questions the expectations placed on new mothers, a challenge to inequalities in the division of childcare that so often pass unchallenged, and a prompt to think about the many ways in which women are forced to stand trial without even coming near a courthouse.' Some critics, however, were less keen on the show's timeline - riddled with more flash-forwards and flashbacks than Coleman likely encountered in her Doctor Who days. Eleanor Bley Griffiths, writing in the Radio Times, called it 'infuriatingly disjointed. It jolts you out of the drama and makes it really hard to connect with the characters, because every time we are finally getting into a scene we are suddenly taken on a trip across time and space.' Similarly some people that you've never heard of on Twitter whinged about the 'fragmented nature' of the drama. Albeit, nobody actually gives a shit about what anyone on Twitter thinks. About anything. The Independent's Alexandra Pollard also gave four stars to the three-parter, and wrote: 'The abduction - told through a flashback/forward structure that is sometimes effective, sometimes confusing - is compelling enough fare.' But the standout for her is Coleman's performance: 'She is brilliant as a woman quietly unravelling, disassociating, begging her bawling baby to 'please stop, please stop'. It is thanks to her that The Cry is such bruising, engaging viewing.'
BBC drama has been on a strong run recently with Bodyguard and Killing Eve keeping millions gripped, but there's another exciting series on the way. The Little Drummer Girl comes to BBC1 next month as the latest adaptation of a John Le Carré novel. It will also be shown on AMC in the US. Starring Florence Pugh and Alexander Skarsgård, it tells the story of 'an eccentric English actor who converts into an Israeli spy.' Skarsgård has revealed more detail via a new interview with the Torygraph, in which he expands on his character - a Mossad agent called Becker who becomes romantically entangled with Charlie (Pugh). 'That sense of duty and guilt at the same time, that dichotomy created an inner conflict that I found really interesting,' he said. Wanting to do something but feeling helpless was core to finding out who he was.' Skarsgård's father, Stellan, once appeared in another Le Carré adaptation, 2016's My Kind Of Traitor and that shared experience helped him become 'familiar with this cinematic universe.' According to Skarsgård, the 'best experience of the whole project' was shooting a scene at Ancient Greek temple the Acropolis - you know, where the Parthenon is - by night. 'It was just extraordinary,' he said. 'You could tell that for everyone this would be one of the most memorable nights of their life.' Viewers were given their first look at the upcoming BBC drama in July with the Park Chan-Wook-directed thriller also starring Michael Moshonov, Charif Ghattas, Amir Khoury, Katharina Schüttler, Simona Brown and Max Irons.
From The North's regular award for the TV Comedy Line Of The Week, as usual, goes to this blogger's beloved Qi. Sandi Toksvig revealed that in France after pregnant women have given birth the government subsidises rééducation périnéale, which is perineal re-education, physiotherapy that is designed to help strengthen the new mother's pelvic floor. Part of the course, Sandi continued, involved using what is described as an 'electronic vaginal re-educator' ... which can be 'hooked up' to video games, as the journalist Claire Lundberg explained in her 2012 Slate essay, The French Government Wants To Tone My Vagina. 'I don't think that's a game I want to play in front of my mother,' Sandi added before she and From The North favourite Sara Pascoe began a discussion on what sort of video games would be appropriate in such circumstances. Whilst all this was going on you could, literally, see Alan Davies's mind working overtime as he searched for a suitable pun. And, then, with a triumphant smirk, he found one. 'Womb Raider!' Brilliant!
Darcey Bussell suffered 'a little bit of a wardrobe malfunction' on Saturday's Strictly Come Dancing after the judge accidentally flashed her knickers to the Great British public as she sashayed to her seat. And, the Internet promptly melted under a torrent of sniggering, feigned outrage and shock and, you know, hot, sticky cum. And, let us once again dear blog reader, simply stand up and salute the utter horseshit that some people chose to care about.
That There Bradley Walsh is not averse to getting the giggles on The Chase and one of the Chasers was caught up in a hilarious answer on one of this week's episode. Brad asked the - seemingly innocuous - question: 'Which of these is not a genuine species of starfish?' However, the eventual right answer 'chocolate starfish' immediately sent him into a fit of giggles. Oh, God, it was Fanny Chmelar all over again! Bradley, not for the first time on the popular ITV team time quiz, could barely contain himself and even the sour-faced Governess struggled to keep a straight face. 'Funnily enough it's the only starfish I've heard of,' the contestant then added. Which didn't help matters.
Bradley has been pretty busy of late, what with his new role as one of The Doctor's companions on the new series of Doctor Who. He admitted this week that he's had to do 'quite a lot of juggling' to balance his commitments to the popular long-running BBC family SF drama and The Chase. 'My producers [on Doctor Who] and my producers [on The Chase], they plate-spin between the two of them,' he said. 'That's an ongoing contract I have with ITV so I have to take care of that. Everyone here at the Beeb, especially Matt [Strevens] and his team, has been unbelievably accommodating.'
Bradley also told the Digital Spy website that he was banned from taking a photo of the TARDIS. 'I was absolutely thrilled,' he explained. 'They said, "We're going into the TARDIS," so I said, "Oh right, I've got to get me camera out!" "You can't take any photos!" It was a completely closed shop.'
Neil Gaiman has signed an exclusive deal to produce TV projects for Amazon Studios. Having developed and overseen the upcoming Good Omens series with Amazon and the BBC - which is based on Gaiman's collaborative novel with the late Sir Terry Pratchett - the author looks to have settled in nicely with the streaming service. 'What decided me was how much I enjoyed working with the Amazon team on Good Omens,' the writer explained of the new deal. 'They are smart, gloriously enthusiastic people, who weren't afraid of Good Omens being different but who were as determined as I was to make something as unique and exciting as it is. I'm thrilled to know that I'll have a home at Amazon in the future where I can make television that nobody's seen before, that's quite unlike Good Omens, but just as unusual and just as much fun.' The head of Amazon Studios, Jennifer Salke, said: 'Neil Gaiman is a phenomenally talented writer, who creates worlds that are compelling, multi-dimensional and narratively unique. His fans are ardent, vocal and passionate and we are fortunate to bring his gifted vision to the Prime Video audience.'
Meanwhile, the troubled second series of the Neil Gaiman adaptation American Gods recently lost its showrunner. Again. The first series Amazon's adaptation of Gaiman's popular novel received positive audience and critical reactions, including from this blog which placed it in the From The North's top three favourite shows of 2017. Off the back of a successful first series, showrunner and head writer Bryan Fuller and Michael Green appeared excited to build on that initial acclaim. Then, completely unexpectedly, they quit the project. And, since then, the journey to series two has seen the production lurching like a drunken uncle at a wedding from one embarrassing crisis to another. While it has never been officially confirmed, the widespread rumour within the industry is that Fuller and Green left the production due to a conflict over the budget - they wanted to add to the ten million smackers per episode cost of the show's opening eight episodes, Starz, it seems, very much did not. Following Fuller's departure, From The North favourite Gillian Anderson (who played Media, and was one of the best reasons for watching the show) announced that she was also leaving American Gods, connecting her departure to those of Fuller and Green in her statement. Starz then announced former Lost writer Jesse Alexander would work alongside Gaiman to run series two of American Gods. However, earlier this month Alexander was gone, too. FremantleMedia, Starz and the writer himself claim that he wasn't, technically, fired as such but that he had 'stepped down from the writing process,' with producing director Chris Byrne and line producer Lisa Kussner overseeing what have been described as 'extensive' reshoots as filming lags weeks behind schedule. When we'll actually get to see whatever is ultimately produced is another matter entirely.
Another From The North favourite, Star Trek: Discovery's second series finally has a confirmed launch date. Well, a confirmed launch month, anyway. A new poster states that it will began in January 2019.
And, speaking of returns, it has been confirmed this week that one - long-missing - character will be returning in the forthcoming final series of Game Of Thrones.
The very excellent Paul Anderson has shared a series of behind-the-scenes images during the filming of the next series of yet another From The North fave, yer actual Peaky Blinders. The images, originally posted to Paul's Snapchat page, show Paul dressed up in his character's costume, posing for the camera in a mirror. Tasty.
After a highly competitive final, Z-List Celebrity MasterChef crowned its winner of 2018 this week. Made In Chelsea-type person Spencer Matthews (no, me neither), former rugby player Martin Bayfield and ex-EastEnders actor John Partridge were the last three contestants with Partridge emerging victorious in what was, by a distance, the most z-list of Z-List Celebrity MasterChef
Losing ones job is never very nice, dear blog reader, but finding out the news via Twitter seems like a deliciously Twenty First Century way for it to happen. Just ask Steve McNeill, the co-creator of Dara O Briain's Go Eight-Bit, the video game-based panel show which used to be broadcast on UKTV channel Dave. On Thursday, the Dave Twitter account confirmed that the show had been extremely cancelled after three series in response to a fan's question. News of the cancellation was then retweeted by McNeill, who added: 'If you're wondering what telly's like, this tweet just now is how I found out Go Eight-Bit's definitely finished. Lovely stuff. Thanks to all u [sic] guys that watched.' And, if that does turn up as a question on the next series of Mock The Week for Dara and his mates to have a ruddy good mock at, they're really not trying hard enough.
The BBC's long-running antiques programme Flog It! has been cancelled after seventeen years. It is being removed as part of a shake-up to 'modernise' BBC1's daytime schedule, the corporation said, making room for six new shows. The programme, presented by Paul Martin, saw people have their antique items valued by experts before getting the option to sell them at auction. Episodes that have already been recorded will be shown next year. The series has been a regular on the channel since 2002, with more than one thousand episodes having been broadcast. A BBC spokeswoman said: 'We'd like to thank BBC Studios and host Paul Martin, who we will be working with on other programmes.'
An extremely distant dwarf planet, named The Goblin, has been discovered in observations that are redefining the outer reaches of the solar system. Astronomers made the discovery while hunting for a hypothetical massive planet, known as 'Planet Nine', which is suspected to be in orbit far beyond Pluto in a region of the solar system known as The Oort Cloud. Planet Nine has not yet been found, but The Goblin appears to be under the gravitational influence of a giant - unseen - object, adding to astronomers' certainty that it is out there somewhere on the way to Mondas, the Tenth Planet. The newly discovered icy world, estimated to be just three hundred kilometres across, is in an extremely elongated orbit. At its closest, it gets about two-and-a-half times as far from the sun as Pluto. Then it heads off to the outermost fringes of the solar system, to almost sixty times further out than Pluto, taking an astounding forty thousand years to loop once around the sun. For ninety nine per cent of its orbit, it would be too faint to see. The object is the third minor planet to have been found in the outer solar system, following the discoveries of Sedna and, recently, an object currently called 2012 VP113. And this region, which once appeared to be cold, dark and empty now appears to be a rich collection of exotic and extreme objects. 'We are only just now uncovering what the very outer solar system might look like and what might be out there,' said Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC and a member of the team. 'We believe there are thousands of dwarf planets in the distant solar system. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg right now.' Intriguingly the orbits of the three objects discovered so far appear to be clustered together, suggesting that they are being shepherded by a giant object. This has pointed astronomers to the existence of a ninth, super-Earth sized planet. Konstantin Batygin, assistant professor of planetary science at Caltech, who has worked on theoretical simulations of the hypothetical Planet Nine, described the latest observations as 'a great discovery indeed. Despite centuries of surveys, our understanding of the solar system remains incomplete,' he said. 'This certainly adds to the growing ledger of objects that show Planet Nine's influence.' The new dwarf planet's formal name, assigned by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre, is 2015 TG387. But, it soon acquired its more memorable nickname because 'human examination of the candidate slow-moving objects occurred in roughly the Halloween time frame,' explained David Tholen, of the University of Hawaii and a member of the observing team. The discovery was made using the Japanese Subaru eight-metre telescope located on the dormant Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. The telescope is the only one in the world to be able to produce deep images capable of probing the outer reaches of the solar system, while also having a wide enough field of view to be able to image enough sky to discover rare objects. 'With other large telescopes, it is like looking through a straw and thus they are good for observing things you know are there, but not for finding new things as their field of views are too small for covering large areas of sky,' said Sheppard. The team will begin a new run of observations in November, with the hope of finding more objects, possibly including the elusive Planet Nine.
A woman believed to be a reporter for Chinese state media is being held by police after allegedly slapping a delegate in the mush, geet hard, during a Hong Kong fringe event at the Conservative party's annual conference. Enoch Lieu claimed that the woman 'assaulted' him after he asked her to leave the event, entitled The Erosion Of Freedom, The Rule Of Law & Autonomy In Hong Kong, at the Birmingham International Convention Centre, on Sunday. He said that Fiona Bruce MP (no, the other one), who was chairing the event, asked the woman to leave because she shouted at one of the speakers, Benedict Rogers, founder of Hong Kong Watch, accusing him of 'trying to break up China.' 'I approached her and tried to tell her she had made her point and she was no longer welcome,' Lieu wrote on Twitter. 'The reporter continued her shouting and whilst I was trying to escort her out, she accused me of trying to silence her. Then I said: "No miss, you have to go." All of a sudden, she slapped me in my face. The audience was shocked and some brave men and women came and tried to escort her out. During the struggle, she continued her shouting and refused to leave, then out of the blue again, slapped me again.' Video footage posted on the Hong Kong Free Press website - and subsequently on the Gruniad Morning Star site - appeared to show part of the incident. Lieu can be seen telling a visibly angry woman: 'You are in the Conservative party conference, please go.' She responds by appearing to throw a slap, although the video does not show whether it landed or not. As others restrain her and try to usher her away, she tells Lieu: 'You have no right, you have no democratic [sic] in the UK, I'm a journalist here, I have [a] right to protest.' Lieu said that he had confirmed, later, the woman worked for the Chinese government-owned CCTV. A spokeswoman for West Midlands police said on Monday: 'Police were called to hall eleven at the ICC yesterday after reports a disturbance had broken out during a talk on Hong Kong. A forty eight-year-old woman from King's Cross, London, was arrested on suspicion of common assault. She remains in police custody.' She added that the woman had identified herself as working with a TV company. A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in London said the journalist 'deserved an apology.' He said: 'In a country that boasts freedom of speech, it is puzzling that the Chinese journalist should encounter obstruction in such a way and even assault at the fringe event when she simply raised a question and expressed her opinions. This is completely unacceptable. The human rights committee of the UK Conservative party should stop interfering in China's internal affairs and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs. The organiser of fringe event should apologise to the Chinese journalist.' Others speaking at the event included Martin Lee, founder of the Democratic party of Hong Kong, Benny Tai, legal scholar and democracy activist and Nathan Law, Hong Kong's youngest elected legislator and a leader in the Umbrella movement.
An eighty three-year old woman was extremely arrested this week and accused of training dozens of cats to steal jewellery and other valuables from her neighbours. The Columbus Police Department opened an investigation on Ruth Gregson and her sixty five cats in October after several neighbours reported small objects being stolen from their homes. Several victims reported being visited by Gregson's cats before noticing the disappearance of several shiny objects, like valuable cutlery and pieces of jewellery. Despite their scepticism - that cats can be trained to do pretty much anything - investigators began a surveillance operation and were amazed by what they discovered. According to Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs, dozens of cats were 'constantly coming and going,' bringing home 'anything that shined.' Upon searching Gregson's house, investigators found six hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of jewellery and precious metal among piles of worthless shiny baubles. A total of sixty five adult cats and seventeen kittens were found on the site and entrusted to the Columbus Humane Society. Chief Jacobs said that the elderly woman confessed to training her cats to steal, saying the felines had to 'earn their meals.'
A man from the small town of Gould, just North of the Rocky Mountain National Park, claims he was 'held captive and repeatedly raped' by a male grizzly bear. According to forty seven-year Boris Madison, he was hiking alone in the woods near his residence when he was savagely attacked by a nine hundred pound brown bear. 'It came out of nowhere and started running towards me. I tried to flee but it caught me and started beating me with its front paws,' he said. Madison added that he feared for his life, but the animal suddenly stopped hitting him and picked him up in its jaws. The bear carried him in a nearby cave and began his sexual assaults on the man. 'When he dropped me in the cave, I thought I was going to be devoured. But instead, it but pinned me face down with one of its paws and started scrubbing its genitals all over me.' Madison claims that he was held captive in the cave for sixteen days and that the animal sexually assaulted him 'at least three times a day.' He was finally able to get away when the sounds of gunshots from nearby hunters scared the animal away, allowing the man to flee from his cave prison. Madison was covered with lacerations and suffered from severe dehydration when he made it back to town and was rapidly transported to the hospital. Madison says that he feels lucky to be alive, even if the memories of his ordeal will 'haunt' him for the rest of his life. Grizzly bear attacks are rare across North America, even if an average of two people are killed every year in such incidents. Most attacks result from a bear being surprised at a very close range, especially if in the case of female grizzlies protecting their offspring. This is only the second reported case of a bear sexual assaulting a human. The first incident was reported in Montana in 2009 when two teenagers claimed they were assaulted in a similar manner by a young male grizzly bear. The animal was then hunted down and very killed by Montana Wildlife agents.
Doctors had to use a laser to remove electrical wire that has knotted in an eighteen-year-old's bladder after he shoved it up his urethra, allegedly 'to arouse himself.' A report in - of course - the Scum Mail Online claimed that the unnamed teenager, from Uttar Pradesh in India, was 'in pain and struggled to urinate' - but did not confess to urologists the reason behind his agony was, quite literally, self-inflicted. However, medics delved into his medical history and found out that this was not the first time he had put 'strange objects' up his penis, the case report revealed. They assumed he had placed another object into his urethra and conducted scans, which showed an electrical wire tangled in his bladder. Urologists were forced to use a laser to break the wire into smaller pieces to pull out. The tale, revealed in a prestigious medical journal, did not explain what other objects the man had previously placed up his dong in the past. Writing in the BMJ Case Reports, medics in Lucknow said the man used the wire for 'eroticism' – for his sexual desire. They added that the surgery was managed by endoscopic removal following fragmentation of wire under local anaesthesia using holmium laser. The teenager 'sought medical help' after he found it painful to urinate and had 'pain in his bladder region.' Upon questioning, it was revealed that the pain had started after he placed the electric wire in his urethra 'for sexual gratification.' X-rays conducted by the team at King George's Medical University showed a coiled electric wire in his bladder. It is thought the wire reached his bladder because of the contractions whenever he tried to urinate, curling it up and pushing it deeper. Speaking to media, Doctor Ajay Aggarwal, claimed the boy had 'no psychiatric illness' as an evaluation proved 'unremarkable.' The operation proved to be a success and the teenager was discharged twenty four hours after the procedure. To do the walk of shame all the way home, no doubt.
After allegedly burglarising a fraternity house, a twenty five-year-old woman was, reportedly, 'caught with her pants down' by a house member. The woman, identified as Melissa Lenz by KFOR-News, allegedly entered the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at Oklahoma City University on Sunday through the front door, which was unlocked. She then went into a room, where she stole hundreds of dollars in cash and a set of car keys, according to the report. During that time, Lenz also reportedly defecated in the middle of the same room, KFOR-News reported, citing court documents. Jennifer Rodgers, the Oklahoma City University police chief, told the news station that a fraternity member, who has not yet been identified, walked in on Lenz while she was in the process of taking a dump. At that time, Lenz 'screamed and pulled up her pants' before slamming the door, KFOR-News reported. Shortly after, when police arrived, they allegedly found 'a plastic bag that smelled of faecal matter,' according to the news station. Though Lenz allegedly escaped the house through an open window before police arrived, she was later located and arrested.
A Bellefontaine woman is facing charges after she allegedly allowed a teen to give her ten-year-old son a tattoo. Nikki J Dickinson was extremely charged with first-degree misdemeanour child endangering and 'contributing to the delinquency of a minor.' Officers say that Dickinson told them she 'got tired' of her son asking, so she allowed him to get the tattoo. Court documents said that Dickinson endangered her son by allowing the tattoo to happen in unsafe, unsanitary conditions. The sixteen-year-old reportedly 'frequently' gives tattoos at home according to a witness and investigators say it is believed the teen gave a tattoo to another individual that turned into a MRSA infection. The sixteen-year-old was charged with two delinquency counts of tattooing prohibitions: performing tattooing 'in a manner that doesn't meet safety and sanitation standards' and tattooing in a manner 'that does not meet sterilisation and disinfection standards.'
A Delaware man reportedly got out a vehicle, stripped naked and attempted to jump through the window of a Lancaster-area diner on Sunday, according to state police. Tremayne Michael Lofland, of Milford, was at the Aunt Jennie Diner. After getting naked, Lofland is reported to have tried to jump through a large glass window of the diner. Lofland was 'under the influence of an unknown substance' at the time of the incident, police said. No shit? He was subsequently charged with 'open lewdness, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness,' police said.
A Colorado man whom authorities accused of killing his pregnant wife and two children is reportedly 'upset' by the widespread coverage his case is receiving. 'He is very frustrated. He didn't know that everyone knows about the case,' an alleged 'source' who allegedly 'speaks with' Chris Watts from Weld County Jail allegedly told People magazine. Watts was very arrested on 15 August and extremely charged with the murders of his wife, Shanann and their daughters Bella and Celeste. For more than a month, Watts has been spending twenty three hours a day in his cell under suicide watch, with no TV or reading material. Once a day, he is allowed to go to a common room, where he has access to a communal newspaper. It was only recently that he has learned his case has been covered nationally, the alleged 'source' allegedly told the magazine. 'He feels like no one understands him and nobody knows what happened,' the alleged 'source' allegedly said. 'He thinks if they did understand, they'd realise that he's not the monster everyone says he is.' Watts claimed that his wife 'went berserk' when he told her he wanted to separate and that she is the one who murdered their daughters. His arrest affidavit shows that he confessed to strangling Shanann, who was fifteen weeks pregnant - but he claims it was after he watched her kill Celeste. 'The gravity of the situation has hit him like a ton of bricks,' the alleged 'source' allegedly said. 'Depression is setting in and he's despondent.'
Police reportedly arrested a man at Dublin airport on Thursday morning for breaking onto the tarmac and 'trying to chase down a plane' after missing his flight according to RTE, Ireland's public service broadcaster. The man, in his twenties and a woman had missed a Ryanair flight to Amsterdam. As the couple spoke with airline staff at the gate, the man broke through the door and ran onto the tarmac, the Press Association reported. He then tried to 'flag down' the plane as it taxied away from the gate, but was held back by staff. The man was taken to a nearby police station for questioning.
You know, dear blog reader, when you are engaged in some activity and someone says to you 'careful with that, you could have someone's eye out?' and you reply 'don't be so ridiculous ...' Well, have a care, because it does happen. A spectator has lost her sight in one eye after a golf ball hit her eye and caused it to 'explode' during The Ryder Cup. Corine Remande was watching American golfer Brooks Koepka tee-off last Friday on the par-four sixth hole when his shot veered off course and hit her in the face. The spectator recalled to the AFP news agency: 'It happened so fast, I didn't feel any pain when I was hit. I didn't feel like the ball had struck my eye and then I felt the blood start to pour. The scan on Friday confirmed a fracture of the right eye-socket and an explosion of the eyeball.' Remande's husband said: 'In the best case, she was told that she could see forms when the oedema [fluid] will be resorbed within a month.' She claimed that there was no warning beforehand and that the competition's organisers did not attempt to contact her after the incident to check on her condition. Koepka went over to Remande after the ball struck to check on her but, she said, she told him 'not to worry' so as to not distract him from the game. 'It looked like it hurt,' he said. 'It's hard to control a golf ball, especially for three hundred yards and a lot of times the fans are close to the fairway. You can yell "fore" but it doesn't matter from three hundred yards, you can't hear it.' The couple are now considering legal action, though this is to help cover medical costs and the European Tour PGA said that it would 'investigate' the incident. Europe's winning Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn said: 'It's terrible, it's a freak accident that's happened, and all our thoughts are with her.' There are an average of over twelve thousand golf-related injuries which require hospital treatment each year in the UK alone, according to specialist insurance company Golf Care.
An investigation is underway after a man reportedly died in what appears to be a freak accident in Missouri on Wednesday night. Charles Wood Junior was at a St Louis Jack In The Box drive-thru, when he stopped at an angle and was trying to get his food from the window. According to police, it appeared he opened his door and was leaning out of the car to reach the food since he was too far away from the window. He placed his car in reverse and accelerated, which caused his car to go backward and strike a tree – which pinned him between the car and tree. The impact from the accident caused serious injuries to Wood's head, neck, torso and legs. And, that was the end of his shit.
A team of alleged burglars crashed a stolen minivan through the glass front entrance of the Native Roots marijuana dispensary, stole containers from inside the store and then crashed into an oncoming police vehicle during their escape early on Wednesday morning according to reports. But, for all their trouble, the thieves didn't get enough marijuana for a single joint, according to Native Roots' spokeswoman Kim Casey. All the Mary Jane was locked up and the thieves couldn't get any of the product, Casey said. The boxes they took were actually filled with T-shirts and oregano, she added. And, if you smoke that, all you get is spicy.
She has hardly built herself a reputation as the nation's favourite Royal. Now Princess Michael of Kent is likely to see her popularity rating fall even further thanks to comments attributed to her in a new book. The princess allegedly described England as 'the most stupid nation in Europe.' She allegedly made the alleged remark in an alleged conversation with the late society gossip James Lees-Milne, it was reported. Albeit, by the Daily Scum Mail, so it's probably lies. 'The fifty eight-year-old, nicknamed Princess Pushy, also told the diarist she dislikes other members of her family,' the Scum Mail claims. 'In his diaries, published next month, he writes: "She has a poor opinion of the English, calling them the stupidest nation in Europe. She particularly dislikes their false modesty, which she finds hypocritical."'
A Tennessee man pulled over during a traffic stop was found 'sitting on some funny money,' police said. Robert Mitchell, was stopped by police on Monday in Nashville, where he was allegedly speeding and, initially, refused to slow down, WSMV reports. After eventually surrendering to police, Mitchell then refused to get out of his car and tried to put the vehicle into drive. A subsequent search of Mitchell's car revealed a small amount of marijuana and a Viagra pill, police said. Officer also found five fake one hundred dollar bills 'concealed between his butt cheeks,' according to a police report obtained by WKRN. Mitchell, of Nashville, was taken into custody in Davidson County Jail, where he was held in connection with several charges, including unlawful possession of a controlled substance, drug possession without a prescription, criminal simulation and driving with a revoked license.
Authorities said that a Florida woman was arrested after allegedly hitting her husband with a vacuum cleaner part, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Holly Jane Akers, of Holiday, is accused of one count of felony battery on a person sixty five or older, according to Pasco County deputies. Akers was arrested on Tuesday morning; her husband, Charles Plagens, said that his wife attacked him with the vacuum cleaner, the Times reported. According to the arrest affidavit, Plagens claimed that he began arguing with Akers when she started cleaning their house around 3am on Tuesday. Plagens said that he 'moved from room to room' in an attempt to sleep, but that Akers followed him through the house with the vacuum cleaner. Plagens added that Akers struck him on the bridge of the nose with a vacuum cleaner attachment, causing a minor abrasion, the newspaper reported.
A farmer was allegedly attacked and killed by a pig in a market in southwest China, according to local media reports. The man, identified only by his surname Yuan, was found dead with a severed artery, covered in blood near a sty at the market in Liupanshui in Guizhou province, the South China Morning Post reported. It is claimed he had travelled with his cousin from the neighbouring Yunnan province on Wednesday to sell fifteen pigs at the market. The following morning, his cousin found him extremely dead and discovered a door to a neighbouring pig sty open. The cousin said that in the sty was 'a large male pig with blood on its mouth.' A forensic examination confirmed that the five hundred and fifty pound hog had mauled the farmer to a grizzly death, according to the report. 'My cousin's legs were bloody and mangled,' the cousin, referred to by his surname Wu, told the Guiyang Evening News.
A Texas woman, Londy Jo Vick was reportedly arrested on Saturday afternoon for Indecency with a Child-F3 and Public intoxication-Class C. Odessa police were called in reference to an indecent of alleged indecent exposure when they were advised that a woman wearing a blue tank top shirt had pulled her pants down and exposed herself to several children. Witness stated that Vick exposed her private parts to children by pulling down her shorts whilst 'yelling profanities' and 'pushing her hips forward.' Witnesses also stated that seven children saw Vick's naughty nakedness. Vick then, reportedly, began walking away when police located her. Police stated that, whilst speaking with Vick, they could smell a strong odour of alcohol coming from her person and that her speech was slurred and low.
Police say that intoxication was 'likely a factor' in the case of a woman jailed on Monday after reportedly striking her boyfriend, a car and items in a Waco motel room with a baseball bat. KWTX-TV reported that Kelly Littlejohn was arrested on Monday evening at a Motel in Waco. Officers claimed that Littlejohn hit her boyfriend with an aluminium baseball bat which she then, allegedly, turned on the door of their room, items inside the room and the windows of her car. Upon arriving at the motel, police found Littlejohn barricaded in a bathroom and refusing to come out. Police were later able to remove her from the room. Littlejohn is charged with criminal mischief and assault with a deadly weapon.
A man allegedly nicknamed 'the Romeo of Rimini' because he slept with so many women has died while having intercourse with a twenty three-year-old tourist. Maurizio Zanfanti, Italy's most famous playboy, was sixty three when he died according to Metro. He is said to have slept with more than six thousand women, previously boasting that in a successful summer he could sleep with around two hundred women. His highest tally, he said, was two hundred and seven. He started out as a nightclub promoter in Rimini in the 1970s when he was seventeen. Working for a nightclub called Blow Up, he would chat to women on the street to try and get them to come into the venue. In a 2016 interview he said: 'I think I've done more tourism promotion for Rimini than a hundred agencies.' During the winter months he worked for tourist agencies in Scandinavia and he was so well-known that a wax statue of him was put up in a Swedish town. However, on Tuesday night he had a fatal heart attack while having The Sex with a woman from Eastern Europe on his estate in the Pradella area of Rimini. She called emergency services but paramedics were unable to revive him and he was declared dead. Italian media has said it was 'the way he would have wanted to go.'
A woman in Florida reportedly told a police officer that battering a woman she lived with was 'worth it,' according to an arrest report. The incident happened 26 September at a Camellia Place residence. A Crestview police officer was summoned to deal with a person who had been asked to leave but had refused. Whilst the officer was there, the alleged victim walked out with a handful of clothing. The alleged defendant followed her, grabbed her by the arm and, allegedly, threw her into a headlock, pulling her hair. When the officer detained the woman she is reported to have said, 'It was worth it,' the report added.
A man has been arrested by the Customs department at the Indira Gandhi International airport for allegedly trying to smuggle in one kilogram of gold by hiding it in his rectum, an official statement said on Wednesday. The twenty four-year-old passenger was intercepted upon his arrival from Dubai on Monday, it said. He was rumoured to be 'walking funny' and had a 'rather cornered' look on his boat. On detailed baggage examination and personal search, it was discovered that the accused had hidden nine gold bars, weighing 1.04 kilograms up his bottom. The gold bars were seized - presumably, after they had been extracted - and the passenger was very arrested, the department said.
Geoffrey Hayes, who hosted long-running children's TV show, Rainbow, has died aged seventy six. The actor and presenter died in hospital surrounded by his family, according to his manager. In a statement, Phil Dale said: 'It is with great sadness that the family announce that Geoffrey passed away in hospital with his wife, Sarah and son, Tom, by his side.' Geoffrey presented Rainbow on ITV between 1974 to 1992. Dale added: 'The family would like to express their thanks to the many fans over the years as it always gave Geoffrey so much pleasure to know that he and his Rainbow team had given so much fun to TV and theatre audiences.' The pre-school show featured the characters Zippy, George and Bungle as they lived in The Rainbow House and ran for more than a thousand episodes. The programmes also featured musical interludes from the trio Rod, Jane and Freddy as well as animations and stories read from the famous Rainbow storybook. Geoffrey - who joined Rainbow in 1973, replacing the original host, David Cook - also had an initially successful acting career, starring as Detective Constable Scatliff in the BBC crime drama Z Cars in the early 1970s as well as guest roles in Harriet's Back In Town, Dixon of Dock Green, Softly Softly: Task Force and The Sooty Show. After Rainbow, Hayes said that he was 'frustrated' not to find more acting work, as 'directors could only think of me as Rainbow's Geoffrey.' He appeared in pantomimes and on some panel shows including an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks in 2002 and Pointless Celebrities in 2015. In 1996, Hayes appeared in the video for 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" by Oasis tribute band, No Way Sis. He played the role of a taxi driver, parodying the performance of Patrick Macnee in the contemporary Oasis video for 'Don't Look Back in Anger'. In a 2015 interview with the Daily Scum Express, Geoffrey said that he had spent four months working nights, shelf-stacking at a local supermarket and had also worked a stint as a taxi driver - something that was played upon in an advertising campaign he starred in for Monster Munch. In the interview, Hayes recalled his time on Rainbow with great fondness: 'I'm very proud of Rainbow and even now, over twenty years since it finished in 1993, people remember it with affection. Amazingly, I still get recognised. People stop me and thank me for being an important part of their childhood - it's humbling.'
His love songs have inspired millions, but over the weekend yer actual Sir Paul McCartney (MBE) had a more direct role in the love story of one Canadian couple. The former Be-Atle (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) was in Winnipeg for a concert when he photo-bombed a couple taking pictures before their wedding. Macca passed the couple while riding his bike along the river on Saturday. The moment was immortalised by the couple's wedding photographer. Groom Steve Gregg was the first to spot the famous musician. 'He said congratulations as he rode by and Steve said, "That was Paul McCartney,"' bride Jen Roscoe told the CBC after the pictures were posted online. But when Paul (and his two bodyguards) hit a dead end, they had to turn around and ride past the couple again. That's when Gregg plucked up the courage to ask for a picture.
A ninety four-year-old man who has dementia was invited to fulfil a lifelong dream by scoring a penalty in front of Notts County's home fans. A spokesperson for the club said that Roy Prentice, from Chilwell, was 'a massive County supporter' who wanted to score a goal in front of Meadow Lane's Kop end before he died. The event took place at half-time on Saturday during The Magpies' home fixture against Crewe Alexandra. Alice Kelk, fan engagement executive, said: 'It was a beautiful moment. His family were watching and were very emotional.'
Theresa May has told the BBC she is 'cross' with Boris Johnson after the former foreign secretary launched a fresh attack on her plan for Brexit at the Conservative Party Conference. You wouldn't like her when she's angry, Boris.
An Oregon woman charged with stealing an ambulance last Sunday while paramedics performed CPR on an unconscious woman had one question after her arrest, according to a report. 'Why did they leave it unlocked?,' asked the suspect Christy Lynn Woods, according to an affidavit seen by The Oregonian. According to court documents, Woods drove the ambulance through downtown Roseburg, leading police on a chase for nearly thirty miles - reaching a speed of eighty five miles per hour, the newspaper reported. At one point, Woods struck a police vehicle that was travelling ahead of her in order to divert traffic, the report added. The impact totalled the police vehicle and left Oregon State Police Sergeant Ken Terry with 'some minor injuries,' the News-Review of Roseburg reported. Later, Woods drove the ambulance over a strip of spikes set up by police and eventually exited the ambulance at a gas station, where she was very arrested. It was Woods' eighth arrest this year, the report stated. Woods was booked on thirteen charges, including assault, interfering with paramedics, criminal mischief and reckless driving, The Oregonian reported. According to Portland's KOIN-TV, it was Woods' thirty ninth arrest in Douglas County since 2013. In February, she was convicted of second-degree disorderly conduct after allegedly trying to hit bar patrons with a bottle, yelling slurs and kicking a police officer somewhere that he really didn't want to be kicked, according to the News-Review. In 2016, another Roseburg woman, Jolene Marie Barnes, was arrested for stealing an ambulance, the News-Review reported. She was later convicted on a first-degree aggravated theft charge and sentenced to twenty two days in jail, the report said, later receiving another sixty days for violating her probation.
And, finally dear blog reader ...