Sunday, March 28, 2021

Within The Circuit Of This Ivory Pale

Netflix's latest BBC drama cooperation has been announced, taking the international rights to The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat's series Inside Man, which has assembled a stellar cast ahead of production taking place later this year. Deadline has revealed that Stanley Tucci has been cast in the title role and will be joined by national heartthrob David Tennant and Dolly Wells. Rounding out the main cast is Lydia West, who featured in the acclaimed Channel 4/HBO Max series It's A Sin. The Moff (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) is keeping all plot details firmly under wraps to the extent that, according to the article, even Netflix and the BBC themselves are in the dark about how Inside Man will end. The four-part Hartswood Films series centres on a prisoner on death row in the US, a vicar in a quiet English town and a maths teacher trapped in a cellar, 'as they cross paths in the most unexpected way.' Sherlock director Paul McGuigan will be behind the camera on the series, with Alex Mercer producing. Executive producers are Steven's missus, Sue Vertue for Hartswood Films and Ben Irving for the BBC. Inside Man was first commissioned in 2019 by BBC drama director Piers Wenger and Charlotte Moore, the BBC's chief content officer. Steven and Sue said they can't wait to 'crawl out of our lockdown bunker' and get to work on the series, which Netflix have described as 'fiendishly clever.' BBC Studios brokered the deal with Netflix, which will stream the show outside of the UK and Ireland. It is another example of the BBC and Netflix partnering on a major drama, with other recent examples including The Serpent and the upcoming supernatural horror series Red Rose. Inside Man has echoes of Moffat and Mark Gatiss' 2020 series Dracula, which was also a co-production between the BBC and Netflix. The three-part series also starred Wells and West in the retelling of Bram Stoker's legendary story.
John Bishop 'cut a pensive figure as he resumed filming for Doctor Who in the middle of Liverpool on Wednesday night,' according to a piece with not very much substance but tonnes of speculation published in the Daily Scum Mail. So, no change there, then. The large-toothed cheeky-chappie Scouse actor, who has joined the cast as The Doctor's new companion, Dan, filmed a scene which saw his character realise he was conversing with his ex-girlfriend Nadia after being placed in a time loop. Jodie Whittaker was also reportedly spotted during location filming. John has joined the cast as one of The Doctor's new companions, following the departure of Ryan (played by Tosin Cole) and Graham (That There Bradley Walsh) during the New Year's special Revolution Of The Daleks. You knew that, right?
Sunday's return of From The North favourite Line Of Duty attracted the largest overnight audience in the BBC police drama's history. The opening episode of series six was watched by 9.6 million overnight viewers. That surpassed the show's previous record of 9.1 million for the finale of series five in 2019. Critics largely praised the first episode, with the Gruniad Morning Star's hideous Lucy Mangan describing it as 'just as good, if not better, than ever. If it can hold to its successful formula without tipping into parody, if it can find its way back from the H debacle and if it can weave its customarily masterful narrative spell without tying itself or us in knots - well, then we'll all be sucking diesel.' The Torygraph's usually scowling waste-of-space arse, Anita Singh concurred. 'On this early evidence, this year's offering has more in common with the show's early years,' she wrote. 'The opening scenes were reminiscent of series two (the Keeley Hawes season, possibly the best of them all) as a call came into the station with some urgent information.' Singh continued: 'Much of its success hangs on the performances of its guest stars like ... Hawes and [Stephen] Graham and the superb Lennie James in series one. It's too early to say if Kelly Macdonald will be among the greats; she has clearly been told to play Davidson as enigmatic. Mercurio ... looks to have given Macdonald an intriguing backstory.' Another From The North ... whatever the opposite of favourite is, that bloke Cumming, writing in the Independent, said: 'The question is whether the show's any good. On the evidence of this frenetic, nerve-jangling opener: yes. After the more outlandish conspiratorial shenanigans of series five, the first episode of series six returns to what Line Of Duty does best: dodgy coppers, tense action and characters who communicate almost exclusively in acronyms.' He also welcomed the arrival of Macdonald. 'With her signature mix of sweetness and guile, Macdonald is smart casting for a role that will no doubt toy with our sympathies.' But, Carol Midgley, writing in The Times, which proves she doesn't know what the fek she's taking about. 'As a fan girl, it grieves me to sound like a disappointed bride on her wedding night,' she began, before sounding like a disappointed bride on her wedding night. The Evening Standard's Katie Rosseinsky was more keen. She wrote: 'Opening with a nerve-shredding set piece, an enigmatic central character and a fusillade of acronyms and police-speak (who or what is a chis? What's the PNC? Is 1A on the matrix good or bad? I have precisely no idea and that's part of the fun), this had all the hallmarks of a classic Line Of Duty opener, but never felt like a case of bent coppers-by-numbers. In the best way, it recalled the first episode of the show's superlative second series: could Macdonald's intriguing, softly-spoken Davidson become an anti-hero to rival Keeley Hawes' Lindsay Denton?' This blogger, for what it's worth, thought it was great.
BBC journalist and From The North favourite Clive Myrie has been named the new host of quiz show Mastermind, replacing John Humphrys, who has stepped down after eighteen years. Myrie will be the fifth host of the BBC quiz, which marks its fiftieth anniversary next year. 'They are big shoes to fill but all I can do is bring a little bit of my own personality to what is a grounded format,' he said. He will continue to present programmes like the BBC's News At Six. 'That side of me is still very much there, but it's good to be able to be liberated every now and again when I do Mastermind,' he added. Myrie recently won two Royal Television Society journalism awards - for network presenter of the year and television journalist of the year. As well as being a newsreader, he is known for his work as a foreign correspondent and recently fronted a series of acclaimed reports from hospitals dealing with the Covid pandemic.
The Court of Appeal has overturned the shamefully politically-motivated convictions of fourteen men sentenced for their involvement in pickets in 1972. Trade unionists who picketed during the national builders' strike were charged with offences including unlawful assembly and conspiracy to intimidate. Lawyers for the so-called Shrewsbury Twenty Four had argued the destruction of witness statements made their convictions unsafe. Lord Justice Fulford said 'what occurred was unfair.' The actor Ricky Tomlinson was among those convicted. He was jailed for two years. Speaking after the verdict, he said: 'It is only right that these convictions are overturned.' Six of the fourteen who brought the action have since died, including Dennis Warren, who was jailed for three years. Tomlinson added: 'My thoughts today are with my friend and comrade Des Warren. I'm just sorry he is not here today so we can celebrate, but I'm sure he's with us in spirit.' Speaking at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Lord Justice Fulford said: 'These fourteen appeals against conviction are allowed across the three trials and on every extant count which the fourteen appellants faced.' But he added: 'It would not be in the public interest to order a retrial.' In its written ruling, the Court of Appeal allowed the fourteen appellants' appeals on the grounds that original witness statements had been destroyed. In June 1972, trade unionists called the UK's first-ever national builders' strike in protest against pay, unjust employment practices and dangerous conditions on sites. Trade unionists travelled to demonstrate from one site to another and in September six coach-loads of strikers demonstrated in Shrewsbury and Telford. Police arrested none of the demonstrators that day but five months later the picketers were charged and subsequently convicted. Lord Justice Fulford wrote: 'If the destruction of the handwritten statements had been revealed to the appellants at the time of the trial, this issue could have been comprehensively investigated with the witnesses when they gave evidence, and the judge would have been able to give appropriate directions. We have no doubt that if that had happened, the trial process would have ensured fairness to the accused. Self-evidently, that is not what occurred. By the standards of today, what occurred was unfair to the extent that the verdicts cannot be upheld.' Lawyers had argued the broadcast of a documentary about Communism during the trials was 'deeply prejudicial', but the Court of Appeal dismissed the claim that the 1973 ITV Red Under The Bed documentary - hosted by the late Richard Whiteley - might have made the verdicts unsafe. Arthur Murray, who was convicted of affray and unlawful assembly and sentenced to six months, said: 'We were innocent all along, yet it has taken us nearly fifty years to clear our names. Sadly my mother and four of my siblings have passed away without knowing that we were innocent. Serious questions need to be asked about the role of the building industry bosses in our convictions and the highest offices of government who all had a hand in our trial and conviction. Make no mistake, our convictions were a political witch-hunt.' Tomlinson echoed his remarks, saying: 'We were brought to trial at the apparent behest of the building industry bosses, the Conservative government and ably supported by the secret state. This was a political trial not just of me and the Shrewsbury pickets - but was a trial of the trade union movement.' Terry Renshaw, a former Flintshire mayor, who was convicted of unlawful assembly, paid tribute to the campaign's researcher, Eileen Turnbull, who worked 'tirelessly' to obtain 'crucial evidence.' She uncovered a document in the National Archives which were part of the prosecution papers and revealed for the first time police had destroyed some of the original witness statements. Renshaw added: 'It's been forty seven years. I'm just so emotional. I didn't think it would hit me like this. I am no longer a criminal.'
And now, dear blog reader ...
Tommy. Good old Mad Ken Russell being as mad as Mad Jack McMad.
Sylvia. Not the classic it should have been (Daniel Craig as Ted Hughes, what's not to love) mainly due to the woeful miscasting of Gwyneth Paltroon in the title role ...
The Warriors. Can? You? Dig? It?
Pitch Perfect. Avoided up until now by this blogger for God only knows what reason; it's actually really good, surprisingly funny little feel-good movie. Should've checked it out sooner (though the two sequels are, it would seem, a case of diminishing returns).
Prevenge. From The North favourite Alice Lowe as the world's scariest mummy!
Seventy One.
Go Tell The Spartans. 'Never in the US have we asked for anything back. It would screw up the bookkeeping.'
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Perfection in seven, slow-moving, grandiloquent episodes. And with one of the finest casts ever assembled on British telly. Not a bad way to spend a long, languid Sunday afternoon in March.
The Thing. 'You gotta be fuckin' kidding!'
Take The Money & Run. 'All I know is my heart was really pounding and I felt a funny tingling all over, you know? I was either in love or I had smallpox!'
Night Of The Generals.
Ashes To Ashes. 'Now then, Bollingerknickers, you gonna kiss me or punch me?'
An 'extremely rare' meteor known as a daytime fireball has been blamed for a sonic boom-type noise heard across parts of England. People in Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Jersey reported hearing a loud bang and seeing a streak of light in the sky on Saturday afternoon. After analysing pictures and videos, experts confirmed they showed a meteor. They have urged people to keep an eye out and report any fallen fragments of the space rock. Simon Proud, a specialist in aviation meteorology at the University of Oxford, captured the meteor - which appeared as a bright flash - flying over the UK on a weather satellite. Richard Kacerek, from the UK Meteor Observation Network of amateur astronomers, said only the brightest 'bolide class' meteor could produce a rare 'daytime fireball.' He added that the one seen on Saturday would have needed to be 'very large' to be visible during day. Doctor Ashley King from the UK Fireball Alliance - a group of experts and enthusiasts who hunt for freshly-fallen meteorites - said the fireball 'would have been going faster than the speed of sound. Normally when you hear that it's a good sign that you have got rocks that have made it to the surface. It's incredibly exciting and I'm a bit stunned,' he said. The group has asked people in the Devon, Dorset or Somerset areas to report finds of any fragments - believed to be small blackish stones, or a mound of dark dust. Data from cameras is also being analysed to give details of the meteor's journey. Speaking to BBC Radio Somerset, astronomer and science journalist Will Gater, who was among the first to link the sonic boom to a meteor, said: 'If somehow the location can be pieced together who knows - the thought that something could be recovered is quite exciting.' Following the 'huge bang,' which people said shook their homes and windows, an earthquake was ruled out by The British Geological Survey. The Ministry of Defence also said the 'massive bang' was not linked to any RAF aircraft. A campsite near Weymouth captured the loud noise on a security camera.
Earthlings can, however, breathe a sigh of relief after NASA confirmed that the planet was 'safe' from a once-feared asteroid for the next one hundred years at least. By which time, this blogger and - likely - most of you lot will all have shuffled off this mortal coil so it'll be someone else's problem. Good to know. NASA had deemed Apophis to be one of the most dangerous asteroids to Earth after its discovery in 2004. Close calls in 2029 and 2036 were predicted before they were later ruled out. A 'slight threat' from this Big Hard Rock still remained for 2068 but now NASA has dismissed that threat based on new analysis of the asteroid. 'A 2068 impact is not in the realm of possibility any more and our calculations don't show any impact risk for at least the next hundred years,' Davide Farnocchia, a scientist who studies near-Earth objects for NASA, said in a statement on Friday. So, if they're wrong and we all end up getting wiped out, remember, it's all Davide's fault. Named for the ancient Egyptian God of chaos and darkness, Apophis is estimated to measure three hundred and forty metres across - about the length of three football pitches. Or, the three hundred and forty metre long asteroid if you don't need a comparator to know what a bloody big rock looks like. The asteroid recently made a distant flyby of Earth on 5 March, passing within seventeen million kilometres of the planet. Astronomers were able to use radar observations to refine their estimate of the asteroid's orbit around the Sun, allowing them to confidently rule out any impact risk in 2068 and long after. 'When I started working with asteroids after college, Apophis was the poster child for hazardous asteroids,' said Farnocchia. 'There's a certain sense of satisfaction to see it removed from the risk list.' He said NASA was 'looking forward to the science we might uncover during its close approach in 2029.' This close approach will occur on 13 April, 2029. On that date, the asteroid is expected to pass within thirty two thousand kilometres of the Earth's surface. During that 2029 approach, Apophis will be visible to observers on the ground in the Eastern Hemisphere of Earth, including Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. No telescope or binoculars will be required. 'If we had binoculars as powerful as this radar, we would be able to sit in Los Angeles and read a dinner menu at a restaurant in New York,' NASA scientist Marina Brozovic said. NASA keeps track of asteroids which could one day make threatening close approaches to Earth, or hit and wipe out all traces of living things, designating them as Potentially Hazardous Asteroids. Or 'fekking scary things.' Asteroid 1950 DA was discovered in February 1950, before fading from view. It was eventually rediscovered half-a-century later, allowing scientists to make new calculations about the 1.3 kilometre asteroid. A potentially close Earth approach in March, 2880 was identified but the odds of a direct hit are long. 2010 RF12 tops NASA's watch-list in terms of the probability of Earth impact; There is a 4.7 per cent chance of a hit by the asteroid, which is estimated to measure seven metres in diameter. NASA predicts that the first potential impact could happen in September, 2095. That sounds more terrifying than it is, though. Because the asteroid is relatively small, it would not pose a major threat to Earth, scientists claim. One or two people even believe them. Another asteroid's first potential Earth impact could happen in February, 2052. Measuring about fourteen metres in diameter, 2012 HG2 has the highest number of potential Earth impacts on NASA's watch-list Again, because the asteroid is relatively small, it would probably burn up in Earth's atmosphere. Although 'probably' is a fantastically unscientific word, don't you think dear blog reader?
If you would like a textbook demonstration of some of the many, many, many reasons why this blogger so loathes the Gruniad Morning Star and every single piece of Middle Class hippy Communist bollocks it stands for, have a butchers at Zoe Williams' classic Gruniad Morning Star whinge For Divorced Atheist Remainers Like Me, This Census Was A Minefield. 'Filling in the form should have been a piece of cake. But domestic, cultural and political quandaries sent me into a tailspin,' whinges Williams whose absolutely perfect Middle Class hippy Communist existence has, it would seem, been pure dead messed up by having to do a once-a-decade 'justify your existence' thing just like the rest of the population. Christ, dear blog reader, if it wasn't possible to hate the Gruniad and everything it stands for enough already ...
Right-wing lawyer and certified loon-ball Sidney Powell is claiming in a new court filing that 'reasonable people' (by which she, presumably, means anyone other than her) wouldn't have believed as a fact her bonkers assertions of fraud at the 2020 presidential erection. The erection infrastructure company Dominion Voting Systems is currently suing Powell's sorry ass for defamation after she pushed lawsuits and made appearances on conservative media on behalf of now extremely-former President Mister Rump in an effort to sow doubts about the 2020 erection results. Dominion claims that Powell knew her election fraud accusations were false and hurtful to the company. In a new court filing, Powell's attorneys write that she was 'sharing her opinion' and that the public could reach 'their own conclusions' about whether votes were changed by erection machines. 'Given the highly charged and political context of the statements, it is clear that Powell was describing the facts on which she based the lawsuits she filed in support of President Trump,' Powell's defence lawyers wrote in a court filing on Monday. 'Indeed, Plaintiffs themselves characterise the statements at issue as "wild accusations" and "outlandish claims." They are repeatedly labelled "inherently improbable" and even "impossible." Such characterisations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support Defendants' position that "reasonable people" would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.' Erection authorities and Dominion have resoundingly called Rump's loss in the erection as accurate and untainted by any possible major security risks. Rump's lawyers and his allies quickly lost or dropped all but one minor case out of nearly sixty following the erection, as the then-President sought to overturn Joe Biden's win in multiple key states. And lost. Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan, one of the Republicans who voted to impeach Rump in January after the 6 January Capitol insurrection, tweeted that Powell's argument is 'pathetic. Absolutely infuriating. GOP lost the Senate and five people died in [the] attack on the Capitol, in part because Sidney Powell misled millions claiming stolen elections. Now Powell backtracks saying "no reasonable person" would believe what she alleged in court were "statements of fact."' It could also put her in legal jeopardy as she fights the defamation suit as well as a motion for sanctions in Michigan as a part of a case she brought there alleging erection fraud. First Amendment expert Ted Boutrous of Gibson Dunn said that the legal implications for Powell could be dire. 'The First Amendment provides strong protections for statements of opinion,' he said. 'But what Dominion is pointing to is the fact that Ms Powell was declaring that she had evidence of this fraud and this election malfeasance and she was declaring that as a matter of fact. The First Amendment doesn't protect knowingly false statements of fact,' Boutrous added. In the two cases, both still pending, her lawyers appear to contradict each other. In the defamation case filed by Dominion, her lawyers claim in a motion to dismiss that what Powell said about voting issues 'could not reasonably be established as fact' at the time she said it. In the Michigan case her lawyer calls allegations that she lied 'outrageous' and 'entirely unacceptable.' Powell's attorney, Howard Kleinhendler, issued a further comment about the Dominion lawsuit. 'First, let me be clear: any suggestion that "no reasonable person" would believe Ms Powell or her comments on the election is false,' he said. 'The language these reports referred to is a legal standard adopted by the courts to determine whether statements qualify as opinions which are exempt from defamation liability.' The company points to claims made by Powell that Dominion manipulated votes, that the company and its software were created in Venezuela to rig elections for Hugo Chavez and that Dominion bribed Georgia's governor and secretary of state for a no-bid contract in Georgia. 'As a result of the defamatory falsehoods peddled by Powell - in concert with like-minded allies and media outlets who were determined to promote a false preconceived narrative - Dominion's founder, Dominion's employees, Georgia's governor and Georgia's secretary of state have been harassed and have received death threats and Dominion has suffered enormous harm,' the lawyers wrote in the case filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. 'Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company's rights under civil law, to recover compensatory damages, to seek a narrowly tailored injunction and to stand up for itself and its employees,' the company said. In response, Powell's lawyers claimed statements she made at a Georgia political rally were an example of hyperbole. 'She claimed that she had evidence that the election result was the "greatest crime of the century if not the life of the world,"' they wrote. 'It is a likewise well-recognised principle that political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole,' the filing states. The judge overseeing Dominion's defamation suit in Washington is still looking at early questions about whether the lawsuit should continue in his court and whether Powell can be sued and isn't yet considering the legitimacy of Dominion's allegations that Powell knowingly spread falsehoods about the company. Dominion has also sued, separately, Rump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell with similar claims about their public assertions of erection fraud. Giuliani and Lindell are set to given their initial responses in court next month. The initial court filing statement shocked (and stunned) David Fink, a lawyer who is asking a federal judge in Michigan on behalf of the city of Detroit to sanction Powell and others for 'not telling the truth.' Fink wants to 'deter future misconduct' and bar Powell from practicing law in the state. He pointed to a federal rule that allows courts to impose sanctions on attorneys who make representations to the court that lack evidentiary support. 'When I read the brief in that case I was shocked that Sidney Powell's lawyers would admit that no reasonable person would believe the very allegations that she asserted in federal court,' Fink said. 'Those misrepresentations are the reason we are asking the federal court to sanction her,' Fink added. 'Powell shows a startling contempt for the basic ethical obligations of our profession, a lawyer incapable of speaking the truth in court filings should surrender her bar card.' Fink is not sure if he needs to - or will - bring the defamation filing to the attention of Michigan's judge who serves on the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Already he had argued that if sanctions against Powell are not deserved in his case 'it is hard to imagine a case where they would be.' Powell's co-counsel in the Michigan case, Stefanie Lambert Junttila, called the request for sanctions 'baseless' in court papers. Rule eleven, the federal rule at issue, 'is not intended to chill an attorney's enthusiasm or creativity in pursuing factual or legal theories' she wrote and urged the court to 'avoid using the wisdom of hindsight.' Stephen Gillers, a professor of legal ethics at NYU Law, said that Powell is now 'in a difficult position. Even opinions can be defamatory if they imply facts that are false and Powell knew it or recklessly disregarded the truth or falsity of the implied facts,' he said. 'Her problem is that her defence in the defamation case is going to sink her in the Michigan case,' he said. Dana Nessel, Michigan's attorney general told CNN on Tuesday that Powell's statements and the lawsuits she filed were meant to undermine the erection. 'The damage that this individual, this woman had done and her cohorts who filed these cases along with her,' she said, 'is untold. And who knows how or when this damage can possibly be undone.'
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping was taking some time on Saturday morning to burn yet more or the massive Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House CD collection onto the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House laptop (for ease of playing if nothing else). This is a periodic task which this blogger does in small batches since, if he tried to do them all at once, it would take years. This blogger decided to compile a file featuring a complete discography of Keith Telly Topping's dear fiend and American cousin, the Godlike Genius of Jefferson Hart. So, this blogger found all of the CDs (including the fantastically rare Panther Beach Boys Sessions and the Ghosts Of The Old North State Bonus CD - this blogger having number eight of a limited edition of fifty, fact fans). However then, bugger me if this blogger could find not a trace of the Brown Mountain Lights' Late Show At The Cave CD. It took this blogger a little shy of four bloody hours of increasingly short tempered and stroppy outbursts of 'Where the blightering fek did I put it?" before he finally located it at the bottom of an 'uge and teetering pile of CDs in the corner of the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House bedroom (and this blogger mean, at the very bottom). Jeff, me auld mate, this blogger sincerely apologises for treating a work of twangy, honky-tonk beauty in such an appallingly disingenuous fashion. It shall not happen again. Anyway, now that's completed if this blogger is going in, roughly, alphabetical order, it'll be Half Man Half Biscuit next ... Which this blogger intends to save for another day as, at the going rate, tracking down the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House copy of Trouble Over Bridgewater should only take, ooo, eight hours. And Nigel Blackwell's ears would be burning bright red.
And now, dear blog reader, in celebration of World Puppetry Day (which occurred earlier this week on 21 March) ... No strings attached.
And, in celebration of International Mime Day (which was the following day, 22 March). I won't say it if you won't say it ...
Just occasionally, dear blog reader, one finds something on the Interweb which, genuinely, shocks (and stuns) you. This for instance. It seems that yer actual Keith Telly Topping is, in fact, loaded. Who knew? (Certainly not yer actual Keith Telly Topping, before you ask.)
Former Huddersfield Town, Leicester City and Bolton Wanderers striker Franky Worthington - a particular favourite of this blogger - was one of English football's fabled mavericks. With his collar-length hair, Zapata moustache, red Ford Mustang and man-about-town dress sense, Worthington who died earlier this week, was a ball-juggling entertainer who lived life in the fast lane during a colourful Football League career which spanned three decades until 1988. 'I admit that I used to get about a bit, but I am quieter these days,' he boasted, proudly, to the Gruniad in 1978. 'Instead of going out seven nights a week I keep it to six.' His daughter, Kim, announced on Facebook in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, but Worthington issued a statement the following day denying that he had the condition. Showman, playboy, Elvis wannabe (he was a massive fan of The King) and dedicated follower of fashion, Worthington was unashamedly non-establishment and hit the headlines as much for his off-field exploits as he did for his rarefied talents on it. Eight England caps were scant reward for a player once described by his former Huddersfield and Bolton manager Ian Greaves as 'the working man's George Best.' Actually, that was nonsense, George Best was the working man's George Best. Frank Worthington was the working man's Frank Worthington, there was no one else even remotely like him. At all eleven of his Football League clubs, starting with Huddersfield, then Leicester, Bolton, Birmingham City, Leeds United, Sunderland, Southampton, Brighton & Hove Albion, Tranmere Rovers, Preston North End and Stockport, Worthington became a cult hero. Major honours eluded him, but despite a rock-and-roll lifestyle which cost him his dream move to Bill Shankly's Liverpool in 1972, he played in twenty two consecutive Football League seasons from 1967, scoring two hundred and sixty six goals in eight hundred and eighty two appearances in all competitions. In fourteen of those seasons he played in the top flight, notching up one hundred and fifty goals in four hundred and sixty six matches and won the Golden Boot Award ahead of Kenny Dalglish and Frank Stapleton in 1979. Worthington won promotion to the old First Division three times with different clubs - Huddersfield, Bolton and Birmingham - and helped Preston secure promotion to the old Third Division in the twilight of his career. He scored a career-defining goal for Bolton against Ipswich Town in 1979 when, with his back to goal on the edge of the penalty area, he flicked the ball up over his head to evade a clutch of defenders and swivelled to plant a volley into the bottom corner. It was a magical effort, replayed regularly for years after, while Worthington typically insisted he had scored plenty of better goals which had not been captured by the television cameras. Frank was born in the West Yorkshire village of Shelf, halfway between Bradford and Halifax, in November 1948 and seemed destined to become a professional footballer. His father, Eric, was released by Manchester United before World War Two and went on to play for Halifax Town as an inside forward and his mother, Alice, turned out as a centre-forward for the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. Elder brothers Dave and Bob, both defenders, had long and successful Football League careers themselves, most notably with Grimsby Town and Notts County respectively. Worthington also had a sister, Julie. Frank started out at Halifax like his brothers, but bigger local rivals Huddersfield enticed him to sign schoolboy forms with them instead. He made his league debut aged eighteen in 1967 and scored nineteen goals for The Terriers during the 1969-70 season to help them win promotion to the First Division. Former Liverpool boss Shankly was ready to break his club's record transfer fee to sign Worthington for one hundred and fifty thousand knicker, but Frank failed a medical due to high blood pressure which scuppered the deal. Still determined to get his man, Shankly reportedly sent Worthington to Majorca for a relaxing holiday with the aim of trying again, but the twenty three-year-old succumbed to temptation on the island resort and continued to party instead. After reported encounters with five separate women, including a former Miss Great Britain, he failed a second medical on his return and later admitted in his aptly titled autobiography, One Hump Or Two?, that missing out on a move to Anfield was the only regret of his career. When Worthington received a late call-up by Sir Alf Ramsey for the England Under-Twenty Three squad in 1972 he greeted the World Cup-winning manager for the first time at Warsaw airport dressed in a green velvet jacket, floral shirt, leather trousers and cowboy boots. That was Worthington's style. Leicester City snapped him up after his Liverpool setback and, while the partying was never curtailed, he went on to make all eight of his senior England appearances during his time at Filbert Street. He made his international debut in May 1974 against Northern Ireland, coming on as a substitute for another one-of-a-kind wayward spirit, Stan Bowles, in a one-nil victory at Wembley. He scored two goals in his eight appearances, against Argentina and Bulgaria. Joe Mercer - Ramsey's temporary replacement - was England's manager for six of Worthington's international games and once described him as 'one of the best centre-forwards of all time.' Don Revie, who followed Mercer as national coach, played Frank for just eighty minutes across his first two matches before giving up on him. 'He got rid of the skill and went for the workers,' Worthington said, ruefully. Frank also had spells as a player in the United States, with Philadelphia Furies in 1979 and Tampa Bay Rowdies two years later, plus a later stint in South Africa for Cape Town Spurs. He had periods of some success, playing in a Southampton team that qualified for Europe, for example. Though, his season with The Mackem Filth is probably one that he, himself, chose to try and forget about. His time at Tranmere Rovers was as player-manager and he continued to play the game after he left his last Football League club, Stockport County, in 1988. He turned out for Chorley, Galway United, Weymouth and Guiseley among other lower tier clubs before finally hanging up his boots to focus on after-dinner speaking and doing some scouting for several clubs. 'Sometimes my life's been so full that it's left me physically and emotionally exhausted,' Worthington told the Daily Mirra in 1978. 'But if I should drop down dead this minute no one could say I haven't squeezed the maximum from my life. I've got no regrets about anything. After all, we’re only on this Earth for a while.' Frank married first wife Birgitta, from Sweden, in 1973 soon after the birth of their son, Frank Jr. Their daughter, Kim Malou, was born in 1974. He is also survived by second wife Carol, daughter of the former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Noel Dwyer, whom he married in 1986 following a long friendship.