Thursday, June 10, 2021

"Talk Of Peace? I Hate The Word As I Hate Hell"

HBO has announced more of the cast for The Time Traveler's [sic] Wife, the upcoming drama series based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger. Caitlin Shorey, Everleigh McDonell, Michael Park, Jaime Ray Newman, Taylor Richardson, Peter Graham, Brian Altemus, Jason David, Kate Siegel, Josh Stamberg, Chelsea Frei, Marcia DeBonis, Will Brill and Spencer House join the previously announced Rose Leslie, Theo James, Desmin Borges and Natasha Lopez in the series which is currently in production. Adapted by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE), The Time Traveler's [sic] Wife tells the 'intricate love story' of Clare (Leslie) and Henry (James) and 'a marriage with a problem.' David Nutter will direct and is an executive producer along with The Moff, his good lady Sue Vertue and Brian Minchin for Hartswood Films. The series is a co-production with Warner Bros.
Holby City, the extremely long-running BBC medical drama, is to end after twenty three years, producers have confirmed. The series, created by Tony McHale and Mal Young, was first broadcast in 1999 as a spin-off from Casualty. The BBC announced on Wednesday that the drama will broadcast its final series in March 2022. The corporation said it was 'incredibly proud' of the drama but said it 'had to make difficult decisions to make room for new opportunities.' Around two hundred and fifty people who work on the show - including actors, camera operators, engineers and hair and make-up professionals - will be affected by the decision. Holby City won a BAFTA for best continuing drama in 2008 and still regularly attracts more than three million viewers. 'We are incredibly proud of Holby City but it's with great sadness that we are announcing that after twenty three years, the show will end on screen in March of next year,' the BBC said in a statement. 'We sometimes have to make difficult decisions to make room for new opportunities and as part of the BBC's commitment to make more programmes across the UK, we have taken the difficult decision to bring the show to a close in order to reshape the BBC's drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.' It added: 'We would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing team at BBC Studios and all the cast and crew who have been involved in the show since 1999. Holby has been a stalwart with audiences, delighting millions of viewers each week and winning hundreds of awards with a compelling mix of cutting edge medical stories and explosive personal stories. We look forward to working with the team over the coming months to ensure that when it ends, Holby goes out on a high.' Both Holby City and Casualty are based in the fictional county of Wyvern. But, the bulk of the on-set filming for Holby City takes place at the BBC's Elstree Centre in Hertfordshire, as well as shots from in and around Bristol. In March, the BBC announced its plan to move some of its key departments and staff around the country in order to make the corporation 'more reflective' of the UK as a whole. 'Our mission must be to deliver for the whole of the UK and ensure every household gets value from the BBC,' said director general Tim Davie. 'These plans will get us closer to audiences, create jobs and investment and develop and nurture new talent.' Racking up more than one thousand episodes over twenty three series, Holby City has also proved to be a fertile breeding ground for some top acting talent down the years. Killing Eve's Jodie Comer received one of her first acting jobs on the drama, as did fellow BAFTA-winner and Black Panther actress Letitia Wright, Peaky Blinders actor Joe Cole and Lee Ryan from the boyband Blue. Already-established stars such as Adrian Edmondson and Patsy Kensit were also given recurring roles, while the likes of Maureen Lipman, chat show host Paul O'Grady and the alleged comedian Romesh Ranganathan have also appeared as guests. The show has held its place in the BBC schedule on a Tuesday night for many years, tackling many topical issues. One of its most memorable storylines involved the separation of the conjoined Tan twins, in 2008. The surgery was completed by the show's longest-serving character Doctor Ric Griffin, played by Hugh Quarshie. Two years earlier, it showed Professor Elliot Hope's wife, Gina, travelling to Switzerland to end her life after struggling with motor neurone disease. Some of the hospital's fictional staff have themselves also faced health issues. In 2014 junior doctor Zosia March was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, after suffering a breakdown following her mother's death. Doctor Arthur Digby was diagnosed with melanoma two years later. The hospital came under siege during a shooting spree in a 2017 episode. The following year, a special episode entitled The Anniversary Waltz helped to mark the seventieth anniversary of the National Health Service. It saw characters explaining what the NHS means to them, as they attempted to get an outbreak of norovirus under control.
Flicking about through some of the more obscure digital channels early this week, this blogger stumbled upon the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 being shown on the Pick channel (irritatingly split into two parts broadcast on consecutive nights). So, he watched it for, probably, the first time in at least a couple of decades. This blogger was, instantly, reminded exactly why he has spent much of the the last thirty years describing DS9 to anyone that will listen - and, indeed, anyone that won't - as 'the Star Trek series which got good the quickest and stayed good the longest.' It's so nice to be reminded, occasionally, that one is right about these sort of things every now and then.
And now, dear blog reader, this week's 'no, really, some plank actually thought this daft idea had legs ...' 'Mettez Votre Pantalon Sur Vous Sont En État D'Arrestation!' Or, if you prefer, 'Nous sommes Les Sweeney, mon fils, et nous n'avons pas eu notre déjeuner. Vous nous avez fait attendre.' Jacques, Georges, ou est le plume de ma tante
NASA has announced that it is sending two new missions to Venus in order to examine the planet's atmosphere and geological features. Although, since Venus is hellishly hot it is presumed that they will be sending the probes at night. Nah, lissun. The missions, which have each been awarded five hundred million dollars in funding, are due to launch between 2028 and 2030. NASA administrator Bill Nelson said the missions would offer the 'chance to investigate a planet we haven't been to in more than thirty years.' The last US probe to visit the planet was the Magellan orbiter in 1990. However, other spacecraft - from Europe and Japan - have orbited the planet since then. The missions were picked following a peer review process and were chosen based on their potential scientific value and the feasibility of their development plans. 'These two sister missions both aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world, capable of melting lead at the surface,' Nelson said. Venus is the second planet from the sun and the hottest planet in the solar system with a surface temperature of five hundred degrees Celsius. The Davinci+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) mission will measure the planet's atmosphere to gain insight into how it formed and evolved. It will also aim to determine whether Venus ever had an ocean. Davinci+ is expected to return the first high resolution images of the planet's 'tesserae' geological features. Scientists believe these features could be comparable to continents on Earth and could suggest that Venus has plate tectonics. The second mission, Veritas (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy), will map the planet's surface to understand its geological history and investigate how it developed so differently than Earth. It will use a form of radar to chart surface elevations and discover whether volcanoes and earthquakes - or, technically, Venusquakes - are still happening. 'It is astounding how little we know about Venus, but the combined results of these missions will tell us about the planet from the clouds in the sky through the volcanoes on its surface all the way down to its very core,' said Tom Wagner from NASA's Planetary Science Division. 'It will be as if we have rediscovered the planet,' he added. Over the last few decades, Mars has dominated NASA's budget for planetary missions. In the meantime, researchers studying Venus have become philosophical about the lack of priority given to their planet. But that has been changing. New ideas, interpretations and new people have been transforming our understanding of Earth's nearest neighbour. Long thought to have been a 'dead' planet by some, there are many who now think Venus may be geologically active, perhaps with periodic volcanism. Plus, the Shanghorns, obviously. Never loan one your Perigosto Stick, dear blog reader, or you might get it back covered in shite. Venus may have harboured oceans for a billion years of its history and there is even a region of the planet's thick atmosphere where microbial life could survive, floating among the clouds. Scientists who have devoted their careers to studying this hothouse world are jubilant that the planet is finally back on NASA's radar.
The American space agency's Juno probe has returned some close-in views of Ganymede - one of Jupiter's four Galilean moons and the largest natural satellite in the Solar System. The imagery was acquired from a distance of about one thousand kilometres. It is the nearest any spacecraft has been to Ganymede in more than twenty years. Juno's was an opportunity pass; its everyday duties are to study Jupiter. But the European Space Agency will soon send a dedicated mission. The Jupiter Icy moon Explorer will make a series of fly-bys around two other Galilean moons, Callisto and Europa, before then putting itself in a settled orbit around Ganymede, expected to occur in 2032. Juno's pictures show the impacted and cracked surface of the big moon in remarkable detail. They'll be compared with the pictures acquired by NASA's Galileo (1995-2003) and Voyager (1979) probes to see if there have been any changes through time. 'This is the closest any spacecraft has come to this mammoth moon in a generation,' said Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. 'We are going to take our time before we draw any scientific conclusions, but until then we can simply marvel at this celestial wonder.'
It was celestial showtime on Thursday, dear blog reader, as much of the Northern Hemisphere got to witness a solar eclipse. This particular event was an annular eclipse. It saw the Moon move across the face of our star but not completely block out the light coming from it. Instead, there was a thin sliver of brilliance left to shine around the Sun's disc, the so-called 'Ring Of Fire' or corona. The best of the action occurred if you happened to be situated in the Arctic. But, for all those of us who weren't (and, let's face it, that's pretty much everyone) a good portion of the rest of the globe were treated to a partial eclipse where the Moon appeared to take a big bite out of the Sun. And, jolly pretty it was too.
A section of major road turned bright red after a lorry crash caused a spillage of tomato puree and olive oil. The crash happened not at Spaghetti Junction but, rather, on the A14 near Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, on Tuesday evening. The driver of one of the two trucks was taken to hospital but was subsequently discharged. Social media users could not resist weighing in with puns, with one calling it 'a disaster, puree simple.' Though, tragically, no one advised road users that the red road has not jammed but, rather, tomatoed. Come on! One Radio 2 listener asked if it 'was suitable for traffic to passata safe distance.' Oh, suit yerselves. Another tweet read: 'Some of our drivers had to go pasta this earlier today. They are starting to ketchup after the delay though.' Nah, the previous one was funnier,frankly. A twenty three-mile stretch of the road was closed but has since reopened. Albeit, somewhat stickily.
The six Premier League clubs involved in the disgraced and disgraceful European Super League have agreed to make a combined 'goodwill' payment of twenty two million smackers. The Arse, Moscow Chelski FC, The Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws, Sheikh Yer Man City, The Scum and Stottingtot Hotshots all got their greed right on and wanted to form a breakaway league. Which would, effectively, have pissed all over the other fourteen Premier League Clubs and everyone else in the English football pyramid without, seemingly, the six clubs having a single thought in their collective head other than how much disgusting wonga the greedy fekkers were going to rake in for themselves. Should they attempt any similar malarkey again, new rules mean that the clubs will be fined twenty five million knicker each and will have thirty points deducted. So, that makes any such repeat extremely unlikely. Although, it would be pure dead funny if they tried it. Meanwhile, UEFA has temporarily paused disciplinary proceedings against Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid. They are the only three clubs - with their greed right on - from the twelve that signed up who are yet to accept any punishment or renounce the ESL and all its Devilish works. European football's governing body had opened disciplinary proceedings against the trio in May. In a joint statement, the Football Association and Premier League said that the English clubs had 'collectively agreed' to make a payment of twenty two million notes as 'a gesture of goodwill.' The money 'will go towards the good of the game,' it has been claimed, which includes 'new investment in support for fans' and will 'help fund grassroots and community projects.' One or two people even believed that was, actually, where the money would end up. 'The six clubs involved in proposals to form a European Super League have acknowledged once again that their actions were a mistake and have reconfirmed their commitment to the Premier League and the future of the English game,' the two bodies said in a statement. 'They have wholeheartedly apologised to their fans, fellow clubs, the Premier League and the FA.' Albeit, apologised nowhere near grovellingly enough to satisfy the impotent rage felt against these greedy louse-scum by the majority of the game's supporters, including - to be fair - many of their own. 'The Premier League and the FA have worked closely together throughout this process and this agreement brings both investigations into the matter to a conclusion,' the statement continued. The BBC Sport website claims that The Scum's owners the Glazer family, Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws owners Fenway Sports Group, The Arse's majority shareholders Kroenke Sports Enterprises and Stottingtot Hotshot's owners will pay the fine rather than their clubs. Whether the billionaire owners of Sheikh Yer Man City and Moscow Chelski FC will do likewise is not, at this time, known. Or, indeed, much cared about frankly. Former The Scum and England defender Gary Neville, who has been a vocal critic of football's governance and the ESL, tweeted the punishment was 'an absolute embarrassment.' And, for once he's absolutely correct. An average of about three-and-a-bit million quid each is roughly what these bunch of jokers spend on vol au vants for the boardroom each season. Nine of the ESL clubs - the six Premier League sides, plus AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid - were fined a similar amount by European governing body UEFA last month. They agreed to pay fifteen million Euros between them and have five per cent of their UEFA competition revenues held for one season, starting in 2023-24. In May, UEFA said the other three clubs involved - Real, Barca and Juve - would face 'appropriate action' having failed to distance themselves from the ESL. Media outlets were told the clubs were risking being removed from the Champions League if the case went against them, but - sadly - that now looks unlikely. The three clubs believe an order issued by a Madrid court in April that prevents UEFA taking action against them is valid in Switzerland, where the governing body is based. This has now been passed to the European Court of Justice for a ruling, which has led to the initial case being stopped. UEFA said it was 'confident' in its case and would 'continue to defend its position in all the relevant jurisdictions.' The negative reaction to the ESL has sparked a huge debate about how football is run. The government has already announced a 'fan-led review' into football governance and the prospect of an independent regulator in English football is set for a parliamentary debate after a petition, launched by a number of ex-footballers, gained more than one hundred thousand signatures.
In town and doing a bit of shopping on Tuesday, for the first time in months, this blogger was able (and, indeed, was delighted) to have an actual proper sit-down lunch in an actual proper sit-down restaurant. And, it was in one which, according to allegedly 'reliable sources' on the Interweb was, now, permanently closed for business. Except, it seemingly wasn't. Photographic evidence was taken as a result but, rest assured, this blogger really deserved that particular piece of good fortune.
The gaff does, admittedly, appear to be under new management since the blogger last ventured there sometime in the autumn of last year (in so much as it now has a different name). But, importantly, it was just lovely to be back in the joint. 'Are you open?' this blogger asked. 'Why yes sir, we most definitely are as the sign on the door clearly indicates (and, despite what you may have read elsewhere),' they replied. 'Please, do come in and buy food as you look both Hank Marvin and particularly windswept and interesting this fine day.'
This blogger replied: 'Okay then, I will. And, I see from the menu that you clearly knew I was coming.'
And, lo, dear blog reader it was all geet lush in this blogger's sight, so it was. (Not cheap, mind, considering that it was lunchtime. But, still lush.)
As this blogger mentioned during a recent From The North bloggerisationisms update during a recent period of enforced bed-rest this blogger re-read a particular favourite tome of this parish, Tune In, the first part of Mark Lewisohn's acclaimed biography of The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them). It was, inevitably, suggested to this blogger by his most excellent Facebook fiend - and fellow Fabbite - Jan, that this blogger really ought to get himself the 'extended, special' seventeen hundred page, two-volume monster edition of the book. One which, remember, still only goes up to the end of 1962. This blogger noted that, sadly, he'd never picked up a copy of the big version - mostly, because he simply couldn't afford it and, during a period last year when he could've afforded it, he had other priorities to look at. Still, this blogger noted, one never knows what the future may hold - never expecting for a single second that the future held anything in regard to this particular issue. A few weeks on and, would you Adam-and-Eve it, dear blog reader, this blogger had a bit of a windfall in terms of some Amazon vouchers (a result of a daily online survey which yer actual Keith Telly Topping has done for years and never gotten much from previously). Therefore, look what only went and rocked up at the Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House, then? It's an ill-wind that blows the righteous some good, they reckon ... Of course, now in all likelihood it's going to take this blogger almost as long to read the damned thing as it's taken for him to actually acquire it. Christ, dear blog reader it's heavy (in more senses than merely its weight).
And, speaking of Merseyside musical icons, unreleased material by Billy Fury is finally seeing the light of day as part of a new compilation of his late-1960s performances for the BBC. After signing with EMI in December 1966, Fury recorded eleven singles for Parlophone up until late 1970. During this period, the singer also performed live sessions for BBC television and radio. In keeping with BBC policy of the time, most of the recordings were destroyed. Eight performances from 1967-1970 have made it to release, but nothing from 1968-1969 was thought to have survived - until now. Released with the blessing of the Billy Fury Estate via the Top Sounds label, Three Saturdays With Billy offers seven previously unreleased live recordings made for the Radio 1 programme Saturday Club, as well as audio of a performance taken from an appearance on Simon Dee's Dee Time TV show. The Saturday Club performances include unique covers of David Bowie's 'Silly Boy Blue' and The Bee Gees' 'One Minute Woman', as well as Billy's own 'Bye Bye' and Chuck Berry's 'Sweet Little Sixteen'. Fury's studio version of 'I Love You' was never released in his lifetime although an alternate version was issued as a bonus on The Missing Years CD compilation. Two interviews with Billy also survive from those broadcasts and feature on the new release, as well as Fury's most left-field single, 'Phone Box (The Monkey's In The Jam Jar)'. Three Saturdays With Billy is available on vinyl and CD and comes with a twenty four-page illustrated booklet including previously unpublished photographs. The CD also features a radio broadcast of Fury's 'Lady' single introduced by the singer.
From The North's semi-regular Headline Of The Week award goes, this week, to the Independent for their, seemingly serious, 'exclusive' Fact Checkers Declare Trump Was Not Wearing Pants Backwards But It's All Anyone Can Talk About From Return Speech. Now extremely former President Mister Rump's tailoring had, apparently, 'created a social media firestorm' when 'observers' pointed out that a video clip 'seemed' to suggest that his pants did not have a zip showing. And, once again, dear blog reader, let us simply stand up and salute the utter shite that some Middle Class hippy Communists chose to care about.
A woman has been extremely fined for exposing herself during the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh. Marissa Scott carried out the offence while shouting 'save the environment' in front of crowds who had gathered near Windsor Castle on 17 April. The fifty five-year-old pleaded very guilty to 'causing harassment, alarm or distress' under the Public Order Act. Deputy senior district judge Tan Ikram described her behaviour as 'disgraceful.' Slough Magistrates' Court heard tourists, families and members of the media had gathered in High Street when Scott exposed herself. Tina Flannery, prosecuting, said Scott removed a tabard she was wearing and 'exposed her breasts' following the national minute's silence to mark the duke's passing. Whether the fact that she waited until the minute's silence has concluded before whipping her baps out was taken into account is not, currently, known. The moment was 'captured' by members of the press. Whom, one imagines, could hardly believe their luck. During a subsequent police interview, it was claimed that Scott said she 'wanted to show solidarity with the World Wildlife Foundation and save the planet' (because, nothing 'shows solidarity with the WWF' like getting yer knockers out in public, clearly). She further claimed that 'she didn't think it would cause any distress.' Scott was fined one hundred and fifty knicker and made to pay eighty five sobs in prosecution costs and a thirty four quid victim surcharge.
People are increasingly likely to use 'strong swearing' in their everyday life, suggests research from the British Board of Film Classification. Which sounds just about twatting correct. The body, which gives age ratings to films, says that 'about a third' of people in the UK are more likely to use 'strong swear words' than five years ago. They do not reveal what this category of 'strong swear words' include but one imagines that 'wee-wee' is probably amongst them. But, the research also found parents did not want age restrictions weakened for swearing in movies and DVDs. Fekking-well right, an'aal. Parents wanted to protect children 'for as long as possible' from swearing. The BBFC also said it would treat acronyms such as 'WTF' as though the full swear words had been spelled out, because the meaning was so widely recognised. As 'what the flip?', obviously. The report on 'swearing habits', based on research with one thousand people, found 'about six in ten people' saw 'strong swearing', such as the F-word, the C-word and the S-word ('semprini') as 'part of every day life.' A third were 'more likely' to swear than five years ago, but there was a significant 'generational divide', with eighteen to thirty four year olds most likely to let rip with a good, hard, ear-shattering 'fuck' and to be 'desensitised' to its impact. Among older people, strong swear words still remained 'a taboo' - with seventy five per cent of those over sixty five saying they would not use strong swearing in public, according to research which included focus groups and in-depth interviews. Parents were also keen to keep strong swearing away from their children - with about two thirds of parents saying while they 'might' swear among their own friends they would avoid it if they thought their children, up to the age of sixteen, could hear. There was also 'anxiety' among parents about how much swearing could be 'normalised' in the online video content available to young people. The context also made a difference, with parents more worried if swearing was used in an aggressive or violent way, with a particular concern if it was used in terms of sexual violence. The BBFC said the research suggested that while swearing might be increasingly used and tolerated, that parents did not want a dilution of the limits on how it appeared on-screen - such as not having very strong language in a 12A-rated film. The strongest swear words should be 'infrequent' for a 15 rating and if accompanied with violence they might need an 18 rating, said the BBFC. 'Children are watching more content on multiple screens and their parents want to protect them from strong and very strong language wherever they can and for as long as possible. Parents told us they are keen for media industries to share the responsibility,' said David Austin, the BBFC's chief executive.
Harrison Ford has been spotted on Tyneside for a second day running whilst taking a break from filming the latest Indiana Jones movie. The actor was photographed by Terry Blackburn on Newcastle's Quayside on Thursday, having previously been spotted cycling nearby. He was also seen having a meal at The Ship's Cat in North Shields on Tuesday. Ford is currently shooting the fifth film in the adventure series at Northumberland's Bamburgh Castle. The popular tourist destination is closed until 14 June due to filming and props including World War Two military vehicles have been spotted being delivered to the coastal location. While in North Shields, the seventy eight-year-old was seen having a meal with colleagues by Alex Liddell, who was on her work hen do at the Fish Quay nearby. She said: 'It was really bizarre. You do not expect to see a Hollywood star at the Fish Quay in North Shields. It was really quite exciting. He looked like he was enjoying himself, but I don't think he wanted any attention.' The Ship's Cat posted on Instagram that it was 'an honour' to have the actor as a customer and he was 'welcome back any time.' And, one is certain that should Harrison ever be out with his mates on the lash on Shields High Street again in the future, he's sure to pop into The Ship's Cat for a return visit. The Disney-produced film also stars Mads Mikkelsen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Thomas Kretschmann, with parts also being shot in the village of Grosmont in North Yorkshire. From The North favourite Mikkelsen, known for his villainous roles in Casino Royale and Hannibal (and all those adverts for Carlsberg), was also pictured in Newcastle. Film buff Iain Makepeace told the BBC he was 'shocked' - and stunned - to discover the actor was in the city. As was this blogger given that Mads was only about three or four miles from yer actual Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House and yet never took the opportunity to pop in for a cup of tea and a nice slice of cake. Same with Harrison who was, seemingly, even closer to the gaff. I dunno, dear blog reader, these Hollywood types, they never write, they never call ...
Police in Sunderland (the actual Mackem Filth, if you will) are reportedly looking for a person who has been stealing new-born lambs and leaving them in suburban gardens. Why anyone would wished to do so, one hesitates to speculate, they're a weird lot down in Mackemland. Residents have emerged from their homes three times in the last fortnight to find a lamb abandoned on their lawn after being taken from its mother in the night. The RSPCA has collected each of the frightened animals and taken them to be looked after, but they have not been able to reunite them with their mothers because police have not managed to trace the farm which they came from. Amy Scollen, who lives in Ryhope, discovered a lamb in her garden on 13 May, which she described as a 'very weird morning.' Not least, fro the lamb. She said: 'I don't know how it got in my garden and I could hear it but couldn't see it until I opened the door to grab the milk and it was staring me in the face.' She called her mother who, in turn, called Northumbria police. The force arrived, all tooled up with truncheons and mint sauce and said the lamb was 'distressed and was headbutting the fence, trying to get out of the garden' when officers arrived. Which, to be fair, is not that unusual behaviour. For Wearside. This was, reportedly, followed by two almost identical incidents over the next couple of weeks. Heather Wade, an RSPCA rescue officer, attended one of the calls to find the lamb, which was too young to have been separated from its mother, cold and shivering. 'These little ones were only days old so were very vulnerable and would have been frightened to be away from their mum,' she said. 'I know the lambs could not have wandered into the gardens as they were enclosed so it suggests someone has deliberately done this and I have no idea why. Maybe they think it is some kind of joke. We are not sure where they have come from as there are no nearby farms, so we could not reunite them with their mum and they are now being hand-reared by a specialist.' She is appealing for information to find the person or persons responsible and urges anyone with information to call the RSPCA. 'If anyone sees an animal in distress or is concerned for a baby animal then we would urge them to call our cruelty line for advice,' she said.
Some people they do say to this blogger, 'for why, Keith Telly Topping? Why is there that oversized office fan in the front room of yer actual Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House? What's that all about? You live in that there England, where it rains all the bloody time, you must only get to use this implement about four days a year?' This is, indeed, broadly speaking accurate. However, those four days per year usually include at least one like Thursday of this week where the Tynside humidity was steaming like the virry tropics. And, the bongo drums never ceased. So, that's why if you were wondering, dear blog reader. Cos on days like that it is, if you will, fan-ruddy-tastic. (This is also, of course, if there was ever any doubt in the matter, proof positive that yer actual Keith Telly Topping does have fans. Nah, lissun ...)
This week also occasioned the first - overdue - strimmage of the manicured Stately Telly Topping Manor Plague House lawns of the summer.
And, the first washing of the Telly Topping smalls of the week, to boot.
And finally, dear blog reader, some jolly sad news. The actress Damaris Hayman, famous to Doctor Who fans for playing Olive Hawthorne, the gloriously batty white witch of Devil's End in the well-remembered 1971 five part story The Daemons, has died at the age of ninety one. Damaris had a long career in British Film and Television, playing mostly well-to-do, slightly eccentric, ladies. She made her TV debut in 1953 as Eliza in The Story Of The Treasure Seekers. Her film debut came a year later in The Belles Of St Trinian's in an uncredited role as a sixth former, the first in the comedy series set in a private girls school. It was a world Hayman knew well having been educated at the exclusive Cheltenham Ladies' College before moving into acting and being mentored by Dame Margaret Rutherford. Later movies included The Pink Panther Strikes Again, The Missionary, Confessions Of A Driving Instructor, Mutiny On The Buses, Bunny Lake Is Missing and Bitter Harvest. Many supporting roles on TV included appearances in productions such as The Citadel, Citizen James, The Somerset Maugham Hour, Crossroads, Steptoe & Son, Z Cars, The Dickie Henderson Show, Love Thy Neighbour, Sez Les, Clarence, The Liver Birds, Beggar My Neighbour, Armchair Theatre, Ours Is A Nice House, The Onedin Line, The Morecambe & Wise Show, The Witches' Brew, The Small World Of Samuel Tweet, The Dick Emery Show, The Basil Brush Show, If You See God Tell Him, The House Of Eliott, Filthy, Rich & Catflap, Mind Your Language, Robin's Nest, Wodehouse Playhouse, The Sweeney, The Tommy Cooper Hour, Albert!, Here Come The Double Deckers, Vile Bodies, From A Bird's Eye View, Not In Front Of The Children, The World Of Beachcomber, How We Used To Live, Point Counter Point, The Bed-Sit Girl, Badger's Bend and One Foot In The Grave. In, probably, her second-most-famous TV appearance, she played the old lady who asks Neil if he 'digs graves' in the Nasty episode of The Young Ones (1984). To which the obvious answer is, 'yeah, they're all right!' After appearing in a sketch in Tony Hancock's last British TV series in 1967 (Hancock's), she became a close friend of the comedian during the remaining year of his life according to Hancock's biographer, John Fisher. It was in 1971 Damaris took on the role that endeared her to several generations of Doctor Who fans when she played Miss Hawthorne in The Daemons. It was a perfectly-pitched comedic performance and one that she was very proud of. Her chemistry with Jon Pertwee and the rest of the cast helped ensure the story's long-term popularity. In 2017 she returned to the character to appear in The White Witch Of Devil's End, a spin-off story based on the character released on DVD by Koch Media. Retiring from acting in the 1990s, Damaris lived for many years in Cirencester.