Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Keep Your Friends Close, And Your Enemies Closer

Series eight of Doctor Who saw yer actual Peter Capaldi take up the role of The Doctor, with an average consolidated audience of 7.4m viewers per episode in the UK. This an increase of thirty nine per cent on the overnight figures that were reported, crassly and without any contextualisation, by various parts of the media on the day after initial broadcasts. Including, most depressingly, the BBC's own website. (Dear blog readers should be advised that the original headline to this article when it appeared on 13 November was Steven Moffat Plays Down Who Ratings Slip - which Steven Moffat, in fact, did not do since there hasn't been a 'ratings slip' for him to 'play down' or anything even remotely like it. The article also included several inaccuracies not the least of which was flat out wrong overnight ratings figures quoted for Deep Breath. It was, seemingly, 'amended to clarify the context for the comments made by Steven Moffat' a day later. Presumably after the tosser that wrote it in the first place had been given the most spectacular bollocking of his or her lifetime by somebody in a position of authority at BBC News and told, next time, to stick to the bloody facts.) Anyway. these figures include the 9.2 million average audience that watched Deep Breath, Peter Capaldi's début episode, which is the highest audience figure for a single, non-special, episode of Doctor Who since The Eleventh Hour, the opening episode of series five (Matt Smith’s début) in 2010. The numbers show how Doctor Who has consistently achieved big audiences across its last four series – series seven also had an average consolidated audience of 7.4m per episode; series six attracted 7.5m and series five was viewed by 7.3m, entirely justifying Steven Moffat's recent comments that Doctor Who's audience has hardly changed during the last five years even if the way in which some of those faithful viewers consume the show has. There have, additionally, been over 18.9m requests to watch Doctor Who series eight on BBC iPlayer - an average of 1.6m requests for each of the twelve episodes. At the present time iPlayer figures are not included in the final, consolidated ratings released by the British Audience Research Board. In the US, consolidated figures for the first ten episodes have seen series eight experience a twenty three per cent uplift in total audience in 'Live Plus Seven' figures on series seven. The series eight première was the show's highest-rated series opening ever on BBC America, and is the first BBC Worldwide series ever to simultaneously hold the number one slot in the 'Main TV Season Charts' across all major Electronic Sell-through platforms in the US within forty eight hours of episode one's release on 24 August 2014. In Canada, on the Space channel, the first ten episodes of series eight have seen a twenty two per cent uplift in consolidated audience size on series seven. The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat said: 'We never take it for granted, but the miracle has happened again - the nation has taken a brand new Doctor to its heart.' Danny Cohen, the Director of BBC Television added: 'It's been an outstanding debut series for Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who [sic] and I'm very grateful to Peter, Steven Moffat and everyone involved. In this new world, we only know the total viewing for a programme after thirty days - and in the case of Doctor Who this means that the drama is performing exceptionally well.' Doctor Who Extra, which offers viewers a behind the scenes look at making one of the nation's best loved family SF dramas has had 1.3m BBC iPlayer requests and reached 2.4m people on BBC Red Button to date.

Meanwhile, Peter Capaldi his very self has revealed that he turned down an audition for the Doctor Who 1996 TV movie. Paul McGann was eventually to play the eighth Doctor in the one-off - intended to serve as a pilot for a potential co-produced series. 'I knew I wouldn't get it,' Peter explained at an event this week to launch the Doctor Who series eight DVD box-set. 'I loved the show so much that I didn't want to have anything to do with it, unless it was going to be me [definitely playing the part]. I didn't want the disappointment [after] going through all the palaver - jumping through hoops for something I [knew I would] would never get.' Peter added that he feared he was not well-known enough at the time to be taken seriously as a contender to play The Doctor. 'It was an American pilot and I knew they would go for somebody who was well-known - which Paul was, and he was fantastic. So I said to my agent, "Thank you very much, but I don't want to go along."' Capaldi is not the only Doctor to have turned down the chance to audition for the role in the 1990s. After he was cast as The Doctor in 2004, Christopher Eccleston also revealed that he had declined an invitation to audition for the role in the TV Movie.
After more than fifty years, twelve lead actors and several hundred episodes, the legacy of Doctor Who has never been greater – and The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat is feeling the pressure. Speaking at the panel to promote the series eight DVD, Moffat was asked by host Frank Skinner whether he ever feared 'crashing' the long-running series, having taken over the reins from Russell Davies in 2010. 'Yes of course you do,' Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) said. 'Any time you make a big shift in it or a big change in it, which we did this year, then you're properly worried – it's like you're curator of the crown jewels or something.' Still, yer man Moffat went on to explain how he put aside such concerns, which he considers an 'essential practice' to make the series: 'You have to shut that off in your mind,' he said. 'You've got to treat it like you own it – even though you don't. You have to sort of be bold with it, you have to sort of behave as if you were allowed to do this. If all you were ever doing is tending to the upkeep of the monument, then it's not gonna be a proper TV show.' These comments echo those made by Moffat last week, when he said that Peter Capaldi had 'saved the series' by forcing it to change. 'A show dies when it's reliable like a pair of old slippers,' he explained at a Royal Television Society event. 'If any reviewer says that about a show, that show is gone within a year.'
After the cliffhanger of Sherlock series three we all suspected that the next instalment of the detective drama – whatever form it might take and whenever it might be – was likely to address the apparent return of the late Jim Moriarty. Andrew Scott's BAFTA-winning mad-as-toast villain made an ambiguous appearance at the end of the final episode when the closing credits were interrupted to show Moriarty taking over television screens across Britain and repeating the question 'Did you miss me?' And when the titles finally ended there was a flash of the man himself, looking straight down the barrel of the camera. But after apparently shooting himself through the head at the end of the previous series, could Moriarty really still be alive? Or is it some trick from beyond the grave that, according to BBC1, will see Benedict Cumberbatch's detective returning from 'the briefest of exiles to face one of his biggest mysteries yet'? Whatever the answer, the Sherlock special – currently in pre-production and due to start shooting in January – will solve the mystery 'completely', co-creator Mark Gatiss his very self has told the Radio Times. But when Mark, Benny and co then turn their attention to series four, will the one-off episode (which may or may not be shown next Christmas) be the last we'll see of one of the best-loved villains in TV history? Gatiss's answer is as enigmatic and tantalising as you might expect: 'It's very hard to put a lid on Andrew Scott.'
I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) topped the overnight ratings on its return on Sunday. The crass, horrifyingly meat-head ITV reality show attracted an average audience of 10.07 million viewers at 9pm. That, in and of itself, is a truly dreadful indictment of something or other dear blog reader although, cause for at least a modicum of celebration, was the fact that this was the risible, odious, voyeuristic freak-show's lowest-rated launch episode for several years. It was down around 1.5m from last year's average ratings of 11.54m and also down from 2012's 10.26m. Earlier, The X Factor - featuring the first play of Band Aid Thirty - climbed by over a million viewers from the previous week to 8.20m at 8pm. This is the first time the show has attracted over eight million viewers in four weeks. Meanwhile, Keep It In The Family attracted 2.78m at 7pm. On BBC1, Strictly Come Dancing rose by around seven hundred thousand viewers week-on-week to 10.03m at 7.15pm, making it the highest-rated results show of the current series so far. Earlier, Countryfile appealed to 6.79m at 6.15pm, while the movie War Horse was seen by 5.05m at 9pm. BBC2's live tennis coverage scored one million viewers at 6pm, followed by Human Universe also with a million viewers at 7pm. Sue Perkins's Mekong River documentary interested 2.35m at 8pm, while World's Greatest Food Markets brought in 1.27m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Speed With Guy Martin continued with 1.51m at 8pm, followed by the latest episode of Homeland with 1.14m at 9pm. Channel Five's broadcast of Dumb and Dumber was watched by nine hundred and ninety eight thousand at 5.45pm.

And, I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) was also the winner on Monday evening, overnight data reveals. The show dropped around eight hundred thousand viewers from Sunday's launch episode, but still attracted an average audience of 9.29 million at 9pm. Earlier, Countrywise brought in 2.97m at 8pm. On BBC1, a repeat of Room 101 was seen by 2.10m at 8.30pm, followed by a repeat of New Tricks with 2.87m at 9pm. BBC2's Strictly: It Takes Two attracted 2.14m at 6.30pm. University Challenge drew 2.64m at 8pm, followed by Only Connect with 2.07m at 8.30pm. Intruders continued with four hundred and seventy two thousand at 9pm. On Channel Four, Dispatches interested 1.14m at 8pm. How To Sell Your Home was seen by 1.18m at 8.30pm, while Twenty Four Hours In Police Custody had an audience of 1.04m at 9pm. Channel Five's documentary Jack the Ripper: Missing Evidence attracted nine hundred and ninety five thousand at 8pm, followed by the latest Gotham with 1.07m at 9pm and Under The Dome with six hundred and seventy thousand at 10pm. On BBC4, Intimate History Of Dance appealed to 1.09m at 9pm.

The Missing dropped to below five million overnight viewers when it went up against live football on Tuesday. The BBC1 drama lost around eight hundred thousand viewers week-on-week, falling to 4.98 million at 9pm. ITV's coverage of the Scotland versus England friendly - which England won 3-1 - scored 6.19m from 7.30pm. On BBC2, MasterChef: The Professionals continued with 2.66m at 8pm, followed by Secrets Of The Castle with 1.24m at 9pm and The Walshes with four hundred and eighty four thousand at 10pm. Channel Four's Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners attracted 1.21m at 8pm, followed by You Can't Get the Staff with nine hundred and fifty two thousand at 9pm and Gogglebox with 1.04m at 10pm.

Here are the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Seven programmes for week-ending Sunday 9 November 2014:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 10.52m
2 Downton Abbey - Sun ITV - 9.95m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 9.08m
4 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 8.58m
5 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.84m
6 The Apprentice - Wed BBC1 - 7.72m
7 The Missing - Tues BBC1 - 7.66m
8 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 7.60m
9 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.14m
10 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 7.08m
11 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.33m
12 The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance - Sat BBC1 - 5.22m
13 Grantchester - Mon ITV - 5.14m*
14 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.98m
15 Lewis - Fri ITV - 4.87m*
16 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.71m
17 UEFA Champions League Live - Tues ITV - 4.70m
18 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.49m
19 Life Story - Thurs BBC1 - 4.41m
20 Paul O'Grady's For The Love Of Dogs - Thurs ITV - 4.40m*
21= Gareth Malone's All Star Choir - Mon BBC1 - 4.33m
21= Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.33m
23 The Passing Bells - Mon BBC1 - 4.17m
24 Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph - Sun BBc1 - 4.01m
25 Gogglebox - Friday Channel Four - 3.92m
26 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 3.91m
27 Watchdog - Thurs BBC1 - 3.90m
Those ITV programmes marked '*' do not include include HD figures. As mentioned in the last bloggerisationisms, Doctor Who's consolidated figure for the series eight finale, Death In Heaven, included a timeshift above the initially reported 'live' audience of over two million viewers for the tenth time in twelve weeks (2.15 million, to be exact). The series' average timeshift across all twelve episodes of the series was 2.06 million. For the second week running, Saturday evening's episode of The X Factor had a final rating higher than the Sunday evening results show (7.85 million). Strictly Come Dancing's Sunday result episode, meanwhile, drew 9.69 million, meaning that the BBC show whipped The X Factor's bare ass on both Saturday and Sunday for the sixth week running. BBC2's highest rated programme of the week was MasterChef: The Professionals with 2.98m (all three episodes - on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - achieved audience figures in the 2.90 - three million range). University Challenge drew 2.92 million, followed by The Apprentice: You're Fired! (2.88m), Great Continental Railway Journeys (2.68m), The Mekong River With Sue Perkins (2.52m), Only Connect (2.28m), Peaky Blinders (2.24m), Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two (2.15m) and Qi (2.07m). Gogglebox was Channel Four's largest-rated show, followed by the channels' broadcast of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2.67m), Twenty Four Hours In A&E (2.52m) and Speed With Guy Martin (2.12m). Channel Five's best performers were Gotham with 2.45 million, Black Market Britain Undercover Sting (1.66m) and Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away (1.63m). Midsomer Murders was ITV3's most-watched programme with seven hundred and eighty seven thousand viewers. Detectorists drew BBC4's largest audience of the week (seven hundred and four thousand), followed by Inspector Motalbano (six hundred and sixty two thousand). E4's The Big Bang Theory had the biggest multichannels audience of all (2.47m). Sky 1's The Flash had 1.48m.

Luther is to be remade for US television by the FOX network. The BBC thriller starring Idris Elba is to be 'retooled' for American audiences - whatever the hell that means. Give him a guns, probably - with the project having received a put pilot commitment, according to Variety. This means that FOX will pay 'a significant penalty' if it does not broadcast the new Luther pilot, increasing its chance of being picked up to series. Elba will executive produce the remake, but is not expected to reprise the lead role. Starring the British actor as tortured police detective John Luther, the original series - created by Neil Cross - ran for three series on BBC1 between 2010 and 2013. And was really rather good.
Odious, unfunny, lanky streak of worthless pale piss Jack Whitehall has suggested that ITV should be 'made to answer' on the subject of how the controversial comedian Dapper Laughs managed to land his own TV show with the broadcaster. Oh, the irony. Oi, pot, there's kettle over here calling you black.
And, speaking of odious, horrible, full-of-their-own-importance glakes, millionaire horrorshow (and drag) Myleene Klass might have gained a lot of attention for herself after she 'went all Jeremy Paxman' on Ed Milimolimandi in a TV debate over the proposed mansion tax, but it seems to have rebounded on her, somewhat, with at least some of the audience. A number of viewers were, it would appear, so offended by the idea of a talentless, full-of-herself millionaire lecturing the Labour leader on his plans to imposed a tax on millionaires should Labour win the next election that they have started a petition aimed at getting her dropped from her advertising work with Littlewoods. Earlier this week, the thirty six-year-old former pop singer criticised the Labour leader over his pledge to impose a mansion tax during the ITV show The Agenda. Klass accused Milimolimandi of 'pointing at things and taxing them.' Many viewers have accused her of being 'deeply insensitive' during a time of supposed public austerity, especially since she herself has an estimated net worth of eleven million quid and, seemingly, has now cast herself as the spokesperson for other extremely well off people who may be asked to pay a bit more money to help those who are not so fortunate as them at some stage in the future. Obviously, she's decided that she was more photogenic than Gryff Rhys Jones. Having been accused of having extremely offensive opinions, some are now calling on Littlewoods, the company for whom Klass fronts a series of particularly obnoxious adverts, to drop the former Hear'Say poppet from their campaigns as a sign of respect to, you know, the rest of the country. The petition at the website argues that the company's pay-weekly customers are among the worst hit by economic hardships - something which Klass's argument that mansion tax is 'unfair' rather pisses in the face of. This will, of course, have as little chance of success as the - equally ludicrous - petition about getting the BBC to repeat old Doctor Who episodes mentioned on this blog a couple of weeks ago, albeit, in just one day the Klass petition had attracted fifteen times as many signatures as the other did in a fortnight. It reads: 'Myleene Klass has demonstrated unacceptable conduct and spoken unacceptably publicly in such appalling economic times. We the British public call upon you to make you position regarding the words of Myleene Klass clear and end your business relationship with her as the face of your brand. Miss Klass (estimated net worth eleven million pounds) showed a complete lack of class when she made comments about the unfairness of this tax on the super-wealthy of British society who make up less than 0.05 per cent of the population.' Littlewoods have apparently 'been made aware' of the campaign, but are yet to make any comments on the future of Klass at their company.
TV physicist Brian Cox (no, the other one) and the visual effects team behind the film Gravity will tell the story of the universe using cutting-edge augmented reality technology in a live show next year. Professor Coxy, effects wizards Framestore and film director Kevin Macdonald are using a system called Magic Leap. Magic Leap has not been seen in public, but reports suggest that its headgear projects images onto users' eyes. The show will be part of the Manchester International Festival next July. Titled The Age Of Starlight, it is one of the first three productions to be announced for the eighteen-day event. Also on the line-up are a ballet created by choreographer Wayne McGregor, musician Jamie xx and artist Olafur Eliasson and a family show telling the life story of children's TV favourite Mr Tumble.
Broadchurch will be back in the New Year, it has been confirmed. Detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) will return to ITV in January 2015. 'There was a boy, and he was killed. I caught the killer. So why am I still here?' Alec asks in the third two-part teaser for the return of the popular crime drama, which was shown on Sunday. A follow-up teaser featured Miller saying: 'There was a boy, and he was killed. What happened then destroyed my family, my job and my town. So what do I do now?' Series one of Chris Chibnall's drama focused on a small coastal town in Dorset rocked by the murder of eleven-year-old Danny Latimer, as Alec and Ellie tried to track down his killer. Very little is currently known about the second series of Broadchurch, although Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan and Arthur Darvill are among those reprising their roles from the first series. Meanwhile, Charlotte Rampling, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Meera Syal, Eve Myles and James D'Arcy will join the cast for the new series.
The presenter of BBC4's recent Architects Of The Divine (part of the Gothic season), and the current repeat run on the same channel of the superb Chivalry and Betrayal is, of course, Doctor Janina Ramirez, whom we're all big fans of here at From The North. That is how she appears on Twitter, Facebook and in the credits of her previous TV work. So how did the commissioning editor, executive producer, producer/director and the rest of the team behind Architects Of The Divine sign off on a transmission version naming her as 'Nina' Ramirez? Was it somebody at BBC4's idea that if they start shortening everybody's name, they might attract da kidz, and that, innit?
Here's a really rather marvellous piece of journalism, about the unlikely - but, seemingly, sincere and warm - friendship which sprang up between the academic and broadcaster Mary Beard and the comedian Tony Law (both of whom we're, also, big fans of here at From The North). Does the soul good to read something like this every now and then, frankly.
Julian Assange's prolonged sojourn at the Ecuadorian embassy in London has inspired a new BBC4 sitcom. Asylum is described 'a satirical comedy about a government whistleblower and a millionaire Internet entrepreneur trapped together in a London embassy.' Presumably, any resemblance being, you know, entirely coincidental. Four Lions actor Kayvan Novak will star in the comedy, which he conceived with his Fonejacker producer, Tom Thostrup. Although, given the fact that he's already been the subject of a movie which even yer man Benedict Cumberbatch couldn't sell, one has to wonder if Channel Four really think they're going to be pulling in the numbers with this project. WikiLeaks founder Assange has been in Ecuador's London embassy for more than two years. He initially took refuge there in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces charges of sexual assault and other alleged naughty badness. Charges which, it is important to note, he denies. Asylum forms part of a series of shows created to mark the eight hundredth anniversary of the Magna Carta's signing. The Taking Liberties season includes a day of debate, a documentary filmed inside the House of Commons and a series on the struggle to win votes for women. Tony Hall, the BBC's Director General, said that he was 'delighted' to announce a season 'examining what Magna Carta's key themes of freedom, power and justice mean to Britain and the world today.' The corporation, he said, 'should be the place where the great events in our nation's history are commemorated.'

Coronation Street is to broadcast a special live episode to mark ITV’s sixth decade on-air. The longrunning soap, which also filmed live episodes to mark its fortieth and fiftieth anniversaries in 2000 and 2010, will broadcast live for one night next September. The 2010 episode, which featured a dramatic tram crash, won several awards for the Manchester-set show. Producer Stuart Blackburn, who masterminded Emmerdale's live special to celebrate its fortieth anniversary in 2012, said it was 'an honour to be at the helm' of Coronation Street for the occasion.
A British antiques expert who restored items for royalty was a child abuser involved in a notorious paedophile campaign group, the BBC has revealed. Keith Harding was active in the Paedophile Information Exchange, according to documents seen by the BBC. A former chairman of the British Horological Institute, he appeared alongside dirty old scallywag and right rotten rotter Jimmy Savile in a Christmas edition of Jim'll Fix It. Harding, who died in June, had been convicted of sex offences in the 1950s. A man who appeared on the Christmas 1980 Jim'll Fix It episode as a boy has claimed the feature was 'set up' by the production team, who approached the family and asked for a letter to Savile to be written. It has not been possible to establish the precise motive for Harding's appearance on the show. Richard Scorer, from the legal firm Slater & Gordon, which is representing nearly two hundred alleged victims of Savile, described the Jim'll Fix It revelation as 'extremely troubling. It is precisely the sort of allegation that the government child abuse inquiry needs to investigate in detail,' he said. Child protection campaigners have called for the official inquiry into historical abuse to examine the extent of Harding's business and political links. He was convicted of indecent assault against four children aged eight and nine in the late 1950s and was a 'Schedule One' offender - meaning that his convictions remained on his police file for life. But, he was later given the Freedom of the City of London and became a member of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, meeting business and political figures at the height of his career. The clockmaker and music box expert ran a museum regularly visited by children, despite social services allegedly 'being aware' twenty years ago of his previous convictions for child abuse. Harding's involvement with PIE, which campaigned for the age of consent to be reduced to four, has never previously come to light. BBC News says that it has seen 'confidential social services reports' from 1995 which confirm Harding's 'PIE involvement.' One of his former employees said that the clockmaker had described his role for the group as 'membership secretary.' Social services documents described his convictions as a 'real cause for concern' and warned that children should not be left unsupervised with him. In December 1980, the BBC's Jim'll Fix It filmed Harding at his workshop in Islington where he fixed a music box belonging to a thirteen-year-old girl whose letter was shown on-screen requesting the repair. She then appeared along with her younger brother in the studio with Harding and filthy kiddie-fiddler and sick bastard Savile. The girl's brother, Dean, who is now in his forties, has told BBC News the feature was, allegedly, 'set up' by the production team who instigated the item by approaching the family. He claimed: 'She was asked to write that letter. The way it came about was that my uncle was asked by his then girlfriend, who was a researcher at the BBC, if anybody in the family had a musical box. Obviously the letter must have been done after the facts.' Savile was one of Britain's most prolific sex abusers and is thought to have assaulted hundreds of people between the ages of five and seventy five over a fifty year plus period. Dean claims that he and his sister were chaperoned by a relative throughout their time on the programme and that nothing untoward took place. But, he described later learning about both Savile and Harding as 'very hurtful', adding: 'It takes away your childhood.' It is unclear what motivated Harding's appearance and who, if anyone, at the programme instigated it. Two - anonymous - 'sources' who worked on Jim'll Fix It at the time both said that they 'did not recall' the events leading up to Harding's appearance and denied knowing such 'set-ups' of guests ever took place. So, either they are lying, or this Dean character is, since both can't be correct in their assertions. The BBC said that it 'could not give a commentary' on the case as it was thirty four years ago but pointed to the current inquiry being carried out into dirty old scallywag and right rotten rotter Savile's activities at the corporation. In 1987, Harding moved to Gloucestershire where social services were, the BBC News website claims, 'aware' of his previous criminal convictions. Gloucestershire County Council declined to comment on the fact that he continued to run a music box museum in Northleach, which was regularly visited by children, until his death aged eighty two in June. A spokesman for the museum said that children were 'always accompanied by adults.' Harding also featured on the children's television programme All Over The Place, which visited his museum in 2012. PIE disbanded in 1984 and a number of its known members have since been convicted of sick and sordid child abuse offences. Speaking to social workers in the 1990s, Harding reportedly denied being a member of the group and said that he acted as a 'counsellor' to its members. But, a document held by police in the mid-1980s listed Harding as PIE member - number three hundred and twenty nine - next to his North London address. The Metropolitan Police's Operation Fairbank, which is investigating allegations of historical abuse, is understood to be 'aware' of Harding's background - albeit, the fact that the bloke is now dead does, sort of, make one wonder what exactly they're going to do if they find out that he was invovled in any filthy goings on. Dig him up and put him on trial, perhaps? In a statement, the BBC said: 'Today's BBC has appropriate safeguards in place to protect children and young people. Dame Janet Smith is making an impartial and independent investigation into the historical culture and practices of the BBC, which will identify lessons to be learned from the Savile period.' The Corporation of London said that Harding's vetting for the Freedom of the City was carried out 'by his livery company.' About eighteen hundred people receive the honour each year. The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers said that Keith Harding did not disclose his offences and was 'never involved in the running of the company.'
Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks 'signed off' on 'virtually all' cash payment requests when she was editor at the Sun, it has been claimed at a trial of journalists on the tabloid accused of approving naughty payments to public officials for stories. The head of news at the Sun was asked by the trial judge on Tuesday afternoon what proportion of payment requests the editor refused to sign off. 'A very small percentage,' Chris Pharo replied. Asked whether he could 'give an idea' of the percentage, he said 'two to three per cent.' Pharo is on trial along with five other current and former Sun journalists for allegedly approving unlawful payments to public officials, a charge which they all deny. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, is not. Pharo said 'what you might get is a protracted process of her stalling on the payments', before clarifying to the judge that in two to three per cent of cases there would be 'no payment at all.' He was being quizzed by prosecutor Peter Wright QC, about an e-mail in February 2006 telling staff that, with immediate effect, no cash payments would be paid 'without Rebekah's approval.' Pharo had replied to the e-mail containing the edict, by saying this would 'dramatically increase my workload.' This was because up to that point, a cash payment could be approved by a deputy editor, he said. Earlier in the trial, Pharo had claimed that he had to deal with so many cash payment requests by his reporters that he spent half of his time in the editor's office. In a grilling by Wright, he was accused of creating 'a cock and bull story' to explain the paper's 'practice' of paying public officials at a criminal trial. Opening his cross examination, Wright put it to Pharo that the 'ends justified the means' at the Sun and there was a 'preparedness to pay public officials.' Pharo replied: 'That's not true,' Pharo claimed. 'I stayed silent at the police station, because I was absolutely terrified.' He went on to tell jurors that the company had decided to hand him and others 'to the police' and repeated earlier references to three million e-mails being deleted by the company. This, Wright put it to him, was what upset him. 'That's what grates you isn't it? That the company shopped you?' Pharo replied: 'No, what really grates me is that the company has provided a fraction of the evidence in this case and we fitted the bill.' Wright asked him how these missing e-mails could exculpate him, suggesting they were a 'smokescreen' in his trial. 'I simply don't think we're looking at anything like the full picture,' Pharo claimed. 'I am not using it as a smokescreen.' Wright went on to quiz him about the paper's decision to run a story Mumbai Raid Fear on Xmas Shoppers four years ago. The article reported that Metropolitan police firearms officers were 'patrolling shopping centres' including Westfield and Bluewater as fears that al-Qaeda might be inspired to commit a British version of a massacre by the terrorist attack in India. 'Did you consider it was for you to decide to jeopardise any on going operation that may be undertaken by counter terrorism in the metropolis?' Wright asked. 'I don't for any moment accept your [assertion] that [the story] would jeopardise a counter terrorism [operation] in the metropolis,' claimed Pharo. Pressing him on the issue, Wright asked him if it was not 'arrogant' of the Sun to decide it was in the public interest to reveal a confidential operation. 'No,' said Pharo, explaining that the story suggested the police were 'already deployed and active.' Pharo was being quizzed about the story in relation to an e-mail request for a payment of seven hundred smackers to a 'source' who was 'well-placed in the Met.' He also said that there were 'no instructions' at the paper after well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks told a parliamentary select committee in 2003 that the Sun paid police officers. He said that he was 'shocked' about what well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks said to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and that it caused 'a great deal of consternation in the office and the wider industry.' Presumably, since paying police officers for information was then and remains now extremely illegal. 'After that statement by Rebekah Brooks about the "we pay police officers", did anything change?' Wright asked. 'No,' claimed Pharo. He said that there was 'no legal guidance' given to reporters on the matter until The Bribery Act came out in 2010. The trial continues.

The Sun came into possession of a Labour MP’s mobile phone after a thief smashed the window of her car and stole her handbag, a jury has heard. Siobhain McDonagh had parked her car in Tooting in October 2010 and had left her handbag inside, which contained, among other things, her mobile phone which was not password protected, the jury at the Old Bailey was told by the prosecution opening the case against Sun journalist Nick Parker. Within minutes the car window had been smashed and the phone was stolen, along with the rest of the contents of her handbag, Michael Parroy QC, said. Some forty five minutes later, the alleged thief, Michael Ankers, 'was using the handset with his own SIM card in it, having on his own account thrown away the SIM originally in the phone', Parroy said. The next day Ankers contacted the Sun and told them that he had acquired the phone of an MP. He claimed that he had 'found' the phone on the tube. An arrangement was then made that Ankers would meet the Sun reporter Nick Parker, at a hotel in Richmond, the jury was told. Parker is on trial for five alleged offences including 'dishonestly receiving stolen goods', and of unlawfully accessing the phone between 17 October and 21 October 2010. He has denied all the charges. Ankers has been very charged with theft of the phone and of 'dishonestly receiving stolen goods', charges which he also denies. Parroy said that at the meeting Parker, 'either personally, or via a technician, downloaded the contents of the phone onto his own laptop or more likely, read what was on the phone and typed the contents into his own laptop. Both of them knew they had no business whatsoever going into the phone, looking at its contacts, e-mails et cetera,' the prosecutor said, going on to add that the next day, Parker met Ankers again with a photographer accompanying him, by which time the phone had been handed in to the police. 'He arranged that meeting to be photographed because he thought the phone to be stolen,' said Parroy and therefore must have known he was 'acting dishonestly.' Parroy told jurors that Parker was 'not entitled just because he is a reporter, to interrogate someone’s else’s phone he has no business to have in his possession at all.' Parker has also pleaded not guilty of aiding and abetting a police officer, Alan Tierney, whom the jury heard had previously pleaded very guilty to misconduct in public office in 2009. In addition, the Sun journalist has pleaded not guilty to a fifth count, one of aiding and abetting a prison officer, who was charged with misconduct in public office in 2007. Lee Brockhouse, an office at HMP Swaleside, is on trial with Parker at the Old Bailey, as is Ankers. Brockhouse is accused of entering into an agreement with the Sun and disclosing confidential information to the paper in exchange for money. Parroy told jurors that Parker 'knew perfectly well that Tierney was a police officer' and that, as a public servant, he had no lawful right to sell stories to the press. 'Nonetheless, Parker was prepared to encourage the officer to act in this way so he could buy the stories for his paper,' said Parroy. Brockhouse has also been charged with selling stories to the People newspaper, which he also denies. Parroy said that Brockhouse and Tierney 'felt safe, no doubt' in dealing with the Sun because they knew the press policy was to keep sources confidential. But, he said, while a free press was an essential part of a free society, it did not mean the press were 'above the law' or that public servants were entitled to sell information they get as part of their jobs to newspapers.

Paul O'Grady has settled a phone hacking claim against the publisher of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World. O'Grady received what was described as 'substantial' damages as part of the settlement, the High Court in London heard. News Group Newspapers - formerly News International, owned by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch. Whom no one is scared of any more - accepted that O'Grady's voicemail had been extremely hacked and that there was 'a misuse of his private information.'

Robert Peston devotees who missed his appearance last week on Only Connect should at once track it down on iPlayer, as there was a classic Pestoninfestation moment to savour. Appearing in a Children In Need celebrity special of the popular lateral thinking quiz, the BBC economics editor was generally off the pace but suddenly sharpened up for a question about the way one drinks tequila. Why was he so expert on this topic, presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell wondered. 'Actually, most breakfast sequences, before I go on the Today programme, a quick shot' Pesto offered by way of explanation.
Alex Salmond has been labelled a 'paranoid loser' by a former BBC chairman, following the former Scottish National party leader's whingy criticism of the corporation's coverage of the Scottish independence referendum. Sir Christopher Bland urged the BBC to mount a robust defence of its journalism, after Salmond compared the corporation's independence referendum coverage to a 'state broadcaster' screening 'propaganda.' 'I haven't yet seen, other than the rather feeble [BBC] corporate affairs response, somebody taking him on and saying "really, Salmond, you're a paranoid loser and you really shouldn't insult the BBC like that,"' Bland told The Voice of the Listener & Viewer autumn conference in London on Tuesday afternoon. Salmond, speaking to the Daily Record on Monday, accused the BBC of helping to secure a 'No' vote in September's Scottish independence referendum. 'There is a difference between being a public service broadcaster and a state broadcaster, and I don't think the people at the top of the BBC understand the difference. That is a tragedy,' he said. Bland, who chaired the BBC board of governors between 1996 and 2001 and is also a former BT chairman, was speaking at a VLV conference session on the challenges facing recently appointed BBC Trust chair Rona Fairhead. Bland said that the Trust should not defend the indefensible over charter renewal. 'I don't think the existing structure of the Trust and the BBC is defensible. All organisations tend to perpetuate themselves; it would be a great thing if the Trust could say "This isn't working, here is how it should work going forward." A different model, plainly, is needed.' He advised Fairhead not to appear on the Today programme on Radio 4 or BBC2's Newsnight: 'Don't think these people are your friends – they are not.'

Mister Bonio out of The U2 Group has been been injured after falling off a bike in Central Park, New York. Tragically, it wasn't very serious. It is believed that Mr Bonio out of The U2 group toppled off his bicycle when he was unbalanced due to his towering ego. The U2 Group revealed on its website that Mister Bonio out of The U2 Group will require surgery on his arm 'to repair it.' Whether this will also involve sewing up his gob to shut the fucker up for a bit is not, at this time, known. The U2 Group featuring Mister Bonio, Mister The Edge and ... the other two out of The U2 Group were due to start a week-long residency on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, which they had to postpone. 'We're sure he'll make a full recovery soon, so we'll be back!' said the statement from Mister The Edge out of The U2 Group and the other two out of The U2 Group. 'Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding.'
EastEnders has been praised for the handling of a prostate cancer storyline. Prostate Cancer UK has said that the BBC1 drama is helping to 'break down one of the biggest taboos around men's health.' Viewers discovered this week that Timothy West's character, Stan Carter, has prostate cancer, after he told his family he had refused treatment for it. The charity has hailed the plot as a 'potential lifesaver.' Owen Sharp, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: 'When EastEnders first hit our screens thirty years ago, prostate cancer just wasn't talked about. It was a dirty little secret "down below". Treatment options were extremely limited and survival rates were terrible. Things are getting better, but we have a way to go. Some men, like Stan, are still reluctant to talk about prostate cancer, and reach out for help.' The charity's Karen Sumpter, who advised the show's writers on the storyline, said that they had 'done a fantastic job of presenting the real issues men face.' Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in UK men, with forty thousand new cases diagnosed every year. It develops very slowly so there may be no signs of any symptoms for several years. Earlier this year, EastEnders also tackled the subject of breast cancer when Carol Jackson - played by Lindsey Coulson - was diagnosed with the illness. She was also identified as a carrier of the gene-mutation increasing the risk of developing the disease. Her daughter, Sonia, tested positive as a carrier, leaving her to consider potentially invasive procedures to prevent the development of breast cancer.
Ofcom is to investigate EastEnders over a storyline in which Linda Carter, the Queen Vic landlady, was raped. More than ninety people - presumably with nothing better to do with their time - complained to the media watchdog and several hundred viewers also whinged to the BBC over the episode screened on 6 October and what a right shite state of affairs all this malarkey was. Or something. The BBC has defended the storyline as part of the soap's 'rich history' of portraying difficult issues. The broadcaster said it had been careful to avoid any graphic depictions. The show's makers also contended that the attack was 'implied and was not explicit.' Separately, Channel Five has been censured by Ofcom over swearing on three shows - Big Brother, It Takes A Thief To Catch A Thief and and The Hotel Inspector Revisited, all of which were repeated during the daytime. The broadcaster admitted that 'human error' meant it had failed to broadcast a warning over offensive language prior to a screening of It Takes A Thief To Catch A Thief at 10:30am on 22 March, 2014. The channel said that as a result of this error, it had reviewed its internal records to ensure that all pre-watershed versions of programmes were correctly labelled and reviewed by its compliance team. And, that the human who erred has since been taken to the woodshed and given a jolly good smacked bottom. Allegedly. All screenings were daytime repeats of evening shows and Ofcom ruled that the channel did not take 'appropriate steps' to avoid frequent use of offensive language before the watershed. Which, let's face it, is a fekking serious offence. Three people - who, definitely, had nothing better to do with their time - complained to Ofcom about a Big Brother episode screened at lunchtime on 7 August, which involved a conversation between five of the housemates. Ofcom noted fourteen instances of different variations of the same swear word within a fifty-second part of their conversation. The fact that there were fourteen naughty words used isn't the most surprising thing here, the fact that someone actually counted them, this blogger would suggest, is. Channel Five claimed that 'none of the language identified was used in connection with violent or particularly aggressive behaviour.' The tone of the conversation was 'light' and 'in-keeping with the kind of banter' which was frequently heard in the house 'when alcohol had been consumed,' the broadcaster added. A sodding likely excuse.
And, speaking of bad naughty language, and shit, Band Aid is back – you might have noticed, dear blog reader. And, of course, so are Bob Geldof's passionate, expletive-ridden television appearances. The musician famous for supposedly telling TV viewers in 1985 to 'give us your fucking money' – even though that is, actually, a misquote – was taken off-air by Sky News on Monday when he said the incredibly naughty word 'bollocks' twice during a short period of time. The scallywag. Sky News presenter Jayne Secker asked Geldof to respond to critical reactions to the re-recording of 'Do They Know It’s Christmas?' for victims of Ebola: 'A lot of people are saying, "look at all the people in that room, a lot of wealthy people, if they all paid their taxes in the right way, we wouldn't need these kind of fund-raising singles,' Secker said, not unreasonably, actually. 'What would you say to that?' she asked. The answer was nothing if not predictable from Saint Bob. 'I think they're talking bollocks,' Geldof responded. Fair enough. Next ... 'That’s pretty colourful language. If you could not use any more, we'd appreciate it,' Secker continued - some hope - before asking Saint Bob to respond to criticism from Ian Birrell, founder of the Africa Express project, who described the entire Live Aid Project as 'patronising and perpetuating myths again.' Oh, that's asking for trouble. 'Complete load of bollocks,' Geldof replied, prompting Secker to swiftly wrap up the interview: 'Okay, I'm afraid we'll have to apologise for that language again and there we will leave it. Sir Bob Geldof, thank you very much for joining us today.' Geldof's rant during the original Live Aid broadcast in 1985 made television history. 'Get your money out now,' he shouted at viewers. 'There are people dying now, so give me the money.' Geldof swore at one point in the broadcast, saying 'fuck the address, let's get the numbers,' but this is often misquoted as him having said 'give us your fucking money.'
Veteran actor and presenter Bernard Cribbins has been awarded the annual JM Barrie Award for a lifetime of unforgettable work for children on stage, film, television and record. The Action for Children's Arts JM Barrie Award is given annually to a children's arts practitioner or organisation whose work, in the view of ACA, will stand the test of time. The JM Barrie Award was formerly the ACA Peter Pan Award, presented as part of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity Awards. Bernard has featured in many iconic BBC Children's programmes over the last forty years, including Jackanory, The Wombles and, most recently, Old Jack’s Boat on CBeebies. In 2007 he appeared in the Doctor Who Christmas special, Voyage Of The Damned, playing Wilfred Mott. The character returned in several episode of series four where it was revealed that Wilfred was the grandfather of Donna Noble. Bernard's first contact with Doctor Who came in the 1966 feature film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 AD, where he played Tom Campbell alongside Peter Cushing's portrayal of The Doctor. The award was presented at Broadcasting House at a ceremony attended by the BBC's Director General Tony Hall and a range of Bernard's colleagues from across the decades, including Chris Jarvis, CBeebies presenter and writer on Old Jack's Boat, the actress Jan Francis, former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan and Kate Robertson, daughter of Elisabeth Beresford, the creator of The Wombles. Messages were received from Sir George Martin, Russell Davies and John Barrowman. Also in attendance were Jenny Agutter and Gary Warren, who appeared in The Railway Children in the 1970 film, which co-starred Bernard as the station master Albert Perks.

Ofcom has opened a - long overdue - investigation into how the Premier League sells live TV media rights for its football matches in the UK. It follows a complaint from Virgin Media, which said that more matches should be available for live broadcast. In a statement, the Premier League said the way it sold its audio-visual rights was 'compatible with UK and EU competition law.' BSkyB and BT share the rights to televise Premier League football games. The price for the latest rights deal - covering 2013 to 2016 - rose by seventy per cent to three billion smackers when it was announced in 2012. The Premier League will soon be starting the bidding process for the next tranche of rights from 2016 onwards. Virgin claims that the current arrangements 'for the "collective" selling of live UK television rights by the Premier League for matches played by its member clubs is in breach of competition law.' In particular, it has raised concerns about the number of Premier League matches for which live broadcasting rights are made available. Ofcom said: 'Virgin Media argues that the proportion of matches made available for live television broadcast under the current Premier League rights deals - at forty one per cent - is lower than some other leading European leagues, where more matches are available for live television broadcast.' Virgin argues that this 'contributes to higher prices for consumers of pay TV packages that include premium sport channels and for the pay TV retailers of premium sports channels.' Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media's chief executive, called Ofcom's investigation 'welcome news. The fact remains that fans in the UK pay the highest prices in Europe to watch the least amount of football on TV. Now is the right time to look again at the way live rights are sold to make football even more accessible,' he said. 'We look forward to working constructively with the Premier League, the wider industry and Ofcom to ensure a better deal for football fans.' In a statement, the Premier League said: 'We note that Ofcom has launched an inquiry. Ofcom has stated that this is at an early stage and it has not reached a view as to whether there is sufficient evidence of any infringement. The Premier League currently sells its audio-visual rights in a way that is compatible with UK and EU competition law and will continue to do so.' Ofcom said that the investigation would be carried out 'under the terms of the Competition Act.' It added that it was 'mindful of the likely timing of the next auction of live UK audio-visual media rights, and is open to discussion with the Premier League about its plans.' Ofcom also said it would look at the issue of how many games are moved from their traditional 3pm kick-off times on Saturdays, because of TV scheduling needs. As part of this, it will approach the Football Supporters' Federation and certain other supporters' groups to understand their views. Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: 'Premier League football might be a global phenomenon but without fans in the stands, it wouldn't have the same appeal. People want to see the world's best players, but they also want to see stands packed to the rafters with fans. That vibrancy is a key part of the TV "product." Ofcom also acknowledges the importance of Saturday 3pm kick-offs to fans. All-too-often TV's needs come before match-going supporters as games are shunted around the calendar.'

[spooks]: The Great Good has been confirmed for release next year. The spy thriller, based on the BBC and Kudos Film and Television's long-running TV series, will open in UK cinemas on 8 May 2015 through Pinewood Pictures. Game Of Thrones actor Kit Harington will lead the cast of the movie, with [spooks] veteran Peter Firth reprising his role as Harry Pearce.

A blue plaque has been unveiled in Torquay to mark the birthplace of Peter Cook. Widely regarded as one of Britain's greatest comedians - and, a particular favourite of this blogger - Peter was born in Middle Warberry Road in November 1937. The son of a diplomat, Peter is best known for co-writing and starring in the 1960 satirical review show Beyond The Fringe and, for his work with Dudley Moore. Cook died in 1995 from complications relating to liver disease, aged fifty seven. The plaque was unveiled by the Torbay Civic Society. Society chairman Ian Hanford said that Cook's parents had been working in Africa but moved to Torquay, ensuring their son was born in England. Becky Bettesworth, who lives in the house on Middle Warberry Road, said that her family was 'so excited' to learn Cook had been born there. Peter rose to prominence with Beyond The Fringe, which also featured Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller. It had great success in the West End and later on Broadway. He then went on to run satirical magazine Private Eye and also opened The Establishment, London's first satirical nightclub, in 1961. Cook had success with Dudley Moore during the 1960s and 70s in shows including Not Only ... But Also. Peter maintained connections with Torbay throughout his life. He was a fan of Torquay United - as well as, more famously, Spurs - and married his third wife at Oldway Mansion in 1989. Hanford said Peter was 'absolutely besotted' with The Gulls and often wore a club scarf on stage.
Prolific TV writer and producer Glen Larson has died at the age of seventy seven. The executive was responsible for a string of action-packed hits, including Knight Rider, Magnum PI, Quincy ME and the original Battlestar Galactica. Knight Rider's David Hasselhoff paid tribute on Twitter, saying that Larson had 'seven TV series at one time! Without him there'd be no KITT and Michael.' Larson died of oesophageal cancer at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center on Friday night. Also an accomplished singer and composer, he co-wrote the theme songs for many of his shows, including the frequently sampled tune from Knight Rider and the orchestral score for Battlestar Galactica. He was nominated three times for an EMMY, once for a Grammy (for Battlestar Galactica), and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985. Larson was born in January, 1937, to a Swedish immigrant mother and a Swedish-American father in Long Beach. His entertainment career started in the 1950s, when he was a member of the all-male singing quartet The Four Preps. He helped write and compose some of their hits, including 'Twenty Six Miles (Santa Catalina)', 'Big Man' and 'Down By The Station'. Where he would make a lasting mark, however, was in television during the 1960s and 70s. After working as a writer for Quinn Martin on productions including The Fugitive (where he had his first writing credit), Larson signed a production deal with Universal Studios. His first hit series was Alias Smith & Jones, a popular Western starring Pete Duel and Ben Murphy which described the activities of outlaws Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, concentrating on their efforts to go straight. By 1968, Larson had worked his way up to an associate producer on the series It Takes A Thief and quickly rose through the ranks to produce some of the biggest TV shows of the time. At one point, he had five shows airing at one time, his son said. A list of nearly four dozen TV credits also includes The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, BJ & The Bear, The Fall Guy, McCloud, The Virginian, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Sword Of Justice and Buck Rogers In The Twenty Fifth Century. Glen is survived by his wife, Jeannie Pledger, his brother, and nine children from two marriages.

Jimmy Ruffin, the Motown singer who scored his biggest hit with 1966's masterpiece 'What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?' has died at the age of seventy eight. News of his death follows reports last month that he was seriously ill and in intensive care at a Las Vegas hospital. Born in Mississippi, Ruffin moved to Detroit in the early 1960s and was signed to Motown's Miracle label before, later, becoming a mainstay of the company's Soul imprint. He moved to the UK in the 1980s, where he recorded songs with Paul Weller's Style Council and Heaven 17. Ruffin's other hits included 'I've Passed This Way Before', 'Gonna Give Her All The Love I Got', 'Farewell is A Lonely Sound', 'It's Wonderful (To be Loved By You)' and, post-Motown, 'Hold On To My Love', a top 10 hit in 1980. His younger brother, David, one of the members of the classic line-up of The Temptations, died in 1991 of a drug overdose, prompting his sibling to become an outspoken anti-drug campaigner. A family statement said that Jimmy was 'a rare type of man who left his mark on the music industry. We will treasure the many fond and wonderful memories we all have of him' the statement said. Motown's founder, Berry Gordy, said Jimmy was 'a phenomenal singer. He was truly underrated because we were also fortunate to have his brother, David, as the lead singer of The Temptations, who got so much acclaim' Berry told Rolling Stone. Jimmy's other credits include Jimmy Ruffin's Sweet Soul Music, a seven-part series he made for BBC Radio 2 in the 1990s. His last CD, There Will Never Be Another You, was released in 2012. Born in Collinsville, Mississippi, Jimmy began singing with his younger brother a gospel group, The Dixie Nightingales. In 1961, Jimmy became a singer as part of the Motown stable, mostly on other singer's sessions but also recording occasional singles for its small subsidiary label, Miracle. He was then drafted for national service. After leaving the army in 1964, he returned to Motown, where he was offered the opportunity to join The Temptations to replace Elbridge Bryant. However, after hearing his brother, David, they hired him for the job instead. Jimmy therefore decided to resume his solo career. In 1966, he heard a song about unrequited love written for The Spinners, and persuaded the writers - Willie Weatherspoon, Paul Riser and Jimmy Dean - and producer Mickey Stevenson that he should record it himself. His recording of 'What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?' became a major success, a top ten hit on both sides of the Atlantic which propelled Jimmy into the A-league of Motown artists. Jimmy found success in the United States difficult to sustain, and began to concentrate instead on the British market. In 1970, 'Farewell Is A Lonely Sound', 'I'll Say Forever My Love' and 'It's Wonderful (To Be Loved By You)' each made the UK top ten and he was voted the world's top singer in one British music poll. He also teamed up with his brother David to record the LP I Am My Brother's Keeper, a modest success in 1970. He left Motown in the mid-70s and recorded for the Polydor and Chess labels, where he recorded 'Tell Me What You Want'. In 1980, Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees produced his LP Sunrise and the hit single 'Hold On To My Love', on the RSO label. In the 1980s, Jimmy moved to live in Britain, where he continued to perform successfully. In December 1984 he collaborated with Paul Weller and The Style Council for his benefit single 'Soul Deep', produced to raise money for the families of striking miners affected by the UK miners' strike. Jimmy was attracted to the cause as his own father had worked in the mines in Mississippi. He also recorded duets with both Maxine Nightingale and Brenda Holloway. Jimmy is survived by his children Arlet, Philicia, Jimmie, Ophelia and Camilla.

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping was at a funeral on Tuesday morning, dear blog reader. An old friend of his late uncle, as it happens. And, a sombre and very cold affair (in every sense of the word) it was too. Still, it was nice to see Keith telly Topping's cousin, David and his family and Keith Telly Topping's mother's cousin, Selby, for the first time since, probably Mama Telly Topping's funeral eighteen months ago. On the way home, yer actual Keith Telly Topping was delighted to spot the Continental Christmas Market is now open at the top of Grainger Street, so he stopped and had a bratwurst with onions. Because he could. A day earlier, Keith Telly Topping had been to see Doctor Chris for his latest medical check-up. The general consensus being that yer actual Keith Telly Topping's back is, essentially, cattle-trucked beyond redemption but that everything else is, all things considered, reasonably okay. Including the fact that this blogger had lost nine pounds in weight since his previous check up around eight weeks earlier. That'll be a combination of all the swimming and those two days during the previous week when yer actual Keith Telly Topping didn't eat at all because he was spewing copious amounts of rich brown phlegm, like as not. (This blogger doesn't want to freak anybody out nor nothing but he'd been feeling really queesy all that day and, not to get too graphic, but the matter finally come to a head - and, you know, out of the head and into the toilet. It was a bit like a cross between that scene in The Exorcist and that scene in Jekyll where Tom Jackman tries to flush away a severed ear.) And, finally, in relation to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's continuing adventures in water, twice this week he's managed to do a full thirty lengths at the pool, having somewhat underperformed at the back end of last week. Due, mainly, to the spewing, and that.

For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a bit of righteous Hollies.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week Forty Eight: Blunt Instruments

Yer actual Peter Capaldi is, it would seem. rather shocked and stunned that his role in Doctor Who has seen him labelled a national heartthrob. 'I genuinely can't believe it,' the actor admitted to Mark Gatiss at a Sunday afternoon fundraising event organised by the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard and chaired by Gatiss, the Doctor Who and Sherlock writer. According to a submitted fan question, the current Doctor is considered 'gorgeous, hot and sexy' by certain factions of the Doctor Who fanbase. I'm guessing it's probably not The Special People. 'Are you aware that women are crazy about you?' asked yer man Gatiss his very self. 'What do you think about this? Does it bother you?' 'The only person that I want to love me is my wife,' responded the actor, before adding: 'If people enjoy my profile from the privacy of their own home, that's entirely up to you!' Capaldi – who married television producer Elaine Collins, in 1991 – admitted at a series eight screening earlier this year that he was still 'learning how to balance' his time between his new high-profile job and his family. 'I have barely had time to see my wife and daughter. I catch up with them and they tell me what plumbing needs doing. Trying to find your way through this maze can be quite difficult.' Mark Gatiss & Friends – held at London's Criterion Theatre to celebrate forty years of the helpline service – featured additional appearances from Andrew Scott, Amanda Abbingdon, Derren Brown, Sue Perkins and Miranda Richardson. All of whom featured in a rather lovely I believe they are called 'selfies'.
During the event, Capaldi also revealed that he would love to see The Doctor travel back to the 1960s to meet Martin Luther King. 'I don't see why The Doctor shouldn't be involved in the civil rights struggle,' he told Gatiss. On the much-discussed alleged 'darker' elements of Doctor Who series eoght, Capaldi his very self told a packed audience: 'I think we'd all agreed that Matt had been so wonderful and so delightful that the only thing you could do was to try and make a contrast with that. Because Matt was so beloved and so open, I felt I had to be a bit more closed. I think Steven and myself had a hand in how far we could go with that.' Specifically, it seems that Peter had one or two issues with the scripts: 'I would certainly sometimes find some material that I found a little weepy and seeking the audience's affection – and I would try and remove them. I don't want them to like me!' Though showing no signs of fatigue, Capaldi did hint that the demanding schedule on Doctor Who may be taking its toll: 'At the end of the day, the job is all-consuming, it's a factory – a Doctor Who factory! I get to run up and down corridors, escape through ventilation shafts and fight Daleks. But it is every day for eight months and you can get tired; you keep trying to come up with ideas. And sometimes you run out of ideas.'

Despite previously suggesting - albeit, probably only half-seriously - that it 'might' happen, it seems like The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat isn't ever going to deliver the fabled Sherlock/Doctor Who crossover which, allegedly, 'so many fans desire.' Admittedly, mostly of those being the sort of people that you'd normally cross the road to avoid. 'It can't happen,' the showrunner said at a Royal Television Society event earlier this week. 'There are certain rules I cannot break.' yer man Moffat's main concern is that Sherlock Holmes isn't real – at least, not to The Doctor. The writer explained: 'Sherlock Holmes exists as a fictional character in the Doctor's universe – he's even dressed up as him! I've always been moderately more in favour [of doing a crossover] than anyone else, but I think Mark Gatiss is right when he says it would just never be as good as you think it's going to be. You don't need both of those guys in the same show.' Moffat also said that the recent casting of yer actual Peter Capaldi had 'rescued' the series itself from possibly stagnating. 'A show dies when it's reliable like a pair of old slippers,' he explained. 'If any reviewer says that about a show, that show is gone within a year. Shows die when people say: "Oh, it's quite good. I quite like it." And the "new show" is old now, so this had to be a reinvention. The terrifying thing about Doctor Who is that you discover at the start of every new show that you have learned absolutely nothing at all, that it's brand new. It always makes you feel completely like "oh, I thought I'd got the hang of this but I have no idea what to do. I feel genuinely as inadequate and amateurish today as I felt on my first day,' he added. 'There isn't a paradigm episode that you keep remaking, they're all very different, the scripts, the effects, the sets, the design, the casting, everything is different every time, that's what makes it a great show.' Despite Doctor Who's worldwide success and huge merchandising Moffat says that there is never enough money: 'There's money – we don't have enough – and there's time – there's just no time. Every two weeks, we're making a new one! I don't think anyone feels that this is a limitless world, but it's trying to conceal those limits, trying to work intelligently within them. What is extraordinarily expert about all branches of our effects department is how creative they are within quite savage limitations.'

The Doctor Who series finale, Death In Heaven, had a final and consolidated ratings figure of 7.60 million viewers, an increase of 2.15 million over the initially reported overnight audience of 5.45 million which was so gleefully - and inaccurately - reported by the BBC News website a week ago. This is the tenth time in twelve episodes this series that Doctor Who's final ratings figure has included a 'timeshift' element more than two million viewers higher than the, initially reported, overnight figure. Additionally, the two episodes which didn't, quite, reach the two million mark still had a 'timeshift' increase of 1.9 million. It's also worth noting, of course, that none of this includes iPlayer viewers whose figures are not, as yet, included in BARB's ratings analysis. So, you may be wondering, will the BBC News website be reporting this with equal prominence to the original story? Will they shite as like.

Doctor Who's Christmas special has unveiled its first clip. The BBC broadcast the preview on its Children In Need fundraiser telethon on Friday. The footage features yer actual Clara (Jenna Coleman he very self) coming face-to-face with Santa Claus (played by the very excellent Nick Frost). Peter Capaldi's Doctor then arrives to cast doubt on Santa's motives.
Christian Today - no, me neither - is claiming that the fourth season of Sherlock 'has reportedly been pushed back to 2017.' Where exactly, they got this information from, they don't say quoting no direct source for the allegation. It's especially curious that, seemingly, no other media outlets appears to have pick on this 'reporting'; this blogger isn't saying, necessarily, that the claim is inaccurate but I'd like to hear it from somebody within the BBC before Keith Telly Topping believes it.
Having whinged like a dirty grumpy whinging whinger - and very publicly an'all - about the lack of commentaries on the Sherlock season three DVD back in January, this blogger would like to place on record his thanks to The Lord Thy God Steven and co from providing two excellent ones for the recently released 'Special Edition' which turned up at Stately Telly Topping Manor over the weekend (even if this blogger does have a mild objection to paying thirteen quid for three episodes that he'd already bought! The head of BBC Worldwide got a rather testy letter on that subject, as it happens.) What a really lovely package it is, put together with care and love.
The Fall returned to BBC2 with just under two-and-a-half million overnight viewers on Thursday. The Gillian Anderson crime drama brought in 2.48m at 9pm, which is down by over one million overnight viewers from last year's opener and finale - which both attracted around three-and-a-half-million in the spring. Earlier, It Takes Two was watched by 1.88m at 6.30pm, followed by The Great Interior Design Challenge with 1.62m at 7pm and MasterChef: The Professionals with 2.68m at 8pm. Russell Howard's Good News had eight hundred and seventy thousand at 10pm. On BBC1, Watchdog appealed to 3.77m at 8pm, while David Attenborough's Life Story was seen by 3.16m at 9pm. Question Time brought in 2.26m at 10.35pm. ITV's For The Love Of Dogs topped the night outside soaps again with 4.04m at 8.30pm, followed by a Neil Diamond special with 2.83m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Amazing Spaces attracted 1.33m at 8pm, while Twenty Four Hours in A&E continued with 1.83m at 9pm. Babylon debuted its full series with five hundred and ninety eight thousand at 10pm. Channel Five's Underground Britain interested six hundred and fifty six thousand at 8pm, followed by Caught On Camera with seven hundred and thirty eight thousand at 9pm and House Of Horrors with seven hundred and sixty eight thousand at 10pm. Sky1's latest episode of Arrow was seen by three hundred and forty four thousand at 8pm, followed by Forever with two hundred and seventy one thousand at 9pm.

Children in Need peaked with 9.81 million overnight viewers on BBC1 on Friday. The annual fundraiser attracted an average audience of 8.29 million from 7.30pm until 10pm. Average viewing figures dropped to 4.21 million when it switched to BBC2 for forty five-minutes from 10pm, while the final few hours were seen by 2.76 million. It was preceded by The ONE Show, which played to 5.32 million at 7pm on BBC1. Over on ITV, Secrets From The Sky was seen by 2.36 million at 8pm, while Lewis was watched by 3.51 million at 9pm. BBC2's evening kicked off with eight hundred and sixty thousand for The Home That Two Built at 7pm, followed by 1.27 million for Mastermind, nine hundred and thirty thousand for Tom Kerridge's Best Ever Dishes and 1.10 million for The Fish Market: Inside Billingsgate. Gogglebox was once again Channel Four's highest-rated show, playing to 2.36 million at 9pm. It was sandwiched between Marvel's Agents of SHIELD with eight hundred and forty thousand at 8pm and eight hundred and ninety thousand for Alan Carr: Chatty Man at 10pm. On Channel Five, Rome: The World's First Superpower was seen by five hundred and forty thousand at 8pm, followed by five hundred and seventy three thousand for Alex Polizzi's Secret Italy and six hundred and eight thousand for Body Of Proof at 10pm. Family Guy on BBC3 was among the most popular multichannel shows, peaking with four hundred and eighty seven thousand at 11.40pm.

The BBC's Children In Need appeal has raised more than thirty two million knicker on the night. Sir Terry Wogan hosted the BBC1 event on Friday with Tess Daly, waste-of-space Fearne Cotton and Nick Grimshaw. The annual telethon saw Sir Bruce Forsyth returned to Strictly Come Dancing to help find a young ballroom champion. By the end of the show at 2am on Saturday morning, £32,620,469 had been raised. This is more than the £31.1m raised on the night of the 2013 event and the final total is expected to be higher once all donations are in. The money will help disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. The six-and-a-half hour extravaganza was broadcast from the BBC's Elstree studios. Over the course of the night, S Club 7 performed for the first time since 2003 on the show, while One Direction played on the set of EastEnders. But, it wasn't all banal, trite rubbish, there were a few good bits. Ian Beale encountered his late ex-wife Cindy, mother Kathy and daughter Lucy, while Pat Evans - who made her last appearance in January 2012 - also made a comeback. Other highlights included a new cartoon starring Tom and Jerry made especially for Children In Need. Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, The Script and the cast of West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory performed. And Donny Osmond and the cast of musical Made In Dagenham also took to the stage. In a first for the gala, Gareth Malone and his all-star choir performed the Children In Need single, 'Wake Me Up'. Jo Brand, John Craven, Mel Giedroyc and Alison Steadman were among the members of the vocal ensemble. Other fundraising efforts included the fourth Children In Need rickshaw challenge, which saw six young people travel four hundred and fifty-mile journey across Britain. Ahead of Friday's gala, BBC Radio 2 had already raised more than six million smackers through a series of events, including a quiz night hosted by Ken Bruce, a performance of the West End musical Matilda and a series of live auctions.

Strictly Come Dancing rose to a series high on Saturday night, drawing more than ten million overnight viewers. The Blackpool special averaged 10.28m on BBC1 from 7pm. Afterwards, a new series of Atlantis premiered to 4.2m before Casualty was watched by 4.14m. ITV's The X Factor was watched by 7.5m from 8.15pm. The Chase had an audience of 3.36m from 7.15pm, while The Jonathan Ross Show managed 2.97m from 9.55pm. England's football team didn't leave Wembley pointless, but they might have been surprised to learn that there were more people watching Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman's Pointless Celebrities than there were following Wayne Rooney's one hundredth match. An average of 4.56 million tuned-in to watch England beat Slovenia 3-1 in btheir Euro 2016 qualifier on ITV. On the other side, Pointless Celebrities scored an average of 4.99 million. On BBC2, Flog It! Trade Secrets and Perry And Croft: Made In Britain averaged four hundred and forty three thousand and five hundred and sixty six thousand respectively. Dad's Army was enjoyed by 1.63m from 8.30pm, before a Qi XL repeat drew an audience of nine hundred and ten thousand viewers. Channel Four's Walking Through History attracted seven hundred and fifty seven thousand in the 8pm hour. It Was Alright In The 1970s followed with 1.32m. On Channel Five, the movie The Battle of Britain interested six hundred and fifty nine thousand.

The BBC has apologised after Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman swore during Saturday's live show. The head judge appeared to mutter 'a curse word' while praising the performance of Simon Webbe and his partner Kristina Rihanoff. Strictly presenter Zoe Ball said: 'Len got a little bit carried away with the excitement of the dance and I'm very sorry for the bad language.' The BBC1 show was broadcast live from Blackpool's Tower Ballroom.
Gillian Anderson has speculated on the future of The X-Files, stating that there is 'always a possibility' that the show could be revived in some form. Speaking on ITV's This Morning, the actress expressed an interest in returning to the SF franchise should another television series or movie be made. Anderson said: 'It's always a matter of it actually happening - and there's a lot that needs to happen between the idea and actually turning up on set, and I don't unfortunately have any control over that. But would I do it? I would, yes.' All of which is odd because, in the past, the status of any further X Files-related rumours regarding, for example, a third movie, have usually depended on the state of David Duchovny's career at the time. Anderson also praised the writing in the BBC crime drama The Fall, calling her character - Stella Gibson - 'fascinating. I know more about her than the audience does, but I'm still interested to learn more about her.' The actress went on to address some of the alleged controversy (for which read 'whinging from horrible Allison Graham in the Radio Times') surrounding its 'graphic nature' in the first series, stating: 'There were a lot of violent scenes. There was only one death in the whole first season, but I think what both compels people and was also the object of [some press] was the fact that there is an emotional truth there. There's something recognisable in the character, and it's more of a psychological thriller than a serial killer series. And that disturbs people, I think, more.'

And, thence, we come to the latest Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 22 November
Broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and stand-up comedians Bill Bailey and Jason Manford join regular panellist Alan Davies for another extended round of the comedy quiz with a difference Qi XL - 9:00 BBC2. Host Stephen Fry continues this series' exploration of subjects beginning with the letter L as he asks a range of fiendish questions about Lethal Things.
In Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History Of Science Fiction - 10:00 BBC2 - the historian Dominic Sandbrook (whose excellent White Heat yer actual Keith Telly Topping is currently re-reading) explores the many aspects of the genre and examines its impact on cinema, television and literature. He begins by looking at SF's enduring fascination with outer space, from Jules Verne's pioneering Nineteenth-Century vision of a voyage to the moon, to the universe George Lucas created for Star Wars. Along the way, he reveals how Stanley Kubrick made 2001: A Space Odyssey seem so believable and why a man in a dressing gown became one of SF's best-loved heroes in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Featuring contributions by yer actual William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, Avatar's Zoe Saldana and author Neil Gaiman.
In the conclusion of a two-part Atlantis story - 8:15 BBC1 - Atlantis looks set to fall as Pasiphae continues to lay siege to the city. The last remaining hope rests with Jason, Hercules and Pythagoras, but they are far from home fighting a desperate battle of their own. As the conflict reaches a climax, Hercules makes a discovery that throws into doubt everything he once knew to be true - and looks set to change the course of the future for ever. Jack Donnelly, Mark Addy and Sarah Parish star in the fantasy adventure.

In Morrissey: Twenty Five Live - 9:00 Sky Arts 1 - the former The Smiths frontman celebrates twenty five years as a solo artist with a concert for an audience of eighteen hundred at the Hollywood High School in Los Angeles (home of some of Mozza's fanatical Latino fanbase) in March 2013. Featuring performances of 'Meat Is Murder', 'Everyday Is Like Sunday', 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want' and 'The Boy With The Thorn in His Side'. And a really piss-poor version of 'Still Ill' an'all. Bona drag.
Eden repeats all three episodes of Galapagos tonight - from 9:00. High-definition cameras and aerial photography techniques are used to explore the archipelago, which is rich in wildlife and made famous by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of the Species. This programme focuses on the geological history of the islands through the evidence of volcanic eruptions and examines what makes it unique. Tilda Swinton narrates.

Sunday 23 November
Remember Me - 9:00 BBC1 - is a new, much trailed, supernatural thriller, starring Michael Palin as an elderly man whose admittance to a nursing home triggers a series of inexplicable events. Tom Parfitt is moved into a residential home after faking a fall, and immediately strikes up a friendship with eighteen-year-old care worker Hannah, who is puzzled to discover he has brought nothing with him but an empty suitcase. His social worker brings him a photo to make him feel at home - but it's the last thing she ever does when she falls to her death from his third-storey window and he is found cowering in the corner of his room. Mark Addy, Jodie Comer and Julia Sawalha co-star.
In The Kennedy Detail - 9:00 Quest - former members of President John Kennedy's Secret Service discuss his assassination and the life of the first family, building on accounts from the book by special agent Gerald Blaine. There is a moving insight from Clint Hill, the man assigned to the First Lady's detail, who jumped onto the back of the limousine to shield the President and his wife from any further shots that may have been fired.

CIA director Lockhart arrives just as Carrie's investigation faces complications in the latest episode of Homeland 9 :00 Channel Four - with the troubled agent learning that Majid Javadi has hatched an audacious plan to intercept information he can sell on. Imported US drama, starring Claire Danes and Tracy Letts.
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Live At The Rainbow - 9:00 Sky Arts 1 - is a legendary June 1977 performance by the singer at London's Rainbow Theatre, filmed shortly after the release of his masterpiece LP Exodus. Accompanied by The Wailers, Bob performs well-known songs including 'No Woman No Cry', 'Exodus', 'I Shot The Sheriff', 'War', 'No More Trouble', 'Jamming', 'Get Up, Stand Up' and 'Trenchtown Rock'. An' ting.
Stone cold fox Suzi Perry presents action from the nineteenth and final round of the F1 season from the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg battled for the title. For the first time ever, double points are on offer to the drivers in this race, adding to the excitement of the finale to what had been a closely fought championship. Hamilton led Rosberg by seventeen points, and a top-two finish would have guaranteed him a second drivers' title. With commentary by Ben Edwards and David Coulthard, and analysis from Eddie Jordan.

Monday 24 November
Victoria Coren Mitchell hosts the general knowledge quiz Only Connect - 8:30 BBC2 - as a trio of Qi researchers takes on three nightwatchmen, two teams who lost in the first round but now have a second opportunity to remain in the tournament. They must use patience, lateral thinking and sheer inspiration to make connections between groups of four things that may appear at first not to be linked, with one set of clues consisting of Joan Fontaine, Jack Charlton, Lucian Freud and Liam Gallagher. Famous brothers. Obviously.
Filmed for more than a year in the East Marsh area of Grimsby, the three-part documentary Skint - 9:00 Channel Four - is the follow-up to last year's series set in Scunthorpe. In the 1950s, Grimsby was the largest fishing port in the world, but the town has faced almost the complete loss of the industry and there are just four trawlers left. From fishermen out of work after a lifetime at sea, to people doing whatever they can to make ends meet, the programme highlights the reality of poverty for many people in the UK, and gives a voice to those suffering the impact of long-term unemployment.
In the second episode of Dancing Cheek To Cheek: An Intimate History Of Dance - 9:00 BBC4 - Len Goodman and Doctor Lucy Worsley examine how Britain's dance floors were revolutionised in the Nineteenth Century, as faster, more liberating dances replaced the stately varieties of old. Len visits a London gin palace that hosted many a working-class knees-up in the Victorian days, while Lucy attempts to play the Blue Danube waltz on piano.

Jim Gordon informs Captain Essen that his plan is to arrest Falcone and the Mayor on charges relating to the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne in the latest Gotham - 9:00 Channel Five. But, Gordon is told that he will be on his own if he pursues that course of action. Fish Mooney discovers Oswald Cobblepot is still alive and tells Falcone that she wants Gordon to pay for not killing Penguin when he had the chance. So, the psychopathic Victor Zsasz is sent into police HQ to deal with him. Meanwhile, Cobblepot becomes the master of his own destiny when he leads a group of Maroni's men to a warehouse owned by Falcone's ally Nikolai.
A Navy captain wearing a colourful costume underneath his uniform is shot and killed in a flower shop, and further investigation reveals he was leading a double life as a masked vigilante in a classic episode of NCIS - 9:00 5USA. Director Vance brings in Tony's ex-fiancee, journalist Wendy Miller, who claims the victim had been trying to expose a scandal, and as the team pursues the case, a real-estate scam is uncovered. Guest starring Perrey Reeves.
Tuesday 25 November
Historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Tom Pinfold and Peter Ginn explore the art of medieval combat and the construction of a castle's defensive structures in Secrets Of The Castle With Ruth, Peter & Tom - 9:00 BBc2. They look at the ingenious features Thirteenh-Century builders came up with to withstand attack from a formidable array of siege engines, and explore the craft behind the weapons they had to resist, from trebuchets to crossbows. Ruth has a go at making cloth armour in the form of a gambeson, while Tom and Peter get to grips with constructing arrow loops, a key defensive feature of the castle walls.

Michael Grade explores the story of General Tom Thumb, who became a global celebrity due to his small stature, at just thirty one inches tall, and performed for President Lincoln and Queen Victoria in The Real Tom Thumb: History's Smallest Superstar - 9:00 BBC4. However, the presenter questions whether this was a tale of success or exploitation, since the man become famous only because of a disability, and asks why society remains fascinated by performers with unusual bodies.
In the second-to-last episode of The Missing - 9:00 BBC1 - in 2006, Tony and Emily's pleas to reinvestigate a suspect fall on deaf ears, prompting the anguished father to take matters into his own hands - leading to a violent confrontation. In the present day, Tony and Julien retrace their steps in Paris as they try to find a man they believe to be involved in Oliver's disappearance. Drama, starring James Nesbitt, Frances O'Connor and Tcheky Karyo.

It's the last week of the MasterChef: The Professionals heats - 8:00 BBc2 - and five more chefs enter the kitchen, with the first challenge giving them an hour to cook a signature dish that showcases what they can do, before one is asked to leave and never darken their door again. The remaining four contenders try to impress scary Monica Galetti by preparing a cuttlefish dish in just fifteen minutes. Then Marcus Wareing gives them sixty minutes to create a meal incorporating sweetbreads. The judges then decide which three will make it through to the next round.

Wednesday 26 November
Great Continental Railway Journeys continues - 9:00 BBC2 - as Michael Portaloo uses his 1913 copy of Bradshaw's Continental Railway Guide as he travels through Spain and Portugal. Old Portsloo begins in the city of La Coruna, where he examines the Celtic roots of the Galician people and tries to master the bagpipes, before meeting walkers from all over the world on the pilgrims' trail to Santiago de Compostela. Heading across the border to Porto, Michael finds out about the origins of Britain's long alliance with the Portuguese, and finishes his journey in the capital Lisbon.
In a follow-up to July's Twelve Years Old And Caring For Mum, the documentary Through A Child's Eyes - 9:00 Channel Five - charts the struggles of children from three families coping with day-to-day life under challenging financial circumstances, featuring video diaries shot by the youngsters themselves. Lyndsey is ten and lives with her dad, grandmother and six siblings and money is tight since their small business closed last year, meaning that she cannot have many of the things her friends take for granted. When eleven-year-old Paige needs a hot shower she has to visit a friend's house as her mother cannot afford to fix their boiler, while eight-year-old Aniya always looks forward to her mother's benefits being paid so they can stop eating noodles.

The author gains a new admirer in Castle - 9:00 5USA - the shape of an intelligent and attractive insurance investigator while solving a case involving the theft of a priceless sculpture from a museum, a crime for which there are a number of likely suspects. Popular American crime drama, starring Nathan Fillion, with Kristin Lehman.
Floyd confronts Tiffany and Justin about their relationship and after the two boys gets into a fight in Waterloo Road - 8:00 BBC1. Tiffany worries her brother will spill the beans to Vaughan and Allie. The police descend on Waterloo Road when Kevin's computer hacking on a multinational organisation is traced back to the school, sparking a major security risk, and Sonya's short story looks set to jeopardise her friendship with Christine after it turns out she has drawn inspiration from her colleague's alcoholic past.

Thursday 27 November
Stella Gibson orders extensive surveillance on Spector's family in The Fall - 9:00 BBC2 - believing they will lead them to Paul, whose whereabouts remain unknown. As the search for Rose Stagg becomes ever more desperate, Spector directs his fury at Gibson after the two narrowly avoid meeting, trespassing into her private world and delighting in taunting and provoking her. Thriller, starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan.
Peter Powell presents an edition of Top Of The Pops - 7:30 BBC4 - first broadcast 29 November 1979. Featuring performances by The Gibson Brothers, The Police, The Tourists, Pink Floyd, Blondie, Thin Lizzy, Rose Royce, The Moody Blues, The Skids, Status Quo and Dr Hook. Plus, dance sequences by Legs & Co.

Dramatic reconstruction bring to life one of the most bloody and violent chapters in British history in Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty - 9:00 Channel Five - as Dan Jones explores the lives of The Plantagenets, who ruled England and much of France during the Middle Ages. The historian begins with Henry II - the first king of the dynasty - a dashing and energetic warrior who transformed England from a violent and lawless state into the heart of an empire that would become one of the greatest that Europe has ever seen. However, his success was undone by a series of bitter betrayals.
David Attenborough's acclaimed documentary series Life Story - 9:00 BBC1 - charting the circle of life in the animal kingdom ends with creatures' attempts to rear their offspring, revealing the commitment involved and how for some parents it means risking their own lives. A turtle hauls itself up the beach to lay its eggs in a safe place, only for the tide to trap it behind a wall of coral. A mother bonobo in the Congo teaches its son the skills it will need to survive adulthood, bison protect their calves from the ever-present threat of wolves and a mother zebra has to lead its foal across a dangerous river.

Friday 28 November
Alexander Armstrong takes a break from his Pointless podium to host tonight's Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1. Paul Merton, Ian Hislop and their guests - Josh Widdicombe and Germaine Greer - take a cynical look at the week's news stories, in the hope of raising a few laughs along the way. Widdicombe's having a busy night as he's also one of the guest on the latest Qi - 10:00 BBC2. Stephen Fry continues his exploration of subjects beginning with the letter L as he asks a range of fiendish questions on the topics of Love and Loveliness. Also joining regular panellist Alan Davies are the Irish actress and comedienne Aisling Bea and, first timer Tony Hawks.
In the early 1960s drum shop owner Jim Marshall launched what was, at that time, the loudest amplifier in the world an event which was widely perceived to be the birth of The Rock, as told in Play It Loud: The Story Of The Marshall Amp - 10:00 BBC4. Young musicians like Clapton, Townshend and Hendrix rushed to adopt the revolutionary Marshall sound and the electric guitar spoke for a new generation, while stacks and walls became an essential backdrop at concerts. The company was rescued from financial meltdown by comic exposure in the 1984 movie This is Spinal Tap and the electronic boxes were propelled to iconic status. This documentary charts the amp's history, with contributions from yer actual Pete Townshend, Lemmy and Slash, plus an interview with the founder himself.
To the news, now: The BBC has responded to fresh reports of plans by MPs to abolish the corporation's licence fee. A new report published by the Sunday Scum Express alleges that as many as fifty MPs are backing a plan to scrap the licence fee in favour of an opt-in subscription fee. The BBC has now offered a response to insist that the continuation of the licence fee remains 'vital' in keeping hit shows on the air. A comment published on the BBC's Media Centre website read: 'At just £2.80 a week the BBC Licence Fee is excellent value for money - only this weekend newspapers have been reporting the rising costs of subscription services. It's vital that programmes like EastEnders, Strictly Come DancingSherlock, Doctor Who and Match Of The Day can been watched by everyone - not a select few; and support for the Licence Fee has actually risen by twenty two per cent since 2004 and remains the most popular way of funding the BBC.' Sadly, the statement didn't go on to tell these fifty MPs to 'go fuck themselves' with their sick agenda. It didn't do that, of course, because the BBC is far too polite to do so, or anything even remotely like it. But, I'm not.

ITV has ordered a new supernatural crime drama. Midwinter Of The Spirit has been commissioned for three episodes, with production set to begin in Herefordshire in April 2015. The series will be broadcast on ITV Encore and is based on the novels of Phil Rickman. Stephen Volk will script the adaptation. The series follows country vicar, Merrily Watkins, who is one of the few women priests working as an exorcist in the UK. When a grisly murder takes place in her local area, the police come calling for her assistance. As Merrily assists DCI Annie Howe and DS Franny Bliss in their investigation, she leads them into a dark and dangerous world. ITV's Director of Drama Commissioning, Steve November, said: 'Midwinter Of The Spirit is a contemporary and edgy drama which draws upon dark, pagan forces which are intriguing and spiritually frightening. We're delighted to commission three episodes of a potentially returnable crime drama with a supernatural twist.' Sounds rather promising, that one. Always been a big fan of Stephen Volk's work. Phil Collinson will produce the series, alongside executive producer Kieran Roberts. Casting announcements will be made in due course.

And now, some properly great news. And, I mean, wonderful. Tumble has been dropped by the BBC and shovelled into the gutter along with all the other shite. The wretched, risible, worthless celebrity gymnastics competition - which was hosted by shrill, squawking waste-of-oxygen Alex Jones - will not return for a second series, the BBC confirmed despite a claim by Radio Times in September that this odious tripe was 'likely' to return for a second series. Which goes to show they haven't got a buggering clue, either. 'Whilst we are proud of Tumble and very grateful to everyone involved, we sometimes have to take difficult decisions in order to make room for new shows,' a spokesperson lied. In other words 'we're cancelling it because it was shit - and not even particularly original shit, at that - and no one watched it.' An alleged BBC 'source' also allegedly insisted that Jones is 'very important' to the channel. Why is, in and of itself, an interesting question. Tumble picked up an average audience of around three million punters across its six episodes, which were broadcast in August and September this year. So, good riddance to bad rubbish.

Charlie Brooker will return for a third series of Weekly Wipe in 2015. The broadcaster will host six more episodes of the topical series in January on BBC2, in which he tackles the latest television programmes, news events, games and films with his usual blend of sarcasm, more sarcasm and even more sarcasm. Talking heads Barry Shitpeas (Al Campbell) and Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) will return for the new series, along with comedians Limmy and Jake Yapp. Brooker will also host his annual review of the year in Charlie Brooker's 2014 Wipe next month. The one-off hour special has yet to be given an official broadcast date, but it will be shown during the festive period. Brooker has also written a Christmas special of his Channel Four drama Black Mirror, starring Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall and Oona Chaplin.

BBC1 has announced three new factual entertainment series for 2015. Weight For Love is a four-part programme following overeating couples whose lifestyle is threatening not only their health but their relationships too. The couples will be separated for three months and will face dramatic intervention from a nutritionist and a psychologist, in order to help them lose weight before being reunited with their partners. The show will be produced by Renegade Pictures. Sounds utterly repellent. Britain's Secret Spending Habits is a two-part series from Garden Productions, uncovering Britain's attitudes to money and public spending habits. Some of the country's richest and poorest will have the opportunity to have their say on how the other half lives. Two people with very different views about money will get to swap lifestyles and experience how each other spends. Yeah, that sounds pretty wretched too. Best Day Ever is a heartwarming one-off sixty-minute programme (it says here) from Little Gem, celebrating 'Britain's unsung heroes' nominated by friends and family. The show will feature hidden camera ambush stunts on the unwitting nominees. 'Factual entertainment with purpose is a tone I want to see more of on BBC1, and I hope these new commissions will both reflect that and resonate with viewers,' said BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore.
Former radio DJ Chris Denning has pleaded guilty to further charges of abuse of boys aged nine to sixteen during the 1970s and 1980s. Denning pleaded very guilty at London's Southwark Crown Court to ten indecent assaults on boys, a charge of gross indecency with a boy and another of indecency with a boy under the age of fourteen. Denning, seventy three, had already pleaded guilty to twenty eight counts of indecent assault. He carried out this abuse over a twenty year period. Sentencing is due to take place at the same court on 9 December. Denning was first arrested by detectives from the Metropolitan Police's abuse inquiry Operation Yewtree in June 2013. Denning's forty offences were said to have been committed between 1967 and 1987 and relate to twenty six separate young male victims. Two counts of indecent assault on a male aged sixteen years or over between 1982 and 1983 were left to lie on file. Denning had previously been jailed for four-and-a-half years in the Czech Republic in 2000 for having sexual contact with under-age teenage boys. And, he was jailed again in 2006 for four years after pleading guilty to child abuse during the 1970s and 80s. Detective Chief Inspector Michael Orchard, from the Met's sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command, said of Denning's latest conviction: 'Christopher Denning is a dangerous, serial offender who committed numerous offences over a twenty-year period against a large number of young boys. One of these victims was as young as nine years of age. Denning's only redeeming quality is that he has not made his victims go through the trial process. I would like to thank the victims for their bravery and courage in coming forward. I hope that Denning's admittance of guilt is the first step in helping them move on with their lives.' Denning was one of the original line-up of Radio 1 DJs when the station launched in 1967. He was also the first announcer heard on BBC2 when the channel began broadcasting in 1964. Operation Yewtree is the Met's investigation into the allegations that have arisen since filthy old scallywag and right rotten rotter Jimmy Savile was accused of abuse.
Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks was 'one of most charming women you could ever meet' but she also 'had a furious temper' and 'regularly swore at staff' when editor at the Sun, a jury has heard. The news editor of the paper claimed that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, then Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Wade, would 'fire off e-mails threatening staff with the sack' and would 'scream at staff she was unhappy with' like a demented mad woman. Chris Pharo, who is extremely on trial for an alleged conspiracy to pay public officials for stories, recalled how 'unsatisfied' Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks was on one occasion with his list of suggested news stories reporters should be chasing that day. 'She screwed it into a giant ball and threw it in my face. She screamed: "If you can't find a fucking news list you can fuck the fuck off." She then slammed the door so hard she broke the handle and we couldn't get out and we had to be released by her PA from the other side.' He added that her incandescent fury 'let rip' on another occasion after the Scum of the World broke the news that David Blunkett had been having a secret affair with a married woman. 'It was Sunday, 9.30am in the morning; I received a text [which] had been sent to virtually every editor on the paper including the fashion editor. I am paraphrasing here, but it said: "The News of the World has got an agenda-setting front page story. If you fucking lot can't come up with the same stuff I'll fucking fire you all and replace you with them.' Pharo and five other current and former Sun colleagues are facing a variety of charges in relation to alleged payments to police and other public officials and other assorted badness. Charges which they all deny. Earlier on Friday morning they were cleared of an 'over-arching' conspiracy charge that they were paying backhanders to public officials for stories between March 2002 and January 2011 but they all still face further, specific, charges of alleged unlawful payments in a criminal trial at Kingston crown court. In the witness box, Pharo claimed that he had no training on the payment of public officials in the Sun over a career which spanned more than twenty years. The only training he did get was a two-day course on how to fire staff, he told jurors. He said, however, that in 2003, 'rather famously' well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Wade told a parliamentary select committee that the Sun did pay police officers. Pharo spent the first hour and a half of his testimony painting the picture of the Sun under well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks' predecessor, the odious, rat-faced scumbag and horrorshow Kelvin MacKenzie. 'Bullying and misogynistic behaviour' which would nowadays 'land the management in an employment tribunal' was 'common', he alleged. Pharo said that at the age of twenty three or twenty four he was offered 'a hugely significant promotion' to work for the paper in New York. It was a position which brought with it a pay rise of twenty five grand and was a job considered a stepping stone for high-ranking jobs back in London. Two weeks before he was due to leave, his partner, Kirsty, discovered she was pregnant. He phoned his boss who told him he could no longer go because it was 'a single man's job.' Neil Wallis, the associate editor, 'pulled me in, told me I was "a fucking idiot" and told me that she deliberately "set me up" by getting pregnant and I should get rid of her', Pharo said. Pharo added that Wallis later 'humiliated' him by making him the subject of the paper's Dear Deidre agony aunt column. Wallis ordered the prepared column to be scrapped and replaced by one about 'an evil conniving girlfriend who had got herself deliberately pregnant in order to crash this [the New York job].' Pharo claimed that MacKenzie had got Wallis to fire someone he didn't like, but Wallis fired someone else. 'It was a case of mistaken identity,' said Pharo. In his early career, Pharo said, he was sued by filthy old scallywag and right rotten rotter Jimmy Savile. He had written a front page story for the local paper where he started his career, the Bracknell News, revealing that Savile had joined the taskforce at Broodmoor hospital and was running it. Savile admitted that he had joined the taskforce but not that he was running the hospital and as Pharo's 'source' did not want to be named the paper paid out five hundred knicker to the albino paedophile. Pharo also claimed that well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Wade had turned down the scoop about MPs' expense claims because she had spent so much on a book by former glamour model Katie Price. 'She told me she couldn't afford sixty thousand pounds because she had just spent two hundred and fifty thousand on Jordan's autobiography,' he said. Turning to reporters' claims for cash payments for 'confidential sources', Pharo said that he 'did not agree' with company policy as the system was 'ripe for abuse' and enabled 'potentially unscrupulous' journalists to 'trouser' the money. 'There was really no way of auditing it properly and it had been set up by the company to facilitate getting stories,' Pharo told jurors. He said that e-mails from reporters requesting cash payments for 'my top copper' or 'my eyes and ears at Sandhurst' had no credibility. 'The reality is journalists claim they have these contacts across the board. It's the way of bigging up their contacts.' He also described expense claims by journalists as fictitious. '[There is] more fantasy in journalist expenses than The Lord Of The Rings,' he said. The trial continues.

A former editor of the Sun did not 'have the balls' to run leaked details of Labour's last budget, a jury at the Old Bailey was told on Thursday. The Sun had 'a tip-off' about an increase in duties on fuel, alcohol and cigarettes, and had prepared a double-page spread under the headline Don't Fudge It the day before chancellor Alistair Darling's speech in 2010. Clodagh Hartley, the paper's Whitehall editor at the time, told a jury that a senior colleague, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told her 'Dominic Mohan did not have the balls to run it' and replaced it with a story that included just two paragraphs from the tipster. The Sun journalist was in the witness stand in relation to a charge against her that she unlawfully and naughtily paid a government press officer working for Revenue & Customs who had given her the details of the Budget at a Starbucks cafe the night before the announcement. Hartley denies conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. The jury heard that Hartley believed there was 'massive public interest' in running the story before it was subjected to 'spin' by the government press office. She told the court that she was 'bullied' by a senior colleague and made to feel the 'most junior and lowly member' of the team even though she had landed what she believed to be a scoop. Hartley is extremely accused of arranging payments of seventeen thousand four hundred and seventy five smackers to HMRC press officer Jonathan Hall over more than three years, in exchange for a series of stories. Asked by her defence counsel if she thought that she was doing anything 'wrong' by arranging payments for the tips, she replied: 'Absolutely not.' Asked if she kept it from her superiors on the Sun, she replied: 'Not at all.' She told how a senior colleague had instructed her to 'find a different name' other than Hall to pay the tip fee. Hall then suggested his girlfriend, Marta Bukarewicz, who also denies conspiring to commit misconduct in public office. Hartley said the information – based on 'defensive lines' to be used by HMRC press officers – was supplied by Hall. But to her dismay, the potentially 'award-winning' scoop was edited down to a few tiny paragraphs in a spread focusing on the results of a poll of Sun readers. She reported a conversation with an anonymous senior colleague who 'said that Dominic Mohan did not have the balls to run it, which meant he did not trust that I had the correct information,' she claimed. 'He did not want to put details into the newspaper which were potentially incorrect. This is the conversation I had with [the senior colleague]. The phrase I have just used was [the senior colleague's] opinion of why Dominic Mohan had not run it, having spoken to Dominic Mohan several times at length the evening we had those details,' she alleged. Although she boasted in internal e-mails that she had 'got hold' of 'the entire budget', Hartley admitted to jurors this was 'a bit of an overbold claim, as I feel I'm fighting for my job.' She defended her wish to give Sun readers the inside story on the budget, before it had been formally revealed. 'We had the information, therefore it should be given to our readers as soon as possible,' Hartley argued. Hartley was asked about the pressured working environment and her strained relationship with the unnamed senior colleague. 'Pretty much after I started, he was bullying. I can't put it any other way. I thought that the exclusives like this helped as this was the currency he seemed to want. I was quite frightened of him but I tried to maintain a professional front and carry on.' The reporter said that she was 'treated very much like the most junior and lowly member of the team' by her senior colleague. She told jurors that she had spent a week investigating Labour candidates' constituency literature in the run-up to the 2010 election. Hartley was able to show that many MPs failed to reference PM Gordon Brown, 'perhaps out of embarrassment.' But after assembling the data, the senior colleague 'stole all the glory for it without doing the work.' She told jurors how the senior colleague - who is not on trial - was 'guilty of shifting the goalposts' and seemed to treat male journalists preferentially. He told her in 2010 that he was 'not worried' about her winning exclusives – encouraging her to get to know 'the beat' – but in 2011 he allegedly berated her for a lack of exclusives. Hartley also said that she had 'no idea it was in any way wrong' to request payments for Hall. She was told to change her source's name on the Sun's payment system, duly entering Marta Bukarewic, 'in the same way as Jonathan's details had earlier been inputted.' Asked why she thought 'bosses' had requested the name-change, Hartley replied: 'I didn't give it much thought, beyond anybody could see who was on the system – anybody being fellow journalists.' Hartley said that she would not be returning to journalism after her experience at the Sun ended in a court charge, but continued to robustly defend her work as 'in the public interest', exposing waste and inefficiency in government. The reporter was asked about a series of texts with James Chapman, the political editor of the Daily Scum Mail, in February 2011. Asked why she appeared to be feeding a rival newspaper a story provided by Hall, Hartley explained that she was on maternity leave and felt 'little loyalty' to the Sun after her 'poor treatment' by the unnamed senior colleague. 'By now, my appeal of my appraisal was very quickly knocked back and I had spent the intervening weeks writing memo after memo and dealing with it. It had been revealed to me that [the senior colleague] had said I would not be returning to that [Whitehall] job.' She also said that this same colleague 'had succeeded in stealing contacts from me on two occasions.' Hartley said that she was 'out of the loop' when Sun journalists began to be arrested, as she was organising her wedding in Ireland. 'I did not know at the time that it was illegal to pay police officers, soldiers,' she said. Hartley said she now knows 'it was being said that it was illegal to pay public officials.' Her barrister pointed out that paying public officials was not illegal per se, as the trial indictment shows. 'I thought that sources would be protected,' Hartley said of News International's decision to hand over internal e-mails to Scotland Yard. 'That was the journalist's duty.' Her counsel Alexandra Healy asked: 'Did you have any idea that it could be suggested that what you were doing was criminal?' Snivelling, Hartley replied, 'I had no idea it could be criminal.' 'Whatever the outcome of these proceedings, do you propose to return to journalism?' Hartley replied that she would not. The trial continues.

Six possible victims of the former Scum of the World undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood contacted lawyers within hours of the broadcast of a Panorama programme exposing his alleged stings and revealing his face. Mark Lewis, the lawyer who represented scores of celebrities in phone-hacking claims has, according to the Gruniad Morning Star, been approached by fourteen potential clients, six of them within twenty four hours of the twice-postponed programme revealing the Fake Sheikh's undercover methods being broadcast on Wednesday night. Lewis's existing clients include the former soap actor John Alford and former model Emma Morgan, both of whom gave interviews to BBC reporter John Sweeney for the Panorama film. Murray Harkin, a former business partner of Sophie, the Countess of Wessex – who was forced to leave his job after Mahmood reported comments that he made about cocaine and gay parties, as well as his offers to arrange for the countess and her husband, Prince Edward, to endorse business deals – has also taken legal advice. Harkin told the Gruniad that he was 'keeping a watchful eye' on the case. 'I lost everything. I had a very successful business which was just about to be sold and I walked away with a few thousand quid and my career in tatters.' It emerged on Thursday that no file has yet been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service by the Metropolitan police, which is investigating Mahmood on suspicion of perverting the course of justice following the collapse of a trial involving Tulisa Contostavlos. In July, Mahmood was suspended by the title that replaced the Scum of the World, the Sun on Sunday following the collapse of the trial. The judge in the case suggested that Mahmood had attempted to persuade a witness to change his evidence and then lied about it under oath. Mahmood has denied acting improperly, saying that he is 'helping with any police inquiries' and that Panorama's account of events is wrong and misleading. And, hilariously, 'not in the public interest'. Asked why no file had yet been sent to the CPS, the Met said that it would be 'inappropriate' to comment on an ongoing investigation. Mahmood claims that he used 'legitimate methods', which helped secure about one hundred convictions during his thirty-year career, largely through his posing as a member of Arab royalty. The CPS confirmed on Thursday that it had identified about thirty cases in which Mahmood had given evidence and was 'considering the next step.' Panorama also alleged that a murder inquiry in 1999 revealed links between corrupt police officers, a firm of private detectives called Southern Investigations and tabloid journalists including Mahmood. One document seen by Panorama said: 'Source met Maz, a News of the World reporter on this occasion Maz was with a plainclothes officer. The officer was selling a story to Maz.' Mahmood insists that he has never bought stories from police officers. The documentary, Fake Sheikh: Exposed, also alleged that police officers and prosecutors knew about Mahmood's dodgy methods but failed to investigate properly raising, yet again, questions over the relationship between the police and the Scum of the World, where Mahmood made his name from 1991 until its closure in shame and ignominy in 2011. Police said: 'If we receive any evidence to suggest that there has been police corruption or malpractice then it will be investigated.' Some of those caught in alleged sting operations by Mahmood were also targeted by phone-hackers. As well as making claims against Trinity Mirra, it is understood that former England football coach Sven-Göran Eriksson has made claims against News Group for being hacked. After details of his affairs with the actress Ulrika Jonsson and Faria Alam, the former FA assistant, Sven was then the target of an elaborate sting in which he told Mahmood that he would quit England if they won the World Cup and was prepared to become the five million smackers-a-year manager of football club Aston Villains. Having told Panorama that the damage the alleged entrapment has caused was 'much, much bigger, far more serious, than phone-hacking ever was', Lewis explained how people could be swayed by the kind of entrapment alleged to have been carried out by Mahmood: 'All human beings have a price. If somebody came to me today – provided they weren't wearing an Arab headdress – and said the approach was on behalf of News Corp and they wanted an ethical lawyer to come in and check they weren't doing anything wrong and there was a five million pounds sign-up fee, I'd probably do due diligence.'

And, speaking of scum newspapers wallowing in filth, the Daily Scum Mail faces a potential legal bill that could be as high as three million notes, believed to be among the highest since controversial no-win, no-fee agreements were introduced, after libelling a businessman. The case relates to Andy Miller, a friend of the former Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair, who has been locked in a legal battle with the Daily Scum Mail for six years. Over this period Associated Newspapers, the owner of the Scum Mail, appealed against several legal judgments in Miller's favour. The conflict began when the paper ran a front-page story in October 2008 under the headline Met Boss in new 'Cash for friend' storm, effectively accusing Miller of winning a lucrative IT contract with the Met unfairly through his friendship with Blair. Miller, who says that the legal battle has 'ruined his life', strongly disputed the story. He sent a lengthy e-mail to the Daily Scum Mail's editor the odious and horrible Paul Dacre outlining why the article was wrong, asking for an apology and total legal costs which he wrote 'may end up somewhere between thirty and forty thousand pounds.' But, when he did not get what he felt was a satisfactory response, Miller started libel proceedings in September 2009. The Scum Mail decided to fight the case but in December 2012, Mrs Justice Sharp extremely ruled in favour of Miller, saying that he had 'suffered considerably' as a result of the front-page publication by the poisonous, fascist-supporting right-wing rag written by shite-scum filth which caused 'substantial aggravation.' She awarded aggravated damages, with a total sum of sixty five grand. After Miller won his case a three-paragraph apology was put in the Daily Scum Mail - at the bottom of page forty one - which he considered to be unfair given the front-page prominence of the first story. Associated Newspapers sought to fight the case all the way up to the Supreme Court. However, last month, the court wasn't having it and ruled against the paper's application for permission to appeal on the grounds that it did not raise a point of law of general importance. Miller's lawyers, Simons, Muirhead and Burton, agreed a conditional fee agreement to act on Miller's behalf. Miller had to take out insurance to cover his legal fees in case he lost. Owing to the length of the case the overall legal costs to both sides could be as high as three million smackers. The exact breakdown is not clear, though Miller believes two million of them relate to his lawyers’ costs alone. Miller, who remains good friends with Blair, says that the story and subsequent battle for redress has affected his health. 'How could it possibly be that a newspaper which cares about truth and accuracy is happy to go through this legal process after I wrote saying "you're wrong" to Paul Dacre. We're nearly two years on after Leveson. For goodness sake, what has changed?' Good question, that. Keith Mathieson, lawyer for the Scum Mail, sent an e-mail this week to Miller refusing any further redress. 'The Daily Mail reported the outcome of the action already. It also reported the outcome of the appeal to the court of appeal. In those circumstances, ANL [Associated Newspapers Limited] has discharged its obligations under the code of practice. Indeed, it has arguably gone further than required. We can see no basis for requiring the Mail to report the outcome of ANL's unsuccessful application to the supreme court and it does not intend to do so.' Of course, that doesn't stop other newspapers from doing exactly that. Take, the Gruniad Morning Star, for instance. Miller is pressing the Scum Mail further for a prominent apology and considering taking the matter up with new press regulator IPSO. Not that that'll do much good, one imagines since they're every single bit as toothless as their predecessor, the PCC.

The BBC's flagship worship show, Songs Of Praise, is updating its programme as part of a relaunch. From Sunday it will drop its traditional format of an Anglican service recorded in a cathedral, parish, or other church. Each edition will now feature a range of churches, locations, congregations and choirs. The BBC's head of religion and ethics, Aaqil Ahmed, said a 'different form of Christianity' had emerged in the UK. The show will also change to a magazine format that reflects what the programme describes as the reality of Christian faith across the country. This is not the first makeover for Songs Of Praise - which was created in 1961. Over the years, the face of Christianity in Britain has changed significantly, along with the UK's population, and the programme's audience has aged. It is now in its mid-seventies. In contrast, increased immigration - for example from Eastern Europe - has led to the growth of younger congregations, such as those at Catholic churches and at Pentecostal and black majority churches. Ahmed said: 'At the heart of this, really, is the fact that Christianity has changed in Britain. Songs Of Praise has been going for over fifty three years, and no TV show can stay the same for ever.' He added: 'We want to appeal to a different Christian audience, who may not necessarily have seen themselves every week on Songs Of Praise in the past. Sometimes you have to find a way of reaching out to that audience to say, "this really is for you."' In the new format, rather than going to one church a week, the programme will feature music performances from various different denominations, and different presenters for some of the segments. Those who have grown up watching Songs of Praise say they are looking forward to a more inclusive programme each week. The programme's first episode in the new format will be presented by Connie Fisher, the Welsh singer who won the BBC show, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? It will include a segment presented by Paralympian Ade Adepitan, and seven songs broadcast from different venues, including a Catholic cathedral, a Pentecostal church, and a Salvation Army training college. 'Lord, You Are Good', a song by Grammy Award-winning artist Israel Houghton, will also be performed at the Birmingham Christian Centre, an inner-city Pentecostal congregation. Nicholas McCarthy, a pianist born without a right hand, will perform 'Ave Maria' from the crypt of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Another song will come from the Salvation Army's training college in Denmark Hill, in South London. Next week's programme will include songs from Ruach City Church, a gospel congregation in Brixton and Canterbury Cathedral, as well as a performance by Dona Oxford, the American soul singer. There will also be more segments every week featuring current issues that affect the faithful, such as the persecution of Syrian Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The change was welcomed by the Church of England's Director of Communications, the Reverend Arun Arora, who said: 'The new format will welcome in something about people living out [their] faith, day-to-day, week to week, not just on a Sunday - and how their faith informs their approach to life and how their faith transforms lives.' The programme will still feature the more traditional choirs and hymns of worship for its current audience, in the hope that it will be able to celebrate many more years in good voice. But Ahmed, the BBC's first Muslim head of religion, said the new Songs Of Praise would not include other faiths. 'Not in a million years. There are lots of other multi-faith shows on the BBC, but Songs Of Praise is a Christian music show. Though if you come to it as not a Christian, you'll also get something out of it.'

Even Sherlock Holmes couldn't, quite, resist the charms of the seductive, dangerous Irene Adler. Indeed, if Benedict Cumberbatch his very self it to be believed, the night that he rescued her from a potential beheading in Pakistan he took her, roughly, up the Khyber Pass. Anyway, actress Lara Pulver her very self only has eyes for one man: Homeland star Raza Jaffrey. The thirty four-year-old actress is getting married to Jaffrey, thirty nine, and the couple are planning a Christmas wedding in the UK before they return to their home in Los Angeles. Jaffrey, who plays intelligence officer Aasar Khan in Homeland, bashfully revealed the news to the Evening Standard, saying, 'Lara is such a fantastic girl, she really is, and we are really excited about getting married this year.' Bless 'em.
A roadside bench matching the one that featured in the opening credits of the BBC sitcom Bottom has been officially unveiled in London. It follows an online campaign by fans after the death of Rik Mayall. The show's star said shortly before he died in June that he was sad to see the bench had been removed. Now after a petition by seven thousand fans, Hammersmith Council has replaced it, with the inscription 'In Memory of The Man, The Myth, The Legend.' Mayall, who was fifty six when he died, had appeared in a string of hit TV comedies, including The Young Ones, Blackadder II and The New Statesman. Fans who had campaigned for the return of the 'Bottom bench' gathered to witness the official unveiling on Friday along with local and national media. The opening credits of the cult BBC series show Mayall and his co-star, Adrian Edmondson, bickering and then attacking each other on the original bench. The idea of having a memorial on that spot was inspired by a BBC interview, in which Rik described his disappointment upon discovering that the bench had been removed. The memorial bench is situated at the junction of Queen Caroline Street and Hammersmith Bridge Road. A tribute written by Mayall's Young Ones co-star Nigel Planer was read at the official unveiling, along with those from fans of the comedian. The crowd also sang 'The Young Ones'. Aw, bless 'em.
The Philae lander on the distant comet 67P has sent another stream of data back to Earth before losing power. The little probe delivered everything expected from it, just as its failing battery dropped it into standby mode. Philae is pressed up against a cliff. Deep shadows mean it cannot now get enough light on to its solar panels to recharge its systems. The European Space Agency fears this contact may have been the robot's last - certainly for a while. A tweet from the official Philae lander account said: 'I'll tell you more about my new home, comet 67P soon ... zzzzz.' Philae descended to the comet's surface on Wednesday - the first time in history that a space mission has made a soft landing on a comet. The next opportunity to talk to Philae was set to begin at around 10am, when the orbiting Rosetta satellite - which delivered it to the four kilometre-wide 'ice mountain' - was due to come over the horizon. But with only 1.5 hours of sunshine falling on the robot during the comet's twelve-hour day, it seems doubtful the battery will have recovered enough performance to complete the radio link. Engineers did manage to maximise the possibility of it happening, though, by sending a command to reorientate the lander. This involved raising Philae by four centimetres and rotating its main housing by thirty five per cent. This will ensure the largest solar panel catches the most light. Even if the probe falls silent over the weekend, researchers say they are 'thrilled' with the amount of data already acquired. Stephan Ulamec, lander manager, said: 'Prior to falling silent, the lander was able to transmit all science data gathered during the First Science Sequence. This machine performed magnificently under tough conditions, and we can be fully proud of the incredible scientific success Philae has delivered.' Professor Mark McCaughrean, ESA's senior scientific advisor, told the BBC that the agency was 'hugely happy. All of the science instruments on board have done all the work they were supposed to do, so we have huge amounts of data back on the ground now, which is really exciting,' he said. 'Philae could come back later as we move closer to the Sun and we get more light on to the solar panels up against the cliff we're at here in the shadows.' In the latest tranche of data are the results from the drilling attempt made earlier in the day. This had been an eagerly anticipated activity. Getting into the surface layers and bringing up a sample to analyse onboard was seen as central to the core mission of Philae. Controllers say Cosac, the Philae laboratory that was due to receive the sample, downlinked its data, but that its contents had yet to be assessed. Among other returns, Philae took another picture of the surface with its downward-looking Rolis camera. It also exercised its Consert instrument. This is an experiment that sees Philae and Rosetta send radiowaves through the comet to try to discern its internal structure. And it has the additional possibility of being used to help triangulate a precise position for Philae on the comet's surface. This is still unknown. Although the robot hit the centre of its intended landing zone on Wednesday, it then bounced twice before coming to a stop. Knowledge of that final resting location would enable engineers better to understand its predicament and the prospects for future contact if lighting conditions somehow change on 67P. This could happen as the comet moves through space on its journey around the Sun. It will have the equivalent of seasons and this could play to Philae's advantage by altering the angle, timing and intensity of the sunlight hitting the solar panels. Philae was launched from Earth, piggybacked to the Rosetta satellite, in 2004. The pair covered 6.4 billion kilometres to reach Comet 67P out near the orbit of Jupiter. Scientists hope the investigations at the rubber-duck-shaped ball of ice and dust can provide fresh insights on the origins of the Solar System. Whatever happens to Philae, Rosetta will continue to make its remote observations of 67P.

The Football Association has been urged to lobby UEFA for a European boycott of the next World Cup - unless FIFA implements meaningful reform. Which, they're obviously not going to because they're run by a cabal of thieves and criminals. So, that's a bit of a non-starter, frankly. Former FA chairman David Bernstein said that it was 'time for drastic action' against football's world governing body. 'England on its own cannot influence this,' he said. 'If we tried something like that, we'd be laughed at.' He suggested that a World Cup would be weakened without Europe's top teams and that a boycott would have public backing. 'If I was at the FA now, I would do everything I could to encourage other nations within UEFA - and there are some who would definitely be on side, others may be not - to take this line,' he added. 'At some stage, you have to walk the walk, stop talking and do something.' Bernstein said that he also wanted FIFA's president, the odious Sepp Blatter, to step down but described him as 'formidable, very shrewd, very smart', conceding it would 'not be easy' to bring his reign to an end. In an interview, the seventy one-year-old also said: FIFA is 'a totalitarian set-up' which reminds him of 'the old Soviet empire' and is 'beyond ridicule'; that the credibility of football is 'suffering enormously' under the current FFIA regime and that choosing Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup was 'one of the most ludicrous decisions in the history of sport.' Bernstein chose to speak out after a report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups cleared Russia and Qatar of any wrongdoing but was critical of England, accusing the FA of 'flouting bid rules' in its failed attempt to win the right to stage the 2018 event. Yet less than four hours after the document's release, it was questioned by Michael Garcia, the man who had conducted the two-year investigation into corruption claims. The furore surrounding the report is the latest controversy to hit football's world governing body, which has been riddled with allegations of power, corruption and lies in recent times. Now Bernstein, who led the FA for three years from January 2011, wants FIFA to change its ways or face a challenge it finds impossible to ignore. When asked again if he was calling for the FA to unite with UEFA to boycott the World Cup, he replied: 'Unless [FIFA] could achieve the reforms that would bring FIFA back into the respectable world community, yes I would. It sounds drastic, but, frankly, this has gone on for years now. It's not improving, it's going from bad to worse to worse.' He said that there were fifty four countries within UEFA and described Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Holland as 'all powerful.' He added: 'You can't hold a serious World Cup without them. They have the power to influence if they have the will.' Similar views have been expressed over the weekend by German Football League president Reinhard Rauball, who suggested UEFA could leave FIFA if the findings of the two-year investigation into corruption claims are not published in full. As for criticism of England by the FIFA report, Bernstein accused football's world governing body of 'trying to deflect attention' from its own failings. 'I don't think much to these accusations,' he said. 'I don't think we should get away from the real issue. The real issue is FIFA governance and trying to achieve real change. But it won't happen easily. FIFA is sort of a totalitarian set-up. Bits of it remind me of the old Soviet empire. People don't speak out and if they do they get quashed.' Bernstein also described the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, where blistering summer temperatures means the event could be switched to winter, 'as one of the most ludicrous decisions in the history of sport.' He added: 'You might as well have chosen Iceland in the winter. It was like an Alice in Wonderland sort of decision. The attempt to change the timing is also absolutely wrong.' He felt the decision to choose Qatar as 2022 hosts could come under further scrutiny. 'There's also a background of political, social and employment issues that keep emerging and I think there's a danger that FIFA and football might be embarrassed by what emerges in the coming years,' said the former Sheikh Yer Man City chairman. 'It's certainly not sour grapes. England didn't lose to Qatar, we lost to Russia. Qatar is clearly a totally unsuitable place to hold a World Cup.' Bernstein also revealed he has quit FIFA's anti-discrimination taskforce. He described it as 'ineffectual' and wishes to end his ties with FIFA. Explaining his decision to leave the taskforce, which was introduced in 2013, Bernstein said: 'I've resigned for two reasons. Firstly, the body has been pretty ineffectual. I've been on it for more than a year and we only had one meeting. Secondly, because frankly I don't wish to be personally associated with FIFA any further. FIFA sets up these things - and we've seen it with their regulation - that look good in theory but don't seem to do very much in practice.'

In calling for the organisation he used to lead to unite with UEFA and lead a boycott of the World Cup - as well as a breakaway from FIFA - Bernstein has dared say what many have no doubt been thinking. After all, if the FA are so outraged with the world governing body's handling of the investigation into the bidding for the next two World Cups - and, they damn-well should be - then why not take drastic action and salvage some dignity by voting with one's feet? Sadly for the FA, there are plenty of reasons and, most of them are financial. Firstly, with two hundred and sixty seven million smackers of debt still to pay off for the seven hundred and fifty seven million knicker Wembley Stadium, the FA simply could not afford to lose the revenue that comes with hosting World Cup qualifiers, not to mention the sponsorship that results from contesting one of the world's most fabled sports events. Breaking away from FIFA would have major ramifications, too. A place on the International Football Association Board - the game's law-making body - would be sacrificed, for instance, while England representative teams at every age group would be unable to compete in their respective world championships. As Bernstein himself suggests, the FA would never dare to go it alone. It would need the support of UEFA. But there are encouraging signs on this front. Over the past weekend, the president of the German Football League warned that UEFA's fifty four member nations could quit FIFA if Michael Garcia's full report into the 2018 and 2022 World Cups is not fully published. Certainly, at a time when European football is already furious with Sepp Blatter - for standing for a fifth term as FIFA president after promising not to and for being expected to entirely rearrange its calendar to accommodate a winter World Cup in Qatar - you may think a breakaway has never been more likely. After all, Europe has the Champions League and the European Championships, which attracts the best of the global talent pool. Then there is the Nations League, which, from 2018, will attempt to make international friendlies more significant. But it's unlikely that this new format will be extended to fill the vacuum left if European countries refused to take part in the World Cup. With Russia hosting the next World Cup, it is hard to see them feeling the need to join a European rebellion. As for Spain and Portugal, they have no problem with the report into allegations of World Cup corruption, not after they were cleared of any wrongdoing over their bid for the 2018 World Cup. Then there is UEFA president, oily little glake Michel Platini. Having voted for Qatar as 2022 World Cup hosts, it is not easy to see why he would back a boycott. And if UEFA is so upset with Blatter, why isn't it putting up a credible challenger to him? Why, for example, is Platini himself not standing? It's hard not to take the view that UEFA will try to use FIFA's current meltdown, not to turn its back on football's world governing body, but to strengthen its power and influence, especially when it comes to the presidential election next year and negotiations over 2022 scheduling. Which, in and of itself, isn't an entirely healthy option. The FA knows this and that is why its plan is to bring about change from within. Next year, it hopes to get its vice-chairman David Gill - already a member of UEFA's executive committee - on to the FIFA executive committee as the home nations representative. If the FA was to suddenly agree with its former chairman Bernstein and call for a boycott on moral grounds, it would stand accused of hypocrisy. After all, according to FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, Garcia found that England's own twenty one million quid bid for the 2018 World Cup was guilty of breaking a few bidding rules. And let us not forget that, as recently as 2010, the English FA's bid team ludicrously attacked the BBC as 'unpatriotic' over a Panorama programme which looked into allegations of FIFA corruption - more or less exactly the same allegations that the FA is now voicing itself - such was its grovelling desperation to land the game's show piece event. Would Bernstein and the man who replaced him as FA Chairman Greg Dyke be this outraged by FIFA if England had won the vote? And would there by quite so much current media scrutiny of the 2022 World Cup hosts if Australia or the USA had won, rather than Qatar? Almost certainly not. Given all this, how easily could the FA claim the moral high ground? One can understand why the FA feel hard done by following the FIFA report into World Cup corruption. Much of it is simply inexplicable. Why, for example, was the English 2018 bid criticised when it was so obviously more open and transparent about what it did than the 'highly uncooperative' Russians, for instance, whose computers were destroyed along with any potential e-mail chains? How can England be admonished for their thirty five thousand dollars sponsorship of a Caribbean Football Union gala dinner in the hope of gaining the support of the odious Jack Warner when Qatar got away with a $1.8m sponsorship of the CAF Congress in Angola shortly before the 2010 vote? Why did Eckert take it upon himself now - before Garcia has even had the chance to open proceedings against individuals suspected of wrongdoing - to recommend there was 'no need' for any kind of re-vote? Why was the evidence from alleged whistleblowers dismissed so readily? Why - short of crass and brown-tongued arse-licking was Blatter praised in Eckert's concluding sentences? And what exactly is it about Eckert's summary that Garcia has such a problem with? These questions have left FIFA in apparent meltdown, the credibility of its landmark investigation - something that was meant to restore faith and trust in a scandal-plagued organisation - in tatters. Its next move will be interesting, but football's world governing body will no doubt come under increasing pressure to publish the full Garcia report. Nevertheless, thanks to FIFA's 'Financial Assistance Programme' - the hundreds of millions of pounds that it hands out to regional confederations and national associations in the form of 'development' payments - Blatter knows he has solid support in Africa, Asia and South America. A European breakaway would simply be portrayed as a selfish (possibly racist or colonialist) move by the wealthiest region in the sport. Blatter will not lose any sleep over what his old adversary Bernstein says. Or about current FA chairman Greg Dyke calling the Eckert report 'a joke.' Rumours coming out of the United States that the FBI are keen to press ahead with their own investigation into senior FIFA officials, however, should concern him far more. So should the fact that Dubai-based airline Emirates recently ended its sponsorship deal with FIFA, with South Korean electronics giant Samsung expected to follow suit. The continuous loss of the sponsors which generate billions of pounds for FIFA, rather than the threats of former FA chairmen, are what would really rattle Blatter. It's a horrifying thought that one of the few things which would likely cause change at FIFA is if their major sponsor Coca-Cola decided to develop of conscience. And, of course, we all know that's very unlikely to happen. Three years ago, when he was FA chairman, Bernstein made a lone appeal to postpone the unopposed re-election of Blatter in the wake of serious bribery allegations involving FIFA executive committee members Mohamed bin Hammam and the odious Warner. The rebellion failed and left the FA more isolated than ever. Just like then, Bernstein may now win praise for his principles, but this latest stand will almost certainly meet the same fate.

A guitar once owned by alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon is expected to raise more than four hundred thousand quid at auction. The Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 model was played by Lennon when The Be=Beatles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might have heard of them) recorded 'Paperback Writer' at Abbey Road in 1966. It is being sold by the late Be-Atle's cousin David Birch, who was given the guitar a year later. A live auction will be held at Le Meridien hotel in Central London on 23 November. The guitar was developed in the 1950s and was favoured by many rock and/or roll musicians including Carl Perkins, Bo Diddley, Duane Eddy, Eddie Cochran, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Hilton Valentine of The Animals, Steve Marriott of The Small Faces, Mike Nesmith, Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison of The Velvet Underground, Neil Young and, probably most influentially, Lennon's bandmate yer actual George Harrison. It is described on auction website as 'one of the most significant of John's guitars to come on to the market in the last thirty years.' Even though, according to Andy Bubiuk's definitive book on The Be-Atles instruments, Beatles Gear, he only ever used it in the studio on a maximum of two songs ('Paperback writer' and it's b-side, 'Rain'). The website claims that it was played 'whilst the group were approaching the peak of their recording powers.' Which, to be fair, is probably true. They were a bit good in early 1996. The guitar comes with photographs of Lennon playing it with the rest of the band (note that, in these, Harrison is playing a Burns Nu-Sonic which, similarly only featured among the band's great during this short period). Recent auctions of other Beatles memorabilia have included the front door of a Liverpool home once lived in by yer actual Paul McCartney, and jackets worn by Harrison and Ringo Starr his very self.
On last Thursday evening, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping attended Uncle Scunthorpe's latest Record Player event at the Tyneside. And a proper right good'un it was an'all, featuring a conceptually brilliant face-off a'tween Echoes Of The Sixites and Big Hits (High Tide & Green Grass) (the proper UK version). One of the best RP's ever, frankly. Two great records, a magnificent slide show - with a interestingly horrifying subtext of spousal abuse running right through the first part of it, at least - and then a quiz that we weren't even going to have until Chris Barron said 'let's do it so we can beat Keith and Christian.' Well, dear blog reader, that was war! Plus, a pointless discussion about what was The B-52's worst moment to cap it all off. What do you mean 'get a life'? What's the point of that? If I had one, I'd only waste it.
So, for yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 33(s) of the Day, there's a bit of this.
And a bit of that.